Weight Distributing Hitch Question(s)

Discussion in 'Towables' started by jruss79, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. jruss79

    jruss79 New Member

    Hey guys, I hope you can help me. From what I understand you RV'ers are the most experienced with trailering.

    I am planning to get a weight distributing hitch for my horse trailer (yes, I know, it isn't an RV but please humor me:)) and I am not totally sure exactly what I need.

    I see where these hitches are sold at 600lbs, 800lbs, 1200lbs etc and I don't quite know exactly what this number means and I have been looking for days. Is this the tongue weight where the hitch starts to effectivly transer the excess tongue weight across the whole vehicle frame or the maximum weight that the hitch can transer to the frame? Obviously 600lbs spring bars must be stiffer than 1200lbs but I don't know what size I need.

    Vehicle: 2006 Ford Explorer 4.6L V8 (capacity of 7,400lbs)
    Hitch: WC 500lbs/5,000lbs WD 740lbs/7,400lbs
    Trailer: empty weight 3,300lbs (TW of 500lbs assuming 15% on the tongue), gross weight of 7,000lbs

    Any ideas about what stiffness bars to get and why you recommend it? Also, should I get round bars or trunion bars?

    Thanks SOOOO much!!!

  2. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: Weight Distributing Hitch Question(s)

    Welcome to the board Joe. What will be your actually loaded weight? If it gets near the max cap. I would think you would need the 1200 lbs bars and dont think round are trunion would matter if both are available in that weight class. John and some of the others are better in the weights than I so maybe they will be here and give an answer..
  3. jruss79

    jruss79 New Member

    Re: Weight Distributing Hitch Question(s)

    Thanks for responding . . .

    The max the trailer can weigh given the axles is 7,000lbs but I doubt it'll ever be loaded that high. The max I would expect to see is 6,000lbs (3,300 empty + 200 for tack + 2500 for horses). It often will see only 4,500lbs loaded. I am more concerned about safety than comfort (I've heard too strong a spring is effective but makes for a MUCH stiffer ride).


  4. wvcamper

    wvcamper New Member

    RE: Weight Distributing Hitch Question(s)

    I'm no expert, but I believe the 500, 600 etc. pound rating would be a threshold for the
    trailer's loaded tongue weight....Rounded UP.

    For example, if your loaded tongue weight was 525 pounds, use 600 pound bars.
    The bars would have to have some flex.

    If 1000 pound bars were used on a 525 pound tongue, there would be virtually NO flex and the ride would be rough and rigid.
    If the bars were too small, they could bend or break.

  5. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: Weight Distributing Hitch Question(s)

    My thinking is if he has a loaded weight of 6000 lbs and 15% of that is transfered to the tongue he will have roughly 900 to 1000 lb weight there. Really the best thing to do is weigh the trailer fully loaded and find the tongue weight. JMO and I'm no expert on weights. I generally leave the weight issues to Hertig or some of the math experts here.
  6. jruss79

    jruss79 New Member

    Re: Weight Distributing Hitch Question(s)

    I went ahead and got 800 pound (740 max tongue weight rounded up) trunion bars. I figure if is isn't the right thing I can buy new bars (althought at probably half the cost of a new hitch). Thanks for the insight.


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