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What are the Different Hitch Classes?

 Class I

  1. Class I hitches are weight carrying (WC) hitches rated up to 2000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 200 lbs.
  2. A Class I hitch usually has a 1-1/4" square receiver opening.
  3. A higher class drawbar does not increase the towing capacity of the hitch.
  4. Class I hitches usually attach to the bumper, truck pan or vehicle frame.

 Class II

  1. Class II hitches are weight carrying (WC) hitches rated up to 3500 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 300 lbs.
  2. A Class II hitch usually has a 1-1/4" square receiver opening.
  3. A higher class drawbar does not increase the towing capacity of the hitch.
  4. Class II hitches usually attach to the bumper or vehicle frame.

 Class III

  1. Class III hitches are weight carrying (WC) and also are weight distributing (WD) depending on the vehicle and hitch specifications.
  2. Not all Class III hitches are rated to be both. See the specific hitch for that information.
  3. Class III hitches used as weight carrying are rated up to 6000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 600 lbs.
  4. Class III hitches used for weight distributing are rated up to 10,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1000 lbs.
  5. A Class III hitch usually has a 2" square receiver opening.
  6. A higher class drawbar does not increase the towing capacity of the hitch. To use this class of hitch for weight distribution requires a weight distribution system.
  7. Class III hitches attach to the vehicle frame only.

 Class IV

  1. Class IV hitches are weight carrying (WC) and weight distributing (WD) hitches depending on the vehicle and hitch specifications.
  2. Not all Class IV hitches are rated to be both. See the specific hitch for that information.
  3. Class IV hitches used as weight carrying are rated up to 10,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1000 lbs.
  4. Class IV hitches used for weight distributing are rated up to 14,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1400 lbs.
  5. A Class IV hitch usually has a 2" square receiver opening.
  6. A higher class drawbar does not increase the towing capacity of the hitch. To use this class of hitch for weight distribution requires a weight distribution system.
  7. Class IV hitches attach to the vehicle frame only.

 Class V

  1. Class V hitches are weight carrying (WC) and weight distributing (WD) hitches depending on the vehicle and hitch specifications.
  2. Class V hitches used as weight carrying are rated up to 12,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1200 lbs.
  3. Class V hitches used for weight distributing are rated up to 17,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1700 lbs.
  4. Your ball mount and hitch ball need to both be rated for Class V to safely tow these weight loads. To use this class of hitch for weight distribution requires a weight distribution system.
  5. A Class V hitch has a 2-1/2" square receiver opening.
  6. Class V hitches attach to the vehicle frame only.

There are five classes of Hitches for towing trailers. Each class is designed for a specific trailer weight range. The information below is pretty technical, so get a cup of coffee before starting and read carefully.

When selecting the appropriate hitch make sure the weight rating of the hitch is greater than the loaded weight of the trailer that will be towed. The tow vehicle capacity for weight carrying and hitch attachment will vary and will sometimes dictate the class of hitch that can be used.

Remember to always consult your owner's manual for vehicle rating.

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