Many of us haul stuff with our trucks. Loading them up with thousands of pounds can seriously affect the way the vehicle drives and rides. A badly hooked up trailer could lower the rear-end of the truck (sag) which will affect the steering ability.
It will also impact the braking distance (even more so than the extra weight you’re lugging), your vision, and light adjustment. It makes the dangerous element of towing a trailer even more dangerous.
The typical guidelines state that if your load is 50% or more of the weight of the tow vehicle, you need a weight distributing system to make it work correctly. But even then, you need the right system. Buying one that isn’t rated high enough is the same as not having one. And using one that’s rated too high could bring on a whole fresh set of problems.
Best Weight Distribution Hitch And Sway Control
Do The Math
You need to know what size (weight rating) you need. It’s pretty simple, but I’ll explain it anyway.
A weight-distributing system has two weight settings. These are the Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) and the Tongue Weight (TW). The trailer weight is a complete weight as you’d be towing it, fully loaded, ready to go. If you don’t know this, you could have the trailer weighed on a specialist scale. The weight distributing system must at least meet this weight as a minimum.
The tongue weight is determined by everything that sits rear of the rear axle, including the trailer. But, it’s not the full weight of the trailer. It’s what sits on the towing system, typically it’s between 10 – 15% of the gross trailer weight. This can be measured using a tongue weight scale.
From the two measurements, the tongue weight is the most crucial to get near as dammit. The GTW can be more, but the tongue weight is what’s going to affect the ride. It the rating is too high, the trailer will bounce down the road.
It’s important to remember that your trailer hitch must be rated for a weight distribution system. Check the rating label for information on this. If no rating is listed for a weight-distributing system, then it can’t be used.
It’s also worth noting that some weight distributing systems come with built-in trailer sway control. That’s handy if your trailer tends to get blown about by the wind, but not always needed. It’s a judgment call on your part, but prices aren’t necessarily too far apart with sway control.
1,000 lbs. TW, 10,000 lbs. GTW
The Equal-i-zer includes the standard hitch shank, but no towing ball – available separately.
This kit has been voted as the number one choice on the road for six consecutive years. So, they must be doing something right. It has been designed and engineered to work with nearly all bumper-pull trailers, including cargo, boat, horse, RV and those fitted with surge brakes.
The integrated 4-point sway control offers high levels of resistance and control of the dreaded sway. Due to the patented design, essentially, the kit transfers the weight to all axles. This makes for safer driving and eliminates at least part of the stress when towing. Don’t worry if your towing hitch shank isn’t standard. Equal-i-zer offers a variety of sizes when it comes to the shank.
A professional installer can get this fitted in around an hour, but for the home mechanic that doesn’t fit these every day, it will be around double that. Included in the kit is towing hitch shank, patented design towing hitch head, sway control brackets, spring bars, snap-up lever, spacer rivets & washers, and hitch pin & clip. No need to remove the system to back up.
This is definitely at the more costly end of the range, but it gives supreme control and is well-engineered. If money’s no object, this should be the best weight distribution hitches with sway control on your list.
800 – 1,200 lbs. TW, 12,000 GTW
”The most dramatic new weight distributing system on the market today.” It’s true that the Husky 32218 Center Line Hitch is quieter than most of the competition. It’s perhaps lighter also. You’ll have none of the noise problems associated with sway or weight distributing systems from the competition. Perhaps that’s because it’s been in development for over three years.
The hitch ball is factory fitted and pre-torqued (so no messing around with that.) All of the components feature a forged or heavy-duty hardened steel. Durability shouldn’t be an issue as long as they’ve got the hardening process right. (If it’s too hard it could crack.) You get everything in the kit you need, including adjustable, easy to fit brackets which are a universal fit.
The hitch combats sway as well as distributing the weight of the trailer, and by all accounts, the anti-sway feature is one of the best on the market.
No need to remove to back up.
This is solid engineering at a good price. It’s less than half of some of the others here. So, if you’re looking to fit a quality WD system without spending huge money, this is a great choice.
- Rating: 4.1 / 5
- Brand: Andersen
1,400 lbs. TW, 14,000 lbs. GTW
Heavy-duty haulage, perhaps a little too heavy at a TW of 1,400 lbs. But, if you’re hauling that kind of weight, you can’t go wrong with this kit.
The Andersen Mfg 3350 has 4″ of adjustability for height and distribution. It offers unparalleled sway control that’s self-adjusting. Set it once and forget it. The kit itself is well made. Although it seems a little basic (especially for the price), this is almost a new way of thinking, and it works.
You get universal frame brackets that can cope with everything from 3 – 6″. With a ‘grease free’ system, the tow ball and coupler are easier to move in one fluid movement. It incorporates the Andersen ‘True Motion Dampening’ system, giving trailer luggers some of the best anti-sway and anti-bounce driving possible.
Andersen says it’s the simplest and quietest WD system on the market. The kit is available with a 4″ or 8″ drop & rise – depending on your need.
No need to disconnect the system to back up.
1,200 lbs. TW, 12,000 lbs. GTW
EAZ-LIFT produced the first-ever patented weight distributing system in North America over fifty years back. They know a thing or two about WD systems.
This weight distribution hitch kit comes with everything you need, including a pre-fitted and pre-torqued tow ball (2 5/16″) to the adjustable ball mount. The U-bolts and chains are also pre-installed on the spring bars. You quite literally fit this to the vehicle & trailer and you’re good to go.
The kit provides excellent anti-sway control and of course weight distribution. It has adjustability for a 2.5″ drop or a 5.5″ rise.
It’s cheap and cheerful, but it works well. If you’re looking for an excellent WD or sway control system, but don’t want to break the bank, the Elite kit should be worth looking at. There are more complicated systems available, but do you really need all that complication?
- Rating: 4.2 / 5
- Brand: Reese
1,000 lbs. TW, 10,000 lbs. GTW
Everything you need to make your towing life easier & safer is right in the box. Similar to the EAZ LIFT, the sway control kit and tow ball are pre-fitted and pre-torqued. There’s no need to get involved in changing things around or trying to torque them up.
The kit deals with sway and weight distribution, but some consumers have noted that it is quite noisy when on the move. Plus, you do need to disconnect it when backing up. It’s quite simple to do so, but there are other kits available where that doesn’t need to happen.
This is one of the cheapest kits here, but the quality of the components doesn’t suffer because of it. It’s all quality material with a fabricated head and welded hitch bar. The price differential really shows up in usability.
The bonus side of simplicity is that it’s easy to install. Even for those that don’t do it professionally, it will only take around an hour.
Overall, it offers sway and weight distribution. It’s simple yet effective and has a 10-year limited warranty. That’s why it’s on the list of best weight distributing hitches.
1,500 lbs. TW
The Blue OX SWAYPRO has been designed to give excellent anti-sway properties along with weight distribution. It works with a standard coupler and has clamp-on latches. Everything is pre-adjusted so there’s no fine-tuning needed – fit & forget.
The unit is made with spring steel, which overall gives a softer feel and a smoother ride, with very little noise when in use and driving along. It’s probably worth noting that Blue Ox is one of the favored brands fitted by professionals. It’s a quality product with excellent ride characteristics and durability.
This particular model is for serious load-lugging. The stated tongue weight is 1,500 lbs. This should mean that the gross trailer weight is close to 15,000 lbs. It isn’t for lightweight trailers. Fitting it to something lightweight won’t work for you. It will be harsh and rigid.
If you’re looking for a heavy-weight WD and anti-sway system, then the Blue Ox should be considered. This is one of the most well-known on the market. #1 for heavy hauling.