Originally Posted by tractors1
Class III hitch should be fine with 250 lbs, but the distance from the receiver gets important if the weight is more than 1 foot away. Sounds like you didn't call Escape and ask what their recommendation is for their stock receiver and if your load is greater I'm sure they can recommend any added structure.
The hitch classes are established by VESC standard V-5 and SAE standard J684, and refer only to the capacity of the hitch. Class 3 (or Class III) means up to 5000 pounds of trailer weight. A real Class 3 hitch should have no problem with a 250 pound load as long as it is does not stick out too far to the rear.
The bike rack receiver on an Escape is not intended for towing another trailer, and it is certainly not designed to takes the forces associated with towing a 5,000 pound trailer. The only part of this system which would meet the Class 3 strength requirements is the piece of tubing with a 2" square inside; the rest of the structure is not a Class 3 hitch, and not intended to be one.
Often people refer to any hitch receiver of the 2" size as Class 3, causing confusion.
So yes, the capacity of the bit of square tubing used as a socket is not a concern.