Class 3 Trailer Hitch – Types & Receiver (Explained)


Class 3 Trailer Hitch

Have you ever wondered how much does it cost to install a class 3 trailer hitch?

Installing a trailer hitch can beneficially upgrade your vehicle. The installation may take some time and money, but it means you can tow campers, utility trailers, and boats with ease.

It is well worth the time and money if you regularly hit the road with all of your toys.

What is a Class III Trailer Hitch?

Trailer hitches are separated into different “classes” based on their towing capacity and size. Trailer hitch receivers with more immense towing capabilities are in higher classes.

Class III hitches are particularly popular because they can handle most recreational trailers. They are designed for cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks.

The receiver size of class III trailers is 2”, and they are usually capable of towing a gross weight of up to 5000 pounds.

Always ensure that the vehicle you have can safely tow the trailer you are towing. While the hitch may be rated for towing up to 5000 pounds, the vehicle may not be.

Read also: Types of Trailer Hitches and Hitch Classes // Towing Hitches (Explained)

Different Trailer Hitch Classes

The hitch class comparison chart shows the trailer hitch classes and the receiver size:

Hitch ClassApplicationsReceiver SizeGTW Capacity (lbs.)TW Capacity (lbs.)
Class 1Cars and crossovers1-1/4-inchUp to 2,000Up to 200
Class 2Cars, crossovers and minivans1-1/4-inchUp to 3,500Up to 350
Class 3Crossovers, vans, SUVs and trucks2-inchUp to 8,000Up to 800
Class 4Trucks and SUVs2-inchUp to 10,000Up to 1,000
Class 5 – Xtra DutyTrucks and SUVs2-inch16,000 to 17,0002,400 to 2,550
Class 5 – Commercial DutyDually and chassis cab trucks2-1/2-inch18,000 to 20,0002,700

Class 3 Hitch vs Class 4

Class 4 hitches are substantially larger than Class 3 hitches, although they are not as commonly used. While a Class 3 hitch can hold up to 8,000lbs, a Class 4 hitch will go up to 10,000lbs.

A class 4 hitch will also have a maximum tongue weight limit of 1,000lbs in comparison to the Class 3’s 800lbs. They both have the same receiver size, though. This is 2″.

Class 3 Trailer Hitch Installation Cost

You will be paying hourly for the installation of your hitch. Some places offer standard rates for hitch installations, but it is always a good idea to get the quote of estimated labor time and cost before you give your vehicle to the shop.

Most trailer hitch installations will cost around 100 to 300 dollars for installation unless you are having a particularly difficult hitch receiver installed.

If you are worried about spending that much money on the installation, you can install the hitch yourself. If you are new to tools, you will likely run into snags and spend several hours, though.

On the other hand, if you know your way around a toolbox, this could be an easy way to save a couple of hundreds of dollars.

Time for Installation

The main reason for the price of the installation is the time it takes the workers to mount the hitch on your vehicle. It will likely take 1 to 3 hours for the installation. Some places quote people up to 8 hours of labor, but this number seems high.

Try to find someone willing to install the trailer hitch within 1 to 3 hours.

Completing the installation on your own will take between 1 and 4 hours. Make sure you leave ample time to check your work and train yourself.

The installation tends to be quicker for workers at automotive shops because it is not new to them. It will be unique to you, and you want to make sure it is done correctly to avoid damaging your vehicle and/or your trailer.

Read also:

>> Costco Trailer Hitch Installation / Trailer & Towing – CURT Hitches

>> Walmart Trailer Hitch Installation // CURT Trailer Hitch Classes

>> U-Haul Hitch Installation / Trailer Hitches for Towing (UPDATED)

>> Pep Boys Hitch Installation / Trailer Hitches for Towing (UPDATED)

Different Parts Required for Installation

For a class III trailer hitch, you will likely be preparing to attach a ball mount and a ball to connect to a trailer. These are all of the parts required for a functioning class III trailer hitch.

