A "crappy" hitch, properly setup will work just fine. Mine is a "Quality S", really a no-name brand, basically the same as pictured above. My dad has some no name system that's really old. Both work just fine. To Bob's point, it was probably never set up right to begin with.
The purpose of a weight distribution hitch is to lighten the load on the rear of the tow vehicle and put weight back on the front wheels, the steering so that you can safely control it. You should always have it on the same chain link.
Without the trailer hitched up, measure the distance from the ground to the wheel well lip on your front fender at the center of the wheel. Then hook up the trailer but don't put on the spring bars. Measure again. The front will rise. GM specifications are that using a WD hitch the fender measurement should be back at stock height (this is in your GMC owners manual under the Towing section). Now put the spring bars on. Adjust them so that the front is back to stock height. Don't worry about rear squat, that's normal. If you can't get the chains in the right place, crack your tongue jack up more to relieve the pressure. If you can't find the right link and there is still not enough weight back on the front end you can adjust the ball tilt. The farther back the tilt, the more weight back on the front wheels. These types of hitches usually have washers to create the ball head tilt. This is more or less of a "fine" adjustment where the links are "ball park" adjustments.
Here are some great tutorials on how to do all this:
This photo is of my old SUV and current trailer (I have shots of my Sierra and X20E, just haven't uploaded them yet). Note two things, the height of the front fenders is at stock level, and the spring bars (if you can see them) are parallel to the camper frame at the ends of the bars.
Originally Posted by nbhybrid
swayed all over the roads and were confused as to how to operate them
No sway or confusion here. I've use this hitch with 4 different tow vehicles and two different trailers.
EDIT: BTW, I'm not saying the Equalizer is bad in anyway. That's an excellent hitch. My point being that crappy really isn't all that crappy.