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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys. just joined.

I've been looking at Escapes since 07 when i ended up getting a mazda3. Now that i bought a house about a year ago, i decided to finally get something i could tow with, and have more cargo room.

I ended up with a 09 v6 4x4 wwith 27500 miles on it. I feel like i got a good deal, even though it was a rental car, the dealer gave me an outstanding deal on a 5 year warrany, which i normally dont buy. being a rental... i figured it might pay off in the end.

SO my question is, i did not get a tow hitch installed. i REALLY like the way the factory hitch looks, vs aftermarket. I like the flush look cut into the bumber vS hanging down below.

Is the bumper cover the same part number from ford on the models with the factory hitch installed? or is it literally cut out in that spot? If its cut out, has anyone gotten an OEM part number hitch and cut their bumper cover?
 

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hank - I haven't done what you suggest, but here's my $0.02 on the factory tow hitch receiver...
Yes it looks nicer, and you could order it, and cut the bumper cover to suit. It has better ground clearance than the lower after-market units.
Everytime I see an aftermarket unit, they are mounted below, maybe 12" to 15" above the road, and I'm reminded the factory unit is at 19". I have never had a Class II trailer that needs it's hitch receiver this high. I've had to flip and swap my two tow hitch pieces (one for each ball size) in order to get the trailers reasonably level (important if you do a lot of trailering). You may have to get a new hitch piece or an adjustable one, or 19" height may be OK for you.
If you decide to order from dealer, it might be worth your while to have them install it. The pkg should include the wiring harness with relays.
If you go aftermarket, you'll probably save money. I would go this route if doing it again. Make sure they are doing the wiring harness with relays, & not just to the wiring to the lights in the rear.
 

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You should do any of that on your own. The dealership will charge you too much. If you look around here, think there was someone who went with the OEM hitch and the dealership cut the bumper for the hitch. You can make that cut with a dremel tool.
 

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The best way to see if the bumper cover is universal would be to crawl under there and look for a mold line that shows an insert for tooling changes. If there is a mold line, you can use a SHARP razor to trim away the hitch opening by following that line and it'll look very nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
onthelam your thoughts about the hight of the hitch are good. i checked the tailor i would have free access to (my dad's). On his highlander it is ALMOST level, and his hitch is only around 14". so you may be right on, and have a GOOD point about that. i just like the flush clean look so much better! oh well. thanks for the input all!
 

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Agreed that the factory hitch looks "better" than aftermarket ones. However I am glad I spent ~ $150 for my Hidden Hitch and put it on myself rather than $700 for the dealer to install one (or whatever they charge). I only use mine for a bike carrier though so I can't comment on towing anything. Mine lines up just under the bumper. In fact it works out better since I have used that for tieing off bungee cords to hold the rear cargo door while moving 15 cases of flooring. The fact that the aftermarket is lower and further out left the "hook" of the cord free from hitting the bumper.
 

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Yeah I just ordered my Draw-tie on Sunday. I should have it tomorrow. $236 for everything including the wiring harness. Can't beat that.
 

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SsquaredDesign said:
Jeff M said:
Yeah I just ordered my Draw-tie on Sunday. I should have it tomorrow. $236 for everything including the wiring harness. Can't beat that.
Actually you could have beat that: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160427062511&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT. $196.03 (including shipping) for a Curt class III with wiring harness. Took about 30 minutes for me to install with the help of my fiance and it looks great.

True, but I meant you couldn't beat the price on an actual Draw-Tie brand hitch w/harness. I'm particular to Draw-Tie as I've had one on every truck I've owned. I'm silly that way. Hell all tube hitches are probably made at the same place.
 

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Has anyone come up with a good way (place) to mount the 4 flat plug. Mine is held in with a bungee at the moment. Also is there a good place to mount the t-1 box for the wiring. I mounted it behind the left tail light but it's not flat and dosn't give alot of surface for the tape to stick to. Thanks
 
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