One of the most critical components of successful towing is proper weight distribution. A weight distribution hitch will shift the weight of the hitch from the front of the trailer forward towards the rear of the vehicle. When the weight is evenly distributed the trailer will be less likely to sway, promoting a much safer and smoother ride.
The question is though, does a weight distribution hitch increase towing capacity?
Well, our technical answer is no, a weight distribution hitch will not actually increase the towing capacity of your vehicle and ensuring that you stay within your manufacturer’s towing capacity is incredibly important for your safety and other drivers on the road. However, a weight distribution hitch can increase the towing efficiency of your vehicle, and here is why:
1. A weight distribution hitch balances the gross trailer weight (GTW) and tongue weight (TW) bearing down on the vehicle. If there is too much tongue weight, the trailer can sink down towards the road and this can lead to a driving hazard. What a weight distribution hitch does is shift the weight of the trailer towards the back of the vehicle; now, there is more weight on the vehicle and less weight on the hitch, giving you more “strength” and security while driving.
2. You will have safer steering and braking abilities when towing with a weight distribution hitch because the weight your vehicle is towing is more even. So, instead of putting stress on the back of the vehicle to control the direction and speed of the trailer, the whole body of the vehicle will be doing the work. Imagine pulling a wheelbarrow hunched over and close to the ground, your body is going to quickly fatigue because your arms and back are doing most of the work. If you pull the wheelbarrow up above your waist, however, the weight becomes more evenly distributed and your whole body can work to push the load, allowing you to withstand the weight of the load, push it further and have more control over your steering.
3. Having a weight distribution hitch will also help prevent your vehicle from enduring excessive long term wear and tear. When the weight of the vehicle and the weight of the trailer is balanced, the tires and body of the vehicle are protected.
Every towing situation is different and if you are feeling unsure about the weight that you are carrying you should take the time to stop in and weigh your vehicle at your local weigh station
What is GVWR?
GVWR is your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating. This is the maximum operating weight of the vehicle; remember that the GVWR must include not only the weight of the body and engine of the vehicle but also the fuel in the vehicle, cargo and passengers in the vehicle.
What is GCWR?
GCWR is your vehicles and trailer’s gross combined weight rating. This is essentially your vehicle’s GVWR combined with the maximum towing weight. Like the gross vehicle weight rating, it is important to consider passengers and cargo in addition to the body weight of the tow vehicle when calculating the GCWR.