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Hitch Comparison

Darren

Member
Joined
July 4, 2011
Messages
10
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City, State
Kalamazoo
Year, Model & Trim Level
2011 Limited
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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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.

rid10823_r1_800.jpg
 






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.
 






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.
 






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.

rid10823_r1_800.jpg

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.
 






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.

what kind of bike rack?
 






what kind of bike rack?

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/
 












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/

Thanks, I have been looking for something like these.
 






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.
 






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.
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.
 






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!
 






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!

Do you have a pictures Installed?
 






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.
 






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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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?
 






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?

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.
 






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






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.

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



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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.
 






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