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Trailer Hitch Help

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by tacoman101, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Dec 7, 2010 at 5:10 PM
    #1
    tacoman101

    tacoman101 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So I really want to get a Trailer Hitch Setup for my truck, mainly because I want to be able to pull people out of the snow this winter, so what is some basic stuff I need to know about getting one, what kinds of hitches are good, and which ones are shit. Just kinda looking for some help trying find which one i should buy, thanks
     
  2. Dec 8, 2010 at 1:00 PM
    #2
    phidauex

    phidauex Well-Known Member

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    Sam
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    There are several brands of roughly equivalent aftermarket hitches for the Tacoma 1st Gen. Valley, Reese, Curt, etc. They are all pretty good Class III hitches. I personally prefer the Valley, because it is modular for installation (easier to install), and has the most tucked up "stock" look. One of the cheaper ones, too.

    They all install fairly easy, though a 2nd pair of hands is almost always a good idea.

    For wiring kits, the Hoppy 4-wire kits are easy to install and inexpensive - they plug into the wiring harness behind each tail light, so you don't have to tap any wires and potentially damage them. You don't need anything more complex unless you know you'll be pulling something with a brake controller, or aux power, etc.

    Read the Towing Bible in the tow section of the forum for general towing info.

    If you are pulling people out regularly, get a shackle adapter for the hitch (Elite offroad, vendor here, makes a nice one), that way you have something to attach the recovery strap to that is sturdy - just looping it around the ball of a drawbar, or putting the pin through the loop can damage the hitch or the strap.

    And when pulling people out in the winter, don't use chain or "tow ropes", use a slightly stretchy "recovery strap" or "snatch strap". You need the stretch to help you pull (like a rubber band), and to prevent your truck from just ripping people's bumpers off.

    -Sam
     
  3. Dec 8, 2010 at 1:05 PM
    #3
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Don't forget Hidden Hitch and Uhaul! They make decent receivers also. x2 on the shackle for pulling people out and make sure the strap you use is rated for what you intend to do with it. If it gets halfway and lets go it can cause a lot of damage or get someone hurt.

    FWIW, I've got Hidden Hitch. Install on a 2nd Gen was a breeze, not sure on 1st Gen. Uhaul will install for you if you don't have a place or the tools to do so youself.
     
  4. Dec 8, 2010 at 1:11 PM
    #4
    04trd4x4AL

    04trd4x4AL Well-Known Member

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    Tint , Deck Plate, debadged, Bil 5100's set @ 2.5 up front, Bil 5100 in the rear and AAL. Diff drop. B.A.M.F brake proportioning bracket.
    x2 on the Hidden Hitch. Install was ok once we figured out how to maneuver it in there. Ordered mine through eTrailer.com.
     
  5. Dec 8, 2010 at 3:20 PM
    #5
    vantaco

    vantaco Well-Known Member

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  6. Dec 8, 2010 at 4:10 PM
    #6
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    I've heard mixed reviews on Curt hitches regarding fitment. I don't want to say anything bad since a lot of people have them and had success. Just giving you a heads up.
     
  7. Dec 8, 2010 at 4:27 PM
    #7
    quattrokiwi

    quattrokiwi Well-Known Member

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    So at work, we have 4 2004 4x4 Tacomas, one has a vally hitch, one a drawtie (I think thats right) and the others Hidden Hitch.

    The hidden looks the best and is by far the most tucked up and cleanest install.
     
  8. Dec 8, 2010 at 11:36 PM
    #8
    pidro_el_pirata

    pidro_el_pirata Well-Known Member

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    Kiwi can you get pics of each?? That would be awesome
     
  9. Dec 9, 2010 at 3:51 AM
    #9
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    X3 on the Hidden Hitch. Had one on my 96 taco.
     
  10. Dec 9, 2010 at 4:03 AM
    #10
    tacoman101

    tacoman101 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Alright guys...Thanks for all the help. I'll probably go with either the Valley Hitch, or the Hidden Hitch, I just have to decide from there. If anyone could post pics of there hitches, just so I can get an idea of what the different styles look like, that would be great.
     
  11. Dec 9, 2010 at 8:04 AM
    #11
    vantaco

    vantaco Well-Known Member

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    any idea what the reese looks like installed?
     
  12. Feb 25, 2011 at 10:37 AM
    #12
    ezatnova

    ezatnova Artax

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    Since this thread helped me out, I wanted to contribute a bit. Went with the Hidden Hitch myself. Very happy with how it looks. It was not particularly easy to install by myself in my garage. I put the rear up on ramps to gain some helpful height. Maneuvering the hitch in was a bit of a pain, and lifting it up to catch the first nut on the threads of the lag bolt was not happening by myself. Borrowed my wife to help lift it up while I got the threads going. You basically need three hands. Once it was on, I (per the instructions) snugged the lags to 72 lbs, the 10 mm to 42 lbs (literally had enough room to move the torque wrench one click at a time for the 10mm bolt on passenger side). It didn't specify how tight for the bumper bolt in the frame that you have to remove and then take off, so I just put my impact wrench on 240 lbs and had at it. Took me about 1.5 hours, and it was my first time installing a hitch, and I was basically doing it myself with a bit of assitance from the wife.
     
  13. Jun 14, 2012 at 11:58 PM
    #13
    Adonis

    Adonis Member

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  14. Jun 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM
    #14
    Tashier

    Tashier Well-Known Member

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    I've done 3 Uhaul hitches on Tacos. By yourself it's a bit of a pain in the ass trying to hold and line everything up but it's definitely doable. I just bought a new one for $180 in stock and no shipping.
     
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