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2021 XSE AWD PP Celestial Silver Metallic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are several different threads discussing OEM and aftermarket receiver hitches, so rather than try to address each one, I thought I'd start a new thread on the Torklift Ecohitch. It is currently the only hidden hitch on the market that I am aware of.
It was not an easy install compared to the other products available, but IMHO it was worth the cost and the effort, which has left me pretty exhausted right now. (I also took out the third row seats and added mudflaps, but they were really easy., Oh ya, and refinished my well worn 30 year old utility trailer over the past week.) Anyway, I know a few folks are interested in what the Ecohitch looks like installed ....so here's a few finished pics.


50091
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side shot_resize.jpg


50093
 

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Looks very clean! Thanks for sharing.

I hope kick-sensor continues to work as is.

What is the ground clearance with it?
 

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Thanks for the pics, I just placed an order this week. How long did it take you to get yours after you placed your order?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks very clean! Thanks for sharing.

I hope kick-sensor continues to work as is.

What is the ground clearance with it?
The kick sensor had to be removed. It was right in the way of the bumper cover cutout.
50095


It is larger than one would have expected:
50096


I never used it as my habit is to use the handle.

It is right at 10 inches to the bottom of the receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the pics, I just placed an order this week. How long did it take you to get yours after you placed your order?
I ordered mine on April 19th and received it May 1st. They had just started making them and said it might be longer than normal. Once shipped, it only took 3 days from Kent WA to western CO.
It came very well packaged in a heavy duty box.
50097
 

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Well done!

It looks like the kick sensor itself is pretty small, but the 'antenna' is huge and covers a large area of the rear of the van as-is. If it's now considered a 'throwaway' item, I might have been temped to try a little bit of re-engineering to see if I couldn't shorten it (fold over on itself) and relocate it to one side only below the hitch beam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks amazing. How long did it take? Wondering the labor cost to have a shop install it...
It took much longer than it should have since I'm basically slow but also had to go backwards a few times due to incomplete instructions. And also the usual hesitancy and occasional neighbor stopping by to "help."
A metal tab had to be cut off (a tin snip worked) for the cross bar to tighten down on the driver side.
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The driver side under pan needed to be notched (again, the tin snips worked well as I kept whittling it down until it fit.) Anyone is welcome to crawl under the car to see the marginally pretty job I did.

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This is the piece I removed.
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Perfection takes time and patience...I was running out of the important one.

To answer your question, I could probably do it again in about 2-3 hours (or half the time,) having learned the hard way (my usual way 😎 🔨😁)
 

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I might have been temped to try a little bit of re-engineering to see if I couldn't shorten it (fold over on itself) and relocate it to one side only below the hitch beam
My thoughts exactly. Whether the wires get shortened or extended, relocating it seems like a really great way to avoid loss of functionality.

Thanks PetTaxi for the extremely helpful pics, and congrats on completing the install!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well done!

It looks like the kick sensor itself is pretty small, but the 'antenna' is huge and covers a large area of the rear of the van as-is. If it's now considered a 'throwaway' item, I might have been temped to try a little bit of re-engineering to see if I couldn't shorten it (fold over on itself) and relocate it to one side only below the hitch beam.
I thought of trying to move it, but it would have had to go above the hitch cutout area, meaning if something walked behind the bumper the hatch would open, (Not good)
The bumper cover fit back on so tightly that I don't think the sensor could be moved to one side or the other. (glad I didn't try) It also was not important to me to have the sensor, since it seemed to take more attempts than it was worth to get it to work. Easy to touch the handle and easier to get out of the way of the hatch opening.
 

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There are several different threads discussing OEM and aftermarket receiver hitches, so rather than try to address each one, I thought I'd start a new thread on the Torklift Ecohitch. It is currently the only hidden hitch on the market that I am aware of.
It was not an easy install compared to the other products available, but IMHO it was worth the cost and the effort, which has left me pretty exhausted right now. (I also took out the third row seats and added mudflaps, but they were really easy., Oh ya, and refinished my well worn 30 year old utility trailer over the past week.) Anyway, I know a few folks are interested in what the Ecohitch looks like installed ....so here's a few finished pics.


View attachment 50091 .)

View attachment 50092

View attachment 50093
Looks very good. Is the rear bumper hard to remove? And why you need to take out the third row seats?

Thank you for sharing this with us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Sorry to have confused the issue. I took out the back seats because it was on my to do list and the tools were out. It is not necessary for removing the bumper cover. I also installed my wiring harness and mud flaps...long day.

There is a lot involved in installing this hitch. It is not a job for everyone. The OEM and Curt hitches only need six bolts, you only need a torque wrench and extension. The Ecohitch instructions leave some to be desired but are not too bad. In the above thread I've pointed out some of the omissions I discovered, one other thing they said was to cut out the bumper cover an inch deeper than necessary, but it looks fine and gives a place to stow the 4-prong wiring plug when not in use. I can live with it.
50104


50103

If you are handy and have the tools and an assistant, and can wing it if needed, I've proven it can be done. But then, in my younger crazier years, I took apart and put back together a 1949 Buick Roadmaster. Now that was hard! (and that has some serious bumpers!)
50105


The bumper cover itself actually came off pretty easily, easier than the '17 Outback I had done. Once you found all the snap connectors and screws, it pulled out from the rear quarter panels without much strain. It went back on easily also. Many thanks to my Managing Editor and assistant. 😎 (y)
 

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I thought of trying to move it, but it would have had to go above the hitch cutout area, meaning if something walked behind the bumper the hatch would open, (Not good)
The bumper cover fit back on so tightly that I don't think the sensor could be moved to one side or the other. (glad I didn't try) It also was not important to me to have the sensor, since it seemed to take more attempts than it was worth to get it to work. Easy to touch the handle and easier to get out of the way of the hatch opening.

@PetTaxi - This is an amazing Post! Thank you so much for taking pictures to chronicle the installation process.
This is a huge help and exactly what people on the forum were hoping to see.

The primary reason we did not get the factory installed hitch is to keep the rear kick sensor. Your pictures help show what the sensor actually looks like and it has to be moved. Is the long black plastic piece only there to hold the wires (nothing mechanical)?

It is strange the sensor is 10" wide - because it seems we have to kick within a 3" window to get it to open :)

About relocation - If I remember, the rear door would only open if the object walking near the rear bumper also had the key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
[/QUOTE]

It is strange the sensor is 10" wide - because it seems we have to kick within a 3" window to get it to open :)



The kick sensor is actually 30" long, and the wires are definitely part of the sensor. I don't know how or why...it plugs into the wiring harness at the white rectangle part.

50139
 

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Is the white module at the end the actual motion sensor with the wires only being there to detect the presence of the key fob?

-Mike
 

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It looks capacitive, based on the long twin antenna wires. There are also radar and ultrasonic systems in use by other mfgrs.

You cannot change the length of the wires (it's a tuned circuit), but folding it over may still produce acceptable results.
 
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one other thing they said was to cut out the bumper cover an inch deeper than necessary, but it looks fine and gives a place to stow the 4-prong wiring plug when not in use.

View attachment 50104
If you don't want to leave your 4-way plug dangling, there's a $4 surface mount hard rubber Hopkins bracket that could probably be used to attach it to the underside of your bumper cover. I looked at a bunch of mounting brackets and it's the best I found. Here's a link to a post showing it on my 2014 Sienna: 2009 Sienna Question
 
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