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Woody MegaDork
9/29/14 10:24 a.m.

So...what do we know about trailer hitches? Is Reese the industry standard?

I've been concerned about the deterioration of the factory installed trailer hitch on my Toyota Tacoma. Earlier this summer, I had to scrape rust flakes out of the receiver in order to slide the hitch in, and overall, it's looking a little rough.

I've had hitches from Reese, De'Lan and this Toyota hitch (which I'm sure was outsourced). I'm sure that they're all sufficiently strong, but none of them seem to hold onto their paint for very long. They rust and look like E36 M3 very quickly.

Is any one brand is preferred over any other?

1988RedT2 PowerDork
9/29/14 10:32 a.m.

Very happy with my Curt hitch. I checked before I bought one, and it looks like all the other big names are owned by a single large corporation and fabbed overseas. Curt is made in the good ol' USA and are competitively priced. Paint looks good on mine. Only had it a few months though.


I got mine from hitchsource.com. I see Jegs also sells them.

Cotton UltraDork
9/29/14 10:35 a.m.

I have Curt, Reese, and Draw-Tite all on current vehicles and they have all been solid.

trucke HalfDork
9/29/14 10:39 a.m.

Got a Curt for the Highlander from Amazon. Like 1988redT2 said, Curt = made in USA.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
9/29/14 10:44 a.m.

I have a reese for the race car trailer. No complaints - although the factory receiver on the truck itself is egging out where the pin goes thru causing all sorts of clanking under brake/accel conditions that worry me about the spike load on the pin.

I aims to weld and/or re-drill at some point.

DaveEstey UberDork
9/29/14 10:57 a.m.

I have a Reese on my F-250. No complaints. No Rust.

Woody MegaDork
9/29/14 11:03 a.m.

Good info here. I had forgotten about Draw-Tite and never heard of Curt. I'll check them out. I'd just like to find something that's powder coated rather than painted. Made in the USA puts them right at the front of the line though.

Wally MegaDork
9/29/14 11:11 a.m.

On our boat trailer we used to put some grease in the receiver to keep it from rusting inside.

1988RedT2 PowerDork
9/29/14 11:33 a.m.

This from the Curt manufacturing website:

"Once built, our hitches are sent through multiple stages of cleaning, including a shot blast and a wash and preparation system. Then, each hitch is dipped in a liquid Aquence® coating and finished in our high-gloss or carbide powder coat. The co-curing of the A-coat and powder coating provides superior rust, chip and UV protection."

trigun7469 HalfDork
9/29/14 12:25 p.m.

I have had two curt hitches, the older ( I purchase in 2011) had some surface rust, the newer is only two years old has held up well. So I think they have improved, their coating.

bigev007 New Reader
9/29/14 12:51 p.m.

My U-Haul hitch is getting rusty after 2-3 winters. Just surface rust. But it was the cheapest by far in my area (less than 1/2 price). I'm not planning to use mine for anything other than bikes, however.

The installer also covered it with some oil based coating. It's still tacky after all this time, and hasn't washed off. Except in the receiver, which is where the rust is.

Petrolburner Reader
9/29/14 7:09 p.m.

I put a Curt hitch on my Corvette last weekend. I'm satisfied with the product although it's a pretty tight and interlocking fit on my application. It would have fit better with stock exhaust cans.

Woody MegaDork
9/29/14 7:21 p.m.

My truck originally came with a Class 4 hitch. It looks like Curt only offers a Class 3 for my truck. I doubt I'd need the extra capacity, but I'd like to have the option.

The Canadian
The Canadian New Reader
9/29/14 8:31 p.m.

I have a Hidden Hitch. been on the back of my van for 6 years and i bought it off a guy who had it for 2 years. no rust issues, the wires failed before the hitch has

curtis73 UberDork
9/30/14 12:10 a.m.

Curt, Reese, Hidden Hitch, Draw-tite, Uhaul... all of them have great hitches. Hitches are very basic welding of mild steel, so they all have excellent quality. I have owned some of each.

The only trick is picking one that you like. Ironically, if you want it to show as much of itself as possible, usually Hidden Hitch is the way to go. I have never seen a hitch manufacturer so incapable or living up to their name.

But I digress. They all have very high quality hitches. Its just up to you to compare aesthetics and price.

Seriously.... Hidden Hitch makes it a point to fully expose the hitch with a big sticker. My ex and I still laugh about this:

Trans_Maro UberDork
9/30/14 9:24 a.m.

I've put Curt hitches on a few trucks and I have noticed a couple things.

Their receiver is open on both ends on every hitch. Some others aren't and the collect all manner of dirt and crap.

The other tubes in the hitch are all capped and completely welded. Lots of others aren't. Dirt, leaves and small animals get in and it rots from the inside out.

They also seem to fit better with less dicking around than other models.

The one on my F-250 even leaves me enough room to keep my spare tire mount and I can drop the rear fuel tank without removing the hitch.


volvoclearinghouse Dork
9/30/14 10:04 a.m.

Another +1 for Curt. Their products have been very good in my experience. Bought a Class IV for an old dodge truck, it mounted up perfectly. Price was very competitive. Their website is great, too. Would buy their stuff again, no doubt.

Also use their trailer brake controller. Seems like a much better unit than some others I've seen and used.

One caution- make sure when putting together a system that it's all rated the same. Hitch, receiver, ball- it's only as good as the weakest link. If you've got a Class IV hitch and receiver, but the ball's only rated at 5k...

Woody MegaDork
9/30/14 10:45 a.m.

Curt only offers a Class III for my truck (2005 Totota Tacoma Double Cab V6 4x4).

Reese (Draw Tite) shows a Class IV, but the rated capacity is the same, aside from the weight distributing hitch rating.

They look almost identical, aside from some gussets on the Curt Class III which make it appear stronger than the Reese (Draw Tite) Class IV. What am I missing?


Curt Class III:

Reese (Draw Tite) Class IV:

1988RedT2 PowerDork
9/30/14 11:46 a.m.

I'm confused. All the hitch options for the Tacoma were Class III, unless I am blind. A Class IV hitch should be rated for 12,000 lbs. GTW and 1,000 lbs. TW, whereas the Class III is rated 6000 lbs. GTW and 600 lbs. TW.

Petrolburner Reader
9/30/14 11:56 a.m.
curtis73 wrote: I have never seen a hitch manufacturer so incapable or living up to their name.

Hilarious but oh so true.

volvoclearinghouse Dork
9/30/14 12:47 p.m.

In reply to Woody:

The Class designations can be confusing, I've found. I go simply by weight ratings. I've seen some Class IV stuff rated for 10k, 12k, or 15k pounds.

Class IV for a V6 pickup seems a bit...optimistic. I tow a 9900 lb trailer with my F350 diesel and that's...a lot of trailer.

Woody MegaDork
9/30/14 2:02 p.m.

I have found the source of my confusion. The Reese site lists part number 75236 as a Class 4 hitch, but eTrailer shows it as a Class 3.



1988RedT2 PowerDork
9/30/14 3:11 p.m.

That is confusing. What are you pulling? Class III limits sound like they'd be appropriate for a V6 Tacoma. I don't think the Curt hitch will disappoint.

Woody MegaDork
9/30/14 3:23 p.m.
1988RedT2 wrote: That is confusing. What are you pulling? Class III limits sound like they'd be appropriate for a V6 Tacoma. I don't think the Curt hitch will disappoint.

 photo PorscheDay1032.jpg

Woody MegaDork
9/30/14 3:44 p.m.

I ordered the Curt through Amazon. $129, free shipping.

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