Does Weight Distribution Hitch Increase Payload?

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When it comes to towing, weight distribution is the most important factor that helps in maintaining stability and safety on the road. A weight distribution hitch is a device that helps distribute the weight of the trailer evenly across the tow vehicle and trailer and ensures that your journey remains safe. 

One question I’ve been seeing on online forums in ‘‘Does using a weight distribution hitch increase payload?’’ The answer is pretty straightforward and those people who have spent time around the trucks know the answer well. But newbies remain confused, so I am going to answer these questions.

No, weight distribution hitches don’t increase the payload and it is kind of a myth that many newcomers in the automobile industry believe. As the name suggests, weight distribution hitches divide the weight across the trailer and vehicle and maintain balance

This was a brief answer written for those who don’t have much technical knowledge or are new in the field. In this article, I am going to give you a lot more information so stay connected.

Related Article: How to Install a 5th Wheel Hitch on a Flatbed Truck?

What is a weight distribution hitch and how does it work?

A weight distribution hitch is a device that attaches to the tow vehicle and the trailer, distributing the weight of the load more evenly across both. It is used for increased stability as the weight gets divided all across the trailer axle and vehicle.

It works by using a system of spring bars that transfer some of the weight from the hitch ball and coupler to the axles of the tow vehicle and trailer. This helps to distribute the weight more evenly, reducing the tongue weight (the weight on the hitch ball) and improving stability and handling while towing.

There are different types of weight distribution hitches available and each of them has its own feature and specification. Below is the list of those types.

  • Sway control hitches
  • Trunnion bar hitches
  • Round bar hitches

Why do people use weight distribution hitches?

When it comes to towing, stability, and safety are paramount. Instability can lead to accidents if you are towing heavy trailers. By distributing the weight of the trailer more evenly across the tow vehicle and trailer, weight distribution hitches can help to improve stability and handling while towing. 

Not only increase stability, but these hitches also reduce the chances of wear and tear in your vehicle. When the weight of the trailer is not distributed evenly, then it usually causes wear and tear on the tow vehicle and trailer. 

This can lead to costly repairs and maintenance in the long run. But when the weight is distributed perfectly, then the weight doesn’t remain in place, and it gets divided which reduces wear and tear. Apart from wear and tear, these hitches increase safety while towing. 

Does weight distribution hitches increase the payload?

So, does a weight distribution hitch increase payload? The short answer is NO! But before we go into the details, let me tell you what exactly does this mean?

Payload is the amount of weight that a vehicle usually can carry. This includes the weight of the vehicle or trailer itself, driver, passengers, cargo, or other items that are being transported. Everything which is being loaded on the vehicle is called payload.

When the weight of the trailer is not distributed evenly, it can put more stress on the hitch and the tow vehicle. This can cause the tongue weight (the weight on the hitch ball) to be too high, reducing the amount of payload that can be carried.

But when you use a weight-distribution hitch, then it divides or redistributes the weight across the trailer and vehicle and creates balance. The hitch is specially used to increase the payload. In fact, it causes a balance of weight. Due to that balance, the stress or load on the hitch decreases. 

But if you ask me if the usage of weight distribution hitch increases the payload. No. Technically, there is no direct relation between the payload and weight distribution hitches.

How to find the payload capacity of your vehicle?

Many people seem to be confused about where they can find the payload. Look, there is no specific formula that could give you a payload. In fact, every vehicle usually has its own payload weight and it varies from vehicle to vehicle. Below are some points that will help you find the payload.

  • Some vehicles have a label on the driver’s side door jamb. On this label, the payload of your vehicle is usually written.
  • The manufacturer’s website is another useful source that can give you information about the specification and payload of your vehicle. 
  • Contact the manufacturer and ask them about the payload of your vehicle.
  • The owner’s manual usually includes the payload weight of the vehicle. Read it carefully.

What is the Difference Between Towing Capacity and Payload?

Towing capacity and payload are two important concepts when it comes to considering the capabilities of a vehicle. But don’t mix them as they both are different things. In this section below, I will give you their differences.

Towing capacity is the maximum weight a vehicle can safely tow behind it, such as a trailer. In other words, you can say that it represents the towing load. What load your vehicle is able to carry with a trailer is called towing capacity.

On the other hand, the payload is the weight that a vehicle can carry, including passengers, cargo, and any accessories. This does not include trailer weight or the weight of content present on the trailer. 

Simplest Word: Towing capacity measures how much weight a vehicle can safely pull behind it, whereas the payload is how much weight the vehicle can safely carry inside it.

Is towing capacity better than payload?

The answer is it depends on the purpose you are using the vehicle. Suppose, you are a driver who tows trailers on a regular basis then towing capacity will be a better option than the payload as it will give you a measure of weight that you will be able to tow with your vehicle.

On the other hand, if the towing trailer is not on your daily routine, instead you use a vehicle for the commute of your family, then the payload should be your priority as it will give you the weight that you would be able to carry inside your vehicle. In the end, which one is better is totally dependent on your choice and purpose.


WDH is used to distribute the weight and create balance across the trailer and vehicle. It does not specifically or technically increase the payload. It is just a myth that is being carried by mostly newbies or those who don’t have much knowledge about the hitches and their functionality. I hope that this guide will add value to your life. See you with another helpful guide.

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