LAST UPDATED: December 11, 2018

The Best Weight Distribution Hitches (Review) in 2021

Best Choice Eaz-Lift 48056 Elite Kit Eaz-Lift 48056 Elite Kit
Premium Pick Blue Ox SWAYPRO Weight Distributing Hitch Blue Ox SWAYPRO Weight Distributing Hitch
Best Value Husky 31423 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch Husky 31423 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch

Anything that makes towing a trailer easier and safer is a good thing. A weight distribution hitch is a device that spreads the load of the trailer around all of the axles of the towing vehicle and of the trailer. This cuts down on dive and sway and makes towing easier. However, they do not increase the towing capacity of your vehicle and they cannot make up for poor driving technique or extreme weather conditions.

It is important that you get a weight distribution hitch that is compatible with your vehicle and your trailer. It is also critical to get one with the correct maximum tongue weight and maximum gross trailer weight. To get you started, here is our guide to the best weight distribution hitch.

The Best Weight Distribution Hitch

This Eaz lift weight distribution hitch is a round bar hitch that comes with components already fitted so you don’t have to spend a lot of time setting it up. The pack has both a sway control system and a hitch ball which is 2-5/16 inch.

There are U-bolts and all the hardware you need for mounting is included with the hitch. The maximum tongue weight is 600 pounds and the maximum gross trailer weight is 10,000 pound. It comes with full instructions for fitting and use.

Key Features
  • Maximum tongue weight is 600 pounds
  • Maximum gross trailer weight is 10,000 pounds
  • Round bar hitch
  • Sway control system
Specification
  • Brand EAZ LIFT
  • Model 48056
  • Weight 94 lbs

A complete kit to make your towing experience safer and easier, everything you need is in the box. It consists of a 2-5/16″ hitch ball, together with U bolts and chains. It also comes with a sway control bar that is preinstalled and torqued. The head is fabricated and the hitch is welded.

The system includes sway control (friction) and comes with all the mounting hardware that is needed.

The maximum tongue weight is 1000 pounds and the maximum gross trailer weight is 10,000 pounds.

Key Features
  • Maximum tongue weight is 1000 pounds
  • Maximum gross trailer weight is 10,000 pounds
  • 2-5/16" hitch ball
  • Friction sway control system
Specification
  • Brand Pro Series
  • Model 49903
  • Weight 102 lbs

A great product for RVers who need both sway control and weight distribution. This equalizer hitch is made in the US from high-quality steel using sophisticated technology. It has a unique rigid bracket design which is both easy and flexible to install.

The rotational friction point installation gives maximum safety and is compatible most trailers. The maximum tongue weight is 1000 pounds and the maximum gross trailer weight is 10,000 pounds.

Key Features
  • Maximum tongue weight is 1000 pounds
  • Maximum gross trailer weight is 10,000 pounds
  • Unique rigid bracket design
  • Sway control
Specification
  • Brand Equal-i-zer
  • Model 90-00-1000
  • Weight 102 lbs

This Reese weight distribution hitch requires a hitch ball with 1¼ inch diameter shank and which is not supplied with the kit. It is fully self-centering and automatic. You don’t need to relocate items on the top of the A-frame.

It features a dual cam sway control which is a high-performance device. It is suitable for tongue weights ranging from 600 to 1,200 pounds and the maximum gross trailer weight is 12,000 pounds.

Key Features
  • Tongue weights ranging from 600 to 1,200 pounds
  • Maximum gross trailer weight is 12,000 pounds
  • Fully self-centering and automatic
Specification
  • Brand Reese
  • Model 0225.0158
  • Weight 72.1 lbs

You can make your towing experience safer and easier with this sway control hitch which will give you both weight distribution and sway control. It is a lot less hassle than using a basic hitch with an additional sway control device. It makes backing-up and tight turns a lot easier to achieve.

The sway bar hitch has rigid brackets which provide an integrated sway control unit utilizing steel on steel friction at two points so there is no need for add-ons. This also means that you will have no restrictions when backing or turning. The spring arm rests on a bare metal bracket which makes it easier to use and reduces driver fatigue because it eliminates highway hop and sagging.

