Tow Package - Uhaul or Dealership? - Jeep Patriot Forums
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  • 1 Post By festerw
  • 2 Post By jack.allwardt
  • 1 Post By Treegrower
  • 1 Post By 78SunnieDays
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Question Tow Package - Uhaul or Dealership?

Hi All,

I have a 2016 4WD Patriot that I want to add a tow package to (receiver & wiring). I have a transmission cooler, so all good on that side of things.

My questions is what option would you all recommend?

OPTION 1: Have Uhaul install non-Mopar receiver and wiring for just under $400 ($254 parts, $135 installation)

OPTION 2: Purchase Mopar parts (reciever kit 82213567AB; wiring kit 82209280AE) myself and have Uhaul install (they confirmed they could do this) for $515 ($380 parts, $135 install)

OPTION 3: Have everything done at the dealership for just over $1000 ($323 parts, $690 installation).

I bought the car new back in August 2016 and am a little worried that Uhaul may do something to the car that would mess up my warranty (or the vehicle).

This was the response from my Service Manager at the dealership when I asked about the huge cost difference between them and Uhaul:

"Yes, Uhaul can do it cheaper than anyone. However, they will not use factory parts. (Note: Not entirely accurate - If I purchase the factory parts, Uhaul will install them) We will register the option with Chrysler as a dealer-installed factory item, and we will install the correct wiring harness. Uhaul usually installs an adapter harness, which may or may not work in all cases."


What should I do? Is it safe to use Uhaul, or is there a huge ($500+) benefit in having it done at the dealership? Factory parts, or aftermarket parts okay?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 03:45 PM
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Or option 4, install the factory hitch yourself and have the dealer do the wiring. It's not a terribly involved process.

Trailer Hitch Instructions For DrawTite, Reese, Hidden Hitch & More - etrailer.com
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, I'm not comfortable doing it myself, but thank you!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 04:27 PM
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Well, unless you can get a good reference from another jeep owner regarding this uhaul shop--don't! I did my '08, by myself, in about 45 minutes for the Hidden hitch, another 30 minutes for the harness that came with the tow prep package, so one can do it- Now that I'm well over 70, I elected to have uhaul do my '16. I even arranged an appointment, and was totally frustrated when I was there over FOUR HOURS! I know how long it should take, so I elected to wait--and they didn't have any other work, but the fellow obviously bit off more job than he was capable of or knew how to read the instructions. Additionally, he carved a huge gouge in the bumper fascia--which cost over $350 to replace/install--which uhaul paid for, and the collision place reported the hitch wasn't installed properly, too small diameter bolts, not tightened, let alone torqued, etc.

For this old DIYer, it really frosts me to see the crappy job many so-called experts are performing--and taking many times too long to perform.

So, now that I've tripped over my soap box, let me wish you good luck with whatever method you do go with. Up here in the PNW, we have a series of tire stores, Les Schwab, that will install hitches--so shop around- Also, check if there's an "off-roader's" store, a "4x4" store, or something of the sort. If you have ONE friend that is mechanically inclined, buy him/her a great dinner and plan to hand tools to them, that would be my first choice. And, don't be afraid to ask around others you work with, hang out with, attend church or social clubs for references.
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Jack Allwardt, Bonney Lake (Tehaleh area), WA; "recovering Californian"; (REPEAT Patriot Owner...'08 Limited and a '16 High Altitude), Retired engineer, US Army veteran, Member: American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Central Valley Vietnam Veterans, Enumclaw (WA) Lions Club. Former vintage military jeep owner, instrument rated commercial pilot, ag pilot, vintage aircraft restorer and test pilot.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the great advice, Jack! I didn't realize that tire stores like Les Schwab can do installations, so I will definitely check out that option as well.

And, yes, that's the kind of thing I'm worried about with Uhaul, although I guess there can be incompetent mechanics anywhere you go...

I am quite the DIY'er around the house, but unfortunately not so much around vehicles, so I'll check around to see if I have any mechanically inclined friends.

