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The popularity of minivans has significantly decreased over time as the demand has shifted more towards crossovers or SUVs. Despite the recent drop in popularity, these vehicles are still loved and used by many people because of the variety of things that they can be used for.
One thing that minivans can be used for is hauling trailers but that requires the addition of a hitch and wiring harness. The big question is how much would you expect to pay to get that hitch and wiring installed?
If you install the hitch on your minivan yourself the parts will typically be between $200-$300. If you get the hitch and wiring installed at a dealership then it will typically cost $600-$700. A mechanic will typically charge somewhere in the middle at $400-$500 for parts and installation.
Another option that you have is using U-haul’s hitch installation service. You can find the exact price for your minivan based on your location and the make and model on the Uhaul website. For my minivan they charge right around $500 for the parts and installation of the hitch and wiring but you can easily input your minivan’s year, make, and model to get an exact quote for your area.
Installing a hitch on your minivan will ensure the safe towing of a boat, trailer, or camper as long as you don’t exceed the maximum towing weight of your minivan (typically 3,000-3,500lbs).
While towing anything you should always keep in mind the protection and capacity of your minivan to make sure that you don’t tow too much weight and damage your vehicle.
How much will a hitch for your minivan cost you?
There are typically five standard hitch classes to choose from depending on the capacity of the vehicle, the weight of what is subject to be towed, and of course, the cost. For a minivan, a class III hitch usually works in most cases. The overall cost of buying a hitch and having the installation done by a professional is $700 to $800. But hold on! That’s not it. The expense can be very significantly reduced if a.) You are a bit handy with tools yourself or b.) You know your way around shops. An average cost of the parts for the hitch and wiring is somewhere around $200 to $300.
Companies like U-Haul might help you get a great deal at $400-$500 including the hitch, ball, wiring, and installation but again, that varies based on your location and which minivan you have.
That being said the installation of a hitch done by yourself requires you to have prior knowledge of wiring and the ability to determine the proper compatibility. If you need a hitch just for carrying around a relatively smaller object such as a bicycle, the wiring kits are available for much less than an entire trailer wiring harness.
If you know a mechanic that might help you with the installation, that might be a great help considering that the installation only takes 1.5 to 2 hours. Many mechanics generally charge $50 to $60 per hour. So that means installation will run you $75-$125 plus the parts (another $200-$300).
Standard Hitch Classes
You will likely find yourself looking at different sizes and different price ranges when you go to an online store or walk into one that sells hitches. Those options are typically known as ‘Classes’.
There are five standard hitch classes with the smallest one being the class I type of hitch. These can be installed to tow small trailers while the class V hitches will carry around relatively bigger and heavier loads like, say, a large camper (which your minivan likely can’t tow anyway).
For a minivan, you will probably want to go with a Class III hitch. Regardless, you must always make sure which one is best for your vehicle.
Can I install the hitch by myself or does it require a professional?
It is very important to have the hitch properly installed as a defect or not installing it properly might turn out to be dangerous not only for the load but also for your vehicle and the vehicles around you. In case you are not sure about the compatibility or the hitch kit requirements, you should absolutely contact a professional.
Any auto mechanic who is good at their job can help you get the perfect product that would go best with your vehicle model.
If you are not a handy person at all then you should definitely not even consider trying to install the hitch yourself. Installing a hitch properly is extremely important so if there is any doubt then hiring a professional is the best idea.
If you have some knowledge about vehicles and how they work then installing a hitch yourself isn’t too difficult but you need to make sure you know what you are doing and do it correctly.
What steps should you follow to install a hitch by yourself?
If you are a bit of a handy person and you want to go ahead with the installation yourself there are certain steps that you should follow.
Below are the steps which will make the process easier for you to do it correctly.
Check the manual
Carefully read every piece of information you have been provided with in your installation kit. All the do’s and the don’ts will help you be even more confident about the procedure and you will be able to avoid any future hassle.
Did you check your toolbox?
Now that you are done with reading the instructions, it’s time to get your tools ready for the next steps. Make sure you have all the necessary items on hand or head over to the hardware store to get the right tools ahead of time if needed.
Check the lighting
You might not need special lighting equipment if it is a bright day when you have decided to work on adding a hitch. A flashlight is advised anyway.
Otherwise, you can set up the required lighting if you are working on the hitch in a dark garage or in the evening.
Detach the bolts and other necessary parts
If your minivan has a spare tire underneath the rear of your vehicle, it is best to remove it to make way for the hitch’s frame. Remove the mounting bolts and then lower the exhaust pipe if necessary, according to the instructions provided.
Attach your hitch
Align the hitch precisely with the other equipment. The frame that you are attaching might be heavy and you might need assistance for the correct positioning so having an extra person is a good idea. Once you have everything in place, you are ready to bolt it in.
Tighten the bolts
Make sure you leave no bolts unturned as this can be highly dangerous. Be very sure that the hitch will not detach itself later on by double checking each bolt that you are using.
Is welding a hitch advisable?
When you buy a hitch, the frames are welded together by default. A hinge does not need to be welded to your minivan as instead it should be bolted. In fact, welding a hitch to your vehicle would mean that you will not be able to take it off in case you damage your hitch. Bolts would mean it would be easy to remove or replace your hitch if necessary in the future.
You should avoid welding your hitch on unless absolutely necessary.
I hope that this article has been helpful in answering your questions about how much it generally costs to install a hitch on your minivan. The biggest thing that makes a difference in prices is where you live and who you have do the job.
If you take your minivan to a dealership they will always charge you much more than a normal mechanic’s shop but but buying and installing it yourself will always be the cheapest way to get it done.