Trailer Weight Distribution Hitches
A weight distribution hitch may be required if you have the centre of gravity of the trailer load too far forward, which is often unavoidable. This will cause poor handling during breaking and accelerating and results in an increased risk of an accident occurring.
With an over loaded tow ball, the vehicles front tyres will suffer from poor traction which will cause under steer and reduce braking distance.
When do you need a weight distribution hitch?
If the tow ball weight of the trailer affects the rear of the towing vehicle, you may experience see-saw effect like the front part of the vehicle is lifting. As a result, this can take the weight from the front wheels, reduce the traction, steering control and braking.
A weight distribution hitch which is also known as a load leveller or level-ride maintains the vehicle in the normal position by properly and smoothly distributing the load of the trailer and preventing sway.
What is referred to as the tongue weight (TW) is the portion of the gross trailer mass (GTM) supported by the towing vehicles tow hitch and should be kept to 10-15% of the GTM.
When unsure, you should measure the distance from the wheel arch of ground and front before and after hitching your trailer. The weight distribution hitch is recommended for a difference of 5-10 mm after suspension compression.
Hitches differ to suit the rated capacity of the towing vehicles tow ball, for general light weight vehicles like most common sedans, the installation process is pretty simple and will be outlined in the manufacturer’s specifications. For heavy duty vehicles a professional installation may be required.
When securing or unhitching the trailer, injuries can occur so ensure that you keep your feet well clear of the bars and any potential crush zones. Use the jockey wheel to take the load of the trailer before releasing the hitch.