Thanks again and thank you for your service to our country!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:55 AM
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Also look in your area for companies that sell utility trailers, gooseneck trailers, etc.. Here's an example in my area: Capital Equipment | Used and New Tractor's Michigan http://www.cedealer.com/Service.aspx

People that buy trailers often need hitches and wiring installed. These facilities tend to have a "small" service shop with only a few mechanics. You can go in there, get a feel for their experience, and talk one on one with them about your concerns. It is not hard to find the "diamond in the rough" service shop that really knows their stuff. The Patriot is not a difficult install.

I would opt for an aftermarket hitch such as Curt. Others will guide you about the wiring harness....aftermarket or OEM. I would not spend the $$ at a dealer, but that's just me. And, for some reason I would not trust UHaul either.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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That's another good point - we have plenty of tractor places around here that I could look into. I'm most worried about the wiring aspect - I want to make sure that none of the other electrical stuff gets messed up or damaged in the process of installation. Definitely agree that I should go in to a physical location and get a feel for their qualifications. Thanks for the advice!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up

Thanks @festerw, @jack.allwardt, and @Treegrower for the advice! I found a local business in my area that actually does mobile hitch installation. He has 23 years of experience, has excellent reviews on Yelp, answered all my questions over the phone, and quoted me just under $400 total. I'm feeling really confident he will do a great job!

If anyone else in the Sacramento area is looking for hitch installation, here is his website (Sacramento Mobile Hitch): Sacramento Mobile Hitch

I will update on this thread after the installation (scheduled for 4/29) and comment on how it went.

Also, found the perfect sized trailer for my needs at Lowe's for $449. I will be all set for camping season by next weekend!

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Carry-On-Tr...railer/3680952
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:06 PM
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Even if you pay for someone else to install, you can get the parts for a lot less than they are trying to get you for. A Curt hitch goes for $90 on Amazon. http://a.co/dq0z9vk

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breadtruck View Post
Even if you pay for someone else to install, you can get the parts for a lot less than they are trying to get you for. A Curt hitch goes for $90 on Amazon. http://a.co/dq0z9vk
If you pay the going shop labor hourly cost--$200 +/-, it shouldn't take more than an hour, and <should> take less with a innovative mechanic. And, and easy to install lighting system for about $50 or less from e-trailers...that will take 1/2 hour to install. Save some money to spend on your recreational activities.
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Jack Allwardt, Bonney Lake (Tehaleh area), WA; "recovering Californian"; (REPEAT Patriot Owner...'08 Limited and a '16 High Altitude), Retired engineer, US Army veteran, Member: American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Central Valley Vietnam Veterans, Enumclaw (WA) Lions Club. Former vintage military jeep owner, instrument rated commercial pilot, ag pilot, vintage aircraft restorer and test pilot.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 01:05 PM
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I did everything myself and got it all installed myself. With a second pair of hands for the hitch.
CURT 13081 Class 3 Receiver Hitch $90
Tow Ready 118552 T-One Connector $48-$60
Genuine Jeep Accessories 82210701 Engine Oil Cooler Kit $135 You said "transmission cooler" look it up its two different things and also have two different Oil coolers depending on your year.
I got it all installed myself for at the time $275.
* make sure you have an oil cooler because if not you can only tow 1000lbs.
Another thing is that trailer you want from lowes is too small. I got myself the 4x6 when they had a special with tax and all for $458. Thats in AZ. I wish I got the 5X8 trailer it holds more. If you rent a trailer from uhaul a 5X8 open trailer weights 1000LBS already if you have an oil cooler then you can load about another 1000LBs to the trailer.
A good website to use for reference to install the equipment is etrailer. If you dont know anyone hopefully you know someone handy. So do a lot of research and make sure its what you wanting. But I dont recommend the 3.5X5 thats nothing to hold anything. I am happy with my 4x6 but wish I got the next size up. Good luck and let me know if you have questions. Make sure to get the right oil cooler if you dont have one, there is a way you can tell.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 10:53 PM
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Us DIYer's sometimes have difficulty swallowing the cost to let others do what we could do. We forget about the value of the business's overhead, expertise, warranty, etc.. Yes, $400 seems just a tad high to me, but it is well within the other estimates in the original post. In Michigan, it seems that $150-$200 for parts (they expect to make profit on that too) and $150 labor (1.5 hour) would be about right.

