Curt hitch install question... Help please!

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by nola_Prius, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. nola_Prius

    nola_Prius New Member

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    Ok...here ya go, guys.
    Hopefully this will illustrate it well enough for you.

    The rack is really great, and can be simple to install. (if you let it!)

    It's only 4 bolts, and the included instructions are easy to follow... with only 4 or 5 steps.

    In the package was the hitch, 4 bolts and washers, 1.25" to 2" adapter, ball mount with plug and pin, and the instructions.

    You end up taking off the driver's side "tow plate" or whatever it's called.
    On the passenger side, there is a bracket that the muffler hangs from. You end up putting the passenger side of the Curt hitch's mount underneath that exhaust hanger bracket, then just bolting it back into place.

    In the pictures below, you can see how stealthy the Curt hitch is from behind or from the side of the car. You can also see the 4 bolts I mentioned. (2 on driver's side, and 2 on passenger's side by the muffler)

    I also included a few pics of the Saris T-Bones rack.
    As you can see, it removes easily from the hitch on the back of the Prius and docks onto its included storage stand. (it is lockable with key on both the hitch and the storage stand.)
    It also came with a transportation bag that makes bringing it from the car to the storage stand easy! (the bag also has pockets for things such as riding shoes, a helmet, etc.)


    It's a really innovative and stylish stand. I like it a lot.
    It came with the lock and keys to lock the receiver onto the hitch, to lock the bike rack onto the receiver and onto the storage stand, and also includes built-in anti-sway straps for each bike, as well as a built-in lock to secure both bikes onto the stand. (uses the same key as the other locks)
     

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  2. Jim Coleman

    Jim Coleman Junior Member

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    Good job nola Prius! Your pics and description are great!!

    I dont have the 'underneath' pics yet...

    Here's mine installed:
     

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  3. hotbrass

    hotbrass New Member

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    I see bikes are the main interest in this receiver.

    Does anyone haul a trailer?

    What is the towing specs? I was not able to find anything on towing. But I just got my 2010 Prius IV and have not read the manual yet.

    Thanks!
     
  4. rachaelseven

    rachaelseven New Member

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    No towing allowed, officially. So you're own your own as to what it might or might not pull. Fwiw, the hitch is well-built, but only anchored by 4 bolts. I wouldn't want to put more than a couple bikes on it and I certainly wouldn't want to pull more than a few hundred pounds at most. The Prius brakes are also not real big, so I don't think any serious towing would be advised.
     
  5. nola_Prius

    nola_Prius New Member

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  6. mel1000

    mel1000 New Member

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    WOW! it looks great. I really like the stand, it is very stylish.(just like you said) Good Job and thanks so much for the story and pics. Now I wish I had one!
     
  7. ihawash

    ihawash Junior Member

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    Hi Nola,

    Thanks for the pics! I just ordered mine and after that I read about a problem for the curt hitch for prius

    you can check it at evnut dot come. sorry I am noobie, cant post url yet :(

    I guess this was an issue for the Gen II prius. The problem was the exhaust pipe was not clearing after the hitch was installed causing major problems. But from your pics, I see that the pipe is going under the hitch. I hope I am correct!

    thanks!


    Here is the link :)
    http://evnut.com/prius_hitch.htm#new_curt
     
  8. ihawash

    ihawash Junior Member

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    Ok, I think I can post urls now :)
    Prius Hitch
     
  9. nola_Prius

    nola_Prius New Member

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    You are correct.
    I'm not familiar with the Gen II and how the Curt hitch fits under it, but it fits under the Gen III very nicely.

    The only thing is that the heat reflector shield thing (that is above the muffler, insulating it from the car's underbody) might need to be bent a little in one of the corners where the passenger side of the Curt hitch mounts to the car. (you'll see what I'm talking about when you get under the car.)
    It's a very small modification...just about the last 1/2"-1" on the heat shield. I actually used a screwdriver to bend it out of the way a little.
    It was a no-brainer to do and very simple.

