How Much Does It Cost To Install A Trailer Hitch On A Toyota RAV4?
Toyota RAV4s are some of the best compact SUVs on the market today. They have options with both front-wheel and all-wheel drive, so they are famous for those living in areas with lots of snow and inclement weather.
RAV4s have space for family, friends, and pets, so they are great to take on all of your adventures. They are also easy to drive, and they have plenty of safety features.
One downside is that while they are great for experiences, not every RAV4 comes with a trailer hitch. Fortunately, they are easy to install so that you can get maximum efficiency out of your RAV4.
So, what’s the cost to install trailer hitch on a Toyota RAV4? To have a trailer hitch installed on a Toyota RAV4, you can expect to pay between $500 and up to $1,700. If you do the installation yourself, you can pay only for the parts and components, If you go to a dealer the labor cost will be around $600.
This wide range comes from the fact that there are different installation options. The installation option you select will determine how much your hitch installation costs.
RAV4 Trailer Hitch Installation Cost
The parts needed to install a trailer hitch will cost around 250 to 500 dollars. Some will cost up to 500 dollars.
The labor associated with it can cost between 100 to 150 dollars per hour if you pay someone else to install the trailer hitch on your RAV4. Some hitches will cost more if they have higher towing capacities.
If you are looking to save money and you are handy with tools, you can probably do the installation yourself, but it may take a little more time, as you will be learning while you go.
Read also: How Much Does It Cost to Install a Trailer Hitch? (with 9 examples)
The table below shows cost estimation for trailer hitch installation on a Toyota RAV4:
|Install By Dealer or Mechanic||Cost ($)|
|Factory Trailer Hitches||$250-$500|
|Labor cost||around $600 – $1,200|
|Total Cost for Installation||up to $1,700|
Toyota RAV4 Hitch Installation
To install a hitch on Toyota RAV4 following steps are required:
- Step 1. Remove the paneling
- Step 2. Remove the tie down bracket
- Step 3. Position the hitch
- Step 4. Lower the exhaust
- Step 5. Torque the hitch
- Step 6. Raise the exhaust (if necessary)
Time for Installation
If you are experienced, or the person doing your trailer hitch is experienced, it will take around 2 to 3 hours to complete your trailer hitch installation.
If you are being billed for more labor than that, you may want to look at more of a breakdown of what they plan to do. If the installation involves cutting part of the bumper, it may take up to 8 hours.
If you are doing the installation yourself, block out at least one hour of time. This will give you ample time to confirm your work is correct the first time.
Parts Required for Installation
There are several different parts required for the installation. The hitch itself is only one of the components necessary to have a functioning trailer hitch.
Read also: Types of Trailer Hitches and Hitch Classes // Towing Hitches (Explained)
The receiver is the part of the trailer hitch that attaches to the rear end of your vehicle. This is the most significant piece of the trailer hitch.
The receiver is also the most expensive part of the trailer hitch, as it is the largest and carries the most importance on how much weight the hitch can pull.
The receiver has bolts that connect under the rear of the vehicle. If you are attaching a ball or other hitch attachments, they will adhere to the receiver.
You will want to make sure the receiver you choose is compatible with a RAV4.
This Class II Receiver is available through Toyota and is compatible with the RAV4. It includes a hitch cover and has a 2-inch receiver tube. If you are buying a new RAV4, this option is available with some packages.
This Class II Receiver is also available through Toyota. It has a load rating of 3500 pounds so that you can tow a wide variety of trailers safely behind your RAV4.
This receiver is also designed to give you maximum ground clearance, which is essential for those of you looking to do off-roading in your RAV4.
For a less expensive option, look at this receiver from etrailer. On the website, you have the opportunity to select which year of RAV4 you have, and they will help match you to the receiver that will best fit your vehicle.
Trailer Hitch Types and Ratings
The table below shows the trailer hitch types and ratings:
|Hitch Class||Applications||TW Capacity (lbs.)|
|Class 1||Cras, crossovers||Up to 200|
|Class 2||Cras, crossovers, minivans||Up to 350|
|Class 3||Crossovers, vans, SUVs and trucks||Up to 800|
|Class 4||Trucks and SUVs||1,000|
|Class 5 – XD||Trucks and SUVs||2,400 to 2,550|
A Ball Mount
A ball mount attaches to the receiver and includes a shank and a platform for the ball. This is crucial if you plan on towing most standard trailers.
The ball mount does not include the ball itself, though some are sold as packages. Be sure to buy a ball mount that is compatible with the receiver you have.
This is one of the most popular options to buy directly from Toyota. It offers protection against UV rays so that it will last through the test of time.
This ball mount is strong and should be able to support most trailers that can be safely towed behind a Toyota RAV4.
