TOWING BASICS: Keeping Control
Utilizing a weight-distributing hitch when towing larger boats is not only smart, it’s required
If you are towing a larger boat, say any model weighing more than 5,000 pounds, seriously consider using a weight-distributing hitch.
First of all, the use of a W-D hitch is required by the manufacturers of all the half-ton pickups and many 3/4 and 1-ton models when the trailered weight is more than 5,000 pounds.
Failure to do so places you at full liability risk in the event of an accident while towing that size of load.
Secondly, when there’s more than 750 pounds of tongue weight on a half-ton pickup the handling and braking dynamics change considerably.
Vehicle braking is compromised because there’s less braking on the front. That’s a direct result of the heavy rear-weight bias with the trailer in tow.
Steering and vehicle control are also heavily affected. [kaltura-widget wid=”htwcq6n5y8″ width=”400″ height=”290″ addpermission=”” editpermission=”” align=”right” /]
The slightest side wind or change in steering direction will cause the trailer to begin the dreaded side-to-side sway that can and does lead to loss of vehicle control.
The heavy rear weight also makes steering far more sensitive, so when you do try to make corrections to control trailer sway, those corrections are often too much too quickly.
One perfect solution for those who are towing bigger boats is to install a Reese SC weight-distributing hitch.
This special hitch is designed specifically for boat trailer applications and is easy to install and use.
The difference in pickup handling with and without the Reese SC are dramatic. Without the hitch the boat trailer makes the towing vehicle feel very unstable and bumps, dips and turns result in a lot of unwanted vehicle movement.
When the hitch is in play, the truck tows the big boat/trailer combo smooth and steady. No drama. No worries.
Be safe, Be smart. Use a W-D hitch if that boat and trailer you are towing weights more than 5,000 pounds. — Bruce W. Smith, author of “The Complete Guide to Trailering Your Boat”