5 Things to Know About Weight Distribution Hitches

If your trailer's swaying has you white-knuckling the wheel, if steering and stopping your rig is a harrowing experience, or if your tow vehicle's headlights are pointed toward the sky, you probably need a weight distribution hitch. A weight distribution hitch (or weight distribution system) helps to ensure a smooth, level ride and allows you to tow at the maximum capacity allowed by your hitch. It also helps to correct tow vehicle sag, improve steering and stopping, and—when used with sway control—correct trailer sway.
Read on to learn:
  • What is a Weight Distribution Hitch, and How Does It Work?
  • When Do You Need a Weight Distribution Hitch?
  • Does a Weight Distribution Hitch Increase Towing Capacity?
  • Can Weight Distribution Be Used with Surge Brakes?
  • What Are the Components of a Weight Distribution System?
Weight Distribution Hitch
Weight Distribution Hitch
Weight Distribution Hitch

What is a Weight Distribution Hitch, and How Does It Work?

What is a Weight Distribution Hitch?

A weight distribution hitch is a system designed to create a level, stable ride when you tow a trailer. Basically, a weight distribution hitch will help keep your towing setup level and make sure the weight of your trailer doesn't cause undue stress on your vehicle.
Vehicle and trailer without weight distribution
Without a weight distribution hitch: the additional weight of the trailer on the vehicle's rear axle causes the vehicle's back end to sag and the front end to point upward.

What Happens to Your Vehicle When you Tow a Trailer?

To understand why a weight distribution hitch works, it's important to understand what happens to your vehicle when you tow a heavy trailer behind it. When you tow a trailer with a standard, rear-mounted hitch, your trailer's tongue weight is transferred to the rear axle of your tow vehicle. This can weigh down your vehicle's back end and cause the front end to point upward, especially on vehicles that have suspension designed for everyday comfort. If this happens, your vehicle's rear axle will bear the weight of not only the trailer, but much of your tow vehicle's weight as well. What's more, the lessened weight on the vehicle's front axle can diminish your steering, traction, and stopping power. Your view of the road may be limited due to the awkward angle, and you may experience increased trailer sway.
Vehicle and trailer with weight distribution
How Does Weight Distribution Help?Weight distribution systems use spring bars to help combat these issues. Spring bars apply leverage to either side of your setup, which transfers the load at the rear of the vehicle to all axles on your tow vehicle and trailer. This even distribution of weight results in a smooth, level ride, as well as the ability to tow at the maximum capacity of your hitch.
Weight Distribution Hitch Correction

When Do You Need a Weight Distribution Hitch?

Your tow vehicle's owner's manual should provide you with tow weight specifications and information regarding weight distribution use. For instance, the 2018 Chevy Traverse owner's manual states that weight distribution and sway control are required when towing a trailer over 5,000 lbs.For safety and liability reasons, you should always comply with manufacturer instructions. If you choose not to, and a problem arises, your insurance company may not be there to help (especially for a commercial business) since you chose to ignore manufacturer recommendations.Even if you are within the towing limits set by your equipment, vehicle manufacturer, etc., there are other indicators that you may benefit from a weight distribution hitch, including:
  • Your trailer weight (GTW) is more than 50% of your vehicle's weight (GVWR)
  • The rear of your tow vehicle sags when the trailer is hooked up
  • You experience trailer sway
  • Your tow vehicle's headlights point upward
  • You find it difficult to steer or stop your rig
  • You want to tow to the highest capacity allowed by your trailer hitch
Weight Distribution vs AirbagsA common question we receive is whether weight distribution or airbags are needed when the rear of the vehicle sags beneath a load. The recommendation is as follows:Vehicle sag due to load in the truck bed: airbagsVehicle sag due to trailer connection: weight distribution
Weight Distribution Hitch - Truck Towing Trailer

Does a Weight Distribution Hitch Increase Towing Capacity?

If your hitch is rated for use with weight distribution, the weight distribution system will allow you to tow at the maximum capacity of the hitch. Weight distribution doesn't "increase" your hitch's capacity so much as it allows the hitch to be used at its maximum capacity. Check the hitch's ratings to determine your towing capacity with and without weight distribution. Note that only designated Class III, IV, or V hitches may be used with weight distribution systems.You should also note that a weight distribution system does not increase the towing capacity of your vehicle. Your towing system will only be as strong as its lowest-rated component. You should always abide by the stated towing capacities of your vehicle and towing equipment. Failure to do so can result in equipment damage or failure.Keep in mind that not all hitches are designed for use with weight distribution systems. Always check the trailer hitch's weight rating label for a weight distribution towing capacity. If there is no such capacity listed, then a weight distribution system cannot be used.
Weight Distribution Sticker Label - With vs Without Weight Distribution
Example: The top sticker indicates that a weight distribution hitch may be used. Using weight distribution will allow you to tow up to 12,000 lbs rather than 8,000 lbs. The bottom label indicates that a weight distribution hitch may not be used.
Weight Distribution Hitch

Can Weight Distribution Be Used with Surge Brakes?

Only specified weight distribution hitches can be used with surge brakes. Most chain-style systems are not compatible with surge brakes as they do not allow for enough back and forth movement of the trailer to activate the actuator.Some manufacturers have rated their chain-style weight distribution systems as surge brake compatible, but you should note that adding friction sway control bars to these systems will make the system incompatible with surge brakes. To make sure your brakes operate at maximum effectiveness and are not prevented from compressing, it is recommended that you do not use a chain/snap-up bracket system with your surge brakes. You can shop for weight distribution hitches compatible with surge brakes. You can also browse systems compatible with electric brakes.
Weight Distribution Hitch Components

What Are the Components of a Weight Distribution System?

A weight distribution system requires 5 main components in order to operate:
  • Class III, IV, or V trailer hitch receiver rated for use with weight distribution
  • Weight distribution shank (slides into trailer hitch)
  • Weight distribution head assembly
  • Spring bars
  • Frame brackets
Trailer Hitch Receiver

1. Trailer Hitch Receiver

The trailer hitch receiver attaches to the frame of your vehicle and provides the receiver opening that the weight distribution shank slides into.
Weight Distribution Shank

2. Weight Distribution Shank

The weight distribution shank slides into your trailer hitch receiver and provides an attachment point for the weight distribution head assembly. Shanks are available in many lengths, drops, and rises to ensure your trailer is level with your vehicle.You can purchase a weight distribution hitch with a shank, or you can purchase a hitch without a shank and purchase the shank separately. Purchasing a shank separately would be a better choice, for instance, if you require a greater rise or drop than provided by the standard shank included in the kit.For more on finding your hitch rise or drop, check out our article here.
Weight Distribution Head Assembly

3. Weight Distribution Head Assembly

The head assembly type will differ between systems, so most won't look exactly alike. However, all head assemblies will attach to the weight distribution shank, provide a place to mount the hitch ball for trailer hookup, and provide the spring bar attachment point. The head assembly will also be used to fine-tune the amount of leverage applied to the system.Many standard head assemblies have built-in platforms for mounting friction sway control bars. Friction sway control bars mount to a smaller ball on the side of the weight distribution head. Some heads only have ball holes for a right-side attachment. Others, like those pictured below, have dual platforms so that you can mount a sway control bar on either side (or both sides) of your trailer.Many premium systems also feature sway control points in the head assembly itself for the most stable ride.
Weight Distribution Head Assembly
Weight distribution head assembly
Weight distribution head assembly with hitch ball and spring bars
Weight distribution head assembly with hitch ball and spring bars attached
Weight distribution head assembly with dual sway control
Weight distribution head assembly with dual sway control attachment points
Weight Distribution Spring Bars

4. Spring Bars

Spring bars apply leverage to your towing setup, thereby distributing the load on the rear of your vehicle to all the axles on your tow vehicle and trailer. Spring bars come in round, trunnion, and square shapes. Check out our article, Confidently Choose Your Weight Distribution Hitch - Here's 5 Tips , for help on choosing between them.
Weight Distribution Frame Brackets

5. Frame Brackets

Frame brackets mount to the frame of your trailer and are used to hold the spring bars in place.Various types of bracket designs are available. Standard weight distribution systems use a bracket and chain system to secure the spring bars to the trailer. However, many higher-end systems have specially designed sway-control brackets for additional trailer control.
Weight distribution standard snap-up bracket
Standard snap-up bracket
Friction sway control bracket
Friction sway control bracket
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Related ProductsWritten by: Amber S.Updated: 12/14/20

Questions and Comments about this Article

Ed C.

I have 1500lb spring bars ( Blue Ox) can they be used with my new trailer which has 800lb tongue weight?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

@EdC based on my research, Blue Ox recommend their 1,500lb bars be used with trailers that have tongue weights ranging from 1,000-1,5000lbs. If your new trailer's loaded and ready to tow tongue weight is only 800lbs, I would size down your spring bars for the best ride quality and to not put extra stress on the trailer frame with extra-heavy bars.

Phil A.

I have a 2020 Nissan pathfinder platinum with a factory installed 2 in receiver. I am looking to purchase a new travel trailer 17 to 20 ft. would i need a sway bar for that vehicle front wheel drive. what would you recommend? thank you.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

Based on my research, Nissan recommends that you use a weight distribution hitch with your Pathfinder if the trailer you are towing is over 5,000 lbs. I think I personally would use a weight distribution system with sway control when towing a travel trailer with a Pathfinder. If you experience sag at the rear of your vehicle when the trailer is connected, a WD system will allow the vehicle to be level while towing, which means the headlights, traction, and braking can operate as intended and maintain safety. The best WD system will be the one that is properly rated for your trailer's loaded and ready to tow tongue weight. I have attached another help article that will help you decide which system is the best for you.

Jeremy G.

I had a 2021 Ram 1500 and I recently made the switch to a 2021 Ram 2500. The 1500 was set up for my camper with a Fastway E2 weight distribution hitch which has the 1/2” drop shank. The camper has a 600lb tounge weight and a GVWR OF 4500lbs. My question is what length drop shank would you recommend so I can level things out again? Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

I have linked a help article that covers how to measure for ball mount drop. You would want to follow the steps outlined in the article to measure your truck's hitch receiver and the trailer's coupler to determine the drop you need. The weight distribution system works to bring the truck and trailer back to level, so you would want to go with a shank that offers the correct drop as measured with your truck unloaded.

Todd B.

I have a Ford F-150 and A Nissan Armada that I would like to be able use both vehicles to tow my camper but I was told that I would need to purchase a different hitch for each vehicle is that true and if so why?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

There is a setup process to get the weight distribution hitch properly adjusted so that your tow vehicle is level when your trailer is connected. This process not only involves adjusting the hitch head up or down on the shank, but some heads can be tilted back or forth. I would say that if you could use the same set up to tow your trailer with both vehicles then you are very lucky. If you hitch would need to be set up differently between each vehicle and you don't want to go through a possibly lengthy process each time, you may be able to buy a shank and a head for each vehicle but re-use the lift arms with both vehicles. I have linked an article that goes over how to install a WD system that will help you better understand this process and what it entails.

Reply from Todd B.

@VictoriaB thanks for your help!

Reply from Anthony

@VictoriaB could switching between tow vehicles without adjusting the weight distributing hitch cause / allow trailer away?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

@Anthony Yes. If the weight distribution hitch is not set up properly for the vehicle/trailer setup that your towing then the WD system is not able to do its job correctly and you could definitely experience trailer sway. If you're unsatisfied with the performance of your WD hitch, going back through the initial setup steps is always a great place to start troubleshooting.

Wc

I have a 2016 Jeep Cherokee North, tows up to 4500 lbs. Cargo 900 lbs, which we would have in it, including gas and us. We plan on purchasing a 16' travel trailer (total length 20 ft bumper to hitch); approx 3600 lb grvw. (ccc740 lbs). Hitch Weight 335lbs. Not sure if this includes the battery & Propane weight which is approx additional 70 lbs. Do we require a distribution hitch or sway control?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

Based on my research it looks like Jeep states that a weight distribution hitch needs to be used when towing a trailer over 3,500lbs with the 2016 Jeep Cherokee. Check out the trailer towing section of your owner's manual to see what they say. If you think you'll be loading your trailer close to the GVWR, I would suggest using a weight distribution hitch. I personally would opt for one that has built in sway control. Towing a 20ft trailer behind your car will have a big impact on drag and handling, but a weight distribution system that helps your car take this weight more evenly and a sway control system to help prevent the trailer from swaying dangerously can make a big difference in towing experience.

Reply from Wc

@VictoriaB Thank you for your information, very helpful!

Nick M.

I have a 2014 F150 FX4 crew cab (the 145 WB) eco boost. Depending on where you look it's rated for 10,500 pounds with distributed. My math doesn't work out to that and I get closer to 9000. The hitch itself says 5000 ball, 10500 distributed. Tongue weight lists as 1050 max. Regardless I don't plan to go over 9 to be safe, and realistically am looking at 7500-8000 fully loaded with a 26-28 foot travel trailer. I'll admit I've towed over 5000 without the WD but at the time I was going solely off the dealer info and didn't even know WD was a thing. Luckily nothing broke, but was certainly not an enjoyable ride. What would you recommend for that 7500-8000 range for my truck?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

It is always best to choose your weight distribution system based on the loaded and ready to tow tongue weight of your trailer. A safe tongue weight for a trailer is between 10-15% of the total weight. With your intended 7,500 - 8,000lb loaded trailer, this means the tongue weight of the trailer could fall anywhere from 750 - 1,200 lbs. Weight distribution systems have weight ranges that they can handle, but we've found best results by selecting a system that has your trailer's tongue weight near the middle of the range. If you need a system before you purchase the trailer, do your best to try and calculate your loaded tongue weight plus any cargo you carry behind the rear axle of your tow vehicle, then use your best guess to select a WD hitch. I have linked all of our offerings for you. You can use our filter to see only the ones that will work with your estimated total tongue weight.

Rene B.

I have a 2016 Toyota Forerunner with tow package. Just bought an epro 19’ with a give of 3750. Suggestions on a weight distribution/anti sway and a break controller would be great. I am new to this. Thx!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

To choose the best weight distribution and sway control system for you and your trailer, you want to pick the system based on the loaded and ready to tow tongue weight of the trailer plus the weight of any cargo in the back of your 4Runner behind the rear axle. I've linked a help article that covers this process. If your E-Pro's total weight when you're towing is 3,750lbs, then the tongue weight should be 10-15% of that, somewhere between 375-560 pounds. If you find your loaded tongue weight to be around 400 pounds, I have linked all of our weight distribution with sway control systems for you to check out. I've also linked our brake controllers for your 2016 4Runner with tow package.