Key Features
  • Maximum tongue weight is 800 pounds
  • Maximum gross trailer weight is 10,000 pounds
  • Integrated sway control unit
  • Spring arm rests on a bare metal bracket
Specification
  • Brand Fastway
  • Model 94-00-1000
  • Weight 87 lbs

 A weight distribution hitch that comes with a 2-inch x 2-inch shank that is compatible with trailer hitches of classes 3, 4 and 5. It’s around bar hitch with a heavy-duty formed head made from forged steel with a powder coat finish for durability

The kit includes hook-up brackets and spring bar safety chains as well as pins and clips. It does not include a trailer ball.  The maximum tongue weight is 1,400 pounds and the maximum gross trailer weight is 14,000 pounds.

Key Features
  • Maximum tongue weight is 1,400 pounds
  • Maximum gross trailer weight is 14,000 pounds
  • Kit includes hook-up brackets and spring bar safety chains
  • Powder coat finish
Specification
  • Brand Curt Manufacturing
  • Model 17007
  • Weight 85.6 lbs

This is a lightweight and compact weight distribution hitch with sway control complete with lift brackets, spring bars, and head which all work together to achieve a smooth towing experience. It delivers effective weight distribution and sways control at the same time as giving ample ground clearance.

The top plate is made from 1035 steel which is strong and stands up to fatigue. The trunnions are made from 1045 steel which is both strong and resistant to wear. The tapered spring bars fit better than regular bars which increases sway control. The tongue weight capability ranges from 800 pounds to 1,200 pounds.

Key Features
  • Tongue weights ranging from 800 to 1,200 pounds
  • Top plate is made from 1035 steel
  • Tapered spring bars
  • Sway control
Specification
  • Brand Husky
  • Model 32218
  • Weight 116 lbs

This is a stabilizer hitch with a 4-inch drop and a 2 5/16 inch ball. It has 5 inches to 6-inch frame brackets. It is quick to fit and has anti-sway and anti-bounce capabilities. It is lightweight and looks good.

It will double up as a standard ball mount if you need it to. The maximum tongue weight is 1,400 pounds and the maximum gross trailer weight is 14,000 pounds.

Key Features
  • Maximum tongue weight is 1,400 pounds
  • Maximum gross trailer weight is 14,000 pounds
  • 5 inch to 6 inch frame brackets
  • Sway control
Specification
  • Brand Andersen Hitches
  • Model 3350
  • Weight 52.5 lbs

Very easy to fit and a very useful device for sway control in moderately windy conditions. It is available with a 750 pounds or a 1000 pounds maximum tongue weight.

It has a pre-adjusted hitch head so you will not have to fine tune it and there is no noise when towing. It’s made out of heavy-duty steel. You don’t have to remove it when backing up.

Key Features
  • 750 pounds or a 1000 pounds maximum tongue weight
  • Pre-adjusted hitch head
  • Made out of heavy-duty steel
Specification
  • Brand Blue Ox
  • Model BXW1000
  • Weight 100 lbs

The Husky hitch is very quick to fit and allows easy access to the hitch ball shank. It has a built-in dual sway control device and the hitch head will accept spring bars of different capacities. The hitch is covered in black polyester to resist corrosion. There are interchangeable spring bars which will fit on the left and right sides of the hitch head.

The kit includes all the necessary hardware for assembly. The maximum tongue weight range is 801-1,200 pounds and the maximum gross trailer weight is 12,000 pounds.

Key Features
  • Maximum tongue weight range is 801-1,200 pounds
  • Maximum gross trailer weight is 12,000 pounds
  • A built-in dual sway control device
Specification
  • Brand Husky
  • Model 31423
  • Weight 84.9 lbs

Best Weight Distribution Hitch Buying Guide

What to Consider When Buying a Weight Distribution Hitch

There are many types of weight distribution hitch to choose from. These are some of the things that you should consider when choosing the best weight distribution hitch for you.

  • Gross trailer weight. This is the total weight of the trailer including a cargo and modifications. You need a hitch that has a maximum gross trailer weight that is compatible with your trailer.
  • Tongue weight. This is the percentage of the load that weighing on the hitch. It is made up of the weight of the front end of the trailer plus the back on of the towing vehicle. It is typically 10 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight. You need a hitch with capabilities to match your towing needs.
  • Sway control. Many hitches provide weight distribution and sway control in one device.
  • Ease of fit and access. The easier the hitch is to fit the better and it needs to allow easy access to the ball hitch.

trailer hitch

Benefits of Using a Weight Distribution Hitch

A weight distribution hitch is a legal requirement for certain weights of towing vehicle and trailer so you may need one to comply with the law. Even where they are not legally required, they will make the towing process safer.