Some may be sold as kits, but they are listed here individually, so you do not miss anything.

Receiver

The receiver is the portion of the hitch that attaches directly to the vehicle. It fastens at the rear. Most receivers connect onto or directly underneath the bumper.

It is the largest and most expensive portion of a trailer hitch. Always make sure the receiver you purchase is compatible with your vehicle. In general, receivers cost between 100 and 160 dollars.

  • CURT Class 3 Multi-Fit Trailer Hitch– This CURT trailer hitch is one of the most popular receivers on the market today. It is rated for up to 4000 pounds, and it is a 2” receiver, so it should be compatible with most ball mounts. As a multi-fit receiver, it is designed to fit a wide variety of vehicles from many manufacturers.
  • Reese Towpower Trailer Hitch– This Reese Trailer Hitch Receiver is strong, durable, and built to last. The installation requires no drilling, so it is quick and easy. It has a load weight capacity of 4000 pounds. You can find a Reese trailer hitch receiver with a custom fit for your vehicle.
  • Reese Class III Multi-Fit Truck Receiver Hitch– This receiver hitch can fit multiple vehicles, much like the CURT option above. It has a gross trailer weight carrying capacity of 5000 pounds. It is, therefore, somewhat stronger than the CURT multi-fit, but it does cost more.

Read also: How to Measure Towing Capacity, GVWR, GCWR, Truck, Trailer

Ball Mount

The ball mount attaches to the receiver. It fits in the shaft of the receiver and includes a platform for the ball.

Most trailers that use class III trailer hitches use balls, so a ball mount is crucial to make sure your trailer hitch is as efficient as possible.

Ball mounts generally cost between 30 and 50 dollars.

  • CURT 45050 Class 3 Trailer Hitch Ball Mount– CURT’s class 3 trailer hitch ball mount is solid and dependable. It is rated for 7500 pounds gross trailer weight. It fits in almost every class 3 trailer hitch receiver that you can find. It is easy to install, and it is corrosion-resistant.
  • Draw-Tite Ball Mount for 2” Hitches– Draw-Tite is another one of the most trusted names in trailer hitch manufacturing. This ball mount is powder-coated and constructed with steel for maximum longevity and rust protection. The Draw-Tite ball mount also comes with a hitch pin and clip, so you can bundle some of the parts you need for a successful installation.
  • Adjustable Ball Mount for 2” Hitches– Conver-A-Ball’s adjustable ball mount is perfect if you switch trailers regularly and want level towing. It can be adjusted to offer different drops and rises, which will correspond to the coupler on your trailer. This flexibility can be a life-saver. It is also made of durable steel.

Trailer Ball

Trailer balls let you easily turn corners of varying sizes with ease. A trailer ball connects to the ball mount, and from there, you can attach the trailer coupler to the ball.

Trailer balls come in varying sizes, and these depend on the size of the trailer/trailer coupler you have.

For most weights supported by class III trailers, you will need a 2” ball. Always check what size of ball your trailer requires, though.

If you plan on pulling multiple trailers, you may need different ball sizes, so buying a pair can be a good idea.

Simple trailer balls cost around 20 dollars, while complicated options may cost more like 60 dollars.

  • TowSmart Multi-Ball Mount for 2” Hitches– If you plan on needing multiple ball sizes, this ball mount could be perfect for you. It is a ball mount with three different ball sizes already installed to save you time, space, and hassle. It has a 1-7/8″ ball, a 2″ ball, and a 2-5/16″ ball. Each ball has its own respective weight limit.
  • CURT 2” Hitch Ball– This CURT hitch ball is made of steel and is rated up to 12000 pounds GTW. The chrome finish is corrosion-resistant. It has fine threads to provide a firm grip. It is easy to install and interchange. This is the perfect, classic trailer ball.
  • Convert-A-Ball Interchangeable Ball Set– Another excellent option for anyone expecting to tow multiple trailers with the same hitch is this Convert-A-Ball set. The balls fit most class III hitches. They are made of nickel-plated steel. It includes a 1-7/8″ diameter ball, a 2″ diameter ball, and a 2-5/16″ ball. This set is unique because you only need one shank, and then the different balls can be added or removed.

