Class Confusion - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-11-2008, 10:00 AM   #1
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We have been looking at buying either a 13' or 16' Scamp. I had incorrectly assumed the hitch we had put on our Suzuki XL-7 was a Class II. I assumed this because I knew it was not a 2" receiver, which is what all the Class III hitches I see for sale are. So I did some more digging.

This is what Wikipedia has:

In the US there are a few common classes: I, II, III, IV, and V that are defined by the SAE. Class I (to 2000 lbs / 909.1 kg) and II (to 3500 lbs / 1591 kg) are for light loads. Class III (to 5000 lbs / 2272.7 kg) and IV (to 10,000 lbs / 4545.5 kg)

I have a Class I hitch. I can not find a Class II hitch, there are, however, Class III hitches. This is the confusion, why do the Class III hitches that I can find for sale have a rating of 3500 lbs? Why aren't they Class II?

We would have to upgrade to Class III for the 16'. Because of this and other reasons, we are leaning towards the 13'.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:12 AM   #2
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It could be that your hitch is matched to the vehicle specifications. Installing a hitch that is rated more than your vehicle is rated for would be a safety issue.

Go to the following site and find your vehicle and if possible ask them your question.

http://search.cartserver.com/search/search...-7&GO=GO%21

Customer Service
http://www.hitchesonline.com/customer_service.htm
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:03 PM   #3
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It could be that your hitch is matched to the vehicle specifications. Installing a hitch that is rated more than your vehicle is rated for would be a safety issue.
This continues to be a problem -- Often, the components ARE rated higher than the vehicle tow capacity, esp small trucks with bumpers set up to install a hitch ball -- Neophyte owners read the stamped capacity of the bumper, instead of the owner's manual, and presume that capacity is the truck's rating, which may be VERY wrong.
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:57 AM   #4
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I suppose I can understand matching the rating to the vehicle, but I don't understand why they don't match the Class to the vehicle? My vehicle has a maximum tow rating of 3000 lbs, shouldn't there only be Class I or Class II hitches available? Why even make a Class III hitch and then downgrade it's capacity to a Class II rating? How can it be considered a Class III hitch when it doesn't meet the standard for capacity? I can see how easily mistakes can be made when people decide to tow something. The Class system could make everything much simpler. If my vehicle owner's manual stated that it was classified as a Class II tow vehicle, then I could purchase up to a Class II hitch and I could purchase a Class II trailer. No monkeying around with weights at all?
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:36 AM   #5
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In the US there are a few common classes: I, II, III, IV, and V that are defined by the SAE. Class I (to 2000 lbs / 909.1 kg) and II (to 3500 lbs / 1591 kg) are for light loads. Class III (to 5000 lbs / 2272.7 kg) and IV (to 10,000 lbs / 4545.5 kg)

I have a Class I hitch. I can not find a Class II hitch, there are, however, Class III hitches. This is the confusion, why do the Class III hitches that I can find for sale have a rating of 3500 lbs? Why aren't they Class II?
There appears to be more to the classification than just weights.

I checked Wikipedia page for tow hitch reading on a little further it says:

"Receiver-type hitches are typically offered with a square receiver opening of 1.25 inches / 31.7 mm x 1.25 inches (for Class I/II) or 2 inches / 50.1 mm x 2 inches (for Class III/IV/V)."

Putting the two together I read that a Class II hitch may be rated for [b]up to 3500 lbs with a 1.25" receiver. Class III hitch is for [b]up to 5000 lbs with a 2" receiver.

Therefore a hitch that is rated at 3500 lbs with a 2" receiver falls within the SAE Class III definition.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:20 AM   #6
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I did a quick search for hitches for your vehicle on etrailer.com. There is a Valley Class III hitch that fits your vehicle with some interesting specs. 3500 lbs in a weight bearing situation and 4000 lbs as weight distributing. Same hitch, same class, different weights based on connection method although both are still less than the "to 5000 lbs" definition.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:17 PM   #7
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Why even make a Class III hitch and then downgrade it's capacity to a Class II rating?
[b]Honda does this for the Odyssey because, with front wheel drive, they want you to use a [b]Weight Distributing Hitch for any trailer over 1800 pounds; Only "Class III" (on edit: [b]and higher) 2 inch recervers support Weight Distributing Hitches, "Class II" small receivers do not.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:54 PM   #8
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So, really what has happened is that the Class II has become 'obsoleted' because it is not a 2" receiver. I wonder why they didn't just change Class II to 2" receiver? I appreciate all the feedback, it certainly reinforces the need to be thorough when setting up your tow vehicle and trailer.

