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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone on here installed an aftermarket tow hitch themselves?

If so, how easy / hard was it?

I have a 2016 AWD Limited if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I purchased a great hitch for my 2014 Highlander AW from Curt Mfg in Eau Claire, WI. It was a perfect fit with some of the best instructions I have ever seen. Came with everything needed (and wiring) and was quite inexpensive. Rated at 5000 pounds I have towed rental car trailers up very steep hills without problems. Last trip was 300 miles. Gas mileage not great !!! Plus the hitch does not extend past the back bumper. I put it on myself with the help of a small ATV lift I have. Plus I also have a car lift which made it a snap. (I work on xjs Jags).
Ken in WV
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I purchased a great hitch for my 2014 Highlander AW from Curt Mfg in Eau Claire, WI. It was a perfect fit with some of the best instructions I have ever seen. Came with everything needed (and wiring) and was quite inexpensive. Rated at 5000 pounds I have towed rental car trailers up very steep hills without problems. Last trip was 300 miles. Gas mileage not great !!! Plus the hitch does not extend past the back bumper. I put it on myself with the help of a small ATV lift I have. Plus I also have a car lift which made it a snap. (I work on xjs Jags).
Ken in WV
Awesome, thank you. I won't be towing anything heavy, honestly just using it to attach my small ATV hitch to take my stereo cooler to the beach.

I am mechanically inclined to an extent, but definitely not enough to making major modifications to a brand new car.

Was it basically just bolting it up? (Excluding electrical obviously)
 

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Everything provided to do the job. Had to cut a plastic piece (instructions on what to do included) that acts as a splashback panel. Everything bolts on/off and any parts needed are included. Did not even have to cut any wires, what they supplied just hooked directly into the wiring that is there. Probably an hour max to install.. Less if you go through the instructions first !! lol. A little more for me as I did it in the evening, am 74 and consume quantities of brown liquids while working on cars.... lol Check out their web site: http://www.curtmfg.com/
ken in wv
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Everything provided to do the job. Had to cut a plastic piece (instructions on what to do included) that acts as a splashback panel. Everything bolts on/off and any parts needed are included. Did not even have to cut any wires, what they supplied just hooked directly into the wiring that is there. Probably an hour max to install.. Less if you go through the instructions first !! lol. A little more for me as I did it in the evening, am 74 and consume quantities of brown liquids while working on cars.... lol Check out their web site: http://www.curtmfg.com/
ken in wv
Thanks once again. I planned on going with Curt since that is what I have installed on my other SUV.
 

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I'm trying to figure out which ball adapter I'll need to tow my trailer level. Can someone that has installed the Curt hitch on a Gen 3, please measure the distance from the ground to the bottom of the 2" square hole where the ball adapter plugs in?

Thanks!
 

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I did my own install with a curt hitch from etrailer dot com. It was easy they have videos that show you how to do it. Like others said there is a bit of cutting of plastic panels underneath the car, the video shows you how to do it.

The hardest part is holding up the hitch if you're doing it by yourself. I didn't have a lift or any help so I used a big hydraulic jack with a 2x4 cut a little longer than the hitch so the hitch can balance on the 2x4 which rested on the jack as I pumped it up to get it into position. It worked pretty well.

The harness was easy to do as well but I don't like the fact that the wiring is on the inside of the vehicle and when you use it you lay it across the rubber weather striping then you close the hatch. I don't think it crimps the wiring.
 

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Like others have said, either a jack or a second set of hands will help tremendously while bolting it up. Otherwise it's really easy.
The 4 pin harness should be going through a drain plug in the floor of the trunk. There is really no reason to run it through the door, imo; doesn't matter if you use it once a week or once a year.
 

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I did my own install with a curt hitch from etrailer dot com. It was easy they have videos that show you how to do it. Like others said there is a bit of cutting of plastic panels underneath the car, the video shows you how to do it.

The hardest part is holding up the hitch if you're doing it by yourself. I didn't have a lift or any help so I used a big hydraulic jack with a 2x4 cut a little longer than the hitch so the hitch can balance on the 2x4 which rested on the jack as I pumped it up to get it into position. It worked pretty well.

The harness was easy to do as well but I don't like the fact that the wiring is on the inside of the vehicle and when you use it you lay it across the rubber weather striping then you close the hatch. I don't think it crimps the wiring.
Thanks. Did you or can you measure the height of the ball adapter hole? - from the ground to the top (or bottom) of the opening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's an image I just took of the Curt hitch I installed after I started this thread. I have an AWD, so not sure if the height difference is any different compared to a 2wd model.

 

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Machsimus, thank you so much! This will help me avoid buying the wrong ball adapter.
There is a Thank You button under his post - use it. :)

I bought the 2" curt adapter and when realized it was too low, I just flipped the ball upside down and it was perfect.
 

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There is a Thank You button under his post - use it. :)

I bought the 2" curt adapter and when realized it was too low, I just flipped the ball upside down and it was perfect.
Sorry I made you slog all the way through that thank you, I'll try to do better in the future. 0:)

I know that ball adapters can be flipped, but in the past I've had to get a special adapter to get the ball height low enough for my camper, which has a very low towing height. Knowing the approximate hitch height will allow me to buy the right one from the get-go.
 

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Sorry I made you slog all the way through that thank you, I'll try to do better in the future. 0:)

I know that ball adapters can be flipped, but in the past I've had to get a special adapter to get the ball height low enough for my camper, which has a very low towing height. Knowing the approximate hitch height will allow me to buy the right one from the get-go.
Ya know, if you accept other people's messages as non-hostile, but mere suggestions / conversations, you might have a much better / friendlier online experience. Just sayin ;)

Good luck either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There is a Thank You button under his post - use it. :)

I bought the 2" curt adapter and when realized it was too low, I just flipped the ball upside down and it was perfect.
That's what I did on my Explorer. I have an ATV basket cart for my Highlander and that's all I plan on using it for, but if I need to tow something I'll use the upside down one from my Ex.
 
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I installed the OEM hitch because I don't like the look of the Curt hanging below the bumper. I used 2 Home Depot 5 gallon buckets to set the hitch on under the truck so that I can bolt it in. No support straps or second person needed for my install. I will be installing the 4 pin wiring harness this weekend.
 
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