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Old 06-18-2024, 05:04 PM   #1
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Cost of hitch installation

We got a quote of $500 from our dealer to install our weight distribution hitch (see below). They said it was a three hour installation. Is this a reasonable amount? 🤔
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Old 06-18-2024, 05:26 PM   #2
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We got a quote of $500 from our dealer to install our weight distribution hitch (see below). They said it was a three hour installation. Is this a reasonable amount? 🤔
Just to install? $165 per hour? Seems like a whole lot to me. Hitch is all bolt on for the most part. Any reason why you don’t want to do it yourself?
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Old 06-18-2024, 05:34 PM   #3
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We were surprised at the cost, too. Not sure we know how to install one, but we'll look into it.
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Old 06-18-2024, 05:44 PM   #4
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We were surprised at the cost, too. Not sure we know how to install one, but we'll look into it.
That hitch comes pre-assembled. There’s almost nothing to the installation on your vehicle/trailer. I installed ours with no special tools/knowledge. It is very straightforward. Less than an hour of time if you’re working slowly and figuring it out as you go.
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Old 06-18-2024, 05:54 PM   #5
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Does that include the cost of the hitch itself (not sure what they retail for). Our dealer installed out hitch for free when we bought our Airstream. I had gotten a quote from another company nearby when there was some question if the dealer would install the hitch we already had (since we had it from our previous setup and didn't buy it from them) and it was under $100 if I believe for the install of a BlueOx Sway Pro (comparable level of install complexity). $500 feels like Pro Pride level of install, and even then, I'd wonder if that was them telling me they really didn't want to do the work.
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Old 06-18-2024, 06:33 PM   #6
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Good to hear. ��
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Old 06-18-2024, 06:34 PM   #7
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We paid for the hitch, so the quote is just for labor.
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Old 06-18-2024, 06:39 PM   #8
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We paid for the hitch, so the quote is just for labor.
What!?!

I assumed the quoted price of $500 included the cost for the hitch itself, too.

$500 for labor alone is robbery. If you are buying or bought an Airstream trailer from them - - find another dealer.
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Old 06-19-2024, 05:25 AM   #9
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I would find local help for a 18 pack of non budweiser.

It is not complicated and it does not take 1-2-3 hours to do it.

Why can't you do it?
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Old 06-19-2024, 05:29 AM   #10
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I think that is reasonable to pay to have it done.--We have an equalizer and for that you do need a special torque wrench that does 320 foot pounds for the hitch. If you don't want to buy the tool then you will need to pay them.

Many small businesses have menu pricing to assure that they hit a scenario where the are assured to not loose money on a job. (they have real costs for employee time, tools, schedulers, billing etc). So that 3 hours might just be a shop appointment set fee/minumum.

Maybe ask them if if that 3 hours is a menu price or some kind of minimum. If they have a 3 hour minimum to do any job, there may be a few other things you would want them to do at the same time.

Ideas would be an extra tube at the bottom for a second stinky slinky, covers on your fantastic fans, etc.
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Old 06-19-2024, 05:36 AM   #11
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Three hours at shop rate seems on the high end to me.

Colonial Airstream provided the hitch (Eq) and installed it for free as part of our 22 GT purchase, so hitches are not exactly a big deal for dealers. Is this a stand alone job, I.e. not associated with a purchase?

As stated, if you have the tools and some mechanical ability, it is not a huge job. I recently had to do some reconditioning on my new to me 2019 FC 25RBT Husky Centerline TS hitch and the only thing I didn’t have was a torque wrench capable of 380 ft lbs. My son (who is a heavy diesel mechanic) brought his tools this past weekend to help me move the head assembly on the shank, so I could line it up for my truck, vs the previous owners SUV.

I’d guess it would take maybe 30 minutes to an hour, tops, to put mine on, maybe longer if it was the first time. If you know your hitch model no, you can download the User Manual pdf for free, and it should list the tools you need to install, and guide you through the process.
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Old 06-19-2024, 06:23 AM   #12
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Do it yourself.
Not only will you save $500, but my experience is the dealer won't get it perfect anyway. (their goal is speed)
But the real advantage is knowing how everything works. Someday you'll adjust it and have to decide "More bar tension or move the head one hole up?"
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Old 06-19-2024, 08:01 AM   #13
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I think that is reasonable to pay to have it done.-- .


Absolutely not. But if your in the position of money is not an object then thats that.

If I could charge $500 to install trailer hitches for people, I would start my own business doing just that.

ETA: And if someone is willing to pay me 500$ in South Texas, I will gladly take your cash and install a hitch in a half hour.
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Old 06-19-2024, 08:33 AM   #14
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But the real advantage is knowing how everything works. Someday you'll adjust it and have to decide "More bar tension or move the head one hole up?"
Yep.

I just did that here at our campsite in Defuniak Springs FL in fact.
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Old 06-19-2024, 10:31 AM   #15
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Took me about 2 hours by myself the first time I did it. There was a lot of measuring, bolting and adjusting, checking, then bolting and adjusting, then measuring again with level. I bought the big wrenches and torque wrench, so I can always repeat them in the future when I change the payload or tow vehicle. Besides, we are supposed to check the torque on a routine basis.
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Old 06-19-2024, 12:44 PM   #16
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Old 06-19-2024, 01:46 PM   #17
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Looks like a good design, I like it.
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Old 06-19-2024, 03:14 PM   #18
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What TOW VEHICLE are you USING?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevienext View Post
We got a quote of $500 from our dealer to install our weight distribution hitch (see below). They said it was a three hour installation. Is this a reasonable amount? ��
******
Unless I missed it... Tow Vehicle? That determines your options.

I tow a 27FBQ International, on the Ball, towing with a 2016 F350 4x4 Diesel. I tow an Oliver Elite II on the Ball, as well.

Never a problem, still living and never in an accident. Tow Vehicle used is as important as the Airstream you are going to be towing.

Your Tow Vehicle being used should be added to your Thread. If it is a 3/4 or 1 ton 4x4 pickup... might want a refund for that hitch. Their Insurance Company may also have some influence in this charge.
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Old 06-19-2024, 04:18 PM   #19
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3 hours? It took me about 4 hours to do the Propride hitch which is far more complicated. And I had never done it before.

And when the dealer installed my original Blue Ox they did a terrible job. Had to basically do it myself again.

So $500 is highway robbery. An experienced person installing a typical hitch shouldn't take more than an hour.
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Old 06-20-2024, 07:58 AM   #20
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This is a very simple hitch to install. I have the same one and the most difficult part of the install was setting up the spring bars to get the truck ant the trailer level. You do need a good size torque wrench, but you can purchase this at HD for less than $100. As others have said, you will need the wrench in the future to make sure everything stays tight.
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