best weight distribution hitch

The 5 Best Weight Distribution Hitches For 2022

If you are someone who loves taking trips outdoors, especially with your family; you’re most likely going to have to buy a camper/travel trailer or RV. Choosing an RV is hard and all, but have you ever thought about buying a weight distribution towing hitch?

I bet you thought everything gets handed to you on a silver plate once you got the RV, that the default hitch provided by the RV manufacturers are sufficient.

Unfortunately, there are a few different scenarios in which your tow vehicle can’t handle the RV or handle it safely. If you are planning to get a new travel trailer to replace your old ones, then maybe the old hitch will become overburdened and unusable as well. These are the signs that you need to get a new weight distribution hitch ASAP.

In the end, what really matters is that your truck hauls the RV to the destination safely, no matter the weather or terrain. There is nothing more terrifying than seeing your travel trailer swaying and fear you might lose control of the situation.

For the adventure-seekers out there, let us discuss this very crucial, magical item that holds your towing system together. Let’s start off with the basics, and then proceed with the most important part of our article, where we will give you the 5 best weight distribution hitches assessed in 5 different criteria.

Quick Recommendations

Weight Distribution Hitch Basics

What is a weight distribution hitch?

A weight distribution hitch is also called a load-equalizing hitch, towing stabilizer hitch or load-leveler hitch. This device is something that will help create a level, stable ride for you. 

Components of a weight distribution system

Weight distribution hitches are part of the weight distribution system, which is a system for supporting the tow vehicle and RV.

There are a few parts of a weight distribution system that we should know.

The first part of this system is of course the trailer hitch, which is commonly a 2-inch receiver. This is where the rest establishes a connection with the tow vehicle.

Second, we will need a device called a shank, as well as a head assembly. These will provide the platform for the hitch ball and the spring bars.

Next, there are spring bars. There are different types of spring bars, and therefore there are different types of weight distribution hitches. The most popular ones are trunnion and round bars. Spring bars are connected to the head assembly as well as a pair of chains.

After installing the above parts, you need to mount two brackets onto the trailer, and then attach the chains to these brackets.

That is all you need for a simple weight distribution system.

Note that there are also systems with other sway control features as well.

best weight distribution hitch
Photo: Getty Images

How does a weight distribution hitch work?

You might have heard of tongue weight or gross trailer weight before. A gross trailer weight is easy to explain. You can probably guess the meaning since the name gave it away. This is the weight of your RV (or whatever vehicle you want to tow). This weight essentially includes everything that your tow car is towing, from cargo to fuel, any additional stuff that you put on the otherwise “fresh out of the store” rig is counted in as well.

The tongue weight is a bit more tricky to explain. You can think of it as the part of the gross weight that pushes downwards on the hitch. This weight is approximately 10 to 15% of the gross trailer weight. The rest of the gross weight presses down on the trailer wheels.

The ratio of tongue weight and gross trailer weight is a crucial part of a safe tow. Imagine if the ratio that you measure is too high, then the front of the RV will obviously dive downwards because of the weight, and the rear part of your car dives downwards as well for the same reason. This is bad since if the rear drops down, the front is almost picked up from the road, it will lose the area of contact with the road to the point that it starts to worsen maneuverability.

On the other hand, if the opposite happens, too little weight of the trailer is put on the hitch, which results in less control over the trailer, making it sway more. This is why it is necessary to find a balance between tongue weight and gross trailer weight.

The hitch is a magical device that allows the trailer and the tow vehicle to become more parallel to the road. Let’s look at the system to see how a weight distribution hitch works. The weight distribution hitch is coupled to the RV using the receiver ball. This is akin to how the ball mount works, but there is a major difference. The WD hitch has spring bars to connect the vehicles as well.

The spring bars themselves play a crucial role in the physics of hitches. With the chains connected to the brackets, they are always in tension. The tongue weight pushes the bars down, but the chains pull them back up. This tension is essentially an opposing force to the tongue weight, which keeps the vehicle level.  

