When it’s time to hit the road, but you want to bring a camper or RV with you on your adventures, you’ll need a way to attach that unit to the back of your truck. Many people use trailer hitches for this, some use fifth wheel connections to attach an camper, but if you don’t use this type, you can use a weight distribution kit to make towing easier.
Campers are heavy objects, and without the proper weight distribution, the weight from the front axle of your camper will cause excessive pressure on the rear axle of your truck. This extra weight will cause an adverse reaction on your handling and can gradually cause damage to your truck’s tires. In addition to this, campers that push down on a truck can cause the truck to bottom out on bumps. A weight distribution kit normalizes this downward pressure so that your truck and camper combo handles correctly.
These types of devices ensure that your truck will pull your camper with a higher degree of ease. Unfortunately, some people don’t connect the weight distribution kit up properly; and as a result, they don’t reap all of the weight distribution benefits of this device. This is why it’s important to initiate this connection on a level surface and to raise the camper so that the chain that’s on your weight distribution has some slack. When it has some slack, the connection will rely on the chain for weight distribution; doing so will ensure that you’ll have an easier road trip.
Sway is a major consideration when you are selecting a weight distribution kit. Sway can be caused by crosswinds, improper hitching, or inadequate tension on the spring bar of your weight distribution system. To counter this, many of these types of systems have sway control, which actively reduces sway so that you can have a smoother ride. Typically, these systems come with two types of sway control:
- Reduction: These sway control systems actively reduce the amount of trailer sway once it begins. These systems depend on friction to reduce sway naturally.
Preventative: These systems actively prevent sway from occurring. These use either friction or tension that actively forces the trailer, at all times, to move in a straight line.
Our Weight Distribution Kit Comparison
For evenly distributing the weight of a camper, we’ve identified five great units. Here’s how they stack up against each other as well as some of their defining features:
|Weight Distribution Kit||Max Lift Capacity||Best Design Feature||Price||Rating|
|Eaz-Lift 48069 Elite Weight Distributing Hitch Kit||1,200 lb. Tongue Capacity|
12,000 lb. Weight Capacity
|High Weight Capacity||$240.71|
|Reese 49902 Pro Series Complete Round Bar Weight Distribution Kit||750 lb. Tongue Capacity|
10,000 lb. Weight Capacity
|Ease of Installation||$234.14|
|Husky 30849 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch||1,200 lb. Tongue Capacity|
12,000 lb. Weight Capacity
|Friction Sway Control & Capacity||$289.13|
|CURT 17500 TruTrack Trunnion Bar Weight Distribution Hitch||1,000 lb. Tongue Capacity|
10,000 lb. Weight Capacity
|Great Control and Leveling||$340.19||4/5|
|Pro Series 49901 Complete Weight Distribution Kit||550 lb. Tongue Capacity|
10,000 lb. Weight Capacity
It doesn’t get more iconic than Eaz-lift. Eaz-lift is one of the first producers of weight distribution technology in North America; as a matter of fact, they’ve crafted these types of hitch systems for over 50 years. M.H and Ray Mathisen originated the technology in the area and ran the company for decades. This product, the Eaz-Lift 48069 Elite Weight Distributing Hitch Kit, has a simple installation that will help evenly distribute the weight of your camper on your next trip.
To hook this system up to your truck, you’ll have to first assemble the ball mount. Once this is complete, simply insert the tow bar into your truck’s assembly and insert the hitch pin. Then, take note of your camper’s elevation and line up the ball mount with the camper’s socket. Once a positive connection has been attained, take measurements so that you’ll know where the unsuspended device rests. Jack up the trailer and attach the bars to the ball mount.
Eaz-Lift did a great job making the distribution bars universal, so all you’ll have to do is line them up with the connection holes and snap them into place. Once attached, insert the chains at the proper length and use the included bar to attach them to the assembly. Once ratcheted in the upward position, simply secure the chains in place with the included pin.
Once this is completed, for a fully controlled ride, you should attach the sway control that comes in this kit. This is a high weight capacity unit, which means that you can tow 12,000 pounds of weight, but in this circumstance, it’s prudent to purchase a second sway control so that you can better control the trailer sway on both sides of the vehicle.
This device has a great function for those who need to hook up a sway-reducing weight distribution kit to their camper. It has a very high capacity and has one of the simplest hookup methods that ensure that there is proper weight distribution for your trip. One of this device’s best features is its bent-bar design that allows you to have a greater ground clearance than many similar devices.
Reese is another iconic name in trailer hitching and towing. Their 49902 Pro Series kit is very similar in setup to the Eaz-Lift device. The overall weight capacity of this device is somewhat lower than the other hitch. This device can handle a tongue weight of 750 pounds and has a gross ton capacity of 10,000 pounds, but where this unit shines is in the sheer amount of control granted by its ability to be tilted via washers.
Hook-up requires that you attach ball plates to your camper as well as lift brackets. Once attached, you’ll insert the tow bar into your trucks assembly and secure it with the included pin. Once you’ve lined up and attached the ball to the socket on your camper, you’ll need to attach the weight distribution bars to the lift assembly. When these are attached, simply raise the camper so that the connection is secure and somewhat elevated.
Next, attach the chains to the lift brackets and remove the jack portion of your camper to test the connection. If executed correctly, the rear axle of your truck shouldn’t be too heavily weighed down. Once the connection is tested, lock the lift bracket connection in place with the included bar.
