Answers to questions about RV Repair and Maintenance from RV expert Dave Solberg, author of the “RV Handbook” and the managing editor of the RV Repair Club. This column appears Monday through Saturday in the RV Travel and RV Daily Tips newsletters. (Sign up for an email reminder for each new issue if you do not already receive one.) Today Dave explains how a weight distribution hitch works.
How does a load-leveling hitch work? I can’t seem to get my head around it. —Gary
A weight distribution hitch is a more common term for an add-on apparatus that helps distribute the tongue weight of the towed vehicle more evenly between the truck and the trailer axles. When all the tongue weight of the towed vehicle is applied to the single point of the ball of the tow vehicle, it can lighten the front axle by 20 percent or more, which is applied additionally to the back axle.
Issues from uneven weight distribution
A lighter than normal front axle can negatively affect steering and braking. Too much weight on the back axle can cause premature tire wear, issues with axle bearings and other rear-end components and, more importantly, trailer sway.
A weight distribution hitch provides a much longer connection point between the ball and the trailer tongue and provides leverage on both sides. This shifts the weight to all axles of the tow vehicle and trailer.
A weight distribution hitch does not reduce the tongue weight or increase your towing capacity. It simply helps distribute the tongue weight to all the axles.
There are several brands on the market such as the Camco brand shown in the photo that we tested. It was amazing how it handled the previous swaying condition we encountered. Blue Ox has great products, too, such as the SwayPro and TrackPro.
You can check out weight distribution hitches on Amazon here.
Read more from Dave here.
Dave Solberg worked at Winnebago for 15 years developing the dealer training program, as marketing manager, and conducting shows. As the owner of Passport Media Creations, Dave has developed several RV dealer training programs, the RV Safety Training program for The Recreation Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation, and the accredited RV Driving Safety program being conducted at rallies and shows around the country. Dave is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.
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