If you have a travel trailer that you tow behind a truck or van, the scariest part of actually traveling is feeling your trailer start to sway back and forth behind you.
In the worst cases, trailers can actually flip over and take the towing vehicle right along with it.
If you’ve experienced even minor sway when towing a trailer, you already know how stressful and dangerous it can be.
But the best weight distribution hitch will keep everything in line so you can feel much safer when towing your trailer.
It will also make it easier to maneuver any obstacles you encounter on the road or when you pull into a new campground.
To avoid trailer sway without a distribution hitch, the best course of action is to drive slower. This can add hours to your travels and seriously impact your route choices.
But a weight distribution hitch will keep your trailer more stable and allow you to get to your destination quicker.
Finding a model that’s compatible with your trailer AND your vehicle is the hardest part of selecting a weight distribution hitch.
Fortunately, we’ve researched everything you need to know about these hitches to help you make a compatible choice the first time around.
8 Best RV Weight Distribution Hitches for Safe and Stable Towing
Which weight distribution hitch is best? Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. When choosing load-leveling trailer hitches for your RV, there are many factors to consider, such as towing capacity, tongue weight, and the type of trailer you’re towing.
To help you to pick the best load leveling hitches we’ve canvassed the market to bring you eight weight distribution hitch options and reviewed them to provide examining their features, benefits, and limitations. We’ll discuss the technical details of each hitch, including its weight capacity, sway control capabilities, and ease of installation.
Hence the research we have done for you, Here are our top 8 picks for the best Weight Distribution Hitches on the market right now.
1. Best Overall: Blue Ox BXW1000 SWAYPRO Weight Distributing Hitch
The Blue Ox BXW1000 SWAYPRO is our pick for the best overall weight distribution hitch because it comes with a pre-adjusted hitch head that doesn’t require any further fine-tuning once it’s installed.
That’s not always the case with these hitches and it makes this a great choice if you don’t have a ton of experience using them.
This trunnion-style hitch has excellent sway control which allows you to tow at faster speeds without worrying about your trailer fishtailing behind you.
Trunnions on either side of the hitch head work together with the hitch’s spring bars to create a caster effect. This effect continuously pushes inward to keep everything in line.
You’ll also be able to navigate easier when you arrive at a new campground. Some locations have tight turns and others require you to back up to get into your site.
With this hitch, you won’t have to disconnect in order to back up. But when you do want to disconnect, it’s super easy to do so.
It takes just minutes to connect and disconnect to this hitch, which gives you the freedom to drop your trailer or vehicle without any added headaches.
If the tongue of your trailer already boasts a coupler welded to the top of the frame and it doesn’t have any cross-members on the tongue, you’ll be able to utilize this hitch out-of-the-box.
It is compatible with other trailer tongues, however. You just may need to purchase additional bolt-on latches or an optional hitch head to ensure safe towing.
The Blue Ox BXW1000 has a maximum tongue weight rating of 1,000 pounds and a maximum gross weight rating of 10,000 pounds.
It also boasts spring steel construction that adds durability and strength to the entire unit and you won’t have to disconnect this hitch when you need to back your trailer up.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
2. Best Budget-Friendly: EAZ LIFT 48053 Elite Bent Bar Weight Distributing Hitch
The EAZ LIFT 48053 weight distribution hitch is the most budget-friendly round bar hitch we could find on the market today.
The good news is that you won’t have to severely sacrifice quality to get a hitch that fits your budget.
EAZ LIFT is actually made by Camco, which is one of the more reliable brands in the industry.
It comes with an adjustable ball mount but does not include the hitch ball itself. So you’ll have to grab this accessory separately to make this hitch work for you.
The bars on this hitch, however, are actually interchangeable. This is uncommon amongst this type of hitch but it serves to provide a smoother ride.
The bars use positive latching action to attach to your trailer tongue and the round spring bars on this hitch are machine tapered and forged longer for added strength and durability.
These spring bars can actually be removed if you chose to operate it as a more standard weight distributing hitch. Doing so, however, significantly reduces the hitch’s tongue weight and gross weight ratings.
