Towing 101: What are the different trailer hitch classes?

Truck CamperAt Torklift we strive to help educate customers so they can learn everything they need to get on the road safely and have a fun time. Whether you’re a newbie wanting to buy your first hitch, or a veteran who’s had many hitches before, it’s always best to do research to find the best hitch class you need for your vehicle to fit your needs.

The hitch is one of the starting points that ensures you’ll have fun on your next adventure because it helps you bring your bike rack or tow trailers behind your vehicle for camping trips or big toys like ATVs or dirt bikes. Learn all you need to know about the different hitch classes that exist and get some ideas of what you’ll be able to tow or haul with each:

hitch class2

1.) Class I Hitch

Class I Hitch

Considered weight carrying hitches – Class I hitches are typically rated up to a maximum of 200 tongue weight and 2,000 pounds towing and traditionally come in a 1 ¼” receiver with few hitches available in 2” as well. Most vehicles in this hitch class include compact cars, sedans and SUVs. Class I hitches are perfect for smaller accessories or towing small trailers.

Examples of what you can use/tow: bike rack, cargo trays, small tent camper, jet skis

2.) Class II Hitch

Class II Hitch

Class II hitches are also considered weight carrying hitches similar to Class I hitches, but have the ability to handle more weight. Typically rated around 350 pounds tongue weight and a maximum of 3,500 pounds towing, this type of hitch also traditionally comes in both 1 ¼” and 2” receiver sizes. Vehicles in this hitch class are usually sedans and SUVs.   

Examples of what you can use/tow: bike rack, small campers, jet skis, boats

3.) Class III Hitch

Class III hitchClass III hitches are what you normally see on small trucks, SUVs and larger sedans. These hitches tend to be rated at around 500/600 pounds tongue weight and up to a maximum of 5,000 pounds towing and normally come in 2” receivers. There are adapters available where you can convert your 2” to a 1 ¼” receiver, but we would suggest getting the receiver size you need so you don’t have to use the adapters while hauling heavier loads.

Another fun fact about this class of trailer hitches is that you can start using weight distribution to help even out the load you are towing, prevent sag around the tongue of the trailer and be able to tow more weight. Not all hitches available are rated for both weight carrying and weight distributing, so this is where your research will come in handy, especially if you plan on hauling heavier trailers and are going to need weight distribution.

Examples of what you can use/tow: medium sized campers, jet skis, utility trailers, boats, bike rack, cargo trays and more

4.) Class IV Hitch


Have a large truck and a beefy looking hitch? You probably have a Class IV hitch. These hitches are typically rated around 1,000/1,200 pounds tongue weight and a maximum of 12,000 pounds towing. They come in 2” receivers, but there are some 2.5” receivers available. Class IV hitches are where you start getting into the heavier towing and will most likely need weight distribution for what you’re planning to pull.

Examples of what you can use/tow: trailers, large boats, toy haulers, small travel trailers, utility trailers

5.) Class V Hitch

Class V Hitch

The highest class available for hitches (well, kind of – we’ll explain more below) made for large SUVs, pickup trucks and vans. These hitches are typically rated around 1,200/1,700 pounds tongue weight and 20,000 pounds towing, and come in 2” and 2.5” receivers. Class V hitches are where you are doing the heaviest towing, will need weight distribution and most likely sway control to help make your towing experience more enjoyable and easier to drive down the road.

Examples of what you can use/tow: large trailers, equipment haulers, multi-car trailers, large boats, toy haulers, large travel trailers, utility trailer

o To the right is a photo of the SuperHitch Original 20K – rated at 2,000 pounds tongue and 20,000 pounds towing with weight distribution. This is a great example of a Class V hitch that is strong enough to tow heavy duty items – especially with its dual truss design that adds strength and stability

6.) Beyond Class V Hitch

SuperHitch MagnumNow that it’s 2018, trucks are getting more heavy duty and are manufactured with greater strength to tow and haul heavier trailers and RVs. Hitches must keep up with demand. Recently, there are hitches coming out with a 21,000 pound tow rating from the factory which is the highest that many companies go on ratings.

But, there is another hitch available that is the only one if its kind. Not as expensive as a custom hitch of the same weight rating, there is a bolt-on hitch that comes ready to install. This is the SuperHitch Magnum. This hitch is rated at 3,000 pounds tongue and 30,000 pounds towing with weight distribution. Which means that when it comes to towing with this hitch, the only limit is how much your truck can handle!

