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Author Topic:   Trailer Hitch
disneycaber posted 02-09-2004 04:18 PM ET (US)   Profile for disneycaber   Send Email to disneycaber  
Hi All,

HAPPYJIM posted 02-09-2004 04:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
disneycaber posted 02-09-2004 04:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for disneycaber  Send Email to disneycaber     
Let's try again ! I did a search on all forums and didn't find an exact answer for this. I plan on buying a 150 Sport soon.(See Help with 11/13/15 footer purchase) posted earlier.
I need to acquire a Trailer Hitch. The tow vehicle is a 2002 Toyota Tacoma V6 Xtra Cab w/5spd tran. I've not found the GVWR of this boat (w/60hp 4 stroke). I'm sure the truck can handle it. The questions I have are:
Class II or be safer w/ Class III hitch. Does anyone have experience with the Hidden Hitch product line ? Is there a better option What ball mount ? There is only one BW dealer in all of my state and I don't yet have a relationship there ( 1 1/2 hour away).Allparts considered including installation, what can i expect to pay for a full hitch setup?

Thanks for your help !

Barney posted 02-09-2004 04:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
I have a Tacoma and went with the Class III:
Take your pick but I installed the easy one. The bolts on the chassis were a little hard to get off so be prepared. They also have the plug-in wiring harness. Jim
cmarques posted 02-09-2004 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
My last three trailer hitches have been Hidden Hitches the most recent on my '03 F-150 Ford. I've been very happy with them overall and they are priced good (I've gotten at cost previously as we sold them where I used to work)
We also just installed one on my dad's 2002 Double Cab Toyota Tacoma TRD. It's a Class III and he barely paid $100.00 for it locally. Jim is right about the frame bolts, the two small ones are a pain-my dad gave up and brought them to my shop and we stripped them! They finally came off with vice grips and a hammer. If the bolts come out easy its a 30 minute DIY project. Get a Hoppy trailer wiring kit at Walmart for $29.00 and you are set in another 15 minutes.
Don't know about the 5 speed but the 3.2? v-6 auto 2wd is rated for 3500 lbs and we'll probably tow my Dauntless 160 with it one of these days.
I would get a Class III- they aren't much more than a class II.


Barney posted 02-09-2004 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
"Gray Mule" Tacoma 4 cylinder 5 speed towing a 170:
Moe posted 02-09-2004 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Definitely go with a 2" Class III. Not that much more. I put a Draw-Tite or Reese on my pre-Tacoma 4X4 and don't recall any problems getting it on. For frozen frame bolts, etc., soak 'em in PB Blaster. Works like a champ.


Barney posted 02-09-2004 10:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
The guy at the Tacoma factory likes his pneumatic wrench. Doesn't want the spare to come off on the highway. Moe I didn't know you had a TOY too. Jim
Moe posted 02-10-2004 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
I had a bright red '90 4X4 with AR mags, 31" BFG Mud-Terrains, and a tonneau cover. 4 cylinder/5 speed, but in low range would climb just about anything.

The 150 Sport EZ Loader trailer (no swing tongue) GVWR is 1980 lbs, IIRC, with a 1600 lb payload. Not sure if the swing tongue Karavans on the '04 models aren't a little heavier, but any Tacoma, 4 or 6 cylinder, should be able to tow it with ease.


RWM posted 02-10-2004 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for RWM  Send Email to RWM     
I just priced a class II Draw-tite for my 1997 Park Avenue (w/supercharged engine). I've used the a class II on another Park Ave. for several years to tow my Montauk with no problems at all. The farthest I go is 50 miles though.
Tongue weight feels like maybe 125 lbs, and total max tow weight maybe 2200.
Price for the hitch installed w/tax and electrical hook-up is $350. I can save maybe $100 doing it myself, but will let the pros with shop tools, and torch if needed, install it...Bob M.
disneycaber posted 02-11-2004 08:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for disneycaber  Send Email to disneycaber     
Thanks again to all.

Class III is the way I'll go. Especially since I may some day get daring enough to pull the rig across hills of New England to visit the in-laws in Lake George NY !

kamie posted 02-11-2004 08:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
Check your local U-Haul dealer. I just had them put a class III with wiring for $230. Took they some serious effort since they were putting it on a 94 Blazer and the bolts were rusty. Glad it wasn't me under there trying to do that.
RonB posted 02-11-2004 10:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     
I have a 2003 Toyota Double Cab 4x4, V-6 Auto, 5000lb tow capacity. I looked at both U-Haul and my local NAPA and went with the local NAPA and installed the hitch and wiring harness myself. I tow close to 5000lbs over short distances and have not had a problem.