The hitch is adjustable to fit many different trailer-vehicle combinations and it comes with clips and bolt package for easy installation.
The shank size is 2” x 2” with a 10-inch length, a 2.5-inch drop, and a 5.5-inch rise.
The entire package is also backed by the manufacturer’s 5-year warranty, which is always a good sign when it comes to your safety and the safety of your vehicle/trailer investments.
The EAZ LIFT 48053 also has a maximum tongue weight of 1,000 pounds and a maximum gross weight rating of 10,000 pounds. If you remove the spring bars, however, those ratings drop down to 600 pounds and 6,000 pounds, respectively.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
3. Best For Quiet Use: Husky 32218 Center Line TS with Spring Bars
If you’re looking for a trunnion-style hitch that doesn’t cause a bunch of extra noise while you’re driving down the highway, check out the Husky 32218 Center Line TS.
Annoying noise can be an issue with other sway bars and weight distribution products, but that’s not the case with this hitch.
One of the reasons for this noise reduction is the fact that this hitch doesn’t use chains to attach to the tongue of your trailer.
Those chains jangling around are primarily what causes the noise in other models. But you’ll be able to hear (and feel) the difference when you drive with this hitch.
The unit combines sway control and weight distribution to provide quiet performance without the need for any additional hardware. This makes it super easy to install.
The handles on the bars further aid in securing them to (and removing them from) your trailer and the frame brackets are easily adjustable to mount on a variety of trailer tongues.
The Husky 32218 Center Line TS has a maximum tongue weight rating of 1,200 pounds and a maximum gross weight rating of 12,000 pounds.
The hitch itself weighs a total of 116 pounds, which is lighter than many. This lighter weight makes it easier to install and remove as needed.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
4. Best With Preinstalled Hitch Ball: Reese Pro 49903 Weight Distributing Hitch
The Reese 49913 Wd Rb Pro round bar hitch is a great option if you’re looking for a weight distribution hitch with a preinstalled hitch ball.
This means you won’t have to worry about finding a hitch ball separately and risk picking one that’s not compatible. With a preinstalled hitch ball, compatibility is a non-issue.
The hitch ball is 2 and 5/16ths of an inch in diameter and it arrives already torqued to the hitch head.
The spring bars on this hitch are tapered to provide more even weight distribution over your trailer axles.
This provides an even smoother ride and the include friction sway control prevents fishtailing at high speeds.
For an RV accessory that’s consistently exposed to dirt, debris, rain, and other elements, it’s important to know it’s going to last.
That’s why I like the fact that all the metal components of this hitch are finished with powder coating.
This finish improves the overall corrosion resistance and durability of the hitch over its lifetime.
In addition, the clamp-on brackets that come with this hitch are designed to fit trailer frames up to seven inches in diameter.
While this hitch won’t be compatible with larger trailer frames, the brackets don’t require any drilling to be installed properly.
This hitch also fits taller trucks with a two-inch shank size and an 8.5-inch drop.
The Reese 49913 Wd Rb Pro has a maximum tongue weight rating of 1,150 pounds and a maximum gross weight rating of 11,500 pounds.
It is also backed by the manufacturer’s 10-year limited warranty if certain components require repairs or replacement.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
5. Best Gross Trailer Weight Rating: CURT 17063 MV Weight Distribution Hitch with Sway Control
If you’re in search of a weight distribution hitch with a high gross trailer weight rating, look no further than the CURT 17063 MV Round Bar hitch.
This hitch is the best option for anyone that needs to tow a longer trailer and it has a lot of great features to keep that extra length in line with your towing vehicle.
For starters, it provides more level towing by more evenly distributing the tongue weight of your trailer across the area of the vehicle-trailer combination.
In conjunction with the included sway control bar, your trailer will stay more level while you’re driving than with many other distribution hitches.
In order to improve sound on the road, this hitch includes an integrated lubrication system.
This system provides continuous lubrication through the use of two easy-access grease zerk fittings on the hitch head.
