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Differences between Class III and Class IV Hitches  


What's the difference between Class III and Class IV.


Expert Reply:

The main difference between a Class III hitch and a Class IV hitch is the capacities they set for the hitches. Class III hitches are rated for up to 6,000 lbs GTW with 600 lbs TW whereas a Class IV is rated for up to 12,000 lbs GTW and 1,000 TW.

For more info on the hitch classifications check out the link I attached.

expert reply by:
Jameson C

Barry B.


I just bought a used pick-up with a Class IV hitch but have all sorts of class three hitches with various ball and heights. Surely there must be a sleeve that fits in the class IV to make a class III. Any suggestions where to find one?

Etrailer Expert

Chris R.


Both your existing Class IV hitch and your previous Class III hitch should have a 2" receiver - if that's not the case just let me know. The only difference between the two is the amount of weight they can handle. You shouldn't need to add any kind of adapter sleeve to your existing higher-class receiver so that it can be used with your Class III accessories.

Don D.


@BarryB had Nissan with class 3 hitch ---- holes for pin will not line up in class 4 reciver

James F.


@ChrisR on my 02 Silverado it used a 2x2 hitch. I just bought a 08 and it has a 2.5 inch x2.5..?
See All (4) Replies to Barry B. ∨

Russ P.


Looking at an 2014 Evergreen EVER-LITE 30BHPR with a GVWR of 8,795. We have a Class 3 UHaul ball rated for 7,600 attached to a Tundra rated up to 10,000. Should we go ahead and get a Class IV to attach? Thanks in advance

Etrailer Expert

Chris R.


If the loaded weight of the trailer will exceed the hitch's 7,600 pound rating you'll certainly need to upgrade it. Also make sure that you won't be going over the towing capacity of the Tundra itself (check your owner's manual). If you can tell me what model year Tundra you have I will be happy to make a specific recommendation.



My 2011 1500 Quid Ram 5.7 hemi w/2:92 rear is rated at 10,250 lb towing. Has 2 " receiver ,not sure if it is a 3 or 4 class .Will be using a 2 5/16 ball ,with weight distribution w/ 10,000 lb bars . Do you see any problems with my set-up ? Thanks

Etrailer Expert

Chris R.


All sounds good to me! The specific Class rating isn't terribly important, especially if you know the hitch's weight capacity. There should be a sticker on the hitch itself that indicates this.



Ok, so, probably a dumb question here, but: I have a Forest River Rockwood A122S hardside camper. Dry weight right out of the factory is about 2000 lbs and max weight is a little over 3000 full loaded and water tanks full which I will probably never hit. I am having a hard time confirming the ball size but is it safe to assume it is a class III w 2 ball? Based on weight it would seem so but any reason it would be a class IV w a 2 5/16 ball?

Etrailer Expert

Chris R.


I wouldn't get too hung up in the class ratings - as long as the hitch itself has a towing capacity of over 3,000 pounds it doesn't matter if it's a Class III or Class IV model, it will pull the camper without a problem. The ball size though is definitely something you want to verify. You're right that it most likely connects to a 2" ball. I wasn't able to verify this 100 percent but if you take a look on the coupler itself, typically on the underside, it should have the ball size stamped into the metal. If not you can try contacting Forest River directly.

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