Should I go to U-Haul to install a hitch?

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by dandcp, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. dandcp

    dandcp Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I have heard good and bad about U-haul and their hitches. I went to my local U-haul and they have a Class 3 hitch, round tube for my Town & Country minivan for $150 plus $50 install labor. So $200.

    e-trailer has a nice hitch, Hidden Hitch Class III Trailer Hitch for $160
    Then I would have to install and for the class 3 you need to drill a hole on each side for my TV. Not sure if that is difficult or not.

    The other question is a tranny cooler. I have been told I need a larger one than comes with my tow prep package. Again not sure if I should just save my time and have U-haul do it all. They have tranny cooler for $46 plus $50 labor. I don't know how to tell what size I could fit in there if I buy one from e-trailer.

    I do like their lifetime warranty tho.

    Any thoughts?

    Dad <img src=../Images/flags/ca.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Canada"> Mom <img src=../Images/flags/us.gif border=0 align=middle alt="United States">
    2 little DDs <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_camping.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Camping">1 baby DS
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 1984 Starcraft 21' Starmaster
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 1995 Ford Explorer
  2. mostlyok

    mostlyok We're Mostly OK!

    Jun 5, 2005
    Sarasota, Florida
    My own experiences with U-haul keeps me far away from them. The quality of the materials and the poor installations all keep me going to the Hitch House for hitches, etc. As for the tranny cooler, I can't help.

    Heidi & Paul '04 Fleetwood Niagara (The Cottage)
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_jeep.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Jeep"> '05 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
    If its got zippers and Velcro it's got to be fun!
  3. Twisty

    Twisty New Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    I bought a class III hitch from the Ford dealer OTC. It was $179, the same as online and I saved shipping. The dealer wanted over $100 to install so I took it to U-Haul and they bolted it up with a warranty on their work for $75.
    IMO, your tranny cooler is OK. After all it is part of the tow package.

    2004 Fleetwood Utah
    2006 Ford Ranger 4x4 Ext. Cab
  4. dirtyboy

    dirtyboy New Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    You could also try some local off road shops.....many are hurting for business right now and would be happy to order and install a hitch for ya!

    Try it in a Toyota!
    '74 Coleman Yorktown under construction......
    Tow Rigs =99 Toyota 4runner and 93 Pickup (Rockcrawler)
  5. MovingRightAlong

    MovingRightAlong New Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Salem, NH
    I went to U-Haul and have had no issues, lifetime guarantee on both the hitch and the electrical. One thing about U-Haul, make sure you get the price for everything installed because I called around to different U-Haul stores and they each gave me a different price.

    When I asked why, they don't always add it all together, so they may not have added in electrical when they should have.

    From my understanding all U-Haul pricing is standard.

    Dave('74) Stacey('74)2 Boys '04 & '07
    Duke 1999
    96 Coleman Cheyenne and 05 Sienna.
  6. Twisty

    Twisty New Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    That is a very good idea Dirtyboy - those guys are boltin'-weldin' Madmen!

    2004 Fleetwood Utah
    2006 Ford Ranger 4x4 Ext. Cab
  7. 5Star

    5Star New Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    Red Oak, Tx
    I bought a receiver hitch and had it installed by PEPBOYS. around 125 bucks if I remember correctly.

    06 Fleetwood Niagara <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
    07 Ram 1500 Hemi Lonestar edition <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">
    08 Dodge Avenger
    08 Glastron DS-215 5.0 GL Vovlo Penta

    Bill & Renee, 3 Girls,
    And 2 Silly Dogs.
  8. nuthouseinva

    nuthouseinva Portsmouth, Virginia

    May 7, 2008
    Portsmouth, VA
    I wouldn't use u-haul. Check your area for trailer repair or sales shop. A lot of popup dealers sell and install them as well.
    I installed the class III hitch on my wife's jeep grand cherokee. It was pretty easy. 4 bolts.
    Think I paid $150 from
    I did have to buy two deep well sockets to fit the bolts. other than that, no problem.
    The wiring kit was a little harder to install but doable.