Benefits of weight distribution hitches

Weight distribution hitches doesn’t increase the towing capacity of the tow vehicles beyond its maximum tow weight, but, like its name suggests, it can in fact distribute the weight evenly between the axles on the tow vehicles and and the RV. It is a handy tool indeed.

You can easily see what effects this will have on your next trip (if you buy the right one). With a weight distribution hitch, you can drive safely, better handle your vehicle and control the sway of the rig. In short, these hitches will help reduce the possibility of you losing control of your vehicles, jeopardizing your ride on the road. You don’t want to endanger other civilians and yourself.

Aside from weight distribution hitches, using ball mounts is another way to tow your trailer. We will discuss this device in another article. You might wonder if you should buy a weight distribution hitch or a ball mount? For that I will suggest buying a weight distribution system if your trailer weight is close to your tow vehicle’s weight.

It is a bit more expensive, but it is certainly more advanced technology than the dated ball mount systems. In fact, some manufacturers even state that sway control and weight distribution are required when towing trailers above certain weights. Weight distribution hitches are a must-have.

You can’t just choose any weight distribution hitch you come across, since every hitch has advantages of its own and the combinations of towing vehicle and RVs are generally the dictating factor in deciding on certain weight distribution hitches. Down below we will explore different types of weight distribution hitches (round bar, trunnion bar, andersen) in further depth.  

Related Reviews: Best Fifth Wheel Hitches For Short Bed Trucks

Types Of Weight Distribution Hitches

Round Bar Hitches

Round bar hitches are easy to describe. Round bar hitches have spring bars that are round at the corners. These bars are attached to the ball and the assembly.

Weight distribution hitches of this type are easy to install. Round bar hitches are some of the heaviest haulers on the market.

The simple design means that they don’t deal with potholes and bumps as well as its siblings, but in terms of power, they don’t lose out very much.

Trunnion Bar Hitches

Trunnion bar hitches are different from round bar hitches in that their spring bars are straight, as opposed to curved. The bars’ sectional cut is square.

Compared to the round bar hitches, the trunnion bars don’t extend below the head assembly. The design is a bit different, but do they hold up better than round bar hitches?

The answer is that they are pretty much equals. Advantages of these hitches is that they provide more clearance of the road than round bar hitches do. Round bar hitches do make it harder to adjust the height of the head assembly. 

Andersen Hitches

Andersen hitches are totally different from the ones above. This type of hitch can only be installed on a truck. If you search it up right now, you will see why. It takes up a bit of space on the back of the truck, but it is light and powerful. The best thing that users comment about the Andersen hitches is that they are really easy to install and take apart.

This type of hitch features dampers and chains to reduce sway and bouncing, so it is quite different from hitches that use spring bars.

travel trailer weight distribution hitch

All three types of hitches have different features and benefits, but in the end, it all comes down to the tongue weight rating on the hitches. If you get yourself a high quality hitch that will last a long time and has the capacity that you need, then you have nothing to worry about, as the type of WD hitches is just a matter of preference.

Let us look at some of the best camper weight distribution hitches.  

5 Best Weight Distribution Hitches: In-depth Reviews

1. Best Overall:  Camco EAZ LIFT Elite Weight Distribution Hitch

EAZ LIFT 48056 600 lbs Elite Kit | Includes Distribution, Sway Control
Check prices and reviews

Specs:

  • Brand: Camco
  • Sway control: Yes
  • Type: Round bar
  • Dimensions: 31”x11.5”x7.44”
  • Hitch ball: 2-5/16”
  • Weight: 30lbs
  • Tongue weight limit: 600 lbs
  • Gross weight rating: 10000lbs

Why we love it:

This product is really one of the best things that we have ever seen when it comes to weight distribution hitches. It only comes with several parts that you can easily assemble: the weight distribution hitch, the sway control and an additional hitch ball. In addition there are also mounting hardware. These parts are pre-installed, which means that everything is put together beforehand, so that customers like you and I don’t have to be confused. In terms of performance, this product is definitely an EAZ lifter, and it blows a lot of aftermarket hitches out of the competition.

