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Compare Trailer Hitches for a 2018 Toyota Highlander

Question:

There's a number of htiches that fit my car and I have no clue which to get. I'm going to use it for a bike rack on my 2018 Highlander. Which is best for me? Easiest to install?

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Expert Reply:

There are a number of trailer hitch receivers that fit your 2018 Toyota Highlander and it can be confusing because they have a lot in common; however there are differences as well.

Two of them, the Curt # C13200 and the etrailer.com # E98844, are virtually identical. A third, the Draw-Tite # DT65MR is also the same basic design and installation. The biggest difference between these is the Curt and etrailer hitches have the hitch pin hole positioned about 1-3/4 inches further under the bumper than the Draw-Tite. This isn't a lot but can matter when using a bike rack and making sure you have clearance for the rack and bikes behind your Highlander's rear bumper. Technically speaking this Draw-Tite is the best hitch to use with a bike rack because it has the best bumper clearance of all of them.

Another option is the EcoHitch, part # 306-X7250. This one is different from the other three in that the crosstube is completely hidden behind the rear bumper. The other three have it visible underneath the bumper, which just isn't near as clean or factory looking. The downsides to this hitch is that the hitch pin hole is quite a bit under the bumper plus it's a lot more expensive.

The final option, my personal favorite and recommendation for you, is the Draw-Tite # DT84MR. It combines the best features of the other ones without much downside. It has the hidden crosstube like the EcoHitch and the hitch pin hole gives more clearance than the Curt or etrailer.com hitches; although, it doesn't provide as much clearance as the other Draw-Tite that I mentioned. Plus, the price isn't outlandishly higher than the other hitches. The picture I've attached is of this hitch so you can see what it looks like installed. For my money, this hitch is the best all-around choice.

The installation of all of these is basically the same. The EcoHitch has some extra steps but it's also 5 to 10 pounds lighter which can make the install process a little easier. All of them require some trimming to the Highlander's fascia. I've linked the install details of each of them for you. As well as a video from when we installed them. Three of the hitches, the Curt and both Draw-Tites, are even shown being installed on the exact same Highlander.

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Charles S

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