pick-up truck towing a large trailer with a rear mounted trailer hitch on an open highway at sunset

Trailer Hitch Classes: What You Need to Know Before Hitting the Road

Everything You Need to Know About the 5 Classes of Trailer Hitches Before Your Next Adventure

Equipping your vehicle for towing is not as simple as hitching a trailer and hitting the open road. Every trailer hitch is going to be classified with a specific purpose, unique capacities, and set sizes. To ensure your safety, it is important to understand what the different trailer hitch classes are and which is best for your vehicle and cargo.

If you aren’t sure what trailer hitch class is best for your vehicle, this guide is for you!

The 5 Trailer Hitch Classes

Trailer hitches are separated into 5 different classes. Each class is designed to accommodate different towing weights, receiver size, and vehicle compatibility.

ClassVehicles InstallationGross Towing WeightReceiver SizeCommon Tow Uses
1Passenger cars, Crossovers2,000 lbs.1-1¼ inchCargo, bike rack, small trailers/boats
Sedans, Minivans, Crossovers
3,500 lbs. 1-1¼ inchSmall campers, mid-sized trailers/boats
3Minivans, Pick-ups, SUVs8,000 lbs. 2 inchUtility trailers, campers, mid-sized boats
4Large pick-ups, SUVs10,000 lbs.2 inchFull-size campers/boats, large utility trailers
5Commercial Trucks, Heavy-duty vehicles17,000 – 20,000 lbs.2-2½ inchFlat-bed utility trailers, livestock trailers, large campers/boats

Class 1 Trailer Hitch

class 1 rear mounted trailer hitch

A Class 1 rear-mounted hitch will have the lowest towing weight capacity of up to 2,000 lbs. and the smallest receiving tube of 1-1¼ inches for hitching. They are designed specifically to be installed on compact cars, small sedans, or other common passenger vehicles. A class 1 trailer hitch will allow you to easily and safely equip your smaller car for a variety of towing applications.

What Can I Tow With a Class 1 Trailer Hitch?

  • Bike Rack
  • Cargo Carrier 
  • Kayak 
  • Small trailer

Class 2 Trailer Hitch

class 2 rear mounted trailer hitch

With a class 2 hitch, you are able to add more weight to your cargo carrier or bike rack, as it holds up to 3,500 lbs. A class 2 can also be installed on most sedans and minivans and used to tow lightweight trailers, boats, or campers with the added weight capacity.

What Can I Tow With a Class 2 Trailer Hitch?

  • Bike Rack
  • Cargo Carrier
  • Small Boat
  • Mid-sized Trailer
  • Small Camper 

Class 3 Trailer Hitch

class 3 rear mounted trailer hitch

The class 3 trailer hitch is most commonly installed on full-size pickups, and SUVs. They allow you to tow a much larger weight capacity of up to 8,000lbs and the receiving tube is 2 inches in size. Class 3 trailer hitches are extremely versatile, and are able to tow a variety of types of trailers and load sizes. 

What Can I Tow With a Class 3 Trailer Hitch?

  • Motorized Boat
  • Utility Trailer
  • Camper 

Class 4 Trailer Hitch

class 4 rear mounted trailer hitch

The class 4 trailer hitch is most commonly mounted on full-size pickups and SUVs. They have the same receiver size of 2 inches but a much larger towing weight capacity of up to 10,000lbs. This makes them ideal for larger recreational items just as motorized boats.

What Can I Tow With a Class 4 Trailer Hitch?

  • Motorized Boat
  • Large Utility Trailer
  • Large Camper 

Class 5 Trailer Hitch

The class 5 trailer hitch is installed on pick-up trucks, commercial trucks, and other heavy-duty vehicles. They will have the highest weight towing capacity of 17,000 to 20,000 lbs. At Campway’s we have two types of class 5 trailer hitches:

class 5 Xtra duty rear mounted trailer hitch

Xtra Duty (XD) Class 5: 2″ receiver and towing weight capacity of up to 17,000 lbs.

class 5 commercial duty rear mounted trailer hitch

Commercial Duty (CD) Class 5: 2-1/2″ and towing weight capacity of up to  20,000 lbs.

What Can I Tow With a Class 5 Trailer Hitch?

  • Flat-bed utility trailers
  • Livestock Trailers
  • Large Campers
  • Large Motorized Boats 

Buy a Trailer Hitch from Campway’s and Get 10% off Trailer Balls and Ball Mounts

At Campway we know the importance of investing in your vehicle so it can better serve you. Our experts are eager to help you find the solution to all your towing and hauling needs. Each trailer hitch from Campway’s is tested for your safety and designed with a custom fit for your vehicle. 

If you are looking to outfit your recreational vehicle for the ultimate summer adventure, we are here to help! Now through the end of June 2020, when you buy any rear-mounted trailer hitch and save 10% trailer balls and ball mounts.

Contact one of our many Bay Area or Sacramento locations to learn more about this monthly special or for any of your other truck accessory needs.


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