by Joshua Thomas
The weight distribution hitch is a device that sits right between your trailer and your vehicle coupler. It stabilizes the trailer from swaying and removes sagging which is usually caused by the weight of the trailer pressing down on the rear of your vehicle.
This device may look intimidating, or an unnecessary purchase to newbies. As many people traveling with a trailer may be tempted to attach their trailer to their vehicle directly. However, for your safety and the safety of others, you should always install a weight distribution hitch.
At least, you should always use a weight distribution hitch if the GTW of your trailer is more than half the gross weight of your vehicle.
But what does this device do, exactly?
In short, a good weight distribution hitch will distribute the weight in such a way that it stabilizes your trailer when driving on the road.
Thus, it prevents your trailer from swaying brutally when negotiating corners and helps keep it in a straight line on the highway. It uses 2 core principles called GTW and TW to do so.
The GTW (Gross Trailer Weight) is the total weight of your trailer, including the weight of all content in the trailer. The TW (Tongue Weight) is the weight of the trailer at the coupler where the trailer is attached to the vehicle ball mount. In general, TW should always be around 10% to 15% of the GTW for optimal performance.
Without any further ado, let's check out a selection of the best weight distribution hitches on the market that we carefully hand-picked and see how well they perform!
1. Eaz-Lift Camco Elite 48058 (Best Overall)
2. Husky 32218
3. Curt 17007
4. Andersen 3380
5. Equal-i-zero 90-00-1000
6. Pro Series 49904
7. Blue Ox BXW1000
The Eaz-Lift Camco Elite is a popular hitch control that is beginner friendly. This unit comes with all nuts and bolts that will allow you to install this hitch to your trailer. An easy to read instruction manual also comes with this product to help you with the installation.
One of the best things about this model is definitely pre-installed components like a hitch ball and a sway control that makes it even easier to use. Furthermore, the build construction from steel makes this unit heavy-duty, durable and long-lasting.
Best of all, the chain package is also installed on the trunnion bar that offers a lot of clearance space, making this hitch kit ideal for almost any type of vehicle, whether it is a car or an SUV.
The only caveats are that this hitch kit can generate some noise, especially when driving through rough terrains. It is also based on an older technology. But other than, this weight distribution hitch with sway control is an excellent model to consider, especially considering its attractive price point.
The Husky 32218 is an advanced weight distribution hitch with a big 2-5/16" hitch ball and no chains. The built-in sway control in this kit is very smooth and will be able to compensate for any movement of your trailer and vehicle.
At least, as long as your trailer is 12,000 lbs or less. Moreover, since it does not have chains, this hitch kit is nearly silent. The build material is from a forged steel that makes this product highly durable and long-lasting.
Furthermore, the brackets in this weight distribution hitch are universal, which means that you will not have any problem connecting it to your vehicle or trailer.
All in all, if you are looking for a hitch that delivers excellent performance and works silently, the Husky 32218 is a good weight distribution hitch to consider.
Note that this model is a little bit more difficult to install comparatively but still easier enough for an absolute beginner. Also, the shipping packaging could have been better.
The Curt 17007 is another budget solution that promises to bring excellent stabilization to your trailer when driving on the road.
This model uses chains for the stabilization and has 2 round bar spring bars for the sway control. It is incredibly easy to install by absolute beginners and also comes with a detailed instruction manual.
Since this model uses round spring bars, it has a low ground clearance thus making it ideal for owners of a low vehicle like a car. Moreover, the fittings for the 12 inches shank is standard as it uses regular 2 inches by 2 inches tube openings so it will not be a problem fitting it to your trailer.
Additionally, the head assembly is made from heavy-duty steel which is very durable as well as offer precise leveling control.
You will have no problem making adjustments to your heart's content using the Curt 17007. It's just a little noisy because it uses a chain system but other than this, it works perfectly well and one of the best weight distribution hitch with sway control that you can buy.
The Andersen 3380 is a marvel of technology. Despite being a weight distribution hitch that mostly uses chains, it is literally silent and in fact quieter than other weight distribution hitches that do not even use chains for the sway control.
Andersen has achieved this by implementing a sway control that automatically adjusts itself depending on the direction of the vehicle. Additionally, this weight distribution hitch uses the True Motion Dampening system which is a patented technology that reduces vibrations and bouncing.
This makes it very practical for users who need to move their trailer on rough terrains. Best of all, due to the weight has been designed, this system is almost maintenance-free as you do not need to grease the balls or couplers.
But above all, this top-rated weight distribution hitch is a heavy duty model that can stabilize a heavy trailer of up to 14,000 lbs with ease. It is definitely not the cheapest model on the market, but it is extremely easy to install and if you have never owned a weight distribution hitch before, then this is an excellent model to consider.
