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How to Choose the Right Trailer Hitch Class

Custom Fit Trailer Hitch

trailer hitch

Trailer hitches are given a class rating based on their maximum weight capacity and receiver opening size. The classes range from Class I - which has the lowest capacity and a 1-1/4" x 1-1/4" opening - to Class V - which has the highest capacity and, typically, a 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" opening. If you're looking for a hitch, the following information about hitch classes can help you select the right one for your vehicle and your intended use.



Watch a video about hitch classes





Class I Trailer Hitch Receivers

Up to 2,000 lbs GTW
Up to 200 lbs TW
Class I hitch
Typical loads Bicycle mounted on hitch-mounted rack Kayaks on trailer Scooter on trailer
Typical tow vehicles Vehicles that can be equipped with a class I hitch

  • Typical loads: bikes, cargo carriers, kayaks, canoes, mobility scooters, and small trailers
  • Typical tow vehicles: compact cars, midsize cars, full-size cars, SUVs, and minivans
  • Maximum gross trailer weight: up to 2,000 lbs
  • Maximum tongue weight: up to 200 lbs
  • Receiver opening: 1-1/4" x 1-1/4"
  • Accepts accessories like bike racks, cargo carriers, and drawbars that are made for Class I hitches
    • Class II accessories will not work with Class I hitches

Class III hitchShop for a custom-fit hitch for your vehicle





Class II Trailer Hitch Receivers

Up to 3,500 lbs GTW
Up to 525 lbs TW
Class II hitch
Typical loads Bicycle mounted on hitch-mounted rack Thule class II and III cargo carrier Kayaks on trailer Scooter on trailer Popup camper Small boat trailer
Typical tow vehicles Vehicles that can be equipped with a class II hitch

  • Typical loads: bikes, cargo carriers, kayaks, canoes, mobility scooters, small popup campers, small boats, and small trailers
  • Typical tow vehicles: midsize cars, full-size cars, SUVs, and minivans
  • Maximum gross trailer weight: up to 3,500 lbs
  • Maximum tongue weight: up to 525 lbs
  • Receiver opening: 1-1/4" x 1-1/4"
  • Accepts accessories like bike racks, cargo carriers, and drawbars that are made for Class I and Class II hitches

Class III hitchShop for a custom-fit hitch for your vehicle





Class III Trailer Hitch Receivers

Up to 8,000 lbs GTW
Up to 800 lbs TW
Class III hitch
Typical loads Bicycle mounted on hitch-mounted rack Kayaks on trailer Motorcycles on hitch-mounted motorcycle carrier Small camper Boat on 2-axle trailer Flatbed utility trailer
Typical tow vehicles Vehicles that can be equipped with a class III hitch

  • Typical loads: midsize campers, utility trailers, lawn maintenance equipment, bikes, cargo carriers, kayaks, canoes, motorcycles, and snowmobiles
  • Typical tow vehicles: full-size cars, SUVs, minivans, large SUVs, and trucks
  • Maximum gross trailer weight: up to 8,000 lbs
  • Maximum tongue weight: up to 800 lbs
  • Receiver opening: 2" x 2"
  • Accepts accessories like bike racks, cargo carriers, and ball mounts that are made for a 2" x 2" receiver
    • An adapter allows you to mount hitch accessories made for a 1-1/4" receiver

Note: The available range of capacities for Class III hitches varies quite a bit - from 3,500 lbs GTW and 350 lbs TW to 8,000 lbs GTW and 800 lbs TW. Be sure to check the maximum capacity of any Class III hitch to make sure that it meets your needs.


Class III hitchShop for a custom-fit hitch for your vehicle





Class IV Trailer Hitch Receivers

Up to 12,000 lbs GTW
Up to 1,200 lbs TW
Class IV hitch
Typical loads Bicycle mounted on hitch-mounted rack Kayaks on trailer Boat on 2-axle trailer Flatbed utility trailer Large camper Large toy hauler
Typical tow vehicles Vehicles that can be equipped with a class IV hitch

  • Typical loads: large campers, large boats, and toy haulers
  • Typical tow vehicles: heavy-duty trucks and SUVs
  • Maximum gross trailer weight: up to 12,000 lbs
  • Maximum tongue weight: up to 1,200 lbs
  • Receiver opening: 2" x 2"
  • Accepts accessories like bike racks, cargo carriers, and ball mounts that are made for a 2" x 2" receiver
    • An adapter allows you to mount hitch accessories made for a 1-1/4" receiver

Class III hitchShop for a custom-fit hitch for your vehicle





Class V Trailer Hitch Receivers

Up to 20,000 lbs GTW
Up to 2,000 lbs TW
Class V hitch
Typical loads Large camper Large toy hauler
Typical tow vehicles Vehicles that can be equipped with a class V hitch

  • Typical loads: large toy haulers, equipment haulers, multi-car trailers
  • Typical tow vehicles: heavy-duty and commercial trucks
  • Maximum gross trailer weight: up to 20,000 lbs
  • Maximum tongue weight: up to 2,000 lbs
  • Receiver opening: 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" (Class V hitches with 2" x 2" openings are also available)
    • A reducer sleeve allows you to mount hitch accessories made for 2" x 2" receivers in a 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" hitch

Class III hitchShop for a custom-fit hitch for your vehicle


















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