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Discussion Starter #1
Bought a 2013 Highlander a couple of months ago and looking for receiver hitch recommendations. Sure would appreciate any suggestions on brand and installation.
 

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1995 T100 2WD & 1993 MR2
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Jump over to etrailer.com, good selection and some videos of products on the HL.
Drawtite fan here on my T100.
Welcome to the neighborhood,:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I will check out their website and see what they recommend. All of our previous vehicles already had receiver hitches and wiring.
 

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1995 T100 2WD & 1993 MR2
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Nope. I used one of their wiring kits. For the 4 pin set-up the kit took about 30 minutes to plug into my tailights.
I haven't needed to go with a 7 pin since I don't have a trailer that I need a brake controller on.
 

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Highlander Limited
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If you value looks and function an OEM hitch is the only way to go. If you just don't care about looks and function then any aftermarket hitch will work.
 

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CURT is very good and do get the factory compatible controller. It plugs right into the vehicle harness behind the drivers rear wheel well but inside. A few panels need removing but not hard. Shown in video I reference for it.
 

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2011 Highlander lmtd
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What function do you lose with a non-OEM hitch?
 

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No idea, know one I know has one. The don't come with any vehicles already installed.
 

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2012 Camry SE, 4 cyl
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I just put the Curt into my 2013. Total cost for hitch, tongue, ball and controller from Amazon was about $200 delivered. Hitch looks sturdy and the paint looked good. Spare tire fits fine with hitch installed.
There are good You Tube tutorials for both the hitch and controller . Will take about 2-3 hours, no cutting wires- all plug in. Bring the wire going to the hitch through the plastic grommet in the bottom of the floor where the controller will be placed and no drilling needed. You will need to trim the plastic shields under the SUV to reinstall them if you want to use them. Was very easy to install..

Hitch $140

Tongue and ball $25

Controller $35
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sure appreciate everyone's feedback. Definitely leaning to the Curt hitch and wiring set up. For the money it looks like the better way to go. Their install video on the hitch and controller looked fairly straight forward. Now if could just borrow their lift for the install it sure would beat laying down on the driveway.

Thanks
 

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2011 Highlander lmtd
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121 Posts
I put the trailer hitch on by myself...use a jack or jack stands to hold one end in place. Put bolts in to hold it then torque once all are in
 

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Bought a 2013 Highlander a couple of months ago and looking for receiver hitch recommendations. Sure would appreciate any suggestions on brand and installation.
We bought and self installed a uhaul hutch the works great. We bought the 2013 new pre wired but no hitch. We have had great service from the hitch and the Highlander. We use it mostly for a hitch mounted bike carrier but have pulled a couple trailer no sweat.
 

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2012 Camry SE, 4 cyl
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430 Posts
Wiring hint-
The highlander has a bulb for turn signal and another for brakess so there are three power wires (third being parking light). Do not try to save money by wiring yourself unless you have a 3 wire tailight on your trailer.
The controller which is sold for this truck converts the 3 wire signal to match you trailer tail light if you have a common bulb for turn and brake signal (two power wires including parking light).
 

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Highlander Limited
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What function do you lose with a non-OEM hitch?
Ground clearance. Aftermarket hitches sit much lower than the factory unit. I've seen them damaged from hitting the ground. The factory hitch is expensive for sure, but well worth the money. Aftermarket hitches also look stupid because the right side has to work around the exhaust.
 

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2011 Highlander lmtd
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I don't see any function being lost by aftermarket. If your hitch is bottoming out, then your exhaust would to...

I see most Highlanders by me with aftermarket and not damaged.
 

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Highlander Limited
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I don't see any function being lost by aftermarket. If your hitch is bottoming out, then your exhaust would to...

I see most Highlanders by me with aftermarket and not damaged.
Aftermarket hitches sit lower and extend further back than the OEM hitch. The attack and departure angles are significantly reduced because of this. Anyone going offroad is more likely to have problems. Also when pulling a heavy load the hitch area is the lowest area and with an aftermarket hitch you're more likely to hit than stock. Doesn't mean it's gonna happen every time or even at all, but it's more likely to happen than with the OEM hitch. When I was looking for my Highlander I saw hitches that had scrape marks on them. Nothing major, but they were there.
 

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2013 Highlander Plus
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I have the OEM hitch for my 2013, it does require the bottom bumper piece to be replaced and some cutting into the heat shields. It looks nice and integrated, but you will pay a premium for that integration. The 2013 is ready for the wiring for trailer brakes and turn signal, you may need to put a fuse in place. UHaul can put the wiring in for you if it sounds too daunting.
 

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2012 Camry SE, 4 cyl
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Unless you are off roading, I would not worry about the fact it hangs lower than the bumper.

As far as durability i see the people with the problems are nearing the maximum allowed weight for the hitch. If you intend to do the same, you may want a factory hitch. The problem is found in the weld to jog the hitch around the muffler. This is not required on a factory hitch.

I personally would not want to be pulling a trailer which weighs close to the weight of the vehicle or you could find the trailer steering the vehicle if you do an emergency maneuver.

I hear people talk about factory pre-wired. Not sure what that means. It is all plugs, no cutting and splicing of wires to install the controller. You do need to install a fuse under the hood. I had to install the controller on my 2013 SE- was not pre-wired. If you decide to use Curt, let me know and I will post the You tube links I used.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Unless you are off roading, I would not worry about the fact it hangs lower than the bumper.

As far as durability i see the people with the problems are nearing the maximum allowed weight for the hitch. If you intend to do the same, you may want a factory hitch. The problem is found in the weld to jog the hitch around the muffler. This is not required on a factory hitch.

I personally would not want to be pulling a trailer which weighs close to the weight of the vehicle or you could find the trailer steering the vehicle if you do an emergency maneuver.

I hear people talk about factory pre-wired. Not sure what that means. It is all plugs, no cutting and splicing of wires to install the controller. You do need to install a fuse under the hood. I had to install the controller on my 2013 SE- was not pre-wired. If you decide to use Curt, let me know and I will post the You tube links I used.
Thanks, the Highlander is my wife's vehicle but we do use it to go on trips out of town. If I go off road its in my 66 F100 so no worries there. We pull a 5x10 trailer on occasion and make sure the trailer is loaded well under the max rating. I am planning on going with curt hitch and wiring connector.
 
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