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1998 CR-V EX 4spd auto "Big Green" completely stock with roof rack and front mud flaps
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1,015 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm looking for recommendations for a tow hitch for BG to tow a light trailer.

BG is a first gen CR-V, so recommendations for hitches for newer cars, while interesting, will probably not help me out much.

The manual says my maximum trailer weight is 1,000 lbs, and 110 lbs tongue weight. I'm not going to exceed that, so it's not really important to me for a hitch to be able to take more than that.

What is important to me are:

I will not drill, cut, or otherwise modify BG's body for a hitch (or anything, really), so hitches that require cutting or drilling are out.

I don't want BG's body to get damaged by a crash. A lot of hitches seem to be strong enough to damage the frame rails in a crash before the hitch gets damaged. I'd rather see the hitch get ruined, but save the car body from damage if it comes to that.

If possible, I'd like the structure the be hidden. I like the look of BG without a hitch, and I particularly don't like the giant tow bars that look almost like an extra bumper. If that's what I have to get, I'll do that, but some of the class 1 hitches I've seen are totally invisible except for the actual receiver. I just haven't found any of those that don't require drilling.

I'm not looking for a debate about class 1 vs class 3. Just what I'm saying above. All the class 1 hitches I've seen have more capacity than I'll need.

TIA guys!
 

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1998 CR-V EX 4spd auto "Big Green" completely stock with roof rack and front mud flaps
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1,015 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Bumping this up. Does anyone have advice for me?
 

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'08 CRV EX, White. '19 Pilot EX-L, MSM. '07 Sonata, stick shift, 220k and counting, '10 Kia Forte
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131 Posts
Check ETRAILER as they will show pictures and how it is installed. 2 versions in link one that hides the tube more but less capacity one more visible but more secure. I prefer the factory hitches, some require light cutting of bumper cover but comes with details on what/where. If you can find factory, that is my recommendation. They will all bolt to factory holes normally, you might need to get a tap to clean the threads at this point of it's life so bolts thread correctly. That is the most secure and if you have an accident all will be damaged either way, especially with the back door mounted tire.

Example on my '19 Pilot, it comes with a replacement panel so all snaps in and is higher. Most aftermarket hang lower and you lose some ground clearance. Pilot you lose 2" at the back because it goes under the fascia that Honda replaces.

My daughters '07 CRV has aftermarket. I saw some factory and really would like to switch it as factory is MUCH cleaner/hidden looking.
 

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I know this is old.
I went with class 3. The only reason was price point and strength. Not to mention I never found a class 2 and for a few more $ it's stronger.
I don't think any trailer hitch is safe for the chassis. we have compact chassis so no frames which means anything we use will damage the chassis in case of an accident.
For an rd1 even a slight tap on the rear is a total loss based on insurance policies.
These vehicles are at the bottom of their book value.
Class 1 is your best choice if you want to keep it looking cleaner. Class 3 you can see from a mile away. Lol

BTW get the wiring harness that comes with the oem plug. It's a lot easier to install.
 

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1998 CR-V EX 4spd auto "Big Green" completely stock with roof rack and front mud flaps
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1,015 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I actually have the harness already. I spotted it in a junkyard, and it looked like someone had taken the hitch already and tried to take the harness, but had no idea where it attached, so they couldn't get it.

I saw it and thought "I know how that comes off," and bought it for $10 isn't of $50. My multimeter says it works.
 

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2014 EX-L AWD
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110 Posts
well, most hitches attach to the sub-frame/unibody nowadays since bumpers are plastic and can be knocked off with a good swift kick. with your parameters listed above....don't think you will find a hitch that doesn't attach to the sub-frame/unibody in some fashion.

also, since the early generation CR-Vs really weren't meant for towing, they didn't come 'factory' equipped to attach a hitch.

if you really want a hitch, you'll need to compromise and attach it to the sub-frame and probably have to cut/drill something to ensure it's attached correctly.
 
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