Trailer Hitch Weight Classifications | D&S Automotive
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Hitch Classifications

Know Before You Tow

truck with a trailer hitched to it

Trailer Hitch Classifications

Understanding Hitch Weight Capacity and Receiver Opening Sizes

Your truck or trailer was made to haul a heavy load. But you do need to make sure it is equipped with the right tow hitch gear it needs to get the job done. The most important considerations are your hitch’s trailer and tongue weight capacity as well as the hitch opening size. This information will help you select a hitch that is ideal for your specific vehicle. Whether you need a large class 4 tow hitch to haul your camper or you need a class 1 hitch to tow lightweight cargo, D&S Automotive has the right hitch for your towing needs.


Class 1 Hitch

This hitch is ideal for smaller passenger vehicles that will be towing minimal weight. Many individuals choose the class 1 hitch rating for hauling a small boat or a mounted bike rack.

  • Class 1 Hitch Weight Capacity: 2,000 Pounds Gross Trailer Weight and 200 Pounds Tongue Weight
  • Class 1 Hitch Receiver Opening: 1-1/4” x 1-1/4” Receiver


Class 2 Hitch

Designed for light-duty towing, a class 2 trailer hitch is for those with mid-sized vehicles. Similar to the class 1 hitch, a class 2 hitch can handle small items like a bike rack or cargo carrier but can also accommodate a small trailer.

  • Class 2 Hitch Weight Capacity: 3,500 Pounds Gross Trailer Weight and 350 Pounds Tongue Weight
  • Class 2 Hitch Receiver Opening: 1-1/4” x 1-1/4” Receiver


Class 3 Hitch

Class 3 hitches are designed for trucks, vans, and SUVs, and offer a significantly higher gross weight capacity than class 1 or class 2 hitches. This tow hitch will allow an individual to safely tow a medium-sized trailer with ATVs or lawn equipment, as well as a small camper or boat.

  • Class 3 Hitch Weight Capacity: 8,000 Pounds Gross Trailer Weight and 800 Pounds Tongue Weight
  • Class 3 Hitch Receiver Opening: 2” x 2” Receiver


Class 4 Hitch

Class 4 hitches are a massive upgrade over the class 3. Unlike class 1, 2, and 3 hitches that are designed for passenger vehicles, the class 4 hitch is typically installed on full-sized, heavy-duty trucks. With a weight capacity higher than a class 3 tow hitch, the class 4 hitch will allow the individual to haul their large boat, recreational vehicle, or camper.

  • Class 4 Hitch Weight Capacity: 10,000 Pounds Gross Trailer Weight and 1,000 Pounds Tongue Weight
  • Class 4 Hitch Receiver Opening: 2” x 2” Receiver


Class 5 Hitch

Designed for heavy duty trucks or vans, this truck hitch receiver is the strongest and most capable.  Anything over the capacity of a class V would suggest a Gooseneck or Fifth-Wheel trailer hitch.

  • Class 5 Hitch Weight Capacity: 16,000, 18,000, or 20,000 Pounds Gross Trailer Weight and 1,800 Pounds Tongue Weight
  • Class 5 Hitch Receiver Opening: 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” Receiver


5th Wheel Hitch

Mounted above the truck bed, a 5th wheel trailer hitch gives the user more stability and clearance over the bed. This hitch is typically used by those hauling a recreational trailer, such as a camper or horse trailer.

  • 5th Wheel Hitch Weight Capacity: 15,000-26,000 Pounds Gross Trailer Weight and 4,000-7,500 Pounds of Tongue Weight


Gooseneck Hitch

Unlike a 5th wheel trailer hitch, a gooseneck trailer hitch usually is hidden below the bed of the truck. Some have a release on the trailer ball, which provides an unobstructed bed to use when not towing.

  • Gooseneck Hitch Weight Capacity: 20,000-30,000 Pounds Gross Trailer Weight and 6,250-7,500 Pounds of Tongue Weight
  • Gooseneck Hitch Ball Size: 2-5/16”


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If you are looking for Truck accessories in Mentor, Ohio, or anywhere in Northeast Ohio for that matter, then you are looking for D&S Automotive.  We can take your vehicle from ordinary to extraordinary with accessories like tonneau covers, remote starts and truck lift kits.  Stop by our Showroom or Contact us today and find out why we are Lake County’s top shop for everything automobile accessories or stop by the Showroom at D&S Automotive to start your custom Truck build.


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