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Hitch Comparison

Fordbuilt

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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.
 
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Spengracin

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City, State
Fairfield, Ca
Year, Model & Trim Level
2012 AWD Limited
Let's us know, you think better than factory installed?
 
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Fordbuilt

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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!
 
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robr2

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September 21, 2011
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City, State
Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
2011 Explorer XLT
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.
 
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Fordbuilt

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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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Gatortailale

Elite Explorer
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October 20, 2011
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City, State
Reston, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2016 Sport
Anyone got photos of their hitch either an after-market or the Ford accessory add on. I have a 2013 ecoboost and would like hitch for bike rack/ would not be towing anything. Can anyone give me tips if a class 1 has the 2 inch box?

Ford Accessory page
Trailer Hitch - Class I
Part No: BB5Z-19D520-AA

I worked out a deal with sales guy for splitting cost of hitch as part of my deal - but he was talking about sending me to a 3rd party vendor for install of I hope a hidden, curt, or the draw-tite. I would like to see / know more about the Ford accessory linked above to see if that is what I would like/ fit my needs.
 
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steve_ltd

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January 20, 2012
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City, State
Texas
Year, Model & Trim Level
2011 Explorer Limited Blk
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.

I have the Hidden Hitch, with Thule 4-bike carrier. Hitch fits well, exhausts not lowered at all (or at least not noticably). Would recommend.
 
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srearoyl

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May 31, 2012
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City, State
NOVA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2011 Explorer XLT
I have the Draw-Tite Class III hitch receiver on my 2011. Looks great, fits well, drops the exhaust about 1/4" or so (not noticeable, in other words). I have used it with a hitch basket several times, no issues at all. Took less than an hour to install it and the wiring harness. I ordered all of my items from eTrailer.
 
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