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What is the Difference Between a Class II and a Class III Hitch?

Question:

What is the difference between Class II or Class III towing hitch

Expert Reply:

The difference between the Class II and Class III hitches has to do with their Gross Trailer Weight (GTW), their Tongue Weight (TW), and their Hitch Receiver Size. Class II trailer hitch receivers have a 1-1/4 inch receiver and can be rated up to 3,500 lbs in GTW and up to 525 lbs in TW. Class III, on the other hand, have a 2 inch receiver and have up to 8,000 lbs GTW and 800 lbs TW. I will attach a help article that goes in to more detail for you.

A good example of a Class II hitch that will fit on your 2015 Mazda CX-5 is the Curt Trailer Hitch Receiver Class II # C12170. This will fit on your Mazda and has a max GTW of 3,500 lbs and a max TW of 350 lbs.

Even though the Class II hitch can serve many purposes, I recommend the Curt Trailer Hitch Receiver Class III # C13315. A Class III hitch is rated to tow heavier loads; the max GTW is 4,000 lbs and the max TW is 600 lbs. Even though your total towing weight capacity is determined by your car, the Class III hitch has less restrictions with what you can tow.

Another thing you will want to keep in mind is that Curt's warranty for both of these trailer hitches states that you must use the Curt Support Strap # 18050 for use with non-trailer loads.

If you are interested in a hitch mounted bike rack then I recommend the Thule Hitching Post Pro # TH934XTR. Not only does it feature the ability to fit on both 1-1/4 inch and 2 inch hitches, but it also has an anti-rattle bolt that reduces the vibration and noise from your bike rack.

If you decide to get the bike rack, then you will also want to get the Thule Snug Tite Hitch Lock and Anti-Rattle Device # THSTL2 and the Thule Cable Lock # TH538XT. These will help prevent theft of your bike rack and bike. If you have a bike that has an alternative, womens, or kids bike frame then I recommend the Thule Bike Adapter Bar # TH982XT which will help your bike to hang on the bike rack properly.

Along with the help article that I mentioned, I have also attached some demonstration videos for you.

expert reply by:
Jon G

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