Hitch on a 2007 Camry
August 30, 2007 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Anyone have any experience with installing a hitch for use with a hitch bike rack on a Toyota Camry? I haven't had a chance to visit the dealer, but is there an official Toyota-sanctioned hitch for a 2007 Camry? The manual says it can tow 1000 lbs, so there's gotta be something.

I've been using Saris bike racks for a few years and I don't want to use to a trunk rack on my new Camry. If the dealer doesn't carry a hitch, can I buy one and take it to a mechanic for installation? Can anyone recommend a reasonably priced hitch bike rack? Are they removable? I just want to put it on when I need to transport a few bikes. Thanks in advance.
posted by exhilaration to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
Look in the Yellow Pages under "trailer." Hitches are like car stereos -- you buy them and have them installed at a trailer hitch joint because it's a quarter of the price of having a dealer or mechanic do it. (If blessed with a choice of places to go, call around; I found a remarkable variation in prices even amoung the trailer hitch people last time I bought one.)
posted by gum at 9:27 AM on August 30, 2007

Almost any place that rents U-haul trailers will install a hitch for you, though you run the risk of an undertrained individual doing it. Presumably you want a receiver hitch, not just a ball, so you can take off the protruding bit when you're not using it, presuming you're not looking at rack that slide straight into the receiver.

Were I you, I'd call a few of my local bike shops and see if they have anyone they can refer you to - you're surely not the only person who wants a hitch exclusively for this reason. It's not hard work but you want to make sure whoever does it installs it correctly into the frame rather than into some cosmetic flashing.
posted by phearlez at 9:54 AM on August 30, 2007

Here's one from Hidden Hitch as an example, there are other aftermarket hitch manufacturer's too.

Most aftermarket specialist for vans / trucks will have catalogs and can order / install it.

For my 2004 Toyota Sienna, the hitch was about $200, the wiring harness about $35 and installation about $120 CAD.
YMMV due to vehicle difference and installation ease difference.
posted by Mahogne at 11:29 AM on August 30, 2007

I have a soft ride attached to a 2006 Civic.

It's removable, it slides into the receiver and then a screw/bolt thing locks it on. It also has removable arms so I tend to leave it on most of the time if I'm riding much with the arms in the trunk.

This is a mixed solution. I've been rear-ended twice with it on. The first time it was EXTREMELY low impact and the rack took the blow, so imagine that some bumper scratches turned into nothing. The second time it was smashed into my trunk so it meant that a minor rear end accident that might not have done any damage or only bumper damage actually did quite a bit.

I got the hitch at uhaul.

I tried to buy a rack off of craigslist and unfortunately the first two racks I tried wouldn't fit my hitch. I was very unhappy about this. Basically the hitch wasn't deep enough because there was a tiny bit of car behind it, & you have to line up the bolt holes. I'm not sure if there's a proper spec about hitch depth / hole placement but since I got a bike rack that worked I dropped it.
posted by Wood at 3:55 PM on August 30, 2007

Wood writes "I'm not sure if there's a proper spec about hitch depth / hole placement"

There isn't. Generally you want the receiver as far under your car as possible while still allowing the trailer's hitch to mate with the ball of the draw bar. As you noticed this might be too tight for alternative applications.
posted by Mitheral at 5:45 PM on August 30, 2007

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