Trailer Hitch Technical Information

Know your Trailer Hitch Class before installing your rack/bikes!

The Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) is the weight of the trailer & cargo. This can be measured by putting the fully loaded trailer on a vehicle scale.

TONGUE WEIGHT (TW) is the downward weight that is applied on the hitch ball by the trailer & cargo. The tongue weight will vary depending on where the hitch ball is located in relation to the end of trailer hitch. Normally the Tongue Weight should be able to at least 10% of the Gross Trailer Weight.

Trailer Hitch Classes:

Class I hitches are rated up to 2000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 200 lbs. A Class I hitch usually has a 1-1/4" square receiver opening. Class I hitches usually attach to the bumper, truck pan or vehicle frame and are often a custom fit for smaller vehicles. They are not recommended for carrying more than 65 lbs/30 kg. The weight from the bikes can easily exceed the tongue weight due to the fact that as you move the bikes farther from the trailer hitch it dramatically increases the tongue weight. Always try to have a Class II or higher installed.

Class II hitches are rated up to 3500 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 300 lbs. Class II hitches usually have a 1-1/4" square receiver, but are often available with a 2” square receiver depending on the vehicle. Class II hitches can normally hold up to 4 bikes (120 lbs/55 kg) depending on the rack. Please check instruction sheets for your specific rack for weight and Class restrictions).

Class III hitches used as weight carrying are rated up to 6000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 600 lbs, and normally have 2" square receiver opening. Class III hitches can carry up-to five bikes.