Best Weight Distributing Hitches for Horse Trailers


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Towing safety is paramount when pulling a horse trailer. For many horse owners with a bumper pull horse trailer, a weight distribution system may be essential to ensure your tow vehicle can properly handle your trailer’s load. Here are our picks for the best weight distribution hitches:

All bumper pull horse trailers are safer when towed with a weight distribution system, there are no situations where it’s “overkill” when increasing safety. 

This article provides information on the best weight distributing hitches for pulling your horse trailer safely and efficiently to make sure you’ll be good to hit the road. The eight hitches below are some of the best models on the market.

Best weight distributing hitch.

The best weight distributing hitch is the Andersen “No-Sway.”

Andersen ‘No-Sway’

Nothing is perfect, but the Andersen ‘No-Sway’ is the closest. It is simple to use, not heavy, and can be attached and detached quickly. The system requires no grease and comes with a ball mount.

Andersen did away with the spring bar-style weight distribution mechanism and replaced it with a more straightforward chain mechanism, seen in the above video.

Its distinctive chain and spring design provides weight distribution and sway control without any noise. The Andersen weight distribution system comes in several different part numbers to fit a variety of trailer frames, coupler ball sizes, and height variations.

It a simple, 3-step process to determine which Andersen WDH kit you need for your trailer and tow vehicle:

  • Determine the size hitch ball for your trailer. Check your trailer’s coupler you should see either 2″ and 2 5/16″ stamped on the part that attaches to your tow vehicle’s hitch.
  • Determine the drop or rise from the bottom of your trailer coupler and the top of your tow vehicle’s receiver. Anderen’s standard drop/rise is 4″ or 8″.
  • Determine the height of your trailer frame at the front of the trailer. This measurement lets you know the size bracket you need. You need to buy the right bracket size, so there is no ‘play’ between the bracket and your trailer frame. Standard frame sizes are 3″, 4″, 4 3/8″, 5″, 6″, 7″ and 8″.

With this information, the ball size your trailer uses, the receiver size of your tow vehicle, the drop/rise, and the height of your trailer’s frame, you can choose with confidence the Andersen WDH kit part number for your rig.

Andersen No Sway Weight Distribution Hitch Install (2019)

The best standard style weight distributing hitch system.

The best standard style weight distributing hitch system is the Equal-i-zer

Equal-i-zer Hitch System

The Equal-i-zer hitch system is a tried and true weight-distributing hitch system that’s been used by thousands of haulers for years. It has some great features and a reasonable price. The following are some of its more notable features:

  • Brackets clamp on the frame and can be adjusted to accommodate your particular needs. The clamp-on feature provides the added benefit of not having to drill holes in the structure of your trailer.
  • The snap-up lever reduces the lifting required by trailer a jack and makes installation easier.
  • You achieve the proper tilt with traditional washer design
  • To tilt the head up or down simply add or remove washers from the spacer rivet;
  • The components are of dipped steel construction, that makes the product durable and corrosion-resistant
(Old Version) Installation – Equal-i-zer® 4-Point Sway Control™ Trailer Hitch

This system is reliable, durable, and does its job. However, it is also noisy and heavy, in comparison to the Andersen ‘No-Sway’, which why Andersen gets the nod for best overall weight distributing system.

Best weight distributing hitch system for the price.

Fastway offers the best weight distributing hitch system for the price.

Fastway e2 2-point sway control hitch

6K RB Fastway e2 2-point sway control hitch allows you to maintain a level truck and a level trailer when traveling down the road. The Fastway system evenly distributes weight over the axles of the truck and trailer.

It also provides stability with no lift chain spring bars and steel on steel friction to minimize sway caused by wind or driving conditions. The angle of the head controls the weight distribution system. The angle is adjusted by adding and removing washers.

Here are some features of the Fastway e2 system:

  • Integrated 2-Point Sway Control
  • The system is compatible with surge-type brake actuators
  • Round spring bars that flex resulting in a controlled, even ride
  • Clamp-on brackets that are adjustable so they can be placed at different places along the trailer frame

The Fastway e2 hitches offer similar weight distribution properties as Equal-i-zer hitches but without as effective anti-sway capability. The e2 hitches are good but not great. But for the price, they can’t be beaten.

Why use a weight distributing hitch?

Weight distributing hitches increase tongue capacity. A weight distribution system significantly improves towing safety for horse trailers and tow vehicles.

It is a specific type of hitch that creates a smooth and level ride for your horses. And allows you to haul more weight improves steering, traction, braking, and trailer sway.

Who needs a weight distributing hitch system?

Horse owners need a weight distributing hitch system to increase tongue weight capacity. When the tongue weight of your horse trailer is more than the ability of your regular hitch’s capacity, a weight-distributing hitch system helps keep your truck and trailer level.

