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2013 450H Towing


jaykaysr
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The dealer asks $1,000 for hitch install. Uhaul installs for less than half of that amount.

Are there any issues proceeding with Uhaul over the dealer for install?

I have the 450h with towing package. I would appreciate any comments forum members could offer regarding installing the hitch and pulling a recreational trailer.

Thank you!

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Some aftermarket hitches are not as integrated and hidden as dealer installed hitches but the aftermarket hitches I see for the RX450 on etrailer.com where I buy most of my hitches and towing supplies look better than most. Sure, Uhaul installs lots of hitches although some I've seen aren't pretty. You might compare the ones on etrailer.com to the ones the Lexus dealer and Uhaul sells.

Installing a trailer hitch is a pretty easy DIY job - the estimated install time on etrailer.com is 40 minutes for an RX450h. I recently installed a class III hitch on my new Sienna van and have installed hitches on several other vehicles. You would need a socket set, jack stands or ramps and a torque wrench and perhaps a few miscellaneous tools like screw drivers and a utility knife. A "complete towing package" from etrailer.com would run about $225 to $250 including shipping depending on which hitch you buy. This would include a 2 inch receiver hitch, the drawbar, two interchangable hitch balls and a neat heavy duty storage bag. Etrailer has instructional videos on their website. I watched the video for the Sienna on my tablet computer as I was installing the hitch in my garage.

My understanding is that the hybrid RX and Highlander have a lower towing capacity than the regular gas-only versions - I think it's 3,500 pounds vs. 5,000 pounds. Many small travel trailers will bump up against a 3,500 pound limit when loaded. What additional equipment, if any, you will need will depend on what kind of recreational trailer you tow and whether the trailer has electric or surge brakes. You may need a brake controller and additional wiring if the trailer has electric brakes. I don't know if the tow package on your RX is wired for a brake controller but I know that a friend's 2013 Highlander with the tow package is not.

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Thanks for your thoughful reply and awesome information Guru.

I'm no stranger to hand tools but I didn't think a self-install would be that simple.

I watched the etrailer video. I may give this a shot. The dealer rates are excessive IMO.

And the Uhaul install, as you mention, could be ugly.

Do you have any advice or info related to trailer electronics?

Thanks again....much appreciated.

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Thanks for your thoughful reply and awesome information Guru.

I'm no stranger to hand tools but I didn't think a self-install would be that simple.

I watched the etrailer video. I may give this a shot. The dealer rates are excessive IMO.

And the Uhaul install, as you mention, could be ugly.

Do you have any advice or info related to trailer electronics?

Thanks again....much appreciated.

I thought about this thread when I saw a U-Haul logo hitch on a Chevy Trailblazer on the way home from work tonight. The U-Haul hitch on the Trailblazer looked completely OEM and hidden behind the bumper cover so maybe U-Haul is using more OEM-like hitches these days.

Trailer electronics depends on what you are going to tow and state laws. Some states require trailer brakes when towing a trailer over only 1,000 pounds. What do you plan to tow?

Are there trailer supply stores in your area? We have a wonderful chain of stores in the Kansas City area (Croft Trailer Supply) that sells and installs hitches, brake controllers, etc.

Or you could call Etrailer and ask. I recommend them highly. The same person at Etrailer who helped me in 2004 helped me again a few months ago. Etrailer is in Wentzville, Missouri near St. Louis.

I bought my 2014 Sienna this Spring intending to buy and tow a small travel trailer ... was enamored with the Airstream Sport 16 which has a dry weight of about 2,800 pounds. The more research I did and the more I talked to owners of small travel trailers and RV dealers, the more I have become convinced that it is more cost effective to continue "camping" in Holiday Inn hotels or to rent a travel trailer by the week. If I do buy a travel trailer it might be a "teardrop" or a something small like a Scamp ... just large enough to have six foot head room, a shower and a toilet.

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Hi John and welcome to the club. We are glad you here.

Jim and I have been good bud's for years. Take his advice and suggestions and you'll become your own hitch expert. When it come's to Lexus he's already forgotten more than I've ever known.

Paul

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I appreciate your thoughtful advice about camping at the Holiday Inn! However, my thoughts about the trailer came about because there are no Holiday Inn's where I want to go. Looking to get as near as possible to rural trout streams requires tenting, sleeping in the vehicle, or the trailer. I'm just beginning the journey. We'll see where it leads. Thanks again.

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