There's a web page out there where a guy installed his own hitch on his Toyota and took pictures of the whole process, that's what convinced me to do my own install. As some pointed out if you have had your vehcile for awhile there's a chance that some of the bolts are rusty so having a place like U-Haul handle the install would be the right thing to do. I just found the site:


HAPPYJIM posted 02-11-2004 10:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
Installing a hitch is fairly easy if you have the right tools.

I would also torque the mounting bolts with a torque wrench.

If you don't have a torque wrench, have a friend or a service station torque them for you.

That hitch is only as good as the bolts that hold it.

Over tightening will weaken the bolts and loose bolts will cause them to shear in a panic stop.

RonB posted 02-11-2004 12:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     
Good tip HAPPYJIM, you've just reminded me to retorque my bolts this spring before pulling the boat down to the marina.

Only issue I've had with doing my own setup was because I have a 2004 LoadRite trailer with brakes and a dual axle, an additional pin is on the wiring harness on the trailer that prevents the brakes from engaging when backing. An additional wire was provided from Loadrite and that I had to run to the brake light separately from the wiring harness that was provided from Draw-Tite.

A trailer that big will not be necessary for a 150 so it's not an issue but thought that I'd mention that new trailers with brakes requiring a five pin adapter rather than a four pin adapter.


RWM posted 02-11-2004 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for RWM  Send Email to RWM     
Thanks. I called my local UHaul dealer and he quoted me a price of $260 installed w/tax for the draw-tite. This saves me $90 over my original quote...Bob M.
zotcha posted 02-11-2004 09:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for zotcha  Send Email to zotcha     
Disneycaber, Just bought an '04 4x4 V6 A/T XTRA Cab Tacoma. I tow a 20''79 Seacraft, approx. 5000 lbs. wet, short distances but wanted to be able to run to Fla. for a weekend. Truck came with a Class II, but Toyota recommended a Class IV, with an upgraded Clutch Fan which my local dealer supposedly replaced prior to delivery. With this set-up, service manager says should tow over 6000 lbs., without additional transmission cooler required. "We'll see"... (Always hated when Mom said that!)
RonB posted 02-11-2004 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     

I'd be interested to know how you make out with your setup, your truck is rated for 5000lb (as is mine, 03 4x4 Quad cab Tacoma, V6, Auto). I tow my boat back and forth to the marina and since I have a slip, that's the only towing I do. My boat, motor, trailer setup with a full tank (90 gallons) is just under 5000lb, I'd say 4800lb. I'm a bit leery about towing more than 15 miles or so without a tranny cooler which I am going to check into this spring. I also leave my Overdrive off.
I also do not know the true definition of the max tow capacity rating for a vehicle. What does the rating mean? Can you be confident if you go 10%, 20% or even 30% over the max rating? Or must you be concerned that all heck is going to break loose?

Any truck dealers out there with any knowledge of what the ratings mean and what dangers you incur should you exceed your vehicles tow rating?


zotcha posted 02-11-2004 10:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for zotcha  Send Email to zotcha     
Ron B, I did absolutely no towing with my '95 4runner V6 A/T 4X4. Purchased in '98 80K mi.. after 2 year lease, and 2 winters in N.J.. Mint, obviously garaged, and probably never in 4 wheel drive. Maybe a soccer moms or some corporate suit. At 115K, went to have tranny serviced after A/T TEMP IDIOT light came on. Nationwide Transmission said I needed a complete rebuild. I knew this was extremely uncommon for Toyotas, but had it done for $1400.. Every trip ( S.C. to N.J.), only time the truck came out of the garage, the light would come on, pull over and fluid would be everywhere. A vent located on top of the transmission was blowing off. Engine Temperature gauge never hiccupped. Was pressure causing heat, fluid expanding, OR was heat causing pressure??? After threats with lawyers, 24K more miles over a three year period, the owner said bring it back. He was personally interested in solving this unheard of problem.

I run the interstates for 10-10.5 hours at 83 mph avg., two fuel stops, and never shut it off 'til I'm in my sisters driveway. Not exactly legal, but the truck should be able to withstand this. The truck is meticulously maintained.

Last fall, the tranny shop installed an in-line F-250 Power Stroke diesel tranny cooler tandem with the Toyota factory job. Ran it hard to Jacksonville and back. No problems. Went home for Christmas and back, 1900 mi. round trip. Vehicle is now for sale.

RonB posted 02-12-2004 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     
I've heard of overflow coming from the tranny vent when tranny is under excessive strain. Thanks your feedback, I think I am going to go with a tranny cooler but at this time not sure which, I know there are planty of aftermarket coolers and I'm sure Toyota has there own too. A neighbor of mine who is a mechanic and on the side has a plowing business just bought the same Toyota I have and he mentioned that before he mounts a plow on it he is going to mount a cooler. I will emulate his set-up, from what he told me you can get a relatively inexpensive cooler from NAPA.


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