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Discussion Starter #1
Has anybody installed a hitch for a trailer (or bike rack).

I am back from a camping trip. I had just enough room for the (my) bare minimum.

I want to pull a motorcycle trailer. Something about 170 pounds and less than 250 pounds with all the stuff. Basically a 4' X 3' trailer with a 18 cubic feet Square Transport box bolted onto it.

I understand that it can void the warrenty. But to me, if a motorcycle can pull it I can not understand why an Insight could not.
 

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I've thought about this but I don't really need to do it yet.
Personally I would go to shop that builds and repairs race cars and get a quote for a custom made aluminum bolt on hitch.
These guys build race cars so they don't worry about being street legal, they only care about building things that are very strong, light weight and safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Guillermo

Here is where I am. To know what I was going into, I had removed the bumper (takes 20 minutes, about 20 bolts/clips) and taken pictures with mesurements. I brought the pictures with me to shop around

I did go to a specialty place. They said they could do it with aluminium. But they where busy for the next 2 to 3 weeks and the price was between $800 and $900 + tx (outch! for my pocket)

I went to local hitch shops.
First palce: did not want to touch the aluminium car
Second place: Checked the car, manager said $300. When I went back for the install, the boss said the car was aluminium and would not do it

So I am looking for a third hitch shop.
This time I have a drawing (bolts to the aluminium back bumper and the spare tire body surface, hitch comes out in the black lower plastic section) from the second place technician and I have a plastic sheet for electrical isolation to prevent electrolyse between the steel hitch and the alu body.

Now I need a place with imagination and time.
I have an appointment to a local garage that has hitch experience. I will ask for them to build the hitch but I will do the final install. I would paint the hitch and put the plastic sheet between each attaching section and the car.

Corrosion of the aluminium was the major factor why the installer did not want to do the job.

Note that prices are in cnd money.
 

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What I think would be cool for the Insight is some kind of bracket you could install from the license plate section of the bumper on which you could install two lockable GIVI boxes for motorcycles, on each side of the license plate, perpendicular to the front/rear axis of the car.

Or maybe just one top box resting on a bracket over the license plate, lined-up with the H in the liftgate window.
 

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I'm sure you can find a place that is much cheaper then $800 for an aluminum hitch.
In Quebec they are crazy about motorsports, there are tons of places you can ask. Don't give up on aluminum just yet.
 

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I took a look at the real bumper under the plastic trim. It looks really solid. (A big aluminum square channel running the width of the car.
) The floor under the spare tire seems really thin however. Other than that there is really nothing but the plastic gas tank down there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am back from the installer verifications. Here is their good result:

The car is OK to put a hitch for a small trailer (less than 300 pounds for trailer and load)
Aluminium is not a problem, they have done an aluminium car before (some kind of Infinity, something sporty). They said that it was a normal install in parts and time. They wrap the parts in duck tape to insolate the hitch from the body.

I will personally remove the hitch, paint it with a few coats and then put plastic strips between all the parts.

The hitch will be primarely attached to the bumper (under with bolts) and secondly for more strengh, to each side of the spare tire box. They said the movement of the hitch to that section is up/down, front/back so it is the only option.The other sides are too skinny for the forces (like b1shmu63 wrote)

Here is a link to my pictures of the bumper check:
http://www.md92raid.100freemb.com/insightbumper.html

Their price was $200 for the hitch + cables, electric box and connections

Addition:
With my 210 pounds, I standed on the bumper and it is reall strong.
The real bumper is about where the red plastic meets the black lower section. All above is empty space.
 
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Hi Yves:

___Did you get the hitch installed or not yet as I really want to see those installed pics in particular. What about tongue weight? Do you or the hitch fabricators have an idea as to how much the aluminum bumper will support? I am not so much interested in towing a small lightweight trailer as I am in a possible Class I/II 1-1/4” cargo carrier as shown here. The Aluminum or Polypropylene carriers look like a very nice setup for someone carrying a large cooler sized container or luggage if the hatch was already mostly filled. Weight might still be a problem however …

___I do have a 10% discount code from these guys if you find anything interesting as I have purchased hitches for both the MDX and the Ranger at decent prices in the recent past. That is if you do find something you might want.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1d7ojukh][email protected][/email:1d7ojukh]
 

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$200 !!!
I'm interested for a installing a bike rack.
That's much cheaper and more aerodynamic bike rack setup then using a roof rack.

I don't want to go all the way to Montreal so if you can get drawings with dimensions and lots of photos during the install that will help me get a quote for a local shop to fabricate it for me.

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The hitch is not installed yet, they only wanted to see before doing a quote. I have a rendez-vous for the install tomorrow morning at 8h00

I am not sure about the bumper strength but I will ask tomorrow. The guy said the body could tow a 1000 pound trailer. That is a 100 pound tong weight. But we know the engine, transmission and rear springs will not agree with that. I do not want to go above 250 pounds for the trailer and load. That means about 25 pounds of tong weight on the car

I will document the hitch. And will try to draw it somehow. Pictures are easy.

The cargo carrier looks really nice. The width seams a little too large and I think that your best bet is a 20 X 48 because the alum one is 60 inch wide
Probably the weak link for you is the rear springs that will need upgrading.

It is the reason I think a trailer is best, the weight is on the trailer tires. Only accelerations and decelerations will need to be slower to prevent wear.

I'll keep you up to date.
Added: appointment is the english of rendez-vous, oups!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am back from the install of the hitch but my computer is not booting anymore so I do not have access to my stuff (web pages, camera connection and software,...)

I will write about the hitch later. But I Really like the looks, it comes out of the lower blak area in the buldge. It looks better than any other car hitch. The installer was proud.

Yes they are the exhaust vents. The rubber flip acts like a check valve to prevent air to get in.
I now understand that the big holes above the license plate is to suck air out of those vents.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK,

A quick update. Honda does not allow to pull a trailer, page 143 of the user manual. However, a bike rack is allowed.

So I have installed a bike rack.

For XCel, The technician saied that the hitch can have up to 200 pounds of weigh. So there is no problem with a single bike.

The install was great. Plastic isolators where used inside/out to prevent corrosion between the metals.

See the quick pics at:
http://www.md92raid.100freemb.com/insightbikerack.html

I will create a better page once my computer is back on track.
 
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Hi Yves:

___That is an absolutely excellent looking install! Nice job and please post the particulars because I might just have to follow your lead on this. Again, great job!

___Good Luck with the hitch!

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2yzjdrmi][email protected][/email:2yzjdrmi]
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi,

I did plan to do so. I will remove the bumper cover to take the pics probably today. I'll put some grease on the nuts and check the plastic isolators.

I had "a friend" working on an aerodynamic trailer (same tire width as the rear wheels and follows the Insight roof curve), it is all done and tested. Now is the last part: paint.

I'll put some pics too.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi,

I did not have time to remove the bumper today, I'll do it tomorrow.

Here are the pics of a "blue trailer":
http://www.md92raid.100freemb.com/insig ... ailer.html
It is 18 cubic feet of cargo space almost doubling the usual cargo room of the Insight. It is aerodynamic and on a flat road with no load, there is no noticable change in MPG.

There is a spare under the trailer, in the back. It opens on the side.

Sorry about the picture quality.

ADDITION:
I forgot to mention that I replaced the Bike rack pictures from:
http://www.md92raid.100freemb.com/insightbikerack.html
Now there is a bike attached to it.
NOTE: You need a rack that has a bolt on the side to secure the rack and to prevent the rack to move sideways with the bumps. I use to have a 2 inch hitch and this 1 1/4 inch hitch shows more movement sideways.
 

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sweet,
great job.
 

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Great photos! You have also answered the question of car venting. 8)
 

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I'm getting a 40mb limit for today was exceeded. All well, tomorrow I guess. Nice job on that though. An Insight towing anything should get some attention while going down the road I'm sure.
 
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