Trailer hitches can be confusing if you have never dealt with them before. What are the differences between different types? What are the different sizes? Which size receiver do I need? You can mount the strongest hitch on the back of a Ford Focus but it won’t transform the Focus into a towing giant. Our fitguide is the fastest and most efficient way to determine which hitches are right for you.
Simply enter your vehicle’s year and make and you’ll be shown the best fit hitches. We’ll explain which trailer hitch class you need so that you can make an informed decision about the best fit for your vehicle and towing needs.
What are the differences between trailer hitches?
There are many types of trailer hitches. The most popular type of hitch is the receiver, which can be broken down into five classes. Other hitch types include gooseneck and 5th wheel hitches.
Each trailer hitch type has its own purpose, coupling style, and set of capacities and dimensions.
5 Classified Trailer Hitch Classes
Depending on the receiver tube size and towing capacity, receiver hitches can be divided into five classes. The receiver tube size and capacity are determined by the class number.
It is useful to know the differences between tow hitch types, but it is also important to remember that receiver hitches are vehicle-specific. Also, not all five classes are available for every vehicle.
What is a Class 1 Trailer Hitch?
The Class I trailer hitch, which is the lightest of the five available classes, is ideal for smaller loads such as cargo carriers or kayaks.
These hitches can be found most commonly on passenger cars and small SUVs. Accessories for Class II hitches will not work with Class I ones.
Class 1 hitches can tow trailers upto 2,000 lbs. It is important to keep in mind that not all hitches have the same rating and that no hitch can increase the vehicle’s maximum weight.
What is a Class 2 Trailer Hitch?
A Class II trailer hitch weighs slightly more than a Class 1 hitch.
They are similar to Class I hitches and are often found on smaller vehicles such as passenger cars or SUVs. Many people wonder if the Class II accessories they have will fit into their Class I hitch. Unfortunately, this is not true.
Class I hitch receivers come with a stopper that restricts drawbars and accessory shanks from sliding into the trailer hitch opening up to a specific point. The shanks for Class II accessories are longer so that they won’t slip into the receiver. This is so you don’t overload your Class I hitch by adding a heavier Class 2 accessory. You can use a Class 1 accessory with a Class II hitch.
Class 2 hitches can be found on full-size sedans, crossovers, and minivans. However they can also be found in small SUVs or pickup trucks.
What is a Class III Trailer Hook?
Because of their large weight capacity (about 3,500 lbs GTW up to 8,000 lbs GTW), Class III hitches are the most popular. A Class III hitch is the best choice if you plan to tow a camper.
This is the most popular hitch size and allows you to tow trailers, bike racks, and cargo carriers. You can use 1-1/4″ accessories, if you have them, by using an adapter.
The most popular receiver hitch type installed on SUVs and full-size pickup trucks is the class 3 trailer hitch. A class 3 trailer hitch is most likely to be installed on trucks equipped with a towing package.
The versatility of Class 3 hitches is amazing. They can tow many different trailer types and loads. Are you unsure how heavy your trailer is? Find out more about weight distribution hitch.
What is a Class IV Trailer Hook?
With Class IV hitches, we increase the weight capacity. Class IV hitches are typically 2″x2″ receivers, just like Class III hitches. They have a greater weight capacity of up to 12,000 lbs GTW. However, Class IV hitches are 2″ x 2″. You can still use your 1-1/4″ accessories along with your 2-inch hitch adapter.
A weight distribution hitch can be used by most class 4 hitches for ratings up to 12,000 lbs.
What is a Class-V Trailer Hitch?
The Class V trailer hitches can haul as much as you want. These hitches are made to haul your largest trailers and most heavy-duty toys. The majority of Class V hitch receivers have an opening of 2-1/2 inches, but some have a larger opening adapter They are also available. (Special shout out to our B&W adapters These pinched ends make it easy to line up your pin holes.
Choose a trailer hitch that is compatible with your vehicle’s towing capability. Although you may not require the entire capacity, a trailer hitch with the right weight capability is a good choice if you plan to tow a bigger trailer.