How To Set Up Weight Distribution Hitch – 9 Easy Steps

how to set up weight distribution hitch

The primary purpose of using a weight distribution hitch is to remove the excess weight from the towing vehicle rear axle and distribute it to the trailer wheels and the front wheels.
It is essential that you attach the hitch correctly to prevent problems and accidents as you travel.

To make sure you will have a safe journey on the road with your trailer, here are 9 easy steps on how to set up weight distribution hitch correctly. 


How To Set Up Weight Distribution Hitch
  • Weight distribution hitch
  • Washers
  • Bolts and screws
  • Jack and jack stand
  • Tape measure
  • Ubolts

9 Easy Steps On Setting Up Weight Distribution Hitch

Here are some simple steps in setting up the hitch properly:

Step 1. Taking the Measurements

Taking the Measurements

Position your trailer, and towing vehicle on level ground then take note some of the critical measurements. These measurements will help you during the adjustment steps.

Line them up in a straight line, with the trailer uncoupled. With your tape measure, measure the uncoupled height at the rear and front wheel openings to the ground, and the trailer coupler height.

Step 2. Setting Up The Hitch Ball

Setting Up The Hitch Ball

Make sure that you use the right hitch ball rated for your trailer. Attach the hitch ball to the ball mount assembly. Lock it using the washers and nuts. Keep in mind always use the washers and place it next to the nut. For proper torque specifications check the installation guide.

Step 3. Placing The Hitch Bar Or The Shank 

Placing The Hitch Bar

Purchase the right adjustable hitch bar or the shank to match your trailer coupler height requirements.

Make sure also that you choose the right length of the shank, the proper tongue weight, and the gross trailer weight capacity, so you have the correct clearance to turn without damaging your trailer or truck.

Insert the hitch bar in the receiving tube of the towing vehicle based on the height of your trailer. You can either do this by drop configuration or a rise configuration.

Placing The Hitch Bar

Once you inserted the bar secure it with the pole pin and a clip.

Step 4. Placing The Ball Mount Assembly

Placing The Ball Mount Assembly

Then place the ball mount assembly onto the hitch. Raise or lower the assembly to ensure proper setting. It should be somewhere between ¾ of an inch and an entire inch higher than the coupler measurement you have done earlier at this point.

Placing The Ball Mount Assembly

If there is a gap between the hitch bar and the weight distribution head, you will want to place a shim. Top down is the best way to solve the space if it is not big enough. You can use a ½ shim. However, if it is not enough, you might need fine-tuning later.

Install the hardware into the lower and top holds of the ball mount, do not fully tighten the nuts. Just make sure that it is tight enough so the ball mount will not move.

Step 5. Setting Up The Spring Bars

Setting Up The Spring Bars

The most vital parts of weight distribution are the spring bars. There is no right or left spring bar so you can place one on the left and the other on the right.

Setting Up The Spring Bars

Attach the chains to the bars with the use of U bolts flat washers. Then lock nuts make sure there are two or three threads exposed beneath the lock nut.

The proper position of the bar should be the sticker on top. The trunnion reinforcement set on the bottom nob of the trunnion through the lower socket of the ball assembly. On the top of the ball mount, slide the knob and then swing the bar to make sure that it will line up at the edge of the trailer frame. Check the table included in the manual for the proper spring bar height.

Step 6. Adjust The Spring Bar

Adjust The Spring Bar

Adjust the spring bar so it will match the height by tilting the ball mount as needed. The ball needed to be vertical and tilted slightly towards the trailer. If used with the top mounted coupler for a bottom mounted coupler the adjustment could be a bit different.

Check the manual for details on how much torque. Measure the distance from the front wheel of the towing vehicle to the pavement and take note of it. You will know, you achieve proper weight distribution if the measurement stays within one-half inch of that measurement.

Step 7. The Hookup


Raise the coupler using the tongue jack enough for the ball to pass underneath it. Move the towing vehicle backward until the hitch ball is under the coupler. Lower the coupler onto the ball, so it will latch. Do not remove the jack yet, let it handle some of the weight.

Step 8. Reinsert The Spring Bars And Install The Bracket

Reinsert The Spring Bars

Reinsert the spring bars. Now that you have the chains and bars in position the next step is to install the snap up brackets on the frame of the trailer. Position the brackets on the dead-center and tighten it with the bolt make sure not to over tighten it. Attach the chain from the string bar in the bracket so it will run straight up and down.

Reinsert The Spring Bars

Step 9. Connect The Chain On The Yoke

Connect The Chain On The Yoke

Raise the trailer tongue using the trailer jack and the back of the tow vehicle to remove some weight as possible. It will be much easier to connect the chain.

Lower the yoke of the bracket until it becomes parallel with the ground. Take the chain up and then slip the closest link on the hook.

There should be no less than five links between the hook and the u-bolt on the spring bar.
Slide the snap up the bracket. Lift the handle on top of the yoke and raise it until it passed over the center. Glide the safety pin into the hole to deadbolt the yoke in position.

Remove the handle and repeat the steps 8, 9, and 10 on the other spring bar. Make sure that you have the same number of links between the hook and the u-bolt.

After you have set everything in place, measure the front axle and the rear axle. If it measures the same, then you have installed the weight distribution hitch correctly. 

To view the whole process of setting up the weight distribution hitch check out this video:

Final Words

The weight distribution hitch installation can be a little bit hard to comprehend at first, but it is quite simple. Simply take your time and perform this at your convenient time and you will complete the installation fast.

If you have some doubts, you can always check the instruction manual included in the package. You can also ask the experts for questions. If you think this how to set up weight distribution hitch is helpful to you, feel free to share it with others. 

Read more:
Best 5th Wheel Hitch Reviews - Drop Hitch For Lifted Trucks-

What Size Truck To Pull A 5th Wheel?

Leave a Comment: