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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I want to add a 2" receiver-type hitch to our 2009 Highlander Hybrid. I do not anticipate doing ANY towing (as in using a trailer) with this vehicle, as we now have a 2014 Tundra 4x4 DCLB--which we LOVE!

Rather, I want to use the 2" hitch to mount a motorcycle carrier, and/or a "cargo basket," back there. I believe the Class IV hitches can handle tongue weights up to 600-1,000. but I would be loading a single dirtbike on the carrier. Anticipated bike weights would not exceed 300-350lbs., plus the weight of the MC carrier itself. (More commonly, I'd expect bike weight to be sub-250lbs--plus bike carrier.)

I want to buy the heaviest-duty hitch I can (properly) fit on the SUV, just so I can minimize any flex or unwanted movement of the motorcycle carrier, as it will want to "wobble" under braking/acceleration/turns, etc.... (If need be, I guess I can run a couple of ratchet ties from the roof rack down to the bike, to help stabilize things....)

I would like recommendations for brands/models of 2" receiver hitches people know, for a fact, will fit on, and work with, the full-size spare tire/wheel our HiHy came with.


ARE Such Hitches Available?
My biggest concern is that "real estate" is tight back there, and, again, I'm wondering how the hitch will mount, w/o interfering with the removal of the spare wheel.


Are Hitch Mounting Points Identical for Gas and Hybrid Highlanders?
I elected NOT to post in the Hybrid forums because (I'm hoping) the rear bumper/spare tire configuration is identical to the non-Hybrid Highlanders, and I figured there'd be far more "eyeballs" on the gas Highlander forum than on the HiHy forum.

Am I correct, or does the presence of the HiHy's traction battery, under the rear seat, mean that the spare tire/rear bumper configuration is different from the gas Highlanders?


Thanks in advance!

ToyotasForever
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This Video Is Very Helpful...

I may have discovered the answer to my own question.

Reminder: I won't be towing--just using it to hold a (wheel-less) motorcycle carrier, or a cargo basket.

This video was very informative:
Best 2009 Highlander Hitch Options
https://images.etrailer.com/static/images/video/best-2009-toyota-highlander-hitch-options.webm

The DrawTite in the middle of this guy's display (in the above video) has more mounting points than the other two, and can do weight distribution, along with handling a max. tongue weight of 750lbs. Plus has holes for a "J-pin stabilization device," or some such. (I don't need the weight distribution feature, but it does imply, to me, the hitch is probably stronger/more rigid, which is what I seek, to reduce motorcycle movement.)

It also doesn't eat into ground clearance, as does one of them.

None of them require drilling.


This is the page the video came from:
2009 Toyota Highlander Trailer Hitch
https://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2009_Toyota_Highlander.htm


I'm interested in any comments/feedback anyone interested may have, re: the video or anything else I should be considering.

Peace.
 

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I installed the drawtite in the middle on my 2008 base model. I pull a boat. I also have a carrier that I use to haul various things. Its sturdy. No flex. I did have to remove the two undercarriage plastic shields to install. Some people leave them off, but I slit mine with a knife and fit them over the hitch and reinstalled them. You will see what I mean once your install. Also it does take some force to get all holes to line up, but they will. The key is get all bolts started before tightening and torguing them. May want to get some help and have a floor jack handy to help lift and center it. Its the best hitch made for the highlander.
 

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No hitch should "flex" if installed correctly with bolts torqued down to spec onto the frame. The "wobble" comes from play in between the receiver and the input shaft on whatever you are using the hitch for (cargo carrier, rack, etc.). To eliminate the wobble, you need a threaded hitch pin which is something to worry about on the carrier side, not the receiver side.

I put a Curt on mine, what decided it for me was the fact that the Curt runs above the rear exhaust instead of below it...looks much better in my opinion and you don't even see the hitch on the right side of the vehicle. OEM is best but you sure pay the price.
 

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My carrier has a clamp for stability. Had to fashion a bracket to raise it about 5" for a decent amount of clearance too. And don't forget Sumo Springs, a must have with the sloppy stock springs imo.
 

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reviving the thread. I've got an '11 HiHy and am thinking about a mc carrier. Both have a max load of 500#. I have a dual-sport that I think is well under. But I'm wondering if my Honda Rebel (408# wet) + carrier (57#) is going to be too close to the mark. Anyone with experience on hitch loading that close to the limit? thanks!
 

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reviving the thread. I've got an '11 HiHy and am thinking about a mc carrier. Both have a max load of 500#. I have a dual-sport that I think is well under. But I'm wondering if my Honda Rebel (408# wet) + carrier (57#) is going to be too close to the mark. Anyone with experience on hitch loading that close to the limit? thanks!
I haul a snow blower occasionally on the back of mine (approx 200lbs) and honestly my concern going heavier would be the rear squat. It squats enough IMO especially for clearance going over approaches/etc with my blower that I would hesitate to add more weight than that.
 

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I haul a snow blower occasionally on the back of mine (approx 200lbs) and honestly my concern going heavier would be the rear squat. It squats enough IMO especially for clearance going over approaches/etc with my blower that I would hesitate to add more weight than that.
That's what I feared. >400# on the back, I figured I'd be kicking up sparks! 😄 thanks!
 

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I wouldnt put more than 500lbs on the tail of a Highlander. You will be nose high tail dragger and should consider something like:

OE hitch noodle bent picture from:

Curt? Not!

Stick with


Waiting to see how this holds up on those that actually use the hitch:
 

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One needs to consider the geometry of the load applied to a trailer hitch. A 500# vertical load (on the ball) is a lot different than a 300# vertical load applied 18 inches back of the ball. Torque is what kills a trailer hitch and no matter how strong the hitch.. it is still attached to sheet metal.
 
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