    Brian and Casey : Portsmouth, Virginia
    '75 Apache Royal Solid-state Pop-up
    2009: 7 nights booked so far. Shooting for 14. 2008: 9 nights (not enough)
  9. dirtyboy

    dirtyboy New Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Yea I would avoid Uhaul like the plague

    Try it in a Toyota!
    '74 Coleman Yorktown under construction......
    Tow Rigs =99 Toyota 4runner and 93 Pickup (Rockcrawler)
  10. bud121156

    bud121156 Western North Carolina

    Apr 15, 2007
    North Carolina
    I had a local tire shop install my class3 and the 4 prong wire just to pull a utility trailer. At the time I was still a year away from buying a camper and didn't figure I needed the 7 way plug.

    Donnie & Cheryl
    North Carolina
    07 Fleetwood Westlake
  11. Bummer72

    Bummer72 Lancaster, PA

    Nov 1, 2006
    Lancaster, PA
    My FIL works for Uhaul in their reservations center. He's seen both good and bad.

    The service center he worked at before he went to reservations had a good installer who did good work. He was an older fellow who took the time to do it right the first time. You can't guarantee that's who'll be working on your car each and every place, though, and everybody knows that Uhaul only gets the quality workers that they pay for, and the pay ain't that great.

    I called my FIL, and he said that the Uhaul hitch install shops have all the equipment (like a drill mounted to a jack like press, which makes clean holes from underneath) to do it correctly, including the drills and templates, to make it a one stop visit. He also said that, in the event that a mistake is made, Uhaul will pay to fix whatever they screw up. I'm not sure what their warranty covers, but I'll bet that it is ONLY the hitch, and not the installation...what could go wrong with a hitch, other than it gets rusty, perhaps.

    So, the choice is yours. Personally, I like to stay away from "chain" stores, and I would look for the independent shop. The risk there, though, may be that they've never installed a hitch on a Town & Country van.

    Let us all know how it works out!!!!

    Doug Rice, Lancaster PA <img src=../Images/flags/us.gif border=0 align=middle alt="United States"><img src=../Images/flags/us-coastguard.jpg border=0 align=middle alt="US Coast Guard"> <> DW Heather, M.Div. <> DS Andrew <> DS Benjamin
    Nights Camped in 2008: 29

    Edited by - Bummer72 on March 01 2009 18:40:00
  12. Luv2ridebikes

    Luv2ridebikes New Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Granger, IN
    We have used a local hitch service for all of our vehicles, including installing the trailer brake wiring. I wouldn't use the local U Haul, not because they are bad. Frankly I haven't heard anything good or bad. But ask anybody with a hitch in about a 4 county area around here they all say go to Dan's. I have and I will.

    As to your tranny - If your van has the trailer prep package including the tranny cooler - I have never seen a recommendation to replace it with a bigger one. That's a new one on me.

    Steve & Deb (boys are grown & gone)
    Aspen & Riley (the 4 legged children)
    05 Fleetwood Sequoia & lot's of bikes! <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle"><img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle">
  13. rdsmith

    rdsmith New Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    I bought my hitch from an auto salvage yard for $75 used. It had four bolts and used holes that were already in the frame. The installation only took me about 15 minutes, time and money well spent.

    Me my wife and two kids (9yo & 7yo)
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 2008 Jayco 1207
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 2002 Ford Expedition
  14. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

    Aug 20, 2007
    Western MA
    My brother is a local Uhaul dealer, and sells, installs hitches etc.. My dad started the business almost 30 years ago, and my brother now runs it, with zero issues with installations/wiring. So not ALL Uhaul stores are bad, but as with ANY other industry, there are good and there are bad.

    I'm sending you a PM on this as well, ~$30 cheaper on a hitch, shipped to your door. That is, IF you decide to install yourself.