With this product, one can easily adjust the hitch ball height, it has a positive latching action, and it works exceptionally well as a weight distribution system. Its sway control is a really nice addition as well. You can choose not to use it, but who in their right minds wouldn’t?

One little thing I want to note is that you might have to pull over every time you’re going into town and then switch it off, since it might be a little bit noisy. This procedure might be a little hassle, but it is just a really easy little maneuver that works wonders. What is better is that the price is only $347 for a 600lb hitch on Amazon.

Also, for those concerned, this product’s warranty is up to 5 years. Within that period of time, you are going to get all the best support from Camco’s staff. For its astounding features, it is safe to say that this hitch is the best overall weight distribution hitch for travel trailers.

Pros:

  • Great weight distribution capabilities.
  • Little noise
  • Good bang for your buck
  • Easily installed, but not with the instructions

Cons:

  • The instructions can be difficult to wrap your head around for some people. Some might need to find help on Youtube.
  • Anti-sway bars might be noisy and loud for some people, especially if you’re turning or when you’re in town.

2. Best Value: Fastway E2 2-Point Sway Control Round Bar Hitch

Fastway e2 2-Point Sway Control Round Bar Hitch, 94-00-1061
Check prices and reviews

Specs:

  • Brand: Fastway
  • Sway control: Yes
  • Type: Round bar
  • Ball: None
  • Dimensions: 10.5”x33”x6”
  • Weight: 30lbs 
  • Tongue weight limit: 600 lbs
  • Gross weight rating: 6000lbs

Why we love it:

This product has 10 years of warranty, which is a very nice offer since hitches can get damaged easily depending on how hard you use them. You can use this hitch for anything you like, be it RVs, boats or other kinds of cargo and trailers.

The hitch is advertised to have improved steering and stopping power. Unlike the EAZ LIFT hitch above, the sway control is built-in, so you can’t remove it if you want to. Fortunately, noise isn’t a problem with this sway control system.

You’re able to hitch, tow and unhitch more seamlessly than ever with the sway control. With this feature, you can drive on the highway with confidence that the possibility of an accident is close to null. You can make the most outrageous turns and quick swerving motions without risk for safety. Of course, that we don’t recommend.

If you aren’t the best with mechanical parts, then don’t worry. There is a step-by-step instructions manual to help you with the process. You can easily do it yourself in as long as 20 minutes with only a few tools to start installing. Oh, and have we mentioned that it is incredibly cheap for such a good quality hitch? From $400 to $450, you can have all the different hitch models of this product.

Pros:

  • The best bang for your buck heavy duty hitch you will find
  • No sway, no bounce
  • Fairly simple installation

Cons:

  • You might have to get your trailer hitch replaced or get someone to install the right sized ball to fit your trailer hitch, since they might not fit together.

3. Most Flexible: Andersen Hitches Weight Distribution Hitch

CURT 17063 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch with Integrated Lubrication and Sway Control
Check prices and reviews

Specs:

  • Brand: Andersen Hitches
  • Sway control: Yes
  • Type: Round bar
  • Dimensions: 31”x11.5”x7.44”
  • Hitch ball: 2” or 2-5/16”
  • Weight: 52.49lbs
  • Tongue weight limit: 1400 lbs
  • Gross weight rating: 14000 lbs

Why we love it:

Andersen Hitches are the pioneers in making the type of hitches known as the Andersen hitch. I must say, these weight distribution hitches are innovative. However, if you don’t have a pickup truck to plant Andersen hitches on, then Andersen also offers other unseen products that are surprisingly powerful.

The principles behind this product’s functionality is astounding: Whereas traditional hitches utilize spring bars, Andersen used motion-dampening chains springs. Traditional hitches can have unnecessary bounce due to the bars dipping and releasing kinetic energy in succession.

Andersen hitches can resist bounce by pulling the chains at the correct angles. This product also has sway control that can adapt to the tongue weight’s load. This effectively means that the heavier the weight, the greater the sway control.

Andersen achieved this through the use of tapered ball, friction cone and the anti-sway ball housing. Even better yet, the system is very light and grease-free. If weight is a problem for you, then this is definitely the upgrade you want.

