When you see a tow hitch and it comes with a classified rating, do you know what the difference is? If you answered no then keep reading and it will explain what a Class I, II, III, IV and V differences are. Also included is the information on a 5th wheel hitch.
A) Class I hitch – The class I tow hitch can have a maximum tongue weight of 200 pounds and a GTW or gross trailer weight of 2000 pounds. This is a light duty tow hitch most commonly found on small pickups and cars.
B) Class II hitch – The class II tow hitch can have a maximum tongue weight of 300 pounds and a GTW or gross trailer weight of 3500 pounds. This class hitch would be found on SUV’s, full size trucks or a small motor home and is perfect for towing a motorcycle trailer, small boat or off road vehicle.
C) Class III hitch – The class III hitch can have a maximum tongue weight of 500 pounds and a gross vehicle weight of 5000 pounds. This is your most common tow hitch found on trucks, motor homes, vans and 4WD vehicles.
D) Class IV hitch - The class IV trailer hitch can have a maximum tongue weight of 2000 pounds and a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds. This type of hitch would be found on most diesel pusher motor homes and heavy duty trucks.
E) Class V hitch – The class V tow hitch can have a maximum tongue weight of 1200 pounds and a gross vehicle weight over 10,000 pounds. This type of trailer hitch would be found on large trucks or diesel pusher motor homes. It is for towing extremely heavy loads like a big boat, horse trailer or enclosed trailer.
Gooseneck hitches or 5th wheel hitches – If you own a medium to heavy duty truck then this type of hitch may be your best option. The hitch mounts in the back of your truck bed and will only work with a trailer set up as a 5th wheel trailer.
It is important to remember to always buy a tow hitch that will be strong enough to tow the maximum anticipated weight of the trailer and not to exceed the towing capacity of your tow vehicle.