As a quick followup to my earlier post about installing a Curt trailer hitch, I wanted to share with you details of my own hitch installation. As I noted in that post, I opted for the Curt hitch instead of the Toyota version.
Choosing a hitch
Why Curt? Well, for starters, the Toyota hitch costs a pretty penny. It lists for $450 + $220 for the wiring harness. While you can get both the hitch and harness for a good bit less by shopping around (see, for example, here and here) it’s still more expensive than an aftermarket hitch.
Another factor is history. I bought a Curt hitch for my old CR-V years ago and had good luck with it. Thus, while there are other options out there (e.g., Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch, and Reese — though all 3 are owned by the same company), I’ve decided to just stick with what works.
I can only think of two downsides to going with an aftermarket hitch. The first is that you lose the OEM look (but my hitch looks pretty darn good; see below). The second is that, if your hitch isn’t integrated into the bumper like the Toyota hitch, you lose a bit of ground clearance. But I digress…
Once I decided to go with a Curt hitch and wiring harness, I needed to get it installed. This is the sort of thing that I’d usually do myself, but I’ve been swamped at work and we’re also in the final stages of building a house and preparing to move, so… I decided to outsource the installation.
I called around to a couple of local hitch installers, but they were asking $400-$500 for the hitch that I wanted, wiring harness, and installation. No thanks. I then checked with U-Haul. Bingo! They’d provide the hitch, harness, and installation for roughly $300.
The only strange thing about U-Haul is that their hitch had a different model number. As I’ve noted previously, Curt’s class 3 hitch for the 2014/2015/2016 Highlander is model 13200, but U-Haul was selling/installing model 78595.
After doing a bit of digging, I discovered that the Curt 78595 hitch is exactly the same as the Curt 13200 hitch. In fact, aside from the model #, the installation instructions for both are word-for-word identical. For whatever reason, they’ve just renumbered the hitch being sold by U-Haul.
So, I went with U-Haul. I set up an installation appointment, they ordered the hitch and harness, and I came back a few days later for the installation. It took about an hour for, and then I went merrily on my way.
The end results
Finally, here are a couple of (admittedly crappy) photos that I took to illustrate the end result. The first one is immediately after hitch installation, when the U-Haul sticker was still in place.
And here’s one with the stickers removed and a ball mount installed.
All in all, I’m very happy with the end result. If you’re looking for a similar hitch, then U-Haul is a great option. Or you can buy the parts online and tackle a DIY installation. It’s up to you.