vehicles with integrated receiver hitch?

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vehicles with integrated receiver hitch?

Postby catinmoon » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:21 pm

First off, is there a term for the receiver hitches that are already integrated into the bumper of a vehicle?

Is there a list of all the vehicles that offer that option? I don't think it is the same as a tow package, b/c sometimes a factory tow package seems to just include the transmission and radiator upgrades. For example, I sometimes see Honda PIlots that have the receiver built in. What are some others?

This seems to me to have the advantage that the receiver is not prone to dragging on the ground in uneven situations. And the vehicle is prewired for the traler.

Thanks, Stephanie
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Re: vehicles with integrated receiver hitch?

Postby Bill n Robi » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:17 am

Well, the main thing IMHO is a 'tow package' from the dealer/manufacturer means you are not voiding your warranty with after market stuff that is not rated. Your insurance coverage may not cover aftermarket tow hitch either.

Toyota pickups with the factory tow package include a larger transmission cooler, beefer alternator for power to the trailer, a rated class 4 hitch and a 7 pin connector. Our Tacoma sadly came with a wimpy rear suspension, added air bag lifts to level it out and bring the head lights back down to the ground....

I seem to remember a list of vehicles that can tow, I'll look for it and see if I saved it.

Also we installed a scan gauge II (scangauge.com) to monitor the transmission temperature. Found out that I was over taxing the transmission so I did a preemptive fluid change. It also can check things like water temp so you don't depend on idiot lights.

EDIT
Could not find it but a google search for "vehicles that can tow small trailers" comes up with a lot of review sites. Since I don't know the type of vehicle you are looking for I can't narrow it down further
Last edited by Bill n Robi on Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: vehicles with integrated receiver hitch?

Postby Vtec44 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:49 am

catinmoon wrote:First off, is there a term for the receiver hitches that are already integrated into the bumper of a vehicle?

Is there a list of all the vehicles that offer that option? I don't think it is the same as a tow package, b/c sometimes a factory tow package seems to just include the transmission and radiator upgrades. For example, I sometimes see Honda PIlots that have the receiver built in. What are some others?

This seems to me to have the advantage that the receiver is not prone to dragging on the ground in uneven situations. And the vehicle is prewired for the traler.

Thanks, Stephanie


Toyota has a factory tow hitch for the Toyota Highlander (2014-2019) model year that is integrated into the bumper. You can just get it from the parts department and install it yourself. This is separate from their factory tow prep package which comes with larger radiator, bigger fans, engine oil cooler, and separate transmission cooler. The maximum towing capacity for the OEM tow hitch receiver is 5000lbs towing and 500lbs tongue weight. The payload capacity for the SUV is about 1400lbs depending on the trim level.

Here's the OEM version
a9c4dc66881c9e23b18b54f697a81abb[1].gif
a9c4dc66881c9e23b18b54f697a81abb[1].gif (155.84 KiB) Viewed 1901 times


I opted for the aftermarket version which goes just under the rear bumper. At stock height, the Highlander has about 8" ground clearance with a departure angle of about 23 degrees . The tow hitch receiver brings it down to about 6" of clearance and probably less departure angle. It's still sitting higher than my mud guards. So far I haven't scrapped anything going up and down steep drive ways.... yet. My old Honda Odyssey would scrape EVERYTHING. But that has about 4.2" of ground clearance.

Here's a photo of my setup
IMG_8291.jpg
IMG_8291.jpg (176.34 KiB) Viewed 1901 times


IMG_8319.jpg
IMG_8319.jpg (221.19 KiB) Viewed 1901 times
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Re: vehicles with integrated receiver hitch?

Postby catinmoon » Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:10 pm

cool i have considered the highlander but wish they were a bit smaller. love your tiny home!
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Re: vehicles with integrated receiver hitch?

Postby Squigie » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:24 pm

I don't know of anything that comes standard with a hitch - not even trucks.
It's optional on everything that I am aware of.
But, as mentioned above, having the factory "trailer tow" package / "tow prep" package / "payload" package is generally desirable for improved cooling, factory trailer wiring, and usually bigger brakes.

My Ranger was optioned with both payload and trailer tow packages. Payload gave it different overload springs, a rear bumper step skin with different payload ratings molded into it, and a bigger transmission cooler. Trailer tow gave it a bigger transmission cooler (same as "payload" upgrade), a power steering "cooler" (a few extra bends in one of the hard lines, hanging out in the breeze), different rear shocks, bigger brakes*, and a 4-flat connector.
*There were at least three other "packages" optioned on the truck that upgraded the brakes, as well. So that's really a bit of a "Who's on first?" kind of debate, as to which package really upgraded the brakes. But, the trailer tow package would have gotten it the bigger brakes, anyway.

What it did NOT have, however, was a receiver hitch. I could have paid a Ford dealer $900 to install one, but I opted for the $89 U-Haul self-install (a Curt with a U-Haul sticker on it). For that Ranger, at that time, it did not impact the warranty.