    Aside from that small obstruction, it's a very simple and straight-forward install.
    When you get your hitch it, if you still have questions or problems, let me know! ;)
     
  10. blisspacket

    blisspacket Junior Member

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    My Curt went on without a hitch; the fascia never came off. I did have to angle the whole hitch, stbd side low and lever port side up into the fascia slot. No cutting of anything was necessary. The fascia actually held port side in loose place while the stbd side got maneuvered into position. I did find the muffler heat reflector had to be snipped about a half inch to allow the stbd brace to come in full contact with the frame.
     
  11. garygid

    garygid Senior Member - Blizzard Pearl

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    How much is the rear clearance reduced by this hitch on the GenIII?

    The model for the GenIII seems to have a round (tubular) cross section, whereas the model for the GenII had a rectangular cross section (on the left side), right?
     
  12. nola_Prius

    nola_Prius New Member

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    Clearance is only reduced by a few inches or so. It's not much at all.
    I'm not familiar with the older hitch, but I'm pretty sure that it was not rounded.
     
  13. rachaelseven

    rachaelseven New Member

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    Ours also went on very easily, by a similar process... angle the hitch, insert driver's side first, tip passenger side up, screw it all tight - nothing too it, really. The only trick was using the flex in the muffler hangar to move the tailpipe a tiny bit so the wrench could get on the bolts on that side. We didn't snip or cut anything, on either side. But I was on the driver's side (partner holding the other side) so didn't personally see the passenger side go on. This comment has me worried though:

    Should I go look to make sure we didn't miss something? It seemed really solid and simple, but now I have that 'did I leave the oven on?' feeling. Could our hitch be on tight, properly torqued, and yet not 'in full contact with the frame'?
     
  14. nola_Prius

    nola_Prius New Member

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    You are correct, it's a very simple and straightforward install - as long as you have a socket extension to reach through the fascia's opening on the driver's side.

    I didn't have an extension long enough, so I removed the fascia, installed the hitch, THEN tried to put the fascia back on. (which required me to cut a small strip in it to fit around where the hitch mounts to the car's frame. It didn't work, so I ended up just buying a socket extension and then doing it the normal way.)

    Concerning the muffler's heat shield, you should have had to bend or cut it out of the way a little. I just bent mine with a screwdriver. If you didn't do anything to it, you probably just mounted that side of the hitch bar over the small corner of the heat shield. It's probably not a concern, but if I were you, I'd at least go check it...if not take the hitch off, bend that part of the heat shield, then put the hitch back on.

    If your hitch is snug tight and doesn't move or budge when you yank, push, step on it...then you're probably gonna be just fine. That heat shield obstruction really is very small and can easily be ignored. (I almost ignored it myself)
     
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  15. cpatch

    cpatch New Member

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    So you finished where you started? :p
     
  16. ozboy

    ozboy New Member

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    For you guys who installed bike racks, are you able to open the hatch back with the rack on?
     
  17. nola_Prius

    nola_Prius New Member

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    I can open the hatch all the way with my Saris T-Bones rack on.
    With one bike on, I can also open the hatch all the way.
    With two bikes on, I can open the hatch about half way. (plenty of room to get things in and out)
    The reason it won't open all the way with two bikes is because the outermost bike prevents the innermost bike's handlebars from turning enough to let the hatch clear.
    Maybe if I put the first bike on a certain way, with the handlebars turned from the beginning, then maybe it would let it open fully with two bike on....but like I said, it opens enough to let me access the rear cargo space, so I'm not concerned.
     
  18. RadioZero

    RadioZero Member

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    i have the Saris Thelma 2 bike rack. i can open the hatch with the rack in the closed and upright position. i have to pull on the rack slightly to make sure it doesn't hit the hatch.

    with the rack in the ready mode and the bikes on the rack, can barely open the hatch.

    overall though, i am extremely happy with the way the Thelma holds the bikes. very secure and stable.
     
  19. ggood

    ggood Senior Member

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    It looks like a good option, due to its light weight. Does it seem substantial enough to hold up over time, and is it easy to remove it from and put back on the hitch?
     
  20. RadioZero

    RadioZero Member

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    yes and yes. substaintial enough to survive with time (lifetime warranty) and very easy to install.
     
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