People who frequently tow heavy loads with their vehicles usually have a problem keeping the trailer and alike from swaying around. In order to ensure a smooth and uneventful trip, something needs to be done to balance out the weight and keep the ride stable. That is when a weight-distribution hitch can come in especially handy. With it installed, the driver control of the towing vehicle and its trailer is considerably improved. If you are about to get such a nice hitch in the near future then this article got some interesting pieces of information for you.
Weight is the decisive factor when it comes to towing and an overweigh trailer can be quite dangerous if improperly handled. Such a thing can lead to a sudden loss of traction, insufficient steering, and increased rolling vulnerability. Yet with the presence of the weight distribution hitch, everything can be effectively deal with. So how does a weight-distribution hitch work anyway? Why is it needed to tow heavy trailers? You can find the answer to these question right below
How does a weight-distribution hitch work
First, let talk about the construction of the hitch and the way it operates. Its body possesses adjustable spring bars that you can modify to match the current needs. The bars in the hitch serve as the weight equalizer. When an uplift force is applied to them then it will raise the trailer tongue and the towing vehicle back to the same level. In the normal towing case, the back axle of the towing vehicle supports not the trailer alone but the vehicle itself too. As a result, the front axle is slightly raised while the back is kept comparatively lower than usual.
Operating the vehicle in such a position can be quite difficult and greatly affect the performance of your vehicle. From steering to braking, everything is not as good as it used to be and the towed trailer is prone to sway uncontrollably. The driver’s vision may also be impaired or at best limited due to the awkward cockpit angle. But with the weight distribution hitch installed, the issue can be dealt with effectively. With its spring bars, the hitch distributes the weight so it’s supported by both the rear and the front axle.
When the axles are in proper contact with the ground again, the towing vehicle can resume its operation like before. By elevating the back axle, the weight distribution hitch ensures that your vehicle is perfectly level at all times. Therefore, the towing can proceed without any difference from a normal ride. Besides the weight, swaying is another common problem and major hindrance when you town the trailer, and the weight distribution hitch can deal with it as well. This is greatly appreciated by people with a formidable and heavy trailer to tow.
An abrupt sway on the road at high speed can quickly lead to a disastrous traffic accident with fatal results. There are several things that can be the cause of a trailer swaying. While weight is among them, the one you need to worry about most of the time is the crosswind. The standard weight distribution hitch can reduce swaying due to weight but it has little effect dealing with crosswinds. Luckily, you can outfit the hitch with additional features to keep the swaying under control or outright eliminate it.
So what you need is a sway control device. You can either go after independent products or buy a weight-distribution hitch with the control as a built-in system. The former kick in right after the sway is in motion while the latter prevents it from taking place. Depend on your preference and the budget, you can get whatever suits you the most. Each of them got its pros and cons so consider your options and make a wise decision:
Control devices of this style come up with a reaction that keeps the sway from getting worse when it already happens. The reaction can take the form of electrically engage trailer brake or friction resistance. Either way, it put a stop the trailer sideways movement and brings it back under the driver control. You have to do some research beforehand to get a suitable product for your trailer though. They come with several requirements and unique activation method which require user attention before and after installation.
Devices in this category may already come installed in your weight distribution hitch. They stop the sway before it can begin instead of coming up with a response after that like the reactive type. That is why many regard them as the best choice for swaying control. By forming a rigid connection with the trailer and the towing vehicle, they leave no chance for sway to occur. The methods they use consist mostly of tension and friction to hold everything in a straight line. Certain models did have an issue of tight cornering.
Why it is needed
Well technically, Class 1 and 2 trailers can be towed just fine without a weight-distribution hitch. But if you intend to tow a trailer that is a Class 3,4 or 5, you should definitely use the hitch. Or if you experience excessive swaying or have a hard time maneuvering around, grab the hitch as well. When you go out and buy a weight-distribution hitch, ensure that it has a suitable rating. Make your decision base on the class of trailer, the weight of the towed load, and several circumstances factor. As long as you do that then you can have a satisfying purchase.
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And that would be it, not too hard to absorb, right? “How does a weight-distribution hitch work? ” That may be what you ask yourself when you are getting used to its operation. Well, it’s fairly easy to understand after a while. Read through the above to have a full grasp of it so you can use the hitch in a manner that suits you the most.
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