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Custom Fit Trailer Hitch
To determine the size of your trailer hitch, simply measure the height and width of its opening. The two most common sizes of trailer hitch receivers are
1-1/4" x 1-1/4" and 2" x 2".
Class I and Class II trailer hitches typically have a 1-1/4" x 1-1/4" receiver opening. These hitches are most often found on passenger cars and smaller SUVs. There are a few Class II hitches that have 2" x 2" receiver openings, but this is not common.
Typical weight ratings for Class I trailer hitches:
Typical weight ratings for Class II trailer hitches:
Why won't my 1-1/4" accessories fit in my 1-1/4" receiver opening?
You might think that any hitch accessory with a 1-1/4" x 1-1/4" shank would work in either a Class I or Class II trailer hitch, but this is not the case.
Many hitch accessories are designed to maximize the weight carrying capabilities of the trailer hitches they're used with. To keep you from overloading your Class I hitch, Class II hitch
accessories - such as
bike racks and
cargo carriers - will not fit into Class I hitches.
Manufacturers accomplish this by placing a stopper in the back of Class I hitch receivers so that drawbars and accessory shanks can only slide into the trailer hitch opening up to that point. On hitch accessories designed for Class II trailer hitches, the shank that slides into the hitch opening is longer. When this longer shank slides into a Class I hitch, it will hit the stopper, preventing the pin hole on the hitch from lining up with the pin hole on the accessory.
Class I hitch accessories -
bike racks and
cargo carriers - are designed to fit into your Class I hitch perfectly. These accessories will
work in Class II trailer hitches as well. All of the decorative
hitch covers listed for the 1-1/4" hitch size will also work in both Class I and Class II trailer hitches.
The 2" x 2" trailer hitch size is the most common. This is found on pickups, SUVs and some full-size sedans. Trucks and SUVs that come factory equipped with a trailer hitch normally
have one that is 2" x 2".
Of those vehicles that come from the factory with 2" hitches, some have slight variances in the construction of the hitch. For example, the 2" x 2" hitch receivers on the Toyota
Tundra pickups are built of thick tubing. As a result, some flush-mounted
trailer hitch locks that are designed for typical 2" hitches will not fit because their spans are not long
Most 2" x 2" hitches are either Class III or Class IV.
Typical weight ratings for Class III trailer hitches:
Typical weight ratings for Class IV trailer hitches:
Many 2" hitches are also rated for use with weight-distribution systems. By using a
weight-distribution system while towing, you can maximize the full weight carrying potential of your hitch.
Heavy-Duty 2" x 2" Trailer Hitches
Some 2" trailer hitch receivers are categorized as
Class V hitches because of their increased weight capacity. The construction of these hitches allows them to carry more
weight than a typical 2" hitch, making them perfect for heavy-duty towing applications.
Draw-Tite/Reese makes a Class V hitch with a cast center section so that it not only has a higher overall weight capacity, but it also has the highest tongue weight rating possible. The
reinforced center sections on these hitches enable them to handle far more than just 10-percent of the gross trailer weight, which is a typical tongue weight capacity.
Trailer hitch receivers that measure 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" are used on heavy-duty trucks that can handle extreme capacities. Hitches with this size opening are typically referred to as
Class V hitches. Some newer Ford and Chevy trucks come from the factory with 2-1/2" receivers, but for most applications an aftermarket hitch must be used. Most of these
hitches are rated for use with
weight-distribution systems so that you can maximize their weight carrying ability.
Typical weight ratings for Class V trailer hitches:
Hitch accessories designed for 2" trailer hitches will work on Class V 2-1/2" hitches with the use of a specialized
For extremely heavy-duty towing, there is a 3" trailer hitch receiver available. Rated up to 25,000 lbs and with a tongue weight of 4,000 lbs, this hitch is designed to weld onto the C-channel frame of your heavy-duty vehicle. Unlike most other hitches, this hitch is not vehicle-specific.
The least common hitch sizes are rectangular. Hidden Hitch and Reese no longer manufacturer these rectangular hitch receivers. They were Class I and Class II hitches designed for smaller cars. No hitch accessories are available to slide directly into a hitch with a rectangular opening, but bike racks
are available that will mount to the ball hole on your drawbar.
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