The installation is simple, so you should be able to get going after a few minutes. The driving experience will certainly surprise you. One of the best travel trailer weight distribution systems I have ever seen. I guess we shouldn’t be too skeptical about trying out new innovative WDH models like this.

Pros:

  • Great weight distribution capabilities.
  • Little noise, very lightweight compared to competitors
  • Little to no sway, no bounce, no grease
  • Flexible in its installation, perfect for all kinds of RVs.

Cons:

  • You might have to line up exactly the same when you unhitch as when you hitch up.

4. Best For Heavy Load: CURT 17063 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch

ANDERSEN HITCHES | Weight Distribution Hitch | No Bounce No Sway
Check prices and reviews

Specs:

  • Brand: CURT
  • Sway control: Yes
  • Type: Round bar
  • Dimensions: 34.25”x12.25”x8”
  • Hitch ball: 2-5/16”
  • Weight: 100lbs
  • Tongue weight limit: 1000 to 1400 lbs
  • Gross weight rating: 10000 to 14000 lbs

Why we love it:

CURT is definitely one of the go-to brands when it comes to weight distribution hitches. Their round bar hitch weighs 100lbs, which is much heavier than most distribution hitches. That is because of the high quality build. It is made from alloy steel, so it is inherently strong and durable and is capable of handling heavy loads.

It is versatile, boasting a shank that is highly adjustable, so that owners can fit receivers of various sizes depending on their needs. It is definitely one of the easiest choices for those looking to tow large trailers.

This product also features a trailer sway control bar, and a relatively surprising addition to the traditional design of weight distribution hitches. What I’m talking about is none other than the lubrication system. CURT claimed that the lubrication is automatic and continuous, so noise and rough handling isn’t an issue with CURT’s WD hitch. With its black powder coated finish on top of the alloy metal, the hitch is resistant to corrosion and rust.

Of course, like many well-received WD products on the market, CURT’s product does its main duty well, providing level towing and increased safety compared to traditional ball hitches. As a travel trailer weight distribution hitch, you can’t go wrong with CURT.

Pros:

  • New continuous lubrication
  • A worthwhile investment for your trailers
  • Great value, many weight capacities to choose from, goes up to 14000lbs, not many products have this kind of numbers
  • Super durable and strong
  • CURT is a very reliable household brand, you can count on their products’ quality and customer service

Cons:

  • The weight distribution hitch parts are purchased separately
  • Customers have complained about installation, as it might not be done as easily as others on this list, still an easy installation for most.
  • Is a little bit heavy

5. Best For Sway Control: Husky 3218 Center Line TS with Spring Bars

Husky 32218 Center Line TS with Spring Bars
Check prices and reviews

Specs:

  • Brand: Husky
  • Sway control: Yes
  • Type: Trunnion bar
  • Dimensions: 36.5”x13.75”x8.75”
  • Hitch ball: 2-5/16”
  • Weight: 116lbs
  • Tongue weight limit: 800-1200 lbs
  • Gross weight rating: 8000-12000 lbs

Why we love it:

This is the heaviest product we have seen so far, although nowhere near the heaviest product on the market. There are reasons behind its weight. The developers of the hitch claimed to have worked on making it for 3 years. I would say that it has paid off nicely.

It is made of alloy steel, stronger and more durable than most metals, and can tow trailers up to 12000 lbs. Everything is forged and hardened, including the hitch receiver. It is relatively easier to install, thanks to the EZ Adjust frame brackets, also it is easy to hook up.

Same as the Fastway e2 product, this hitch has the sway control built in, but trust me when I say that this sway control feature performs much better than anything you have seen. The driving experience is markedly quieter than most competitors, you can say that it is engineered to perform. It reacts to sway earlier than its competitors. You don’t need to install anything in addition to what is provided.

If you are looking for the most quiet, the smoothest towing experience thanks to superior sway control, then the Husky Center Line TS is your best bet. This is undoubtedly the best hitch that Husky has produced. It is even better when Husky is only charging a little bit above $500 for this extraordinary product.

