How to Setup a Weight Distribution Hitch? (Step by Step)

Our expert is installing a Weight Distribution Hitch

Moving ordinary vehicles with bare hands is quite a tough job to do. This cannot be denied either, as towing vehicles is a common work, especially in public places. So there isn’t any way left out rather than getting its weight lighter to carry.

And this job gets easier when you have hitches. A good quality Weight distribution hitch makes this work more accessible and takes a shorter time. The following article is all about weight distribution hitch installation.

So what is a weight distribution hitch? It is a mechanical device that has to be attached to the chassis of a vehicle. Its’ purpose is just towing the vehicles. It doesn’t affect the tongue weight. Instead, it maximizes the hitch capacity of the vehicle by distributing the overall weight, which gets easier to carry. 

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Why Do You Need a Weight Distribution Hitch

A weight distribution hitch is precisely what you will be needed to tow a vehicle without any issues. It will provide you with ease in terms of getting rid of moving vehicles. It alters the point where the load from the trailer frame is transferred to the vehicle and distributes the weight across the axels of the vehicle and trailer coupler.

Technically, it won’t change the exact tongue weight of the trailer ball. It can maximize the vehicle and hitch capacities if rated for weight distribution. And thus, weight lifting hitches make your vehicle lighter in weight to carry.

It gets easier to tow your cars and move to another place. That’s why weight distribution hitches are needed to make your job more manageable. And these are the reasons why I think we should use these weight distribution hitches.

Tools You Need to Setup a Weight Distribution Hitch

Tools to Setup a Weight Distribution Hitch

A few tools are necessary before setting up a weight distribution hitch. Setting up a hitch without adjustment steps might get you to the utmost difficulties. And if proper tools aren’t used, the hitch might not distribute the overall weight, resulting in a complete failure. And who would like to have a loss in their hard work? So without wasting time, let’s head in about the essential tools needed-

  1. Shank bolts.
  2. Hitch ball with proper weight and size.
  3. Measuring tape.
  4. Pencils.
  5. Thin wall socket
  6. Socket wrench 

The above tools are necessary for the weight distributing hitch to attach well and distribute the weight all over the axels. So that it allows the hitch to be used at its maximum capacity, and if the hitch head is used at its highest capacity, the created knot between the trailer coupler won’t break, and the towing method will go as smooth as ever. And thus, we know about its usage by using the necessary tools suggested. 

Setting up Weight Distribution Hitch: Complete Guide

As we all know, a minimum initial setup is needed before using the weight distribution hitch. A book-like instruction manual is given with the whole device while buying the overall structure. This manual from Andersen hitch has a helpful guide focusing on installing a weight distributing hitch that is suggested to study once before practically installing.

Following the manual step by step might make your work even easier to do without any single issue. And once it’s fully prepared and attached, it’s ready for its towing mission.

Step 1: Measuring

Size measuring before Setting up Weight Distribution Hitch

The trailer height has to be measured by the tape measurer on the front and back of the trailer. The correct measurement of the towing vehicle’s front wheel is also required. You might also have to measure the distance between the ground and the top of the coupler.

Step 2: Hitch balls

First of all, the hitch balls have to be in the right size and weight capacity. It has to be attached to the ball mount assembly with lock washers and nuts. Remember always to use the lock washer and place it next to the nut. The lock washers should always be locked next to the nut.

Step 3: Hitch bar

Adjustable hitch bars, also known as shanks, have to be chosen according to the proper length. So you have clearance to turn without damaging your trailer and the proper tongue weight

Step 4: Inserting the shank

Inserting the shank during Weight Distribution Hitch installation

The bar has to be inserted inside the towing vehicle depending on the height of the trailer. And once you’ve successfully installed the bar, it has to be secured with a pole pin, and then place the ball mount of assembly onto the hitch.

Step 5: Hardware installation

The hardware needs to be installed into the top and lower holes of the ball mount without fully tightening the nuts. It should be tight enough so the ball mount won’t move quickly. 

Step 6: Spring bars

Attaching chains to the  wight distribution bars

Spring bars are the essential part of a weight distributing hitch. The chains must be attached to the bars using bolts, flat washers, and locknuts. Make sure to keep two to three threads beneath the lock nut.

Determining the proper spring bar height is also remarkable work to do. The ball should be vertical and tilted slightly towards the trailer.

The bottom knob has to be inserted into the lower socket of the ball mount. The adjustment of the bottom mounted coupler is slightly different, so it’s suggested to look at the manual before setting it up.

Step 7: Final installation

Our expert is installing the Weight Distribution Hitch

Tongue jacks are used to raise the ball couplers. Then the couplers are taken to the same height until the hitch ball is under the coupler to initiate friction. Before that, a correct measurement of the towing vehicle is needed. And when they’re on the right height, the couplers have to be lowered down, and there is where the knot creates. And at the very end, the spring bars have to be reinserted.

Note: Always remember to connect your electrical and safety chains before towing

After following all the mentioned steps above, the brackets have to be attached by tightening the jam bolts until they reach the frame. Make sure it doesn’t get over-tightened. After that, the trailer tongue has to be raised with the help of the trailer jack to remove as much weight as possible.

The snap-up brackets have to be parallel with the ground so that the chains can be attached easily. After attaching the chain to the closest hook, the snap-up brackets have to be slid over the yoke. After raising it, the yoke has to be secured by safety pins, and the exact repetition is needed on the other side. The jacks should be lowered, so the tongue remains no longer supported. And then make sure the jack is up and out of the way. 

After the installation, the front wheel of the towing vehicle has to be measured again. The current measure should be the same or only a little higher than before. We’ll understand the weight distribution hitch is ready to work if it is. The final step is to connect the chains. And this is how the proper installation of the weight distribution hitch ends.

Read: Weight Distribution Hitch vs Sway control

Weight Distribution Hitch Setup FAQs

WDH installation

Can you put too much tension on the weight distribution hitch?

The best way to pick out a weight distribution hitch is to base it off of the loaded tongue weight of the overall setup when it is loaded. And once the very first step is done, it’s ready to tow over. 

How tight should weight distribution bars be?

Spring Bar Chains have to be tightened when the system is installed on a weight distribution system that has spring bars hanging from chains. If they’re tightened too much, that will create a slight issue to the front and rear bumper but the exact amount of tightening may solve this matter without losing. And once you engage the spring bars, correctly they will get tighter.

Should I remove weight distribution bars before backing up?

Yes, you can backup, but the friction sway control must be disconnected first. Otherwise, you’ll damage it unintentionally. Before that, you have to make sure your hitch pin has a max trailer weight higher than your trailer.


Weight distribution hitches are being constantly used for towing vehicles, so I can’t deny how useful this is. Also, its easy usage makes your work a lot easier with less time. The towing starts to outweigh your vehicle’s spring arm weight by one-half, which is excellent indeed. 

The setup and initial installation method mentioned above about weight distribution hitch overall an easy and handy method to apply to tow your vehicles. And focusing on all these reasons, I think this weight distribution hitch is worth using.

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