The number one bolt accessory of cars, trucks, and suvs is a trailer hitch. A Trailer hitch is used to tow just about everything. Whether it's a show car for a special event or a camper to get away and enjoy a much needed and well deserved vacation. A variety of trailer hitches and add-ons are available to accommodate your needs. Add-ons may include a weight distribution hitch, hitch ball & ball mounts, cargo carriers, and pintle hooks. The application of weight distribution hitches does as the name suggests. The weight of trailer is evenly distributed by shifting this weight to the trailer and tow vehicle's axles which, in turn, provides level towing, stabilizing the load. This reduces sway allowing for a smoother safer ride as well as providing increased control. Cargo carriers simply provide additonal cargo-carrying capacity increasing space, organization, and efficency. Hitch balls and ball mounts assist in towing. First, a hitch ball with a load rating equal to or exceeding the Trailer Gross Weight is needed. Receiver hitches utilize both removable and integrated ball mounts. Class I & II ball mounts, also referred to as drawbars, are integrated. Class III through V trailer hitches include many different ball mounts in order to accommodate the variety of SUV and truck suspensions and tire combinations. Removable ball mounts are offered with an adjustable rise or drop feature to provide level towing by accommodating variations in the height of the vehicle and trailer. As for a pintle hook this is a claw or pincer type device that clamps through a lunette ring on the trailer tongue providing a more secure coupling when used on rough terrain, making it superior to traditional ball-type trailer hitch. These are generally utilized commercially. If not already noticed, receiver hitches are divided into classes; Class I, Class II ,Class III, Class IV, and Class V. This aids in determining which would be best to meet any specific requirements for vehicle application. A strong enough trailer hitch should always be chosen to handle the maximum anticipated total weight of the load but shouldn't exceed the towing capacity of your vehicle. Referring to your vehicle's owner's manual will reveal the maximum towing and tongue weight limitations. Calculating the hitch (tongue) weight can also provide further assistance in selecting a proper hitch. This can be achieved by dividing the tongue load by the total trailer weight and then multiplying by 100 to equal a percent which should be between 9 and 11 percent. The trailer tongue load should be kept within this range of the loaded trailer weight for trailer hitches, and 12 percent for an applied weight-distribution feature. Below is additional information on the aforementioned trailer hitch classes.


class 1 trailer

Trailer Hitch Class I

The lightest of all trailer hitch types, a Class I trailer hitch, handles a gross trailer weight(GTW) up to 2,000 lbs, and a tongue weight maximum of 200 lbs. A simple drawbar or step bumper hitch may be the type selected. Other types may include a crossbar with a small one inch or 1-1/2 inch square receiver, or a small 2 inch by 5/8 inch receiver. This trailer hitch class is often selected for use on smaller vehicles such as smaller cars, trucks, and vans for bicycle racks, camping racks, and light-duty towing.

class 2 trailer

Trailer Hitch Class II

Class II hitches can accommodate loads of up to 3,500 lbs. GTW and a maximum tongue weight of up to 300 lbs. This includes small boat, snowmobile, motorcycle and camper trailers. This trailer hitch class is generally selected for use on larger cars, full-size pickups, full-size vans, and SUVs. Although Class II trailer hitches are engineered and designed specifically for many vehicles, universal models are available as well.

class 3 trailer

Trailer Hitch Class III

This class can handle up to 5,000 lbs. GTW and 500 lbs. tongue weight. For general towing, this hitch typically has a 2-inch rectangular receiver and is considered the standard trailer hitch for general towing. Weight distribution may be included and necessary beginning with this class. Most class III hitches are specifically designed for your vehicle, however, universal trailer hitches are also available.
class 4 trailer hitch

Trailer Hitch Class IV

Class IV trailer hitches are capable of towing up to 10,000 lbs. GTW and 1,000 to 1,200 lbs. of tongue weight. This type of hitch is usually a weight distributing hitch. The mounting brackets help to distribute weight evenly, or stabilize, allowing for better control as well as a safer and smoother ride by reducing sway. Weight distribution may be included and possibly necessary for such loads.


class 5 trailer hitch

Trailer Hitch Class V

Extra heavy loads are tamed by Class V trailer hitches, hauling loads in excess of 10,000 lbs. and handling a tongue weight of 1,200 lbs. In most cases this trailer hitch is also a weight-distributing hitch. The mounting brackets help to stabilize the load allowing for better control as well as a safer and smoother ride by reducing sway. Weight distribution may be included as a feature, however, it may be necessary to tow a load such magnitude. This hitch type may have up to a 2-1/2 inch receiver with a pinhole of 3/4-inch. This trailer hitch class is typically utilized for towing a car, horse or an unusually large camper or boat.