Honest review of the B&W Continuum weight distribution hitch - StressLess Camping | RV Camping community, resources, tips, tricks, discounts & hacks (2024)

Today we’re reviewing the B&W Continuum weight distribution hitch. This is a hitch for trailers of all types that helps equalize the weight between the tow vehicle and the trailer.

Honest review of the B&W Continuum weight distribution hitch - StressLess Camping | RV Camping community, resources, tips, tricks, discounts & hacks (1)

What is a weight distribution hitch

When you put a trailer on a tow vehicle about 15% of the weight of that trailer pushes down on the trailer hitch. This weight can act as a fulcrum where the back of the tow vehicle is pushed down which causes the front of that two vehicle to raise.

Further, as more weight is placed on the rear wheels of the vehicle it tends to reduce the amount of weight on the front of the tow vehicle.

This can actually cause a change of handling as the front wheels become lighter and can actually make handling much more difficult. In very extreme cases it can significantly reduce the front wheels’ ability to control the whole vehicle.

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You may have noticed this when you’re towing a trailer and your tow vehicle, which normally handles well, feels jiggly or “loose” on the road.

A weight distribution hitch of any kind uses some form of pressure to transfer the weight back onto the front wheels and allow the entire tow vehicle and trailer to have a more equalized distribution of weight.

Unless you’re towing a very light trailer, you should have some form of weight distribution hitch and, since most travel trailers are fairly heavy, you should absolutely have one if you are towing a travel trailer.

What is the B&W Continuum hitch and how is it different?

All weight distribution hitches use some form of tension to transfer weight forward on the tow vehicle. In most cases that tension comes from bars that you install as you’re hitching up your trailer.

These can be fiddly, heavy and you have to do something with them when the tow vehicle and trailer are not hitched together.

With the B&W Continuum, a single-unit composite spring bar assembly easily snaps into place right below the tow ball of the head unit. Attached to the rear of the spring bar assembly is a hydraulic system (comprised of a hydraulic cylinder and pump).

The hydraulics allow for quick and easy loading of the bars with just a few pumps of the handle on the hydraulic pump. As you pump, the hydraulic cylinder shortens and the bars visibly raise, effectively shifting weight forward onto the tow vehicle’s front axle.

The hitch ball and spring bar assembly are affixed to the adjustment shank using two pins, and can be quickly moved up or down to accommodate any changes in the vehicle or trailer configuration.

On the back of the assembly is a hydraulic cylinder to which is attached a hydraulic pump.

The hitch ball and attachment point for this saddle assembly are mounted to a shank with two pins that can easily be moved if there is a change in the vehicle or trailer to accommodate that change.

Since you can vary the pressure in the hydraulic cylinder you can accommodate changes in the weight of the trailer. These changes can result from filling your fresh water tank (ours is 54 gallons which is over 400 pounds) or adding/removing cargo. This ability to adjust is even more critical if you have something like a car or horse trailer where the empty and loaded weights can very significantly.

This is the only hitch, to my knowledge, that can accommodate different loads without making a difficult adjustment or changing out components.

The saddle arrangement sits in a cradle on the tongue jack of your trailer so it doesn’t drag on the ground and hooking it to the ball is as simple as lifting it and sliding it into a locking pin. Done.

Installing the B&W Continuum weight distribution hitch

When B&W sent me this hitch it came in two boxes. Once I emptied the boxes it was apparent that most trailer owners could easily install this with the tools they already should have.

I write should have because I’ve learned how important it is for we towable owners to have a torque wrench with us. I’ve written more about that in this article on the AirGear tire changing kit.

The instructions are very clear in the package but, being someone who has issues focusing, I did really well watching this video on installation instead.

Interestingly the people in that video had a Flagstaff trailer and, as you may know, we have a Rockwood Mini Lite 2205s with the Power Package. The significance of this is that there’s a cross member on the frame below the propane bottles that would interfere with the hydraulic cylinder in this hitch.

After consulting with Rockwood, who weren’t thrilled with me cutting this piece, I cut a notch in the frame.

Once that was done the rest was absolutely easy breezie. All the components and instructions for this hitch are extremely well designed and are of high quality so they fit just as they should and went together as they should.

