How to Install Equalizer Hitch

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Last Updated on May 18, 2022

To be able to use an equalizer hitch without any problems, you must get the installation done right. 

And if you’re someone with zero to no knowledge on how to hitch installations take place, then it’s something you’ll need to put a little effort into.

But don’t worry because we are here to help you out. Today, we will be sharing a go-to method that shall give you some basic insight on how to install equalizer hitch. So, try not to skip any part.

Here’s How to Install Equalizer Hitch

A few things you’ll need for the process is what you must start gathering first before the actual process. We’ll include the necessary tools needed for each phase before starting them right below.

Prepare The Tow Vehicle & Trailer

Get a box-end wrench of two sizes, 15/16” and 9/16” or the size necessary according to the manual. Then you’ll need the same size socket wrenches. 

You also need a 5/8” socket wrench as well as 7/16” socket or box end wrenches. Get an adjustable wrench, measuring tape, pencil, torque wrench (180ft-lbs torque capability).

For the hitch ball, you’ll need a 1-7/8” thin-walled socket as well as a 4” extension. And a torque wrench will also be necessary for 430 ft-lbs. torque capability.

You want to park both trailer and tow vehicle on even surface lining with each other. Make sure you hook the trailer and use the right load. Follow accurate pressure for inflating every tire. And don’t forget to keep the auto level systems disable for now.

Hitch Ball Installation

Now let’s start with the e2 equalizer hitch ball installation where you must make sure to not cross-mentioned weight ratings by the manufacturer.

Also, keep these points in mind:

  1. The shank length should not be more than a certain length, which should be mentioned in the manual, otherwise, it may cause damage and void the warranty.
  2. Make sure the ball does not exceed the GVW of the trailer.
  3. The nut torque should be maintained according to the manufacturer’s guide.

Hitch Head to Shank Connection

Make necessary measurements for having the trailer placed parallel to the ground. And then you are ready to insert the shank inside the tow’s receiver. Use the hitch pin to secure it. Next, the spacer river would go through the hitch head’s back, and there should be washers included.

Maintain the hitch ball’s top at least 0 to 1 inch above the trailer coupler top while sliding the head into the shank. You can turn the shank upward if necessary. You can also go for an equalizer shank with a bigger drop or rise if needed to achieve the right height of the hitch ball.

Use the provided bolts, flat washer, nuts, and lock washers for attaching the shank with the head to the right height. Make sure the spacer rivet is placed tightly against the shank by using a wrench on the angle set bolt.

Install Bracket Assemblies

Check the manual’s mentioned guidelines for deciding the location of bracket assemblies. This is very important for the installation of an equalizer sway control hitch.

Avoid using any impact wrench for the L bracket bolts or link plates. Then you want to complete practical assemblies of the brackets.

There should be bolts L bracket bolts that go through the outside link plate holes. And there are also frame bolts for each link plate that goes through the top area located in single holes.

Use spilled washer for frame bolts and avoid lock nuts here. You also need to install the coupler based on the style it is. Then you need to position the L bracket on the outside link plate. Use bolts for tightening onto both middle holes and then hand tighten the nuts.

Spring Arms Installation

Hold the notched ends inside the sockets, and then insert the spring arms in the hitch head. The labels should be facing outward. Use socket pins and clips to hold them in place.

Weight Distribution Set-Up

Front-wheel good measurement is key to make sure the weight distribution is right. And you need to do this in three varying ways, which are given below:

  • Take measurements without coupling the trailer.
  • Measure while the trailer is coupled but detached spring arms.
  • Take measurements with both trailers being coupled and attached spring arms.

You want to make sure accurate measurements are done for both the passenger wheel and drive wheel. Then find out the gross for both measurements to get an average calculation.

Consider these for front-wheel well height

 X = Trailer uncoupled measurement.

 Y = Without weight distribution but coupled trailer and hitch ball on measurement.

 Z = weight distribution on and fully hitched.

Calculate the weight distribution using the following equation:

100*(Y-Z)/((X-B)

The ideal would be between 50% to 100%.

Making Adjustments to The Weight Distribution

If you don’t want to deal with sways, then weight distribution adjustment shall help you keep those reduced. 

Depending on the combination of tow vehicle and trailer, the weight distribution could be different. But it should be somewhere between 50 to 100 percent. Refer to the equalizer hitch manual for a better understanding of this.

In Case of Under Distribution:

  • The weight distribution on the rear axle must be too much while being too low on the front axle.
  • This can cause steering loss and issues with braking control.
  • Add space washers to the hitch head and bring the L brackets up for correcting the form.

In Case of Over Distribution:

  • The weight distribution on the rear axle of the tow vehicle is low.
  • Traction loss and control loss are parable issues.
  • Get rid of spacer washers from the hitch head or you can try lowering L-brackets to correct this.

Once the weight distribution is done you just need to adjust the pitch or angle of the trailer for making its park with the ground when it is towing. 

And after that, you must also tighten all the bots of hitch following the recommended torque by the manufacturer.

Get rid of the wheel chock and make sure to attach areaway and electrical cables. Also, connect the safety chains as well as do brake controller adjustments as necessary. If you used a jack, then retract it.

And it’s all ready to work!

Wrapping Up

There you go, now you know how to install equalizer hitch. Don’t be careless about the cautions and crucial instructions provided by the manufacturer inside the provided manual. 

Be sure of a step before getting into it. And if the whole thing seems a little too complex to handle on your own, there’s always the option to hire a professional who’ll get the job done without all that hassle. 

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About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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