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Discussion Starter #1
I know a few of you have already post info on Honda hitch that is flush with the bumper.

My concern is that the hitch will cause damage in a parking situation when the hitch backs into anothter car instead of the bumper.

I was interested in getting Hidden Hitch brand which I assume was recessed from the bumper by a few inches. But the manager at the hitch store told me that this is not neccessary the case. he says that Draw-tite, reese, Hidden hitches are all the same by same company. I knew they were same company, but I thought Hidden Hitch is supposed to be hidden and recess from the bumper.

Has anyone out there installed a hitch that is recessed from the bumper? Please let us know or PM me. I have slowly backed into a fire hydrant before with a minivan that cause alot of damage. I can not imagine what that will do to a hitch. thanks.
 

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Draw-Tite and Reese are the same company (Cendant). I can't help with Ridgeline aftermarket hitches, as I have the Honda hitch. However, I had a Draw-Tite on my Ranger that was recessed from the back of the step and tow bumper. I was hit from behind by a brand new Accord at about 30mph. Some paint was scratched off of the hitch but it was otherwise unharmed. The Accord submarined under the hitch and broke both of my rear leaf springs. The Accord was trashed. The hood was peeled back, the head and cam cover were ripped off, and the windshield, cowling, and firewall were bent. I wouldn't worry about hitch damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Shovelhead,

I need the extra space to install a back up sensor into the hitch.

I am not worried about someone plowing me from behind. My concern is backing into a fire hydrant or another car.

If I was unlucky enough to back directly into a fire hydrant with the hitch, i think the hydrant will win.

Backing into another car with the hitch will do more damange than the bumper.

The hitch store salesman says that they do not know whether the hitch will be recessed from the bumper until it is installed. So if anyone out there already has draw-tite, reese or hidden hitch installed, please let me know if it is recessed from the bumper. I plan to install a back up sensor into the hitch, and hopefully, the back up sensor will be flush with the bumper.

The back up sensor will be movable to the trailer in the future or other vehicle.
 

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Got it. I think if you backed into a hydrant, the hydrant would lose. They are designed to break off. However your backup sensor would probably be toast.
 

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The Honda hitch is recessed from the bumper. The curves and angles make it hard to tell how far. I would say the receiver is recessed 1-2 inches from the rear-most part of the bumper and the lighting connections are recessed 2-3 inches from the receiver. Seems well protected to me. I can tell you I tapped a wall backing up in a parking garage (shortly after I got the truck and before I figured out where the rear end ends). The bumper definately hits before the hitch. Maybe these photos help. The last one is looking straight down over the hitch which you cant see because.... it's recessed!
 

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I'm putting in the drawtite hitch soon. I'll post pictures if someone else doesn't get to it first.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thank, RO and everyone:

Thanks, steveberger, that is the most conclusive and accurate photo that I have seen of the hitch install postion.

I see that the Honda hitch is flush with the lower bumper but recessed from the top.

I am hoping to install a hitch that is at least 4 inches recessed from the bottom of the bumper so I can install a back up sensor in the hitch without sticking out the bottom.

Somehow, I have a feeling that all of them are going to be flush with the bumper because most other hitch accessories requires that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Vertrkr,

You are absolutely right. I am just being prudent. As long as I am getting a hitch, I rather get one that looks good and the back up sensor wont stick out past the bumper bottom. It would look a litttle odd with the tail hanging out.

Purely looks.
 

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Blue said:
Vertrkr,
You are absolutely right. I am just being prudent. As long as I am getting a hitch, I rather get one that looks good and the back up sensor wont stick out past the bumper bottom. It would look a litttle odd with the tail hanging out.
Purely looks.
I hear ya and would do the same if I didn't have the Honda hitch already. My sensor does stick out further than the bumper does by an inch or so. It would look better recessed.

If your buying the same type of radar sensor I did another option is the buy the model that sticks to the inside of the bumper, Model 1903C.
http://www.sensetech.com/ga_models.htm
 

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I got a brand new hidden hitch off eBay shipped to my house for $125.00. It took me 30 minutes to install the hitch and it fits perfectly. The hitch looks just as good if not better than the Honda version. The hidden hitch I feel has smoother lines. Considering how much the dealer was going to charge I saved a small fortune.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
sq,

Is your hitch recessed from the bottom of the bumper? by how much?

any pictures? I think you are the only person who has not installed a Honda hitch.
 

