It is something to know what a weight distribution hitch does, but it is another thing to know which one you need to have and how you can make it last long. In case you have never used a weight distribution hitch before, you might get intimidated. Although, they are an easy piece to handle as long as you know how to use them properly. You will enjoy a safe and balanced ride.
All of them come with spring bars that transfer weight from the vehicle’s rear and front. They may have different d-signs, but they work under the same principle.
How to set it up
You should first check what the ball weight is. You can see it on the compliance plate or a much better thing to do is to measure the caravan’s ball load. Also find out the overall weight that the vehicle can haul and the tow bar’s capacity because all loads must not go beyond the permitted figure.
You need to use weight distribution hitches for carrying heavier loads. They are the ones that redistribute the tongue weight in the entire frame of the tow vehicle. This leads to the trailer’s weight that is distributed on the axles of the trailer and the front axles. You need to ask the dealer about these hitches if you plan to use a bumper hitch or a hitch receiver.
Raise the bar
When there is tension on the weight distribution hitch, the assembly of the tow bar will only be forced downward a little because of the caravan’s coupling. Although, when the weight distribution hitch has been fitted, it calls for the same tow bar assembly to go forward. Therefore, the tow bar does not deal with less weight when there is tension and attachment on the weight distribution hitch.
The easiest WDH to deal with is the light-duty kind that is described as the ‘shepherd’s crook’ or a rod-kind of WDH. They get their name because of the appearance of spring bars since they look exactly like a shepherd’s crook.
The kits can come with two or four spring bars, but even the one with only two spring bars are upgradable by using an added pair of spring bars because it is the same with the ball head. There are a couple of WDH manufacturers, and the biggest ball weight that is given so far for this kind of WDH is 135kg. Keep in mind that not all of the same kind are the same. You need to check the specifications carefully and make sure that it will give a sufficient for the set-up you want.
Fifth wheel WDH
The fifth wheel goosenecks are normally used by pickup trucks. The trailer weight is carried on the rear with the hitch that is loaded on the bed of the truck. A fifth wheel can be used by larger trailers and it is a small version of the kind of hitch that is used on semi-trucks. A coupler that is on goosenecks can be attached to the tow ball that is normally on the bed of the pickup truck. Under the beds are support rails that welded so it stays in place.
A hitch that can be mounted on the hitch is the one where the hitch can be linked to the frame of the tow vehicle. This provides more stability to a bumper kind of hitch.
Weight distribution hitches call for some maintenance so they can stay fitted. The main thing to do is to put grease in the spring bars for general lubrication where they can be attached to the ball head. It is recommended that you use proprietary grease, and that spring bars should be lubricated every day when you are using it.
Now that you are aware of how to maintain weight distribution hitches and you already have a general idea about them, you can now purchase one and use it for your convenience. They will give you a smoother ride and you won’t have to worry about the weight you will be carrying because you have a weight distribution hitch that will make everything easier.
Nancy McCoy is a contributing author for Wheelarea.com – a handy blog that is focused on sharing experiences, tips and tricks about automotive. You will find the best recommendations for accessories and parts, “how to” posts, answers to questions, and in-depth guides to everything you need to know about automotive in this blog.