They do this because they distribute the weight over all of the axles rather than it being concentered on the rear axles of the towing vehicle. This helps to prevent dive which happens when the hitch of the trailer together with the rear axle of the tow vehicle dive down towards the ground. It also helps to prevent sway when the trailer moves from one side to another and is out of control.

However, it is important to bear in mind that they are not a substitute for safe loading and driving techniques. You must make sure that your vehicle is capable of towing the trailer. A weight distribution hitch will not increase the towing capacity of your vehicle. It is still your responsibility to make sure that you drive correctly, load the trailer appropriately and check the weather and road conditions.

Types Of Weight Distribution Hitches

There are many different types of weight distributing hitch but they generally fall into three categories which are:

  • Round bar hitch. There are round sway bars attached to the bottom of the trailer ball mount. They work well with most vehicles but bumps and potholes can present a bit of a problem.
  • Trunnion bar hitch. The sway bars do not need a clip. It can be difficult to adjust the height of the head but they have a lot of ground clearance.
  • Andersen hitch. The sway bars are replaced with dampers and chains. These are there to reduce sway and bounce in the trailer.

What Size Of Weight Distribution Hitch Do I Need?

The size of weight distribution hitch that you need will be dictated by the weight of the load that you will be towing. You may see them rated by the gross trailer weight that they can haul or by the tongue weight that they can distribute.

Both have to be higher than you need, but not too high. If your actual tongue weight is way under that given for the weight distribution hitch, it can make the weight distribution unpredictable and that can be dangerous. If your actual tongue weight exceeds that of the hitch, it will not be able to distribute the load and there is not much point it being there. You have to do some calculations and some predictions before you start the buying process.

Tips On How To Control The Sway

Sway is one of the hazards of towing but there are some things that you can do to help prevent it. Here are some of them:

  • Weight distribution in the trailer. The load in the trailer needs to be carefully balance bearing in mind the relationship between the gross trailer weight’ or GTW and ‘tongue weight’ that you are trying to achieve. You need to distribute the weight carefully and makes sure that it is not too far back. Also, loads must be secured down or they will roll around and contribute to sway hazards.
  • Avoid crosswinds. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. If there are going to be strong crosswinds, it may be best to delay your journey or find another route. Some bridges will be closed to high-sided vehicles when the crosswinds are too strong. Sway caused by crosswinds is very difficult to control.
  • Tires with too little air. Regularly check the tire pressure of both the towing vehicle and the trailer. If the pressures are too low, it can contribute to sway.
  • Length of the trailer. If you are towing with a small vehicle such as an SUV it is important to bear in mind that it has limitations. If you try to tow something that is three times longer than your vehicle, you are asking for trouble. Always check the cautions and warnings in the manufacturers’ owner’s manual.
  • Inappropriate driving. You can’t rely totally on vehicle and trailer technology to keep you safe. Your driving style is also crucial. Don’t drive too fast and when you need to slow down, apply the brakes gradually. Do not make sudden turns of the steering wheel. If the vehicle does start to sway, do not try to steer out of it and don’t speed up. Apply the trailer brakes only.

Best Weight Distribution Hitch FAQ:

Q:  What Is A Weight Distribution Hitch?

A:  We all know that several things can go wrong when towing a trailer, especially if they start to sway and you feel like you are going to lose control of your vehicle. A weight distribution hitch is a device that attaches the trailer to your vehicle but which is designed to make it easier to steer, turn and brake and generally maneuver a large load safely and in a controlled way. It does this through a method called ‘weight distribution’.

The concept of trailer weight distribution is related to ‘gross trailer weight’ or GTW and ‘tongue weight’ or TW. The gross trailer weight is the total weight of the trailer including a cargo and modifications. The tongue weight is the percentage of the load that is actually pressing down on the hitch. Obviously, this is the front end of the load plus any weight that is behind the rear axle of your vehicle and is typically 10 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight. A truck that has a loaded trunk will, therefore, have a higher tongue weight.

