Scratching (or sandblasting) the seven year hitch

After seven years the hitch on my Sequoia is definitely showing wear and tear. This essential component of your towing system needs to be checked regularly.

That’s hitch, not itch.

In the past I’ve written about how choosing a weight distributing hitch with anti-sway bars can make your ride safer (Trailer safety: Choosing the right hitch). And I am a stickler for checking the trailer coupler, the tow ball, and the electrical system/brakes every time I tow.

But I haven’t given too much thought to the hitch on the truck side (receiver) of the equation.  Until now. Luckily my husband is the one who maintains our vehicles and he has been keeping an eye on it.

In this close up shot you can really see the rust and corrosion.

This is the factory hitch from my 2003 Toyota Sequoia.  As you can see, it is quite rusty.  It’s still roadworthy, but eventually it won’t be.

The real problem though is the bolts that attach the hitch to the truck.  The bolts are hidden from view when the hitch is installed and the mounting holes in the hitch act as water traps.  The water seeps in to

The bolts from the hitch are starting to thin. These will be replaced with new bolts when the hitch is reinstalled.

these spaces and doesn’t evaporate, so the bolts rust in a spot where the rust can’t be seen.  You can see from the pictures that the bolts are getting thinner right below the bolt head.  This is not good.

So my hitch is going out tomorrow to be sand blasted and epoxy powder coated.  When it comes back it’ll be installed with new bolts.  I’ll post pics so you can see how much better it will look!

Now, don’t forget to crawl under your tow vehicle and check your hitch. And if you’re not mechanically inclined or are not lucky enough to have a spouse who is, make sure your hitch is inspected for safety as regularly as your trailer.

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