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Hi all, I have a Fiesta hatch on the way, should be at the dealer within 2 weeks. I need to get a hitch on it ASAP for my bike rack (1.25" Yakima Hold-Up), I ride multiple times a week and don't want to be throwing my dirty bike inside a brand new car. I was wondering if anyone had experience with the aftermarket hitches that are currently available for the Fiesta. etrailer.com has 3 available between $150 and 200, none require drilling, but there are a couple other concerns. The draw-tite one says "Hitch crosstube is visible beneath bumper", has anyone seen it? How much does it hang down? The hidden hitch says it requires a license plate adapter, anyone familiar with that? The Curt one doesn't say it hangs down and also doesn't say it requires the license plate adapter, so that sounds like it's the best bet, has anyone seen that one used?

2011 Ford Fiesta Trailer Hitch | etrailer.com

Thanks!
 

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The hidden hitch says it requires a license plate adapter, anyone familiar with that?
I have seen some cars that had license plate adapters because the cargo carried on the hitch rack covered the usual license plate location. Usually, this is with powered wheelchairs.

Presumably, whether you need one depends on whether the license plate ends up being covered enough for the local police to bother you about it.
 

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I have not seen these, but I am sure encouraged that three mfr's are making a proper hitch for this car (and for the sedan, too, incidentally). I say this 'cause the owner's manual cautions against towing. I realize you are using the hitch platform for the Yakima bike rack...

The really funny thing is, in Europe, the same 1.6TiVCT powertrain (same "Sigma SE" engine, same IB5 manual transaxle) with a "taller" final drive, and "shorter" first and second gears -- is rated at something like 1500# braked, and 800# unbraked. The North American Fiesta is better suited to trailer towing with its gearing, at least if you only go as high as 4th gear on the highway.

The Toyota Corolla is rated at 1500# braked with either transmission, and the Hyundai Elantra, too, is rated the same. I know these are compacts, whereas the Fiesta is a subcompact, but...

The Yaris is rated at 750#... - a subcompact.

North American mfr's are very, very cautious as this goes. The Europeans would NOT stand for this nonsense!
 

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North America has more lawyers. Thats the problem. I'm wondering if I put a Trailer hitch on mine to pull a small 1000# load trailer if it would void the warranty? Locating the wires for the lights is another problem.
 

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I would say that whether you potentially void your warranty is contingent on whether you have wiring in place, more so than whether you have a hitch platform in place (i.e. either a 1-1/4" square receiver tube or a flatbar receiver arrangement). Once you have wiring in place, it is pretty evident that you are towing a trailer. Otherwise, lots of folks use hitch-mounted bike carriers...

If you want the capability of a 1000# trailer (and therefore need the writing) -- I would say the following: If you have the vehicle serviced by Ford, I would say that it is problematic. If it is serviced by others (including yourself) probably no-problem.

If it were me, I would grab the wiring take-offs (for brake, ground, parking lights) from inside the car -- under the rear seat (assumedly the wiring loom passes that way). Make tie-ins, and then use factory-type Molex-like connectors. I would make it such that if you had an engine or transaxle related warranty claim where you would have to approach Ford, you would disconnect the wiring at the takeoff points prior to bringing in the car. Goodness knows, no-one would search for said wiring takeoffs there in the event of awarranty claim.

I don't advocate running the car in a manner that challenges its ability to deal with 1000# of trailer, breaking it, and then expecting Ford to pay. However, with intelligent use, 1000# max would probably be fine (750# would be better).

Remember, Ford will not pay for your clutch, regardless (it's considered a wear part). I would also be careful not to be on the gas, much (rather, coast, instead) when the wheels are cranked over right or left (that's hard on the CV joints). For that matter, goosing it, with the wheels turned much, is hard on the CV joints, regardless of trailer or not.

As for me, I once-in-a-while use my 500# empty trailer for runs to the trash and yard-wastes dump; 250# max payload, downhill all the way... I don't want a mfr telling me how to go easy on my car (I know how to do so).

Tell me if 750# total trailer wt is much different than four 200# people in my car?

Eurofordfan
 

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The trailer weighs most likely only 200# is a Harbor Freight wit 8" wheels good for 1000# load. I only use it occasionally to haul some wallboard and lumber for my house remodeling project. Only a couple hundred lbs. I did figure I would have to hide the wiring hook ups. It is an automatic transmission also.

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keep in mind 2011 FORD FIESTA
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS says
Maximum towing
capacity
(properly
equipped)
Not Recommended
and the 2011 Towing Guide says
The following vehicles are not recommended for
trailer towing: Fiesta
also the 2011 Fiesta
Owners Guide says
TRAILER TOWING
WARNING: Never tow a trailer with this vehicle. Your vehicle is
not equipped to tow. No towing packages are available through
an authorized dealer
 

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I think all those warning are less about the Fiesta being able to haul a small trailer and more about Ford trying to sell you a truck.

