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1.25" trailer hitch, Thule Transporter Cargo Box, Trailer wiring


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13 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Ryan McEachern

Ryan McEachern

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:30 PM

I keep forgetting to do a write up on a modification we did to the C-Max in December. We went up to the in-laws for Christmas, and although we had planned to take a bigger vehicle to hold everything, once the time got close I was reluctant to burn all the extra gasoline - so I bought a hitch, mounted it, bought a hitch mount cargo box, wired in the trailer lights, and off we went. I did this all in the evening before we left, so I didn't take very many photos, sorry.

 

The box works perfectly, it will hold our two largest suitcases no problem, and left the back of the c-max for the small suitcases, and assorted pies and goodies that needed special care. All the seats were occupied. The box weighs about 60 pounds i think, they claim a 150 lb capacity, but I will be restricting myself to 100 pounds max in the box, because the box itself is fairly heavy and I am uncomfortable with hanging much more than that on an 1.25" hitch.

 

The box kept the luggage dry, started on the coast with a rainstorm, ended in the interior in a blizzard, so we were pretty happy. It got totally covered in salt and slush and grime, due to its location, but the inside was dry and clean.

 

Big advantages of the cargo box are : It fits on the back of the car with the garage door shut and the car in the garage, whereas a roof box would need to be mounted and loaded outside the garage in my case, for clearance issues. It is quite boxy and handles suitcases fine, whereas most roof boxes are too shallow for suitcases. My wife can load and unload the cargo box without getting a stool or stepladder. It doesn't seem to change the fuel economy at all, although I am sure it must increase drag to some extent, hanging out there in the slipstream like that. It's an extra bumper if someone taps us in the snow, or if I back into something. 

 

Big disadvantages are: It is not as attractive as a nice streamlines roof box, in my opinion. It is cute in its own way, but not handsome, if that makes any sense. It can not hold skis or snowboards, although I have since mounted a snowboard holder on the top of the box, I'll have to post that in a separate thread. It blocks the license plate, if you want to remain legal you have to move the plate to the mount that is on the back of the box. This only takes a few minutes, but is still one more job to do. It has tail lights, and they should probably be wired in, even though the cmax lights are high enough that the box doesn't block them. I chose to wire in a 4-pin trailer connection and plug the box into it, and it looks really sharp at night. It blocks the reverse camera, and you will need to cancel the reverse parking sensors every time you back up once it is mounted. I need to be careful how much weight goes in the box, because it will lighten the front end considerably, and change the steering, braking, and traction dynamics. (we haven't noticed any change at all with the 100 lbs in it. I suspect the C-max front end is pretty heavy.) 

 

All that considered, I decided it was the best option for us, and am very happy with it. I will try to link to some photos.

 

https://www.facebook...&size=1536,2048

 

https://www.facebook...&size=1536,2048

 

https://www.facebook...&size=1536,2048


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#2 OFFLINE   Tdefny

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:12 AM

Great job. I could really see that coming in handy. Can you open the hatch with it in place?

#3 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 06:29 AM

I also have 1.25 hitch and use a flat cargo carrier to greatly expand carrying capacity.  Many of you have probably seen these pics I've posted before:

 

null_zps350ed31a.jpg

 

7c86ba10-38ee-484b-a3bb-dfb8535f4ace_zps

 

 

 

 

My carrier slides fore/aft so I can adjust it to allow the hatch to open and if I keep things loaded properly I don't cover the plate.   I, too, try to keep it lightly loaded.  I've used igloo's for items I want to protect from weather.  I haven't noticed any affect on mileage.  I think it's out of the airflow enough.  The Thule box is a good idea for wintery weather.


Edited by fotomoto, 03 February 2014 - 06:29 AM.


#4 OFFLINE   Ryan McEachern

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:13 AM

Wow, nice cargo platform. Looks good.

 

There box tilts back about 45 degrees to give lots of room for the back to open up. There is a stirrup style handle/latch with a safety pin. The hitch I chose actually is flush with the back of the car, so the box sits far enough back that you can open the rear hatch enough to fish stuff in and out without tilting it down if you want.

 

Now that I have the hitch set-up, I could really use that cargo platform for tall but light stuff. Hmmmm....



#5 OFFLINE   Tdefny

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:03 PM

I am jeolous. Would a 2" hitch be stronger or would it not even matter? My family always rides me about the size of the trunk, but it has never failed us yet.

#6 OFFLINE   viajero

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:17 PM

I am jeolous. Would a 2" hitch be stronger or would it not even matter? My family always rides me about the size of the trunk, but it has never failed us yet.

