How to Choose the Right Hitch for Your Towing Capacity
When are you going to get hitched? If you're getting a truck (or just getting accessories for your current truck), a hitch is a great way to extend the use out of your ride. Hitches can be used to tow sports equipment, boats and other heavy gear, or simply to make it easier for you to move. But before you begin hauling, you need to find the right hitch. There are different types of hitches, depending on the load you want to handle.
What are the Different Types of Hitches?
First, you need to start with the right hitch. There are different types of hitch classes that you can choose from:
Class I. These hitches have a towing weight capacity of 2,000 lbs and a tongue weight of 200 lbs. These are perfect if you're going to be towing relatively small things for short distances.
Class II. These hitches have a capacity of 3,500 lbs and a tongue weight of 350 lbs. These are good for small trucks, minivans, and SUVs.
Class III. These hitches have a capacity of up to 6,000 lbs and a tongue weight of up to 600 lbs. They can be used on full-size SUVs and pickup trucks.
Class IV. These hitches have a capacity of up to 10,000 lbs and a tongue weight of up to 1,000 lbs. These are usually used on heavy-duty pickups.
Class V. These are commercial hitches, with a capacity of over 10,000 lbs. If you're hauling with this, you know it!
You always want to avoid getting a hitch that has a capacity above your truck's max rating — no reason to court danger.
What are the Different Towing Capacities?
There are four different types of towing capacity that you need to pay attention to — Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, Gross Axle Weight Rating, Gross Trailer Weight, and Tongue Weight.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This is the maximum loaded weight of your vehicle itself. This is the amount of stuff you put in your truck.
Gross Axle Weight Rating. This is the maximum that you can pull and have in your truck; it's what your truck's axle can actually support pulling.
Gross Trailer Weight. This is the weight of the actual trailer plus the cargo. Remember the trailer weight counts.
Tongue Weight. This is the amount of force that can be exerted downwards on the hitch; the pivot point between the truck and your load.
All of these things need to be paid attention to. Exceeding one of these ratings could spell disaster, as your truck may not be able to pull its load, or may handle very poorly with the load on.
That's a lot to take in, especially for something that should be as simple as hitching and towing. If you need some help, contact the experts down at Chillicothe Truck.