Dan S.

I have a 2021 Toyota Tundra rated for 9200 lb towing. I will be towing a 2019 Starcraft 26BHS which is 7500 lb. The truck is supposed to have integrated sway control for braking and adjusting brake force to each wheel. Would a weight distribution hitch be required and what would be a suitable model?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

There is a note in the towing section of the owner's manual for your 2021 Tundra that says Toyota requires a weight distribution hitch be used for loads over 5,000lbs. Toyota also recommends a trailer sway control device be used when the load is over 2,000lbs. With the weight of your trailer, I'd go with a weight distribution hitch that has integrated sway control. You want to choose the weight distribution hitch off the loaded-and-ready-to-tow tongue weight of your camper. If you find that is around 750 lbs, I have attached a link to all of our weight distribution hitches that would work well for you.

Chris H.

I have a 2013 Dodge RAM Laramie I'm pretty sure it's rated for 8000 lb has tow package on it when I bought it new looking to purchase a 2021 Freedom Express 192rbs tongue weight is 650 dry weight is 4300 lb max weight is 6000 pounds what type of weight distribution hitch is recommended for this setup

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I would check out the Blue Ox SwayPro # BXW1000 .

Diffuse

I have a 2020 Toyota 4runner - and will be towing a enclosed cargo trailer GTW will be around 3000-4000lbs loaded. Axle rating for the trailer is 5000lbs. Trailer weight rating will be 5000lbs. Exact tongue weight is approximately 400lbs (but is still estimated at this point, I won't know exact tongue weight until we have completed the trailer conversion. I plan to use a trailer distribution hitch, but I need to know which hitch to use. I have looked at the Curt#17330 - I have limited room to connect the spring bars to the trailer frame - Can smaller trunnion spring bars be used with the Curt#17330 wdh? Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

The Curt short-arm system # C17330 could be a good system for you. The weight rating is right about the wheelhouse that you'll need. The arms are about 28-3/8" long. If this seems like it will come into contact with something on the tongue of your trailer then you can use the Chain Hangers # C17005 which free up that space.

Joseph

I have an 11’ overhead camper. I need a 34” extension to pull my horse trailer. My question is, will a wd hitch reduce the stress on the extension hitch?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

A lot of the longer extensions have a larger weight rating when used with a WD system so depending on the extension it will reduce the stress.

Joe

question.. I tow a 12ft dump trailer.. the empty weight is 3000 #with 500#TW.. loaded its about 11,000# and 1500#TW.. do I have to constantly readjust WD Hitch as I load and unload? average 3-4 loads in a day .. or can I leave it at LOADED setting comtinuously?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If you are constantly going back and forth then you should be okay keeping it at that fully loaded setting if you won't be driving too long or too fast. Keep in mind that your towing rig will feel much more stiff with the heavier setting.

Reply from Joe

@JonG thanks , thats exactly what I needed to know before investing in the Weight Distribution Hitch..

Michele

I am towing a 2000lb eggcamper with a 2015 Subaru Outback max tow is 2700lbs any suggestions for weight distribution and sway control. Also, how much do these products weigh?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I would check out the SwayPro # BXW0350 .

Char

This article says a wdh can't be used if the tag doesn't show two ratings, but the stock Chevrolet OEM V5 hitch only lists one rating - it doesn't have a space for two different ratings as in your example picture. Can a wdh be used with it?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I would check out your owner's manual or call your local Chevy dealer to see what they have to say about that.

Brian T.

My spring Bars are wearing out my L-Brackets. Wearing grooves in them. Is this Normal? I’ve only pulled my camper a couple hundred miles. Thanks.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If you have grooves in the L-brackets then I would try to do some adjusting. You might be able to adjust the head a little to keep those grooves from happening.

Reply from Brian T.

@JonG Thank you. I have done some adjustments will check with the next pull

Lisa E.

I have Toyota Highlander limited with tow capacity of 5000 lbs. I am going to purchase a Little Guy Mini Max and the current owner says he didn’t need anti sway bars, but I am Leary of that....with that set up do I need them and if so what is suggested

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Since this is a smaller trailer and it has a GVWR of 3,500 lbs you might be okay but if you're going to be getting a weight distribution system (which you'll need one anyways) then I would just get one with a sway control system. It will give you more control when towing especially when larger vehicles pass or crosswinds hit you.

Reply from Lisa E.

@JonG when we purchased the Mini Max from a private seller, we towed the trailer with just the electric brakes and the standard hitch from Orlando Fl to South Carolina on I95, we had no sway at all, do we need a weight distribution system?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@LisaE We like to advise that if the trailer weighs at least half the curb weight (empty weight) of the tow vehicle then you would benefit from using a weight distribution system. Since this is the case for you we would advise using a weight distribution system. You could start off with a more cost-effective system like the Curt # C17330 or Fastway e2 # FA92-00-0450 since it sounds like your current towing setup is doing okay.

Marvinjr

I have a 2021 Tahoe with the duramax engine. The max tongue weight is 800 lbs. I am awaiting an Airstream Flying Cloud with a GVWR of 7300 (5500 dry) and a tongue weight of 837. Chevy indicates weight-distributing hitch and sway control are required for trailer tongue weights greater than 600 lbs. Thoughts on how a weight distribution hitch an help?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Definitely get that tongue weight (TW) down below what your Tahoe is rated for. This can be done by placing cargo rearward of your axle(s). We say to shoot for a TW that is 10-15% of the weight of the trailer so even fully loaded you could go down to 730 lbs. A weight distribution system helps keep your towing setup level and helps increase control when you have a sway control added to it.

Gary M.

I have a 2001Dodge Ram 2500 Dieselwith 10,000 max receiver. I plan mostly to tow single cars on car trailers. Whick Weight Distributing hitch would you recommend? Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I would pick up a Blue Ox SwayPro like part # BXW1000 and then get some of the lower rated bars as well like the kit # BXW4006 for a tongue weight range of 550 lbs - 750 lbs and # BXW4005 for a tongue weight range of 350 lbs - 550 lbs to accommodate your varying loads.

Reply from Gary M.

@JonG Please excuse my lack of knowledge on this subject.. So I add a ball to the weight distributing hitch, plug the unit into the receiver mount the trailer and attach the clamps to the trailer. Do the spring bars need setting? How will I know when I have it right? Will it take only a 2" Ball or can I use a 2 5\16 ball with this unit also? Thanks much for your time.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@GaryM No worries! Weigh distribution systems can be a bit involved if you haven't messed with them before. I'm attaching a link to an installation video of this exact system and then if you check out the product page you can see the "Installation Details" which has the instructions you would follow for the install. You can definitely use a 2-5/16" hitch ball if that's what your trailer calls for. The Curt # A-6 is rated for 10K so it would be great for you.

Tomasz S.

Hi, I have 2019 Infiniti QX80 and am looking for weight distribution hitch for this car to achieve maximum towing capacity of 8500lbs. Most of the WDH have sway control which I'd like to have too but was told that sway control should not be used on SUVs'. Is that true? I'm pulling pontoon boat now which weight less than 5000lbs. but in the future I might buy smaller RV trailer within 8500lbs limit and would definitely want to have WDH. Thank you

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Since it sounds like you're wanting to upgrade your WDH in the future I recommend checking out the Blue Ox SwayPro because you can swap out the arms to achieve different ratings. Is your pontoon trailer an a-frame or I-beam style for the tongue?

Jim N.

We have a 2018 AWD V6 KIA Sorento and are about to trade in our 2017 Airstream Basecamp for a 2021 20FB Airstream Bambi. The hitch weight limit on the KIA is listed at 350 pounds and the hitch weight of the Bambi is 540. We've had no problems pulling the Basecamp. Is a weight distribution devise needed to pull the Bambi?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I wouldn't push my luck. When using a weight distribution system (WDS) you are still going to go by the tongue weight and tow weight ratings of your vehicle and hitch. You'll be going about 200 lbs over the listed weight for your Sorento and I wouldn't advise doing that. You're going to need to either look at a smaller trailer or a bigger tow vehicle.

Kris L.

I have a 2007 F150 king ranch . I bought a travel trailer. Tongue weight for the trailer is 800 and dry weight is 6750. I have pulled it a couple times close to home and it has lots of weight on the rear. What do you recommend ?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Is the 800 lbs of tongue weight with or without a load in the trailer? When you say it has lots of weight on the rear are you talking about your truck or trailer?

Reply from Kris L.

@JonG per the trailer manual 729 lbs hitch weight and 6740 lbs dry weight and 2940 lbs cargo. I’m sure my best option is a new truck or at least a 250 or higher. I figured I would ask if there was something I could do.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@KrisL When I looked up the towing capacity of a 2007 F-150 King Ranch it looks like that is 9,200 lbs. As long as you don't load your trailer more than that (I actually recommend keeping it a couple hundred pounds less) then you should be okay. If your truck has excessive sag then I would start by making sure your suspension is in good shape since you have an older truck. The next step would be a weight distribution system since it can really help level everything out. Attached is an article that will help you choose a weight distribution system with the correct size.

Bobby B.

We are looking at a toy hauler with UVW of 4463lbs and would like to share the hauling duties with a 08 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab w/ 4.0 v6 and a 17 GMC Savanna 2500 cargo van with 4.8 v8. Any recommendations or comments?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

The comments I have are that you can use the attached link to help you figure out what weight distribution system will be best for you, and the tow vehicle doesn't mater as much as the loaded weight of the trailer. Once you know how much your trailer weighs when it's loaded then you can find a weight distribution hitch that fits best.

Jeff R.

I just bought a Casita 17 ft that has a dry weight of only 2650. But I’ve got the extra large water tank, a trailer valet on the tongue and I can see it easily weighing 3300 lbs. It already has sway bars. I’m planning to pull it with a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 6200 towing capacity. Seems pretty close, what weight distributing hitch/sway bars would you suggest? (And is it true you can’t back the trailer up.?) Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

For your application I recommend checking out the Blue Ox SwayPro # BXW0550 which has built-in sway control so you can remove your current sway bars. The reason I recommend going with this over the traditional friction sway bars is that you will need to disconnect the friction bars when you go to back up otherwise you might end up putting too much pressure on them and bending/breaking them.

Reply from Jeff R.

@JonG Thanks and I’ve read here that you cannot back up a trailer with this type of hitch. Is that true? Do people in this situation only find pull-thru sites? I can’t imagine never being able to back the trailer.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@JeffR The only time I've heard that you absolutely have to disconnect before backing up at all is with the friction sway control install. For a chain hanging style like this you shouldn't have to disengage anything unless you are needing to make some pretty severe turns, but in that case you would likely have to disengage any weight distribution setup.

G C.

I am looking to tow with a 2021 Denali Xl with air suspension. Towing a trailer that is about 7-7.5k loaded. Will a weight distributing hitch conflict with the air suspension and auto level functionality?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Potentially. What you'll want to do is check out your owner's manual to see if it says that you can use a weight distribution system. You might be able to use the weight distribution with the air bags or you might need to disable it. Your manual should cover that to some extent in the towing section.

Zena B.

I am a bit confused...I own a 2018 Chevy Tahoe (tow capacity 10000 pounds) and am towing an 8000 pound Food Trailer that is 13 feet long. Can I purchase the weight distribution elements to add to my existing hitch or is this a full replacement item? I currently have a lot of problems with the trailer bouncing and a lot of swaying. I am also very worried when leveling it out because my trailer jack shifts its weight all the time and it's really scary, so if you have any advice on the best system for stability I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

We recommend using a weight distribution hitch (WDH) whenever the trailer weighs at least half the weight of the tow vehicle. Since this is the case in your scenario that's why you're seeing sway and movement. The first thing to do is to make sure your trailer is loaded so that the tongue weight is 10-15% of the loaded trailer weight and then add a WDH with a range that your loaded tongue weight and the weight of any cargo behind the rear axle of your Tahoe falls in the middle of. If you have a single jack at the front of your trailer then it might benefit you to have 2 jacks at the front for stability when you are moving around. You can use a simple set of scissor jacks like part # JSC-24 or possibly add 2 frame mount jacks like the Trailer Valet # TV34FR .

Loyd S.

Looking for some advice here. I just purchased a 2021 Jayco White Hawk 32 BH TT that has a GVWR of 9,995 Lbs and a dry TW of 1,125 Lbs. The trailer is approx 36' long total. My truck is a 2018 Ram 3500 CC Dually 4x4 with the Aisin transmission and Cummins engine. It has a class V hitch and per the book can handle 1,800 Lbs of TW. With the capacity of this truck, would I still need a WD hitch?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

We recommend using a WDH whenever the weight of the trailer is at least half the weight of the tow vehicle. Since that the case in your scenario I would say you would benefit from using a WDH.

Robert S.

I have a 2020 GMC Yukon 5.3 V8 with 6300 lb tow capacity. My trailer is a 2021 Gulfstream Vintage Cruiser 3490 lbs dry and approximately 4400 lbs loaded. Tongue weight maybe 440 lbs loaded. What WDH with sway do you recommend? I believe I will need a 4 inch drop.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I'd check out the TrackPro # BLU36FR which is weight distribution with integrated sway control.

Greg D.

I have a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk w/ the 5.7L Hemi. We pull a 2017 Rpod 180. Class IV Tow package on Jeep.....do I need a WDH?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Since the trailer will be more than half the weight of your Jeep I do recommend going with a WDH. For your application I'd check out the TrackPro # BLU36FR .

Reply from Greg D.

@JonG Thanks for the quick reply. Tow capacity on the Jeep is 7,800 lbs. and tongue weight of RPod is under 300 lbs.. Interestingly you refer to the weight ratio of TV vs. Pod....make sense. Follow up question then.....why do you recommend what you did which is the '600lb' version (which I have no idea to what that refers) rather than a 400 or 300lb.?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@GregD The TrackPro # BLU36FR has a tongue weight range of 200 lbs - 600 lbs. When you choose a WDH you want the loaded tongue weight of your trailer plus cargo behind the rear axle of your tow vehicle (Jeep in your case) to sit in that range.

