Draw-Tite vs. Hidden Hitch vs. Curt- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Draw-Tite vs. Hidden Hitch vs. Curt

    Gentledudes,

    I am going to put an aftermarket hitch onto a 2012 Honda CR-V. Comparing the three brands offered by etrailer.com (in the title of this post), the only real functional difference I can see between the three is that the Curt requires the use of a stabilization strap for bike racks and other non-towing loads. etrailer recommends that the strap be attached to the rack somewhere on the centerline, and to the bottom of the liftgate, transferring some of the load off of the hitch. All three brands attach bolt up to the car exactly the same way (same attachment points and hardware, etc.)

    The other two do not require a stabilization strap. But they are actually built a bit lighter ...the shipping weight of the Curt is 35 pounds--7 pounds heavier than the Draw-Tite and the Hidden Hitch.

    The Curt is $50 cheaper, and actually looks a bit better since they used larger diameter tubing for the cross bar, and bend it so that it looks a bit more like it is part of the car's undercarriage. That is also undoubtedly where the extra weight comes from.

    Do any of you use a Curt without the stabilization strap, or do any of you engineering types have any idea why Curt is requiring it where the other two brands don't?

    Thanks in advance!

    Edit: I just realized that attaching the strap to the bottom of the door on the CR-V is a lousy idea. The door swings upward, and the latch is at the bottom. So the strap is not transferring the load directly to the car's body...it is transferring that load to the latch. Doh!
    Last edited by Dad Man Walking; 08-31-2012 at 01:13 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I thought those straps were always supposed to go at the top of the door but regardless i don't think i've seen a single person use one. I have a curt hitch and never used a stabilising strap, it'll be fine... maybe...

  3. #3
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    My wife's car is a Vibe with a Curt hitch, mine is a Sonic with a Draw-tite hitch. For my car, the Hidden Hitch is EXACTLY the same thing as the Draw-Tite (different sticker).

    Anywho, the Curt hitch is MUCH sturdier than the Draw-Tite...the bike rack bounces so much on my car that I had to buy the Curt strap (which has solved the problem nicely). The Curt hitch is made from much heavier materials.

    I think it's ironic that for our 2 cars, the Curt hitch doesn't need the strap, even tho it's recommended, and the Draw-Tite hitch absolutely needs it even tho it's not "recommended". I think Curt is just a more conservative company.

    I connect the strap to the top of the tailgate on my Sonic...don't think you'd ever put it at the bottom.
    whatever...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsfsr View Post
    I thought those straps were always supposed to go at the top of the door but regardless i don't think i've seen a single person use one. I have a curt hitch and never used a stabilising strap, it'll be fine... maybe...
    I agree that the instructions for attaching the strap to the bottom of the door don't make a lot of sense. I found that on the etrailer web site. Not sure if that was an etrailer rep's idea or if Curt themselves recommend that. Either way, it's a non-starter for me.

    Sounds like the Curt is the way to go. $50 cheaper and sturdier from what I'm learning here.

    Thanks much!
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  5. #5
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    Both Draw-Tite and Curt are owned by Cequent, so it is not too surprising that they are the same or very similar. They also own Rola bike racks.
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  6. #6
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    FWIW, I don't use a strap on my Curt and the instructions say I am suppose to.... I don't know how or where I would though.

    Second... Amazon has the Curt 13119 (Class 3) hitch for $123.48.... shipping is free if you can wait a few days for it (Free Super Saver Shipping) or if you have Amazon Prime (like me) you will get it in 2 days for free. $25 less than the $50 less at etrailer. I got my Curt hitch from Amazon two weeks ago.....

    Amazon link: Amazon.com: Curt 13119 Class 3 Receiver Hitch: Automotive
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  7. #7
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    Curt class III hitch on my Subaru Forester. Never used a strap and it works just fine.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheapWhine View Post
    Both Draw-Tite and Curt are owned by Cequent, so it is not too surprising that they are the same or very similar. They also own Rola bike racks.
    I think Curt is the one which is still independent...all the others are under Cequent:
    Cequent Website - A TriMas Company
    whatever...

  9. #9
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    Hitch Facts

    [QUOTE=steadite;9650523]I think Curt is the one which is still independent...all the others are under Cequent

    You are correct steadite. I work for CURT and we are independent from Cequent.

    As far as the stabilization straps go it is a "conservative" but necessary precaution. One which other hitch manufacturers have chosen to ignore. Loaded bike racks act as levers and when you go over a large bump the added force (compared to distance from the hitch attachment points) can easily triple. Hope that clears some things up for you guys!

    Bike on!

  10. #10
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    I have a Hidden Hitch on my RX300, carried up to 4 bikes without the straps with no issues. Sounds like lawyers got involved.
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