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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Is installing a hitch receiver a reasonable DIY job?

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kokotg

Metro Atlanta, GA

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Posted: 01/05/17 12:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just bought a new toy hauler, and we're pushing up against the limits on tongue weight for our current hitch receiver, so we're planning to upgrade it. I found one that says no drilling required; bolts should match up with the holes that are already there...any reason we can't install it ourselves? My husband is reasonably handy in a general sort of way but without much experience working on cars specifically...but my brother, who does have a lot of experience with that, will be here to help. Husband's nervous about it, since the consequence of messing it up would be losing the trailer on the highway somewhere....but it sounds like a pretty straightforward job to me. Thoughts?


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Trackrig

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Posted: 01/05/17 12:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd do it myself. The worst that happens is that the holes don't line up. Then it's a decision as what to do at that point - either fix the holes or get a different hitch.

Bill


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MFL

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Posted: 01/05/17 12:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You should have no problem swapping the receivers. It is pretty straight forward, just follow torque instructions to keep it secure. Best be sure tow vehicle is up to the capability, to match the new receiver. There may have been a reason it had a light duty set up.

Happy wrenching,
Jerry





kokotg

Metro Atlanta, GA

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Posted: 01/05/17 12:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MFL wrote:

You should have no problem swapping the receivers. It is pretty straight forward, just follow torque instructions to keep it secure. Best be sure tow vehicle is up to the capability, to match the new receiver. There may have been a reason it had a light duty set up.

Happy wrenching,
Jerry


Trailer has a heavy hitch since it's a toy hauler....It's 7000 pounds dry, and our van's tow capacity is 10,000 pounds (which is right at the max weight of the new trailer, but we'll never come close to that; the main "toys" we're going to haul are bikes and maybe kayaks--we figure we'll top out at maybe 8500 or for a long trip). Current hitch receiver is only rated for 1000 pounds, and Jayco lists the dry hitch weight at 985.

spoon059

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Posted: 01/05/17 12:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've done it a couple times. Make sure you have the right hitch for your vehicle, make sure you are using the right torque specs and its pretty easy to DIY.


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MandKJohns

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Posted: 01/05/17 12:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's as straight forward as it gets. Unbolt the old receiver, drop it down out of the way. Bolt the new one back in its place. Bolt pattern should match just fine just make sure the hitch you buy is for your vehicle.

Durb

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Posted: 01/05/17 02:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've installed a couple of receivers and they are not difficult. I found the hardest part was lifting it into position to get the bolts started as they are a little heavy. An auto jack on rollers really helped.


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IdaD

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Posted: 01/05/17 02:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yeah, just have a good heavy torque wrench so you can torque the bolts to spec. I've installed hitches and fifth wheel rails myself and the former is easier.


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kokotg

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Posted: 01/05/17 04:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thanks everyone! I'll check and make sure my brother has the right tools to bring along; sounds like they should be able to handle it no problem.

rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 01/06/17 10:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not very handy but I have installed my own hitches a couple of times. It was not difficult at all. The last one I even did by myself, using a jack stand to hold up one side while I started a bolt on the other side. A torque wrench is advisable.


Mike G.
--currently in between trailers--
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... (Ecclesiastes 3)


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