Mark

I have a 2020 Escalade with the 6.2 liter engine. Pulling a 30’ Winnebago -GVWR of 8800 lbs. using a WDS. Still uncomfortable with the sway especially on windy days. Would rear Timkren rubber bumpers help? Anything else I could try?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Do you have it loaded to the GVWR? From what I'm seeing it looks like your 2020 Escalade is only rated to tow 8,100 - 8,300 lbs. If you're overloading your vehicle then that would be a major reason why. Timbrens could potentially help but I would double check the weight of your trailer to make sure you aren't overloaded, make sure your loaded tongue weight is in that 10-15% trailer weight sweet spot, and also make sure that your WDS is rated properly for your setup prior to purchasing Timbrens.

Tracy

We have a Silverado Classic, regular truck cab, long bed 2WD V-6. We are looking at a camper that is approx 6300 dry weight. If we add the weight distribution hitch and trailer brake will that be sufficient to tow?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

What is the year and model of your Silverado? A trailer at 6,300 lbs dry could be just fine but it's always best to double check your max weight ratings.

Reply from Tracy

@JonG it's a 2007

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@Tracy And the model?

Reply from Tracy

@JonG sorry I thought I said in my original post. It's 2007 Silverado Classic 1500, V-6 4.3.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@Tracy No worries! From what I was seeing in the online owner's manual it looks like your vehicle would be overloaded even at the dry weight. So for your situation you'll either need a bigger truck or a smaller camper.

Rob C.

My tow vehicle is a Range Rover Velar P250 (2019) without air suspension. The max hitch weight per mfg is 385 pounds but the vehicle can pull just under 5300 pounds. Most trailers we are looking at are well under the max tow rating (dry ~3500#) but almost all of them have a dry tongue weight that very close to or exceeding the max hitch weight. I understand a WDS would solve this problem but unfortunately RR cautions against using one but doesn't really clarify why this is. Given the performance and safety provided by the WDS, would you be able to recommend one for this vehicle?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

One thing to remember is that when you're loading you can put a little more weight towards the back of the trailer to make the tongue weight lighter. Just be sure to keep the tongue weight at that 10-15% of the loaded trailer weight. Usually when a vehicle manufacturer says not to use a weight distribution system it's because they don't believe that the frame of the vehicle can handle it. I've heard of people still using a WDS even when the manufacturer says not to, but that's not really anything I can recommend doing because that would void your warranty if any damage on your vehicle was the result of the WDS.

Ferdinand

I have a 2021 Honda Pilot awd with tow package. Max TW is 500 and 5000 tow weight. I’m looking into buying a travel trailer. Both travel trailer dry weight is 3200lb. One has 330lb TW and the other has 450lb TW. I really like the features of the 450lb TW, so if I use a WDH, will that TW make a difference?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

While a weight distribution system does help you alleviate some of the pressure of the trailer tongue weight, it doesn't really change the amount of tongue weight for the trailer. One thing to remember is that the listed tongue weight rating of the trailer is for when the trailer is empty. When you load your trailer up you will want that tongue weight to be 10-15% of the weight of the trailer. So even though the listed tongue weight is 450 lbs, as long as you load it up to stay under that 500 lb tongue weight you will be okay.

Kk

I have a 2020 Subaru Ascent. They DO NOT recommend sway control due to the unibody construction, and built in sway control. Is there a way to accomplish weight distribution without the sway bars? I am rated at 5000/500 and my TT will hopefully land well under those, however I hear the hitch weight may be closer to 450-500. Thank you

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

For your application you can use a weight distribution system like the Curt # 17300 because it doesn't have the integrated sway control.

Fred M.

I am having a problem with the back corner of my 2007 Silverado hitting my pull behind upright trailer when pulling it with a weight distribution hitch. I am doing my best to avoid jack knifing when backing into a site but no matter what I do it seems ridiculously easy to hit the trailer. It's like there is not enough distance between the truck and the trailer, but as far as I know this is a standard hookup. Any suggestions on how to fix this problem?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

That is an interesting scenario. Is your weight distribution system popping out of place when you back up with that tight of a turn? You might be able to use a different shank portion for your setup. These are pretty interchangeable and you could possibly use one with a longer shank.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

That is an interesting scenario. Is your weight distribution system popping out of place when you back up with that tight of a turn? You might be able to use a different shank portion for your setup. These are pretty interchangeable and you could possibly use one with a longer shank.

Reply from Fred M.

@JonG Where would I get a longer shank? What is the "shank"?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@FredM The shank is the part of the hitch that fits into the receiver on your vehicle. Attached is a link to our selection that you can check out. For the most part these are pretty universal. You want to try to make sure that any replacements have the same basic structure that connects to your weight distribution head though because depending on your system a new shank may or may not fit.

Rebecca S.

I have a 2017 F150 Lariat 4x4 crew cab and am in the process of buying a 2002 Exiss SS30 aluminum 3-horse bumper pull slant load trailer. The plate on the front of the trailer says the GVWR is 9,600lbs and I believe my pickup has a towing capacity of 10,700lbs. It was suggested to me that I get a weight distributing setup for pulling this trailer and I'm curious what you would recommend. I just have one horse to haul myself but might at some point bring some friends along.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Anytime the trailer weighs at least half of the curb weight of the vehicle we do recommend using a weight distribution hitch (WDH). For your application I'd check out the TrackPro # BLU35FR .

Nc

Hi There. Will be towing a 2011 Keystone Bullet GVWR 2910kg with a 2016 Ford F250. What do you think the best setup would be? Thanks for your help

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

You'll be just fine with that size of a truck!

Josh M.

I have a 2017 Ford F-350 Dually with a GVWR 14,000lb rating. I am purchasing a 12,000lb tongue pull trailer. Which weight distribution hitch and sway bar do you recommend

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I recommend checking out the Blue Ox TrackPro # BLU27FR which has a tongue weight range of 1,000 lbs - 1,300 lbs. Just make sure your loaded tongue weight and cargo weight behind the rear axle of your F-350 combined is within this range and you're good to go!

Matt C.

Hi there, I have a 2017 Ford F150 Raptor SuperCrew, bone stock. I am looking to tow our new Coleman camper with the truck. From the camper manual, the campers dry weight is 6,620 lbs and tongue weight is 863 lbs. What would you recommend for this setup? Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I would look into the Blue Ox TrackPro # BLU27FR . Initially it looks like it's overkill but that's because you want to choose a WDS based off of the loaded tongue weight and not the trailer weight. For WDS you also add any weight behind the rear axle of the tow vehicle (like a cooler) so having the 1K - 1.3K tongue weight rating should be great for you. Be sure to verify the tow weight rating of your Raptor though. From what I could find the rating ranges from 6K - 8K so even if you have 8K you might be pushing your limit once you have the trailer loaded up.

Fred P.

I have a 2000 silverado 2500 it has a GVWR of 8600 lbs and I will be pulling a 2011 Jay feather sport x17c with a GVWR of 2925 lbs what sway control would you recommend? Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Kef G.

I recommend the Fastway e2 Weight Distribution w/ 2-Point Sway Control, part # FA94-00-0600 . It can handle tongue weights between 400 and 600 pounds.

Donna K.

Hi - I am buying a 2015 Shasta 16' Airflyte with a GVWR of 2,470. I have a 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E with a Class III integrated towing package. It has a total towing weight of 5,000 lbs (AWD) and a tongue weight limit of 600 lbs, assuming 2 occupants for each weight limit. The Ridgeline has a gross combined weight of 9,987 lbs. Should I add a WDS or anti-sway bars to my set up?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Kef G.

It looks like you're well within the limits of your hitch that a WD system will not be needed to meet the weight. That means you could definitely tow your trailer without one. Of course, if you notice sway while towing, then you may want to get a WD system for that aspect.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Kef G.

It looks like you're well within the limits of your hitch that a WD system will not be needed to meet the weight. That means you could definitely tow your trailer without one. Of course, if you notice sway while towing, then you may want to get a WD system for that aspect.

Reply from Donna K.

@KefG Thank you!

Johnny D.

I have been racking my head on this for some time now when I finally came across this page. I hope you can help me out with my dilemma. I have a 2018 1/2 ton short bed, lifted 6" 4x4 Chevrolet Silverado with a 6.2 gas engine, 35" inch tires, GVWR 7200LBS., GCWR 9100 LBS., front and rear axle weights of 3950 LBS. ea., with 3.23 axle ratio. Passenger weight is near 600lbs. I am looking at purchasing a Travel Trailer with GVWR 7600 LBS. UVW 6020 LBS., and a hitch weight of 704 LBS. First off, will it pull it?? And what weight distribution hitch do you recommend for this set up? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Kef G.

Most of the hitches for the 2018 Silverado 1500 are rated for at least 600 pounds tongue weight and 6000 pounds towing capacity. Many can handle more, but you need to check your owner's manual to find your towing and tongue capacities. Most likely, though, you'll be able to tow your travel trailer. As for the WD system, I recommend the Fastway e2, part # FA94-00-1033 .

Nancy M.

Hello, I’ve been looking for exactly the type of advice you are giving people. So appreciated. With no towing experience, my TV is 2018, Ram 1500, 5.7 Hemi, crew cab, V8 and will be towing a Flagstaff 2021 E-Pro 20bh camper trailer. What hitch do you suggest for WD and sway control? The more I research this the more my options seem to be. I need it to be easy and able to back-up the trailer. Thanks for your expertise! I am located in Quebec.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Kef G.

@NancyM Your 2021 Flagstaff E20BH has an unloaded tongue weight of 455 pounds. So, I recommend the Equal-i-zer, part # EQ37060ET . It can handle tongue weights between 300 and 600 pounds, has built-in sway control, and allows backing up. It also includes the shank for your 2" hitch.

Jason P.

I have a curt trutrack weight distribution trunnion style 800lb/8000lb. I’m still experiencing sway with this hitch is windy or gusty conditions. Trailer is level while towing. My trailer is 700 lb tongue weight and 6700 pounds dry. Any ideas?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Kef G.

@JasonP If you're still experiencing a lot of sway with a weight distribution system that has sway control built in, then you should look into an electronic sway control. They utilize your trailer's electric brakes to prevent sway before it occurs. The Tuson Electronic Sway Controller for Electric Trailer Brakes, part # 335TSC-1000 , is a good one.

Murray H.

I have just purchased a 2019 Holden Trailblazer LTZ SUV and a JAYCO Sterling caravan. Can I use load levellers on this vehicle?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Kef G.

@MurrayH You might be able to use air bags or springs with the Trailblazer, but we don't have much information about Holden vehicles. You might be able to contact your local Holden dealer to see what they recommend. For your Jayco, though, a weight distribution hitch is a good investment since it not only helps with the load, but many of the systems also help with sway control.

Nick K.

I have a 2011 Silverado 1500 short bed crew cab 5.3L V8 I looked at all my specs and it says that I can tow 9500lbs but my hitch weight is only 600lbs we are looking at getting a travel trailer and I just want to make sure I’m being safe

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

It looks like 9,500 lbs towing is about right but you would need to verify if you have a 2WD or 4WD, what your axle ratio is, and if you have the cooling package or not to be sure. Seems that the rating can vary from about the 9,500 lbs mark down to 6,100 lbs depending on these variables. You can find all of this info in your owner's manual. If your pickup can tow more than the hitch is rated for then you should be able to replace your OEM hitch with an aftermarket option that is rated higher so your truck would then be the limiting factor. Attached is a link to our selection of trailer hitches for your truck that you can filter through.

Daniel S.

Just bought a 2012 Chevrolet 2500 heavy duty Silverado with factory trailer brake control and a leveling kit, will be pulling a 20/20 28 ft toy hauler that's just below 5,000 lb empty, will I still need to use my weight distribution bars? I was pulling it with a 1500 Silverado at first

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Anytime the trailer weighs at least half the curb weight of the tow vehicle we recommend going with a weight distribution system (WDS), so yes, you will want to keep using your WDS. Your bigger truck should be able to handle the weight better than your 1500, but the other thing to keep in mind is the sheer size of the trailer and how that weight can interact with your tow vehicle.

Curtis B.

I am looking into getting a weight distribution hitch for my 2020 Mazda CX-5. The hitch I have currently, says it does not allow the use of a weight distribution hitch. what does that mean? it wont fit or it will fit and could possibly break? I would feel more comfortable using a weight distribution hitch but dont think i can stomach the cost of a new hitch if there even is one on the market for my car!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

None of the aftermarket trailer hitches we offer for your 2020 Mazda CX-5 are rated for use with a weight distribution system (WDS). The reason behind that is that a WDS will apply pressure on the hitch at points where a normal ball mount doesn't and these hitches just won't be able to hold up to that type of use. Since a WDS is out of the question and there aren't any aftermarket suspension enhancement parts to fit your CX-5, really the only thing left is to add a sway control kit to your setup to help limit trailer sway from crosswinds or passing vehicles. Obviously make sure that your trailer is loaded properly as well. I've attached links to our friction sway control and electric sway control kits for you to check out.

Reply from Curtis B.

@JonG thank you for the information! I will use a sway bar.

Jason

I have 2017 Mecerdes Metris passenger van w 5000 pounds towing capacity. Can I add weight distribution when I towing dry weight 4000 pounds travel trailer

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

There aren't really any restrictions when it comes to weight and a weight distribution system (WDS). If you're wanting to add WDS to try to increase your towing weight rating then that is only possible if the owner's manual points this out as well as your trailer hitch. If you only plan on towing the trailer empty then for your application I recommend the WDS # BLU36FR .

Peter C.

I will be towing a 2021 Grand Design Imagine 17MKE (UVW 4784 lb, GVWR 6395 lbs, hitch weight 480 lbs) with a 2017 Toyota Sequoia 4WD 5.7L V8 Model USK65L-GKTSKA (GCWR 13,600 lb, TWR 7,100 lbs, Tongue weight max 710lb). The Toyota has a 7-way electrical plug with factory installed hitch and Sway control. What do you recommend for a WDH?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I'd try checking out the Blue Ox TrackPro # BLU77FR for your application. It comes with everything that you need and has a good tongue weight range for your trailer size.

Reply from Peter C.

