A weight distribution hitch is important when we are trying to move goods from one place to the other using a Towing vehicle and trailer. Towing vehicle will normally be the powered vehicle, which is used to pull the trailer and trailers are the unpowered vehicles.
When you are coupling the towing vehicle and the trailers, which are loaded together, it is very important that the weight is equally distributed. If the trailers sway too much due to uneven load, the driving control can be lost. To prevent this from happening, it is very important that we have the best weight distribution hitch in place for coupling them.
Weight distribution systems are advisable when the weight of the trailer is 50% more than the weight of the towing vehicle. There are a lot of advantages of using a weight distribution hitch. It ensures a smooth and level ride with maximum towing efficiency.
When weight distribution system is not there, the weight of the trailer is more or less transferred to the axle at the back of the towing vehicle, and there will be a tilting of the vehicle towards the front portion. The front axle of the vehicle will not have much weight on it, which will result in lowering the performance of steering and stopping power will be reduced.
Let’s get into the details of how we install a weight distribution system. The best fifth wheel hitch can be used to establish a connection between the towing vehicle and trailers. This guide will help you with the general instructions for the installation of weight distribution system. In order to get specific details matching your vehicle, the manufacturer’s instruction can be referred.
1. Adjust the Level of the Trailer
Before the trailer is connected to the towing vehicle, it should be leveled in such a way that it becomes more or less parallel to the ground when loaded. Take the measurement from the ground to a particular panel of the trailer both in the front and the rear portion. If there is any level difference, you can use a tongue jack to change the level of the front portion, to level it parallel to the ground.
The next step is to take the measurement to understand the level difference in the front and rear wheel opening height of the tow vehicle, trailer height from the front and back portion. Also, take the measurement from the ground to the top of the coupler.
In most of the cases, the weight distribution system can be directly mounted on the receiver of the hitch. The first step is to install the shank, which should be plugged into the receiver and can be turned upward or downward to fit it properly and to adjust the level.
Next mounting the Ball head assembly onto the shank should be done and this provides the platform for hitch ball and spring bars. From here the trailer and the towing vehicle can be re-harnessed.
The hitch ball should be well attached to hitch head using an appropriate tool. Hitch head and the shank should be fitted using the nuts and bolts tightly. The height of hitch head should be adjusted in such a way that the level of the ball is a bit higher.
The hitch head angle can be changed according to the level. Then the torsion bar or spring bar should be fitted into the hitch head, and the end should be towards the direction of the trailer. The end should be slightly lowered to the direction of the ground. Remember to tighten all the nuts and bolts wherever required using the right tools.
3. Fasten and Connect
The hitch ball should be placed exactly under the coupler. The trailer tongue should be adjusted in the level in such a way that the couple rests on the ball without much weight on it and lock the coupler latch tightly. Adjust the level of the trailer using a tongue jack and level it properly. The spring bars should then be inserted into the hitch head, and the other end should be towards the trailer. Lift up the chain and hook it into the saddles. Use the necessary brackets to tighten the saddle points.
Depending on the level, insert the desired link on to the saddle and fit in the remaining clips. Arrange the position and the level in such a way that spring bars are almost parallel to the trailer tongue. Attach both the spring bars, snap up the chains and the trailer tongue should be lowered to have the weight completely on the hitch. Remember, the tongue jack should not rest on the ground.
Take the measurements again to see whether the levels of the trailer vehicle and tow vehicle are almost in straight line. If on the first try you are not able to level it, try adjusting the levels to make it parallel. The level of the hitch head can be adjusted based on the level difference between the front and rear portion of the trailer.
After the installation is complete, there are two different points that you need to focus on, the change in the height of the wheel rim of both your trailer and the tow vehicle. It should be measured before starting the installation and after completing the installation. This is to ensure that the weight distribution system allocates equal weight to the whole system.
The second important thing is the angle of the bars. It should be either parallel or slightly downwards towards the ground level. This can be accomplished by slightly tilting the head assembly or adjusting the number of chain links.
The weight distributions should be carefully chosen based on the nature of your trailer, the towing vehicle and the load that you are trying to transmit. Fifth wheel hitch serves as the strong connection between both. A good hitch means a well-established connection, and you can be free of any worries while towing. This is found to be more effective while applying sudden brakes.
4. Choose the Right Weight Distribution System
To choose the apt weight distribution system, you need to be well aware of the gross trailer weight and the tongue weight. Gross trailer weight (GTW) is the weight of your trailer after loading it completely. To be effective, the rating of your weight distributions system should be either equivalent to or greater than the Gross trailer weight.
The tongue weight refers to the sum of the trailer tongue weight and the load of the cargo vehicle. The rating of the weight distributions system should not be higher or very lower than the tongue weight. Both will result in making the weight distribution uneven.
Try the installation steps mentioned above, the next time you try to transfer load using your towing vehicle. Share your feedback after trying.