What Size Weight Distribution Hitch Do I Need

What Size Weight Distribution Hitch Do I Need?

If you own a trailer or regularly tow heavy loads, you may have heard of weight distribution hitches. These hitches are designed to evenly distribute the weight of your trailer or load across all of your vehicle’s axles, ensuring safer and more controlled towing. However, choosing the right size weight distribution hitch for your vehicle and trailer is crucial to its effectiveness. Let’s explore how to determine the appropriate size and some frequently asked questions regarding weight distribution hitches.

Determining the Size:

1. Gross Trailer Weight (GTW): The first step in finding the right weight distribution hitch is to know the gross trailer weight. This refers to the total weight of your trailer and its contents. You can usually find this information in the owner’s manual or on the trailer’s identification plate.

2. Tongue Weight (TW): The tongue weight is the portion of the trailer’s weight that is applied to the towing vehicle’s hitch. It is typically around 10-15% of the gross trailer weight. You can measure the tongue weight using a specialized scale or by using a bathroom scale and a couple of boards to distribute the weight evenly.

3. Weight Distribution Hitch Ratings: Weight distribution hitches come in different weight capacities. These ratings indicate the maximum GTW they can handle. To choose the right size, ensure that the weight distribution hitch’s GTW rating is equal to or greater than the gross trailer weight.

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4. Tongue Weight Capacity: Apart from the GTW rating, weight distribution hitches also have a tongue weight capacity. This capacity refers to the maximum tongue weight the hitch can handle. Make sure the hitch’s tongue weight capacity matches or exceeds the measured tongue weight of your trailer.

FAQs about Weight Distribution Hitches:

1. Do I need a weight distribution hitch for my trailer?

Weight distribution hitches are recommended for trailers with a gross trailer weight of more than 5,000 pounds or if the tongue weight exceeds 500 pounds. They help improve stability, handling, and braking performance, reducing the risk of accidents.

2. Can I use any weight distribution hitch for my vehicle?

No, it is essential to choose a weight distribution hitch that fits your specific vehicle’s towing capacity and trailer weight. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or seek advice from a professional to ensure compatibility.

3. Can I use a weight distribution hitch on a small trailer?

While weight distribution hitches are commonly used for larger trailers, they can also benefit smaller trailers. If you experience swaying or instability when towing a smaller trailer, a weight distribution hitch can provide added control and safety.

4. How do I properly set up a weight distribution hitch?

Proper setup is crucial for the effectiveness of a weight distribution hitch. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, ensuring the hitch is level, the spring bars are properly tensioned, and the trailer is properly connected to the hitch.

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5. Do weight distribution hitches eliminate the need for trailer brakes?

No, weight distribution hitches do not replace the need for trailer brakes. They enhance the control and stability of the towing vehicle but do not directly affect the braking system of the trailer. Trailer brakes are still necessary for safe towing.


Choosing the right size weight distribution hitch is essential for safe and controlled towing. By considering your trailer’s gross trailer weight and tongue weight, as well as the weight distribution hitch’s ratings, you can ensure a proper fit. Remember to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or seek professional advice if you are unsure. With the right weight distribution hitch, you can enjoy a smoother and safer towing experience.


  • Laura @ 262.run

    Laura, a fitness aficionado, authors influential health and fitness write ups that's a blend of wellness insights and celebrity fitness highlights. Armed with a sports science degree and certified personal training experience, she provides expertise in workouts, nutrition, and celebrity fitness routines. Her engaging content inspires readers to adopt healthier lifestyles while offering a glimpse into the fitness regimens of celebrities and athletes. Laura's dedication and knowledge make her a go-to source for fitness and entertainment enthusiasts.