Can You Use A Weight-Distribution Hitch With Surge Brakes

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Last Updated on July 21, 2022

During a heavy tow, this device helps to relieve some of the massive stress on the vehicle’s bumper. This is critical in order to protect your vehicle investment. 

Apart from that, maneuverability and safety are the most important factors. Drivers can effectively steer, turn, control, and brake the combination vehicle and load, thanks to these hitches. 

Finally, in some cases, these hitches are mandated by law. If the trailer’s weight starts to outweigh your vehicle’s weight by half, you’ll need to have a weight-distribution hitch. That works out to around 2,501 pounds for a 5,000-pound truck.

Use A Weight-Distribution Hitch With Surge Brakes

Surge Brakes: What Are They?

Surge brakes are widely used on boat trailers since they do not necessitate any electrical input that can be destroyed or damaged while submerged. 

Surge Brakes

They operate by trying to capture the forward force generated by a trailer on a tow vehicle when the brakes are applied to the tow vehicle. 

The energy captured is converted into hydraulic pressure, which activates the trailer’s brakes. They’re also popular on multi-vehicle trailers and for people who aren’t familiar with towing or electric trailer braking systems.

Backing up a surge brake trailer requires inserting a pin into the trailer’s neck. The surge brakes are activated when the tow vehicle seems to be in reverse and tries to push in on the trailer neck. 

This will not happen when a pin is inserted into the trailer’s neck, and this will not happen while the driver is backing up. The surge brake is disabled if indeed the pin is left inside the trailer’s neck. 

So when the vehicle is prepared to head, you must remove the pin.

Weight-Distribution Hitch With Surge Brakes

The spring bar design is the main difference between systems that work with surge brakes and those that don’t. It is designed with straight spring bars that head back and forth through the frame clamps. 

These bars give the hitch enough movement to stimulate a surge brake coupler properly. In contrast to a single connecting point, a weight distributing hitch has three. 

Does not seem like that won’t impact a trailer’s power to push forward on the surge actuator, reducing your braking capability exponentially as needed.

Because there just isn’t enough horizontal motion to activate the surge brake coupler, chain, and cam concept, weight distribution systems typically won’t work with surge brakes. 

With all these different weight distribution systems, surge-type brakes, which are common on utility, boat, cargo trailers, and car haulers, do not perform that well.

The Summary

This hitch serves to make it safer. Towing more than your vehicle’s approved towing capacity is neither safe nor smart.

 You must consider the weight of the vehicle, the weight of the passengers and also payload, the load of the trailer, and the weight distribution on that trailer, whether you have a weight-distribution hitch or not. 

You should also be aware that having a large weight in the trunk will reduce the amount you can tow. The fact that the entire system is enclosed within the trailer makes surge brakes the most widely known trailer braking technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it true that distributing weight reduces hitch weight?

Whilst weight distribution hitch disperses load and helps balance the load, and it does not increase the overall weight that the tow vehicle could handle.

Is it necessary for my boat to have a weight-distribution hitch?

A weight-distribution hitch could be your most valuable asset when towing a boat trailer. A weight-distribution hitch is required if the trailered weight exceeds half the towing vehicle’s weight, and a trailer sway device is also recommended.

Surge brakes vs. electric brakes: which is superior?

Electric brakes are more expensive, but you can fine-tune them with the tow vehicle’s control unit. On the trailer, all of the surge brakes are mechanical and self-contained. No additional connections are required, and the system could be utilized between tow vehicles with no additional configuration.

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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