Of course me being me, I had to stress about the frame notch for a week or so. Why do I do this to myself?

Our experience with the B&W Continuum weight distribution hitch

Since I also like to wait until the last minute to do things I did just that such that we had everything installed just days before leaving on a 3400 mile trip to Northern California, Quartzsite and more.

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The one unfortunate thing about this installation is that we had had our trailer weighed (here is more information on why you should weigh your RV) and had finally upgraded our truck to a Ram 2500 (from a Ram 1500). Because both the truck and the hitch changed at roughly the same time, I can’t absolutely state why the towing experience was better, but it was much, much better.

The control, surefootedness and solid feel was outstanding. No longer to trucks going the other way on two-lane roads make me grab the steering wheel in a death grip so I don’t get blown off the road.

As a result I arrive where we’re going significantly more relaxed than I did in the past only because I don’t feel like I’m fighting the truck and trailer.

Some questions answered

Some of you, knowing that I had installed this hitch, asked me a few questions.

Does the hydraulic pump handle ever get loose? Absolutely not. Once you’ve pumped in the pressure based on your towing situation the handle snugs into its holder and stays there. Period.

Does the hitch scrape the ground? The bottom of the saddle that is the weight distribution portion of this hitch is close to the ground and, yes, it has scraped the pavement a couple of times on driveways and steep approaches. But never to the detriment of the hitch - it’s a wee bit scratched on the bottom but nothing that affects it overall.

Have you lost pressure in the hydraulic system? Apparently a few reviewers have and we did a couple of times until we realized that the set nut wasn’t properly seated. Once we had that all dialed in it’s never lost pressure since.

Honest review of the B&W Continuum weight distribution hitch - StressLess Camping | RV Camping community, resources, tips, tricks, discounts & hacks (5)

Final thoughts

Overall I would say this is the best travel trailer hitch I have used, period. My reasoning for that is the quality of the materials, the ease of installation, how well this product is thought-through, how easy it is to hitch and unhitch.

If you’re sick of dealing with inconvenient weight distribution bars, or tired of the squawking and screeching that most weight distribution hitches have as part of their sway control, this may be a great choice as well. This thing is dead silent going around a corner or at any other time.

Also, you don’t have to disconnect or change anything when backing. You just back up. In fact we got this back-up camera to help with backing.

Without question if someone is looking for a high-quality weight distribution hitch, this is the one I would recommend.

How do I know what I can tow?

How does the sway control work?

I had a reader ask how the sway control worked in this hitch. My answer: I have no idea. But I asked the folks at B&W and here’s what they wrote:

The Continuum offers friction sway control built into the head unit (ball assembly), although we prefer the term ‘sway prevention.’

The Continuum’s design is unique from other brands as the bars are always ‘loaded.’ With other brands’, the sway bars will load and unload as the vehicle and trailer navigate turns or during sway events. The Continuum’s bars remain loaded from the moment you add pressure using the hydraulic assembly, thus sway prevention begins immediately and is continuous (hence, the name Continuum) throughout your trip.

But, in our opinion, and in an effort to stay honest with customers – we’ve seen that sway control components, no matter the hitch or the brand, truly do little to stop sway once it starts.

Over the years that we were developing our weight distribution hitch, we studied sway control in an attempt to design the best system. We studied all of them; 2-point, 4-point, adaptive, self-adjusting, self-centering and all the buzz words the industry had invented. We conducted an experiment with the top WD hitches on the market.

We set up a truck and trailer in a warehouse and used air castors under the tires to eliminate the ground friction. We then took readings of the hitch’s resistance to sway, or the force necessary to overcome the friction sway control components of each brand of hitch.

We learned that all brands provide some level of sway control, but that it generally takes very little force to overcome them. Some brands don’t load until the angle of the trailer is 2-4 degrees or more. On a 25-foot trailer, this equates to 3-5 feet, which means your trailer will be significantly outside your lane before their hitch has any chance of being helpful.

Honest review of the B&W Continuum weight distribution hitch - StressLess Camping | RV Camping community, resources, tips, tricks, discounts & hacks (2024)

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