    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 2001 Starcraft Constellation Gemini <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 96 Cherokee 2dr 5spd,
    Booked '09: 49 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_tongue.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tongue">
  15. jneely77

    jneely77 New Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    Cary, IL
    I'm not sure about Uhaul installing hitches, but I went there the other day to buy the wiring for the brake lights for my new-to-me Durango. They wanted $75 to install the wiring. All they had to do was pop out the brake lights on the TV and plug in the wires. I did it myself at home in under 5 minutes.

    I was able to install a hitch on my wife's Caravan in about an hour. The hardest part of that was heating up the frame with a blowtorch to loosen the factory installed hitch bolts that hadn't been moved since the van was built in 2005. If you're handy in the least, then doing it yourself is really no poprblem at all.

    Joel ('77) & Candice ('85)

    1990 Rockwood 1260
    2000 Dodge Durango
  16. craigtheretired

    craigtheretired New Member

    Jun 1, 2007
    Newburgh, New York
    My dealer in Tucson does not install hitches, but he does recommend U-Haul and sends all his work to one particular U-Haul shop, and advises us to: "Ask for Fred". We have had no problem whatsoever with our U-Haul hitch/electrical brake controller. We borrowed our son's big Hemi-Dodge last summer to take his daughter with us to Yellowstone. I told him to take his truck to U-Haul for the hitch but he took it to the place in Fort Wayne where "all the truck dealers" send their hitch work. They hooked everything wrong, but we did have trailer lights, but no brakes. We stopped in Sioux Falls to a RV dealer who reworked the wiring so we had brakes, but no lights. Over $500 and it still was not right. $40.00 at the U-Haul in Tucson corrected everything. Can't speak for all U-Hauls, but "Fred" knows his business.

    Me: Older than Dirt
    First wife: Younger than Dirt
    Beenjeemeen: Camping wonder dog
    2007 Fleetwood Santa Fe Cp
    2003 Nissan Frontier
    To Date Nights = 210
    2009 Nights = 4
  17. dirtyboy

    dirtyboy New Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Sorry, my statement was a little stereotypical......

    Just avoid SOME u-haul dealers like the plague....

    they aint ALL bad...... you are likely to have the same problems (installation errors, etc) at any rv or auto dealership, pepboys, whereever....

    Try it in a Toyota!
    '74 Coleman Yorktown under construction......
    Tow Rigs =99 Toyota 4runner and 93 Pickup (Rockcrawler)
  18. awsandlin

    awsandlin Active Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    When I have checked on prices, UHaul always seemed to be on the high side for hitch work. Also, the UHaul store I visited seemed interested in getting my business, but not very interested in customer service. I admit, that is only one UHaul out of who knows how many, but I think there are some independent guys out there that are less expensive and would give better customer service. That is just my own thinking and UHaul may be fine. I would talk with them and also shop around.

    2004 Fleetwood Utah
  19. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    My hitch was installed at the local uhual place, it was installed years ago when their hitch installer also moonlighted at a local rv dealer doing instals. So not only is it installed properly the correct hitch was installed.

    I have heard stories of uhaul installing hitchs that "will work" and "will fit" with a little extra fabrication. Since these mass produced direct fit hitches came popular there should be no "extra fabrication" needed. Not like once aupon a time when all a hitch was (when you bought it) a square pipe 2.5x2.5 and the rest of the frame work was welded up and custom fit to the vehicle.


    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 2004 Palomino Mustang
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 1992 GMC Ext. Cab
  20. Rustyk

    Rustyk New Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Hitches are quite easy to install yourself. Most cars even have a plug to put plug a factory wire harness. No muss no fuss. I say buy it and if you don't think you can do it yourself then worry about paying someone else to install it. As for the cooler pay someone that works on you car to install it. That job could be a little more difficult to do.

    Rusty, Paula & Nuts aka Zak
    01 Exploder
    94 Starcraft

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