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Rooftop basket and trailer hitch

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Combining two questions into one.

I have a 2013 RAV4 XLE AWD. It already has the Toyota roof rails and cross bars on top. I have to move soon so I'm thinking of installing a tow hitch receiver and putting a basket on top.

My Toyota dealer quoted me ~$400 for the trailer hitch (I believe parts and labor included). Does that sound like a good deal?
EDIT: Not sure if that includes the wiring harness, need to call and confirm.

Any recommendations for the basket on top? My brother just got a Yakima.

All comments appreciated.
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There are two styles of hitches. The genuine Toyota one integrates nicely behind the bumper but is more expensive and more complicated to install. The cheaper ones are more exposed below the bumper and are easier. The issue I found was rusty anchor nuts. It was a pain cleaning the threads on my 2017 (should have bought a tap, it would have been so much easier).

Regarding the basket, I bought a Yakima Rocketbox 18 years ago and am still using it today on my RAV4. It swallows up a lot of stuff. Yakima stuff is expensive but I am amazed that it has lasted so long with so much use and abuse.

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I'm under the impression that many aftermarket receivers hang a bit below and reduce ground clearance. If possible I'd prefer to attach something that integrates nicely. I believe there's one on the market but it requires trimming the bumper and some other minor modifications (this one maybe?). Thoughts? Would you still recommend the DIY?

What about the wiring harness? That looks like more work. Any recommendations?

The rooftop basket I'm considering is this (the 64" version, assuming it would fit):
There's a few others on Amazon that look very similar. But I might be willing to spend a bit more for a name brand like Yakima if there's reason to do so.
 

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Use etrailer.com for all your needs. They have a wealth of info and installation video on just about everything they sell including the hitch, harness, racks etc. I bought my hitch and harness from them after watching the installation video and it was simple for a 05 RAV4. $150 for both the harness and hitch shipped. Harness was as simple as removing some panels and plugging wires together.

For the cargo basket, any reason why a basket over a carrier? I had a Yakima basket years ago and hated it because rain/snow. Things get dirty so I have a cargo carrier now. Unless you are putting a gas tank, spare tire or just prefer the look of it, that’s fine. Get the basket net too AND wind deflector. They works great! The one you link on Amazon looks great and should fit as it has a universal clamp. 👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Use etrailer.com for all your needs.
Yeah I saw the video there, looks straightforward, but the hitch I posted to doesn't include a harness. Their video for a recommended harness runs a wire all the way up to the engine bay to hook onto the battery terminal which seems excessive. Is there no hot lead accessible in the cargo area?
Note that the genuine Toyota install also runs a wire up to the battery terminal (again, why?).

For the cargo basket, any reason why a basket over a carrier?
Just because I figured that would easier to throw things into for the move. I'm thinking short term. And the net is a good idea. Hopefully it comes with a wind deflector. Thanks for the pointers.
 

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Yeah I saw the video there, looks straightforward, but the hitch I posted to doesn't include a harness. Their video for a recommended harness runs a wire all the way up to the engine bay to hook onto the battery terminal which seems excessive. Is there no hot lead accessible in the cargo area?
Note that the genuine Toyota install also runs a wire up to the battery terminal (again, why?).
I was told that all newer vehicle needs that additional power wire because of the LED bulbs being used. The electrical system isn’t designed for additional lights from trailers thus needing more to avoid blowing the fuse. Not sure how accurate they info is. My older RAV4 uses regular bulb. I switched out the brake, reverse, license and third brake to LED. Trailer also uses LED. So far so good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I was told that all newer vehicle needs that additional power wire because of the LED bulbs being used. The electrical system isn’t designed for additional lights from trailers thus needing more to avoid blowing the fuse. Not sure how accurate they info is. My older RAV4 uses regular bulb. I switched out the brake, reverse, license and third brake to LED. Trailer also uses LED. So far so good.
Not sure about that. Aren't LED bulbs actually much more power efficient?
If yours is working, maybe the additional power isn't absolutely necessary, but recommended "just in case"... Then again, hate to be on the road and have the fuse blow :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I got ahold of the guy at the Toyota dealer today. Turns out the price he quoted was for an aftermarket hitch and wiring harness. A factory hitch receiver would be a few hundred dollars more to install. Not sure why the Toyota dealer would farm this out, but apparently they do.

He mentioned they would probably install a Curt. I'm not sure I like the Curt options as they appear to hang down lower and reduce ground clearance. Still, $400 for both with a dealer warranty isn't bad, considering the complete towing package from eTrailer come's to $356:
Product Font Sharing Event Parallel


Any suggestions? Are any hitches recommended over others for a 4th gen?

Also how does the wiring connector actually attach to the hitch receiver?
 

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I got ahold of the guy at the Toyota dealer today. Turns out the price he quoted was for an aftermarket hitch and wiring harness. A factory hitch receiver would be a few hundred dollars more to install. Not sure why the Toyota dealer would farm this out, but apparently they do.

He mentioned they would probably install a Curt. I'm not sure I like the Curt options as they appear to hang down lower and reduce ground clearance. Still, $400 for both with a dealer warranty isn't bad, considering the complete towing package from eTrailer come's to $356:
View attachment 166131

Any suggestions? Are any hitches recommended over others for a 4th gen?

Also how does the wiring connector actually attach to the hitch receiver?
My guess is that the dealers can get a higher mark up selling Curt or any after market brand hitches. It’s easier to install and most who buys don’t need the harness. Maybe require hitch just for a bike rack or cargo basket. Yes, you will lose some rear ground clearance but if you are not going off roading, it shouldn’t matter. If dealer price is $50 more, might as well let them install it. Saving $50 is not worth the hassle IMO. The wiring is kept inside the rear trunk until you need it, pull it out and close the trunk door and let it hang. Not sure which is the best but I went with price point, reviews and Class 3 rating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If dealer price is $50 more, might as well let them install it. Saving $50 is not worth the hassle IMO.
That's what I was thinking. I'm a little surprised the eTrailer total was that high TBH.

Not sure what they typically install, but I'm gonna see if I can get them to do one of the top two recommended / best selling ones on eTrailer instead.
 
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