These fittings are built directly into the head and provide lubrication at the spring bar mounting location.
Speaking of the spring bars, they are each 31 and 1/16th of an inch long and made of forged steel.
The pre-torqued hitch ball is 2 and 5/16th of an inch in diameter and the shank size is 2” x 2”.
This shank size makes it compatible with class 3, class 4, and even the heaviest of class 5 trailer hitches.
The CURT 17063 MV Round Bar has a maximum tongue weight rating of 1,400 pounds and a maximum gross weight rating of 14,000 pounds.
It also boasts a durable black carbide powder coat finish to add durability and corrosion resistance to the components.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
6. Extra Ground Clearance: Camco Eaz-Lift ReCurve R6 Weight Distributing Hitch Kit with Sway Control
If you consistently take your trailer to locations that require a little extra clearance, the Camco Eaz-Lift ReCurve R6 top-loading round bar hitch is one of the best in the business.
It’s specifically designed to provide more ground clearance than other hitches and the model’s sway control can temporarily be disengaged to provide better performance in icy or dangerous road conditions.
Unlike many hitches, the spring bars on this one are top-loading. This design feature creates more ground clearance and also makes them much easier to install.
This feature is aided by the fact that the shank itself only has a maximum drop of ¾”. It does provide a maximum rise, however, of seven inches.
Camco specifically designed this hitch to be one of the most user-friendly models in their fleet.
In doing so, they created a system that automatically disengages the sway control function when you turn.
With other hitches, the sway control function can essentially “lock” your trailer straight and it must be manually disengaged for tight turns or navigating into a campsite.
That isn’t the case with the ReCurve, which makes it much easier and efficient to navigate tight campgrounds or get your trailer into position in trickier spots.
This model comes with a 2 and 5/16” hitch ball and a 2” square hitch bar with a length of 12 inches. The spring bars themselves are 30 inches long.
The Camco Eaz-Lift ReCurve R6 has a maximum tongue weight rating of 1,000 pounds and a maximum gross weight rating of 10,000 pounds.
Like other good hitch models, the metallic components of this one are finished with powder coating to length their lifespan and provide added corrosion resistance.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
7. Best Anti-Sway and Anti-Bounce: Andersen Hitches 3350 No Sway Weight Distribution Hitch
If you’re looking for a true pioneer in the weight distribution hitch industry, check out the first-in-its-industry features of the Andersen Hitches 3350.
This Andersen hitch is the first to include both anti-sway features and a motion dampening system that keeps your trailer from bouncing up and down at higher speeds.
The sway control functionality of this model is self-adjusting. This means it won’t lock you up on tight turns or when you’re navigating into a tricky campsite.
You’ll also be able to back your trailer up with this hitch still attached. So it can allow for more efficient trailer travel when compared to some other hitches.
The hitch ball that comes with this unit is 2 and 5/16ths of an inch in diameter.
It can actually double as a standard hitch ball if you ever need to tow anything without concern for weight distribution.
The hitch bar itself fits a two or 2.5-inch receiver and secures in place with a single pin. This guarantees easy installation and removal as needed.
This model has a maximum drop and rise of four inches, but you can purchase an eight-inch adjustable rack if you need additional drop or rise.
You also won’t need to worry about lubricating the ball and coupler regularly. They move as one as part of Andersen’s unique grease-free system.
The Andersen Hitches 3350 has a maximum tongue weight rating of 1,400 pounds and a maximum gross weight rating of 14,000 pounds when installed with the standard two-inch rack.
But it can actually handle a gross weight up to 16,000 pounds when installed with the 2.5-inch rack.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
8. Best Lightweight: Fastway 10K RB Fastway e2 2-point Sway Control Distribution Hitch
The most lightweight round bar hitch on our list is the Fastway 10K RB e2 hitch.
It weighs a total of just 33 pounds, which is lighter than the nearest competitor by a wide margin.
This lighter weight makes the hitch and accompanying spring bars much easier to install and remove as a single person, whereas others might require at least two people for easier installation.