This Curt Ball Mount is compatible with 2-inch hitches. It is corrosion-resistant and 7-5/8 inches long. It is made of steel, so it is sturdy, and it is powder-coated to help it stay durable.
This Ball Mount has everything you need to get started. It includes two balls, so you do not need to make that additional purchase.
One of the balls is a 2-inch ball, and the other is a 1-7/8-inch ball. It has a 7500-pound capacity, which should be compatible with most trailers you want to tow with a RAV4.
A Trailer Ball
You will need a trailer ball to actually connect a trailer to your trailer hitch. The trailer ball usually screws into the ball mount.
The ball design makes it safe to drive around corners with both flexibility and stability.
If you plan on towing different trailers, you may need other trailer balls. Trailer balls are classified primarily by their diameters.
Most are around 2 inches in diameter, with popular sizes including two inches, 1-7/8 inches, and 2-5/16 inches.
Ensuring you have the proper ball size for your trailer is the most essential thing that you can do when selecting a trailer ball.
This trailer ball should be compatible with Toyota should work with most of the trailer hitches designed for RAV4s.
It is available in a 2″ diameter design or a 1-7/8″ diameter design. It is designed for RAV4s made between 2006 and 2012.
This trailer ball is also designed for RAV4s manufactured between 2006 and 2012. It has a ball diameter of 2-5/16”.
A Hitch Pin
A hitch pin keeps the ball mount from sliding out of the hitch receiver. It is a small piece that is generally shaped like an L.
You insert the hitch pin into the receiver and through a hole in the shaft of the ball mount. The other side of the hitch pin has a space for a clip that secures it in place.
Many hitch pins come included with the ball mount, but you will make sure and confirm if your ball mount has one or not.
Hitch pins also can come in different diameters, so you need to be careful to ensure that your hitch pin will fit in your ball mount and receiver before purchasing.
This Curt hitch pin is ½” in diameter. Curt has designed it with different finishes if you want to match it to your vehicle and/or trailer hitch.
This Curt hitch pin is 5/8” in diameter. It is also available in different finishes.
This hitch pin includes a lock so that you can lock it into place. With keys, you can ensure no one can unhook your trailer and take your goods.
It is designed for 2″ hitches, and it is 5/8″ in diameter. It is straightforward to use, and it has an anti-corrosion design to help it last.
A Trailer Coupler
Trailer couplers are the frontmost portion of a trailer. They have a round piece at the end that connects to the ball.
This is usually part of the trailer, but some campers do not have them included. Be sure that your trailer coupler will match the size of the ball you plan to use.
It is likely easier to change ball size than to change the trailer coupler, though.
Safety chains are a crucial line of defense in case anything goes wrong with your towing system.
They need to be strong enough to keep the trailer from coming entirely detached in case the trailer separates from the vehicle.
You will hook the safety chains to your trailer hitch.
These safety chains are rated for 5,000 pounds, so if your trailer and gear add to 5000 pounds or less, these are the suitable chains for you.
They have. A 7/16″ hook, if you need to be concerned about hook diameter when deciding where to attach your chains.
These safety chains are long if you want to wrap them. They also have a break strength of 5000 pounds. They have ends that can be closed, so if you are concerned about hooks detaching, these safety chains can give you extra security and peace of mind.
A Trailer Wiring Harness
A trailer wiring harness is crucial for making sure you can legally tow your trailer. Trailers need to have active brake lights and a light that can illuminate the license plate in order to be legal in most places.
Trailer wiring harnesses connect the electronics at the back of the vehicle to the trailer. This means when you tap your brakes while driving your car, the brake lights of the trailer will also light up.
When selecting a wiring harness, look at the kind of connection your vehicle already has, as there are a wide variety of options available.
You always want to use what is easily compatible with your vehicle.
Once you have all of the supplies necessary for your trailer hitch, you can begin the installation process and hit the road with all of your gear.
Some of the supplies included in this list may be included as accessories with your trailer, but you will need information about them in order to make sure your hitch is compatible with both your trailer(s) and your vehicle, so be sure to check the specifications before installing a trailer hitch on your RAV4.
What are Brands of Hitch Available?
Toyota offers hitches as options for some of their RAV4s. You can see these on the Toyota website. There are other options that are compatible with RAV4s available if you are looking for alternatives.
Some of these options will be less expensive, as they are not sold through the Toyota-exclusive dealerships.
Etrailer can help you find trailer hitches that are compatible with the specific year of RAV4 that you have.
Other brands that carry RAV4-compatible trailer hitches include Curt, Draw-Tite, Tork-Lift, and Eco-Hitch.
