A weight-distributing hitch is a special type of hitch system that makes use of an adjustable spring-bar system directly underneath the trailer tongue. This system connects the trailer to its hitch head and receiver, which in turn allows for a more even weight distribution throughout all of the axles in both the trailer and tow vehicle.
Effectively, this takes the normal center of the weight away from the hitch, and then redistributes it back to the trailer axles and forward to the vehicle axles. During this process, the spring bars are pushing down on the back section of the trailer tongue, which then transfers the weight to the axles in the trailer and pushes up on the hitch. This, then, transfers weight from the hitch to the front axle of the tow vehicle. As a result, weight distribution is significantly more even, which makes for a smoother, safer riding and towing experience.
When exactly should I use a weight-distributing hitch?
Weight-distributing hitches in Eugene, OR are not necessary for all towing situations. As a general rule of thumb, you should use such a hitch if your trailer weighs at least 50 percent of the weight of your tow vehicle.
Weight-distributing hitches feature conventional Class III receivers (which carry up to 6,000 lbs, and have 350 to 600 lbs tongue weight) as well as Class IV receivers (which carry up to 10,000 lbs and have 600 to 1000 lbs tongue weight). These receivers bolt onto the frame and your towing vehicle, and use two-inch draw bars. These types of receivers are compatible with SUVs and pickups that have appropriate tow ratings, so be sure you know your vehicle’s towing capacity.
The biggest differentiator in weight-distributing hitches is the actual hitch. Conventional hitches use a ball and draw bar, whereas weight-distributing hitches use a shank, at which the ball mounts and spring bars from the weight distributing system attach. In most cases, the opposite ends of each spring bar attach to the trailer’s tongue with chains. If you are towing an RV or enclosed car trailer that is taller than a standard trailer, it could get blown back and forth by crosswinds. In this case, you might want to consider using a sway control system, which prevents movement from side to side that could quickly become dangerous when traveling at fast speeds on the freeway or on winding roads.
The type of system you need for your towing varies based on the size and weight of your trailer. You’ll have to consider the appropriate length for your spring and shank bars, for example. You’re typically able to get your weight-distributing hitch system in a kit, but it’s best to have a professional assist you with choosing the right system for your needs.
Therefore, you should visit Ron’s Hitch N Tow if you have any questions about how to select the right weight-distributing hitches in Eugene, OR for your trailer and vehicle. Our team is happy to answer any questions you have, so contact us today.