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Old 09-05-2018, 01:02 AM   #1
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Receiver for Sienna

Hello,

Can anyone recommend a receiver for a Sienna towing 17b? When discussing towing with ETI I believe the trailer hitch ball is required to sit 18” with trailer load on. This will require quite the rise for the receiver. We ordered trailer with Equalizer ( pro series 600lb trunnion) no sway control as recommended by ETI. Can anyone also recommend a hitch shop in the Lower Mainland that can install brake controller and 7 pin wiring. I have a trailer hitch but it does not have a receiver and I assume the equalizer does not come with one. We are new to towing so please bare with us for the rookie questions.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:05 AM   #2
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Talk to Burnaby Hitch.
I'm happy with the work they did for me.
Make sure you tell them you need a Class III receiver for a weight distribution hitch.
The WDH itself can likely be adjusted for height. My Pro Series can be adjusted.
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by lilkuma View Post
Can anyone recommend a receiver for a Sienna towing 17b? When discussing towing with ETI I believe the trailer hitch ball is required to sit 18” with trailer load on. This will require quite the rise for the receiver. We ordered trailer with Equalizer ( pro series 600lb trunnion) no sway control as recommended by ETI.
...
I have a trailer hitch but it does not have a receiver and I assume the equalizer does not come with one.
I think there's some terminology confusion here. The "receiver" is the part permanently bolted to the van, or specifically the square socket hole in it, so if you have a hitch you have a receiver. A ball mount, drawbar, or hitch system shank is inserted into the receiver - yes, you'll need one which rises quite high from the receiver to match the Escape, because a Sienna receiver is under the bumper and quite low.

The square opening of the receiver will need to be 2-inch to fit the weight-distributing hitch system.

The Pro Series 600 lb trunnion system is a weight-distributing (WD) hitch system, but not an "Equalizer" despite the Escape listing. It includes a head which is bolted onto a shank at a suitable height; the shank (also called a drawbar in some documentation) is the part which inserts into the receiver. You should be able to turn the shank to rise up as shown in the installation instructions... hopefully it will be high enough.
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:04 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I think there's some terminology confusion here. The "receiver" is the part permanently bolted to the van, or specifically the square socket hole in it, so if you have a hitch you have a receiver. A ball mount, drawbar, or hitch system shank is inserted into the receiver - yes, you'll need one which rises quite high from the receiver to match the Escape, because a Sienna receiver is under the bumper and quite low.

The square opening of the receiver will need to be 2-inch to fit the weight-distributing hitch system.

The Pro Series 600 lb trunnion system is a weight-distributing (WD) hitch system, but not an "Equalizer" despite the Escape listing. It includes a head which is bolted onto a shank at a suitable height; the shank (also called a drawbar in some documentation) is the part which inserts into the receiver. You should be able to turn the shank to rise up as shown in the installation instructions... hopefully it will be high enough.
Well put.

Just to add, there are 2 types of hitches, Weight carrying, and Weight distribution. Weight distribution is much heavier to taking the torque of the drawbar. Check to make sure you know which one you have, unfortunately, I believe you have a weight carrying hitch only. You may have to upgrade the hitch, talk to your hitch dealer if unsure.

Also the shank that goes in the receiver (hitch) can be inverted to accommodate the higher trailer.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by lilkuma View Post
Hello,



Can anyone recommend a receiver for a Sienna towing 17b? When discussing towing with ETI I believe the trailer hitch ball is required to sit 18” with trailer load on. This will require quite the rise for the receiver. We ordered trailer with Equalizer ( pro series 600lb trunnion) no sway control as recommended by ETI. Can anyone also recommend a hitch shop in the Lower Mainland that can install brake controller and 7 pin wiring. I have a trailer hitch but it does not have a receiver and I assume the equalizer does not come with one. We are new to towing so please bare with us for the rookie questions.