Hitch Pin

A hitch pin prevents the ball mount from sliding out of the receiver. It is a small piece, but it is important for safety.

Usually, a clip attaches to the other side to fully secure it in place. There are simple, inexpensive options available, and there are locking options for added security. Most hitch pins cost around 10 to 20 dollars.

  • MaxxTow Trailer Hitch Pin and Clip– The MaxxTow trailer hitch pin and clip set is a simple yet effective option. It fits 2″ hitches and is 2-1/2″ long. It is designed to be both durable and corrosion-resistant with a black e-coat.
  •  BOLT Trailer Hitch Receiver Lock– This locking option is more expensive than the standard hitch pin. It offers more security and peace of mind, though. Find the BOLT trailer hitch lock for the manufacturer of your vehicle, and you can lock the pin in place to prevent theft. It is also weatherproof, so you do not have to worry about rust damaging the lock.
  • Gen-Y Iron Grip Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin– If you hate the rattle of the ball mount shaking in the receiver while you drive, this is the perfect hitch pin for you. The strong steel design is calculated to prevent rattling, so you can have a smooth, quiet ride. It will fit class III, 2″ trailer hitch receivers.

What are Brands of Hitch Available?

There are tons of brands of trailer hitches available. Class III trailer hitches are especially common, so you can shop around to find the best bargain for your needs. The most common brands of hitch available are:

Is Wiring for a Hitch Needed?

Wiring is needed to legally pull a trailer in most states. The wiring can be but is not always run through the hitch. In most places, trailers of any size pulled on a road need to have lights to be legal.

Trailers need to have brake lights, turn signals, and a white light that illuminates the license plate. Some states do not require small trailers to have license plates, so be sure to check your state’s requirements.

If you are installing your own trailer hitch, do not forget to make sure you have the proper wiring harness for your trailer.

  • Curt T-Connector Vehicle Wiring Harness– This wiring harness is easy to install. It does not need any splicing or tapping. Even if you are not doing the installation yourself, this can save time. Saving time on the installation saves you money.
  • Optronics Wiring 4-Way Trailer Harness– This Optronics wiring harness comes with a wishbone style offering a split wire option for your taillights. This wishbone style makes for an easier installation. The wires are also color-coded.

Read also: Trailer Wiring Diagrams:19 Tips Towing Electrical Wiring Installation

Class 3 Trailer Hitch Near Me

There are plenty of places available that will do hitch installations for you.

 You can contact your local car dealer. While they will definitely use products designed for your vehicle, be wary of their prices.

Car dealers tend to offer the most expensive rates for their service. They do, however, usually provide excellent warranties. You can expect to spend around 500 dollars on hitch installation with a dealer. That is just for labor, not parts. 

U-Haul offers inexpensive yet high-quality trailer hitch installations. U-Haul also has plenty of locations, so it will not be hard to find trailer hitch installations in your area. U-Haul offers the service for around 150 dollars. 

Pep Boys also offers trailer hitch installations. They have a guide to help you select the correct hitch for your vehicle, and they will advise you along the way if you need it.

Warranty of the Service Provider

Most car dealerships will offer 5+ year warranties for trailer hitch installations. This can give you great peace of mind.

Pep Boys does not list warranties on their website, so you will need to confirm the installation location. Most of the supplies required for a trailer hitch installation will have a 5+ year warranty.

U-Haul has one of the best warranties available for trailer hitch installations.

You have the option of a lifetime warranty for all trailer hitches they sell and install, so if anything goes wrong, you can go to one of their many locations for a repair or replacement.

References

https://www.curtmfg.com/types-trailer-hitches

https://www.uhaul.com/Trailer-Hitches/

Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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