@JonG Thanks Jon, I've read that the WDH sway control can interfere with the Tow Sway Control (TSC) system on my Toyota Sequoia. Should we consider a WDH without swY control?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@PeterC If Toyota says not to use a weight distribution system (WDS) with their TSC then I'd honestly see if there is a way to disable the TSC while you're towing a trailer. The majority of the time a WDS will be more effective than a vehicle with TSC when it comes to sway which is why I'd look into this option first.

Reply from Peter C.

@JonG Thanks for the quick reply Jon! Good suggestion on turning off the TSC on the car when using the WDS. The TSC can be disabled on the Sequoia by turning off the traction control.

Reply from Peter C.

@JonG Jon, really appreciate the advice and information in this forum! I'm wondering if the BLU77FR might be over-sized for my Imagine 17MKE as the BLU77FR is rated for above my Sequoia's towing and tongue weight capacities. I've read that if the WDH is over-sized, it can make the trailer ride too stiff and bouncy. Would the BLU67FR be a better choice for this car/trailer combo?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@PeterC Anytime! Happy to hear that the information is helping you out. Great question! So when we are talking about WDH tongue weight it actually includes the tongue weight (TW) of the loaded trailer as well as the weight of any cargo behind the rear axle. If you were to load your trailer so that the loaded tongue weight was 700 lbs then this means that you are able to load 100 lbs in the rear of your Sequoia and not be overloading the WDH. If you're confident that you can have a lower TW than 700 lbs then yes, the TrackPro # BLU67FR would likely be the better option to go with.

Reply from Peter C.

@PeterC Thanks for the explanation Jon. Just one final follow-up. The max tongue weight for the Toyota Sequoia is 710 lbs. I'm assuming that even if we could put a greater load on the WDH, we still shouldn't exceed the max tongue weight for the car, correct?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@PeterC That is correct. Even though the WDH will help handle the tongue weight, we still don't want to be exceeding what the vehicle can safely handle.

Reply from Peter C.

@JonG Thanks for the clarification Jon. Really appreciate the information.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@PeterC Happy to help!

Laura

Hi, we will be towing a Minnie Winnie 2100bh with a dry weight of 3900 lbs with our 2019 Toyota Tundra that can tow up to 10,000 lbs. It has the tow package so maybe built in TSC. What do we need to tow? Completely new this and want as smooth of a ride as possible. Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I'd check out the Blue Ox TrackPro part # BLU47FR or # BLU77FR depending on what your total tongue weight turns out to be. Total tongue weight is the loaded tongue weight of your trailer plus the weight of any cargo behind the year axle of your Tundra.

James W.

Hello! This article has been incredibly helpful for a new tower, like me! I'm torn between getting a 2 point and 4 point WDS, I have a 2021 Suburban with the max tow capacity and we're going to be purchasing a travel trailer that's 4,700 GVWR / 22ft long. The salesman suggested the 2 point WDS, but I'm not sure if the 4 point is safer / better. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

The 2-point vs 4-point systems can vary when it comes to how effective they are but it has more to do with the manufacturer than the weight distribution system (WDS) itself. From my experience they tend to have the same quality so I'd focus more on the quality of the individual system itself. For your application I recommend checking out the Blue Ox TrackPro # BLU47FR which has a high enough weight rating that you will be able to load some cargo into the back of your Suburban.

Reply from James W.

@JonG thank you so much! Really appreciate you quick reply! Looking into the Blue Ox now!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@JamesW Happy to help!

Markus

I drive a 2020 Gladiator Sport S with the max tow package. My max payload is 1,535 and towing capacity is 7,650. My GVWR is 6,250 and my GCVWR is 12,800. I am looking to purchase a small camper with a dry weight of 4,060, GVWR 4,995. The manufacturer site says the dry hitch weight is 425. My questions: is my truck sufficient to tow this, and when I'm figuring what I can tow, do I subtract the max payload from my towing capacity to get my actual max towing capability? And what distribution hitch would you recomend.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If your 2020 Gladiator Sport S has a towing capacity of 7,650 lbs then you should be able to tow a camper with a GVWR of 4,995 lbs just fine. Your GCVWR is the max amount that your Gladiator AND trailer can weigh combined. Since your trailer will weigh no more than 4,995 lbs you will be able to load up your Gladiator to the full GVWR of 6,250 lbs if needed. I would just be sure to double check with your owner's manual because sometimes there are exceptions to the rules. One thing to keep in mind is that any cargo behind the rear axle of your vehicle will count as tongue weight in a weight distribution system (WDS) so you'll need to calculate how much will be loaded in the bed behind the rear axle and add that to the loaded tongue weight (TW) of your trailer. The TrackPro # BLU47FR should be sufficient for your needs but you'll want to confirm your weighs before purchasing a WDS.

Chris S.

I have a 2021 Chevy Silverado trailboss with a max payload of 1737, gcwr of 15000, max hitch rating of 940, and max towing capacity if 9300. I am looking at a travel trailer with a dry weight of 6218, and gross weight of 7600 pounds. What hitch would you recommend? Trailer is a little shy of 32 feet long.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

My first recommendation is the Equal-i-zer # EQ37120ET with the Blue Ox TrackPro # BLU77FR being a close second. Both are great systems and really the Equal-i-zer edges out the Blue Ox simply because it has a larger tongue weight rating.

Reply from Chris S.

@JonG Thanks for the information very helpful.

Andrew P.

I use anti sway and a load control system on my 32ft bumper pull camper, I am looking to tandem tow with it. I know it's not the safest thing in the world to tandem bumper pull but my question is, if I use an load distribution system and anti sway system on the tandem 14ft trailer, will that make it much safer than without?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Possibly, but my only reservation against that is that I don't think any hitches that install on a bumper pull trailer are designed to handle a weight distribution system (WDS). If you can use an anti-sway without the WDS I would probably go that route unless you can find research and verification elsewhere that it's safe to use a WDS for your application. We do tend to try to steer people away from tandem towing simply because it's less predictable and it's illegal in some states as well (which is something else you'll probably want to look into).

Reply from Andrew P.

@JonG what are your thoughts on the 4 inch bolt on receiver you guys offer for camper bumpers? I believe it is rated for 3500 lbs. Wouldn't that be utilized for tandem towing? Thanks.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@AndrewP I would go with one of the frame mount hitch receivers. The only way that a bumper mount would be acceptable is if the bumper was rated for towing but I'm pretty confident that most aren't. So even though the receiver could handle it, I don't think the bumper would be able to. You'll need to check with your trailer manufacturer to see if that's a safe thing to do or not.

Chris K.

We have a 2018 GMC Canyon and are purchasing a travel trailer with 4,600# dry weight. The limiting factor appears to be payload. Does a weight distribution add to the vehicle payload? The Blue Ox SwayPro looks great, but heavy. Also, the hitch install instructions seem to require turning off the Stabilitrak system which has built in sway control - is that really necessary? Many thanks for your great site.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Unless your owner's manual shows that you can tow more when using a weight distribution system (WDS), it will not increase your weight capacity. The SwayPro is a good system so that would be worth looking into - pretty much every WDS is heavy so that's a common factor. Some systems require an OEM sway control system, like what's on your Canyon, to be turned off. The reason why is because the WDS and sway control system will counter each other. More times than not the WDS will have better sway control than an OEM sway control system on a vehicle.

Reply from Chris K.

@JonG thank you.

Brian H.

Hi There - the articles on our site are EXACTLY what I am looking for as a total newbie to pulling a trailer. Thank you! I am wondering, what would your advice be on pulling a trailer with a GVWR of 3480 lbs with my 2005 Toyota Sienna that has a max towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. I would plan to get a weight distribution hitch as well as a brake controller. Any advice/tips/cautions? Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Glad to hear you are finding the helpful articles useful! I like to tell people to have a little more cushion in their max weight rating and the weight of their trailer but technically you wouldn't be overloading your vehicle. As far as tips go - be sure to check the weight ratings of your Sienna because usually that 3,500 lb rating will apply if you only have 1 person in the vehicle and no other cargo. You also want to make sure that you are using a WDS that has trunnion bars, like part # BLU36FR , because round bars will hang down too low - especially with your minivan. The last thing I'd say is since you will be really loading down your Sienna it would be a good idea to look into an aftermarket transmission cooler and some rear suspension enhancement to help lower the amount of stress that will be placed on your vehicle. I've linked our selections of both for your 2005 Sienna for you to check out.

Alex J.

I have a 2021 Toyota 4Runner and I'm towing a 16ft Casita Travel Trailer with GVWR of 3,500. Is a Weight Distribution System necessary? If so, any recommendations? Thank you kindly.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

We recommend using a WDS whenever the trailer will weigh more than half the curb weight (unloaded weight) of the tow vehicle. This is the case for your situation so I recommend checking out the Blue Ox TrackPro # BLU36FR .

Reply from Alex J.

@JonG Thank you very much for the recommendation. It is greatly appreciated.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@AlexJ Anytime!

Lorri K.

I'm a super newb with trailering. I have a Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ 4x4 crew cab, short bed, 6.2L V8... I have no idea what information you need, but I looked it up and I think my towing capacity is 9,600 lbs. I just bought a 2020 Jayco Octane Super Lite 161. The GVWR is 7,500 lbs. and a dry hitch weight of 650 lbs. I've haven't towed it yet and I'm afraid that it may sway when I'm on the freeway. I would like the best sway system that I can hook up myself and would not have to rely on one of my brothers helping me LOL Any advise would be greatly appreciated :)

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Thank you for all of the info! Yes, you definitely would want a weight distribution system with sway control for that trailer. I recommend going with the Equal-i-zer System # EQ37120ET which may be a little stiff for your initial ride, but once you get all of your camping gear loaded this will be in the perfect range for you. As far as installation goes you'll be just fine if you're comfortable with tools and/or working with your hands. The only tricky part will be getting the bars set in place when everything is installed but that's the same case with every weight distribution system. A pro tip is that you can use the jack on your trailer to lift your trailer tongue and the back of your vehicle a little bit so that it's easier to place the bars in the brackets.

Reply from Lorri K.

@JonG Thank you! I bought the one you suggested :)

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@LorriK Anytime!

Louis C.

I have a new Genesis GV80?which is listed at 6000lb tow capacity and am getting NuCampTab 400 trailer with dry weight around 3200. Car brand new and no towing packages just a hitch bar. Do I need a leveling and/or anti sway system?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

We recommend using a weight distribution system (WDS) whenever the trailer will weigh at least half the weight of the tow vehicle. Since this holds true in your case I'd go with a WDS that has an integrated sway control. It sounds like you may not have wiring either so if you're lacking that then I recommend the ZCI Kit # 119250KIT so that you don't have to cut any of the wires on your vehicle. When it comes to choosing a WDS you need to base it off the loaded tongue weight of your trailer and any cargo behind the rear axle of your GV80. I recommend the Strait-Line # RP66083 because it looks like you'll have a limited amount of space on the tongue of your trailer, and the Strait-Line is the best out there. You just need a hitch ball # A-90 and the bolt on chain hangers # RP58305 to round out your system.

Reply from Louis C.

@JonG Thanks, very helpful

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@LouisC Anytime!

John C.

I have a 2020 Ford Ranger FX4 with trailer towing package (7500 lbs). I am looking at purchasing a Airstream Caravel 16RB (4,000 lb gross weight). What hitch arrangement would you recommend? I am not an experienced tower. I want convenience hitching and un-hitching. Thank you,

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

For your application I recommend going with the Blue Ox SwayPro # BXW0750 . After the initial setup it is very easy to get ready for towing and it has a high enough weight rating to let you comfortably load equipment in the bed of your Ranger.

Matthew W.

I will be towing a 2015 OPEN RANGE 310BHS with a 2015 F350 SRW Longbed. I will be towing across the country for 2 years. Probably 60,000-100,00 miles in that time. What would be your recommendation for this? I'm new to alot of this. Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

For your application I recommend using the Blue Ox SwayPro # BXW1500 with either the 2" Hitch Ball # 63845 or the 2-5/16" Hitch Ball # 19286 , depending on what size trailer coupler your 2015 Open Range 310BHS comes with. Man, for being new to a lot of this you sure are jumping in the deep end! Good luck and happy camping!

Reply from Matthew W.

@JonG I appreciate it. I'm not new to driving trailers, just doing sway bar stuff. I super appreciate your advice!!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Anytime!

Timl

I will soon be an RV Transport contractor and would like your input about what EQ hitches would be best. A biggie for me is adaptability as I will be pulling all sizes of TT's, small to very large (as well as FW's), so I need reasonably fast set-up and the ability to fit different frames easily. But I also really want strong sway control. I used to work in RV Sales at a Camping World and all the tech's swore on the Blue Ox SwayPro and were not crazy about Equal-i-zer products, I believe it was because due to having to spend more time tweeking and adjusting? I see/hear good things about everything out there...it's confusing me! I will be pulling with a 2020 Chevy 3500 SRW longbox diesel. What do you think?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Since you will be towing a wide variety of trailers, the Blue Ox SwayPro system will be the best option for you. All of the SwayPro systems use the same head unit so you can swap out the bars to match the weight of your trailer. Here is a link to one of our answer pages that has all of the different bars for you to check out.

Hank S.

There is a thread in an owners forum claiming that a crack in a cross-menber of a boat trailer (boat and trailer approx 10k pounds) was caused by using a weight distribution hitch. Is it possible that a WD hitch could damage a trailer or is it more likely to make it less likely to have damage ? I use a WD hitch towing my boat and would never tow without it. However, this thread also claimed that a WD hitch would negate the warrantee. Claiming that most trailer manufacturers would void the warrantee if a WD hitch was used.. this seems ludicrous since it is REQUIRED on all 1500 series trucks I know of towing over 7k pounds. Please can you clear this up. thanks.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

From what I've seen it looks like MOST trailer manufacturers are okay with a WDS being used. The final verdict though really boils down to the opinion of the manufacturer. I know that trailers with an aluminum frame (which is a lot of boat trailers) are a lot more likely to be damaged from a WDS simply because they are a lighter material than steel. I ultimately don't have a "one-size-fits-all" answer though because it can vary from trailer manufacturer to trailer manufacturer so you really need to check with them (as well as in your vehicle owner's manual too).

Kerry M.

