motor home trailer on a mountain road

What Are the Different Types and Classes of Trailer Hitches?

The right trailer hitch is important for towing anything from a small or large cargo trailer, a flatbed trailer, or your recreational vehicle. They are also used for hitch-mounted bike racks.

There are various trailer hitch types and classes intended for different vehicles and weight rating requirements. The hitch you choose will depend on the size and type of your vehicle, the type of trailer you can tow, and how much weight you can safely tow. Your hitch will also determine how many bikes you can tow.

For that reason, it is important to understand what these are before investing in one. Use this guide to learn more about the types of trailer hitches and classes available, how they work, and why you might choose one over the other.


Classes of Trailer Hitches

Every vehicle has its own towing capacity, which, in turn, helps to determine the appropriate trailer hitch class. Class I and II hitches are generally reserved for smaller vehicles like compact cars and sedans, while Class III and IV are designed for trucks and SUV's. Class V is usually used in professional settings with heavy-duty vehicles.

  • Class I – up to 2,000 pounds (910 kg) – bike racks, jet skis, tent campers
  • Class II – up to 3,500 pounds (1,600 kg) – small boats, mini campers
  • Class III – up to 7,500 pounds (3,400 kg) – Most boats, small horse trailers and small to mid-size travel trailers and utility trailers
  • Class IV – up to 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) – full-sized campers, horse trailers
  • Class V – up to 20,000 pounds (9,070 kg) – flat deck trailers, construction equipment 

Types of Trailer Hitches

Choosing the correct type of trailer hitch for your towing needs can seem daunting, but it gets easier once you learn the differences. Hitches are vehicle-specific. 

If you’re planning to tow a trailer, you’ll need to ensure that the trailer you plan to tow is compatible with your vehicle. There are three main types of trailer hitches available, each with its own set of features. They mostly vary in terms of size, what kind of trailers they fit and how they are installed on the vehicle.

  • Receiver Hitch: One of the most popular hitch types, the receiver hitch is compatible with various vehicles and attaches to the rear bumper of a vehicle, making it a solid, sturdy connection that can handle a lot of weight. They can be used for pulling boats and other trailers, and carrying bike racks, among other things.
  • 5th Wheel Hitch: Designed for towing larger trailers, fifth-wheel hitches are mounted on the truck frame at its rear and sit above the box of the truck or underneath. This allows the hitch to be higher off the ground than a conventional trailer hitch. 
  • Gooseneck Hitch: Like fifth-wheel hitches, Gooseneck hitches are mounted to the bed of the truck. They are commonly used for heavy loads such as horse trailers, livestock trailers, and large flat decks with heavy loads such as excavators.


Your One-Stop Shop for Trailer Hitches in Kelowna

If you are looking for a more convenient and efficient way of transporting cargo, opting to install a trailer hitch is a great idea. That is because a trailer hitch will allow you to pull a trailer behind your truck to help you transport loads that are much heavier than the maximum weight capacity of your truck.

Depending on your vehicle or your trailer, you might need a specific type of ball mount. Whether it is weight distribution or an adjustable style, we can help determine what is best for your needs and have you set up for towing safely and efficiently in the Okanagan and beyond.


If you need a trailer hitch or other truck and car accessories in Kelowna, you’ve come to the right place. Here at United Hitch & Truck Accessories in Kelowna, we understand how important it is to have a trailer hitch on your vehicle to transport your trailer with ease. Our team is there to help you get the right trailer hitch for your Kelowna vehicle so you get the best possible driving experience. Contact us today to learn more about our products.



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United Hitch & Truck Accessories

107-2631 Enterprise Way
Kelowna, BC

V1X 7Z3


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  • South Okanagan

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  • West Kootenay


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