How Much Weight Can A Bumper Hitch Hold

How Much Weight Can A Bumper Hitch Hold – Let’s Find Out the Answer!

Trailer hitches are getting a lot of attention these days. Almost every car owner is considering hooking one of those into their vehicle. This way, the old rat-and-mouse chase of finding the most suitable hitch begins.

Since it’s almost mid-20s and people prefer to talk with tech rather than humans, the internet is the best option they choose to get to their product. And just like thousands of others, you’re on this page where I’m gonna discuss everything related to a trailer or bumper hitch’s weight capacity.

The weight handling capability of these products can vary depending on a few factors, such as types, classes, sizes, and others. The best way to describe the whole scenario is to define it in different Classes. But before we get into that, I need to clarify one confusion. What is it? Let’s find it in the next section.

Receivers and Bumper Hitches aren’t the Same!

Both the Receiver and Bumper hitch are variants of Tow Hitches. Hence, many people might think of these two as the same. But in reality, these two have some differences. I decided to categorize these points into four ways.

  1. Placement: The first difference between the two would be their placements. I know both are two hitches and get a place in the rear, but you need to see deeper to find the conflicting point. As the name suggests, a bumper hitch is attached directly to the vehicle’s bumper. On the other hand, a receiver hitch is mounted onto a receiver tube that is welded or bolted to the vehicle’s frame.
  2. Capacity: If you look at the maximum weight capacity of the two, you’ll see a healthy margin between them. Receiver hitches typically have a higher weight capacity than the other type. These can handle a maximum of 17,000 lbs., whereas bumpers can only shoot up to 12,000 lbs. It makes the first type more suitable for towing heavier loads.
  3. Flexibility: The term refers to the effortlessness of using a product. More formally, it indicates how easily you can remove, store, and maintain a product. Since Receiver hitches deal with heavier and bigger trailers, it has more flexibility. It means you can effortlessly remove the item when not in use. The receiver tube can comfortably mount accessories like bike racks and cargo carriers.
  4. Compatibility: Receiver Hitches are mostly vehicle specific. This means there’s one hitch for one ride only. On the other hand, a bumper hitch can be installed in any four-wheeler as long as it meets the requirements. Both of the devices have a wide range of compatibility lists.

In short, Bumper Hitches are on the light side compared to the other. I hope you’ve got the idea between a receiver and a bumper hitch, and all of the confusion are now gone in this matter. Now, let’s get back to our topic.

How Much Weight Can A Bumper Hitch Hold

Let’s Discuss Different Types of Bumper Hitches & Their Weight Capacities

We can classify Bumper Hitches in a lot of ways. The most common way to describe the types is to define them in the form of different classes. Since classes are a criterion solely based on Gross Trailer Weight Capacity, it caters to our needs too. Like receiver hitches, there are also five Classes in this case. Let’s discuss things in greater detail..

Class-I Bumper Hitch

Class I Bumper hitches are the most light-duty ones. Hence, these are designed only to perform underwhelming towing applications. The device has a weight capacity of up to 2,000 lbs. of Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) and up to 200 lbs. of Tongue Weight.

In most cases, this type comes with a 1.25-inch receiver opening. But you can also hook a 2” x 2” shank by installing an adapter. Since most towing items come with this, buying an extra adapter won’t be a waste.

Some usual applications of class-I bumper hitches include towing small trailers, such as utility trailers, attaching a small fishing boat, and cargo carriers or bike racks.

Class-II Bumper Hitch

At first look, it’s hard to differentiate between a Class-I and a Class-II Bumper Hitch. They almost look alike with similar features. The only difference between these two is the load handling capacity. Class II hitches have slightly better numbers than the others.

It has a maximum Gross Trailer Weight of 3,500 lbs. The maximum tongue weight (TW) is around 300 pounds. For this reason, it can deal with heavier and bigger trailers. The most common usages of this type are small to medium-sized vans, bulky bike racks, and cargo carriers.

It’s important to remember that this one might have a slight advantage in towing large items over class-I. Still, it’s not an option for heavy-duty trailers.

Class-III Bumper Hitch

If you want to up your game in towing a trailer, you must start looking from Class-III hitches. From features to load capacity, everything is way higher in this one compared to the other two. And probably for this reason, it’s one of the most widely used hitch types.

With a Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) of 8,000 lbs. and Tongue Weight of 800 pounds, this one surely packs enough strength to deal with heavier trailers such as full-size pickup trucks and SUVs. People mostly use Class III hitches to tow boat trailers, hitch-mounted accessories, and bigger cargo carriers.

It has a 2-inch receiver opening. Since most hitch-mounted items come with a 2” x 2” shank, you won’t have to buy an adapter here. The best thing about our device is that you can use it with a weight distribution hitch for better results.

Class-IV Bumper Hitch

Class III and IV hitches are similar, as they both have a 2-inch receiver opening. The main difference between these two is their weight ratings. Class III’s weight ratings are consistently lower than the other type. And for that reason, Class IV lacks versatility.

It has a weight capacity of up to 10,000 pounds as GTW and up to 1,000 pounds as tongue weight (TW). 

Because of the higher load capacity, this one is suitable for towing much heavier trailers, such as large boats, car haulers, or horse trailers. They are also appropriate for attaching a bike rack or cargo carrier that can carry heavy loads.

Class-V Bumper Hitch

Okay, we’ve come to the most heavy-duty bumper hitch type. It has the highest towing capacity, where the GTW is around 20,000 lbs., and tongue weight is up to 2,000 lbs. 

Hence, you can imagine how much strength and raw power it holds inside. This is a perfect piece to tow large RVs, commercial trailers, or heavy-duty equipment carriers.

Aside from the load, it has a bigger receiver opening, 2.25 inches. So, if you hook something in a 2-inch shank, you’ll have to buy a hitch adapter. Since you’re dealing with an overwhelming amount of weight, you must get the correct ball mount too.

The Last Words

Regarding personal usage, no one performs as well as bumper hitches. Since it matches with receiver hitches in some factors, people tend to mix up while deciding the load capacity. In this whole article, I removed all confusion regarding the matter.

I’ve divided the item types into classes I through V. Where Class I’s are the weakest and V’s are the strongest. The numbers start from 2,500 to 20,000 lbs. as Gross Trailer Weight and 200 to 2000 pounds as Tongue Weight. 

In short, from regular towing to heavy-duty services, you’ve got your back covered.

Eddie Burton - Senior Author
Senior Author: Eddie Burton

Eddie Burton is a passionate car enthusiast and a seasoned mechanic with over 15 years of experience in the automotive industry. He has worked with a variety of vehicles, from classic muscle cars to modern luxury cars, and has extensive knowledge of all types of auto parts and accessories.

Eddie’s love for cars began at a young age when he would spend hours tinkering with his first car, a 1967 Mustang. Since then, he has pursued his passion for cars by working in various garages and workshops, honing his skills and expertise in everything related to automobiles.

As a contributor to our website, Eddie shares his in-depth knowledge and experience with our readers, providing valuable tips and advice on auto parts, repairs, and maintenance. He’s committed to helping car owners get the most out of their vehicles by providing honest and practical reviews of auto parts, accessories, and tools.

With Eddie’s vast experience and expertise, you can trust his recommendations and insights on everything related to cars. Whether you’re a seasoned car owner or a newbie in the world of automobiles, Eddie’s articles and reviews will help you make informed decisions and keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come.

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