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Hitch Classes

In determining what truck is right for you, it’s equally important to know your trailer’s overall weight and tongue weight. It’s also key to getting the right hitch. The chart below will tell you which class of hitch corresponds to your particular overall weight and tongue weight.

  • Class I —Up to 2,000 pounds towing capacity, 200 to 250 pounds tongue weight

  • Class II— Up to 3,500 pounds towing capacity, 250 to 350 pounds tongue weight

  • Class III— Up to 6,000 pounds towing capacity, 350 to 600 pounds tongue weight

  • Class IV— Up to 10,000 pounds towing capacity, 600 to 1,000 pounds tongue weight

  • Class V— Up to 25,000 pounds towing capacity, fifth wheel/gooseneck

Let’s say you have a 5,000 pound trailer. A tow vehicle with a 6,500 towing capacity would be a great choice. Its capacity is a little bit more than what you need, and that’s just what you want. Tongue weight should be 7 to 8 percent of overall trailer weight, which means a Class III hitch would be best. A Class III hitch is rated from 350 to 600 pounds of tongue weight, which, again, is a little more than what you need, and that’s just what you want.

Choose the hitch-ball size based on what your trailer requires. The draw bar, however, requires a bit more thought. When selecting a draw bar, be sure it allows for level towing and is compatible with your trailer weight. The weight capacity of a draw bar is usually stamped on the side, but if you can’t figure it out, ask for help at your local trailer shop.


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