Curt Trailer Hitch Installation at U-Haul

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…

Hitch installation

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.

What gives?

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.

Curt trailer hitch from U-Haul... (click image to enlarge)

Curt trailer hitch from U-Haul… (click image to enlarge)

And here’s one with the stickers removed and a ball mount installed.

Curt trailer hitch with ball mount... (click image to enlarge)

Curt trailer hitch with ball mount… (click image to enlarge)

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.

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18 comments… add one
  • Harvey Ludlam Dec 18, 2015

    I found this model hitch for 2014 Highlander that is almost completely invisible with just the 3″ square receiver portion showing below the bumper. $265 for hitch only. I have not purchased it yet but will in the spring for DIY install.

  • Chris Jan 24, 2016

    My last 2 crossovers (a 2010 Pilot and a 2013 Pathfinder) had integrated hitches, so I’ve been accustomed to using a hitch mounted bike rack and occasionally hauling a utility trailer. I was shocked to find that the OEM hitch option was so expensive and really didn’t like how it protrudes from the bumper area. I instead opted for the Curt 13200. It was a breeze to install (I did so without any assistance at all). The only problem was cutting the cover along the driver’s side rear of the vehicle, but Curt’s instructions were fairly easy to follow and a Dremel made short work of the plastic.

    My advice is that if you have someone else do it, make sure they give you back any parts they left off — some installers do not reinstall the covers as it saves them time having to trim them.

  • fastfriend Jan 31, 2016

    YEP, I’m with Harvey Ludlum who posted above. Both of those hitches look terrible compared to the eco hitch from I just installed on my 2015 xle. Both of those units in the original post look like a billboard hanging out from under your rear bumper facia when they are new, and will be a rusty mess when they age… The only part of the eco hitch that shows is the receiver box itself, and it’s powder coated. It cost me just a little more than the Curt or U-haul units, but the huge improvement in looks and future maintenance are worth every penny, and it’s also rated at 5000 lbs the max for the vehicle.

  • Bill Mar 12, 2016

    I would never go to U-Haul. I went there with my previous vehicle, a Honda Pilot. They shorted out my electrical system and tried to say it wasn’t their fault. The fix cost me over $600 which they said had to be filed with their insurance company. Further, they charged me for the purchase and installation of a transmission cooler, problem was, they never installed one!!! It took me months of providing documentation to get my money refunded, further I had to endure going to my dealer to get the electrical system fixed and then had to go to a reputable hitch dealer to get the tranny cooler installed. Maybe it was just this particular U-Haul dealer, but my advice: AVOID U-HAUL AT ALL COSTS!! You get what you pay for.

  • Jeff Apr 6, 2016

    Can you tell me if the Curt 78595 hitch sits flush with the bumper. If it doesn’t how far out from the bumper is it? I am getting it installed to be used only for a bike rack and am not wanting a hitch that sticks out a ton from the vehicle. I couldn’t tell from the photos.

  • Chris Apr 13, 2016

    I had it installed at U-Haul on my 2016 and it looks fine. It doesn’t stick out at all from the bumper, it is underneath. The picture above is pretty accurate as it is underneath the bumper…. I still need to get the U-Haul sticker off as well but it is not an eyesore nor protruding.

  • Bob Sabo Jun 9, 2016

    I bought the Curt hitch on line for $144 with free shipping. I took it to my local mechanic who viewed the video. He charge me $65 to install it. Much easier to do if you have a lift.

  • Bob Schlegel Sep 9, 2016

    The U haul hitch photo doesn’t compare to the Toyota hitch in appearance – Toyota includes a split replacement valence panel which I think makes all the difference.- I like to see the Curt hitch and , from an engineering standpoint see which ones have paint/powder coating that weathers best after 3-10 years of use – including in the snow prone areas of the USA.

  • Trailer Hitch Mar 1, 2017

    Will the Curt hitch interfere with the full size 19″ spare mounted under the vehicle? Photos I’ve seen online look like the Curt hitch partially covers the spare, leading me to think I will not be able to remove the spare when necessary.

    • Michael Apr 30, 2017

      It does not interfere. I’ve had to drop the spare, and the Curt hitch was no problem.

  • Bill Jun 16, 2017

    Hi there,
    I had then hitch installed when I bought my Highlander it came with a 4 pin connector. Most trailers need a 7 pin connector. Is it hard to switch to a seven pin? Also it is recommended that the car have a cooler in the transmission and a brake box for the electronic breaks on the trailer. Is the transmission cooler included with the car? And I would be interested in knowing if anybody is towing a trailer with their 2017 Highlander XLE. I am looking at buying a Jayco Swift 145 RB and tow it with my Highlander. The trailer ways weighs 2,300 pounds and is 14 ft long.

  • Paul Bade Sep 18, 2017

    I just bought a 2017 Highlander XLE. I am considering a Curt 13200 hitch versus the OEM hitch. I require a 7 way RV connector to support a brake controller. I haven’t been able to find any on-line photos which show the Curt 13200 hitch along with a 7 way RV connector mounted somewhere. Anyone have such a photo so I have an understanding of how a 7 way RV connector would work alongside the Curt hitch?

  • Rick Greene Nov 11, 2017

    Don’t forget the $5 lifetime warranty, says it’s good for damage etc. Just had the same hitch put on today at Uhaul. They were quick and only $234 since I didn’t need the wiring part yet. Using a bike rack and cargo rack. I liked the look of the OEM and the extra 2″ of clearance but not at double the price.

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