Shopping for towing hitches

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Shopping for towing hitches

Postby fireaunt » Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:52 pm

I need a hitch for a 2014 Ford Escape 1.6l engine - rated to tow 2k lbs. I have an auto lift gate but not the foot activated one. I need a total package installed.
Looking at Pep boys, I see I have lots of options. Reese has 2-3 different ones. How do I compare them? Some have matching holes for existing holes some need drilling. Some appear to have different angles of the hitch and connections. I believe there is a 13-14 in drop from the receiver on the trailer to the ball. Trailer is a 1974 Hunter compact weighs about 1100#. 2"ball, 4-flat lights. Should I get the larger 2" receiver?
Pep boys didn't show transmission cooler - wouldn't I want/need one? U-hail is another source or a local Hitch seller.
Any suggestions?
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Re: Shopping for towing hitches

Postby greygoos » Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:07 pm

Like most of these companies U haul will turn a hundred dollar hitch into a three hundred dollar job. On the other hand that is what they do all day, sell and install hitches. IMHO they do a good job, they wouldn't still be in business if their hitches were falling off. My Honda Civic isnt rated for towing but I have towed small food trailers without a tranny cooler. If you do research on the web you will get a million opinions. Talk to the mechanic who services your vehicle and see what they say.
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Re: Shopping for towing hitches

Postby fireaunt » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:31 pm

Thanks. The mechanic - is my husband and he's not really interested in me towing- lol. He knew I wanted to tow but steered me to this small engine. Needless to say I'm doing my own research now.
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Re: Shopping for towing hitches

Postby Shadow Catcher » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:38 pm

Have bought two hitches and assorted trailer hooking up stuff from https://www.etrailer.com/
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Re: Shopping for towing hitches

Postby DrCrash » Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:59 am

Shadow Catcher nailed it. etrailer.com all the way

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/ ... =201418956
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Re: Shopping for towing hitches

Postby BigGoofyGuy » Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:14 pm

Even if you don't get a hitch from U-Haul, they might be able to show which hitch to get for your vehicle. I went to the U-Haul site and they listed which hitch would fit my 2012 Smart Fortwo Passion; a class one hitch. It is now on my little car. I got it mostly for the hitch mounted bike rack but might use it to tow a very small camper in the future.
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Re: Shopping for towing hitches

Postby Tomterrific » Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:48 am

I did not know this until a few months ago. Small cars not rated for towing, do so because of the strength a hitch will add to the rear of the small car. By eliminating 'crush' in the rear end collision, a hitch will increase the chance of whip lash to the passengers.

Hitches are made for small cars so I'm using a hitch on my '90 Miata!

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Re: Shopping for towing hitches

Postby Old Rookie » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:23 pm

Fireaunt, I just installed a Class III Curt hitch on my 2012 Honda CRV. I paid $100+. Great product & excellent quality and is made specifically for each model and year. My son-in-law and I installed it in less than an hour.
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Re: Shopping for towing hitches

Postby Bluebunny » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:35 pm

fireaunt wrote:I need a hitch for a 2014 Ford Escape 1.6l engine - rated to tow 2k lbs. I have an auto lift gate but not the foot activated one. I need a total package installed.
Looking at Pep boys, I see I have lots of options. Reese has 2-3 different ones. How do I compare them? Some have matching holes for existing holes some need drilling. Some appear to have different angles of the hitch and connections. I believe there is a 13-14 in drop from the receiver on the trailer to the ball. Trailer is a 1974 Hunter compact weighs about 1100#. 2"ball, 4-flat lights. Should I get the larger 2" receiver?
Pep boys didn't show transmission cooler - wouldn't I want/need one? U-hail is another source or a local Hitch seller.
Any suggestions?


My opinion splits, whether or not you wish to Do It Yourself or hire the job.

The wiring harness is a more involved project than the hitch receiver, requiring particular electrical knowledge and skills. Don't be afraid to DIY one piece and hire the other. Installation instructions are online; get the proper kit for your vehicle; read and understand instructions before you buy...