Also made with a patented dual receiver design, the SuperHitch Magnum is the strongest and safest hitch available that will literally exceed all your towing needs.


If you’re interested in getting a hitch for your vehicle and want to do some heavy hauling, we have your back with the SuperHitch Original and SuperHitch Magnum! You can purchase it from one of our Torklift Certified Dealers. Or, visit here for more details about this truck hitch and give us a call at 800-246-8132, we’d love to help you with your next hitch.



Written by Kerstin Stokes:
As a graduate from the College of Idaho with a B.A. in both History and Art, Kerstin has found her passion for writing and marketing, and has loved every minute of working for Torklift for over 2 years. She enjoys looking up tasty recipes for baking and daydreaming about future travels. 

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Why choose Torklift towing products? One man’s recipe for retirement on the Canadian countryside

retired-clockNow that it’s time to retire…

What are you going to do with all your extra time?

That’s the question many retirees seem to hear all the time when they make that decision to retire. Funny thing is, it seems like once you settle into retirement, you find you don’t know how you ever worked.

Mama your babies grew up to be cowboys...
horseback-ridePritchard and his horse JDWhile many of those who are close to retirement can remember the days of black and white television and the old Hollywood Westerns; playing cowboy and dreaming of riding ‘Old Paint‘ across the wide open plains, is a distant childhood memory we rarely think about. That is until we hear a story like Stu Pritchard’s, a man who made those childhood memories a part of his Golden Years.

In an online article by Truck Camper Magazine, the popular publication interviewed recently retired Pritchard in an effort to give us a glimpse (or maybe, just to ignite a little envy?) into Pritchard’s lifestyle now that he has the time to enjoy the things he loves the most: Trail riding with his horse and truck camping in the Canadian Rockies.

The road to get there
Pritchard first fell in love with backcountry camping while he was a Cadet in the Canadian Armed Forces in Survival Training School. When he and his wife purchased their first truck camper it was to haul a tow glider trailer during his days as a glider pilot. They bought their second truck camper so they could tow a horse trailer when they began breeding Tennessee Walking Horses. You can imagine the stress of those tow loads: Camper, horses and the trailer in addition; there’s a lot to consider when outfitting his truck. Pritchard recognized that towing with a camper overhang would demand more than what a factory hitch could provide. When asked how he did it during his interview with Truck Camper Magazine, Pritchard’s answer wasn’t surprising: Torklift SuperHitch and SuperTruss.

Getting (Super) hitched
No one gets to retire unless they’ve worked for it. Pritchard put in the time and now enjoys the spoils of the good stuff that comes from knowing he did his job well. That also means doing the homework to make sure he’s protected his investments, right down to the towing hitch and receiver extension he uses to tow the horse trailer behind the truck camper. Clearly Pritchard knows that life off the grid requires a need for stability and durability.

From the interview with Truck Camper Magazine, Pritchard explains how he uses the “well-designed Torklift SuperTruss Extension System.”

pritchard-supertrussTorklift SuperHitch and SuperTruss Extension
on Pritchard’s rig
“The SuperHitch dual receiver has two, 2-inch bar inputs [receivers],” says Pritchard.

The dual structural steel square tubes of the SuperTruss receiver extension are designed to fit directly into the SuperHitch, encompassing a towing system of massive strength.

“[The SuperTruss chains] form a triangle from the extension bar to the truck,” continues Pritchard. “This triangle makes it so that the extender is solid and not wobbling. The Torklift system is well designed and the only system I could find with extra chains on the side.”

Click here to read the full interview with Stu Pritchard on

Here’s what we know
The SuperHitch Outlaw Series featuring professional grade towing equipment stands uniquely at the pinnacle of quality, capacity, versatility and carries a lifetime warranty. The Outlaw Series has the ability to tow up to 30,000 pounds with a tongue weight capacity up to 3,000 pounds when used with weight distribution.

Browse the SuperHitch Outlaw Series to find towing equipment that meets your needs, whatever that may be.

SuperHitch Hero 15K
SuperHitch Original 20K
SuperHitch Original 30K
SuperTruss receiver extension
SuperHitch Everest WD System
SuperHitch Pintle & Ballmount accessories

Purchase these towing products by locating a dealer near you. If you need assistance with application and fits, check our application guide or contact us at 800-246-8132. We are here to help you get on the road and off the grid safely and securely, just like Stu Pritchard.

