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Unread 09-10-2005, 04:40 PM   #1
dharmabum
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aftermarket hitch vs factory hitch

I just picked up a 2002 Grand Cherokee and it is in desperate need of a hitch. I know the factory ones sit up higher in the bumper and there is the trim piece that goes around them and they look pretty nice but to get all the dealer only parts it starts to add up while an aftermarket hitch is a little more reasonable. Now I would rather go with the factory parts but if anyone has a picture of an aftermarket one showing how far down they actually hang and how bad they look it would make my decision easier or maybe you could convince me to go aftermarket. I have done alot of searches but still cant find a good picture of an aftermarket one either.

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Unread 09-10-2005, 05:14 PM   #2
McGR
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I have a Hidden Hitch brand hitch on my WJ. I picked it up cheap from JC Whitney for about $100. From what I can tell it sits at about the same height as factory. This is because with the Hidden Hitch design you have to cut some bumper facia, so you basically end up with a similar set up to factory. I've had Hidden Hitches on three vehicles now and have been very satisfied. They truly do design them so they are fairly inconspicious, as opposed to some I've seen out there which hang about 3" lower than the bumper.

BTW, I can probably compare my hitch to a stock one later on tonight, some friends should stop by with their WJ/factory hitch. If I get the measurement I'll post the results.
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Unread 09-10-2005, 05:30 PM   #3
grovesj2
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Ive got a regular after market hitch and I like where it sits. Before I put the lift and bigger tires on my Jeep it was the perfect height for my boat trailer. If you have a trailer that sits higher than you can just get a hitch with a 2" rise, that would put the ball about the same height it would be if you had a factory hitch. Theres no denying that the factory hitch looks better being hidden but you have to ask yourself wether its worth the extra money just for looks with no additional functionality.

Im going to attempt to attach a pic, if it dosent work you can PM me your email and Ill send the pic to you.

[IMG]E:\Jesse\My Pictures\Jeep\After 2 inch and tires\jsjfihernvdi 001.jpg[/IMG]
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Unread 09-10-2005, 05:31 PM   #4
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So much for my effort at attaching a pic...
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Unread 09-10-2005, 09:36 PM   #5
McGR
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OK, I compared my hitch to an OEM one this evening. The OEM hitch sits about 1.5" higher than my Hidden Hitch. So, if clearance is a big issue, the OEM is best. If functionality and economy are most important, go with an aftermarket unit.
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Unread 09-10-2005, 10:11 PM   #6
dharmabum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGR
I have a Hidden Hitch brand hitch on my WJ. I picked it up cheap from JC Whitney for about $100. From what I can tell it sits at about the same height as factory. This is because with the Hidden Hitch design you have to cut some bumper facia, so you basically end up with a similar set up to factory. I've had Hidden Hitches on three vehicles now and have been very satisfied. They truly do design them so they are fairly inconspicious, as opposed to some I've seen out there which hang about 3" lower than the bumper.

BTW, I can probably compare my hitch to a stock one later on tonight, some friends should stop by with their WJ/factory hitch. If I get the measurement I'll post the results.
Thanks for checking it out, do you know which Hidden Hitch you have? It seems they make two, #87594 which is a standard design hitch, and #70594 which is a round tube style hitch? I have used their hitches before and been very happy with them too so if it would be more economical and still look good I may go with them again.
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Unread 09-10-2005, 10:13 PM   #7
dharmabum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grovesj2
Ive got a regular after market hitch and I like where it sits. Before I put the lift and bigger tires on my Jeep it was the perfect height for my boat trailer. If you have a trailer that sits higher than you can just get a hitch with a 2" rise, that would put the ball about the same height it would be if you had a factory hitch. Theres no denying that the factory hitch looks better being hidden but you have to ask yourself wether its worth the extra money just for looks with no additional functionality.

Im going to attempt to attach a pic, if it dosent work you can PM me your email and Ill send the pic to you.

[IMG]E:\Jesse\My Pictures\Jeep\After 2 inch and tires\jsjfihernvdi 001.jpg[/IMG]
Hey if you could email me any pics of it that would be great, my email is dharmabum@comcast.net. Also do you know what brand of hitch it is you have?
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Unread 09-10-2005, 10:53 PM   #8
McGR
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I guess I have the square style. I'm not sure what the tubular style would buy you anyway, as all you can really see on the type I have is the receiver exiting the facia. It seems to me the round tubing would be hidden, assuming the design is similar to the square one. I'll see if I can take a pic tomorrow and post it.
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Unread 09-10-2005, 11:38 PM   #9
grovesj2
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I have the tubular Hidden Hitch and it isnt actually hidden...it sits right below the bumber as youll see in the pic I sent.
Jesse
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Unread 09-11-2005, 07:00 AM   #10
dharmabum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGR
I guess I have the square style. I'm not sure what the tubular style would buy you anyway, as all you can really see on the type I have is the receiver exiting the facia. It seems to me the round tubing would be hidden, assuming the design is similar to the square one. I'll see if I can take a pic tomorrow and post it.
If you could snap a pic of the Hidden Hitch square style that would be great. You can even email it to me at the address above if its easier than posting.
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Unread 09-11-2005, 07:02 AM   #11
dharmabum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grovesj2
I have the tubular Hidden Hitch and it isnt actually hidden...it sits right below the bumber as youll see in the pic I sent.
Jesse
Thanks for the pic, I don't think that hangs down too far at all and your jeep looks pretty nice with the BB and 265/75s. Got me thinking about doing that too now
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Unread 09-11-2005, 02:56 PM   #12
McGR
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Here's an image of my hitch:



EDIT: Anyone know why my hosted image isn't showing. I used the Insert Image icon in the editor. Any other tricks to get them to display?
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Unread 09-11-2005, 03:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGR
Here's an image of my hitch:



EDIT: Anyone know why my hosted image isn't showing. I used the Insert Image icon in the editor. Any other tricks to get them to display?
You need to be a member for 30 days and have at least 50 posts to post your pictures.
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Unread 09-11-2005, 03:05 PM   #14
anticrombie
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Bah on you Woody!
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Unread 09-11-2005, 03:07 PM   #15
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You gotta be quick!
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