The Ultimate Select-A-Hitch Guide
A Detailed Look into Types of Trailer Hitches
Purchasing a trailer hitch is a valuable investment for your vehicle, and it’s important to know what the different types of trailers hitch receivers are and how each one can benefit you. Check out the great information below regarding the types of trailer hitch receivers and get a detailed look into the towing capacities, towing vehicles and cargo in tow.
Use this handy guide to select the proper type of hitch for you depending on what your vehicle can handle and what you want to tow. Click to enlarge the Select-A-Hitch Guide image, print it if needed, it has a lot of quality information to help with your trailer hitch purchase.
Light-Duty Receiver Hitches (Commonly known as Class 1)
Light-duty receiver hitches are designed typically for towing bike racks and cargo carriers. This style of hitch can also be used to tow smaller utility or enclosed trailers, and motorcycles as well. The maximum gross trailer weight should be less than 2,000 lbs. The towing vehicle commonly associated with this specific type of hitch receiver is usually a compact car or midsize car, these vehicles can usually tow with a light-duty transmission cooler.
- 1 1/4" x 1 1/4" receiver
- Tongue weight capacity up to 200lbs
Regular-Duty Receiver Hitches (Commonly known as Class 2)
A regular-duty receiver hitch can tow up to 3,500 lbs and has a tongue weight of 350lbs. Tow vehicles which usually have a Class 2 type of hitch receiver installed include midsize cars, minivans, small pickup trucks and midsize SUV's. Majority of those vehicles have a regular-duty transmission cooler which should be able to handle 3,500 lbs of towing weight. Some typical tow items for this style hitch can include small fishing boats, ATV's and motorcycles, and cargo trailers up to 12ft in length. Additionally, the a regular-duty trailer hitch receiver is bolted onto the frame of the towing vehicle.
- 1 1/4" x 1 1/4" receiver
- Tongue weight capacity up to 350lbs
Heavy-Duty Receiver Hitches (Commonly known as Class 3)
A heavy-duty receiver hitch is attached onto the frame of the vehicle and also considered an 'undercar' receiver hitch. Heavy-duty trailer hitches are designed to carrying or towing up to 7,500 lbs of weight, they have a removal drawbar which is attached to the frame of the vehicle. Many types of vehicles can town with this style hitch, including mid-to-large sized SUVs, vans, full size cars and pick up trucks.
- 2" receiver
- Tongue weight capacity up to 750lbs
Super-Duty Receiver Hitches (Commonly known as Class 4)
Full size pickups and SUVs have a higher towing capacity, these trailer hitches have a much larger capacity for towing travel trailers, heavier machinery, and boats larger than 24ft. This receiver hitch has a tow capacity rating of up to 17,000 lbs gross trailer weight and 1,700 lbs tongue weight.
- 2" & 2.5" receives available
- Tongue weight capacity up to 1,700lbs
5th Wheel Hitches
Not to be confused with a bumper mount receiver hitch, the 5th wheel trailer hitch is specifically for pickup or flatbed trucks, and has up to 30,000 lbs of towing capacity. The 5th wheel hitch mounts in the bed of a truck and has a plate similar to a semi-tractor that a king pin on the 5th wheel trailer attaches to.
Do you have more questions? Chat with a trailer hitch specialist here and make sure you will be towing safely.