How To Set-Up A Weight Distribution Hitch Correctly

When the trailer is connected to a tow vehicle using a hitch, it is normal that the weight of the tongue lowers the back of the vehicle and then the front will rise. The primary reason of weight distribution is to eliminate the tow vehicle’s extra weight from the rear axle of the tow vehicle and transfer it on the front and trailer wheels.

How To Set-Up A Weight Distribution Hitch Correctly

These tips are generic and can be used by anyone, but it is advised that you read the manufacturer’s instructions so you can have additional information and accurate assembly instructions. To make your weight distribution hitch perform at optimum level, you need to load the tow vehicle like when you will be towing. This means that you need to load everyone and the cargo into the vehicle like you are going on a trip. You need to do this when you are close to home so that your family doesn’t have to sit in the vehicle as you begin taking measurements and make proper adjustments. You can also have a friend with you who can take the outlined measurements, or look for a friend who has the same weight as you to get you stimulated in the tow vehicle as you record measurements.

If your towing vehicle is equipped with suspension leveling system that is automatic, you have to deactivate it prior to connecting the trailer to the vehicle, but do this after the cargo or passenger weight is added.

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is take measurements because this is very helpful when you get to the steps for adjustments. You can begin by aligning both the vehicle and the trailer on flat ground, make sure it is positioned straight, without any connection to the trailer. Measure and jot down the height that is uncoupled located at the openings on the wheel at the rear and front, as well as the coupled height of the trailer.

Step 2

For you to be able to take measurements properly, you can use tape for marking the spot since you need to take measurements again later. Use pieces of tapes to mark the spots you measured so that it becomes parallel to the ground. Get a piece of tape and put it on top of the front and rear wheel openings, but only on one side.

Step 3

The next thing to do is to move the trailer coupler at a lower position and load it on the hitch ball while the coupler latch is closed. By using the tongue of the jack, the trailer coupler should be raised and the rear at the ball should measure 3”. The bars in the spring have to be inserted into the head sockets of the hitch. Using the lift in the unit position that is raised, you need to firmly pull it straight up on the chain used in the spring bar. Look for the closest link to the chain hook. Do a countdown for the two links and that will be the one you will use for hooking.

Step 4

Raise the trailer tongue so that the ball fits underneath when you are backing the tow vehicle and the ball can be placed underneath the coupler. The trailer tongue should be lowered until the coupler is already resting on top of the ball without loading a lot of weight on the hitch, and the latch for the coupler can be locked in position.

With the use of the tongue jack, raise the trailer’s front part until it starts to level again. The spring bars have to be inserted into the hitch head and the other ends should swing towards the trailer while the saddles are positioned upright. Lift the chain up so it moves closer to the saddle. Firmly lift up the chain and mark the upper section of the chain found below the saddle. This link can be used as a beginning point for hooking to the saddles.

You need to use the tongue jack to raise the trailer’s tongue for approximately 2.” Detach the retaining clip and start to lower the saddles, the desired link have to be inserted into the saddle, raise the saddle back up vertically using the handle/bar that can be removed and then insert the retaining clip. Be careful when you raise the saddle back to vertical position. Too much pressure can make the saddle behave like a sling-shot together with the handle bar. If you cannot lift the saddle back vertically, raise the trailer tongue a little more and make an attempt again.

Step 5

If the links that are between the spring bar and the lift are less than 6, there should be an increase in the angle of the head assembly. To achieve this, you need to uncouple the trailer and the bolt on the upper part should be detached from the assembly’s head. You need to shift down the head assembly and then put a washer under the pin that is part of the channel in the middle of the shank and the head unit. The assembly at the upper head has to be installed again but don’t make it tight yet. Make the angle tight by setting the bolt to 50 lbs. ft. Now you need to tighten the assembly at the upper head bolt to 250 lb. ft.

How To Set-Up A Weight Distribution Hitch Correctly

Do Measurements Again

Record the same measurements you did and do a comparison with the original ones. The result you need to get is that the trailer should be sitting level, the vehicle is now squatting a little on the front, and the tow vehicle is squatting 1”-2” in the rear, but this would depend on the total tongue weight.

If you failed to get the ideal result, you should not worry because it doesn’t always happen on the first attempt. Where you need to make adjustments will depend on where the things are not fixed.

These are the steps you need to take so that you can set-up a weight distribution hitch correctly. You can also go to this site and read more about trailers and weight distribution hitches. You can always try again if you failed to get it the first time.