Welding on the trailer hitch & towing safety - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 12:06 PM
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Question Welding on the trailer hitch & towing safety

Just took my 2007 RAV4 to a 3rd party to have a trailer hitch installed. They were able to connect the 2 bolts closest to the bumper. But, they couldn't connect the other 2 bolts closer to the front because the place-holder bolts were missing and the holes and threading were completely rusted. They recommended having the hitch welded to the frame.

My biggest concerns about this are towing safety and possibly having to remove/replace the hitch someday.

Would having only 2 bolts + welding be secure enough to tow the max 3,500 lbs? And would it be possible to remove a welded hitch well enough to install a new one if needed?

Thanks!

2007 RAV4
6 cyl 4WD w/tow pkg
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 12:52 PM
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I am not sure I understand "2 bolts closer to the front because the place-holder bolts were missing and the holes and threading were completely rusted.". Is there rust on your underbody?

However, my opinion would be NO, don't let them weld it to your car. There is no "frame" to weld to on a unibody vehicle, but rather sheet metal. The strength comes from the whole "unit" making a solid truss-frame-like unit. There is not much "point" strength, that a weld depends on.

Honestly, if someone suggested this to me I would be looking for a different installer.

JMO,
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by M1Tommy View Post
However, my opinion would be NO, don't let them weld it to your car. There is no "frame" to weld to on a unibody vehicle, but rather sheet metal. The strength comes from the whole "unit" making a solid truss-frame-like unit. There is not much "point" strength, that a weld depends on.

Honestly, if someone suggested this to me I would be looking for a different installer.
Those would have been pretty much my exact words if I had answered first.

Rick

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#4 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 02:45 PM
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Welding is fine and even stronger than the bolts. If they do a good job at it, and you don't plan on ever removing it, I'd say to go for it. I know the bolts you are talking about and I was lucky enough that the bolts that go in them were already there and not too rusty.
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 08:38 PM
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Same thing was wrong with my 2008, I drilled and tapped the holes to the next larger std american thread size, worked fine. no welding.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-07-2011, 12:06 AM
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They couldn't just run a tap through the holes?

Flint Mica 2007 Sport V6 4WD
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 09:27 AM
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Thanks for all of the feedback! Taking it to the dealer to see if they can drill and tap the holes a size up... and to get a second opinion. I got it used 12 mo ago and it was Toyota Certified, so hoping it's all under warranty, since its their fault that the bolts were missing.
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by finalfrontier38 View Post
Thanks for all of the feedback! Taking it to the dealer to see if they can drill and tap the holes a size up... and to get a second opinion. I got it used 12 mo ago and it was Toyota Certified, so hoping it's all under warranty, since its their fault that the bolts were missing.
I think you are making the correct decision, and it should be relatively simple and inexpensive thing to do. I surprised the hitch installer just didn't do that automatically. As M1Tommy suggested, I would be looking for someone other than that guy to do the work.

As far as I know Toyota does not put any bolts in the empty holes. They just pre-tap the hole and leave it like that.

Rick

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#9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickl View Post
As far as I know Toyota does not put any bolts in the empty holes. They just pre-tap the hole and leave it like that.

Rick

Hmmmm.....for someone like me who may want a hitch in the future maybe I should thread some placeholder bolts into those holes. Does anyone happen to know the thread size?

James
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#10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by junebug1701 View Post
Hmmmm.....for someone like me who may want a hitch in the future maybe I should thread some placeholder bolts into those holes. Does anyone happen to know the thread size?
I was looking at the Curt installation instructions here. It says the bolts are M12-1.25.

One of the holes on the drivers side is being used to hold on the "tie down bracket". The second hole on the drivers side, and both holes on the passenger side are empty.

Rick

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