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Hitch Comparison

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorers - Tuning & Mods' started by Darren, July 4, 2011.

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    1. Darren

      Darren New Member

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      Looking for your thoughts on aftermarket hitches. I need to carry 4 bikes and I'm aware of the weight restriction at 2000#. Here's what i have so far. Internet searches for aftermarket hitches include DrawTite, Hidden Hitch, and Curt. All are class 3. My concern is the final appearance: How close is the hitch to the rear bumper clip; and do the mufflers hang at a lower height after installation. Curt Mfg sent me photos of their hitch after installation on a 2011 Explorer. I'm impressed they had a photo of it on the 2011 and it was really tight to the bumper but could not find a way to upload the pics to the thread.
       
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    3. 182RG

      182RG Active Member

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      www.etrailer.com

      Look at the Hidden Hitch option. There are pics of a white Ex with the hitch installed in the 'Reviews' section. Looks good. I'm getting ready to order so I can rack 2 bikes.

      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: July 5, 2011
    4. dco43054

      dco43054 Well-Known Member

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      I haven't checked any pricing, but when I wanted to upgrade the hitch on my '02, I found it was about the same price to upgrade to the Class III by purchasing the OEM and swapping it out. It just took the removal of the bumper cover and 4 big bolts that holds the hitch on.
       
    5. Darren

      Darren New Member

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      Re: OEM HITCH--The 2011 Ex does not have a simple option for an OEM hitch. According to the Ford trim technician, the 2011 rear bumper clip is now one piece and would need to be replaced to install the OEM hitch.
       
    6. Mishtar

      Mishtar Active Member

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      I installed this hitch. Had to wait an extra 2 weeks after I received it for them to send me the correct parts to install it and evevn then I had to hack saw a peice down to get iut up inside the frame. I would recommend just paying someone to install it. With all of the fiddling it took close to 2 hours to install the damn thing. It works great though for my bike rack.
       
    7. Explorer209

      Explorer209 Member

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      what kind of bike rack?
       
    8. Mishtar

      Mishtar Active Member

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      Right now I just have a Swagman XP 3 bike rack but I am looking at either the North Shore 4 or the new Swagman Quad 2 or 4.

      http://northshoreracks.com/

      http://www.swagman.net/category/products/platform-racks/

      If you have the money and are carrying downhill bikes a lot this new rack looks like it will be pretty sweet but it is $750. (it is still in production, it is a local guy here who is an Engineer and a amazing rider, he is in the Banshee bike videos, that is designing it."

      http://arbutusracks.com/
       
    9. donm527

      donm527 Active Member

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    10. Explorer209

      Explorer209 Member

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      Thanks, I have been looking for something like these.
       
    11. Darren

      Darren New Member

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      Purchased a Curt Hitch. Tucks tight to bumper and looks good. The item arrived in a few days and was installed by a Ford service tech the next day. It required 30 minutes to install so they charged the minimum shop time ($80). It was a good deal.
       
    12. Alex135

      Alex135 New Member

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      I like the look. One nice thing is no panel to remove or to get lost when I don't put it back on right.
       
    13. Jrister24

      Jrister24 New Member

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      I installed the Curt hitch that I bought from www.discounhitches.com ($130). It took about an hour for my dad and I to install, but most of that time was trying to figure out the instructions. There was no drilling/sawing/etc required. It mounted into existing holes.

      I have a 500 lbs utility trailer I use to bring stuff back and forth between the house & storage building and found this to be the perfect solution.

      I enjoy working on my car & have a since of accomplishment but if Ford will mount it for only $80, that's a great deal if you don't want to crawl under your car for an hour!
       
    14. NAYDAMO

      NAYDAMO New Member

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      Do you have a pictures Installed?
       
    15. spitfisher

      spitfisher Active Member

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      Uhaul did a great job on my 2011, snug to the lower facade of the bumper. I think my out the door price for a 2 inch class III was $175- no ball though, I went else where for a stainless one, cost more. But the usual ones look like crap in 1 year.
       
    16. ModMiFord

      ModMiFord New Member

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      Installed a new Curt hitch. took about 45 minutes total. No cutting or welding and it was a perfect fit. Instructions were spot on.

      $135.00 total including the wire harness, reciever cap and shipping. Got it through Amazon.com brand new.
       

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    17. Snoopyto

      Snoopyto New Member

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      Thanks for the pictures. I am thinking of getting an aftermarket hitch, since I have an Eco-boost unit and just need to tow my small utility trailer and Segway. Any real negatives with U-Haul?
       
    18. ModMiFord

      ModMiFord New Member

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      U-Haul seems to be fine and a few forum members have used them. It will cost a bit more as they mark up the hitch equipment and of course you will have labor charges as well. Quality wise, I think your safe with them...

      You can get an immediate price quote and confirm which locations near you do hitch instalations on the H-Haul website.
       