Horse owners often pull a trailer that is too heavy for the suspension of their truck, causing a dip where the trailer and truck meet. The primary reason people need a weight distributing hitch-systems is their truck hitch is rated lower than the tongue weight of their trailer.

To find out if your truck’s suspension is right for your trailer, check the trailers tongue weight and compare it to the capacity of your truck’s hitch capacity. Trailers with heavy tongue weight push the back end of the towing vehicle down, and naturally, the front end rises.

The higher front-end creates numerous dangerous conditions, headlights pointing too high, steering difficulties, traction control, and braking power. Weight distributing systems can prevent the rise of the front-end by increasing tongue weight capacity and providing support to the hitch.

A weight distributing hitch transfers load weight.

How does the weight distributing hitch work?

Horse owners are notorious for using lightweight trucks for pulling bumper pull horse trailers. Of course, everyone likes to save money, or can’t afford the right size truck, but a load distributed improperly is an accident waiting to happen.

Horses are, by their nature, are a challenging load to haul. Horses shift as you drive, and most of their weight is high, in contrast, to most cargo loads that are lower to the ground.

A weight-distributing hitch system is comprised of the following components:

  • Trailer hitch receiver: These receivers come rated for use with weight distribution capabilities by class, you will need a class III, IV, or V to match up with your trailer.
  • Weight distribution shank with a ball mount: This component slides into the trailer’s receiving hitch.
  • Weight distribution head assembly. This component attaches to the weight distribution shank, and each assembly looks slightly different. These devices help stabilize your trailer and towing vehicle.
  • Spring bars: Spring bars sweep under the tongue of your horse trailer. They are a vital component that helps apply leverage to your towing rig to keep trailer balanced and prevent dipping in the middle.
  • Frame brackets: Frame brackets mount to the frame of your trailer and hold the spring bars in place. Some come with features that provide sway control through the brackets.

These components work together to evenly transfer load weight between the axles on your truck and trailer, resulting in a level distribution of weight.

Since your bumper-pull horse trailer’s weight is not concentrated on the rear axle of your truck, the weight distribution system improves steering and braking during hauls.  It also provides a comfortable and level ride for your horses.

Weight distributing systems with sway control.

Some weight distributing systems has sway control. Weight distributing systems come with or without “sway control.”  Trailer sway is caused by crosswinds or a shifting load in your trailer. 

The term swaying is used to describe the movement of the trailer sideways while traveling. Sway bars in the weight distribution system work to minimize or prevent this from happening.

If you are unsure about the type of weight distributing system is best for your rig, go to a trailer or truck accessory store and get advice from an expert.

I’ve done extensive research into the best weight-distributing hitches I could find. These hitches are all highly rated on Amazon and have hundreds of reviews.

It’s essential to have as much information as possible before you purchase an item. So, here are links to Amazon customer review pages so you can see what hundreds of other customers have to say:

Customer reviews

How to choose your weight distributing hitch.

The brand and type of weight distribution system best for your truck and trailer combination depend on:

  1. Trailer Gross weight: Gross trailer weight is the weight of your loaded trailer, including the weight of the trailer along with everything loaded in it and on it. This means the total weight of all cargo, passengers, animals, and equipment.
  2. Gross vehicle/trailer weight rating: This rating is essential to know so that you don’t exceed the maximum permissible weight.
  3. Trailer Tongue weight: Tongue weight is the descending pressure a trailer tongue exerts on the hitch that is connected to the vehicle.

FAQ

Is it illegal to drive around with my hitch in the receiver?

I’m not aware of any laws that require you to remove your hitch from its receiver when not in use. However, be sure it doesn’t obstruct the view of your license plate.

Can I backup a horse trailer with a weight distributing hitch attached?

It depends on the style of the weight distribution system you’re using. Most are fine to back up in a straight line but if you want to make turns you need to make some adjustments. However weight distribution systems without sway control typically can be backed up without any issue. Be sure to check with the manufacturer of your hitch for specific information.

Do horse trailers have brakes?

Most newer horse trailers come with brakes as a standard feature, but smaller bumper-pull and older horse trailers might not have them. In some states, horse trailers with a gross vehicle weight of over 3,000 lbs must have brakes. To learn more about horse trailer brakes, you may find this article helpful: Do Horse Trailers Have Brakes? Do They Need Them? 2 Options

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Miles Henry

I love animals! Especially horses, I've been around them most of my life but I am always learning more and enjoy sharing with others. I have bought, sold, and broke racehorse yearlings. I have raised some winning horses and had some that didn't make it as racehorses, so we trained them in other disciplines. Miles Henry

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