Is this price for hitch/brake controller too high? - Page 4 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-22-2016, 12:44 AM   #31
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Although not the most efficient approach, it could be reasonable to install the hitch and the wiring for just the trailer lights (with a 4-pin connector) for now. The wiring for the lights will be a plug-in ready-made harness and adapter, so no custom wiring would be required. This would allow all of the expensive work to be left until the right approach was more certain. The only things that really should be done together are the brake controller wiring, the trailer battery charge wiring, and the 7-pin connector, and you may not need to do any of them now.

This works assuming that:
  1. the Aliner does not have electric brakes;
  2. you don't need charging power to the Aliner; and,
  3. the Aliner has only a four-pin connector, or you're willing to use an adapter.
Is the Aliner really so light that it doesn't need brakes to be towed by a Sorrento? If the Aliner doesn't have brakes, I suppose it's too late to be concerned with that now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Labor for the controller shouldn't be more than one hour of shop time plus maybe $50 for parts such as 7-pin plug, wire and a few other umder hood items.
With no wiring provided by Kia for either brakes for trailer battery charge, my guess is that they're budgeting much more than one hour to run the wiring... especially if they've never done a Sorrento before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blhvet View Post
Both places only gave me quotes for the total job, not just the hitch. The dealer quoted me a price of about $640 just for the hitch. I thought it seemed high, but apparently not??
For just the hitch, installed, that's not surprising for the Kia dealer (as long as it is a genuine Kia hitch installed by the dealer) but would be way too high for a hitch shop installing an aftermarket hitch.

Most of these are four to six bolts and a quarter-hour of prying (and cursing, for some of us ) to get stuff past exhaust and bumper parts; U-Haul charges $50 for the installation and that's typical. The genuine Kia part will likely be much more expensive than aftermarket ($400 and up for the Toyota equivalent, more than double the aftermarket price), and if it is tucked up into the bumper more than the aftermarket hitches then installation would take longer, too. Of course dealers usually have a higher hourly labour rate than hitch shops; if vehicle buyers want an aftermarket hitch it is common for the dealership to send the vehicle out to hitch shop to supply the hitch and do the installation, since that is cheaper than the dealer can do it themselves.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:46 AM   #32
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Unfortunately, I'm about a 24 hour drive from Chilliwack, so that won't work. I had hoped to go camping next week, but I think I'll put that on hold and put some more time into research.

So, it sounds like I shouldn't be looking at a labour cost of more than about 2 hours for both the hitch and controller? What is the standard shop rate - around $125? If I get the hitch and brake controller myself, do you think most hitch shops would do the install, or would they want to use their own parts?

This is getting complicated! Thank gosh for you guys!!
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:15 AM   #33
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OK, this is my first time posting pictures, so I hope this works. Looks like $430 for the hitch and wiring harness from Kia. Looks like this gives a 4 pin plug. If I use a 4-7 pin adaptor, this should work for me for this year, right? Will they wire in a 7 when I get the brake controller put on? I don't really want to deal with an adaptor forever.

Right now I'm going to keep digging, but I'm leaning towards getting the Kia hitch put on at the dealership, and maybe waiting until I pick up the trailer to have the Tekonsha P3 controller installed in Chilliwack. I should be able to arrange to have a couple of days there if needed.

Brian, I'm not too worried about charging while I'm driving. And the Aliner is only about 1000 lbs - I was told I wouldn't need a brake controller when I bought it 12 years ago - just have to get through a few more months... The Sorento weighs about 4200 lbs; the Xterra I previously towed it with weighed 3600 lbs. Both were rated for 5000 lbs towing.
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File Type: png Kia Canada Class III Hitch.png (256.6 KB, 9 views)
File Type: png Kia Canada Hitch Harness.png (48.7 KB, 6 views)
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:38 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blhvet View Post
Unfortunately, I'm about a 24 hour drive from Chilliwack, so that won't work. I had hoped to go camping next week, but I think I'll put that on hold and put some more time into research.
The alternative of doing just the hitch and wiring for the trailer lights (for now) can be done by anyone who does this sort of thing (I would do it myself) - no need to get to Escape's location for that. This can be done quickly, so camping next week is certainly reasonable.