The two main problems when towing are ‘dive’ and ‘sway’. A trailer will dive if the tongue weight is too high in relation to the gross trailer weight. There is too much weight at the junction of the two vehicles and the hitch of the trailer together with the rear axle of the tow vehicle dive down towards the ground. It also has the effect of raising the front of the towing vehicle off of the ground. A dive is more likely to happen when you brake quickly and as the front of your vehicle lifts up, you lose braking traction. You also lose steering control through the front axle of the wheels.

A sway can happen when the relative tongue weight is too low. Too much weight is concentrated at the rear of the trailer and it can begin to swing in one direction and then another which can eventually cause you to lose control of the towing vehicle. In extreme circumstances the trailer can flip over, taking the towing vehicle with it. This can cause a serious accident and poses a risk to the towing vehicle driver and other road users.

The way to prevent both problems is to find a balance between the tongue weight and gross trailer weight and this is where a weight distribution hitch comes in so useful.

Q:  How Does Weight Distribution Work?

A:  A weight distribution hitch improves handling because it distributes weight away from the tongue and onto the other axles of the vehicle. Rather than being concentrated on the rear axle of the towing vehicle, it is spread around the front axle of the tow vehicle and the axles of the trailer. This can help with you not exceeding the gross axle weight limit for your rear axles.

As a general rule, if the trailer weighs more than 50 percent of the weight of the towing vehicle, you will need to get a weight distribution hitch.

Q:  What is Sway Control?

A:  Sway control is built into many weight distribution systems because it is very important. There are different types of sway control. One anti-sway hitch corrects the sway once it starts and the other prevents it from starting in the first place.

  • Devices that reduce sway once it has begun

These can be divided into independent friction sway control and dependent sway control.

An independent friction-style sway control device is a bar that bolts onto the frame of the trailer. Because it is attached to both the weight distribution system and the frame of the trailer, it provides tension that keeps the trailer in a straight line. There is a telescopic bar that moves in and out. When the trailer starts to move out of line, there are friction pads that stop the telescopic movement and cut down the side-to-side movement.

Dependent sway controls are actually part of the weight distribution systems. As the sway starts, there will be a downward force of the spring bars and this produces frictional resistance to the brackets which are placed on both sides of the trailer frame. There is both steel-on-steel resistance and resistance of material that is similar to brake pads. The resistance is enough to make the trailer stay in a straight line.

  • Devices that prevent sway from starting

Many weight distribution hitches have systems that stop the sway from starting in the first place.

Some systems have sliding devices termed ‘cams’ which suspend the spring bars and lock into position. One end of a cam is attached to the trailer’s frame and the other to the lift bracket. The placement of the spring bars keeps the trailer aligned in a straight line.

Other weight distribution hitches have built-in 4 points of sway control. There is usually a secure connection within the head to the spring bars are held tightly. This provides resistance and safeguards enough tension in the system to prevent sway.

There are further systems that rely on tension to keep the spring bars taut. Also, active sway control uses spring-loaded ball bearings to apply pressure inside the detents and keep the trailer straight.

Q:  How Much Can My Vehicle Tow?

A:  A load leveling hitch cannot increase the total amount of weight that your vehicle can tow. It makes it safer and allows you to load up your trunk too.

The towing capacity of a vehicle is the maximum weight it can tow both safely and legally. It may be given in the manufacturer’s information provided with the vehicle. Alternatively, you can contact the dealer that sold you the vehicle.

It is often worked out using the curb weight of the vehicle and the maximum weight of what you want to tow. If the trailer and load weight is more than 85% of your vehicle weight, it will not be safe. Also, check the road safety laws in your area relating to towing. Once a certain percentage is exceeded (often 50 %), a weight distribution hitch is required by law.

You also need to make sure that your engine capacity is big enough to tow a weight without getting damaged.

weight distribution hitch for trailers

Our Top Pick

Eaz-Lift 48056 Elite Kit

A round bar load leveling hitch with pre-installed components. It has a sway control system and a 2-5/16 inch hitch ball.

The pack includes pre-installed U-bolts, chain package and mounting hardware. The maximum tongue weight is 600 pounds and the maximum gross trailer weight is 10,000 pounds.

Sources:

  1. How Towing Weight Distribution Systems Work, How Stuff Works