This equalizer weight distribution hitch is a popular model used by many campers throughout the world. It offers an excellent price to performance ratio and has an integrated sway control that will work with a GTW of up to 10,000 lbs.
The integrated sway control in this model is very efficient. It uses cam springs that release the pressure of the tongue weight on the spring bars inside the steel brackets, thus stabilizing the trailer when negotiating corners.
Moreover, the brackets in this way distribution can quickly and easily be adjusted, thus providing you with a versatile and flexible experience tailored to your trailer's size and weight. This model is compatible with virtually any type of trailer whether narrow or wide since the two 5/16 inch trailer ball have been pre-torqued.
In addition, most of the parts of this weight distribution hitch are constructed from a forged steel. This model can definitely be used as a heavy-duty weight distribution hitch without the fear of it breaking on the road, even if it is not as solidly built when compared to competing models.
All in all, this equalizer weight distribution hitch uses a very nice combination of sway control and weight distribution that allows it to tow a trailer very smoothly.
The Pro Series 49904 is an excellent entry-level weight distribution hitch that has an excellent price. Out of the box, you will find everything that will allow you to get started right away. It even comes with a handy manual for those who have never installed a weight distribution hitch before.
Since this model uses 2 round spring bars, it has a low ground clearance thus making it ideal for owners of a tall vehicle like an SUV. You can still use it on a car if you want to and it uses regular 2 inches x 2 inches tube openings for the connection.
Additionally, this model has an integrated sway control that has been pre-torqued. Almost every part of this weight distribution hitch is made from steel, so it is quite durable and long-lasting and can be used for heavy-duty towing of a trailer of up to 10,000 lbs in weight.
The only problem with this model is that it can be noisy when doing corners, mostly because of the chain system.
The Blue Ox BXW1000 is an RV weight distribution hitch that comes pre-installed for better ease-of-use. When this product is properly installed to your trailer, it will virtually eliminate any type of sway, and even offer you a straight line reverse with your vehicle.
One of the best things about this model is that you can easily adjust the tension on the chain and get a more flexible sway control based on the way you drive and the type of vehicle you will use it on.
Moreover, the spring bars offer a smooth control over the movement of your trailer, especially when negotiating corners or during a windy day. However, there are 2 major caveats with this model. The first is that it is quite long as it measures an impressive 46 inches in length.
The second caveat is its price. Indeed, this is an expensive weight distribution hitch that may turn away budget oriented buyers. However, it has a superior build construction and is extremely easy-to-use even for absolute beginners.
Furthermore, the sway control is very smooth and attaching a trailer of up to 10,000 lbs to this weight distribution hitch is a piece of cake.
As with any other trailer accessory, the weight distribution hitch is comprised of several parts that allow it to work.
The trailer hitch is the actual part of the system that connects to your vehicle. It is usually made from a heavy-duty and durable material like steel so as it does not break easily. Moreover, some trailer hitches have a slot system that allows you to connect it to your vehicle quickly and easily without the need for tools.
The shank is usually a metal rod that connects the trailer hitch to the equalizer head or ball mount of the system. One good thing about the shank is that it comes in different sizes and drops that will allow you to adjust to the height of the weight distribution hitch system with regard to the height of your vehicle.
The head assembly is one of the most important parts of the weight distribution system. Indeed, it is the part that connects the trunnion bars or the round bars to your trailer and another trailer hitch to your vehicle. It usually has large holes that come with heavy-duty nuts and bolts for attaching those various components together.
The spring bar is a stabilizer bar that attaches itself to the equalizer head assembly. There are 2 types of spring bars on the market. The first is the trunnion bar which is usually a square bar and that the second is a round bar.
The trunnion bar usually sits to the side of the weight distribution system and slides into the head either at the side or back. Just like any other vehicle part, the trunnion bar in a weight distribution system is numbered and has a serial number. In case you need to replace this bar, you will need to find a trunnion bar that is appropriate for your current weight distribution system.
On the other hand, the round bar is held with metal clips and slide into the head assembly system from a downward position. The round bar is usually best for vehicles with a lot of ground clearance like a tall SUV while the trunnion bar being to the side of the weight distribution system is usually recommended for vehicles like cars with a lower ground clearance.
In most weight distribution systems, the lift bracket is usually a chain that connects the spring bars to the trailer. It is responsible for stabilization, especially when negotiating corners and it will help in removing sway.