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[b]Honda does this for the Odyssey because, with front wheel drive, they want you to use a [b]Weight Distributing Hitch for any trailer over 1800 pounds; Only "Class III" 2 inch recervers support Weight Distributing Hitches, "Class II" small receivers do not.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:55 PM   #9
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So, really what has happened is that the Class II has become 'obsoleted' because it is not a 2" receiver.

Not really, there are lots of them out there. Generally speaking if you look at the hitches out there, most Class I's have the flat bar, most Class II's have the small receiver and for the most part, the higher classes have the 2" or more. Just have a look at the various receivers while on the road and see what vehicles they are on.

I've since learnt from my original post that the SAE standard listed in Wikipedia does not specifically state the receiver size, they seem to have become a somewhat industry "norm".

In your case, if you are still looking at the #4 layout for the 16' Scamp at 2400 lbs, by the time you filled up with water and added your gear, you would be close to 3000 lbs. which is approaching the Class II limit. In my opinion, your trailer will outlast your tow vehicle, so why not get the trailer you really want rather than downgrading for a few hundred dollar hitch installation.

I install the maximum hitch my vehicle allows because one day I might just tow something bigger than my Boler.
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:40 AM   #10
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One reason for the hitch hardware to be classified all by itself is that differences may exist in tow ratings for the vehicle yet the frame may be the same and a number of hitches may fit.

Ford Ranger trucks would be a good example -- A number of different combinations of engine, transmission, differentials, gear ratios, cooling packages, doors, bed length, but the same ol' frame attachment points for receiver hitches -- For 1998, there were 60 combos ranging in tow capacity from almost 6000 lbs down to 'not recommended for towing".
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:29 PM   #11
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Well, the 16' Plan #4 is not an option, our tow vehicle is rated for 3000 lbs max. Even with the bigger hitch, I do not want to push our vehicle, it is the only one we have We will be putting the Class III hitch on and hopefully be towing a 13' Scamp. I appreciate all the responses.

Quote:
Not really, there are lots of them out there. Generally speaking if you look at the hitches out there, most Class I's have the flat bar, most Class II's have the small receiver and for the most part, the higher classes have the 2" or more. Just have a look at the various receivers while on the road and see what vehicles they are on.

I've since learnt from my original post that the SAE standard listed in Wikipedia does not specifically state the receiver size, they seem to have become a somewhat industry "norm".

In your case, if you are still looking at the #4 layout for the 16' Scamp at 2400 lbs, by the time you filled up with water and added your gear, you would be close to 3000 lbs. which is approaching the Class II limit. In my opinion, your trailer will outlast your tow vehicle, so why not get the trailer you really want rather than downgrading for a few hundred dollar hitch installation.

I install the maximum hitch my vehicle allows because one day I might just tow something bigger than my Boler.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:28 PM   #12
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My last truck was actually rated for only 2,000 lbs, but I had a Class III hitch on there both for the 2" mount and to know that the truck was going to break before the hitch did.

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Old 08-18-2008, 08:25 PM   #13
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I install the maximum hitch my vehicle allows because one day I might just tow something bigger than my Boler.
When my wife and I bought our 1300, it was on spur of the moment - our tow vehicle, a full-size Chevy 1/2 ton V8, didn't have a hitch or trailer wiring. We were fortunate in not having to pick up the trailer immediately and were able to take a few days to install a hitch and wiring. I decided to install the biggest, baddest hitch I could get for our specific truck setup (Class III, 5000lbs) just in case...

This spring, when we impulse-bought our 5500 (is a trend developing here?), we had to take it home that afternoon. It was a simple stop at Canadian Tire for a new 2" ball and receiver (and the new receiver was only because I couldn't get the 1 7/8" ball out of our old receiver to reuse it). We were towing the trailer home in an hour. Overkill can be goooooood.....

(We tend to avoid discussing our gas mileage a lot though...)
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:23 AM   #14
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To complicated matters further, I had a 5,000 lb Class III hitch installed on my '94 Toyota Compact Truck that was only rated to tow 3,500 lbs max. It can be complicated.

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