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


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


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


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


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


Most heavy duty Class V hitch receivers have a 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" opening, but some come with a 2" x 2". Most of these receivers are custom fit, and they simply bolt on. However, the largest heavy-duty receivers come with a 3" x 3" opening, and they weld to the tow vehicles's frame.



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





Related Articles


Trailer Hitch Receiver Sizes


Trailer Hitch Installation Tips


What Do I Need to Tow a Trailer


Updated by: Raymond P.

Last updated: 9/20/18







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