Class I Trailer Hitch and Weight Capacities Review

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Review of Class I Trailer Hitchs and Weight Capacities


Were going to start off with this example here which is a class I hitch. Class I means this hitch is good for trailers up to 2000 pounds. What were going to show you over here is the sticker which shows the different weights and capacities involved. Well show you what those mean. As you can see by the sticker here, were going to show you some notes on it, these stickers will apply to any class hitch that you come across. Once you figure out what this means, you are home free. Starting here at max gross trailer weight which shows 2000 pounds. So that means the total weight you can pull with your trailer, for example if your load on your trailer is 500 pounds, you have 1500 pounds of weight to put on it so it remains at a safe capacity for this hitch. Moving on to this next number which is max gross tongue weight, it shows 200 pounds there.

That means the force that actually pushes down on the hitch ball itself from the vertical force. That limits it to about 200 pounds which is traditionally about 10 percent of the trailer weight. Just those two notes apply to any hitch that is out there. The only thing that changes is the capacity of the hitch and the weight of the trailer itself. Now well go into detail with the receiver tube of the class I hitch. You may think its not a big deal, actually there are a few distinguishing marks about them. One is aesthetics and the other is technical safety feature. As you can see on the front of the hitch here, there is nothing around it, its just plain steel. All manufacturers will build them just like that. That will always show its a class I receiver hitch just by glancing at it. The next detail is for safety, it looks minor but its there for a reason. If you can see this there is a little dent-in here or a punch. This forces the steel to go inside the receiver tube. The reason is lets say you have a ballmount lying around, and you want to use this on your brand new hitch. That ballmount may be from a class II receiver hitch. Basically that is a ballmount of a higher capacity, the idea is you do not want to forget that you have a lower capacity hitch when you try to install a higher capacity draw bar. What happens is that dent-in prevents you from putting that draw bar into it. Well show you how that happens. As you can see we installed it all the way and you can only see a sliver of the original ballmount hole, which means you can put the pin and clip through the hole. Ultimately that is what keeps you from putting an over-sized draw bar into an undersized hitch. Its there for you protection. This also applies in bicycle racks and cargo carriers too. Also with the class I hitches, you mainly find those on smaller vehicles and some compact vehicles. That pretty much covers the details of a class I receiver hitch.

Info for this part was:

Written by:
Lindsey S
Edited By:
Leah B

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