How to Understand Trailer Hitch Class Ratings How to Understand Trailer Hitch Class Ratings

To determine the kind of hitch you need to purchase for your vehicle consider the trailer hitch class. The towing capacity of your vehicle determines the hitch capacity that your vehicle can handle. Always go for the hitch that will carry the maximum amount of weight, but never exceed the towing capacity of the hitch. There are 2 types of hitches. There is the fixed bar hitch which does not allow the removal of the ball mount. The alternative is the receiver style hitch, which allows the removal of the ball mounts. There are generally 3 trailer class ratings.

Class I

A trailer hitch in this class has a maximum capacity of 2000 lbs. It is a receiver style hitch meaning that the ball mount is removable. It has extra mounting points on the vehicle, a receiver tube and ball mount that fits in that class. Ball mounts are class specific. They are not interchangeable between trailer classes.

Class II

This class has a maximum capacity of 3500 lbs. It is also a receiver style hitch with a ball mount attachment. The ball mount attachment helps to prevent the hooking up of the vehicle with something beyond the carrying capacity of the hitch.

Class III

The maximum carrying capacity is 5000 lbs. Class III hitches are the most popular because of the ability to carry bigger loads. They have greater ability for higher capacity provided there is a weight distribution mechanism installed.

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