You have got a lot invested in your tow vehicle and trailer, and we are not just talking dollars and cents. The comfort and safety of you and your family are key when towing a trailer. With recent advances in technology, tow vehicles are even more powerful, but the vehicles and their frames are getting lighter. Meanwhile the trailers they pull are getting heavier. The bottom line, yesterdays technology does not always work with todays payloads. That is why you need to make sure you vehicle is properly equipped to safely handle the load you are pulling under any conditions, on any surface, with any load. And that is why it is important to understand weight distribution and sway control technology and how it effects your tow vehicle and trailer. :46
Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch, and Reese are the industry leaders of vehicle towing products and accessories. These are the companies that pioneered the technology and set the standards for todays advanced towing systems. Draw-Tite and Reese were instrumental in developing the very first towing standards for the state of New York and the United States department of transportation. Together they represent over 150 years of industry experience in weight distribution and sway control products. Together they lead the industry. Together they lead the way in quality, safety, and innovation. 1:22
The trends towards heavier trailer tongue weights means that higher performance weight distribution systems are required to manage the loads. If you are towing a heavy load, the original equipment manufacturer hitch on your tow vehicle, the one that came with it when you bought it, may need upgrading to meet the challenge. Standard weight distribution has a spring bar running from the head to at the snap up bracket on the tongue. Snap up brackets allow the chains at the end of the spring bar to be attached to the A-frame. Spring bar tension is adjusted by changing links in the support chains. Slide the safety pin into place and you are done. Modern weight distribution hitch systems provided a softer ride and distributes forces more evenly than previous technologies. That means better steering and brake control, and that translates to greater piece of mind. The weight of a trailer pressing down on the hitch at the rear of the tow vehicle can cause the front of the vehicle to rise, lifting weight off the front axle. The result can be a loss of control, stability, driveability, and braking can become difficult, even dangerous. A weight distribution system evenly distributes the weight of the trailer between the trailer axles and the tow vehicle axles. The result is a more level ride, which reduces stress on the rear of the tow vehicle while providing greater steering and breaking control.
A weight distribution system is comprised of three components. A hitch rated for weight distribution is attached to the tow vehicle. A weight distribution kit is installed. A hitch ball connects the weight distribution assembly to the trailer. These components work in unison to provide a more level ride with greater steering and brake control. Weight distribution systems are ed on the basis of tongue weight and gross trailer weight. Consult your dealer for the proper weight distribution kit and hitch ball for your trailer. If you have ever experienced trailer sway you know how just unpleasant and potentially dangerous it can be. Turbulence from another vehicle, a wind gust, or a down grade can cause sudden sway. Properly designed and installed sway controls can minimize trailer sway. The result is a safer, more comfortable for you and your passengers. There are two standard sway control systems. The less expensive and more common form of sway control is a friction device referred to as, Friction Sway Control. Friction sway control does not prevent the generation of sway, it simply works to resist the forces once they have started. It operates on the principle of stiffening the coupling between the tow vehicle and the trailer.
The second and more effective form of sway control is known as active sway control, or a straight line system, which is only offered by Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch, and Reese. The secret of a straight line system is the high performance dual cam sway control. Unlike friction sway control, the dual cam is an active form of sway control. The cam action works to dampen swaying activity before it starts, while at the same time allowing free and easy vehicle and trailer interaction. When towing in a straight line the cams on either side of the trailers A-frame are locked into position. This essentially creates a ridged connection between the tow vehicle and trailer, minimizing the effects of induced sway, caused by high cross winds or passing vehicles. And cam based sway control only works when needed, usually the cams ride in a detint, or a locked in position. When cornering maneuvers are required the cams automatically slide out of their detint to permit full radius turns. When the maneuver is short and abrupt, for example, in the event of a sudden swerve the cams automatically seek a straight line towing angle. You are pulling the trailer, not the other way around. Straight line weight distribution systems give you the best of both worlds by combining a Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch, or Reese weight distribution system with dual cam sway control. The straight line weight distribution systems proactive design literally forces the trailer to stay in a straight line behind the tow vehicle. That improves driving dynamics and helps the tow vehicle to retain control. Once the initial dealer set up is completed the straight line distribution system is easy to use. Attach the trailer to the ball. Raise the tongue jack to relieve weight on the tongue. Insert the spring bars into the head. Attach chains to the trailer brackets. Lower the tongue jack and you are off. If you are hauling heavy loads, Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch, and Reese have a towing solution for you. From a basic weight distribution hitch, to a weight distribution system with sway control, to the ultimate system, a straight line hitch. Remember, not all weight distribution systems are created equal. Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch, and Reese lead the way, because of their long time product leadership, quality materials, cutting edge manufacturing process, and user friendly systems. Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch, and Reese leading the industry, leading the way in innovation, quality, and safety.
Today we are going to cover a few questions about weight distribution in general that we get a lot. First we will start off with the hitch itself. A common question is can any hitch be used with the weight distribution assembly. Virtually any two inch receiver hitch as the one we have here, can accommodate weight distribution. However there are a few odd ones out there that do not, mainly they are on small SUVs and maybe a couple of minivans, for the most part almost any two inch receiver hitch can accommodate weight distribution. The only real bulletproof way to find out is to look at the sticker on the hitch itself and you will see some numbers on there. The numbers you want to look for here are right here. This one says weight carrying and that is for the hitch itself which means that is the maximum weight the hitch can carry without any assistance.
Today were going to show you how to measure for a weight distribution shank. It looks kind of confusing with the different lengths and amount of holes on it and different measurements. Were going to keep it basic and simple so you can pick out the right one the first time and well show the steps that are needed to do that. First thing we do is get two measurements, we need to measure from the bottom of the coupler down to the ground. Also we need to measure from the top of the hitch opening down to the ground. The difference between the two measurements will tell us what size shank to get. Well make that 13 1/2 inches and looks like we have a measurement of 21 inches. With some simple math, the difference will be 7 1/2 inches, so we need to find a that is close to that. The closest one we have is part # 3344. That part will have a eight inch total so that will be as close as we can get. Well check that out to make sure it works. With our measurements in hand, lets go ahead and test it. As you can see the ball height is the same as the coupler so it looks like a perfect match.