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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Should You Use a Husky Weight Distribution Hitch?

There are many different types and classes of trailer hitches. Regardless of the type of hitch, the class of hitch determines the load it’s equipped to carry when paired with a vehicle that can accept it.

-       Class I hitches are for light trailers only, typically rated up to 2,000 lbs gross trailer weight (GTW). Tongue weight (TW) should not exceed 200 lbs.

-       Class II hitches are for medium weight loads and are usually rated to 3,500 lbs gross trailer weight. Tongue weight should not exceed 300 lbs.

-       Class III hitches are for “large” loads and trailers. Typically rating allows maximum gross trailer weights of 6,000 lbs, with tongue weight not to exceed 600 lbs.

-       Class IV hitches are also for large loads and are typically rated up to 10,000 lbs, with tongue weight not to exceed 1,000 lbs.

-       Class V hitches are for the largest trailers and accessories, and may be rated up to 12,000 lbs; tongue weight should not exceed 1,200 lbs.

There are also a wide range of different types of trailer hitches, such as front mount trailer hitches, 5th wheel trailer hitches, rear receiver trailer hitches, gooseneck trailer hitches, pintle hitches, and others - including special types of trailer hitch known as a weight distribution trailer hitchs. Here at RV Upgrades, we offer a wide range of different weight distribution hitches, including Reese and Husky weight distribution hitches.

Here’s something else. The maximum gross trailer weight within a given class can actually increase when a weight-distribution hitch is used, which means that all things being equal, it may be possible for you to safely tow larger loads with a qualified weight distribution hitch like a Reese or Husky weight distribution hitch.

But to understand why, we need to take a closer look at tongue weight, what it is, and why it matters. 

Tongue Weight: What It Is, Why It Matters 

Gross trailer weight is the weight of the trailer and the load you are towing. This weight does not change and cannot be altered except by lightening the load. Tongue weight, by contrast, is the force that presses down on the tongue of your trailer, at the point where it connects to the hitch. While gross trailer weight cannot be adjusted without altering the load itself, tongue weight can be adjusted with a weight-distribution hitch.

While every hitch has its own specifications, as a general rule of thumb, it’s an accepted best practice not to allow tongue weight to exceed 10% to 15% of the gross trailer weight. Take a look back through the hitch classes above and you will see that the accepted tongue weight for each class lies at 10% or less of the gross trailer weight.

Gross trailer weight affects the handling of the vehicle towing it, to be certain, but tongue weight has a pronounced effect on handling. Tongue weight that is too heavy will shift too much of the load to your rear axle, raising your front axle slightly.

This could result in a number of problems. For one, it will alter your visibility, which can be a hazard. It will also handle the braking performance of your towing vehicle, and since the front axle will be lifted slightly, it can adversely impact your ability to steer effectively. You may also experience trailer sway, which can make it difficult to handle a load safely and effectively.

Sometimes it isn’t always apparent that tongue weight is too high, but let’s cover some of the basic signs that may give it away.

Signs Your Load Is Too Heavy or Poorly Balanced 

If your tongue weight is too high, you may experience some of the following signs that can tip you off:

-       Your load is swaying slightly back and forth while you’re trying to maintain a straight course (trailer sway).

-       Your towing vehicle’s headlights seem to be angled up and off of the road, or are just too high.

-       You can actually see that the rear of your towing vehicle has visibly dipped toward the road when the load is hitched up.

-       You notice a pronounced difference in handling when turning or braking.

If you experience these issues, a weight-distribution hitch may be able to help. Another reason you might want to invest in a Husky weight distribution hitch is if you simply want to tow the maximum capacity load permitted, given the specifications of your vehicle and tow hitch.


How Does a Husky Weight Distribution Hitch Help? 

A weight distribution hitch, like a Husky weight distribution hitch, basically does exactly what its name suggests. It redistributes weight across the hitch and axles so that all of the weight does not fall on one point. Many weight distribution hitches use a system of spring bars that redistribute the weight so that the force affects all of the axles more equally. This means that weight distribution hitches can help with sway control, handling, and safety.

Because weight distribution hitches are specifically designed to help redistribute weight, they are generally reserved for larger loads like campers. By redistributing the weight, weight distribution hitches make it possible for your hitch to tow its maximum capacity. For example, although Class V hitches are typically rated to a maximum gross trailer weight of 12,000 lbs, with a weight-distribution hitch, Class V hitches may be able to tow loads up to 17,000 with a tongue weight not to exceed 1,700 lbs.

It is important to note here that you must be familiar with the limitations and specifications of your specific hitch and vehicle. The numbers given in this article are estimates and not manufacturer specifications. Moreover, a weight-distribution hitch does not enable your vehicle to tow higher loads; it only enables your hitch itself to more effectively manage heavier loads by redistributing the weight of the load.

Get a Husky Weight Distribution Hitch Here!

If you have any specific questions about our different weight distribution hitches or how much you can tow, please feel free to contact us at 866-332-7881 and we will be happy to help make recommendations or suggestions.

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