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Discussion Starter #1
REALLY LIKING our '06 EX after buying it 3 weeks ago and finishing a 3000 mi trip frm Seattle to San Diego & back! It drives so nice, and teen kids really like the comfy back bucket seats.

Now, need to get a hitch on it for bike rack and small Util trailer towing.
I'm seeing the great threads here on needs for oil coolers, wiring options, etc.. and will further study those.

For now, the very light loads mean I need just need the receiver type hitch and it needs to be the larger type to in some future year advance to towing a small camp trailer perhaps.

The question is, Is there a decent & economical do it yourself install hitch kit recommended? I'm handy with tools and wiring.
Or, if I'm hiring this out, any recommendations on where to start on this? I like to keep costs down, work with a kit and a small shop.

Thanks lots, great to be in OdyClub

Don F
 

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You'll find lots of theads on hitch / cooler etc installs.
First step is deciding if you want the OEM look or the save a bit more cash and hang it underneath. ... Myself, I went with the OEM install. The install really isn't hard, the bumper removal is easy too (very light), and even the need to cut the opening in it, no big deal. Search the forum for recommended online dealers and order the hitch ... even shipping that heavy thing was cheaper than getting it local ... but check anyway.
Installing the cooler & wiring is actually a bit harder than the hitch, but worth the savings. I selected an aftermarket trans cooler, so that wasn't plug and play, but did cost way less. You'll have to search the threads, as it's been some time since I did this, but there's at least one online dealer with instructions, get them and review first. (Instructions don't come with the parts)
 

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I just did the hitch part (OEM - worth the small extra cost IMO cause it looks way way better) but I didnt do the harness, coolers, etc. Mine is just for bike rack.

Do a search for "Trailer" and or "Hitch". In fact there are 3 other threads already on this same page just from today! Just do a little reading and I think the answers are all there.

Shipping for me was like $30 which basically equals out on sales taxes saved...plus the online price was a good $90 cheaper than local dealers (and without tax).
 

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yep......if needing to keep the costs low, an aftermarket 'uhaul', or 'curt' hitch will be quite low in cost, but will hang under the bumper (butt ugly imo) - oem you will just see the receiver and the bar is hidden. I'm gunna wait to afford the oem. gl to ya
 

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I recently purchased this hitch (Amazon.com: Curt Manufacturing 13561 Class III Receiver: Automotive) and installed it myself. It was easy - just make sure you have (or can borrow) a suitable torque wrench. Without it, it will take much longer to install.

As for those who say an aftermarket trailer hitch is ugly, two things:

- it's a minivan
- $150 w/ free shipping versus significantly more for OEM (esp. if you have it installed) just for looks? I think I'll save the money.
 

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I recently purchased this hitch (
Amazon.com: Curt Manufacturing 13561 Class III Receiver: Automotive) and installed it myself. It was easy - just make sure you have (or can borrow) a suitable torque wrench. Without it, it will take much longer to install.

As for those who say an aftermarket trailer hitch is ugly, two things:

- it's a minivan
- $150 w/ free shipping versus significantly more for OEM (esp. if you have it installed) just for looks? I think I'll save the money.
Have the exact same hitch installed on my 06 EX-L RES. 20 minutes to install and another 20 to install the wiring harness. Bought mine from E-Trailer.com.

I agree, it does not look bad at all.
 

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I recently purchased this hitch (Amazon.com: Curt Manufacturing 13561 Class III Receiver: Automotive) and installed it myself. It was easy - just make sure you have (or can borrow) a suitable torque wrench. Without it, it will take much longer to install.

As for those who say an aftermarket trailer hitch is ugly, two things:

- it's a minivan
- $150 w/ free shipping versus significantly more for OEM (esp. if you have it installed) just for looks? I think I'll save the money.
Your choice of course. Just because its a minivan doesn't mean people don't want them to look nice. I think its important that potential buyers are aware there is a DEFINITE difference in looks between OEM and aftermarket in this case. Every time I'm sitting in traffic behind an Odyssey with an aftermarket, I'm amazed at how visible the hitch is (not only does it hang down really low and you see the whole crossbar, but they're usually emblazoned with a bunch of stickers like "Hidden Hitch" etc......I always get a kick out of "Hidden Hitch" yet the Hidden Hitch is not at all Hidden!)

The cost isn't THAT much more if you install it yourself. I paid $243 shipped, and spent 1.5 hours doing the job. If I had to do another one, I could probably do it in 1 hour or less.

So I paid $90 extra for a hitch that looks noticeably better, which will give me satisfaction for the next 7 years that I own this van. Might even pay for itself in resale if I were to go for a private party sale down the road - it does look that much better.

My point is that to you, $90 is obviously a lot of money and you made your decision on that. Lots of people buy $33-40k minivans probably are happy to pay an extra $90 if they get a nicer install. Lots of people will spend $20 every month or two to get their cars washed - over the lifetime of ownership $90 for a much more integrated hitch install isn't a huge premium to pay for "looks" IMO. Everyone will make their own decision of course.
 

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Your choice of course. Just because its a minivan doesn't mean people don't want them to look nice. I always get a kick out of "Hidden Hitch" yet the Hidden Hitch is not at all Hidden!)