Photo Credit: Truck Camper Magazine


Tamy finalWritten by Tamara Williams:
Currently Tamara Williams studies English at Arizona State University. She is a writing professional specializing in technical writing and SEO blogging for small businesses. Tamara also works with Project Pen, an innovative program for inmates at New Mexico and Arizona prison systems editing and providing feedback for their essays, poems, short and non-fiction stories.

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Fly like an eagle – With the Hero, don’t be limited by a factory receiver hitch

locomotiveTowing with a half-ton truck? We’ve got something that’s more powerful than a speeding locomotive...well, almost. But this is no lightweight when it comes to towing.


We like big trucks and we cannot lie
Now you don’t have to worry about those smaller trailer hitches trying to overcompensate for the size of their trucks. Torklift International has developed a receiver hitch that is the pinnacle of strength, engineered specifically for half-ton trucks with up to 15,000 pounds of towing capacity when used with weight distribution.

With a variety of hitch applications available, the SuperHitch Hero 15K is built for trucks that include:

  1. Ford F-150 trucks
  2. Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  3. Dodge Ram 1500
  4. Toyota Tundra

SuperHitch Hero15K receiver hitch for half-ton trucks

The Superhero among all hitches
The SuperHitch Hero 15K  soars above the rest, making all other trailer hitches just look scrawny and weak by comparison. The eagle symbolizes courage, power and strength. Built with the highest tongue weight rating for half-ton trucks, its dual-channeled vertically stacked hitch receiver is part of what gives it its SuperHitch Hero strength. This dual configuration gives you the freedom to tow from the lower receiver and use accessories in the top receiver.

15kheroTowing capacities for half-ton trucks range from 5,000 to 14,000 pounds depending on the vehicle. With the SuperHitch Hero 15K, you can rest assured that you have the safest towing equipment and capability on the road. Even though the Hero 15K towing hitch handles up to 1,500 pounds tongue weight and 15,000 towing capacity,* always stay within the maximum towing capacity of the truck, which is set by your vehicle manufacturer. 

*When used with weight distribution.

eagleFree yourself from factory hitch limitations

It’s common that factory hitch receivers that come stock on some half-ton trucks don’t meet the towing capabilities of the truck itself. When towing, you are always limited to the lowest maximum capacity, whether that be the truck or its hitch. Don’t be limited or held back by your trailer hitch. If you’re truck has the ability to tow heavy, upgrade to the SuperHitch Hero 15K and maximize the power within your truck. Fly free, my friend. Fly free.


hero-on-chevyHero 15K receiver hitch for Chevy truckSomethin’ bout a hitch
When all them boys are standing round comparing hitches, you’ll give ‘em plenty to talk about when you back up yours. Whether you drive a Ford, Dodge RAM, Chevy/GMC or Toyota, the SuperHitch Hero 15K fits your truck. With faster than a speeding bullet installation, hardened reinforced hitch pin locations and universal plug bracket to secure a wiring harness, the SuperHitch Hero 15K will be the hitch envy anywhere you tow.

As your new friends walk sadly away thinking, “That ain’t my hitch,” but at the same time saying to themselves in a nemesis undertone, “Next year my friend, next year. Next year the SuperHitch Hero 15K will be all mine.”

Yes. This is the stuff dreams are made of...

No Kryptonite
As always, the Torklift International SuperHitch Hero 15K is backed by our Legendary Lifetime Warranty and is proudly made in the USA.

Click here for more information on the SuperHitch Hero 15K receiver hitch or find your fit on our application guide today.  Learn more about the entire SuperHitch Outlaw Series.



Tamy finalWritten by Tamara Williams:
Currently Tamara Williams studies English at Arizona State University. She is a writing professional specializing in technical writing and SEO blogging for small businesses. Tamara also works with Project Pen, an innovative program for inmates at New Mexico and Arizona prison systems editing and providing feedback for their essays, poems, short and non-fiction stories.


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You’re Going To Need A Bigger Stocking

2. Superhitch

Still searching for the perfect gift for the truck and RV enthusiast in your family?  It’s not too late! Torklift International has you covered with our nationwide dealer network and online retailers.   

From complete towing and truck camper hauling setups to security products and RV accessories, we manufacture a comprehensive line of innovative products that are sure to help you Find Your Adventure this Christmas season and beyond.  But be forewarned:  You’ll need to stock up on the wrapping paper and reinforce the mantel.  We specialize in products that are made for heavy towing.

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