I want to tow a travel trailer with my 2020 Audi Q7 3L, curb weight about 5000 lbs. It is rated to tow 7700 lbs but Audi advises against a WDS, and I do not have adaptive air suspension. How can I determine a travel trailer weight that I can safely/comfortably tow? I did get an etrailer recommendation to use the Reese Friction Sway Control kit, which I plan to do.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Vehicle owner's manuals having some restrictions about WDS is somewhat normal and I always recommend to follow the manual as best you can. Since your vehicle is rated for up to 7,700 lbs towing I would try to stick to something with no more than a 6K GVWR because that will really help keep your Q7 suspension from having to work very hard. The Reese Friction Sway Control # 83660 is effective and will definitely help with any sway, but if you plan on owning this trailer for a number of years then you might consider investing in (or eventually upgrading to) the electric sway control # 335TSC-1000 instead. This is not as cost-effective but it does allow you to back your trailer up without having to first disengage the sway control (like you would with the Reese) and it is the best one on the market that I'm aware of.

Reply from Kerry M.

@JonG thank you! I am encouraged, but still a little confused (this will be my first towing experience). I had several RV dealers express concern about selling me units with a GVWR of 6K or less due to the WDS restrictions for my vehicle. Am I not truly limited to a TT that weighs around 50% of the weight of my vehicle if I don't use weight distribution?

Reply from Kerry M.

@JonG thank you! I am encouraged, but still a bit confused. I planned to purchase a TT with a dry weight of 4400 and a GVWR of 6400 (although I will be traveling light), but lost my confidence because of the WDS restriction. Does my 7700 lb towing capacity have more influence in this decision than the "50% of the tow vehicle weight" recommendation? I will purchase the electric sway control, and I understand that a proportional breaking system may also be helpful. I would appreciate any additional guidance you can provide.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@KerryM Sorry for any confusion! What I meant by the 50% is that's the number we go by when we help someone determine whether or not they should be using a WDS. There are some people who don't really think they need it and other people who are adamant about it so it just kind of determines what side of the line you would fall on. I recommend checking out some Audi forums to see what other Q7 owners have to say about a comfortable towing weight. For a brake controller I recommend the Curt Echo # C51180 which you control through Bluetooth via a smart phone app. You'll need to have a fully functioning 7-Way socket so if you don't already have that then you need parts # 119250KIT and # ETBC7L .

John K.

I'm planning to buy next summer a new 2021 f150 powerboost. In the configuration I want it will hold a 1830 lb payload and tow 12400 lbs. The travel trailer I want has a 1300 lb hitch weight and a 9k dry weight. Having just over 500 lbs left of payload; that would be plenty normally, but just adding in the weight of 3 people inside the truck then Max's out the payload and I don't yet have the equalizer hitch added in there which is about 105 lbs giver or take a pound. Is there any way to decrease the the tongue weight to allow this truck to safely pull this trailer? Would stiffer tires be an option?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Great question! When you load cargo behind the axle on your trailer it will cause the trailer tongue to get lighter (like what happens with a seesaw). You want to shoot for a loaded tongue weight that is 10-15% of the loaded weight of your trailer. I'm guessing your trailer has a GVWR somewhere around 12,000 lbs which means you need to shoot for a tongue weight rating between 1,200 lbs - 1,800 lbs. Obviously in your case the lighter the better. Since a weight distribution system (WDS) is the tool used to help level everything out you actually won't be adding that weight into the equation.

Reply from John K.

@JonG The trailer that I'm wanting has a 12,800 gvwr and with the truck max at 12,400 obviously i will need to load everything and get it on a scale. The trailer is a 31 foot toy hauler with 4 feet of trailer tongue so 35 feet on paper. I may not have the toy yet to bring the weight heavier in the toy area when able to purchase the trailer so it won't even hit 10k I'm guessing. I was contemplating ideas how to make the back heavier without a toy back there to lighten the 1300 lb tongue weight at the front. So the math would be 10 to 15 percent of say 10k lbs loaded trailer makes that to be 1k to 1.5k lbs tongue weight range? How can I measure the amount of weight being put on the truck from the tongue of the trailer? If I could shave to 400 lbs off of it that would be ideal I believe.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@JohnK You will want to use a ball mount scale like part # e99044 to measure the amount of tongue weight your trailer has. Aside from that you can use a bathroom scale or a commercial scale to determine what your tongue weight is (see attached article).

Debra L.

I have a 2001 Ford Sport Trac 4x4. It has a 5000lb tow capacity when towed with a frame assembly. I will be towing a 2018 MINNIE DROP 170K. What do I need to purchase for safe and smooth towing?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

The Blue Ox SwayPro # BXW0550 would be a great option for towing your Minnie Drop smoothly. You just need a 2" # 63845 or 2-5/16" # 63847 hitch ball to complete the setup.

Ron

I have a 2019 GMC Yukon Denali with magnetic ride and Automatic Leveling Control (ALC). I am considering a Curt 17500 WD hitch for a travel trailer with a tongue weight of about 800 pounds. Do I have to disable the ALC in order to install and use the WD hitch? When I initially measure for ball height on the Yukon and then add the trailer weight to the ball, won't the ALC level it without the tow bars in place? I know it won't distribute the load, but leveling it automatically seems like it will interfere with the WD and sway control aspects of the hitch.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

For the Curt # C17500 weight distribution system (WDS) the instructions say to check the owner's manual to see if there are specific instructions. If there aren't then you're going to need to reduce a leveling system to it's lowest recommended setting.

Mel M.

I am driving a GMC 2500hd Sierra SLS 4x4 w/extended cab. My RV is a towable, Keystone Springdale w/a GVWR of 7800, tare wt. is 4800 to 5400, tandem axle. I recently bought a Husky, Center Line weight distribution hitch...capacities are 600-800 with a trailer weight allowance up to 8000 lbs. Is this hitch sufficient for my rig? Your replies are most appreciated. Thank you.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

That weight distribution system (WDS) should be about what you need. You'll want to verify this by figuring out the loaded tongue weight of your trailer and then adding the weight of any cargo behind the rear axle of your Sierra to that total. As long as it falls inside that 600 - 800 lb rating you'll be just fine. I recommend picking up a tongue weight scale like part # e99044 to easily determine your trailer tongue weight, and then also be sure that the tongue weight is 10-15% of the weight of the loaded trailer.

Dan L.

Should the hitch head be snug against the shank as a result of applying the proper torque on the shank bolts? When applying 250ft/lbs on my shank bolts/nuts my hitch head is not snugging you to my shank. Curious if I should be concerned and try to find shims to secure and snug up the hitch head to the shank.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

What weight distribution system do you have? Ultimately the head part of your system should not be moving back and forth during use. Most systems either use some washers or some type of way to keep the head unit in place.

Reply from Dan L.

@JonG it’s a Fasthitch e2 hitch head with a curt shank. When I tighten the hitch head Bolts the flanges do not snug up to the shank. I can snug things up with the tilt screw but it doesn’t seem right. I have towed with it this way but I’m here asking the question to be certain

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

How much of a gap do you have? If you are able to get everything torqued properly and the head isn't moving then then you should be okay. If you have a significant gap though that might be something to look into. Did you have the same amount of gap when using the e2 shank?

Reply from Dan L.

@JonG thanks. It’s a very small gap, maybe 1/20 of an inch. Yes the same gap exists with the e2 shank. I suppose I can reach out to e2.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@DanL If it has the same amount of gap then I wouldn't worry about it.

Mike G.

I am new to towing. I have a 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 with max tow rating 9200, max tongue wt. 920, GVWR 7000, and GCWR 15,000. I just bought a travel trailer with dry wt. 4353, max payload 3247, and hitch wt. 523. I am looking to get a weight distribution hitch with sway control. What would you recommend?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

For your application I really like the Reese Strait-Line # RP66084 because it has a huge tongue weight range of 600 lbs - 1,200 lbs. The only other thing you'll need is a hitch ball like the 2-5/16" # 19286 .

Lise M.

Thanks for the info. I'm considering buying a 13 ft Scamp fiberglass travel trailer weighing 1500-1700 lbs. I have a 2007 Honda Pilot without tow package. Would the light weight of this trailer allow towing with the Pilot without adding transmission cooler ? Also, Honda says don't use a WDS with the Pilot. Some Pilot owners do use WDS and feel it works well. What's your opinion on that ? Hopefully it won't be needed, though.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Since your 2007 Honda Pilot has a trailer towing capacity that is well over the weight of your Scamp trailer then I don't think you're going to need a transmission cooler. If the 1,500 - 1,700 lbs is the GVWR (loaded) of the trailer as opposed to dry (unloaded) weight then I don't think you're going to need a WDS. We typically recommend using one if the trailer weighs at least half of the curb weight of the tow vehicle. When it comes to using one against what the vehicle manufacturer says that's really up to the individual. I tend to advise going against what the vehicle manufacturer says (due to the warranty being at risk) but like you said, there are a LOT of people that use one when Honda says not to and they don't run into any issues.

Reply from Lise M.

@JonG Wow. Thanks for the answer. I've never towed, and get a little intimidated by all the equipment to keep track of. I bought a 22 ft class B motorhome about 3 years ago that I hoped my stroke-disabled husband, our dog and I could travel with. It's just too high for him to enter/exit safely by himself in an emergency, so we're going to sell it to a neighbor who wants it. The Scamp doorway is low to the ground and seems like the answer.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@LiseM Let us know if there is anything else you need some help with!

Glenn

Hello, I am upgrading TT from a Lance 2295 (Hitch is 990#) to an AS Classic (Hitch 886). The GVWR of the Lance is 7000#, the AS is 10,000#. Can I use the same WDH? I have an Equal-i-zer system now. If I have to upgrade, do I just need the tension spring bars and not a new head unit?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

It really depends on how you load your AS Classic and what your current Equal-i-zer system is rated for. Ideally the loaded tongue weight of your trailer plus any cargo that sits behind the rear axle of your tow vehicle will fall in about the middle of the tongue weight range of your weight distribution system. If you can let me know what your Equal-i-zer system is rated for I can give you more of an exact answer.

Reply from Glenn

The bars are 1200/12000. I assume the entire hitch/ball mount is rated the same. The receiver is rated at 1400/14000. I may replace the receiver depending in the ball height requirements for the Air Stream.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@Glenn In that case your system should be okay. Again just be sure that you try to keep your trailer tongue weight at 10% of the loaded trailer weight and keep from putting too much weight behind the rear axle of your tow vehicle.

Michael C.

I have a 2012 F-150 5.0L FX2, 145” WB, 3.55 rear end, GVWR 7100, Curb Weight 5660. Interested in 2021 JAY FEATHER MICRO 166FBS with a dry hitch weight 480 lbs & GVWR 4995. My question is which WDS would work for this combo.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

When choosing a weight distribution system (WDS) you want to base it off of the loaded trailer tongue weight plus the weight of any cargo behind the axle of your F-150. For your application I think the Blue Ox TrackPro # BLU47FR could be a good fit because it has a tongue weight range of 600 lbs - 800 lbs and it comes with a 2-5/16" hitch ball.

Reply from Michael C.

@JonG thank you so much for the fast reply, I will definitely look into that hitch. Still deciding which suspension will help with the sway or relieve if any the sag on the truck, HD shocks, timbrens, Roadmaster helper springs or just get airbags.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@MichaelC Happy to help! When it comes to suspension enhancement nothing beats air bags because you have the ability to adjust them according to what you are using your pickup for. The trade-off is that air bags require more maintenance than the other systems. The Timbrens and SuperSprings are systems that you install and then can literally forget about while the Roadmaster Active Suspension and the TorkLift StableLoad offer some adjustability or the ability to disengage (but not on the fly like with air bags). Keep in mind that a properly rated WDS should bring your truck back to within 1" of unloaded height.

Reply from Michael C.

@JonG thanks again for the information. Watched a great video from etrailer on that trackpro you suggested. That will definitely be the one I purchase.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@MichaelC Anytime!

Jon J.

Hi, I just got a new (to me) RV pull behind trailer. 6700lbs. It came with the hitch, WDS etc and also a Friction Sway Control. Do I need to use the sway control if I am using the WDS? Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If it came with a friction sway control then you should probably use it. Some systems have an effective bar system that keeps them from needing a friction sway control but you probably have a system that uses chain hangers so they aren't very effective at reducing sway without that friction sway control.

Rudy S.

So, being new to all this, I am purchasing an Excursion, said to be able to pull 10,000 pounds. If I get a 6500 pound camper trailer, other than worrying about the break system, what kind of sway bar is needed? According to the salesperson, these are required by law in IA...

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Most places do require using a weight distribution system (WDS) for something that heavy. We do recommend using a WDS when the trailer is at least half of the curb weight of the tow vehicle. For your application you can use the Reese Steadi-Flex # RP66560 and either the 2" # A-90 or 2-5/16" # 19286 hitch ball depending on what size trailer coupler you have.

Steve D.

I have a 2016 F-150 3.5 EcoBoost, 157” wheel base, 3.55 rear end with the tow package and looks like max conventional towing is 11,900 lbs. and max payload is 2,260 lbs. Looking to buy a travel trailer. What would be the max trailer weight could I purchase by using a weight distribution hitch? I’m concerned about exceeding my payload limit.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

It looks like if you use a weight distribution system (WDS) it increases your towing capacity to 12,200 lbs so it will help some in that regards but it's always best to double check this with your local dealer. You want to shoot for a trailer tongue weight that is 10-15% of the loaded trailer weight. If you were to go with a trailer that has a GVWR of 11,900 lbs (which I advise going a few hundred pounds less so you aren't maxing out your F-150) then that would put your tongue weight between 1,190 lbs - 1,785 lbs. Obviously the closer you get to the 10% side of the trailer weight the more payload your truck is able to handle. I would go with a trailer that has a GVWR of no more than 11,000 lbs so that you have some wiggle room and you aren't maxing out your truck weight rating. Maybe instead of going bigger look for something that is a little smaller but a little nicer than what you could get with a bigger trailer.

William H.

I’m towing some trailers for storm clean up with my Ford F-350 single tire. Most of the time they send us in after the storm but sometimes we have winds from the storm still blowing. I’ve had bad trailer sway and I need this to stop. This last trip to Pensacola was terrible. I can not permanently install mounts on the trailer because I’ll be pulling a different one next time. What would be the best way to solve the issue?? Do you have any recommendations on which brand would give me the best results? Thank You in Advance!!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If your trailers all weigh the same then you can definitely get a clamp-on style weight distribution (WD) system, otherwise your best bet would be to go with the Blue Ox SwayPro system because you can swap out the bars depending on the weight of your trailer (see attached answer page).

