After almost tipping off your trailer, you may feel a bit nervous driving it again. But instances like this may lead you to a greater understanding of the safe ways of driving trailers. It may also push you to learn how to calculate the gross trailer weight. Furthermore, it may also lead you to inquire about what is “weight distribution system.”
There are risks concomitant with driving trailers. These risks include the risks caused by crosswinds, inadequate spring bar tension, and poor trailer loading. Yet, you can reduce these risks by learning about weight distribution systems.
Some drivers use weight-distribution hitch. They think that this tool can completely end trailer sway. It does help reduce trailer sway due to poor trailer loading; moreover, it also reduces sway caused by inadequate spring bar tension. But it will not completely end trailer sway due to crosswind. But what is this trailer sway?
As mentioned above, several factors can cause trailer sway. Poor trailer loading may lead to trailer sway. Inadequate spring bar tension and crosswind can also cause trailer sway. Moreover, trailer sway, if not reduced, may lead to accidents. Thus, it is necessary beforehand to minimize the risks of the onset of trailer sway. You can use a weight-distributing hitch to reduce trailer sway. But it can only reduce trailer sway due to poor trailer loading and inadequate spring bar tension. But if you want to reduce trailer sway due to crosswind, you should look further for a sway-control device.
You have two options when it comes to finding the right sway-control device. First, you can either have a sway-control device that decreases the sway right after it occurs. You can also go for a device that prevents the onset of sway. Sway-control hitches also have four different types of built-in systems, include the 2-point, friction, dual cam, and 4-point systems. All these types combine both weight distribution hitch and sway control systems. Thus, you don’t need to install them individually.
As a regular driver of tow vehicle and trailer, you should prioritize the aspect of sway control. If money isn’t an issue, you should go for a 4-point system.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Load Leveling / Weight Distribution Hitches with Sway Control
There are also several factors that you should consider when trying to eliminate trailer sway. These factors include the following:
Gross Trailer Weight (GTW)
You may be saying that you don’t need to be a mathematical wizard just to drive a trailer. Yet, you definitely need to calculate if you are a trailer driver. In a way, you should practice your simple mathematical knowledge and calculate the GTW. “But how do I calculate the GTW?” you may ask. Well, GTW is the weight of the trailer right after you have loaded all your loads. This means any weighty object you load into your trailer increases the GTW. So, there’s no need for elaborate formula. Just add all the weights of your loads and voila—you get the GTW.
Weight distribution system necessitates the use of swing bars. Without swing bars, you will find it difficult to leverage the weight on your trailers. Hence, swing bars are crucial to any weight distribution system. Swing bars, however, can be either rounded or trunnion swing bars.
You may be laughing by now upon reading the terms “tongue weight.” You may guffaw and say that tongue weight is easy to measure. All you need to do is get a sharp cutter, a weighing scale, and a lot of guts to cut your tongue. But tongue weight is a figure of speech. Well seriously, tongue weight refers to the downward force that the trailer’s tongue exerts on the tow vehicle’s hitch.
The trailer’s hitch, as well as the tow vehicle’s rear axle, will dive if there is an imbalance between the tongue weight and the gross trailer weight. In such a situation, if you abruptly step on your brake, your tow vehicle may lose its braking traction. Eventually, you may also lose steering control of the front wheels. This situation may prove dangerous. On the other hand, if the tongue weight is too light, you may also be in for a big problem. Your trailer will likely sway. Eventually, you may end up being out of control.
Many experts pegged the acceptable tongue weight at 9 to 15% of the GTW. They got reasons for this calculation. Thus, it is not unwise to follow their advice.
Trailer sway occurs when the trailer’s tongue does not properly push the tow vehicle’s hitch ball downward. This means that the tongue weight of the trailer is too light. This situation is dangerous for it will lead to “trailer sway. The tongue weight also affects the steering of the wheel of the tow vehicle if the tongue weight is too much.
Recommended Sway Control Weight-distributing Hitches
1) Equal-i-zer 4-point Sway Control Hitch
The Equal-i-zer 4-point Sway Control Hitch is an integrated 4 Point Sway Control hitch that offers the fantastic resistance level to the tendency of your trailer to sway. Its hitch’s weight distribution design can effectively transfer the tongue weight of the trailer to the different axles. This keeps the tow vehicle’s front solidly rooted on the road along your driving journey.
Beside that, It also provides both weight distribution and sway control. Thus, with its use, you can efficiently steer and brake, while allowing the system to distribute weight properly. Its design is well-engineered. It works perfectly with all types of bumper-pull trailers. It also works well with horses, RV, cargo, boat, trailers with surge brakes, and utility trailers. Its shanks likewise are available in different sizes. Thus, with the Equal-i-zer, you can go for a custom-fit hitch.
When it comes to tongue and GTW ration, it offers five choices. 400/4,000lbs, 600/6,000lbs, 1,000/10,000lbs, 1,200lbs/12,000lbs, and 1,400/14,000lbs. Out of the box, you’ll get a hitch, weight distribution shank, 2 sway control brackets, patented weight distribution head, 2 spring bars, snap-up lever, spacer rivet and washers, and hitch clip and pin. The Equal-i-zer is impressive, and it is one of your best choices for your weight-distribution needs on your trailer.
2) Blue Ox BXW1500 SWAYPRO Weight Distributing Hitch
The Blue Ox BXW1500 SWAYPRO Weight Distributing Hitch is a very reliable weight distribution system. It is quick to install. You’ll take around 15 to 20 minutes to install it. Its design is awesome with its open design for quick removal of the hitch ball. It is also easy to connect and disconnect. Moreover, it features a powder-coated steel finish for longevity. Its spring bars lock automatically into its place. You can remove it by turning it 90°.
The Signature series Rotating Latches and spring bar attachment automatically checks sway control. Its weight distribution hinges on its hitch head. Hence, you don’t need to fine-tune it or adjust it. You can use this with trailers that sports tongue weight of 1,000lbs to 1,500lbs and 15,000lbs gross towing weight.
As a premium weight distribution hitch, it includes a top-notch sway control system. This sway system is compatible with the majority of electric trailer brake controllers. It definitely makes trailer sway almost non-existent. The Blue Ox stacks up better than the other types of weight distribution hitches. Hence, it is surely a good choice.
3) EAZ LIFT 48069 1200 lbs Elite Kit
The EAZ LIFT 48069 1200lbs Elite Kit includes a 1,200-lbs weight distributing hitch sway control. It also comes with a 2 5/16 hitch ball. The hitch ball and sway control ball come pre-installed. They are even torqued to exact specifications on the adjustable ball mount.
It comes with U-bolts and chain package. These are pre-installed on its spring bars. It has a maximum tongue weight capacity of 1,200lbs. Its maximum gross weight rating, however, is 12,000lbs.
As the most cost-effective option among the three, this one is surely good for those on a budget. With the EAZ, your choices are 600, 800, 1,000, and 1,200lbs when it comes to tongue weight. Its maximum gross weight, of course, is 12,000lbs. Being easy to install with its hitch ball and sway control pre-installed and torqued to perfection, the EAZ LIFT is surely a good choice.