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I too purchased the Hidden Hitch. My nieghbor and I installed it in 20 minutes. It is recessed about 2 inches from the top lip of the bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ahab,

Do you mean recessed 2 inches from the bottom of the bumper?

Because the bumper is not a 90 degree vertical. Honda hitch is about 2 inches recessed from top but flush with the bottom of the bumper.

Did you both install the honda harness with no problem?
 

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Drawtite Hitch

I said I would post information about the drawtite hitch, so her it is.

You have to drop the exhaust and muffler heat shield. The first picture show the rubber exhaust mounts, they just slide off. The lower left corner of the picture shows the muffler and one of the bolts holding in the heat shield. The four bolts are pretty easy to remove. You don't even need to take the heat shield out just let it sit on the muffler as it hangs down.

The second picture shows another of the three mounting points I disconnected. You can see a fourth mount I didn't slide off because the muffler was already down far enough and I didn't want to put too much stress on the point where it connects to the engine.

Picture three shows the hitch plate that bolts right to the existing holes in the frame (captured nuts are already in place). There are three more on the other side and two in the back.

Picture four shows the hitch mounted in place with the heat shield and muffler back where they should be.

Picture five shows the hitch from a side view and picture six shows what you see looking straight down at the rear bumper step (plus the camera strap). I haven't seen the Honda hitch but this looks like it sits in the same position as the Honda hitch from pictures I've seen here.

I still haven't found time to put in the wiring but it looks pretty easy too. It's not as nice as the Honda factory wiring but it does have the module that takes the load off the tail lights. It's only a 4 wire connector (not the one for a trailer with powered brakes) but the 4 wire is all I need. The cost was just a little over $200 for the hitch, wiring, draw bar and pin, and shipping so all you would need is the ball.

(Oops will have to include picture six as seperate post.)

Hope that helps.
 

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Drawtite Hitch

Picture six as seperate post.
 

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ROColorado, Thanks alot for the detailed info on the drawtite hitch, just to make sure is this the same as the hidden hitch? Also, how did the wiring go? Thanks again :)
 

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I just finished installing the drawtite wiring harness last night. The wiring is not that difficult but much more of a pain than putting in the hitch. I should have taken pictures.

First, I don't know what the sales guys are talking about. The wiring harness connects right into the factory tail light circuits using the factory connectors. There's a black rubber box that all the wires run into but no power wire that runs to the fuse block so the load has to come off the tail lights. It's not the solution I wanted but it's worked on all my previous vehicles so I'll see how it goes. I only pull a utility trailer with two additional lights. It’s just a four wire system so I’d go with the factory harness if you need the other connector or have more lights to power. I’m not sure how you’d mount the connectors if you use the drawtite hitch and the factory harness.

That said, the wiring harness is pretty clean although you still need to drill one hole in the frame for a self tapping screw for the trailer ground wire. The screw that comes in the kit is garbage, I used my own. The directions they give say you only need a screwdriver and a 3/32 drill to complete the install. I'm not sure how you get the tailight housings out with those tools. I used a 10mm socket (see your owner’s manual on changing taillight bulbs). This is the scariest part of the procedure. There are two bolts just inside the tailgate that hold in each taillight housing. There are also two pins that press fit into two plastic sockets in the body. It takes more force that I was comfortable with to get the tail lights out. Now that I've done it, I'm not too worried but the first time it's unnerving. You can do it by hand so don't start jamming tools in there to pry things out.

Once the taillights are out the connectors have to come apart. Again, the first time isn't fun. There are two locking tabs on each connector. One holds the connector together and the other holds the connector to the body. If you play around with the connectors on the trailer wiring harness you can get a pretty good idea of how they work (same connectors). I found it easiest to remove the connector from the body and then try to get them apart. Putting everything back together is quite simple.

If anyone else is going to try this solution and wants pictures let me know and I'll take it back apart. Now that I know what I'm doing it would take 10 minutes. It took me 2 1/2 hours to figure out last night.
 
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