Towing heavy trailer could be a difficult and potentially dangerous task if you don’t have the right tool. Without anything to balance the heavy load on its back, the towing vehicle performances are substantially reduced. You shall have a hard time keeping everything under your control because of friction loss, steering and braking issues. This is when a weight distribution hitch will come in quite handy. Should you have little idea about the weight distribution hitch setup then you can find a couple of excellent hints in this article.
Installing and adjusting a device like this one is not exactly hard, you just need to do it slow and steady. That being said, you still have to pay utmost attention to what you are doing. A shoddy work here will decrease the effectiveness of the hitch and might lead to disastrous accidents on the road later. So concentrate and strictly follow the instruction down below. As long as you can do it then you can complete the process smoothly and correctly. Now, let’s get to work and see how you can equip your vehicle with a weight distribution hitch.
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Weight Distribution Hitch Setup – The setup process
It’s vital that you obtain a weight distribution hitch with appropriate weight range. Use the load of the trailer as references and make your purchase accordingly. There are several styles of hitch you can get but they more or less work on the same principle. Take into account the specific needs and requirements or personal preferences before you come to the final decision.
Step 1: Park the towing vehicle and the trailer on even ground then write down several measurements
Line them up on a level surface with the towing vehicle back into the trailer. Inspect the height of the coupler and the ball to see whether it’s good or not then apply adjustment if needed. This can be done with the trailer tongue jack or a specialized shank. Next, measure and take note of the gap between the towing vehicles bumpers, front and rear, along with the coupler and the ground. Before you going to assemble the hitch, ensure the pressure of the air shock and springs is at the minimum level. Move on to the next step when you are done
Step 2: Assemble the weight distribution hitch
Promptly insert the shank into the trailer hitch receiver and set up the head assembly with the ball onto the shank. After that, position it in a way which keeps the ball highest point approximately one to three inches above the previously noted coupler height. This is to compensate the sag caused by the trailer weight when you hook it in at the end. Now you need to position the flat washers on top of the adjustment rod and get the head onto the shank. It must be at the exact coupler height base on the prior measurement.
When the rod is in the right place, spin the head until it’s properly tightened against the shank. Get the rest of the hex bolts and conical toothed washers in then fasten them. Secure the top bolt so it can reliably hold the head and the shank firmly together. The last thing to do here is to exam the chains and spring bar connection. The bolts must be attached equally that leave two or three threads under the nylon nut. Before you finally connect the hitch bars to the head assembly, there is something you can do that is beneficial in the long run.
In order to decrease friction and extend the weight distribution hitch lifetime, apply a thick layer of grease on the spring bars attachment points. Put the trunnion knob into the assembly lower pocket then rotate it up through the upper pocket entrance slot.
Step 3: Connect the trailer
Raise the couple to let the ball slide right under it then back the vehicle into the trailer to couple them. Slowly lower the coupler and it should latch onto the ball then raise couple up again for about three inches. This will allow you to have an easier installing the chains. But before you can it, you have to install the chain lift bracket first. The location of the bracket must position the chains at the center. When it seems ideal, secure the bracket by bolting it into the frame through the threaded holes.
Now you can start hooking up the chains but it’s essential that they are not twisted. Raise the trailer tongue a bit as well to make sure the lift bracket operation is safe and smooth. There should be a minimum of five links between the bar and the bracket or the chain may end up binding with the bracket. Connect the chain to the lift bracket and lift up and over into the center. Lock the bracket position with a retaining clip and do the same to the other side then that will be it. The hitch is ready now.
Step 4: Test out the hitch
Retract the trailer jack and check out the weight distribution effect of the hitch. Again, measure the distances between the towing vehicle bumpers and the ground then compare them to the figures from Step 1. If you have done everything correctly, the new measurements should be within an inch of the old ones. In the case that the hitch comes with electric sway and stability control then connect it with the trailer as well. Finally, run around the block with the hitch and the trailer to review the result.
- Grease the hitch before each use to reduce wear and tear on its components
- If the towing vehicle control is less responsive than when you not tow anything, adjust the hitch.
- Ensure that the tires are fully inflate
And that would cover all the basics points, pretty easy, right? The weight distribution hitch setup can be a bit tricky to understand at first but it’s fairly straightforward. Just take your time and do this at your own pace and you will finish installing it in no time.
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