How much does it cost for trailer hitch installation? 5 ways to find best price.

Most hitches are more expensive than others, but the installation cost is usually around the same. How much does it cost for trailer hitch installation? The cost of installing a trailer hitch varies relying on both the type of vehicle as well as the type of hitch. In this article, you will have more information on how much it costs to install a trailer hitch on your vehicle.

A trailer hitch offers a vehicle the capability to carry or tow anything from a small trailer to something as large as a fifth-wheel RV depending upon the model and towing capacity. If your current vehicle does not have a hitch, many cars can usually have one installed as an aftermarket part. Towing a trailer with your personal vehicle by installing a trailer hitch is a convenient and much easier way to pull a trailer. If you’re holidaying every weekend during the summer, camping with friends and family, or hauling materials all are possible when your vehicle is better installed with the right trailer hitch.

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How much does it cost for trailer hitch installation?

How much do parts cost for trailer hitch installation?

As most parts like ball mount, hitch pin, trailer ball, safety chains, and wiring harness are relatively affordable, the only major component that cost more than $100 is the trailer receiver. The below-listed parts are all that will be needed to fully install a rear-mounted ball-style trailer hitch with trailer receivers in most vehicles.

Ball Mount: The ball mount is the important piece of a trailer hitch that slides into the receiver which connects the ball to the vehicle. There are many additional styles of ball mounts for diverse applications, though most ball mounts simply consist of a piece that will slide into the receiver, as well as a small platform upon which the ball itself will be mounted. The price depends on the brand and quality of the mount generally costs between $10 and $50. Also, almost all ball mounts will have a hole in the part that slides into the receiver to adjust a hitch pin, and some may even be adaptable, which can help keep your trailer level.

Hitch Pin: The hitch pin is quite simple but remarkably effective and locks the ball mount in place. It’s an L-shaped piece of metal that slides through holes in both the receiver and ball mount, it secures the ball mount so it won’t move. You can get these fairly cheap prices and usually cost below $20.

Trailer Ball: The next piece of the trailer hitch is known as a trailer ball. It serves as the sole point of physical connection between your vehicle and what you are towing. It’s made of metal with a threaded post that attaches to the ball mount. They come in various sizes including 1 7/8 inches, 2 inches, 2 5/16 inches, and 3 inches. Larger balls tow more weight and are therefore more expensive. The most common ball sizes are 1-7/8”, 2”, 2-5/16”, and 3”, trailer balls cost between $5 and $40, depending on the size.

Safety Chains: These metal chains are an essential part of a safe towing setup make sure everything is safe and cover you, your vehicle, and your trailer in the circumstance that the ball connection fails. All hitch configurations use two chains hooked up in an X shape below the ball where the tongue of your trailer is to the receiver. If your trailer ever falls off of the ball, these chains will secure your trailer and stays attached to your vehicle until you can pull off to safety. Safety chains are also not that expensive and cost less than $20.

Wiring Harness: The final piece is the trailer wiring harness is a collection of wires that connects to both the vehicle as well as the trailer. A trailer wiring harness is used to connect the brake lights and turn signals of the tow vehicle to the brake lights and turn signals of the trailer ensuring that people traveling behind you can see your brake lights and turn signals. A wiring harness costs $10-50 and is necessary to stay legal while towing your camper.

How much does it cost for trailer hitch installation?

How much does the receivers cost for trailer hitch installation?

The part of the trailer hitch that bolts to the frame is called the receiver, and it’s one of the most important parts of your hitch. Trailer hitches affixed to non-commercial vehicles are sedans, vans, wagons, SUVs, and pickups that fit into one of six trailer hitch classes, ranging from light to super-heavy duty. Trailer hitch usually cost anywhere between $120 to $350, depending on the manufacturer and the classification you choose. Heavy-duty classifications cost more. An additional trailer hitch class, a fifth wheel hitch, is limited to pickups and only for a certain type of trailer called a fifth wheel.

Class 1: Most cars and trucks can accommodate this size receiver hitch which is best for compact and midsize sedans and light-duty SUVs. These kinds of hitches are the least rugged of all types and are only designed for cars and crossovers, with a gross trailer weight capacity of 2,000 lbs. Light-duty trailer hitches have a tongue weight capacity of 200 pounds and a 1-1/4 inch receiver tube that carry light cargo trailers, utility trailers, sports trailers, or even micro camping trailers.

