I want to add a trailer hitch for extra storage on 2006 Toyota Hybrid Highlander Limited. I've seen these storage boxes that appear to mount on the hitch and allow access to the rear hatch still when they are opened to the side. The storage box I will use is the "StowAway Max Cargo Carrier with Swingaway Frame".

My question is what kind of hitch should I get? Should it be a Toyota branded one, or can I go with the less expensive alternatives such as "Curt Manufacturing 13530 Class III Hitch Receiver - Round Tube" or "REESE Part Number: 51155 Pro Series- Round Tube - Class III".

Is there any significant difference between one hitch and another? What else do I need to get in addition to the hitch? How hard is it to install?

Here is what Toyota marketing says:

Who Thinks about Tow Hitches?

Chances are you bought your Toyota truck or SUV for all the things you can do with your Toyota. Whether you're hauling equipment to the construction site or taking a boat to the family's favorite vacation spot, you work hard and play hard. But one thing you probably don't do is spend a lot of time thinking about tow hitches.

Toyota engineers, however, do spend a lot of time thinking about hitches. That's why every Genuine Toyota hitch features a vehicle-specific design precisely engineered to achieve the maximum tow rating. This is accomplished by taking into account the specific model's frame, engine, transmission size and towing capacity — ultimately providing a hitch that matches the capacity of the entire vehicle, so you can enjoy improved towing [3].

For example, establishing the departure angle of the hitch and ball mount is critical, because if the angle and distance between the back tires and ball mount are too far apart, the ball mount may scrape the ground while towing on an incline.

With Toyota, you know you'll get the quality, dependability and reliability that you rely on for proven towing capability, along with that extra touch of personalization to complement your driving needs.

Genuine Toyota Accessories — further proof that the most reliable accessories are never “one size fits all.”

And their pdf brochure is found here.

2 Answers 2


You should be fine as long as you go with a custom hitch, meaning one designed to bolt directly to your frame. Most of what Toyota marketing says is just that, marketing.

For what you are planing on using it for almost any hitch would do. I would recommend going with a class three hitch liked you mentioned in the event you ever wanted to pull something with more weight, a class three hitch matches the 3500 lbs towing capacity for your vehicle.

Installation is relatively easy and can be installed with basic hand tools in less than an hour. Most of them bolt to preexisting holes in the frame 2 or 3 bolts per side.

The instruction sheet for Curt hitch you mentioned is here and shows detailed instructions on how to mount the hitch they say it takes approximately 20 minutes.

Wiring is simple, get a custom wiring harness that plugs into the factory harness the one pictured below is from Curt as well

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I think you have an option to either use the custom installed hitch by Toyota or an aftermarket hitch. It's your choice. The after market hitch will help you tow even more weight maybe. Toyota of course will tell you that theirs is the best because they want you to buy it but the choice is dependent on you. I would go for the aftermarket hitch because they are easy to install and most come at affordable prices

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