Stevenb

I’m looking to find out what weight distribution bars are right to pull my Alto trailer (GVWR 2700 lbs) but trailer weight actually only 1780 lbs, to my BMW X1 AWD (towing capacity 3970 lbs). Is there a lighter-duty version of these bars that’s the right fit?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

For your application you can use the Blue Ox SwayPro # BXW0350 which is rated for up to 350 lbs of tongue weight. You will also need a hitch ball like the 2" part # 63845 .

Robert P.

Will a WDH carry some of the tongue weight for the tow vehicle? Looking at buying a trailer with a max tongue capacity of 709, dry weight of 5300 while my Sequoia has a max cap of 710, tow cap of 7100? I read that a WDH will redistribute a couple hundred of pounds to both TT and TV axles thereby affording me to pull the TT. TIA!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

A WDH will help to redistribute the tongue weight of your trailer but you still want to hang around the max tongue weight that your vehicle is listed at. The good news is that you want to try to shoot for a tongue weight that is 10-15% of the loaded weight of the trailer. So while it seems that adding weight into the trailer will only increase the tongue weight, that really depends on where you place that cargo. Place it behind the axle and your tongue weight will actually decrease. For your application I recommend using the Reese Strait-Line # RP66084 with the 2" hitch ball # A-90 or the 2-5/16" hitch ball # 19286 .

Michael

Have a 99 Silverado that I have active air bag helpers on my tow vehicle and wondering how this affects adding a weight distribution system? Pulling a travel trailer we just bought about 4500lbs. If the air bags are keeping me level do I need a wds and should I be looking at sway control instead. Thank you

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

While air bags will help to level out your towing setup, a weight distribution (WD) system will be much better overall. An air bag is essentially filling up some space while a WD will be placing the load evenly between all of the axles for the setup. Most WD systems are compatible with air bags so you can use something like the Husky Center Line # HT32215 to accomplish this.

Mario M.

I’m towing my travel trailer that says it’s weight is 5800 pounds. My Hummer h2 max rated us 7,000 pounds. Am i ok with my weight I believe after im fully loaded with everything i fell like 6800. Am i ok with my weight

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

As long as you don't exceed your max towing capacity then you'll be okay. Since you'll be pretty close to maxing out the weight rating I do recommend making sure you can use a weight distribution system and I'd also look into adding a supplemental transmission cooler as well (see attached).

Jen B.

Hello. I own a 2009 Kia Borrego V8 with tow rating of 7500 lbs. I plan to tow a trailer with dry weight of 3654, hitch weight 435, cargo capacity of 1181. The GVWR on my vehicle is 5953 lb with cc of 1157lbs. I'm not sure of is if my vehicle allows for this type of hitch. My vehicle was only made one year so there's not a lot of information out there. What would you recommend?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

You're going to need to check your owner's manual and/or reach out to your local Kia dealer to confirm if that's okay or not. With a tow rating of 7,500 lbs I'd imagine you'll be just fine using one but it's always best to be safe and double check.

Reply from Jennifer B.

@JonG I did confirm my vehicle allows for a WDH with max trailer weight of 7500 lbs. Based on the trailer info I provided, what hitch would you recommend?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@JenniferB For your application I recommend going with the 8K BlueOx SwayPro which comes with a standard shank # BXW0753 or the larger shank # BXW0756 along with a hitch ball # 63845 . This might seem overrated by the towing weight capacity but just remember that you want to base the weight distribution choice off of the loaded tongue weight of the trailer plus any cargo behind the rear axle of the tow vehicle.

Reply from Jen B.

@JonG thank you!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@JenniferB Happy to help out!

Ev

I have a 2012 Toyota Tacoma stick shift I need to pull a 7200 pound camper with a weight distribution hitch on flatlands highway will I be OK?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

From what I could find the in online version of the owner's manual it looks like the max towing rating for your 2012 Toyota Tacoma is either 3,500 lbs if it didn't come with the tow package or 6,500 lbs if it did come with the tow package. Either way your 7,200 lb trailer is well over the max towing weight rating and I really don't think that's a good idea. You're going to either need to look into borrowing a bigger truck or purchasing one if you plan on towing this trailer regularly.

Sharon

Thanks for the article! I was in a near death roll-over after hitting some crosswinds with my horse trailer and jack-knifing so I do not want to white knuckle it with our new TT. We're pulling a 31' MPG with a hitch weight of 608 and a gross of 7608. Would rather go a bit more than what we need than getting by with as little as possible. The peace of mind in feeling safe is priceless! Someone suggested an Equal-i-zer 1200/12,000. I don't mind going a bit overkill for a smoother ride, but I don't want to throw money away on something that won't make a difference. Suggestions?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

First of all I'm glad to hear that you made it out of that scary situation. The 12K Equal-i-zer # EQ37120ET is a great system and I have no problems recommending it. It has received a LOT of praise from our customers and is really becoming a staple in the towing industry. Don't get mixed up with the towing rating though because what you actually want to look at is the tongue weight rating. For this the tongue weight rating is 800 lbs - 1,200 lbs so you want to shoot for the middle when it comes to total tongue weight. Total tongue weight is the loaded tongue weight of your trailer plus any weight behind the rear axle of your tow vehicle. Add those together and if that number falls in the middle of the range mentioned above you're all set!

Reply from Sharon

@JonG ,Thanks! Stupid question though - how can you "shoot for the middle" until you have the hitch to test it? I'm really a fairly intelligent person, but I'm finding myself very confused by this. We need to get the WDH/sway control in order to pick up our RV 1200 miles away. So, do you just do it by trial and error and resell if you made the wrong choice? This has become quite frustrating. One major piece of information I meant to include but obviously forgot, we are towing with an F350 Super Duty Diesel.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@Sharon Here is what I'd do if I were in your shoes. I would try to determine how much cargo I'll have sitting behind the rear axle of my F-350 when it's time to go camping and then take 13% of the GVWR for that trailer and act like that's you're loaded tongue weight. When the trailer is unloaded the ride might feel a little more rigid but that will all change once you have everything loaded up for a trip. You'll just have to make sure that you shoot for that 13% tongue weight when you actually load up the trailer. I recommend picking up a portable scale like part # e99044 so that you don't have to use the bathroom scale method (see attached FAQ) or run by a weigh station each time you load up just to make sure you're safe.

Dan R.

I'm looking at buying a Jayco 18BH, dry weight of 2700lb, GVW of 3500lb. The seller has a brand new Curt 17499 hitch that are including that was professionally installed for them. That system, the lightest duty available in that brand, is designed for 5000-8000 lbs trailers. It doesn't sound to me like they towed it much, it sits on a permanent site a few miles from their house. What are the chances that hitch is not the right hitch to be using? Will it function properly with the lighter trailer? Thanks.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

It actually might be just right and here is why; instead of going by the trailer weight you'll actually go by the tongue weight range of the weight distribution (WD) system - for the Curt # C17499 the range if 500 lbs - 800 lbs. So what you need to do is load the trailer up as if you were going on a trip (making sure that your trailer tongue weight is 10-15% of the loaded weight of the trailer) and then add the weight of any cargo sitting behind the rear axle of your tow vehicle. Since 15% of 3,500 lbs is 525 this would give you a little wiggle room as far as cargo goes in the back of your vehicle.

Stanley G.

I have a 2020 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited with towing package installed. The Mopar hitch is described as "Two-Inch Class 2 Hitch Receiver, 3500-lb Tow Cap., 350-lb Tongue Wt". I was planning on pulling a small RV such as a Casita, RPod, or [email protected] I read that a weight distribution system was recommended. Your FAQ states "that only designated Class III, IV, or V hitches may be used with weight distribution systems." Does that mean I should not use a wd system with the oem hitch?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I'm honestly not sure that I've ever heard of a Class II hitch with a 2" receiver. In your case I'd check the label of the hitch to see if it says anything about using weight distribution or not. If you can't find anything about that then check your owner's manual and/or with your local dealer to see if they have any input and go with what they say.

Reply from Stanley G.

@JonG There is no label on the Mopar hitch, at least not one that I can find. The owner's manual classifies hitches by weight limit. Class I Light Duty 2000 lbs, Class II Medium Duty 3500 lbs, Class III Heavy Duty 5000 lbs, Class IV Extra Heavy Duty 10000 lbs, I guess since the 4-dr Wrangler has a Max GTW of 3500 lbs, they classify it as Class II. The manual does mention a weight distribution system, but is vague. "A weight-distributing hitch works by applying leverage through spring (load) bars. They are typically used for heavier loads to distribute trailer tongue weight to the tow vehicle's front axle and the trailer axle(s). When used in accordance with the manufacturer's directions, it provides for a more level ride, offering more consistent steering and brake control thereby enhancing towing safety. The addition of a friction/hydraulic sway control also dampens sway caused by traffic and crosswinds and contributes positively to tow vehicle and trailer stability. Trailer sway control and a weight distributing (load equalizing) hitch are recommended for heavier Tongue Weights (TW) and may be required depending on vehicle and trailer configuration/loading to comply with Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) requirements. WARNING! An improperly adjusted Weight Distributing Hitch system may reduce handling, stability, braking performance, and could result in a collision. Weight Distributing Systems may not be compatible with Surge Brake Couplers. Consult with your hitch and trailer manufacturer or a reputable Recreational Vehicle dealer for additional information."

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@StanleyG Since the manual doesn't say outright that you can't use a weight distribution system then I would veer on the side of being able to use one. It would be best to check with your local dealer though just to be on the safe side.

Kate

I hope you can help. We just bought our first camper, Jayco Humminbird 17BH. GVWR 3950 lbs, it states Dry Hitch weight 345 lbs. Our tow vehicle currently is a 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD, about to upgrade to a new 2021 Tacoma. RV sales suggested we needed a WDH with sway, all the hitches I am researching start at 6000 lbs. Is it required? and if so which one? Much appreciated.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

We recommend using a WDH whenever the trailer exceeds half of the weight of the tow vehicle. Since this is the case for your 2021 Tacoma I'd definitely go with one. For a WDH I recommend the Husky Center Line # HT32215 . Just be sure to keep your loaded trailer tongue weight between 10-15% of the loaded trailer weight and you'll be just fine.

Reply from Kate

@JonG Thanks so much!

Brad

I need some advise. Looking to buy our first travel trailer and not sure which WDH would work best for me? Good but not break the bank. I have a 2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab with 20" tires/ 5.7 Hemi/ 6800 GVWR. Also is the GVWR weight the amount of weight I can pull when loaded. Getting conflicting reports on what I can and can't tow. Making it difficult to decide on a trailer size. Thank you!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Open up your driver's side door and find the sticker in the door jamb. Locate the GCWR and the GVW capacities and then subtract the GVW from the GCWR and that will be the max trailer weight that your vehicle can tow. When it comes to a weight distribution system you want to choose one that has a tongue weight range that your loaded tongue weight falls in the middle of. Your loaded tongue weight is the tongue weight of your loaded trailer plus any cargo sitting behind the rear axle of your Dodge Ram.

Reply from Brad

@JonG . Hey Jon thanks for responding to my comment. The only thing listed on my door jamb sticker is the GVWR and the GAWR. The GVWR is 6800.

Reply from Brad

@JonG Hi Jon . Just found my GCVR its 14000. I'm guessing minus the 6800. Gives me my towing capacity. 7200lbs

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@Brad That's the number I'd go with!

Reply from Bradley O.

@JonG Thanks Jon!!

Carolyn

I have a 2019 F150, the 330. I have been hauling a little 16 ft Shasta on a ball hitch. I'm purchsing a 2016 Lance model 1995. It's 23' and weighs just under 4k empty. According to the specs it has a 'hitch weight' of 3.3L. I'm not sure what 'hitch weight is referring to, the tongue weight? Anyway, could you make a recommendation of what size and brand of hitch I should buy?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Yeah tongue weight is also referred to as hitch weight when it comes to specs. Since your GVWR is 5,700 lbs you're going to want something rated a little over the 10-15% tongue weight recommendation to account for any cargo behind the rear axle on your F-150. For your application I recommend the Strait-Line # RP66083 along with the 2" # A-90 or 5-1/26" # 19286 hitch ball, depending on what your trailer coupler size.

Jeff

I am pulling a 2014 Coachman Clipper 17bh(2800lbs dry) with a 2020 F150. I use WD bars because I already owned them from towing said trailer with a van. Everything I read says to hook up WD bars on a level surface, but that is hard to come by where I live. Will I still receive the benefit of WD if I hook it all up in my driveway. My driveway has about a 25 Degree straight slope from the garage down to the road. If I can still get the same amount of chain links, does it really matter if I'm on a level surface or not? Thankyou!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Setting up the WD system on a level surface is just to ensure you create a level setup with the truck and trailer. If you're still able to create this and the system is working well once installed, there's no real issue hooking it up in your driveway.

David T.

Looking for an adjustable height WDH for a 2016 2500 HD duramax 4 door 6' bed 4x4, stock ride height. To tow an Artic Fox 25r trailer with C channel frame and GVWR of 7000#. TW of about 700 #. The trailer sitting level has a 2 5/16" ball height of 26". My current non adjustable WDH sits at 22 with about 300# gear, and fiber glass camper shell, in bed un hitched. Total weight in bed when traveling will be about 800 # What trailer WDH will work with my set up. I measured center of ball down frame rails of trailer and I have space to mount chain style WDH between the 29-35" range.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Are you just needing something that can match the hitch ball height on the truck? If so, you shouldn't need a whole new system but simply a new adjustable shank that offers a greater drop, such as the Reese # RP3344 .

Barry S.

When attaching the E2 weight distribution bars, is better to have the truck bed empty when using the trailer jack to raise the ball high enough to install? It feels like a large amount of stress/pressure for the trailer tongue to be holding on to the ball. Thanks for any help.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

You can unload the bed when raising the spring bars just to make it a bit easier. Keeping it loaded wouldn't put too much stress on the ball though.

Reply from Barry S.

@ChrisR thank you for your help. Since it doesn’t seem to matter if I install loaded or unloaded, I’ll likely stick with the unloaded. I won’t be putting too much in the truck bed anyway.

Bill N.