Despite its lightweight design, the rigid steel brackets on this unit mount directly to your trailer frame to prevent sway.
They do so by creating steel-on-steel friction and consistently applying pressure inward.
The sway control on this hitch is also completely built-in, which means you won’t have to install or connect any additional parts or hardware.
The hitch is designed to be back-up friendly, which means you won’t have to disconnect it every time you need to back into a new campsite. This can be an issue with other hitches, but not with the e2.
It also has the added advantage of being very adaptable ot many trailer types because the brackets are easily installed around gas tanks and battery boxes that are sometimes mounted on the trailer tongue.
The Fastway 10K RB e2 has a maximum tongue weight rating of 1,000 pounds and a maximum gross weight rating of 10,000 pounds.
The Fastway e2 hitch is also available in at trunnion-style if you require additional ground clearance. Or you can pop back up and check out the ReCurve R6.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
How To Pick The Perfect Weight Distribution Hitch?
The right hitch for your situation will largely depend on compatibility with both your RV and your towed vehicle.
In this Buying Guide, we’ll cover the main factors that will help you determine whether a certain hitch will work for your RV-vehicle combination.
Types of Weight Distribution Hitches
There are three main types of weight distribution hitches. We’ve included at least one of each in our reviews above, so it’s important that we take some time to understand a little more about each type.
Round Bar Hitches
This type of hitch features round sway bars that attach to the bottom of the trailer ball mount. Their main advantage is compatibility with many different vehicle-trailer combinations.
But they have less ground clearance than other hitch types, so potholes or bumps can present problems.
Trunnion-style hitches have much more ground clearance than a round bar or Andersen hitch.
The sway bars on this style of hitch also don’t require clips, but the downside of this hitch type is that it can be difficult to adjust the height of the hitch head.
Andersen hitches completely ditch solid sways bars in favor of chains and dampers.
This hitch design does very well to reduce both swaying and bouncing, which is nice if you frequent rough roads or like to take your trailer off-road.
Gross Trailer Weight
The gross weight of your trailer includes the factory weight as well as the weight of any additional cargo or modifications.
Many new trailer owners forget to take these additional weights into account when they purchase a new hitch system, which can result in buying a hitch that isn’t rated highly enough.
To put it very simply, you need a weight distribution hitch that’s rated for more weight than the total weight of your trailer and all of its cargo.
If your trailer is too heavy for the hitch, it won’t be capable of properly distributing the weight. It will essentially be rendered useless and your trailer will still be more likely to sway or bounce.
Tongue weight is the percentage of the load that rests directly on the hitch. It is actually a combination of the weights of the front end of your trailer and the back end of your towing vehicle.
As a general rule of thumb, the tongue weight is typically about 10 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight.
You should always choose a hitch that’s rated to handle more than the actual tongue weight of your trailer-vehicle combination.
If you can’t perfectly calculate the exact weights of the front end of your trailer and the back end of your towing vehicle, using the 10 to 15 percent rule of thumb is a great way to determine how much tongue weight your ideal weight distribution should be rated to handle.
Some hitches are much easier to install than others. But all of them will require a little bit of time and effort.
When selecting a weight distribution hitch, make sure to choose one with a relatively simple install process.
It should also come with a clear instruction manual that’s written precisely in the language you’re most comfortable with.
Most manuals should provide instructions in multiple languages, but this is indeed something to check on before buying.
And one great way to do that is by reading into user reviews of the specific hitches you’re interested in.
If you can find a hitch that users are continuously reporting to be easy to install, you can rest assured that your own process won’t become a tedious headache.
In general, the installation process for these hitches shouldn’t take more than one hour.
If you’re finding reviews that state it took multiple hours to install a certain hitch, you might be well served avoiding that product.
But you always need to be careful not to judge a hitch based on a single user review. Look for patterns and identify the experience that the majority of users are reporting.
A weight distribution hitch with a simple installation process should require between 30 minutes and one hour to set in place properly.
Types Of Sway Control
Almost all weight distribution hitches have some form of sway control. But the way they work can be drastically different.
