A trailer hitch is also known as a tow hitch, and is used to pull a vehicle, boat, or other things behind a vehicle. There are different classes of trailer hitches depending on the type of vehicle you have. Furthermore, there are special types of hitches if you have to pull something large. The following will guide you through trailer hitches and how to choose the right one.

Classes of Trailer Hitches

Class I trailer hitches will tow up to 2,000 pounds, a trailer of up to six-feet in length, or a boat of up to 14 feet in length. Class II hitches can tow up to 3,500 pounds, pull a trailer of up to 12 feet in length, or tow a boat of up to 20 feet in length. Class III trailer hitches tow up to 5,000 pounds, and tow a boat or trailer of up to 24 feet in length. These are heavy duty and cannot be placed on lightweight cars. Class IV hitches tow up to 7,500 pounds, and are designed for full-size pickup trucks. Class V trailer hitches tow up to 14,000 pounds, and are made for full-size and heavy-duty vehicles.

How to Choose the Right Hitch

Choose a Class I hitch if you have a car, minivan, light duty, or heavy duty truck. The Class I hitches are ideal to pull a jet ski, motorcycle, bike rack, or a cargo box. Pick a Class II hitch if you have a car, van, light duty, or heavy duty truck. These can pull everything a Class I hitch can plus a small trailer, small boat, or two utility vehicles. Choose a Class III hitch if you have minivan, SUV, light duty, or heavy duty truck. These can pull everything a Class I and II hitch can, plus a medium trailer or a fishing boat. Pick a Class IV or V hitch if you have a light duty or heavy duty truck. These types of hitches can pull everything the previous hitches can, plus a large RV.

Other Types of Hitches

Other types of hitches include a fifth wheel hitch for pulling a fifth wheel trailer. A front mount trailer hitch can carry cargo on the front of the vehicle. A third type is the gooseneck hitch, which is used on commercial or industrial trailers.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 3 Essential Things to Know About Trailer Hitches and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


Share This Photo X