Attaching the sway mechanism is very easy. First you’ll have to screw the ball plates into each side of the camper A frame with the included screws. Then attach the sway mechanism to the hitch assembly of your truck on one end and the ball plate on the other. From here, you’ll be able to adjust the degree of sway control with a screw on the mechanism’s body. You’ll even be able to fully disengage the system via an on/off lever. Reese used a friction pad system for this sway control unit, so when sway starts to occur, it will lock the trailer into place automatically through sheer friction.
A great feature of this weight distribution kit, as we mentioned previously, is the ability to adjust the angle of the hitch itself. Using washers, you can angle the ball hitch towards the trailer so that you can achieve optimal connection for your specific camper/truck combination.
Our third option is the Husky 30849 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch. Husky is a much newer towing line, but they already have a loyal following, even though they don’t sell directly to consumers. This device has a sway ball platform that can accommodate two sway mechanisms. This is very valuable because like the Eaz-Lift option, this unit can manage a 1,200 lb. tongue as well as a pull a 12,000 lb. camper.
Assembly is relatively simple with this device, if not a bit time consuming. Once you’ve fully assembled the hitch unit, you’ll notice a larger platform adjoining the ball connector. This area is for the optional sway mechanism, and you’ll need to attach two additional sway control balls to this area for a two sway mechanism system. Unfortunately, Husky only includes one with this kit.
Once you’ve attached the assembly to your truck, installation simply requires hitching the trailer to the appropriate level, attaching the ball assembly, and securing the chains at the right linkage. This particular weight distribution kit shines in its built-in pivoting features. You’ll have a full pivot range of about eight inches up and down so that you’ll be able to accommodate any trailer with most towing vehicle types.
When you are attaching the sway unit, which retards the vast majority of trailer sway on your camper, you’ll simply have to screw in the sway balls to the platform, attach the sway unit to that end, and attach the other end to the frame mounted panel of your camper. For the most part, a single unit will significantly reduce the amount of sway on most 6,000 pounds and above campers, but a secondary unit will provide more significant results.
A great feature of this device is its high capacity and its strong sway control options, but the workmanship on the product itself is also of a very high quality. Firstly, the whole device is protected by a polyester powder coat that’ll ensure that the device is functionally weather-proof. This means that you won’t see rust during the life of the unit. The actual distribution bars are also very strong and flexible enough to grant a sizeable degree of bump resistance, so you’ll have no issue going over curbs and smaller objects.
Our fourth entry, the Curt 17500 TruTrack hitch is the type of weight distribution hitch that virtually eliminates trailer sway. As a matter of fact, this device is the most different of all of the devices on this list. Unlike the other kits, this one uses a straight ‘V’ shaped distribution system that’s similar to a wheelbarrow. As a result of this unique construction, there’s no need for separate sway-preventing mechanisms, as the bar does all of that work automatically and before it’s even noticeable.
The hitch head and ball fit neatly inside any hitch receiver tube and the connection type is completely adjustable. If you have a higher or lower trailer, the shank can be installed in the upright or down facing direction, which gives this kit a lot of versatility. Once the hitch head is pinned into the truck, it’s a matter of lining up the camper and the ball.
Once aligned, connecting the straight distribution arms is a little bit different with this Curt device. Rather than use chains, this device has a set of channel brackets that keep the bars in a steady position. This channel bracket can be adjusted for height, which we found delivers a great about of adjustability.
Like all of our kits, this device attaches directly to your camper’s A frame, but for this device, the arms line up almost perfectly to prevent sway. Of all the products here, this is the only one that doesn’t just reduce sway, but actively prevents it.
Our second Pro Series distribution kit has a lot of the excellent features of the prior model. The weight capacity of the 49901 is a little lower. It can handle a 550 pound tongue and about 10,000 pounds of gross tonnage. Installation is virtually the same with this unit; you’ll have to first install the hitch head and ball into your trucks hitch tube. You’ll be able to adjust this for several heights of camper. Once installed, you’ll have to do the measurement and jack up the camper so that the two vehicles align.
Once aligned, you’ll need to hitch the camper higher and then chain the distribution arms to the A frame. After this is complete, you’ll be able to lower the camper and test if the weight is properly distributed. Next, you’ll have to apply the sway mechanism to the ball assembly.
You’ll have to engage the slide bar so that you can adjoin each side of the sway. For a dual sway setup, you’ll have to do this for both sides. We found that this distribution system had a good degree of sway reduction, if not complete elimination.
As with the 49902, this device’s best feature is its completely pivoting hitch mechanism. You’ll have a lot of options for hitching with this device because you can add washers to create a larger angle. Also, this device has a great sway setup, but we found that it’s best to grease the sockets a bit before extended use.
The type of camping that requires a RV or camper also needs to have the right tools for the job. These weight distribution kits make it so you don’t add wear to your truck, don’t bottom out on bumps or potholes, and have an easier time in general getting to your favorite campsite. All of the products are excellent devices and will tow a large sized camper with ease, but the best overall product in our opinion is our very first, the Eaz-Lift 48069 Elite Weight Distributing Hitch Kit.
Simply put, it has a large carrying capacity that will grant you versatility as you pull different loads. In addition to this, the distribution bar works excellently due to its ability to flex with bumps and obstacles. If we’re looking at a bang for your buck option, then the Reese 49902 Pro Series is probably the best unit, especially if you’re looking for ease of installation and adjustability.
Hauling campers across the states has become a favored pastime of many an outdoor enthusiast and we hope that this guide has helped you find the weight distribution kit that’ll make your journeys much easier. Happy trails!