One type of sway control is designed to reduce sway once it has begun. The other is designed to prevent swaying from starting in the first place. We’ll go over each type in more detail.
Sway Controls To Reduce Sway
Hitches that serve this purpose either rely on independent friction sway control or dependent sway control.
Independent friction control devices on weight distribution hitches typically look like a bar that attaches to the frame of your trailer.
Because the bar is attached to both the hitch and your trailer, it can provide tension to keep your trailer straighter behind your vehicle.
The bar is usually telescoping so that it can extend or retract as your trailer moves.
If your trailer starts to move out of line, the friction pads within the telescoping arm of the bar keep it from extending too far, which cuts down the side-to-side movement of your trailer.
Dependent sway controls are actually built right into a weight distribution hitch.
When your trailer begins to swing, the downward force created by the hitch’s spring bars creates frictional resistance on the brackets connected to your trailer frame.
Some dependent sway control devices rely on steel-to-steel resistance. Others include a material that is similar to the brake pads on a vehicle.
Either way, the resistance created is designed to keep your trailer in a straight line.
Sway Controls To Prevent Sway From Starting
There are various types of weight distribution hitches with sway controls designed to prevent sway from beginning in the first place.
One such device relies on sliding devices called ‘cams.’ These ‘cams’ suspend the spring bars and lock into position.
With one end of the cam aligned to the lift bracket and the other to your trailer frame, the springs bars are set in place. This placement of the spring bars is what keeps your trailer aligned.
Some hitches have four points of sway control built-in. This entails a secure connection between the hitch head and the spring bars.
Through these connections, the spring bars are held tightly in place and the amount of tension and resistance in the system is enough to keep your trailer in line.
Still other hitches rely solely on tension to keep the spring bars tightly in place. And there are also systems with active sway control that rely on spring-loaded ball bearings.
These bearings apply pressure inside the detents in order to keep the trailer straight.
The weight of the weight distribution hitch you choose should be taken into account when you’re making sure that the total weight you’re hauling doesn’t exceed your vehicle’s specifications.
While these hitches help to more evenly distribute the weight of your trailer and rear axle of your tow vehicle, they can’t actually increase the maximum towing capacity of your vehicle.
But the weight of the hitch you choose also comes into play when you have to install or remove it.
Most of these hitches weight at least 100 pounds, but some are considerably heavier while others are noticeably lighter.
Simply make sure that you’re comfortable handling the weight of the hitch you choose when it comes to installing it between your tow vehicle and your trailer.
The best weight distribution hitch models come ready-to-use right out of the box. They include all of the pre-installed components necessary for easy installation and safe operation.
Many also include a package of clips and pins to secure the hitch bar, brackets, and other elements in place.
But other hitches don’t come with everything you need to start using them immediately. Some don’t include a hitch ball and you’ll have to buy that separately.
Others might require additional hardware to be compatible with your specific trailer-vehicle combination.
If this becomes the case for you, you’ll have to incur an added expense to make the hitch you’ve already bought work with your trailer. And that’s not always the easiest task to complete.
So we recommend looking for a hitch that comes with pre-installed components.
Taking this route will also reduce the likelihood that anything happens during the installation process that causes the entire weight distribution system to be dangerous or ineffective.
As you might expect, these hitches are subject to the elements. Roadways can be harsh environments for any exterior components of your trailer and vehicle, but your hitch rests firmly in between the two.
And this positioning can place even more stress on the hitch and its components. That’s why you need to consider the durability of a given hitch in your buying process.
The most durable hitches on the market include a powder-coated finish to whatever metal is used in their construction.
This powder coating provides an added degree of corrosion-resistance that extends the longevity of your hitch and its components.
If you live or frequently travel to locations close to the ocean, you probably already know the effect that salt in the air can have on metal parts.
So a hitch with a powder-coated finish is essential for these areas.
But the durability of a weight distribution hitch extends a little bit beyond whether or not it has a corrosion-resistant finish.
The quality of the metal used in the hitch’s construction also comes into play.