Curt RAV4 Trailer Hitch Receiver
Curt makes a class III trailer hitch receiver that is compatible with Toyota RAV4s. It is a 2” receiver. It has a 3500-pound gross trailer weight rating.
It is also compatible with a weight-distribution hitch, which can make towing higher weights easier on your vehicle. It is powder-coated to increase its longevity.
This trailer hitch was designed with a RAV4 in mind, so it is compatible with the towing capacity offered by RAV4s.
It also has a lifetime warranty. It was manufactured with precision welding, and reviewers love that it is incredibly durable. It costs just over 215 dollars.
Draw-Tite RAV4 Trailer Hitch Receiver
This Draw-Tite RAV4 trailer hitch receiver is a popular choice for those looking to add a trailer hitch to their RAV4s. It is also a class III, 2” receiver.
Etrailer sells it and includes a video on the installation, so if you want to do the installation yourself, this may be the best place to start.
It is durable and exceeds industry standards. The installation requires no welding, so that is an excellent option if you want to do the installation but do not want to pull out heavy equipment to do it.
It is rated for a maximum gross trailer weight of 4500 pounds. It also offers a limited lifetime warranty. This trailer hitch receiver is slightly less expensive than the Curt option, coming in at just over 200 dollars.
Tork-Lift Eco-Hitch RAV4 Trailer Hitch Receiver
There are also installation videos available for this Tork-Lift trailer hitch receiver. This trailer hitch receiver is unique because it is hidden under the vehicle.
It is excellent for those looking for a subtler look in their trailer hitch.
This trailer hitch receiver is rated for 5000 pounds of maximum gross trailer weight. Do not forget that that number includes the weight of your gear, not just your trailer.
So, if you are looking to tow a heavy camper, you may need to be careful with what equipment you bring when towing behind a RAV4.
This trailer is also compatible with the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. You can include ball mounts, wiring harnesses, cargo trays, and bike racks to your purchase.
The Tork-lift Eco-Hitch RAV4 trailer also includes a lifetime warranty. It is one of the more expensive options, coming in around 280 dollars.
Is Wiring Needed for a Trailer Hitch?
Wiring is needed to tow a trailer, but this is not usually necessary with a trailer hitch. Wiring is generally included through a separate wiring harness.
Wiring is necessary for towing trailers because there are lights required on trailers for them to be legal.
Read also: Trailer Wiring Diagrams:19 Tips Towing Electrical Wiring Installation
Every trailer that will be driven on the road needs to have brake lights, turn signals, and a light to illuminate the license plate.
Trailers under certain weights in some states do not require license plates, so in those cases, the light for the license plate is understandably unnecessary.
Wiring harnesses will connect the brake lights of your vehicle to the trailer. Wiring harnesses change based on which vehicle and which trailer you have.
Consult with your Toyota dealer if you are not sure which wiring harness will be best for your RAV4.
RAV4 Trailer Hitch Installation Near Me
If you are not keen on doing the installation yourself, there are plenty of places that will do the installation for you.
The installation is usually quick and easy, and you can expect between 100 and 200 dollars worth of labor costs.
This number can, of course, vary based on the installation crew and the trailer hitch you have them install.
Your local Toyota dealership is likely outfitted to install a trailer hitch on your RAV4. They will probably use Toyota-approved parts.
They generally also offer a lifetime warranty on the installation, so if there is any problem with your trailer installation, they can take care of it for you.
Using your local Toyota dealership is the easiest way to make sure that your trailer is compatible with your RAV4 and that it will have the longest warranty.
It is likely not the cheapest option, though, so if you are looking for a budget-friendly option, there are other options available.
U-Haul will also install trailer hitches on your RAV4. If you go to the U-Haul website, you can add the make, model, and year of your vehicle, and they will help you find the right trailer hitch and a location where you can have it installed.
U-Haul works with Draw-Tite and Curt, so if you want one of those trailer hitches installed for you, U-Haul is probably the right place for you.
U-Haul offers lifetime warranties on their trailer installations. U-Haul will also work on the wiring harness and provides a two-year warranty on those installations.
Most Pep Boys locations will also offer trailer hitch installation. They may require that you purchase the trailer hitch from them.
Pep Boys is an excellent option because they are less expensive than the Toyota options, and they are available nationwide.
There is less information on the Pep Boys website about trailer hitch installation and warranties. This is likely because offerings change based on location.
You can call to get a quote for your trailer hitch installation.
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Installing a trailer hitch can increase the accessibility of your vehicle. It means you can bring extra gear on your adventures, and you can enjoy activities like boating while using your own car.
Be sure to budget at least 1000 dollars for installation fees and the cost of the hitch.
You will likely be able to stay close to 750 dollars, but depending on who does the installation and how difficult it is, you will want to have extra money saved in case.
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