How to Tow Smart

Class I

2,000 lbs GTW

Light trailers and cargo carriers

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Class II

3,500 lbs GTW

Mid-sized trailers and small boats

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Class III

6,000 lbs GTW

Travel trailers and most boats

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Class IV

12,000 lbs GTW

Large travel trailer and large boats

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Class V

14,000 lbs GTW

Commercial use for heavy equipment

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Step 1

Know your weight

Know the total weight of the trailer (GTW) you are towing and the maximum towing capacity determined by the vehicle manufacturer. Next, select the correct class hitch, ball mount and ball for the job. WARNING! Do not exceed the maximum towing capacity of your tow vehicle.


* CLASS III is the most common hitch type among full size trucks and SUVs

Step 2
Level towing

For safe and comfortable towing, the trailer should always be as level as possible. A level trailer will put less strain on the connection between the trailer and hitch. It will also help the trailer stay in line behind the vehicle.

To determine the correct ball mount:

  • Measure the coupler height from the ground to the bottom of the trailer’s coupler (A)
  • Measure the hitch height from the ground to the top of the receiver opening (B)
  • Calculate the difference between the hitch height and the coupler height. (A minus B)
  • DROP is required if the hitch height is greater than the trailer height
  • RISE is required if the hitch height is less than the trailer height
Determine Drop
C = B – A | C = Drop
Determine Rise
C = A – B | C = Rise
Step 3

Ensure the safety

Drive at a moderate speed, allow more distance for stopping, and avoid sudden steering maneuvers.

Before each trip, perform a safety inspection
  1. Hitch pin securing the ball mount to the receiver is intact
  2. Trailer coupler is secured and locked to the ball
    • Safety chains are properly attached
    • Electrical plug is properly connected
  3. Check that all lights and signals are working
  4. Inspect tires and inflate to vehicle specification
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