A popping noise comes from your weight distribution hitch, especially during turns. Now, you’re wondering why it’s making that sound. Also, what can you do to fix it? We researched these concerns for your convenience, and here’s the information we found that might help you.
Popping noises from a weight distribution hitch are generally normal occurrences. The sounds usually occur as you’re turning your vehicle as it’s towing a load. Nonetheless, you may reduce the noise from the weight distribution hitch with methods like adding a sway control unit or installing an anti-rattle clamp.
Continue reading as we talk about some methods you can use to help reduce (or eliminate) the noise coming from your weight distribution hitch.
Methods To Quiet A Weight Distribution Hitch Setup
Method #1: Install A Hitch With A Cushion
As its name implies, a hitch with a cushion helps reduce noises caused by its metal parts bumping. The buffering material typically acts as a rubber insert, and can also help reduce unwanted stress on the hitch assembly.
Take note that the specific steps to install a hitch with a built-in cushion may vary based on the model. So consult the product’s owner’s manual or instruction book to identify and verify your hitch’s installation process.
Check out this cushion hitch on Amazon.
Note: Hitch cushions may not be available for every hitch model on the market. Some of these buffering materials might be exclusive to specific hitch installation kits.
You can watch the video below to see an installation of a hitch with a cushion to gain insight into this procedure:
Method #2: Add A Sway Control Unit
Also called a sway bar, this movement control assembly can help control excess motions from the weight distribution hitch during towing operations. Be wary as installing this additional component may increase the difficulty in turning your towing setup. However, the tradeoff should may safer rides than before.
Here are the general steps to install an anti-sway control unit to your weight distribution hitch:
- Park your towing setup at a site with flat and level ground.
- Engage the hand or parking brake.
- Insert one end of the anti-sway bar into the weight distribution hitch's ball.
- Insert the other end of the sway control unit into the trailer hitch.
- Secure the sway bar with hitch pins.
- Adjust the sway bar’s torque by adjusting the built-in lever.
Check out this anti-sway bar installation kit on Amazon.
Watch the video below for a visual representation of the steps mentioned above. This clip also shows you how to hook a weight distribution hitch if you need it:
Method #3: Install An Anti-Rattle Clamp
As its name implies, an anti-rattle clamp is a small mechanical device used to reduce noises from the weight distribution hitch during towing operations. However, you should buy and install the right anti-rattle hitch clamp to prevent additional issues.
Some factors to think about while shopping for an ideal anti-rattle clamp are:
- Ease of installation: Installing the anti-rattle clamp shouldn’t take more time to complete than needed.
- Durability: The materials used in manufacturing the clamp should resist different hazards, including harsh weather.
- Stability: The anti-rattle hitch clamp should stabilize the weight distribution hitch to reduce excess movement and noise.
After buying the ideal anti-rattle camp for your towing setup, here are the general steps to install it:
- Park your towing vehicle at a site with flat and level ground. Engage its hand or parking brake afterward.
- Remove the weight distribution hitch from the towing vehicle temporarily.
- Slide the anti-rattle clamp into the hitch’s bar and secure the assembly.
- Reinstall the weight distribution hitch to the towing vehicle.
Check out this anti-rattle clamp on Amazon.
Watch this short clip to see a visual representation of these steps:
Method #4: Replace The Rubber Equalizers
Certain weight distribution hitch kits already come with rubber equalizers. But these components can wear out over time, which may result in a popping sound.
You may purchase replacement rubber equalizers by buying hitch tandem kits. Also, the replacement procedure for these parts should still be similar to the instructions mentioned in your weight distribution hitch kit’s instruction manual.
Check out this replacement hitch tandem kit on Amazon.
Method #5: Tighten The Lug Nuts
If the lug nuts on your weight distribution hitch aren't tight, it might become the source of the unwanted popping sound. If so, you should tighten the nuts to the proper torque.
Just make sure not to over-tighten the lug nuts. Otherwise, you may increase the weight distribution hitch's restrictive capabilities. It might reduce the intensity and frequency of the popping noise, but it may also lower your ride’s comfort and convenience.
Check out this lug wrench set on Amazon.
What Is The Quietest Weight Distribution Hitch?
Perhaps you’re looking to replace your weight distribution hitch with a new model. This option is available if you’re not looking into using the DIY solutions highlighted in this post to reduce a weight distribution hitch’s popping sound. If so, here are some ideal candidates that may pique your interest:
1. Husky 32218 Center Line Weight Distribution Hitch
This weight distribution hitch has a trunnion-style design. This type of hitch supports accurate leveling to the towing setup when needed. As for this particular model, it typically does a good job of controlling noise.
Plus, this kit comes with an anti-sway control unit. That means you don't have to spend extra cash in purchasing a sway bar for this weight distribution hitch assembly.
Take note that this hitch system weighs over 110 pounds. Although it seems heavy, the entire kit is still fairly lighter than other similar models on the market.
Check out this product on Amazon.
2. Andersen Hitches 3350 Weight Distribution Hitch
Andersen Hitches markets this weight distribution hitch by saying that it doesn’t need a sway bar for optimal stability. If installed correctly, it should efficiently reduce sway, bounce, and unwanted noise from the towing setup.
This model works by using a motion-dampening design. Its materials reduce bounce by pulling the towed load at the correct angles without up-and-down movements.
Also, the chains included in the kit are reasonably easy to install and use. These components promote ease of use, particularly when fine-tuning the weight distribution hitch's overall performance.
However, some users report that this weight distribution hitch may not fit all towing vehicles. Still, you might be able to solve this issue by applying some slight modifications to the hitch’s design.
Check out this product on Amazon.
How Do I Reduce The Movement And Noise From My Weight Distribution Hitch?
Aside from taking advantage of the other solutions already mentioned in this post, other ways to reduce excess movement and noise from your weight distribution hitch are:
Check The Weather
Strong winds and other harsh weather conditions may still bring about an unwanted movement to your towing setup. So it can be a good idea to wait until the weather stabilizes before you continue your trip.
Install A Brake Controller
A brake controller is a module that connects the towing vehicles and towed loads brakes. In particular, pressing on the towing vehicle’s brakes should also apply the brakes on the towed load, especially if it’s a motorhome or travel trailer.
With a brake controller, you can increase the control for your towing setup’s movement. That way, you can reduce the excess movement and noise that might otherwise originate from the weight distribution hitch.
Always pay attention to the load you're putting on the weight distribution hitch. Keep in mind that a towing hitch has a weight capacity. Going over that limit may not only introduce noises like banging or popping, but also bring additional stress to the hitch assembly.
Your skills as a driver can also affect the weight distribution hitch’s performance. Bear in mind that your hitch may produce a popping sound if you’re going through tight turns. Also, the sound may increase if you’re making sharp turns.
Remember, a weight distribution hitch’s popping sound is often a normal occurrence. Still, it doesn’t mean you don’t have options in reducing this fairly alarming noise. So use the methods mentioned in this guide to help decrease that racket to enhance your peace of mind while towing.
If you’re looking for answers to other weight distribution hitch concerns, check out these other great posts:
Does Weight Distribution Hitch Reduce Tongue Weight?