As long as you got the brand new, undamaged product, you won’t have any trouble towing most kinds of trailers. This is definitely up there as one of the best weight distribution hitches with sway control.

Pros:

  • Excellent sway control
  • Little noise, allows smooth driving experience
  • Strong and durable, high weight capacity
  • Good value, everything is already included, so you don’t have to pay for additional hardware

Cons:

  • Might be too heavy for one person to carry
  • The customer support might not be consistent with their service.
  • That’s it for our weight distribution hitch reviews. These are some of the best travel trailer hitches that we’ve come across. Now, let’s discuss the different criteria that you might want to choose your hitches based on.

How To Choose The Best Weight Distribution Hitch

Weight Capacity 

The first thing that people look for (especially those who have little to no experience dealing with WD hitches) is the weight capacity. If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. If a product can’t even tow the weight you want, then there is no point even looking at other features of the hitch, no matter how great.

If you look at the more prominent brands, or some lesser known brands as well, their products’ models always come with a lot of variants with maximum capacity ranging from really low to really high.

What I mean by this is, companies are giving us so much freedom when choosing hitch capacity, that weight capacity shouldn’t even be the first thing to consider anymore. Still, you still need to know what weight class your next weight distribution hitch needs to be in before you purchase. 

Sway Control

Sway control has become an indispensable part of a good weight distribution hitch. There are a lot of brands that offer great sway control features in their products. Not all sway control is the same. There are a lot of factors that matter when it comes to making good anti-sway bars and other kinds of sway control.

A good sway control system will reduce the vehicle’s side-to-side motion by bracing the weight of the tow vehicle’s axle against the chassis. It will also function to help distribute the RV’s weight evenly.

Sometimes you might not need sway control, but if you are towing a large tall trailer, the effect of wind can be overwhelming and can make your trailer swerve hard.

This can be devastating and can result in a crash when the tow vehicle-RV couple meets with a sharp turn. I’m sure you can imagine it. Sway control is therefore necessary to keep the side wheels in contact with the ground.

Pre-Installed Components 

If you are a fan of DIYs, then you might even try to find a weight distribution hitch product that is DIY, however, most people aren’t that passionate about DIYs, since they can be time consuming. Therefore most of us tend to opt for WDHs with pre-installed components.

Another thing to think about is that pre-installed components are here to ensure that the owners don’t mess up. Weight distribution hitches are some very costly investments. By messing up the installation, hitches are prone to falling apart mid-way and parts get damaged.

By having parts put together prior to shipping, manufacturers minimize the risk of being complained about issues related to missing screws or specific wrenches, etc.  

Ease of Installation

By using pre-installed components, it is quite easy to hook up the system. If you are still in the dark about the installation process, just use the internet to your advantage.

Durability 

A rule of thumb when talking about durability is that the higher the price, the better the durability. Of course, I’m not talking about scams.

Most weight distribution hitches that are priced in the $500s are generally a little better in terms of durability than similar products that only cost you $300s.

Most of the time, durability is heavily influenced by the materials that make up the hitch. An alloy steel hitch will undoubtedly hold up better when towing than most other combinations of metals.

You don’t want to wear the hitch receiver or the spring bars too much in a short amount of time, as they are crucial parts of a weight distribution system. 

Price

The price for weight distribution hitches is high, but you don’t have to go for the most expensive ones. On average, weight distribution hitches are around $200 to $400, so I think that going for the middle, which is $300 and above, is the way to go. Cheaper hitches are made of cheaper materials and technologies.

There are always times when somebody gets a flawed product, and in my experience, the more you pay, the less the possibility of getting flawed products and the more support you will get from the manufacturers.

In the end, what matters is that you find that sweet spot to balance out the trade-off between durability, max weight load, functionality (sway control, innovative technologies) and price.

Weight Distribution Hitches: FAQs

1. Are weight distribution hitches worth it for campers?

RVs or campers, whatever you call it, come in many shapes and sizes. Many people have tried to create towing systems on their own, or use older towing systems to tow weights way above its recommended ratings as this is obviously dangerous. Making your own towing systems can be fun, but in the end, you can’t really test its durability extensively the way companies do, so it might break on the road, which is devastating.

