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Is a Weight Distribution System Required for Towing a 3,000 lb Trailer  


Is an equalizer hitch needed to tow a 3000 lb trailer?


Expert Reply:

Any time you are towing a trailer that has a fully loaded weigh that is over 50 percent of the vehicle's gross weight, a weight distribution system is recommended.

If your vehicle weighs less than 6,000 lbs, a weight distribution system and trailer brakes should be used when towing a 3,000 lb trailer.

Assuming that the 3000 lb figure you mentioned represents the fully loaded and ready to tow weight of the trailer, the tongue weight will be between 300-450 lbs, plus the weight of any cargo carried behind the rear axle of the tow vehicle, whether it be in a truck bed or the cargo area of an SUV. You'll use this tongue weight figure to choose the weight capacity of the system.

The type of system you choose will depend on the type of trailer you're towing. Flat bed or utility trailers aren't typically susceptible to trailer sway if they're correctly loaded. If that's the type of trailer you have, a basic system like the Reese # RP65509 round bar system which is rated for tongue weights from 200-600 lbs would work great for you.

If you have a travel trailer or an enclosed cargo trailer, the tall sides will make it very vulnerable to sway cause by cross winds and passing or oncoming traffic. Using a weight distribution system with sway control is recommended. The Fastway # FA92-00-0600 system is rated for tongue weights between 250-600 lbs, and combines weight distribution with sway control that's effective on mild to moderate trailer sway.

Neither hitch includes the trailer ball. For a 2 inch ball, use # A-90 or # 19286 for a 2-5/16 inch ball.

expert reply by:

Steve S.


HI I have an 2011 f 150 crew cab with 3.7 v6 and a travel trailer with gvwr of 3675 lb and hitch weight of 360lbs . do I need a weight dist. hitch?

Etrailer Expert

Jacob H.


You are not required to have a weight distribution hitch. They are designed to help take some of the weight off of the back of the truck and to help with trailer sway. If you are having a problem with one or the other we have systems to help enhance both. These would be suspension enhancement and friction sway control. If you are not having an issue with weight or sway, I would say your set up is ok.

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