I have a 2015 F150 Supercrew 4x4 ecoboost with 5.5' Box. My new travel trailer is 35' with a hitch weight of 865 lbs and GVWR of 8000 lbs. I am currently using a Fastway e2 Trunnion hitch which I used on my old trailer. I adjusted the L bracket so the spring arms are parallel to the frame of the trailer and added two additional washers for a total of 6. Unhitched measuring from the top of the wheel well to the base of the wheel before and after being hitched is 32 1/4" vs 32 7/8" We recently went on long trip with everything fully loaded. We had a CAT Scale weight measurement of 2880 lbs front axle, 4520 lbs rear axle, 6920 lbs trailer axles with a gross weight of 14320 lbs. It tows relatively well, but I feel like it could use more weight distribution. Originally the L brackets were up one notch, but the force on the spring arms seem very high and it was noisy. Thanks,

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Can you tell me what specific model Fastway system you have installed along with whether or not that 865 pound tongue weight you listed is with the trailer fully loaded?

Ryan

I have a 2001 F-150. I want to haul my IH35a tractor. The tractor weighs around 4000lbs. I have a 14k equipment trailer that weighs about 2900lbs. My owner’s manual on my truck indicates I can tow close to 8000lbs. I believe I have a class 3 Reese hitch, two inch shank. What WD system would you recommend? Thanks.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

So you're looking at close to a 7,000 pound trailer when fully loaded, correct? If that's the case then I think the Equal-i-zer # EQ37121ET will work perfectly.

Joy G.

Hi, I cant lift my trailer tongue high enough to place the sway bars. What are my options?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Using the A-frame jack on the trailer to lift it up a bit is typically the easiest solution here. Is the jack not able to lift the tongue high enough?

Jerry M.

I have a 2021 Bee 3 horse bumper pull trailer that I'll be pulling with 3 different vehicles. 2003 F-150 XLT. 2014 F-150 STX. 2017 class C RV on F-350 frame. Looks like I'll be towing around 6000 lbs. with a 2" ball. The problem I see using your hitch is how to attach it to the trailer. It's solid (no opening in the v-shaped area) between the front of the trailer and the tongue so I don't how the spring bar brackets would attach without some cutting. Is there another type bracket for this configuration?

Sean C.

I have a 1986 gmc k15 that has everything swapped to 3/4 ton except for the frame, I have a 2020 Forest River vibe 24rl with a dry weight of 5600 lbs. I’m looking for a WDH and have been told that husky centerline is a good choice. But I have a 6” lift so what do you think would be a good option? Could I just get a drop shank that’s made for any WDH?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

The Husky Center Line is an excellent system. You can indeed just use an adjustable shank that provides the needed drop for your truck/trailer. The shanks are pretty interchangeable between brands, so there's not a need to stick with Husky. Something like the Equal-i-zer # EQ90-02-4400 offers a 9" drop and would work just fine with a Husky system.

Scott

I just bought a 34' RV with a GVRW of 11,110lbs and Dry weight of 7,065. Tongue weight is 950lbs. The truck I will use to pull it is a 2001 Dodge Ram Dually 3500 with a GVRW of 10,500lbs. The GCRW is either 16K or 19K depending on the axle ration which I am checking on currently. The hitch already on the truck states Tongue weight of 1000lbs with WD and 500lbs without. Is this ok to pull the trailer without a WD system or would I need one?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

If the hitch on your Ram lists a tongue weight capacity of 500 pounds without a WD system, and the trailer you plan on towing has a 950 pound tongue weight, you CANNOT safely pull this trailer without a WD system. For the system itself the Reese Strait-Line # RP66075 is a really good option here.

Jonathan P.

We have a 2016 4 Runner and just bought a new travel trailer with a dry weight of 3100 lbs. we have the factory hitch system.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

In order to pick out a good WD system, I'll need to know the trailer's loaded weight. Do you happen to have this number? I can also use the trailer's GVWR if you know that.

Reply from Jonathan P.

@ChrisR GVWR is 3,509, TW 449

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

@JonathanP Thanks for the info! For that loaded trailer weight the Equal-l-izer Weight Distribution System # EQ37060ET will work great.

Paul C.

We have an 05 Tacoma V6 4.0L with towing package and according to the manual it can tow 6,500. Have a 20ft camper, 3,300 dry weight with a 400lbs tongue weight. Truck has a 2" lift with 32.8" tall tires as well as Firestone helper bags to help keep things level. Took our trailer on a 4.5 hour drive, mostly on the interstate, but with winds you could definitely tell it was back there and swaying around. I would like to get the recommended kit for this setup to increase safety and stability.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

We can definitely get you set up with a properly rated WD system for your trailer. Do you by chance know its loaded weight, though?

Reply from Sherrie

@PaulC I just got a new 2020 Tacoma SR5 (V6) and has the most miserable towing experience I've ever had with it! "Pre-Collision system failure" lights and warnings came on and stayed on! I had to get it checked (with RV in tow in rush hour traffic in a mountain city!) Wow, horrible. Anyway, I think the Tacoma hitch weight was the real issue. Winnebago rv has dry 575 hitch weight, then loaded I'm sure it went over the allowed 640! Very disappointed. Want a NEW Tacoma or RV??? :)

Reply from Paul C.

@Sherrie I’ll take that Tacoma! Where you located?

Reply from Paul C.

@ChrisR loaded trailer is about 4,500 pounds. We don’t fill up the water tanks

Reply from Paul C.

What are the specs on your Tacoma?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@PaulC I recommend going with the Reese Strait-Line # RP66083 along with either the 2" # A-90 or 2-5/16" # 19286 hitch ball (depending on your trailer coupler size. This works to fight sway before it starts instead of correcting it after the fact.

Randy P.

I have the exact distribution head you picture. I recently moved up to a 2017 Silverado 2500. My trailer just sits my truck to level. I have done some local tows without the spring bars or anti sway, and it toss beautifully. My only concern is by not using the springbars, and I placing too much weight/stress on the ball, or can I continue toe this way?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

There's no problem with essentially using a weight distribution head as a standard ball mount. It's up to the task of supporting the trailer weight.

Chase

Hello, I am towing a 20' single axle travel trailer. Gross weight w/ cargo is 4400-lbs. The specs say that the tongue weight is around 485-lbs, but I think it is more with the cargo loaded. What would your recommendation be for the size of distribution hitch?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

I agree that with the trailer loaded you're tongue weight will likely be a bit more than 485 pounds. For this size trailer the Fastway e2 # FA92-00-0800 , which has a tongue weight range of 400 to 800 pounds, will work perfectly.

Tim

I looking at buying a travel trailer and towing it with vehicle&hitch rated for 8500lbs/850lbs. The trailer ways GBWR 7500lbs. What would be your recommendation for a WD system?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

For the tongue weight range you'll have with that size trailer I highly recommend the Reese Steadi-Flex # RP66560 .

Mark M.

I have a 2007 Yukon XL Denali and have just purchased a travel trailer that weighs 7000# dry thus about 8,500# when loaded and my tongue weight is about 1100#. Which Curt system (with sway arms) do you recommend?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

With a 1,100 pound loaded tongue weight the Curt TruTrack # C17501 will work perfectly.

Jay S.

Our 2016 R-Pod 178, purchased 2nd hand, came with a "Pro Series" WDH and Sway/Torsion control bar rig. Other than the Pro Series sticker, I cannot find anything that tells me what it's rating is, or it's Serial/Item #. Is there somewhere I can check. I'm just trying to document/understand the ratings for this particular WDH. I have a feeling it's slighly overkill for my needs, but it definitely helps keep the ride smooth. Previous owner was towing with a full-size Dodge Ram truck. I'm towing with a 2011 Honda Ridgeline RT (AWD). My truck has OEM, factory-installed hitch.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

It might be difficult to pin down its exact rating if there aren't any numbers printed anywhere on the system. Have you checked up and down the actual spring bars? I would say though that if it helps to smooth out your ride it's likely not too over-rated, if at all. You would typically feel an over-rated system (the ride wouldn't be smooth....).

Bob C.

I'm looking at the Curt 17500 or 17501. The trailer in 6,800 lb GVW and 900 lb TW. Should I go with the one that is 1,000/10,000lb or go heavier with the 1,500/15,000lb. Is it good or bad to go a little more heavy duty. I need to order ASAP. Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

For that size trailer I would definitely go with the lower-rated Curt # C17500 . Your total tongue weight should fall comfortably within its 800 to 1,000 pound tongue weight range.

Eric S.

I have a 2019 Ford Explorer V6 4WD. I am considering buying a travel trailer with a gross weight of 3700 lbs. I have a class 3 hitch (which i bought from you and its great). What would you recommend as a setup for towing this weight trailer.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

For that size trailer you're looking at a total tongue weight of around 370 to 560 pounds. I highly recommend the Fastway # FA92-00-0600 for this application.

Donal

I like over kill. Lol. Do they make a weight distribution system for a class I hitch. I have no plans to go over 2000lbs. I just like to be as safe as possible. I plan on building out a cargo trailer into an camper. It may not be able to do the 60/40 Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

There's nothing I know of that would work with a Class I hitch - the hitch itself (and likely the tow vehicle as well) just isn't strong enough to handle the additional stress and force that a weight distribution system applies to the setup.

John H.

Finally good information on what I'm looking for! I was looking at a Curt hitch system but the box said it had a capacity of 8-10K pounds. My truck pulls 9,200 and my RV is 7K fully loaded. Does the 8-10K lbs indicate that I need to go to a lesser duty weight distribution system (if they even exist), or will I still benefit from the same 8-10K system it even though it's heavier than what my trailer actually weighs?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Your Curt WD system may be SLIGHTLY over-rated, but honestly once you load up the tow vehicle it won't be by much and may even end up being within range. The higher-rated setup shouldn't cause any adverse issues. You don't want to go overboard (you're not) but it's always better to have a system that's a bit over-rated than under-rated.

Reply from John H.

@ChrisR Awesome, thanks for the helpful info and the helpful site.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

@JohnH No problem!

Jason K.

Still finding some of this confusing. I have a 2016 Silverado LTZ Z71, 4WD, V8 that has sway control/towing package. I am going to be pulling a 20ft trailer with a gross weight max of 4,000 lbs, tongue weight around 400 lbs. It sounds like i do not need weight distribution, but does the truck have enough for sway control or would you recommend something additional? Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Your trailer isn't huge but it's still big enough that a weight distribution system with sway control would probably be pretty beneficial. Honestly the best way to determine this would be to simply hook the trailer up and take it for a ride, making sure to get some highway time in there. You'll notice pretty quickly if you want to add some sway control. If you see the rear of your Silverado drop a couple inches upon hookup, a weight distribution system will help to push it back up as well. If you find it's needed, I highly recommend the Fastway # FA92-00-0800 .

Luke C.

Hello, I have a 2014 Ford Expedition EL Limited with a towing capacity of 8,900 pounds. I have a 2020 Forest River Cherokee 274BRBBL that is 32.5 feet. It weighs 6,200 pounds empty. I bought a 10,000 lb Blue Ox WD and Sway control hitch. When I drive down the road at 55/60 it is pretty bouncy. I am even with my trailer and my vehicle. Do you think I need to tighten the chains more on WD Hitch? Do I need to invest in a stronger suspension for the rear? Something else? Thank you for your time.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

If the ride is "bouncy" you may actually need to loosen the adjustment a bit. Does the Expedition and trailer sit level with the Blue Ox system in place?

Juan

I have a 2017 Silverado 1500 2WD and my trailer is a 290BHS keystone bullet ultra light. Dry weight Is 5785 GVWR 7600 and hitch weight of 705. What kind of weight distribution hitch will I need to be able to tow my trailer safely.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

For this size trailer I highly recommend the Equal-i-zer WD System # EQ37120ET .

Todd H.

I will be pulling a 24' enclosed car-hauler (all-aluminum) that will have a 3200lb car inside with a 2018 Jeep GC Trackhawk. Total trailer weight will be 5675. I'm assuming with the trailer only slightly less than the weight of the loaded truck I'd benefit greatly by a WD system. Time is not on my side so I'm assuming this is strongly enough suggested that I should just get one coming. Fair to say?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

I definitely recommend adding a weight distribution system to this setup. For that size trailer the Equal-i-zer # EQ37100ET will work perfectly.

Nick

I’m new to the trailer ownership and am not sure if sway bars would be needed in my 2018 3500 Ram. It has auto level suspension. The trailer is 26’ @ about 6,000lbs dry. If I need sway bar and hitch, could you suggest one? Thank you!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

You've got a big truck and the weight of your trailer kind of puts you in that "in-between" spot when it comes to deciding if a WD system with sway control will offer a lot of benefit. Do you know the trailer's GVWR (the most it can weigh when fully loaded)? With this setup I honestly might take it out for a couple test drives first to see how it handles before looking to add anything. You'll know pretty quickly if you need to add in some sway control.

Kris S.

I have a 2018 Forest River 177BH travel trailer (UVW 3095 lb) and I tow with a 2019 Ram 1500 Crew Cab. I am familiar with towing and have towed a 21ft ski boat with no issues. Since owning this travel trailer I have found it very uncomfortable to tow and I get fairly consistent sway and feedback when braking and hitting any bumps making it very uncomfortable to tow. Initially I thought it was due to single axle and low weight but I am concerned there are other issues. I am running an EAZ LIFT 48058 1,000 lbs Elite Kit with Sway Control arm currently and a CURT 51140 Brake Controller. Any suggestions or adjustments I should consider to alleviate my issues?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

I'm almost wondering if that EAZ LIFT WD System is a little over-rated. With a lighter trailer like that your tongue weight is probably closer to around 500 to 600 pounds. Did you happen to have the issues you described before installing the system as well - or is something you've always had hooked up?

Annie D.

I have an older Honda Ridgeline, 2006 We just bought a Solaire palomino 147x (Hrybrid trailer). It is a 2020. The ball/hitch has a rise (maybe 3 or 4 “) it All looks level when hooked up. We are new to towing and we do get some sway every once in a while. Like I said we are new to this so it is always a bit of white knuckling. We don’t really know what is most helpful for a safe smooth ride- WD hitch, sway bars, trailer brakes. Which one is most helpful? Not looking to break the bank since the truck is old. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

I think with a smaller trailer like this (which are definitely more prone to sway) you'd benefit a lot from a simple, standalone friction sway bar like the Curt # 17200 . This is going to work really hard to keep the camper in line while you're cruising down the highway.

Steve P.