Besides, considering the precision of mechanical products, I reckon it might be hard even for experienced mechanics to make weight distribution hitches that are capable of providing support for the tow vehicles as well as the sway control for the RVs. I think that weight distribution hitches, especially good ones, can definitely give you peace of mind when towing large rigs such as RVs and trailers.

2. What type of weight distribution hitch is best?

Round bar weight distribution hitches are the most prevalent type of WDH on the market. Trunnion bars are similarly designed and are also famous.

I think that traditional WDHs are the most reliable types of hitches, although not that much more than Andersen hitches. They have been around for a longer time, and you are sure to find more expert support for your round bar. All the large brands still have round bar hitches as their signature products.

However, I believe that the best weight distribution hitches are Andersen hitches. Andersen hitches were originally made by Andersen. Andersen is a very innovative company in the field of WDH. Most of their products are really easy to install and remove. Some of the time, they can really outperform hitches of traditional types.

Beside being extremely powerful, towing with Andersen hitches usually produce little to no sound. They also put some reasonable price tags on their products as well. I will let you decide for yourself.   

3. Do weight distribution hitches increase tongue weight of a trailer?

The answer is definitely no. Just think about it. What if weight distribution hitches actually increase the tongue weight of a trailer? Of course there would be warnings about it. If these hitches were to increase the tongue weight, then there wouldn’t be any need to include the max tongue load capacity.

Owners wouldn’t know beforehand how the tongue weight would become after hitching up with a WDH, so estimating the tongue weight in order to buy the right weight distribution hitch would be complicated, since weight distribution hitches can be 100lbs or more.

No but seriously, weight distribution hitches don’t contribute to the tongue weight, they are only here to maximize the capacities of the vehicles for towing. You don’t have to count WDH’s weight when calculating tongue weight.

4. What Is the difference between weight distribution & sway control?

There are weight distribution hitches but there are also sway control hitches, and there are also weight distribution hitches with sway control as a feature. When these two are mentioned as features of a weight distribution hitch, customers may get confused between the two, since they are often used together. However, both concepts are markedly different from one another.

Weight distribution is, as its name suggests, the act of distributing weight. The tow vehicle needs to have the tongue weight (which is the weight that the trailers exert on the hitch) distributed evenly amongst its axles.

This is necessary to ensure that the tow vehicle’s front wheels don’t leave the ground. That they maintain traction with the road is crucial to ensure that the driver has effective control over his vehicle. For a small trailer, towing might not need to involve weight distribution systems, but once the weight exceeds a certain threshold, a weight distribution is then recommended. RVs or campers in general will require that you have a weight distribution hitch in any circumstances.

A sway control hitch is a little bit different. It is not required to tow anything. However, when you look at certain events where weather conditions and difficult terrains make towing a hellish experience. Some examples of when sway control might become useful include: roads with minimal traction (too smooth), running at a high speed, high wind speeds, underinflated tires, etc. You can definitely come up with certain scenarios where towing gets rough.

On these occasions, you might find your trailer swinging side to side, waiting for the slightest change before it can tip over and cause an accident (and break everything inside).

Nowadays, weight distribution hitches with special sway bars for sway control have become a norm. A good weight distribution hitch for campers should give owners sway control of some forms.

5.  What is the best weight distribution hitch with sway control?

As we have discussed above, the Husky 3218 Center Line TS is our top pick for the best weight distribution hitch with sway control. Of course, there are a lot of weight distribution hitches out there that have great sway control. The Andersen 3344 No sway weight distribution hitch is also a great sway controller hitch for any type of RVs. One product that has been praised by many is the Equal-i-zer 4-point sway control hitch.

The sway control is provided by the trunnion bar design, and it surely served its purpose very well. If you are looking to buy this product, then I think the only downside is the price. All in all, in general, the weight distribution hitches with the best sway control features are trunnion bar hitches, you can easily tell that from the sideways swaying design of the bars.

Leave a Reply