# Weight Distribution Trailer Hitches Information

## Information on Weight Distribution Trailer Hitches

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.

In this example it is 5,000 pounds which is relatively common. The next number here which says weight distribution on top, that means the trailer can pull 8,000 pounds total trailer weight or gross trailer weight. This also corresponds with tongue weight. The tongue weight here is 500 pounds without weight distribution, that means that the ball is directly on the ball mount and in the hitch and is pulling down and is limited to 500 pounds. With the weight distribution you can increase that to 800 pounds or 10 percent of 8,000. Most trailer tongue weight is about 10-15 percent on the tongue. The next question we get is how to determine the right size and type of weight distribution they should get. There are a variety of ways to achieving the same thing, basically numbers wise you want to get the weight distribution that matches closest to the trailer that you have. Say you have a trailer with 700 pounds of tongue weight, then you want to get a weight distribution assembly that has closest to that tongue weight. Say for example the weight distribution has a tongue weight of 800 pounds that would be your closest bet, it is alway better to go over than under with the weight distribution assembly. After you have determined the type of tongue weight capacity you need, the next step is to check the total weight of the trailer itself.

Another common question is whether or not a customer should get the biggest weight distribution assembly available seeing as price wise there is not much of a difference. There actually is a difference. For example if you get a weight distribution system that is rated for 1,000 pounds tongue weight yet your RV has on 550 pounds tongue weight, it will hold it just fine but it will make the ride quality pretty stiff between the truck and the trailer. You will not have enough flexibility and may be harder to install and make more noise on the road. You want something that will provide a smoother ride yet still carry the weight. Basically it is always better to match up to what you have originally. The worst case, you do trade up to the bigger trailer, it is no problem as long as your hitch can still accommodate it you can always get new spring bars to match up. Usually the head assembly will take on the extra trailer weight. The next question is what is weight distribution and how does it work. Weight distribution is taking the weight that is pushing down on the truck and trailer, physically picking it up and shoving it across the axles of the trailer and the truck itself. Now well tell you how it actually works. Basically as the weight comes down, it pushes on the head assembly which pushes against these bars here, and these bars are naturally chained to the lift lock brackets. What the bars want to do is remain straight but since these chains are pulling on them and creating tension, the only way for them to straighten out is pushing back up on the head assembly and pushing it back up. That in turn takes the load and pushes it back up which then transmits the weight between the axles of the truck and the trailer.

Question: I have a 1999 6 Cyl. Honda Passport with a dealer installed trailer hitch at purchase is it possible to upgrade the rear shocks and/or springs along with a weight distribution system so that it will properly pull a lightweight RV?

comment by: Dewayne S - 9/23/2012

Upgrading the shocks and springs won't increase the towing capacity of the vehicle. The towing capacity is determined in part by the frame, the suspension, the drive train and a host of other factors. Upgrading the suspension may make the suspension strong enough, but the transmission or differential may not be able to handle it. I would strongly recommend contacting Honda to find out exactly what the tow capacity is for your vehicle with the dealer installed hitch. I would also ask them about use of a Weight Distribution system. A WD (Weight Distribution) system can be a huge help when towing. If the trailer is within the vehicle's tow capacity and is loaded properly, a WD system can help with the rear of the vehicle sagging. You would simply need to find a system best suited for the weight of the trailer. Too heavy and the ride will be stiff and you could end up lifting the rear of the car. Too light and the WD could break or at the least, be ineffective. Again check with Honda about WD. There are many Honda vehicles that are prohibited from WD use according to the manuals. Any other questions, please let us know.

Patrick B - 9/25/2012

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## Weight Distribution Videos

Measuring for Weight Distribution Review

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.