Same deal with current generation Explorers (and many other vehicles). All of them have the removable bumper cover where the receiver hitch and 4-flat and 7-pin connectors are accessed. ...But the actual receiver hitch and connectors are not present unless the vehicle had the 'trailer tow' package optioned when it was built.

Minor bit of trivia while we're on the subject of Explorers and receiver hitches:
For at least the first few years of the current Explorer (2011+?), Ford was installing standard Class III 'factory' receiver hitches on the Police Interceptor, but giving it no tow rating. ...Because it was the easiest, cheapest way to stiffen the chassis near the rear suspension, without having to engineer new parts. They didn't intend for the cars to actually tow anything.
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Re: vehicles with integrated receiver hitch?

Postby Vtec44 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:52 pm

catinmoon wrote:cool i have considered the highlander but wish they were a bit smaller. love your tiny home!


It is a smaller 8-seater SUV. I would say it's about the size of a the 4Runner if you're familiar with that car. Speaking of that car, that's another one with a factory tow hitch receiver that is integrated into the bumper. While it's not completely in the bumper like the Highlander, it sits higher than the spare tire.

Thanks! We have about 3200 miles on it and we absolutely love it. People always come by to check it out when we camp.
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Re: vehicles with integrated receiver hitch?

Postby catinmoon » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:44 am

Bill n Robi wrote:......
EDIT
Could not find it but a google search for "vehicles that can tow small trailers" comes up with a lot of review sites. Since I don't know the type of vehicle you are looking for I can't narrow it down further


Thanks for the thoughts. The vehicle I am looking for doesn't exist anymore -- I want good visibility, reliability, ground clearance but not TOO high, great gas mileage :), appropriate for daily driver, AWD or at the least FWD, not too big/long. Like an old time 4 runner before they went on steroids. Don't want to have to depend on a backup camera to see out of the back and sides of the car. So many of the vehicles which were a good size years ago are so big. Oh and also some HP as I have come to realize that driving an underpowered vehicle while towing is no fun whatsoever. A 6 cylinder seems to hit the sweet spot.

I don't ask for much and realize that many of my criteria are in conflict with each other, so it's a balance. Would like to find a used 2-5 yr old vehicle.

Open to ideas. Thanks
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Re: vehicles with integrated receiver hitch?

Postby Aguyfromohio » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:19 am

catinmoon wrote:
. ..I want good visibility, reliability, ground clearance but not TOO high, great gas mileage :), appropriate for daily driver, AWD or at the least FWD, not too big/long. Like an old time 4 runner before they went on steroids. Don't want to have to depend on a backup camera to see out of the back and sides of the car. So many of the vehicles which were a good size years ago are so big. Oh and also some HP as I have come to realize that driving an underpowered vehicle while towing is no fun whatsoever. A 6 cylinder seems to hit the sweet spot.

I don't ask for much and realize that many of my criteria are in conflict with each other, so it's a balance. Would like to find a used 2-5 yr old vehicle.

Open to ideas. Thanks


Many of the newer mid size SUVs come pretty close to your wish list. Visibility is the hardest thing now. All the manufacturers are fighting against weigh and cost while targeting good crash safety ratings, so the windows keep getting smaller and higher. Those backup cameras and the side mirror blind spot warnings work great and nearly make up for the poor visibility.

Chevy and Ford make em in this class, Honda and Hyundai do too. I'm looking for one like this now and I keep coming back to the Hyundai Santa Fe. The 2 row seat version offers a turbocharged 4 cylinder at 260 hp, and the bigger 3 row seat version offers a 290 hp V6. The daily driver sedan I'm replacing has a 2 liter turbo at about 260 hp and I love those engines. Power when you need it, good gas mileage otherwise. Jeep and all the others have them in this class that are similar with a tow rating.
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Re: vehicles with integrated receiver hitch?

Postby pchast » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:26 pm

I have a 2012 outback.... it seems to fit your list.
the 4 cyl is quite adequate for my use...........
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Re: vehicles with integrated receiver hitch?

Postby tony.latham » Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:20 pm

I want good visibility, reliability, ground clearance but not TOO high, great gas mileage, appropriate for daily driver, AWD or at the least FWD, not too big/long. Like an old time 4 runner before they went on steroids.


Image

There ya go. :thumbsup:

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Re: vehicles with integrated receiver hitch?

Postby catinmoon » Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:21 am

I used to have the Tacoma -- a small 4 cylinder with stick shift. I was able to get where I was going, but sometimes very slowly. I have looked at the Outback as well -- like the smaller footprint of the Forester but would prefer the 6 cyl.

There is a hitch called Hidden Hitch that will fit the Honda CRV -- no bar hanging down, just the receiver. But I can't find a list of the other vehicles that fits. Any experiences with the Hidden Hitch?

Thanks for all the ideas. It seems years ago that Turbo was a bad word. But is it a more reliable system these days?

Best.
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