We set up our Sienna to tow our 17B and went through the same learning curve as you. It sounds like you already have the hitch receiver, which is a big metal contraption that bolts to the frame under the vehicle and has the two inch square hole that your receiver will go into. Hopefully your Sienna also has the “tow package”, which is basically a beefier radiator and transmission cooler. If you are getting a weight distributing hitch with your trailer from ETI, this may include the drawbar and ball, which inserts into the receiver. Contact ETI to check. If not then you will have to do some measuring and purchase a drawbar with the correct rise to get the ball at the correct height. You will have to get a brake controller installed, along with a 7 pin connector at the rear that the trailer plugs into. And one other thing that you should consider is airbag suspension boosters, because a fully loaded 17B is right at the limit of a Sienna’s capabilities. Airbags help. Without them ours felt like a bug being pressed down on by a giant foot.

Ultimately we traded our much loved Sienna for an F150, though, for two reasons. One, while just barely within the towing specifications, the Sienna was at the limit, and handled like it. We were worried about taking that setup on the extended adventuring that we had planned. Secondly, we needed the extra space of the F150 to accommodate all the gear we wanted. The Sienna has fantastic cargo space, but it wasn’t enough for our two adult cargo bikes (super long), two kids trailer bikes, two kids regular bikes, plus a whole mess of other camping gear, which we then hauled all around North America for a year. If we weren’t such a biking-centric family, everything would have fit fine in the Sienna. Loved that van. Buuuut, love the F150 even more. It has saved our bacon more than once, and handles our new 19 now without breaking a sweat.

Sorry for the digression. Find a good shop to wire up your brake controller, check if you need to buy a drawbar/ball or if ETI will provide, and consider airbags, then you’ll be good to go!
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:15 AM   #6
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You might look at the etrailer.com web site. Check out the hitches and videos, there is lots of information and education. Good camping
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lilkuma View Post
Hello,

Can anyone recommend a receiver for a Sienna towing 17b? When discussing towing with ETI I believe the trailer hitch ball is required to sit 18” with trailer load on. This will require quite the rise for the receiver. We ordered trailer with Equalizer ( pro series 600lb trunnion) no sway control as recommended by ETI. Can anyone also recommend a hitch shop in the Lower Mainland that can install brake controller and 7 pin wiring. I have a trailer hitch but it does not have a receiver and I assume the equalizer does not come with one. We are new to towing so please bare with us for the rookie questions.
As Brian stated, the receiver is the part of the hitch system that is permanently (we hope) bolted to the body of the van. The part you are asking about is given a number of different names; a "stinger" is one I often see - walk into it and you will discover where the name came from.

In any case, that part comes with the weight distribution hitch you ordered from Escape. They may need to order an extended riser if the stock one doesn't extend high enough. At the time I ordered my Escape 17 (2011) they didn't charge for the replacement, but I believe the currently have to purchase them, and do charge. In any case, they will take care of the set up from your receiver to the trailer at the factory during your orientation.
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:27 AM   #8
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For reference, this is pic of Pro Series WDH on my RAV4.
If you look where the ball is located, you can see the height adjustment mechanism.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg With WDH2.jpg (118.1 KB, 18 views)
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:39 PM   #9
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For reference, this is pic of Pro Series WDH on my RAV4.
If you look where the ball is located, you can see the height adjustment mechanism.
Hi: gbaglo... I'm glad to see you're "On the ball, on the level, and not in the bag"!!! Alf
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:34 PM   #10
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Thank you

Thank you for all the great replies. This info is very valuable and helpful.

Cheers,
Scott
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:12 PM   #11
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Just to add, there are 2 types of hitches, Weight carrying, and Weight distribution.
...
Check to make sure you know which one you have, unfortunately, I believe you have a weight carrying hitch only. You may have to upgrade the hitch, talk to your hitch dealer if unsure.
It's hard to find a 2" receiver hitch for the Sienna which is not rated for weight-distributing use, but yes, check. If it is a 1.25" receiver it will definitely need to be replaced for WD use, as the already ordered WD system (like all available WD systems) will only fit a 2" receiver.
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