Hello. We have a 2016 F150 supercab 3.5L 6Cyl and will be towing a Lance 1475 Dry weight 2600 lbs, Dry Hitch 250 lbs aand GVWR 3700 lbs. Not sure if I necessarily need a WD system but would probably do a sway control either way. Thoughts?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

I do think you'd benefit a lot from a full WD system (with integrated sway control) since the trailer's GVWR is more than half of your F-150's weight. For a specific system I highly recommend the Equal-i-zer # EQ37060ET .

Scott

Just bought a crossroads sunset trail. 32bh. Trailer wt 6900lb and tongue 750. I already have an extra leaf in my rear springs for my overhead camper. I was trying to set up the weight distribution hitch. Followed all set up. Front of truck changed height by 1/2 inch. Rear dropped 2 inches. Trailer stayed level. Just wondering if the rear truck height is okay as it will never be level due to additional spring

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

How much of a change did you actually get at the rear axle (was it dropped more than 2" before installing and setting up the WD system)? I feel like you could probably tilt the head a bit more to push up the rear closer to stock height, but a 2" drop isn't terrible, either.

Reply from Scott

@ChrisR I already have 5 washers in and ball is slightly tilted towards trailer. You are suggesting another washer?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

@Scott Can you tell me what specific model weight distribution system you have?

Reply from Scott

@ChrisR not sure. Got it off a buddy of mine. It came with his old trailer. There is no logo on it. But as I said with the tilt of my truck because of the extra spring it took 5 washers to tilt hitch just past level

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

@Scott Thanks for the info. I wonder if the system is under-rated for your total tongue weight. I can't tell for certain without knowing the specific model though. Would you be able to email me some pictures of the setup directly?

Brian S.

We have a 2013 BMW X5 Xdrive35i, curb/gross weight 4960/6371lbs. We bought a jayco 195RB GVWR 3500, dry hitch 280. Do we need a WD system and/or sway bar?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Since the potential loaded weight of your trailer (3,500 pounds) is more than half the weight of your BMW X5, a weight distribution system is recommended and you'll see great benefits from using one. For a particular system that will work really well with this size trailer I highly recommend the Equal-i-zer # EQ37060ET .

Ben

Hello, I have a 2019 Toyota Tacoma with the factory tow hitch. I bought a 2021 Forest River Wolf Pup 16bhs. The gawr is 3500lbs. I am wondering if I should use a weight distribution hitch?... Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

It looks like your Wolf Pup has a GVWR of 3,877 pounds - which is the most it can weigh when fully loaded. Any time a trailer weighs more than half of the truck that's towing it - a weight distribution system is a really good idea. Since your Tacoma weighs around 3,900 - 4,400 pounds, I do recommend using one. For this size trailer I specifically recommend the Equal-i-zer # EQ37060ET .

Reply from Ben

@ChrisR Can you provide me with a cheaper alternative

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

@Ben Absolutely. The Fastway # FA92-00-0600 will also work really well for this setup.

Andrew L.

Hi I have a 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab SLT with a max towing capacity of 9200 LBS. According to the owners manual towing anything over 7000 LBS requires a weight distributing hitch that distributes 50%. I’m looking for recommendations on weight distributing hitch options. Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

For a general recommendation I really like the Equal-i-zer systems. They offer a simple install that doesn't require drilling into the trailer frame and offer excellent sway control with their 4-Point setup. If you can tell me the weight of your trailer I will be happy to recommend a specific model.

Marcelle W.

Hi there. We have a 2016 1500 Ram Ecodiesel. Per VIN Lookup, maximum payload is 1095# and max towing is 8695#. Please advise on weight distribution/anti-sway system and/or are the travel trailers too heavy. I’m estimating 725-800 in cab passenger/cargo weight which only leaves about 380 lbs for tongue weight, cargo in bed. TT#1: 6030 GVWR, HW 530, 3989 Dry, 2041 CC, 10 ft high, 21’10” long TT#2: 6500 GVWR, HW 550, 4282 Dry, 2218 CC, 10 ft high, 24’10” long TT#3: 7000 GVWR, HW 500, 4037 Dry, 2963 CC, 11 ft high, 22’4” long

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

For both the 6,030 and 6,500 pound trailer I recommend the Equal-i-zer # EQ37100ET and for the heavier 7,000 pound GVWR trailer I recommend the Equal-i-zer # EQ37120ET .

Chris C.

Hi I have a 2012 Honda CRV that tows 1500lbs. I just bought a 13 ft teardrop that weighs 1300lbs. I know that doesn’t give me much wiggle room. I am hitting brake controls on the car and I think I should get a WD system for safe measure. I live in Colorado and plan to tale this up into the mtns. A lot of steep grades up and down and want to make it as safe as possible. Any suggestions?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

We do have a few good systems for lighter trailers like this, but I'm wondering if your CR-V is rated for weight distribution. All the hitches we have available for this vehicle aren't able to be used with a WD system so I'm thinking the vehicle's frame might not be up the task (these systems do put a lot of stress onto the vehicle and hitch). I would try checking the CR-V's owner's manual to see if it says anything. If you're just worried about sway, you could add a standalone friction bar like the Curt # 17200 .

Fred

I have a travel trailer with a UVW 5,380 lbs, a dry hitch weight of 710 and GVWR 7,355. Total length of trailer is 27' 9". Towing vehicle is a 2016 Ram 2500. Which weight distribution hitch would you recommend?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

With a 7,355 pound GVWR you're looking at a loaded tongue weight of around 735 to 1,100 pounds. For this setup with your Ram I really like the Equal-i-zer WD System # EQ37120ET . It includes all the components necessary (even the hitch ball).

Steve H.

I have a diesel pusher with a rear axle gross weight rating of 17500 lbs. The scale says I already have 17000 on the rear axle. I want to tow a 8000 pound trailer, which means even a 7 % tongue load would technically be too much. Will a WD hitch fix this?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

A weight distribution system will re-distribute some of this weight so that the trailer's full tongue weight isn't sitting on the rear axle of your diesel pusher. Whether it's enough to drop you back under the vehicle's capacity just depends on the trailer's actual loaded tongue weight (7 percent is a really modest estimate - it'll be closer to around 10-15 percent).

Rick C.

Pulled TT home (90mi) with new Husky w/d. The rear plate for spring bars has worn 1/8" on the back edge. Too high or too low?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

It sounds like the system might be a bit over-adjusted. Try removing a washer from the head (tilting it back towards the truck) to see if this helps. You might also re-take your front and rear fender measurements on the truck to see if the rear wheel well clearance is a bit larger - this is also an indication that the system is over-adjusted.

Chris R.

Just purchased a 28’ travel trailer with 5300# weight and 600# TW tower with a GMC Sierra 1500. Trailer came with a WD system and when I hooked it all up, I verified that front and rear of truck were close in fender measurements but the trailer really sways over 55 mph. I have a feeling like there is not enough tongue weight as I can grab the hitch and easily lift it. Can the WD hitch take off too much tongue weight?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

That's definitely possible. You can try adjusting the system the other way to put some more weight at the rear of the truck - or you could simply add weight to the front of the trailer (either by actually adding cargo or simply moving things around). Just doing this should resolve a lot of that sway you're experiencing.

Brian W.

I have 2 vehicles that I want to use to tow our ePro 16BH. We have the e2 trunnion style hitch system that was set up for our 2015 Jeep Wrangler. I now have a 2019 Ford F150 that I want to use to tow the trailer as well. The receiver on the F150 is 4" lower than the Jeep. Is this close enough or do I need to adjust the orientation? Thanks.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

You shouldn't really need to adjust anything other than using a different set of holes on the adjustable shank to create a level setup with the trailer. If you can't get enough rise on your existing shank just let me know and I can recommend an alternative.

Reply from Brian W.

@ChrisR Ok. Didn't think of this until I was looking for shanks on your site. Can I reverse the shank to get additional rise? Thanks, Brian

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

@BrianW You sure can! Just flip the adjustable shank over and use it in the "rise" position.

Swilkey

Towing vehicle is a Ford Edge SEL FWD 3.5L V6. Want to pull a 13ft vintage trailer weighs 1350 lbs dry. What would you recommend?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

That's a relatively light trailer so I think the Equal-i-zer WD System # EQ37040ET will work extremely well. This will keep everything level between your Edge and the trailer while also greatly reducing any sway during travel. The system is good for a total tongue weight of up to 400 pounds, which you'll comfortably remain under.

Chris K.

I have a Curt weight Distribution I purchased from you. I’m about to install it on my trailer. It’s to be used with a truck camper in the bed of my truck. Should I do the measurements for setup with the camper in the truck or keep the truck unloaded?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Thanks so much for your business. When doing your pre-measurements you'll want to keep the in-bed camper off of the truck. This will allow you to adjust the system so it works to re-distribute the weight the camper is putting on the rear axle (along with the trailer you're actually towing) to level everything out as best as possible.

Janet B.

Is this the same as a sway bar?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

A lot of weight distribution systems have integrated sway control, but I think you might be referring to a standalone sway bar like the Curt # 17200 . This is a bit different in that it ONLY helps to reduce sway (using friction) and doesn't work to actually re-distribute weight, create a more level ride, etc.

Greg W.

One of my springbars pops off during travel. Ive tightened the bracket on frame yet it still loosens& that end of springbar pops off. Why? Ive rode w/ one springbar but want to fix issue. Any thoughts?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Is this happening during normal travel, or only while making sharp turns/maneuvers with the trailer? The spring bar definitely shouldn't just be popping off during during normal highway driving. Can I ask what specific model weight distribution system you have?

Reply from Greg W.

@ChrisR happens during turns

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

@GregW Thanks for the info. The spring bars shouldn't pop out like that, but it can happen when trying to make really tight turns/maneuvers (such as trying to fit into a tight spot at the camp ground). If this is when it's happening I would disconnect the bars before doing this to prevent any damage.

Don M.

I have two vehicles that will be used to tow our camper (2015 Rockwood Minilite). Vehicle 1 has a receiver height of 14" at the top. Vehicle 2 has a receiver height of 24" at the top. The camper WD and sway control system is a Husky Centerline TS inline. The shank now used with vehicle 1 is as an 8" rise. The hitch socket height on the camper is 17" at the top of the socket. The system is now set up for vehicle 1. To use Vehicle 2 I am thinking I may need a different shank, but I am not sure? Perhaps I can use the existing 8" shank in a drop formation? If I do need a longer shank, what length drop on the shank will I need for vehicle 2? Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

If the coupler height on your camper is 17" above the ground, you should only need a 7" drop on the WD shank to stay level with vehicle number 2. With this in mind your existing shank can be used with both vehicles - you'll just switch the rise/drop orientation like you mentioned.

Natalie R.

Sometime my trailer to sway from side to side uncontrollably. I tried to correct it but counter-steering only made the swaying worse. But your information in the post will provide a lot. Thanks for your help!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

No problem! If you haven't picked out a sway setup already, I would be happy to make some specific recommendations if you can give me a bit more info on your trailer, such as its loaded weight, etc.

Don W.

My vehicle is a 2017 Buick Enclave towing a bushwacker plus tear camper. 3.6 v6 and the camper weighs 1900 dry plus 925. Tongue weight is 260. I have a equalizer brand sway bar that is too heavy. What lighter sway bar system would you recommend? Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

With a loaded trailer weight of 2,825 pounds, you're looking at a tongue weight range of around 280 to 430 pounds. The ideal WD system features a tongue weight capacity range that closely matches this. I really like the Equal-i-zer systems and for your trailer the part # EQ37061ET will work perfectly.

Bonnie D.

2018 Nissan Armada platinum with tow package.2018 Shadow Cruiser 24BHS weight ~5500. Blue Ox weight distributing hitchSingle Blue ox sway bar. Help. I can’t seem to find an answer. When I hitch up my trailer, my “smart” suspension is supposed to sense the weight and stiffen the rear suspension, thereby leveling/compensating for the weight of the trailer. Upon hitching, you can hear the compressor engage. But approx 30 of the time I hitch up, the WD chains won’t reach the proper link in the chain, making it impossible to shank. Is the WDH “messing” with the suspension sensor? Nissan Dealer says smart suspension is fine but won’t test it with trailer, because it’s “aftermarket”. I understand the principle of the WDH thanks to this page but wondering if a more adjustable WDH would fix the problem? Or just install aftermarket airbags with a stinking on off switch.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Automatic suspension systems like what you have on your Armada can make things interesting with WD systems, but they can still be used together. The issues you're having are likely because the initial setup for the WD system just didn't take the smart suspension into account. What I recommend doing is actually adjusting the Blue Ox system so that the trailer just about an inch higher than level with the tow vehicle - so that once the suspension system raises the rear of the Armada it will be leveled out. Of course if you'd rather not deal with it at all, another option is to disable the smart suspension feature altogether - the owner's manual should have information on how to do this.

Steve C.

I am towing a Livin Lite 13 with a Honda Pilot. Trailer weighs about 2150 unloaded. Well under 3000 fully loaded. TW seems to be just under 300 and I have an anti sway bar. Very little sway, but slight lunges over some bumps. Get advice to add WDH, and advice not to....trailer is all aluminum, and tongue seems fairly short. Is a 10,000 capacity WDH just nuts?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Typically a WD system is recommended any time the trailer weighs more than half of the tow vehicle. The weight of your Livin Lite and Honda Pilot kind of falls just within this threshold, but to be completely honest I don't think you'd benefit too much from a full system. A 10K system would definitely be over-rated if you were to go this route. With a short tongue and aluminum frame too (many aluminum trailers can't be used with WD systems because of the stress they create on the frame) I think it might be best to stick with the anti-sway bar you're currently using so long as the ride quality is okay.

Jerry M.

My 2016 F150 eco-boost has sway control on it already. I understand it’s on all the time and less I turn it off. I hear conflicting ideas, regarding leaving it on and having a sway control arm on my hitch. Is it good to run both together or one or the other. Just purchased a new trailer 24 foot

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jacob H.

I would not recommend using both when towing a trailer with a mechanical anti-sway device. The sway control arm is going to be a superior option compared to that of what the truck can do because the sway control arm can be fine tuned to whatever trailer you are towing. The truck is just going to be automatically applying the brakes appropriately to get rid of the sway. So, with that being said, I would turn off the trucks anti-sway feature and solely rely on the sway control arm to do the work and I think you will be very pleased with the results.



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