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Discussion Starter #1
Any of you Hawaii RL owners (on Oahu) with a build date of 04/05 or within close proximity of this build date (2005 built RLs) interested in helping with a Curt tow hitch fit test?

This hitch was purchased from JCWhitney and when attempting to install the hitch, the bolting locations do not line up properly on my 04/05 built RL.

The folks at Curt are saying that the hitch design has not changed since inception. I believe the Ridgelines since inception, meaning from 2005 to the present, have not changed either. It's got to be one or the other, the hitch or my RL...

If you have a 2005 built RL and interested in helping, I just want to make sure the bolt location line up the same way as it did on mine, let me know...

If it fits, I'll give you the option to buy it at whatever I paid for it, again tow hitch is brand new. The hitch is a Curt 13385 tow hitch.

Aloha,
- Punch;)
 

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I have seen several hitches sent via UPS or similar services that arrived bent. I know it seems impossible to bend a hitch, but somehow they manage to do it on a regular basis.

I suspect your hitch is bent. Good luck with JC Whitney.
 

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Hi Punch,

I have the Curt hitch on my Ridgeline and Built Day is May 2005. And I installed it myself with some adjustment to the alignment of the hole, but it when in. Try this loosely attach one side then try to align the other side by spreading the bar apart until the holes lineup.
 

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Using a floor jack, I C-clamped the CURT hitch to it and raised it up to where you can start the two center bolts behind the rear bumper. Before you tighten these up try and start one of the side bolts on either side. If they are semi close you may be able to see if your hitch did, in fact get bent in shipping. It will also allow you to see if you can bend it in the correct direction to install the three side bolts or return the unit and ask CURT for a refund if they are bent too badly. With the two center bolts snugged up you may be able to use a come-along to pull the ends into position so you can bolt the end plates.

I'm so totally bummed for you brah! Our's simply bolted right up. I hope you get this issue resolved. Keep us posted. Sorry for the filthy photos as I just got back from the desert.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
csimo, Snapshot and especailly 5S Dude, thanks for the assistance! I really appreciate it. As Snapshot is stating, maybe (and hard to believe) the bar on the first Curt tow hitch is bent in a little versus just the 1/4" steel on the brackets. The first tow hitch arrived shrinked wrapped versus boxed...

The second Curt tow hitch arrived in a box and the box was not mishandled in any way, except it was standing on it's side when it was delivered.

I'll give the second tow hitch a try and see what happens... I hope for a bolt-n-go install...

Aloha!
 

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I bought the curt hitch for my 2006 RL from hitchsource.com for 110 plus shipping. Total was about 156 or something like that. Anyways, it showed up at my house Friday afternoon. When I got off work about 6:30pm I was overly excited and couldn't wait till the weekend to install it. I've been reading on installs for the RL and knew the list of problems. So when I saw the hitch box broken and on its side, I knew it was likely to have problems. Nevertheless, I took on the task.
Here's what I did in this order.
1. Pull down the connector on the driver side under the bed. I reached in and felt for the deeper tape (I'm 5'6 145 small built so this was not a problem). Got it untaped and made sure it was free.
2. Slipped off the exhaust hanger closest to the bumper. I left the other one on since these guys were hard to take off.
3. I then forced the hitch between the bumper and the exhaust outlet, then using the weight of the hitch, forced the exhaust lower and wiggled the hitch in. Now the passanger side of the hitch is held up by the exhaust. At this time it is about 30mins (inspecting, unwrapping, and planning the install) into the project and it was getting pretty dark outside.
I then moved to the driver side and made sure I was not directly under the hitch i raised it up with one bolt nearby to screw it in place to hold. Then I got the other 2 in the driver side as well.
4. Didn't tight down the driver's side but had the bolts in at least half way so if anything, it wouldn't drop completely. I moved towards the center and put in the other two bolts. This part was getting hard so I only did what I can (1 bolt.
5. Now I went to the exhaust that is holding up the passanger side and tried to put a bolt in. Not to my surprise (from broken box, and other postings) the bolt holes did not line up.
I couldn't wait for a replacement and these are solid steel, plus towing 5K isn't much and a little stretching of the steel isn't going to hurt. For all those inflexible freaks out there worried about imperfection, this write-up is not for you.
6. So now is the time that I had my plan B. I went to walmart (in my girlfriends car) and bought racheting tie downs. A pair of 600lbs capacity each costed me only $15. I saw ones at Lowes/HomeDepot for same price but you get only one and they were 300lbs capacity. Anyways, by this time it is totally dark, I pulled the truck up next to a city light post and had the rachetting tie downs attached to the hitch and the ligth post. I tightened it as much as I could to stretch the hitch apart so that I can put just one bolt in. Once I got one bolt in, i tightened it half way enough to fit another, then the last. Eventually I was able to tighten them all down and went to the middle 2 bolts and finished those off.
7. Total time on hitch by myself in the dark: 45min. plus 15min unpackaging and planning, and 30mins at walmart.

