Snowplows, Springs and WD hitches

July 10, 2012
Filed under Trailer How To, Trailer Q&A

Q: One thing I had to consider when setting up a weight-distributing (WD) hitch was having high front spring rates on my trucks because they have all had a snow plow prep package option on them with the heavy-duty front springs. It makes it difficult to get the front and rear height the same without making the rear suspension on the truck too light when setting up a WD hitch for it and on a travel trailer. My setup has the rear end a bit lower than the front when hitched up, but it still maintains good handling quality.

– Gregory Berry | Hopkinton, N.H.

A: It seems like you have your setup properly dialed in, Gregory. The idea when using a weight-distributing (WD) hitch is through its leverage design to distribute the hitch weight of the trailer more evenly over the tow vehicle’s front and rear axles, rather than placing it all upon the rear axle, and to help keep that weight under control, thus creating a better overall handling tow vehicle and trailer combination. Achieving safe and stable towing is the goal. A front suspension with the snowplow option is pretty stout and less susceptible to being loaded, or unloaded, by the leverage effects of the trailer hitch weight out back. If you have your rig set up so the truck rides fairly level, without drooping a lot in back, and the lash up drives and handles securely, it seems like you’re good to go.

– Jeff Johnston

To send your questions to RV Clinic, write to 2575 Vista Del Mar, Ventura, Calif., 93001; or email [email protected]. Also, check out TrailerLife.TV for our expert RV how-to videos. 

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