If you have spent a few hours studying towing and towing equipment, you may have heard the term “weight carrying vs weight distributing”.
The weight-carrying (WC) rating system is for all types of trailers.
But we don’t really need a weight distributing (WD) system unless we have to go for the higher and heavy-duty tasks.
So, it is important to know the differences and effects.
To help you out, this article explores the weight-carrying vs weight distributing dispute.
weight carrying vs weight distributing: The Basic Difference
The main difference is that weight-carrying only helps you carry the load directly.
Loads will be on the hitch and the rear while the weight-distributing hitch will carry the weight and distribute it on the whole frame of the vehicle.
As stated already, a weight-carrying hitch is one of the two primary categories of trailer hitches to choose from.
This type of hitch is the most basic type of trailer hitch.
It is mounted on the bumper of the vehicle that is doing the pulling.
The trailer tongue of this hitch deal with all the weight of whatever you are pulling.
On the other hand, the carrying hitch then bears all the weight of the tongue.
Simply put, weight-carrying hitches are responsible for bearing the entirety of the trailer’s hitch weight.
The majority of the time, you’ll see them coupled to lightweight/ultralight/modest/small trailers like tent trailers or ATV trailers.
For safety concerns, these typical hitches are thought to be risk-free for use with trailers that weigh not more than a few hundred pounds.
Weight Distribution Hitch
This type of hitches comes into action when the carrying hitches fail to do the job of hauling.
More specifically, when the load is beyond a certain limit or out of the capacity of the carrying hitches, you need a distribution hitch.
As the weight of the trailer continues to increase, there will be a need for a weight-distributing hitch fairly quickly.
Underneath the bumper, on the frame of the towing vehicle, there is a receiver on most of the vehicles.
The weight-distributing hitches simply attach to these receivers and function efficiently.
A weight distribution hitch employs distribution bars.
The bars are then responsible to disperse the hauling weight relatively effectively throughout the entirety of the vehicle frame and front axles.
When pulling a bigger travel trailer, the increased stability provided by these hitches is invaluable.
how to Determine If You Need Weight Carrying Or Weight Distributing?
Now that you know the differences between these two systems, you know what to use and when to use them.
However, a few practical calculations and views of the experts in this regard will help our cause.
Types of carrying hitch:
What class of hitch you use determines if you need a weight distribution system.
First off, the type of hitch that you will need to employ is determined by the total weight that you want to draw.
However, the hitch receiver type that your vehicle comes equipped with also depicts which type of hitch you can use.
The following table shows the several classes of hitches and the maximum weight capabilities that are rated for each class:
|Class of hitch||Maximum weight capacity||Maximum tongue weight|
|Class I||1,000 pounds to 2,000 pounds||100 pounds to 200 pounds|
|Class II||2,000 pounds to 3,500 pounds||200 pounds to 525 pounds|
|Class III||3,500 pounds to 8,000 pounds||300 pounds to 800 pounds|
|Class IV||5,000 pounds to 12,000 pounds||500 pounds to 1,200 pounds|
|Class V (2-1/2″ Class V)||10,000 pounds to 20,000 pounds||1,000 pounds to 2,000 pounds|
|Class V (2″ Class V)||20,000 pounds to 25,000 pounds||3,000 pounds to 4,000 pounds|
When To Employ Weight Distribution:
In most cases, a weight-distributing hitch is not required for trailers that are light enough to be pulled by a hitch receiver rated as a Class I or Class II.
Here, the weight doesn’t exceed 3,500 pounds and the tongue weight remains within 500 pounds.
However, you need a weight distribution system when a trailer is heavy enough in weight to need a hitch of Class III or above.
You can listen to the experts in these regards. Most of the experts suggest as follows:
“If the total loaded weight is less than 5,000 pounds and the tongue weight is less than 500 pounds, then you do not need a weight distribution system.”
However, based on practical aspects and the road conditions, it may be safe to use a distribution hitch if the load exceeds 3500 pounds and the tongue load goes beyond 350 pounds.
How weight distribution systems work:
A weight-distributing hitch does exactly what its name suggests.
It simply spreads out the load that is carried by the trailer tongue.
While the load sits on the back axle for a carrying hitch, the distribution hitch ensures that the weight is distributed on both axles.
The weight doesn’t simply rest on the tow vehicle’s back axle.
Rather, it is distributed across all three axles.
In addition to the axle of the trailer, the back and front axles of the vehicle get the weight proportionately.
Thus, the vehicle remains steady and balanced.
It eliminates the risks of excessive and uncontrollable sway and ensures the safety of both the vehicle and the driver.
Nothing of this sort is possible by the use of a carrying hitch.
Choose the correct distribution:
It is essential to select the weight-distributing hitch that corresponds to the correct size for your arrangement.
The weight of the hitch should be between 10 and 15 percent of the entire weight of the trailer.
If you use any less, you run the risk of experiencing unexpected and perhaps hazardous sway.
If you add any more, you run the risk of overloading the back axle of the tow vehicle, which might result in a structural and dangerous failure.
As a result, the weight-distributing system you use should have the capacity to support a load that is somewhat higher than the tongue weight.
FAQs about weight carrying vs weight distributing:
Does The Carrying And Distribution System Ensure Safety?
No matter what hitching system you choose to employ, the connections have to be secured.
Also, you must not exceed the maximum weight limit.
That’s your best bet if you want to avoid any mishaps with your haul.
Do I Need Weight Distribution For The Class II Hitch?
In most cases, you won’t need any.
But if the weight exceeds 3,500 pounds, it is rather safe to use one.
What Is The Difference Between Max Weight And Max Distribution Weight?
The max weight depends on the category of hitch. While the distribution weight is something that the weight-distributing system distributes.
Does Weight Distribution Reduce Weight?
No, it doesn’t. it simply distributes weight.
It neither reduces tongue weight nor enables you to tow more than the vehicle is capable of supporting.
Knowing weight carrying and weight distributing differences in depth is significant to ensure an efficient and smooth towing experience.
Sometimes it may seem allowable to use only a weight-carrying system.
But, if you consider the matter in terms of safety and smoothness of hauling, a weight distribution system might be the ideal option to go with.
If this weight carrying vs weight distributing dispute still perplexes you with questions, the comment box is all yours.