Before finding the best weight distribution hitch for the money, some important aspects must be taken into account. Here are some important ones:
There is 2 parts of the lift capacity in a weight distribution hitch. The first is GTW or Gross Trailer Weight and the second is TW or Tongue Weight.
GTW is the maximum weight of the trailer when it is fully loaded. You will need this value in order to know which type of weight distribution hitch to get. You will basically need a weight distribution hitch if the TW value or trailer weight is over 50% of your vehicle's weight. Additionally, in order to calculate the maximum lift capacity of the weight distribution hitch, you use the formula TW/GTW.
Moreover, the tongue weight is usually around 10% to 15% of the GTW. This is how you will know the maximum lift capacity of the hitch system.
A tongue weight that is too big will cause sagging and a tongue weight that is to less will close the head system to rise thus rendering the weight distribution hitch useless.
The spring bar in a weight distribution hitch is responsible for stabilization especially when negotiating corners. It does so by slowly moving in or out of the head assembly when you either turn left or right with your vehicle.
The spring bar comes in two different types: The trunnion bar and the round bar.
The trunnion bar is usually a square bar with a low-profile and sits to the head assembly side.
Generally, the trunnion bar is ideal for vehicles that have a low ground clearance because the trunnion bar does not take a lot of height. Therefore, it is ideal for low-profile vehicles like cars or SUVs with a small rim.
On the other hand, the round bar is usually taller and requires more ground clearance. This type of spring bar is intended for tall vehicles like an SUV.
Both the trunnion bar and the round bar have equal performance and one is not superior. It will all depend on the ground clearance of your vehicle. If you have a tall vehicle, then go with a round bar. For those with a low-profile vehicle like a car, the trunnion bar is generally the best.
Sway control is an interesting feature in a weight distribution hitch that will help prevent the trailer from swaying from side to side, especially when performing corners or on a windy day. A model with this weight control system would provide you with a smoother driving experience and we recommend you keep an eye out for this feature when purchasing a hitch system for your trailer.
In general, the weight distribution hitch is not the easiest trailer accessory to install. However, most systems are delivered with a manual that will show you stepwise how to perform the installation.
Moreover, since the weight distribution hitch is usually made out of metal and heavy, it is preferred to have an additional person that can help you make the connection of the hitch system to your trailer and vehicle.
To make it easier for the user, many manufacturers ship their weight distribution hitch systems with pre-installed components that are already connected. This makes it easier to install, especially for those who have never installed a weight distribution hitch before.
If this is your case, then a hitch system with pre-installed components is probably best for you.
The weight distribution hitch is usually not the cheapest trailer accessory that you can buy.
However, some models are more affordable than others while still offering similar features compared to more expensive hitch systems. Therefore, it is important to consider the feature set of the weight distribution hitch as well as its price and try to find a value for money and suited for your need and budget.
Andersen Hitches No-Sway Weight Distribution Hitch 4in Drop/Rise, 2-5/16in Ball, - Walmart Link
Husky 31423 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch with Bolt-Together Ball Mount/Shank - Walmart Link
EAZ LIFT 48058 1,000 lbs Elite Kit | Includes Distribution, Sway Control and Hitch Ball - Walmart Link
CURT 17063 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch with Integrated Lubrication and Sway - Walmart Link
CURT 17500 TruTrack Weight Distribution Hitch with Sway Control, Up to 10K, 2-In Shank, - Walmart Link
Husky 30849 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch with Sway Control - Walmart Link
Blue Ox BXW1350 TrackPro Weight Distribution Hitch - 13,000 GTW/1,300 TW - Walmart Link
Andersen Hitches No-Sway Weight Distribution Hitch 4in Drop/Rise, 2-5/16in Ball, - eBay Link
Husky 31423 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch with Bolt-Together Ball Mount/Shank - eBay Link
EAZ LIFT 48058 1,000 lbs Elite Kit | Includes Distribution, Sway Control and Hitch Ball - eBay Link
CURT 17063 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch with Integrated Lubrication and Sway - eBay Link
CURT 17500 TruTrack Weight Distribution Hitch with Sway Control, Up to 10K, 2-In Shank, - eBay Link
Husky 30849 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch with Sway Control - eBay Link
Blue Ox BXW1350 TrackPro Weight Distribution Hitch - 13,000 GTW/1,300 TW - eBay Link
As we have seen, the weight distribution hitch is an absolute must-have for those who own a trailer and need to travel on the road in all safety.
This device will safely stabilize your trailer when negotiating corners or during a reverse. It can even help you save gas over the long run since the overall driving becomes more efficient.
In case you have still not found a model that fits your need in our weight distribution hitch review above, we recommend that you go through it one more time.
About Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.
He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.
His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.
Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.