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How Do Weight Distribution Hitches Work

Question:

Im curious about WDH and their effect on distributing tongue weight across the tow vehicle and trailer. For example, if I have a trailer with a tongue weight of 600 lbs, how much of that weight is redistributed back on the trailer and front of the tow vehicle? Obviously, a WDH doesnt decrease the actual tongue weight but does it really redistribute it elsewhere? Thanks for your assistance.

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Expert Reply:

I can answer that question for you and provide you with some resources to aid you with picking a weight distribution hitch that is right for your setup. A weight distribution hitch uses spring bars to help 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 weight transfer helps keep your front wheels from riding light at the front, which can diminish the steering on your vehicle, traction, and stopping power. Keeping the front of the two vehicle level also means your headlights will be aimed properly and not upward. The weight transfer keeps your rear axle from bearing all the weight of the trailer and your vehicle's tow weight and it distributes it to all the axles on your tow vehicle and trailer.

I spoke with a representative from the tech department at Equalizer Hitches and he explained it this way. If your hitch receiver's maximum tongue weight is 600 lbs, when you hook up your trailer you will create some sag at your trailer hitch. This sag will cause the front of your tow vehicle to rise, which sends/gives some weight from the trailer and the tow vehicle to your vehicle's hitch. Now you have more than 600 lbs on your hitch. Adding a weight distribution hitch gives the weight back, that was "stolen", to the tow vehicle and the tow trailer. I have included a picture below that shows an example of a truck's sag.

If you have a 2" hitch receiver and you are towing a trailer with a tongue weight of 600 lbs, I recommend the Curt TruTrack Weight Distribution System w/ Sway Control - Trunnion - 8,000 lbs GTW, 800 lbs TW, part # C17499. It is a weight distribution hitch with sway control. It installs without drilling. The brackets clamp on and they mount directly to your frame.

I have included a product description link, a video demo link, and web links about weight distribution below.

Picture Of Towed Trailer Sag
Picture Of Towed Trailer Sag
(click to enlarge)
expert reply by:
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Mark Smith

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