Hitch: DIY; go to Reese, Curt, and Hidden Hitch web sites, identify the proper hitch, and download the instructions for each. Buy the hitch that seems easier to install. Amazon.com is easy and fast... Hire; get a quote from your favorite local installers.

I've done receiver and harness both ways; DIY and Hire... Receiver is easy for me in "mo :thinking: st" of my past five vehicles. The harness is always a pa :x in in spite of my competent electrical knowledge...but DIY is about 1/3 the cost of hire...
off topic Stitch-and-Glue ply kayak build... https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 254&type=3
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Re: Shopping for towing hitches

Postby Bluebunny » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:52 pm

fireaunt wrote:I need a hitch for a 2014 Ford Escape 1.6l engine - rated to tow 2k lbs. I have an auto lift gate but not the foot activated one. I need a total package installed.
Looking at Pep boys, I see I have lots of options. Reese has 2-3 different ones. How do I compare them? Some have matching holes for existing holes some need drilling. Some appear to have different angles of the hitch and connections. I believe there is a 13-14 in drop from the receiver on the trailer to the ball. Trailer is a 1974 Hunter compact weighs about 1100#. 2"ball, 4-flat lights. Should I get the larger 2" receiver?
Pep boys didn't show transmission cooler - wouldn't I want/need one? U-hail is another source or a local Hitch seller.
Any suggestions?


My apologies for not answering any of your questions!

comparing: Reese, Curt, Hidden Hitch are technically the same performance, compare class I, Class II, or class III ratings. Your Escape apparently can go up to class II (ref http://www.reese-hitches.com/learning_c ... ng-classes).

trailer: 1100# dry and empty! Watch that you dont carry 900 lbs of beer and ice! In other words, you could easily reach your 2000# limit with your toys and food and stuff...for class I and II, the 1-1/4" is rated OK, its your choice... I have a vehicle class I and a vehicle class II, and opted for the 1-1/4" for both so's my "toy racks" are interchangeable between vehicles...

Transmission cooler: If you have it already; wonderful! If you do not and are in flat country, just slow down? An escape should tow that billboard at 60mph OK...I wouldn't try to stop the train faster than that...my rule is tow max 50% of the tow vehicle weight :frightened: (unless the trailer has brakes); your loaded trailer exceeds my rule?
off topic Stitch-and-Glue ply kayak build... https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 254&type=3
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Re: Shopping for towing hitches

Postby gudmund » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:44 pm

like what was said earlier - go to E-trailer here on the internet and look up your vehicle. If they have a hitch for your vehicle you will also find they have a wire harness plug-in for it also. The wiring is easy now-days with these plug-in hook ups - just follow the instruction's which will tell you where on your vehicle to un-plug a coupler and than just plug -in the new one which will have a break out wire harness and plug for the trailer. The old days of probing & looking for the right wires and having to splice in wires for a trailer are over - you just buy the right coupler for your vehicle - easy. Note-also buying from E-trailer, a lot of times they have FREE shipping if the amount ordered is over a certain amount, so with the hitch and a coupler that may included FREE shipping and they also have a !-800 # if you have questions, (hitches are not light in weight and can cost$$ a bunch for shipping) They have always been good when I've used them.
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Re: Shopping for towing hitches

Postby Greg M » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:08 pm

I'll +1 the E-trailer recommendation. They've always given me great service, and they have tons of installation and review videos on their site.
Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.
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Re: Shopping for towing hitches

Postby Richard A. » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:48 pm

One other thing to consider. Some cars have bolts that need to be removed to install the hitch. The older the vehicle is the better the chance that these bolts (on the underside of the vehicle) are impossible to remove.

Using a "breaker bar" I tried to remove some bolts on my mini-van and twisted the bolt head completely off the body of the bolt. Had to take my car to a welding shop and had them install the hitch.
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