Perhaps the easiest way to ensure that your final hitch choice is going to last is to consult a host of consumer reviews.
You can be confident that any product with a durability issue is going to have plenty of reviews in which that issue is well documented.
Again, be careful to trust the “law of averages” when it comes to consulting these reviews.
But they can still be a very helpful tool in determining whether or not a hitch will actually hold up as well as its manufacturer claims.
How much does a weight distribution hitch cost?
When it really comes down to making a final decision on a hitch, we know that its price is going to come into play. And we recognize that these hitch systems aren’t always super affordable.
But we also think it’s important to point out that what we’re really talking about here is an investment into your personal safety, your family’s safety, and the safety of the investments you’ve made in your trailer and your tow vehicle.
We know that some of those things are hard to put a price on, and there are ways to reduce trailer sway without purchasing a weight distribution hitch.
But the best ways to ensure safer towing are to purchase a quality weight distribution hitch and apply some of those safe driving techniques.
In the process of setting your budget for a weight distribution hitch, it’s good to get a sense of the high and low ends of the market.
This will give you a range in which most hitches will fall, and then you can more easily decide which end of that range you’d like to select from.
So, What is the Best Weight Distribution Hitch for 2020?
As we stated in our initial reviews, we stand by the Blue Ox BXW1000 as the best overall weight distribution hitch.
It gets our vote here because it’s super user-friendly if you’re new to the world of towing a trailer.
The latches that attach to your trailer frame don’t require any additional hardware and the entire hitch can be installed or removed in just a few minutes.
But, coming in a close second, we’d also highly recommend the Camco Eaz-Lift ReCurve R6 hitch.
This is because it offers more ground clearance than the majority of weight distribution hitches on the market.
This extra clearance will definitely come in handy if you like to travel off the beaten path.
Frequently Asked Questions About WDH
While these hitches aren’t overly complicated, there’s still quite a bit to learn if you’re buying your first one.
So let’s briefly address the most frequently asked questions about weight distribution hitches.
What size hitch do I need?
The main factor that will determine your hitch size is the weight of your trailer (or towed vehicle).
A hitch’s size is usually determined using two ratings: one for maximum gross trailer weight and the other for maximum tongue weight.
These two ratings are very commonly advertised when you’re shopping for weight distribution hitches.
If it’s hard to find these ratings for a particular model, that’s an automatic red flag.
To pick the right size hitch for you, make sure that these ratings are both higher than the gross weight of your trailer and its tongue weight.
These weights should be relatively easy to find in the specifications for your trailer, whether that’s online or in the owner’s manual.
But you should also be careful not to choose a hitch that’s rated too high. If your actual tongue weight is much less than what your hitch is rated for, it can actually make towing unpredictable and more dangerous.
On the other hand, a hitch that’s rated for less than the actual tongue weight of your trailer won’t be able to adequately distribute the load and, in that case, there’s not much point in having it.
How does weight distribution really work?
These hitches work by distributing weight away from the tongue of your trailer and onto the other axles of your vehicle.
Without weight distribution, all of the weight of your trailer gets concentrated on the rear axles of your towing vehicle.
With weight distribution, that weight gets spread to the front axle of your towing vehicle and the axles of your trailer itself.
This effect becomes really helpful for not exceeding the gross vehicle axle weight limit of your towing vehicle.
As a general rule-of-thumb, you should consider a weight distribution hitch if the weight of your trailer is more than half of the weight of your towing vehicle.
Can you further explain sway control?
Sure! Breaking it down briefly, there are devices that reduce sway once it has begun and others that are designed to prevent sway from starting in the first place.
Most of the best weight distribution hitches have one of these two forms of sway control built-in.
How do I know how much my vehicle can tow?
It’s important to note that none of these hitches boast the ability to increase the amount of weight that your vehicle can tow.
It safely makes towing a trailer safer and makes your trailer less likely to fishtail or bounce at higher speeds.
Your vehicle’s rating for the maximum amount of weight it can tow safely and legally should be in your owner’s manual.
