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Apr 15, 2006
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Chatham

Hitch shopping.

What is the best way to get trailer hitch for your SUV?

Should i buy the hitch online/seperate and get an autoshop install it? Or should i go to a trailer specilized shop and get a complete installed package?

Which shop do you recommend in Ontario?
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Feb 9, 2003
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jetway1212 wrote: What is the best way to get trailer hitch for your SUV?

Should i buy the hitch online/seperate and get an autoshop install it? Or should i go to a trailer specilized shop and get a complete installed package?

Which shop do you recommend in Ontario?
It's pretty easy to put a hitch in. Usually 6 bolts or so. Takes 5 minutes. The good part is that means installation is pretty cheap if you don't have the tools. I'd do it myself. In fact, last night I ordered a 17000lb hitch for my sister's new van, and all the wiring stuff, and I'll put it in next week. If I wasn't installing it myself, I'd get a hitch shop to do it. Mechanics aren't interested in 5 minutes of work.

The wiring is a different story. If it's just for a bike rack, you don't need wiring. But if you need wiring, you should go to a hitch shop because they carry the stuff you need, and they'd generally have a cheaper hourly rate than a mechanic.
Deal Addict
May 2, 2010
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Toronto
5 min sounds like over simplification though. I just installed a DrawTite hitch on my SUV (E70) and took me almost 2 hours...
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Feb 9, 2003
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conix67 wrote: 5 min sounds like over simplification though. I just installed a DrawTite hitch on my SUV (E70) and took me almost 2 hours...
Yeah, I guess it depends on the vehicle. When it's just a matter of dropping 6 bolts through pre-drilled holes in the frame, and tightening 6 nuts, it's 5 minutes.
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Aug 29, 2011
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If you have some mechanical skill it's not that hard to install most trailer hitches. Go to a website like etrailers.com and search for your vehicle. They'll list compatible hitches (Reese, Hidden-Hitch, Draw-Tite or Curtis) and rate them in terms of difficulty to install and tools required. Many times they have links to installation videos.

The three hitches I've installed over the years were pretty straightforward but definitely took more than "5 minutes". The hardest was on my 2009 Pontiac G8 which required dropping both mufflers and cutting the heat shields. The bolt holes/weldnuts were already in place so that was easy. It was the prep beforehand that took time.
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Oct 5, 2008
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Uhaul (depending on location). They sell and install racks for cheap.

Hitch City

Rack Attack (I had them install the hitch I bought form RockAuto)
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Mar 30, 2010
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For reference, a lot of hitch manufacturers will put the install instructions on their site so you can easily figure out how long it should take.

As for installation, my recommendation would be a place that does hitch installs often and has good reviews/recommendations.
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Aug 29, 2011
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Viperoni wrote: As for installation, my recommendation would be a place that does hitch installs often and has good reviews/recommendations.
While I've done my hitch installations myself I've bought them all through Hitch City.
Member
Feb 24, 2013
359 posts
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Ontario
5 minutes to install a hitch? Somebody must be dreaming. I've been installing (and sometimes building) my own hitches since 1965. The last one was on my 1992 Volvo wagon a few years ago. What with having to remove, modify and reinstall the rear valance, I must have spent half a day rolling around in the dirt in the driveway. A hitch can cost anywhere from $150 to $350 or more depending on where you get it. Depending on how many you've done, you may want to spring for the cost of installation if done by a shop that does lots of these. Then there's the matter of the wiring hookup, which could set you back up to another $100.
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Feb 10, 2011
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Just to add if the SUV is more then a couple years old buy a thread chaser and clean the threads, My van was 4 years old and the threads in the frame where so rusted I had to drill and tap the next size up.
No One Goes to Palmerston Ontario
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Oct 29, 2008
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L4J
jetway1212 wrote: What is the best way to get trailer hitch for your SUV?

Should i buy the hitch online/seperate and get an autoshop install it? Or should i go to a trailer specilized shop and get a complete installed package?

Which shop do you recommend in Ontario?
check U-HAUL for Trailer Hitch and Trailer Hitch Installation
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Mar 30, 2010
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mrweather wrote: While I've done my hitch installations myself I've bought them all through Hitch City.
Same, I do almost all of my own car work though.

I bought mine from Canadian Hitches
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Well, I put the hitch on the van tonight. It was probably more like 10 minutes. Took longer to get the tools out than to do the hitch. My brother in law helped me since it was his van. We dropped the 6 bolts in the frame, lifted the hitch up with a hydro jack, and put the nuts on. Used an air impact to spin the nuts on, then verified with a torque wrench. The extra hands really helped, since it was a pretty heavy hitch - 60lbs, class 5, rated for 2400lbs tongue weight and 17000lbs trailer weight.

What took the most time was the wiring. This van had no wiring, so everything had to be done from scratch. This part took about 3 hours.
-Remove rear inside panels to access light wiring
-Connect wiring to lights to get 4 way trailer plug
-Connect 4 way plug to 6 way RV blade socket
-Run duplex wiring to front for power and brake signal
-Install 2 circuit breakers at battery
-Install battery post extension
-Install fuse tap in main fuse panel for brake signal
-Wire from battery to fuse breakers to rear and inside for brake controller
-Mount 6 way socket on bumper

And even after 3 hours it wasn't quite done. He still has to mount the brake controller, find a ground inside, and splice the 3 wires from the rear/fuse panel/battery to the controller pigtail. We didn't do that part cause he's considering getting a better brake controller, like a Tekonsha P3.

I have to really recommend hitchweb. They have lower prices than Canadian Hitch (especially after the 5% social media coupon for liking the facebook page) and they ship fast. I got all my stuff 2 days after ordering. They have warehouses in Van/Cal/Tor so us Westcoasters will get stuff a little faster than from an outfit that ships from Toronto only.
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Mar 23, 2011
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Any idea of the cost from places to install like hitch city or uhaul etc?
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Deal Expert
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sherman51 wrote: Any idea of the cost from places to install like hitch city or uhaul etc?
Can vary widely depending on the vehicle. All the hitches I've done have been trucks (GM pickups, 4Runner, and now a GM fullsize van) that were just a matter of bolting it on, so they've all been fast.

Etrailer.com lists install times for various vehicles to give you a ballpark.

Also depends on whether you need wiring.

Best bet is just to get some quotes.
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Sep 5, 2014
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Brampton, ON
I went to VIA trailers in Bolton. Got a great deal and they offer great service. I paid $300ish to put a draw-tite hitch on my car

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