Trailer Hitch Classes Defined and Explained
the following trailer hitch class information if you
have questions about
how trailer hitch classes are determined. When
choosing a hitch, we recommend
you consider your current towing needs as well as
future needs. A bicycle
rack today may turn into a power boat next year. If in
doubt, it’s best
to select a higher class.
Always choose a hitch that is strong enough to
handle the maximum anticipated
total weight of the trailer but does not
exceed the towing capacity
of your vehicle. Refer to your vehicle's owner’s
manual for maximum towing
and tongue weight limitations. The trailer tongue
load should be kept at
10 percent of the loaded trailer weight for
trailer hitches, and 12 percent for
trailer hitches. Also, you may want need to consider
that might be beneficial, such as stiffer springs,
air springs, overload
or air assist shocks, larger sway bars or automatic
(ATF) cooler. Such modifications may be needed on
vehicles used for heavy
towing or long-distance towing. You may also want to
refer to the U.S.
of Transportation web site for additional
towing tips and
Class I Hitches
is the lightest
type of trailer hitch. A Class 1 trailer hitch can
handle a gross trailer
weight (GTW) of up to 2,000 lbs., and a maximum
tongue weight of
200 lbs. The hitch may be a simple draw bar-type hitch
or step bumper-type
hitch. Other hitches may have a crossbar with a small
one-inch or 1-1/2-inch
square receiver, or a small 2-inch by 5/8-inch
receiver. This type of hitch
is often used on smaller cars, smaller pickups and
smaller vans (minivans)
for bicycle racks, camping racks, and light-duty
towing. We sell many fine
class 1 hitches as well as an economical, easy to
Class 1 trailer hitch.
Class II Hitches
are for loads of up to 3,500 lbs. GTW and 300 lbs.
tongue weight such as
a small boat trailer, snowmobile trailer, motorcycle
trailer or camper.
This type of trailer hitch is appropriate for larger
cars, full-size vans,
full-size pickups and SUVs. Many of our class II
hitches are designed specifically
for your vehicle, and we have some universal class II
trailer hitches as
Class III Hitches
can handle up to 5,000 lbs. GTW and 500 lbs. tongue
weight. This type of
hitch generally has a 2-inch rectangular receiver and
is considered the
"standard" type of hitch for general towing. Most of
our class III hitches
are designed specifically for your vehicle. There are
also some universal-fit
class III trailer hitches available.
Class IV Hitches
are for up to 10,000 lbs. GTW and 1,000 to 1,200 lbs.
of tongue weight.
This type of hitch is usually a weight-distributing
hitch. We carry many
fine class IV hitches that are designed specifically
for your vehicle.
Class V Hitches
are for extra heavy loads greater than 10,000 lbs. GTW
and more than 1,200
lbs. tongue weight. This type of hitch is usually a
hitch. This type of hitch may have up to a 2-1/2 inch
receiver with a 3/4-inch
pinhole. Typical uses might be to tow a car trailer,
horse trailer or unusually
large boat or camper.
5th Wheel and Gooseneck
wheel and gooseneck
hitches mount in the bed of your pickup truck.
here for an online source of Trailer Hitches
Hitch: Or "weight carrying" hitch is the type
of trailer hitch most
people think of when they consider trailer hitches.
It is the basic trailer
hitch that provides a simple ball-and-socket
arrangement to connect the
trailer to the towing vehicle. Intended for
(usually) lighter loads.
Hitch: This type of hitch has an attachment
that slides into the receiver
to redistribute the weight on the tongue. The hitch
usually has two spring
bars, one for each side of the trailer, to lift and
apply leverage to the
tow vehicle. This redistributes weight from the rear
axle to the front
and improves vehicle stability while towing.
Intended for heavy loads.
the owners manual for towing capacities!