Otherwise, you can most likely find the specifications online as long as you know the exact year, make, and model of your vehicle.
If you can’t find the information online and you’ve misplaced your owner’s manual, you can always call the dealership that you bought your vehicle from.
This, of course, only works if you bought from a dealership and not a private seller.
But going directly to the manufacturer can still be a good way to find your vehicle’s towing specifications if you did purchase from a private party.
What are the main problems with towing a trailer without a weight distribution hitch?
The two main problems that occur when towing a trailer are called ‘dive’ and ‘sway’. If the tongue weight is too large in comparison to your gross trailer weight, the trailer will ‘dive’.
This basically occurs when there is too much weight placed on the hitch junction between your vehicle and your trailer.
This excessive weight causes the tongue of the trailer and the rear axle of your tow vehicle to dive down together.
This creates a sort of ‘taco effect’ that will be visible to the naked eye if it’s occurring. The back of your trailer will be noticeably higher than the front once it’s loaded onto your trailer hitch.
You’ll also be able to see the nose of your tow vehicle visibly higher than the rear bumper. The danger of a ‘dive’ comes when you try to brake quickly.
The added downward force placed on the hitch junction can cause the nose of your tow vehicle to lift up.
This can cause you to lose braking traction and steering control through the front axle of your vehicle.
The other main problem with towing without a weight distribution system is ‘sway’. It happens when the tongue weight is too low and the back end of your trailer is too heavy.
The excess weight in the rear can cause the tail end of your trailer to swing one way and then forcibly back in the other direction. In mild cases, sway can cause you to lose control of your tow vehicle.
In more extreme cases, it can actually cause your trailer to flip over and, when this happens, it often takes your tow vehicle with it.
This poses a serious risk to passengers onboard as well as other drivers on the road.
Are there ways to reduce ‘sway’ without a weight distribution hitch?
The short answer is yes. But before we get into a few brief recommendations, it’s important to definitively state that we think a weight distribution hitch is the best way to reduce trailer sway.
Our true recommendation would be to use these techniques along with (rather than in place of) one of the best weight distribution hitch options we reviewed above.
But one good way to reduce sway is to avoid crosswinds. If you keep an eye on the weather forecast and know that heavy winds are expected on your route, it may be best to delay your trip until winds subside.
If you have to travel when winds are high, it’s best to drive significantly slower than normal.
Another way to reduce sway is to make sure the weight inside your trailer is distributed evenly.
If you have a trailer with a single axle, it’s a good practice to align about 60 percent of the weight in front of, or on, the axle.
This helps to avoid a low tongue weight, but you also need to make sure the load is balanced from side-to-side and everything inside your trailer is secured down adequately so that it doesn’t shift while you’re driving.
Additionally, the air pressure of your tires can have an impact on trailer sway. Tires that aren’t properly inflated can cause the trailer to sway more than normal, so be sure to check your tire pressure if you’re experiencing irregular sway when towing your trailer.
Attempting to tow a trailer that is far too long for your towing vehicle is also a surefire way to experience more sway.
For example, towing a trailer with an SUV that’s less than one-third of the trailer’s length is just asking for trouble.
Make sure your trailer-vehicle combination is appropriate to avoid unnecessary towing issues like sway.
Finally, your driving practices can cause your trailer to sway even if you’ve done everything else right.
Driving too fast and braking too suddenly are two easy ways to cause your trailer to sway. Sudden turns of your steering wheel should also be avoided.
If your trailer does begin to sway, it’s really important that you don’t try to steer out of it or speed up.
The only good way to reduce sway and regain control of your trailer at this point is to keep the wheel straight and gradually apply your brakes.
As someone who has moved to a new city in an RV and spent the first several weeks commuting to and from work in that RV, I highly recommend a weight distribution hitch for towing an additional vehicle behind your rig.
This is an essential RV accessory for full-time RVers or those that like to spend an entire season in their rig.
The ease and convenience of not having to go through the process of prepping your RV to roll every time you need to make a trip into town will make the cost of a weight distribution hitch worth it every single time.