 

A 2" receiver would almost certainly be stronger, but the smaller hitch may well be more than strong enough.  To know for sure would require finding data on the metal and finding a mechanical engineer and convincing them to calculate possible dynamic loads...

 

The people who made the hitch should have done the necessary math to make sure it's strong enough.  I went with a 2" because bike racks and cargo carriers can put a torque on the receiver as they try to rock side to side.  A trailer on a ball hitch can't apply much torque, so I don't know if the manufacturers would consider that or not.  Given the popularity of non-trailer things mounted on trailer hitches, you'd think they would, but I'd rather have the wider receiver just in case.



#7 OFFLINE   smangerer

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:23 PM

Links to products please?



#8 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 07:40 PM

The 1.25 inch hitch I went with is a Curt unit https://www.curtmfg.com  and it's a Class 2  hitch rated at 350 lbs tongue weight so I don't have any real concerns with it failing.   The best price I found while researching was here: http://e-hitch.com   I wanted an adjustable length cargo carrier and found this welded one piece here: http://www.etrailer....-Tite/6500.html  which is also a great site for hitches too.  

 

NOTE:  most hitches say they will block the hands free lift gate sensor but I found mine still works by kicking the optional rubber hitch plug.

 

null_zps8ac2e948.jpg



#9 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 07:44 PM

Now that I have the hitch set-up, I could really use that cargo platform for tall but light stuff. Hmmmm....

 

For light loads (and cheapest price), look for bolt together units.  I see them on sale in the $60-70 range here in the US at harbor freight, walmart, northern tool, etc.  Aluminum designs are even lighter but more money; however, I'd go with one of those if I used it a lot.



#10 OFFLINE   Jonn Parker

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 10:58 AM

Can you post more details on the wiring harness installation. I'll have the hitch installed soon and the wiring for my tiny little trailer is next...

 

- Jonn

 

(7 week owner of 2013 C-Max Energi)


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#11 OFFLINE   dontfret

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 02:26 PM

I went with the Torklift 2" as it had no drilling required - designed to use the muffler hanger bolts, went on in about 5 minutes.  I also would like the info on the trailer harness wires, thinking of putting tailights if it is an easy job, and someday getting a flat trailer.


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#12 OFFLINE   auchtung

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 09:10 AM

I recently put a Thule Transporter Cargo Box onto a 1.25" Torklift Ecohitch and wired up with a CURT 59146 Powered 3-to-2-Wire Taillight Converter on my 2015 C-Max Energi.
https://assets.curtm...E_56146_INS.PDF
This took me about 1.5hrs to wire, since I was being careful and also taking care of a toddler, but it was not bad at all.
Wiring was particularly easy due to the fact that the battery is in the back, so no long wire to the front of the vehicle.
There's even a pass-through hole on the rear left, perfectly sized for a 4-wire hitch connector to pass through. I just used a scissors to cut a hole through it for the pass through.
You need to pretty much remove all of the back panels, requiring a Torx 25mm and 10mm socket. 13mm socket for the positive terminal; 8mm for the ground chassis bolt.
Probably the hardest part was fishing the green right turn wire up through the rear right panels.

As posted in another thread, the wire colors corresponded as such:
Turn signals: Green-Orange (Right), Grey-Orange (Left)
Stop/Brake signal: Violet-Brown
Tail Lights: Violet-Green
Ground-Chassis - a nice bolt right where it should be on right rear side to tie in (see photos).

See some wiring pics here for more detail, all photos mid assembly:
https://www.dropbox....090055.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox....090059.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox....090149.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox....090617.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox....092336.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox....093243.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox....095545.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox....095558.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox....103045.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox....103052.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox....142844.jpg?dl=0

Just in time for a camping trip!

Edited by auchtung, 09 June 2017 - 11:40 AM.


#13 OFFLINE   tr7driver

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 08:47 AM

For light loads (and cheapest price), look for bolt together units.  I see them on sale in the $60-70 range here in the US at harbor freight, walmart, northern tool, etc.  Aluminum designs are even lighter but more money; however, I'd go with one of those if I used it a lot.

All the units I can find locally are for 2 inch hitches, even at walmart and Harbor Freight.  Any recommendation on where to get a 1.25 inch cargo carrier?



#14 OFFLINE   RubyMax

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 09:12 AM

All the units I can find locally are for 2 inch hitches, even at walmart and Harbor Freight.  Any recommendation on where to get a 1.25 inch cargo carrier?

The Hitch Hall comes with a 2" bar and a 1.25" bar.

 

https://www.walmart....r-Bars/16778176

 

http://www.homedepot...10208/202572403










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