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When pulling a camper, you want to have an appropriate hitch system for your camper and tow vehicle. If you pull a travel trailer, Campers and Campfires suggest that you purchase a weight distribution hitch. A weight distribution hitch evenly distributes the weight of a camper across all axles of the tow vehicle and camper. Appropriate weight distribution ensures a safe and smooth ride. Without a weight distribution hitch, all of the camper weight is forced onto the rear axle of the tow vehicle and this will cause the rear of the vehicle to “squat” or lower to the ground. A weight distribution hitch is recommended anytime that the weight of the vehicle being pulled is over 50% of the weight of the tow vehicle.
There are two and four-point weight distribution hitches. Two-point hitches provide sway control at the end of the spring bars closest to the trailer. Four-point hitches provide additional sway control where the spring bars connect to the hitch.
Campers and Campfires recommends several different weight distribution hitches designed specifically for travel trailers. We will discuss the pros and cons of our recommended hitches so that you can make an informed decision for your set-up.
What is a Weight Distribution Hitch
Weight distribution hitches are rated for gross trailer weight as well as tongue weight. Gross trailer weight is the total weight of a camper when it is fully loaded, and tongue weight is the combined weight of the camper tongue and the weight located behind the rear axle of the tow vehicle. As a general rule, estimate the tongue weight to run between 10-15% of the gross trailer weight. It is essential to choose a weight distribution hitch rated to handle your total trailer weight as well as your tongue weight.
It can be detrimental to purchase a hitch with a tongue weight rating that is too high or too low for your setup. If you purchase a hitch with a tow rating that is over 50% of the weight of your actual setup, then your ride will be stiff. If you purchase a hitch where the rating is too low, it will not distribute the weight properly.
Equal-i-zer 4-Point Sway Control Hitch (Check it out on Amazon) is the best sway control hitch on the market. This hitch has a 4 point sway control and makes towing your camper a smooth experience. You can’t feel sway, even on a moderately windy day. The only drawback to this hitch is that it is noisy when driving through campgrounds. You may hear numerous squeaks and pops, but these are minimized with the purchase of a pair of sway bracket jackets (Check them out on Amazon) made by Equal-I-zer to accompany the hitch. The Equal-I-zer hitch does not include a hitch ball (Check it out on Amazon), which must be purchased separately.
The Fastway E2 Weight Distribution Hitch (Check it out on Amazon) is similar in design to the Equal-I-zer hitch, however, it utilizes a 2 point sway control system. Even though it is a 2 point system, it drives very well, and you do not feel sway when driving. Campers and Campfires uses this hitch and finds that it provides a smooth ride. This hitch does not include a hitch ball (Check it out on Amazon), and it is loud when driving through campgrounds.
The Blue OX Swaypro (Check it out on Amazon) is a uniquely designed weight distribution hitch that uses a chain system. Unlike other hitches, Blue Ox has sway prevention built into the head of the hitch. Blue Ox does not rely on friction sway control like the Fastway and Equal-I-zer hitches, but rather it uses a system that re-centers the camper as needed. This is one of the better weight distribution hitches on the market.
Andersen No Sway Weight Distribution Hitch (Check it out on Amazon) has a unique design that uses chains rather than spring bars. The Andersen lets you drop or increase the hitch ball up to four inches. This set-up uses disc brake material for friction at the head of the hitch, thus counteracting sway and bounce. This hitch is currently the only anti-sway/anti-bounce weight distribution hitch on the market. Andersen has proven to be an innovative company with both weight distribution and 5th wheel hitches.
The CURT 17062 MV Black Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch with Sway Control Kit (Check it out on Amazon) is a quiet weight distribution hitch. A separate sway control bar is included with the kit. THe sway bar needs to be attached separately. This hitch is an excellent economical option. However, you need to remove the sway bar before backing up the camper, which is inconvenient.
Campers and Campfires believes that these 5 hitches are among the highest quality weight distribution hitches on the market, although features and price vary by model.
Which hitch do you use when pulling your camper? We would love to hear from you. Please drop us a line in the comment section.