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Why Are Trailer Hitches Rated for More Weight Than the 2008 Honda CR-V is Rated For

Question:

My Honda owners manual says the vehicle is only rated for 150 tongue and 1500 total trailer weight. All the recommendations on your site are for hitches much larger. Doesn’t this present a problem for potential overload / misuse and stability and safety?

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Expert Reply:

Great question, and I'm glad you're looking into your weight ratings!

We typically recommend going with a larger 2" receiver like the Curt # 13555 whenever it's available simply because it gives you more options on what accessories are compatible with it (see example below). The hitch manufacturers test and give hitch weight ratings individually from the vehicles they fit for a few reasons but you are definitely limited by your least rated component which is typically the vehicle that the hitch is being installed on.

Manufacturers give their own ratings because vehicle manufacturers can change their ratings at will (I've seen this happen before personally) and if the same hitch fits different vehicles it's possible that one vehicle may have a higher weight rating than the other so just giving a blanket weight rating with the understanding to look into and compare hitch to vehicle weight ratings is the best way to keep everything consistent.

A great example of the accessories dilemma is a bike rack like the Thule Camber Bike Rack for 4 Bikes # TH9056. Even though this fits 1-1/4" and 2" receivers, Thule states that it has to be at least a Class II receiver. Since all of the 1-1/4" hitches for your 2008 Honda CR-V are Class I receivers you wouldn't be able to use this rack with the smaller receiver even if you were under that 150 lb weight rating.

Hope this explanation helps!

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Jon G

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