Choosing the right hitch class for your needs can be tricky and confusing if you have never dealt with Tow hitches before. Two main factors need to be considered while choosing hitch class and Receiver size: the load you want to tow or how much your vehicle can handle.
As various trailer hitch classes of different sizes and properties are available in the market, an individual needs to know about them separately to make an informed decision before buying them. Now let’s understand each class individually and see what hitch class suits your vehicle.
What Are The Hitch Classes?
A trailer hitch connects a trailer and the vehicle you use to tow the trailer. It latches to the rear of a truck, SUV, or car and has a channel onto which you can install a series of ball mounts, coupling points, and auxiliaries. The Trailer hitch class also details the vehicle compatibility and loading capacity of a specific hitch and benefits your vehicle in several ways, which are:
- Enhances the ability to haul loads, gears, equipment, tools, and other articles without leasing a vehicle or taking repeated trips.
- Save costs by equipping a tiny SUV with a hitch instead of putting your money in a much bigger truck or cargo van.
- Access to campers, travel trailers, kayak racks, bike racks, and other trailers for play and work.
Types Of Hitch Classes
There are 5 types of Trailer Hitch classes available in the market, where Class 1 has the lowest towing capacity and Class 5 has the highest. Here’s some quick information on the 5 hitch classes, their related capacities, and their usual receiver sizes.
The Class 1 Trailer hitch is mounted on passengers’ cars. These foreign and domestic vehicles installed hitches usually have a max towing capacity of about 2,000 pounds. Moreover, the class 1 hitches are ideal for towing light-weighed and small-duty trailers, small hitch, or boats arranged bike racks for up to two bikes.
|Vehicle Installation||Passenger cars, Crossovers|
|Max GTW||1,000-2,000 lbs|
|Max TW||100-200 lbs|
The Class 2 trailer hitch tow and carry weight up to 3,500 pounds as they are slightly stronger. Besides higher towing capacity, it usually has an escalated tongue weight capacity of around 350 pounds. These trailer classes get installed on lightweight trucks and passenger automobiles. Also, they are ideal for towing landscape trailers, campers, boats, or mounting bike racks or cargo carriers.
|Vehicle Installation||Sedans, Minivans, Crossovers|
|Max GTW||2,000-3,500 lbs|
|Max TW||200-525 lbs|
Difference Between Hitch Class 1 & Class 2
Class 1 and 2 hitches are very much alike in many ways; for example, both have a receiver opening of 1-1/4 inches. But the difference is that Class 1 has a lower towing capacity of 2,000 pounds and a lower tongue weight grading of 200 pounds. On the other hand, Class 2 has a minimum towing rating of 3,500 pounds with lower tongue tow grading of 350 pounds.
Also, the accessories designed for Class 2 hitches do not fit with Class 1 hitches, while the accessories for Class 1 can work for Class 2. Furthermore, the application of Class 2 hitch is mostly preferred over Class 1 hitch because of its increased towing capacity and safety standards it comes with. So, while working with Class 1 hitch, you will get to pick from various accessories.
The Class 3 trailer hitches draw and carry weight range from 3,500 to 8,000 pounds as they are very sturdy in design. These hitches pull hefty loads on big trucks and passenger vehicles. Moreover, these Hitches provide high tongue weight capacities of 350 to 800 pounds. They are also ideal for towing boats, landscape trailers, campers, mounting cargo carriers, or bike racks.
|Vehicle Installation||Minivans, Pick-ups, SUVs|
|Max GTW||3,500-8,000 lbs|
|Max TW||300-800 lbs|
The Class 4 trailer hitches pull and bear the highest range of 10,000 pounds with a tongue’s weight capacity of around 1,000 pounds. These hitches are used to draw heavy loads on recreational vehicles and Large boats and are not recommended for use with passenger cars. Moreover, this Trailer hitch is heavy and used only with heavy automobiles. When a weight-distributing system is added to these hitches, the towing capacity sometimes rises to nearly 14,000 pounds as well.
|Vehicle Installation||Large pick-ups, SUVs|
|Max GTW||5,000-12,000 lbs|
|Max TW||500-1,200 lbs|
The Class 5 trailer hitches have a towing capacity of around 18,000 to 20,000 pounds and are used in commercial set-ups and purposes. They are more heavy hitch classes used for drawing more hefty loads. These hitches pull horse trailers, hefty industrial equipment trailers, and big recreational vehicles.
|Vehicle Installation||Commercial Trucks, Heavy-duty vehicles|
|Max GTW||10,000-25,000 lbs|
|Max TW||1,000-4,000 lbs|
|Receiver opening||2″, 2-1/2″, or 3″|
The Trailer hitch is one of the vital beginning points to ensure that you have fun on your next adventurous trip. It helps you carry your tow trailers or bike rack at your vehicle’s rear for camping tours or big toys such as Dirt bikes or ATVs as well. Thus, learning about the difference between the classes is important to learn what fits your vehicle and fulfills your purpose.
If you have decided on the kind of class you need for your vehicle, it’s time to buy it from a legitimate place. Bills Mobile Hitch And Tow Bar Installation is the best place to get qualitative hitch types of all classes. We have a collection of hitch classes for all vehicles, from small passenger cars to hefty trucks. Moreover, we have a team of skilled professionals that offer installation services for trailer hitch classes. Visit our site to get details of our trailer hitches and installation services, or contact our customer service for related queries and suggestions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hitch Classes are categorized by receiver opening size and highest towing capacity rating. From Class 1 to Class 5, each class has its distinct purpose and capacities. One can also read the label of the hitches to know their properties before buying them.
The major difference between Class 3 and Class 4 hitches is their weighing capacities set for hitches. The Class 3 has a lower towing capacity of 6,000 lbs with lower tongue weight grading of 600 pounds. In contrast, Class 4 has a lower towing rating of 12,000 lbs and a lower tongue tow grading of 1000 pounds.