Adding a hitch

chrysler
towncountry

#1

2014 town and country. We want to add hitch, primarily for a bike rack (4 bikes). Loosely of rack I am looking at says 1 1/4 or 2 inch receiver.
However, thinking ahead, maybe some other light towing. Like a load of mulch, a small haul trailer. Nothing big.
So would like some future flexibility.
What questions do I need to ask about having someone add a hitch?


#2

If you are going to use a bike rack, then you need the 2" receiver. If you just want to pull a small trailer, then the 1 1/4" is fine. Otherwise you have to brace the bike rack and I don’t know how you would do that in a van. A good on-line source is etrailer.com. I’ve used them. They have brand names, accessories, videos, and can answer your hitch questions. Buy the optional connecting harness though for $50+ for electrical.


#3

Just tell the people installing hitch what you plan to do and they will have charts that cover the towing abilities of vehicle. Hitch installers do this all the time so let them be your guide.


#4

Hitch installation is a specialty field, so use a hitch specialist rather than a general-purpose mechanic if you can. The shop where I had the hitch installed for my truck did nothing else but hitch installations. Never had a single problem with it.


#5

I have install many Mopar tow hitches, installing the hitch is usually easy, takes about a half hour. Some require a cut out in the bumper cover, that take a bit longer.

Installing the trailer tow wiring takes a little longer. Consider using the Mopar trailer tow wiring harness kit, it has the correct wiring harness connectors to match the vehicles harness, no cutting and splicing involved.

http://moparonlineparts.com/chrysler-town-country-trailer-wiring-harness-p-1749.html

BTW, if you go to a hitch specialist they will probably use an ordinary tow connector and splice into the vehicles wiring harness.


#6

Why 2" for bike racks? The ones I’ve looked at fit the 1 1/4, with an adapter for the 2".


#7

@texases For the last hitch I bought, a 2" was needed for the bike rack because of the higher tongue rating. A class 1 1 1/4" didn’t have enough tongue weight capacity for a bike rack unless it was supported. According to etrailer.com. And they sell Rigid Hitch, Draw Tite, etc. You just buy the adapter to fit a 2". The one though is a class 1 and the other is a class 2 or 3 so quite a difference in the tongue capacity. Gotta figure a couple bikes bouncing around puts a load on a hitch.

I will admit though back in 1986 before they had hitch mount bike racks, I made my own to use on a class 1 but it was supported with a strap to the trunk. Someone must have seen me so it was another idea stolen.


#8

Looking at REI the bike racks are slit about 50:50 between 2" and 1 1/4". But I haven’t looked into the hitch specs.


#9

The cost difference between a 1 1/4 and 2" are insignificant. Get the 2" receiver even though you may not need it.

I have a 4 bike carrier hitch mount that I can also tow with that I mainly use for camping. Something like this.

https://www.amazon.com/Swagman-Standard-4-Bike-Towing-receiver/dp/B00009YUK5/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1493731176&sr=8-13&keywords=hitch+bike+rack+tow

Or I can put on a small hitch on when I’m not camping to haul my utility trailer.


#10

U-Haul seemed to be the place to get a hitch bought/installed in one-go, but after 2 years it rusted way more than I expected, so for next car I decided against it and bought Curt hitch, installed it myself - it was slightly higher price to buy, but after 4 years I have not a single spot of rust on it yet


#11

Yes we had uhaul put a 2" hitch on our 03 windstar, needed a special kit for trailer lights if desired, the hitch ended up scraping on steep drive approaches etc., but worked fine for ocassional boat tow and bike rack.


#12

yeh, that’s pretty much what my wife’s Sentra is doing when carrying 4 bikes on the back :slight_smile:

other than unpleasant sound, not much other problems


#13

I don’t believe I would do business with U haul for anything. Just go to etrailer.com, plug your car in and look at the options and see the installation videos. I didn’t like the options for wiring from my normal hitch place for my RDX so just did it myself. Less than an hour for everything by myself.


#14

UHaul hitches are made by Curt. Curt hitches are considered middle of the road. Reese and DrawTite have been the leaders for decades


#15

not sure then why such a difference in rustproofing between Curt and UHaul

the only thing I can imagine is that UHaul one was installed on 2007 Outback, high above the ground and received more salt, Curt one was installed on 2013 Sentra, very low to the ground

both were salt-bathed in similar way in Northern Virginia


#16

20 years ago UHaul Hitches were made by Draw-Tite. Draw-Tite merged with Reese and that relationship ended. I know that UHaul hitches are now made by Curt. Back when you bought your UHaul hitch maybe they used even a different manufacturer. I live in NH where we get a lot more snow and a lot more salt on roads then Virginia…and my Draw-Tite/Reese hitches eventually show signs of Rust.

There is no rust proofing on the hitch/receivers. It’s powder coating. If done properly it should last a very long time.


#17

I have a Curt on my Camry for the last 7 years. Not a spot of rust on it and considering it was delivered to the house in a box that got destroyed by the delivery service (hitch was majorly exposed and had all kinds of surface marring). The powdercoat finish has not failed and allowed any rust to form. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another one…