You have to have an excellent relationship with a business to have them agree to installing parts that you bought. Only a few will do that, because they have had headaches installing junk parts and getting blamed when problems arise down the road. The way some customers are A-holes, I can see the business owners side too.

If this guy is legitimately excellent, he seems like a good choice. Much better than risking a goof ball at U-Haul.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry so late to reply - I thought I would get email notifications if anyone else replied to my thread, but apparently not! haha

So, @benzgt89, this was the email my service manager at the Jeep dealership sent me - Is he totally off-base? I'm super confused now. Do I have to have an oil cooler or is having a leveling hitch good enough if I decide to tow over 1000 pounds? How do I tell if my Pat already has the oil cooler? I thought they were one in the same...


"It took me a little while to be sure that we had all of the correct information for your vehicle. Your vehicle is limited to 1000 lbs towing capacity, unless your trailer has a LEVELING hitch. Trailers that have a leveling hitch can be up to 2000 lbs. We will have to install a vehicle hitch AND a trailer wiring harness to do the job. Your vehicle is already equipped with a transmission cooler."


I wish I had the expertise to install everything myself, but I'm just not handy enough in the car maintenance department (at this point in time) to do stuff like this myself. And although my German Shepherd is extremely intelligent, she's no help whatsoever (I blame it on lack of opposable thumbs). ;-)

Also, I think the trailer size will be okay. I'll be using it primarily for weekend camping trips as a place to haul a couple of ice chests, my tent, etc. Maybe once in a while to haul some stuff to the landfill or pick up some landscaping stuff. Considering I can't tow too much weight (especially if I have to have an oil cooler in addition to a transmission cooler to tow over 1000 lbs), and this trailer is only 300 lbs, I think it will suit my needs. I can't imagine I would be towing much else with it, but thank you for the words of advice!! I will check out etrailer as I've seen other people mention that on here as well.

@Treegrower and @jack.allwardt - On the invoice Sacramento Mobile Hitch sent me, he's charging $125 for the Curt class 3 receiver, and $180 for the installation (2 hours @ $90/hr). All the electrical components (t-connector, bracket mount, and wiring bracket) come to $63. This includes a 5 year warranty on the hitch and one year on the electrical.

Like you mention, I'm okay paying for his expertise, overhead, etc. Being a small business owner myself, I know that is a cost that is necessary to run a business and to provide services to others. Sounds like the labor might be a bit high, but he is coming to my house to install, so I'm sure there's a bit of a premium there for the convenience.

Thank you again to everyone for the advice - this website has been so helpful in getting questions answered and solutions figured out!!

Last edited by 78SunnieDays; 04-26-2017 at 12:29 AM.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 02:55 PM
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Hope this helps

Sounds like you should be okay then with that you want. May not have to worry about the oil cooler. But here is a way to find. You might have to get under it no tools or jacking up the vehicle is required and jeep needs to be cool. You or someone you know would have to reach where the oil filter goes and feel around towards the drivers side two hoses above the oil cooler.I placed a picture for a reference.
regaurdless if you have a transmission cooler or not and no oil cooler than you can tow only a 1000LBS. But I from I understand you should be okay for your needs.
* If you find out you don't have an oil cooler and want to get one depending on the year.
mopar 82210701 is for all manual transmission patriots and from 2011-2017 automatic transmission.
mopar 82210700 is for automatic transmission only from 2005-2010 and they have a transmission cooler that connects with an oil cooler.
Some poeple made the mistake and got the automatic one for 2011 or newer when they should have gotten the manual transmission oil cooler I did my research for the 2013 model and got the right one. its strange they would remove the transmission cooler after 2011.
Also german shepherds are awesome dogs, I have a 10 month and he is amazing smart and loyal.
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Last edited by benzgt89; 04-26-2017 at 02:58 PM. Reason: Additional info
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 03:09 PM
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Heres another way to find out

Jeep Capabilities - Towing Capacity Chart
Check out this link and on the upper left select 2016 drop down. Depending on which patriot you have it will tell you the towing capacity. Either ways you do not have a transmission cooler. But may or may not have a an oil cooler depending on the engine and type of jeep patriot. If your jeep is a 2.0L engine than no matter what its 1000LBS but with your needs should be fine. if its a 2.4L engine could be 1000LBS or even 2000LBS.
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