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Discussion Starter #1
Can't believe I just pulled the trigger on a Toyota OEM hitch for the RAV. Damn it was pricey $448! Oh well, guess it's Ramen Noodles for lunch next week. I didn't want to spend that much but plan on towing at high speeds for many miles and years. My RAV is completely free of squeaks, rattle, flex and chatter and I'd like to keep it that way. Its So much nicer compared to my last ride the HHR. That thing was nothing but flex and rattles and plastic squeaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why OEM not aftermarket?


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I spent too much time reading this forum ;) . I'm a stickler for Toyota OEM parts on my vehicles, as much as I paid for the RAV I didnt my want to cheap out on the hitch. OEM looks better and tucks up much tighter under the vehicle too...and I may end up towing close to MAX weight on occasion...so mostly for my peace of mind.
 

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i looked at the stock toyota hitch myself and found it to be a total waste of money...my aftermarket hitch is rated to tow over a 1000lbs more than the rav is supposed to tow...the stock hitch does not tuck or hide any more than my aftermarket hitch or look any different...i put that extra money towards better use
 

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i looked at the stock toyota hitch myself and found it to be a total waste of money...my aftermarket hitch is rated to tow over a 1000lbs more than the rav is supposed to tow...the stock hitch does not tuck or hide any more than my aftermarket hitch or look any different...i put that extra money towards better use

+1. My experiences as well.
 

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To each his own! I'm just glad there are several choices from multiple vendors. Did you buy the OEM wiring kit or aftermarket?

Please post some photos of your OEM hitch and also if you could measure the height it sits below the bumper in relation to the receiver opening. THANKS!

I went with a Draw-Tite from etrailer and installed the 5 huge bolts in about 30 minutes. I'm convinced that unless you have major corrosion or grossly overload any of the available hitches you won't have any issues with failure.
 

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Please post some photos of your OEM hitch and also if you could measure the height it sits below the bumper in relation to the receiver opening. THANKS!
Here's a picture of my OEM hitch (ignore the red circles). It's up there pretty tight, goes right up against the lift point(?) in the middle, I think --




.
 

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on my curt hitch, I have a 1/4 inch between the square receiver and the bottom of the plastic bumper, so both are pretty close IMO.
 

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From what I've seen the Toyota hitch has additional mounting points to the sheet metal which makes up the RAV's floor. On the 4.3 RAVs Toyota has four pre-threaded hitch mounting points on the reinforced part of the vehicle which is designed to take the total rated weight of the hitch and what is being towed, and aftermarket hitches bolt to those points.
 

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Doesn't the OEM hitch attach to more points on the vehicles "frame".
Yes it does. I think it has something like 22 attachment points (bolts), whereas the typical aftermarket hitch has 4 to 5.

Here's a typical aftermarket hitch (from Curt):



And here's the OEM hitch (just a few of the many photos from R4W member John Davies' famous RAV4 OEM hitch page):







.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
To each his own, I read alot in here in the OEM hitch. I had a curt hitch on my HHR, it was very well made and heavy duty. It used 4 bolts to the subframe. That vehicle had flex and rattles before I towed withbit and it got worst after I towed with it (good oldChevy quality). The cheaper hitches probably work just fine with 4 bolts on the RAV. My 2010 has 36000 miles, drives, smells, and looks brand new. No squeaks, rattles or flex, I want to keep it that way. I think OEM looks better and the receiver square doesn't poke out the back as far. Heck even my tow hitch on the Tacoma has 6 bolts directly to the SOLID frame (not subframe as on a RAV). Pulling a 4 wheeler or lawn mower id have gone with aftermarket. Pulling a SXS, 2 jetskis, or a bass boat down the road at 70mph, or getting pulled out of a mudhole... I'd just rather have the additional load speed across the additional mounting points. Cheapest I could find it was $448 from DiscountToyotaparts.com. Local dealer quoted $589 plus tax. It was at my house in 3 days. I will be ordering most of my parts from them again.
 

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One advantage of the Curt and other aftermarket hitches is that since they have four easily accessible mounting points they are easily removed when not needed. Saves about 40 pounds of unnecessary weight in the rear of the vehicle, helpful in handling on our twisty mountain roads and saves some gas in the process.
 

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One advantage of the Curt and other aftermarket hitches is that since they have four easily accessible mounting points they are easily removed when not needed. Saves about 40 pounds of unnecessary weight in the rear of the vehicle, helpful in handling on our twisty mountain roads and saves some gas in the process.
Do you actually do this? I have never removed a hitch after it has been installed. And I am the type that removes or swaps out every thing. Ski/bike racks, roof boxes. Heck I even swap out bumpers before a a 4 wheeling trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Not gonna lie, I really wanted to take it to Test and Tune and get a base quarter mile time before I installed the hitch and add 60lbs of subwoofers and amps, but it has rained for the last 3 thursdays :( I'm already planning on airbag helpers for the rear anyway. Now I just need some time off to install everything.
 

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Not gonna lie, I really wanted to take it to Test and Tune and get a base quarter mile time before I installed the hitch and add 60lbs of subwoofers and amps, but it has rained for the last 3 thursdays :( I'm already planning on airbag helpers for the rear anyway. Now I just need some time off to install everything.
Curious if you installed your hitch yet? Any pictures?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well I never got to the track. Here are some photos of the Weathertech mats, sunroof and window visors, tint, and OEM Tow Hitch. Please forgive the dirty interior, been busy. Haven't had a chance to get the rear leds installed yet...
 

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Well I never got to the track. Here are some photos of the Weathertech mats, sunroof and window visors, tint, and OEM Tow Hitch. Please forgive the dirty interior, been busy. Haven't had a chance to get the rear leds installed yet...
Looks good. My "OEM" hitch looked like this. I didn't know that I should've asked my Toyota dealer for the "official" Toyota OEM hitch and not just a "Toyota OEM" hitch. Live and learn. I thought OEM was OEM.
 

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