Informational Guide

How To Set Up & Install A Weight Distribution Hitch

In this guide, we will show you how to install & set up a weight-distribution hitch correctly & how to adjust it properly.

If you are looking to reduce trailer sway, you might want to learn how to install a weight distribution hitch. In many cases, you can do it at home without any special equipment.  

In this article, we cover not only how to install a weight distribution hitch but also how to use a weight distribution hitch. 

Check out the best weight distribution hitches here.

1. What You’ll Need 

Can you install a weight distribution hitch yourself? Absolutely. Consider grabbing these supplies to have on hand before you get started. 

  • Tape measure 
  • Weight distribution hitch 
  • Hardware included with the hitch 
  • Manufacturer’s instructions 

2. Step By Step Instructions For Proper Set Up 

To learn how to properly set up a weight distribution hitch, you will follow these directions. However, it’s always wise to read the instructions that come with your part to ensure you know how to hook up a weight distribution hitch the way the manufacturer intended. You can also contact the manufacturer if you need additional guidance.  

Here are the general instructions compatible with most brands.  

  1. 1
    Measure the trailer and vehicle height. Record the distance from the ground to the trailer coupler as well as to the bumpers.
  2. 2
    Insert the shank into the receiver tube. Secure it with a hitch pin & clip. The head position should provide one to three inches of space above the coupler height to the trailer ball. Install a mounting bolt in the assembly, but don’t tighten it yet.
  3. 3
    In some cases, set the head angle. While not every type will require this, you may need to put two washers on the adjustment rod for adjustment.
  4. 4
    Rotate the head into the proper mounting position. If the angle isn’t right, use washers.
  5. 5
    Insert a bolt into the top hole. Fasten both with the appropriate washers and nuts.
  6. 6
    Install the spring bars to couple the trailer. The spring bars are mounted on the hitch head. Attach the spring bar chains before mounting the bars.
  7. 7
    Back your tow vehicle up for connection. You will need to raise the coupler.
  8. 8
    Engage the brackets for hookup. You will need to position the spring bar brackets from the trailer frame while using the chains as your guide. Then, with the included bolts, mount the brackets to the frame of the trailer.
  9. 9
    Attach the chains to the brackets. You want both sides to have the same amount of space vertically. You can count the chain links between the brackets and spring bars.
  10. 10
    Put the brackets into the lock position with the lift handle.
  11. 11
    Tighten all of the bolts. Read the owner’s manual to find the appropriate torque you should apply. It’s very important that your hitch is connected securely. Otherwise, you could create a hazard on the road.  

If you find yourself struggling to figure out how to install a weight distributing trailer hitch, you may consider speaking with a professional. It’s better to have some help getting it installed properly than to do the job wrong and create issues on the road. 

weight distribution hitch

How To Adjust Weight Distribution Hitches 

As you adjust the load that you are pulling, you may need to learn how to adjust a weight distribution hitch. You shouldn’t need any special tools when adjusting a weight distribution hitch, but every manufacturer is different. Reference the owner’s manual if you need more guidance figuring out how to properly adjust a weight distribution hitch.  

  • Retract the jack for the trailer, allowing all of the weight to rest down on your hitch.
  • Measure the distances between the rear and front bumpers with the ground. Each of these should fall within ½” of the measurement you took originally.
  • If the distances are different, adjust the amount of spring bar chains links to decrease or increase the tension.
  • It’s also possible to adjust the head unit tilt when needed.  

While you will perform a typical adjustment during the weight distribution hitch setup, you may also need to do it again when weights change.  

weight distribution hitch connecting truck and trailer

Air Bags And Weight Distribution Hitches: Can You Use Them Both? 

Can you use air bags and a weight distribution hitch together? The air bags are part of the air spring suspension system, and they can be used together.

However, if after you learn how to set up a weight distribution hitch with air bags and you notice sagging, you might need to make some adjustments. 

It’s possible that your setup doesn’t have the right rating. You must know the total tongue weight of the configuration. This tongue weight includes the trailer’s weight in addition to any cargo you have loaded in the truck bed.

Your weight distribution hitch must be able to handle all of the weight without the air bags compensating for the difference.  

Popular Weight Distribution Hitch Brands (How To Install & Set Up) 

Reese Weight Distribution Hitch 

Figuring out how to set up a Hayman Reese weight distribution hitch is simple, considering the company lists the instructions on their website. The majority of the steps follow the same basic outline we gave above, but if you need further help, this video might provide the answers you are looking for. 

Equalizer Weight Distribution Hitch 

You can find most of the product manuals on the company’s website if you want to know how to install an Equalizer weight distribution hitch. The directions for each product model might be slightly different. Here is also a helpful video if you prefer to learn from visual explanations.  

Curt Weight Distribution Hitch 

Figuring out how to install a Curt weight distribution hitch doesn’t take too much skill. The company outlines everything you need to know in its online library. Additionally, you can find numerous videos online illustrating the setup, such as this helpful instruction we found. 

EAZ Lift Weight Distribution Hitch Install/Set Up 

Do you know how to install an EAZ Lift weight distribution hitch? While the instructions are relatively simple to follow, you can learn a lot by looking at the company’s resource page. In addition to this information, you can find further guidance with YouTube videos such as this one. 

Haul Master Weight Distribution Hitch 

Haul Master is a Harbor Freight brand that tends to be a little cheaper than the top manufacturers. While the price is lower, the steps when learning how to install a Haul Master weight distribution hitch aren’t much different. Here is a helpful YouTube video if you want some guidance.  You can also check out the manufacturer's manual at Harbor Freight.

Husky Weight Distribution Hitch Set Up 

Husky is another popular brand, mainly because of the reasonable pricing. If you want to know how to install a Husky weight distribution hitch, you can follow the steps we outlined above or read your owner’s manual. You can also watch helpful videos, such as this one found on YouTube.  

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can I back up with a weight distribution hitch? 

In most cases, you will be able to back up with the weight distribution hitch installed. However, you should be careful. While it is the same operation as with a regular hitch, you need to disengage the sway control first.  

How much does it cost to install a weight distribution hitch? 

If the weight distributing hitch installation seems overwhelming, you might prefer hiring a professional. In general, you can expect to pay between $100 and $900 for the hitch installation, depending on the type you have and the vehicle you drive.  

How much does a weight distribution hitch help? 

The weight distribution hitch gives you a smoother, more level ride while you tow. It will also improve the stopping and steering while reducing swag, especially when used in conjunction with sway control.  

Where do you lubricate a weight distribution hitch? 

Keep the hitch ball and head properly lubricated for the best performance. You can wipe down the surfaces with a cloth and apply some bearing grease to keep it lubricated.  


After you are finished installing a weight distribution hitch, you are ready to hit the road. The sky’s the limit with what you can accomplish when you have the appropriate trailering configuration. Tow the equipment needed for work or head out of town for a weekend of fun with the family.