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Aftermarket Hitch or OEM Hitch

  • OEM

    Votes: 7 100.0%
  • Aftermarket

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at the 18 MDX Advance and would like to look into a trailer hitch installation for it. I am intentionally leaving my explanation fairly blank because I want to know what people think without trying to basically say what they think I want to hear. I would really appreciate just some simple explanations as to why you would go for the OEM hitch or the aftermarket. Thanks in advance!
 

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Usually the OEM hitch has the advantage of fitting the look of the vehicle, being integrated into the rear bumper facia. An aftermarket hitch will be just as capable, but usually hangs down below the bumper.


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I went thru the same question last year. I ended up with the OE hitch. The only reason was looks. I did not want some ugly piece of metal hanging down under the bumper. The OE comes with a factory plug and play wiring harness, tucks up tight and is nearly invisible when not in use.
 

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Planning to add OEM hitch to my 19 MDX before spring bike riding season starts. OEM fits nicely in the cut-out in the rear bumper and you can add a full size spare. Some aftermarket hang below the cut-out and may/may not fit a full size spare tire.
 

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You should go with the OEM one, I have the Curt on my 15 and it is sitting too low for me, I attached a weathertech step on it, it would give me better protection if it sits higher.
 

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Planning to add OEM hitch to my 19 MDX before spring bike riding season starts. OEM fits nicely in the cut-out in the rear bumper and you can add a full size spare. Some aftermarket hang below the cut-out and may/may not fit a full size spare tire.
Unless things have changed there is no cut out on the lower valance until you swap it out when installing the hitch. This is part of the hitch kit.
 

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Unless things have changed there is no cut out on the lower valance until you swap it out when installing the hitch. This is part of the hitch kit.
Poor choice of words on my part. The trailer hitch trim is replaced with the trailer hitch cover for a factory look flush with the rear bumper. Aftermarket hitches can sit below the trailer hitch cover like zhouye2015 Curt hitch.
 

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I've actually had both. Had a Curt hitch on my '17 SH-AWD Tech and an OEM hitch on my (current) '19 SH-AWD Advance. Both function well, and while the Curt does sit lower (under the rear bumper trim) it never caused me any issues. In my case I just decided to go OEM this time since my local dealer matched an online OEM retailer's price, but I didn't have to pay the shipping. It was still more than the Curt hitch, but not by all that much. It's really a personal preference - both will do the job, and both bolt up with 6 bolts quickly. only caution is that the OEM hitch, while it does have a replacement bumper trim piece to allow for the hitch to fit thru it, makes it more difficult to install since you have to feed the receiver thru the opening and not let it pull down on it during the install. Tricky to do on the garage floor, even with help...
 

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They all will tow your equipment, but the aesthetics of the OEM hitch is unbeatable.
 

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^^^ It takes like 3 seconds to Google image search the two options.
 

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If you're considering buying a Curt at full price, I'd say go with OEM. If you can get the Curt at a substantial discount, get the Curt (that's the only reason I'm running the Curt.. $70 shipped to my door a few years back).
 

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Here's a pic of my '17 Tech with the curt hitch...
114030
 

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I've had the Curt hitch before and IMO it's the best of the aftermarket hitches. On my newer MDXs I have since gone back to the OEM. It looks better and it's much easier to use. If you are using a bike or ski rack only then it really won't matter.

The hitches are low to start with so the higher the better (FYI the ball adapter goes up). Adding the trailer tongue weight lowers it even more so the safety chains are yet lower. The power connector is the 7 way (camper), adaptable to anything. The OEM hitch being higher and coming out of the bumper trim allows for a better angle for the backup camera down view to hook up the trailer. We use ours for 2 different boats and occasionally a small camper.
 

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And apologies for the winter dirt - but here's a picture of my '19 Advance with the OEM hitch (minus the wiring connector - I use a Curt in-line adapter that I keep in the storage area inside the MDX and pull out only while using it...
114031
 

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I initially went with the Curt hitch. It's a beast. Very heavy to handle (you'll want two people to install) and difficult to get around the muffler mounts. Once on, it's obtrusive. My eye was instantly drawn to it whenever I approached my vehicle. It sits low and DOES stick out beyond the bumper cover by a significant amount.

I order two of them from Amazon and both came beat up. The second one came in an actual Curt box, but the box was so poorly made, it was punctured in places and ended up chipping off the (very fragile) finish. I ended up returning them and going with the OE hitch.

The OE hitch is probably a 1/3 of the weight, is very easily installed (an easy 1-person DIY) and looks great. It was perfectly packed and arrived quickly from the website I ordered it from. I didn't buy the trailer wiring harness as I'll likely only ever use it for a bike rack. The finish is a matte powder-coat and is much higher quality than what came on the Curt hitch. It's easily worth the money over the Curt hitch in my opinion.
 
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