Class 2: Most cars and trucks can also accommodate class 2 regular-duty trailer hitches are a bit bigger and heavier as compared to class 1 hitches. The trailer hitch frame is usually bolted to the bottom of the vehicle’s frame. It has a 2-inch receiver tube and tongue weight is limited to a maximum of 350 pounds. It has a gross trailer weight capacity of 3,500 pounds that can tow most light camping trailers, utility or cargo trailers up to 12 feet, or boat trailers up to 20 feet.

Class 3: The class 3 hitch is even more capable. It has a 2-inch receiver tube The removable drawbar heavy-duty trailer hitches are affixed to the bottom of the vehicle’s frame. Class 3 hitches are designed for vehicles like an SUV, pickups, or vans they can tow a maximum of 7,500 pounds of gross trailer weight, with a tongue weight capacity of 750 pounds.

Class 4: The class 4 hitch is one of the most capable receiver’s hitches also called super or extra-heavy-duty hitches. You’ll need a heavy-duty truck or SUV for this size hitch that can handle it but need to check the towing specifications of the particular model to find out. These undercarriage hitches have a maximum capacity for a gross trailer weight: of 12,000 pounds. It has a 2-1/2 inch receiver tube and can tow full-size camping trailers, large boats, and large utility trailers with a class 4 hitch.

Class 5: The class 5 hitch is considered to be a heavy-duty hitch that is only suitable for trucks and SUVs and is the most capable receiver hitch. It has a 2-1/2 inch receiver tube and can tow up to 17,000 pounds.

Class 6: The class 6 hitch is the same size as the class 5, but it can tow up to a gross towing capacity of 22,000 pounds and can only be installed on dually trucks, or trucks with a chassis cab. Class 6 hitches are reserved mostly for commercial use more towing capacity than Class 5 hitches.

Fifth-Wheel Trailer Hitch: A fifth-wheel trailer has a distinct kind of hitch from the other classes of trailer hitches. On the trailer, it is mounted higher typically, about 45 to 49 inches high when the trailer is level. Fifth-wheel trailers must be towed by a pickup truck or a flatbed truck. The U-shaped hitch is located at the center of the truck bed, similar to the way that commercial transport trailers attach to the back of semi-trucks. The weight capacity for fifth-wheel hitches is 30,000 pounds.

Always know how much your car can tow before towing. If your car is not capable of towing the desired amount of weight, you may find that you can do a lot more damage to your vehicle. You can find the amount of weight, termed as Tongue Weight and Gross Trailer Weight, that it can pull on the car’s official website or inside the car owner's manual.

What is the Labor cost for trailer hitch installation?

Once you’ve found the hitch you need if you’re not installing your trailer hitch by yourself and decide to take it to a professional to do it. You should get your trailer hitch installed by contacting your mechanic or trailer shop. They provide you with a range of prices counting on how challenging it is to install the hitch. The noteworthy thing here is to know how many hours they’re quoting for the job to complete so you can compare this to what they estimate. The price varies with an incredibly wide range as per the report some labor rates are lower end $47 per hour for a simple installation and $215 per hour for a more complicated installation.

What is the average cost for trailer hitch installation?

Many dealerships will charge a lot more than a local place and a local mechanic. The cost of having a hitch installed will depend on the type of hitch, the make and model of the car, and the workshop performing the job. For this reason, it’s essential to assess all your options, as well as get quotes from multiple different installers to make sure that you’re not paying any more than you should be for your trailer hitch installation. The average total cost to install a trailer hitch is about $250 to $850 price range depending on the type of hitch you need and the make and model of your vehicle.

How to save the cost for trailer hitch installation?

You can save some amount while decreasing the cost of trailer hitch installation. This is a relatively easy job that only takes less than an hour to complete. Consider trying to install it yourself before calling a shop.  Many kits will come equipped with detailed instructions that are very easy to understand. Each kit can fit a different make and model, so it is essential you know which kit is going to fit.  If it is not meant for your car, you could encounter problems or cause damage to your car. Also reaching for a local mechanic if you do not know how to install can even save some amount in labor service charged by the mechanic.

Frequently Asked Questions:
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How much does it cost for trailer hitch installation?

Maybe you’ve just purchased a new trailer, or you’re a long-time tower that’s just purchased a new vehicle without a trailer hitch. Either way, you’re probably interested in getting a trailer hitch installed, which is not a costly thing to do, at least as far as car upkeep and transformations. The cost changes, with the type of hitch, the type of vehicle, as well as the labor rate of the shop impact the price of the installation. Regardless, the parts and labor together can add up to be more than expected so you need to be aware of how much the cost for trailer hitch installation is before you have it done to make sure that you’re not overpaying. 

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