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Old 03-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
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Class IV vs class III

I know the difference between these is towing and tongue weight capacity.

But in looking at the receivers I can't tell WHY. In other words, I can't find out if it's the mounting hardware, tube thickness, etc etc that is the difference. I'd like to beef up a III if it's not a matter of actually having thicker tubing or whatever.

Anyone make the change and notice the differences?

Rob
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:12 PM   #2
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Re: Class IV vs class III

Rob,

The difference is weight and cost. Thicker/beefier. For example:

Draw-Tite 41906 class IV/V 1000/10000 weighs 56lbs.
vs
Curt 13055 classIII 600/6000 weighs 35lbs.

For me I wouldn't know the difference. I have the Curt 13055 mainly to carry my kid's bikes not to tow anything. I have a separate SUV for towing.

Hope this helps™,
Ray
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:12 PM   #3
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Re: Class IV vs class III

Sometimes a class 3 hitch already has thick enough wall tubing that the MFG may use the same base for a Class 4 or 5 hitch. Where you will see the most apparent difference usually is the side plates, or hangers, which attach to the frame. Generally, the higher the receiver rating, the further forward the side plates will extend. Class 3 and 4 hitches are usually no-drill installations onto the vans, but putting o a Class 5 hitch usually requires adding a pair of holes further forward than the pre-drilled ones.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:58 PM   #4
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Re: Class IV vs class III

I've got the factory ford III, which seems pretty beefy, and has as many attachment points as the aftermarket IV's. Hard to tell if they're thicker steel though. I can't seem to find a Ford class IV for the van. I ended up with this one after I got rear-ended, and it was the only one the body shop could fit around the spare (and if I wanted something else it would have caused insurance hassles).

I'm mostly concerned about side pull when using off-angle pulling or towing.

rob
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:02 PM   #5
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Re: Class IV vs class III

My 04 van came with factory installed V5 hitch - 1K/10K# w/load distributing hitch, 500/5K# standard hitch.

Mike
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:41 PM   #6
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Re: Class IV vs class III

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
My 04 van came with factory installed V5 hitch - 1K/10K# w/load distributing hitch, 500/5K# standard hitch.

Mike

I believe that is officially a class III receiver. I have the same one on my E350.
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:46 PM   #7
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Re: Class IV vs class III

I had to spec out mine but just told them it must be able to haul a 22' Ranger bass boat. I realize they are not that heavy.
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:24 PM   #8
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Re: Class IV vs class III

This is what my 2008 E-350 has as a factory hitch option ,this information is copied out of the 2008 order guide.

Option Code 536 Trailer Towing Pkg (Class II/III/IV) - $285
Electric Brake Controller; Wiring harness with bumper bracket; Relay System for Backup Lights; Trailer towing preparation includes tow hook; Auxiliary transmission cooler.

The Owners manual says that for my EB van with a V-10 and 3.73 gears (and stock size tire diameter)
The Maximum GCWR is 15000 lbs.
The trailer weight is not to exceed 9000 lbs.
And the frontal area of the trailer is 60 ft2 max.
By comparison the same van and gears but with a 5.4 can only tow 7200lbs no matter what the hitch says.

The truth is what it can tow legally depends on how much it all weighs together. A 9,000 lb plus E-350 Sportsmobile cannot tow a 9,000 lb trailer (legally) with 33 inch plus size tires and even 4.10 gears.

For years when I lived in NY I towed a 6000 24 foot and then a 7500 lb 28 foot offshore boat and trailer with my old 3/4 ton van nearly every weekend from May until October. It worked fine as I had it set up for the job, low gears, bigger brakes and better cooling system and such but in some states the total load weight must be kept to what the door sticker is rated for and I think with the interior and such I had in it I would have been well over that limit.

When I lived in GA you will see people towing things like a bulldozer on a trailer with no brakes (or fenders) on the freeways using a 1/2 ton van or truck pretty scary. From what I understand out here in CA they are very strict about the trailer towing laws including weight and overall length.
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