FYI.. the stretching does not work if your hitch is totally damaged. Mine wasn't damaged, metal expands or contracts in different environments. I'm in S. Cali with temps in the low 70's while the hitch came from Indiana. That's why the bolt holes are wide but in this case there was more contraction than expected. I saw the holes just about 1/4" off so this would work. Otherwise get a replacement.

Next thing to do: go down to dealer, show them a print out of online price for the OEM harness so they can match it. OEM harness is pricier but it is nicer. Even though I won't be towing much, just to launch the boat, can't resist the temptation of having a nicer/factory one with full capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
WartRidge, I replied to your PM but didn't see this post until today and attempted the installation of a second (replacement) Curt hitch yesterday. Anyhow, the replacement hitch, as stated previously was shipped in a box and the box was in pretty good shape when hitch was received (initial hitch was not boxed, just shrink wrapped)...

Got the same results as the first, one side line up fine with the center plate bolted and the passenger side could not be physically lined up (with human strength, that is)... I did the same as you did, got a towing strap and attempt to pull the hitch into alignment. I was using a concrete support beam in my garage. Put most of the weight of my RL on strap to pull the hitch into position (my garage is on a slight decline), hitch moved but required that I pull it more. I did not want to engage the drive and pull the hitch since I feared I would break the concrete beam and have more than just the hitch issue on my hands.

I called it quits after thinking:
1. If I paid for something that is built to fit, I shouldn't have to make it fit!
2. Too much work!
3. I wouldn't feel right having something imperfect on my truck (just me personnally, my truck ain't perfect either, I have some dings/dents/scratches that I wish I did not have).

The Curt hitches are being returned to JCWhitney. I plan to go to a Honda hitch and harness. Hopefully I won't have the same issue... I think the Curt hitch is an issue possibly for certain 2006 RLs (built in 2005), I do believe the Curt hitch 13385 should work for most RLs and definitely the newer RLs but don't quote me. ;-)

Too bad though, for the money, $149 shipped to Hawaii, this was a dam good deal! I have pics but need to lower the resolution to post it... Will post the pics later....

Thanks all,
- punch
 

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Oh yeah. I agree with you. It is suppose to be an easy install, but when mine was alittle off, I knew I couldn't wait a week for a replacement. So I McGyvered it up and it worked for me. I think I was just pulling it at the right angle and the defect wasn't not so bad.

I would return mine and get a new one but I'm impatient. Also, I PMed you and said if I had to do it all over, I'd order the OEM honda hitch from H&A or one of these sites. Total was $400 and it comes with harness. I spent $150 on the curt and will now buy the OEM harness for $169. I ended up saving $70 but went through a little frustration installing the curt.

Sorry it didn't work out for you but... you have a ridgeline and you live in hawaii... I think you're enjoying life anyways. Good luck!
 

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I'm in So Cal too and had the same exact problem. I wish I read about the light pole and tie down resolution when I tried to install my hitch. I got all the bolts in except for 2 and ended up stripping the nuts welded into the frame :( I ended up taking it to the dealer and one of the factory installers found some different bolts that he was able to "torque" into the nuts at the proper specs.... What a nightmare! I love how the Curt hitch looks but the fit is well below what it should be.
 

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Just installed mine over the weekend (also Curt)- pretty much the same issues as the rest of you guys. After putting bolts loosely in one side, couldn't even see the frame holes through the bracket on the other. As it was hanging down about an inch, I was able to use a 24" drift punch to get them lined up (wife(!) yanking outward on drift while I'm starting bolts - in lieu of light posts). It worked, it's done, and it looks great. Totally hidden except for the receiver portion. If I had a gripe, other than the pissy fit, it would be that the brackets that bolt to the frame should be reversed. They're both bent the same direction - no problem with them doing that, as it saves $$ - but come on, you're left with about 2" on the passenger side to get the bolts in, as the muffler and shield are big time in the way. And yes, I have the knuckle scrapes to warrant the language that may or may not have been uttered.
 
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