My point is that to you, $90 is obviously a lot of money and you made your decision on that. Lots of people buy $33-40k minivans probably are happy to pay an extra $90 if they get a nicer install. Lots of people will spend $20 every month or two to get their cars washed - over the lifetime of ownership $90 for a much more integrated hitch install isn't a huge premium to pay for "looks" IMO.
well elaborated
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thx for above, some good points & all

FYI My Findings:

I'm liking this OEM type hitch, appears to fit up closer under bumper, is fair priced allrt.: (For my 2006 items, they're on pg 2:)

w w w hondapartscheap.com/southbay/jsp/srchrslts1_oem.jsp?catcgry1=ODYSSEY&catcgry4=LM&catcgry5=Hitch


For the Wire harness the HONDA one is $117, appears to have more items (see "diagram" link):

w w w hondapartscheap.com/southbay/jsp/item_oem.jsp?catcgry1=ODYSSEY&n=08L91-SHJ-100A&d=HONDA_ODYSSEY_TRAILER_HITCH_WIRE_HARNESS

But the etrailer wire harness on this pg is just $40. This one seems adequate I would think..:
http://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Honda/Odyssey/2006/75270.html?vehicleid=20066109


Also, was warned by some about spare tire space needs on underside - But I looked under my '06's, it has solid underbody area just fwd of bumper (where rear seat folds down too). The mini spare tire is inside trunk area on drivers side (above floor)

Cheers
 

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I can't comment on the wire harness as I only bought the hitch (for bike rack only).

The spare tire is up on the inside in the trunk, as you say. It will not get in the way of your hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Have now finished installing and am very pleased. Yes the Honda factory hitch cross bar is all tucked up behind bumper with only the receiver dropping down and visible. quite easy to cut out underside of plastic bumper with template they send to mark cut with.

I DID NOT order from Hondapartscheap when I learned shipping w/b around $100 after calling them. Their website calc'd it At well below that but I called w/ another qstn and said their website was wrong and be prepared for much more for shipping.

Poked around some more and found BERNARDI Honda:
http://www.bernardiparts.com/products/08L92-SHJ-100.aspx?source=googlebase
They knew their shipping costs, came to $300 total with shipping

Its for bikes for now, but need to tow a util trailer next month and next I'll start looking at running new 4 pin wire plug for it down to hitch thru van floor. So far have just seen examples of running it out under trunk door but sure prefer the wiring exiting interior to underside of car
 

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I was going to write a great DIY install thread for a 7-blade RV plug onto the factory hitch using only the factory hardware and what came with the plug. It looked very professional.

Unfortunately the new plug (and the trailer side) was destroyed by a driveway entrance halfway through my 2,800 miles road trip and I was almost immediately contacted by a every efficient police officer about the deficiency. Fortunately once he shined his flashlight on the remains of my wiring system he released me with a warning. The wiring had to be redone in the dark using only a swiss army knife Macgyver-style at a rest stop.

Nothing can be mounted below the level of the 4 plug wiring connector on the OEM hitch and be expected to survive. I expect that those with aftermarket hitches will experience drag as some point.
 

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OEM Install

I installed the OEM hitch, trailer wiring harness, PS cooler, and Trans cooler about a month after we bought our 2005 Ody. Couldn't be happier with all of it! I printed out the online prices of everything from the H and A site and took that to my local Honda dealer and they matched the price. I had to pay sales tax, but that was less the shipping on the hitch itself. Also, when cutting the bumper per instructions with the kit, cut inside the line so it fits tighter around the hitch. Just my $.02. I encourage anyone to do this themselves!
 

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I have the plug & play wire harness and it works great. I keep it stowed near the spare tire.

On the hitch, my neighbor sold me his 'hang below the bumper' unit that he had only used a few times to attach a bike rack. I hate the way hitches look, so I remove it when not in use - I didn't want to go the extra mile t install the factory hitch since it's mostly NOT on the van.

With my van being lowered, I've noticed that I can bang the receiver box pretty god when leaving steep inclines and driveways - another good reason to keep it off the van most of the time.

Six bolts... I can have it on or off in ten minutes!
 

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I have the plug & play wire harness and it works great. I keep it stowed near the spare tire.

On the hitch, my neighbor sold me his 'hang below the bumper' unit that he had only used a few times to attach a bike rack. I hate the way hitches look, so I remove it when not in use - I didn't want to go the extra mile t install the factory hitch since it's mostly NOT on the van.

With my van being lowered, I've noticed that I can bang the receiver box pretty god when leaving steep inclines and driveways - another good reason to keep it off the van most of the time.

Six bolts... I can have it on or off in ten minutes!

WOW. And I thought it was a pain to carry my bike rack out from the garage and screw it onto the hitch every time I want to use it. I can't imagine getting down under the car and screwing on a 50 lb hitch every time I want to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Now, after just using a bike rack in new hitch, am needing the wire harness for my Util trailer. It looks fairly simple, I've seen a video even on installing. One concern is removing the rubber weather stripping around perimeter of trunk opening to allow pulling the interior panels off. Is there a special techniquie to pry that off, to ensure it will go back on just as secure? Sure would hate to damage it.

Thx & all
 

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It comes off easy and goes back on easy. The interior harness will be no problem.
 
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