    19. robr2

      robr2 New Member

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      So U-Haul will install a hitch on an Explorer but they won't rent you a trailer to tow??
       
    20. NAYDAMO

      NAYDAMO New Member

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      That looks good,thanks for posting the pictures. I'm getting Curt hitch also.
       
    21. zman3623

      zman3623 New Member

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      Any suggestions for suspension upgrades for towing a travel trailer?

      Ill be towing a travel trailer (22 foot, less than 5000#). Ill be using an aftermarket Class III hitch as well as the usual trailer sway bar/equlizer set up. Any suggestions on what I can use to prevent rear sagging...ie stiffer shocks, aftermarket springs, air shocks? Any experience out there? Thanks.
       
    22. Fordbuilt

      Fordbuilt New Member

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      Explorer hitch solution

      I am picking up my new Explorer later in the week so I do not have a photo of the final product. I will post them hopefully this weekend. I will tell you that I saw the hitch installed on another 2012 Explorer and it is a clever design and 100% concealed without any cutouts and removable plates. The product is called Execuhitch and fortunately for me they are located here in Atlanta and their brochures are starting to get to the dealerships. The Explorer hitch was recently developed and not yet on their website but it is available and will be installed on my Explorer on Thursday. I guess you would have to call them to order if not available at your dealer.

      There were two reasons that sold me on the hitch.
      a) it is 100% invisible until you need to use it.
      b) it is a solid connection to the vehicle so no lose fitting tubes and pins to bang at every stop and go. This solid connection is much better on the transmission.

      They have both a manual and automatic version. I like gadgets but I like reliability more. I elected to go with the manual version because there are no electrical parts and the manual hitch just snaps into place with a build in key lock.

      Finally, this is not a cheap hitch and does not compare pricewise with other brands for the hitch itself. I like protecting the look of my vehicle and not having a permanent knee banger so I spent the extra few hundred dollars.
       
    23. Spengracin

      Spengracin Active Member

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      Let's us know, you think better than factory installed?
       
    24. Fordbuilt

      Fordbuilt New Member

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      I will let you decide. The hitch is an Invisihitch which at one time was called Execuhitch. The Execuhitch website is still running although I was told that it would son become an Invisihitch website. My initial con was the the price. It is a few hundred more than other hitch options but here are the advantages. After the total experience, it is a no brainer for the benefits.

      Aesthetics
      The hitch receiver is completely concealed until needed for towing or other attachement like bike racks and cargo platforms.


      There is no bumper cutout required. On the explorer there is not a removable plate so with a conventional hitch, you would be left with a visiable cutout that is fairly large if you follow the intended cutout lines.


      There is no need for a separate lock because the "ball mount" that is inserted when you need it is secured from theft by an integral push lock built into the reciever.

      Safety
      The hitch is secured with a structural member that replaces the existing bumper core. Unlike some after market hitches, the connection points utilize the intended crumple zones of the vehicle.

      I was told it passes both US and European safety standards which is more stringent than US standards.

      Towing Experience

      When the ball mount is inserted, it is solid to the vehicle and is a far different towing experience than the loose fitting tube inside tube design with the loose fitting pin. Typical hitches give give you a clunk or jarring effect each time you start and stop the vehicle. The Invisihitch is solid to the vehicle so you obvisously feel the load but you do not get the bang each start and stop which is much better on the tranmission. I did not believe it would make that much difference but is really a much more positive towing experience.

      Lastly I have to admit I love the gadget factor. I am having fun showing it around. There is nothing out there like it so it suprises everyone that it completely disappears when not in use. When you insert the ball mount it snaps into place with the use of a spring loaded cam. When you are done, you unlock it and turn a handle 90 degrees and it drops out the ball mount and there are no visible signs of a hitch. Likewise you can insert what they call an adapter that gives you the ability to use attachment pieces like bike racks and cargo platforms and again when you are done it pops out and it is back to the intended look of the vehicle.

      I could not figure out how to upload photos to this site but I would be happy to e-mail anyone interested in seeing my Explorer photos, just respond with e-mail addresses. I am leaving for the races this weekend so it may be next week before I can respond. There are also videos on their website that does a decent job of showing the hitch. I hope this helps!
       
    25. robr2

      robr2 New Member

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      The design reminds me of the Westphalia hitches available in Europe. The Westphalia typically replaces the bumper underneath and uses a verrtical attachment of the ball and accessories. This product adds the electric component and I guess I don't understand the need for that.
       
    26. Fordbuilt

      Fordbuilt New Member

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      You are correct about the inserting the hitch vertically. I did not install the electrical unit. I also do not like electrically operated hitch The mechanical unit does not have any electrical components and you are free to use their wiring harness for the trailer lights or you can use a factory harness. The mechanical units snaps into place with a spring loaded cam. You have to turn a knob 90 degrees to release it.
       

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