Class 3 vs class 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-16-2006, 03:44 PM   #1
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My Honda Element has a class 3 hitch. Since I am limited to 1500 pounds and will buy an egg in the smaller, lighter range, what are the merits of a 3 over a class 2 Just curious.
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Old 12-16-2006, 03:56 PM   #2
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Strictly speaking, absolutely none. The class, as defined by the SAE standard, is nothing but the weight capacity; even a Class 1 hitch would have more capacity than the Element.

There are merits to having a hitch with a 2" square receiver box (typical of Class 3 and Class 4 hitches), rather than the 1.25" square receiver box (typical of Class 2 hitches), or the flat-bar receivers, or a hitch with just a fixed ball platform (place where the ball bolts in). Almost no one gets fixed hitches except in Class 1 these days, and the flat-bar style seems to have fallen out of favour too.

The advantage of the 2" box is mostly that there are far more accessories, such as bike racks, available for that size. There is a wider selection of interchangeable ball platforms (different rise/drop and length) for 2" than 1.25" (and almost no choice in the flat bars). Also, weight-distributing hitch systems are available only in the 2" size.

I have Class 2 Reese (Toyota OEM) hitch with a 1.25" receiver box on my Sienna, installed by the dealer when I bought the van.
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Old 12-16-2006, 03:59 PM   #3
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I have a class 1 on my Element.

I suppose the advantage is fudge factor, but it really doesn't matter unless you want to have accessory items like racks for bikes etc.

I wish I had put on a 3 for that, but I don't lose sleep over it.
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Old 12-16-2006, 04:01 PM   #4
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PS, I have a class 3 on my Jeep. Boy, does it look macho in comparison!

Now, if I ever use it, that would be nice....
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Old 12-16-2006, 07:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
...unless you want to have accessory items like racks for bikes etc.
I have a class "III" receiver on my Honda Odyssey. I use a Weight Distribution Hitch when towing the Fiber Stream.
I also have a Hitch Haul with Side Rail Extensions and Tail Light Accessory.
I bought it to transport my Charbroil Gas Barbeque to the park for group cookouts.
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Old 12-16-2006, 07:32 PM   #6
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Don, let's get right to meat of the matter. Class I and II hitches look wimpy. Class III & IV hitches look like somebody's serious about pullin' sumthin'! Now THAT's MERIT!

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Old 12-16-2006, 08:13 PM   #7
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I resemble that remark.
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Old 12-16-2006, 08:52 PM   #8
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Class 3&4 hitches may look macho,but some look like a second bumper.I installed a class 2 because my 4cyl. Dakota can't pull anything heavier than a 13' Scamp.It also cost less and is a lot less visible
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:36 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. A little over-engineering doesn't hurt. Actually, on the Element the class 3 really isn't noticable.
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:46 PM   #10
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...A little over-engineering doesn't hurt...
Something which is heavier and more expensive than necessary to safely do the job, with no other advantage, is not over-engineered, it's poorly engineered. Engineering is all about the appropriate application of technology.

I think that the Class 3 is only a good choice if that additional functionality is desirable.

Appearance for image is almost all of the reason for many automotive choices - why should hitches be any different?
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Old 12-17-2006, 06:19 PM   #11
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I agree with Brian on the weight problem -- If one is already close to one's limit, there's no point in wasting towing capacity by hauling around a lot of excess, redundant steel, esp when one will be hauling it around even when not towing.

In fact, those close to limits would be wise to shop around amongst hitch receivers for one that weighs less -- On my old pickup, I had a Class III from Wally that was a One Size Fitz A Lotta Trucks and it was much heavier than the Class III I now have on my '98 Ranger.

I also strongly agree that when it comes to accessories, nothing beats a 2" receiver, however, one can perhaps buy (or certainly have made custom) an adapter to fit some of those accessories to a smaller receiver.
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:54 PM   #12
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Accesories? Yes, there are great accessories for a class 3. Here's a nifty little jewel available from Northern Supply. Be sure to click on the VIDEO. It's for real!
If I add a 30 gal Rubbermaid container I'll have a complete bathroom facility!
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:44 PM   #13
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And here is another, called the Bumper Dumper.
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:36 PM   #14
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Main advantage to a Class III or IV with 2" receiver is on rocky, rutted, high crowned boondock dirt roads.

You bottom out closer to the pavement where a tow truck can find you.
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