The wiring for the trailer lights would be the same setup as shown in the Kia image... a plug-in harness with a converter, ending in a 4-pin flat connector.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blhvet View Post
OK, this is my first time posting pictures, so I hope this works. Looks like $430 for the hitch and wiring harness from Kia. Looks like this gives a 4 pin plug. If I use a 4-7 pin adaptor, this should work for me for this year, right? Will they wire in a 7 when I get the brake controller put on? I don't really want to deal with an adaptor forever.
...
Brian, I'm not too worried about charging while I'm driving.
Yes, that's the typical 4-pin flat connector. Yes, an adapter can work for now... if the Aliner even needs a 7-pin. If the Aliner doesn't have brakes, the only reason it would have a 7-pin would be to have the tow vehicle charge the Aliner's battery... which is why one of my conditions is that you're okay going without that charging for now, and why it helps that you don't need it.

Yes, the brake controller (and trailer charge circuit) wiring will include the installation of a 7-pin connector. I agree - adapters are short-term solutions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blhvet View Post
And the Aliner is only about 1000 lbs (even if the trailer is allowed to weigh 5000 pounds) - I was told I wouldn't need a brake controller when I bought it 12 years ago - just have to get through a few more months... The Sorento weighs about 4200 lbs; the Xterra I previously towed it with weighed 3600 lbs. Both were rated for 5000 lbs towing.
The Sorrento manual says brakes are required if the trailer weighs 1650 pounds or more - that's actually high, as many vehicles say 1000 pounds; pulling and stopping are two very different issues. That makes the Aliner look okay, but it seems unlikely that it's only 1000 pounds; Aliner's current Scout-Lite and Scout are described by them as basic tent replacements, and weigh 1150 and 1115 pounds empty. Then you add water, propane, and all your stuff. It's probably marginal, but it's fine for now.

Aliner's comparison chart shows all models as having brakes as standard equipment now.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:48 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blhvet View Post
Right now I'm going to keep digging, but I'm leaning towards getting the Kia hitch put on at the dealership...
An example of an aftermarket hitch receiver is the Curt, as shown at eTrailer. That one has structure visible below the bumper cover, while the Kia hitch seems to be hidden other than the square box itself. Although the box is in the same place either way, the Kia setup is tucked in more nicely... I don't know if that's worth the price difference, and I don't know if there are differences in the hitch structures or the way they mount to the vehicle as well.

I think I would count on the Kia hitch being at least as good as any aftermarket hitch, and possibly better. I would try to find one on a Sorrento at a dealership and stick my head underneath to have a look, but I realize that most people won't do that.

By the way, with the spare, a trim panel, and exhaust to move out of the way this hitch (using the Curt example) looks like more work than the average aftermarket installation. The Curt installation instructions say:
Quote:
INSTALL TIME
PROFESSIONAL: 45 MINUTES
NOVICE (DIY): 90 MINUTES
The Kia hitch may be the same, but may take even longer.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:36 AM   #36
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Thanks for pointing out the differences between the Kia and after-market hitches - I hadn't really noticed. Looks like about $120 difference. I did have a look at the installation instructions for the hitch, and I think it's a little more than I'd want to take on. Given that if I ordered the hitch, I'd then have to find someone to install it, I'm thinking I might just have the hitch done at the dealer. Hopefully they'll do a decent job. Should've just had it done before delivery. Should be able to find the adaptor at Crappy Tire.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:00 AM   #37
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It might be worth trying to see if the dealer will work with you on a total installed price - with you buying the Technosha and bringing it to them as part of the install. Our Highlander came with only the flat 4 pin wiring. I found talking directly with the service manager got me the best install price for all the wiring and controller installed. I also stipulated #10 wire for the power/charge wire. He said that that was standard on Toyota factory installs also.

Side note, when I was dealing with the guy who valued trade-ins, he highly recommended having the dealer do the wiring. Granted he works at the dealership, but he said he had seen a lot of corroded and broken trailer wiring that had just been run where ever it was easiest under the vehicle. The dealer ran all the wiring inside the Highlander and made sure all connections were inside also.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:41 AM   #38
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Just as a bit of a comparison to the quotes you got, I got a quote from two Edmonton hitch shops in 2013 to supply and install a brake controller for my FJ Cruiser, which already had a hitch with 7-pin connector. Because the wiring on my FJ was not plug and play for a brake controller, it needed greater effort to be wired in, and both estimates came back at about $500, which I thought was rather high. I decided to purchase a Tekonsha Prodigy RF (wireless) controller which required no special wiring to use with my FJ. I found one online with delivery for about $300Cdn, and installed it myself. I also ended up installing a 12V charging wire to my 7-pin which was activated by a solenoid when the truck ignition was on. The wireless controller has been working flawlessly over the past 3 years.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:11 AM   #39
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Good point Dave. Depending on how much wiring needs to be done, the wireless brake controller might be a cheaper option.


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Old 06-22-2016, 10:16 AM   #40
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Just to go with the info above, we paid $45 to an RV shop to install our Prodigy.
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