In any case, I would think autocrossing would put far more stress on the vehicle than carefully towing a few sheets of plywood back home from a lumber yard or some bags of leaves and grass to the recycling center.;)
 

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A why the heck would you need a license plate adaptor for a hitch that goes under the bumper when your plate is mounted on the hatch. Second, the reason why Ford put that disclaimer is because either A they did not actually test the Fiestas Towing Capabilities or B did and found it not reasonable to tow with the car at all due to safety concerns. As a former hitch installer, I can tell you that I put quite a few hitches on cars especially Hondas and Nissans where the manuals say strictly these cars are not to tow period. The fact Nissan stated to me directly never put a hitch on a 350 due to body and suspension set up might be a possible reason. When the manual says ''Don't Tow'' there's a good reason and no its not to get you to buy a truck. Towing is serious stuff and if you don't know what you're doing you're going to wind up wrecked or killed.
 

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"autocrossing would put far more stress on the vehicle than carefully towing a few sheets of plywood back home from a lumber yard or some bags of leaves and grass to the recycling center."


maybe on average it would, but its the emergency situations they need to consider as well, like the guy towing 1000lbs suddenly needs to hit the brakes hard, the chassis gives way causing major damage .....oooor (more likely) the tiny brakes on this car cant handle the extra weight well and you cant stop in time, crash!

my old car was only 2800lbs (it had 180hp but the base was 130hp and it could tow too) and it was rated for 1500lbs, but it had larger brakes and discs front and disc/drum in the back, with a full payload you felt the difference in stopping power, id guess the brakes are likely the biggest concern with this car for towing.
 

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It seems as though the guidelines for determining what vehicles can handle a class-I towing hitch have changed in recent years. I had a uhaul class-I hitch installed on my '98 civic (5-spd MT) and towed a uhaul 8x4x4 enclosed trailer from central PA to Denver Colorado in 2006. My Civic weighs only 2200lbs, but for a laugh, I weighed both it and the trailer (both were packed to the gills with the material goods that comprised my life at the time) on a truck stop's truck scale, and I think it was like 5800lbs altogether.

If a 2200lbs civic can pull nearly 3 tons from PA to CO, why is it 'not recommended' for the heavier 2500-lb festiva with a more powerful engine? (FWIW, the 3000lb mazda3 is also 'not recommended' for towing, so I'm guessing the 2012 Focus will also be 'not recommended' for towing.)

Really, is there, like, some new federal regulation on towing that they're not recommending cars should tow today even when they're 50% heavier/more powerful than cars that could tow a decade ago?

(01/04) edit: regarding the weight: spread over three axles. The hatchback really was stuffed floor to roof, so I do not know the weight distribution, but would guess today that 4x8x4 trailer was in the ballpark of 1250-1500 lbs, packed full with weight biased on hitch side. There's no question in my mind, all these years later, that the whole endeavor was risky, even if Honda hatchbacks did have U.S. towing specifications (and double-wishbone suspensions) back in the 90s, the overall setup braked like a locomotive compared to an empty car (had to do lots of 5-MT engine braking concurrent with pedal braking) and would not have been safe in emergency handling. Had the car not had excess weight, the trailer would probably also have pulled it into the ditch or another vehicle at some point. This is way off from what the OP was asking, for posterity of people searching for 'hitch' here. c_c more spirited discussion follows...
 

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Hi all, I have a Fiesta hatch on the way, should be at the dealer within 2 weeks. I need to get a hitch on it ASAP for my bike rack (1.25" Yakima Hold-Up), I ride multiple times a week and don't want to be throwing my dirty bike inside a brand new car. I was wondering if anyone had experience with the aftermarket hitches that are currently available for the Fiesta. etrailer.com has 3 available between $150 and 200, none require drilling, but there are a couple other concerns. The draw-tite one says "Hitch crosstube is visible beneath bumper", has anyone seen it? How much does it hang down? The hidden hitch says it requires a license plate adapter, anyone familiar with that? The Curt one doesn't say it hangs down and also doesn't say it requires the license plate adapter, so that sounds like it's the best bet, has anyone seen that one used?

2011 Ford Fiesta Trailer Hitch | etrailer.com

Thanks!
I, too, share the same concerns. As a cyclist, I'm trying to find a proper hidden hitch. Does anyone know why a license plate adapter is required, especially if a bike rack is being installed?

Update: I've emailed Curt Manufacturing in reference to their hitch system (product number 11067) and am currently waiting for a response with a few large images of their product installed. For what it's worth, there are a few small images of the hitch bracket installed in their installation guide, though they're rather small. You can find them here: CURT Manufacturing Installation Guide PDF

Second Update: Within thirty minutes of my initial email, Brad contacted me with a high-resolution image. I hope this clears any questions up regarding the looks. I don't want anything that shows too much and am really pleased with the way Curt Mfg. has designed their system. It's available on the initial poster's link to etrailer.com.

 

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Great Information! this is all very helpful,
A hitch for a rear mounted bike rack is on my list of do's for my fiesta and being able to see the hitch and how it looks on the vehicle is VERY helpful.
Props to everybody doing their research and helping everyone else by sharing what they find.
Thanks guys. :D
 

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In any case, I would think autocrossing would put far more stress on the vehicle than carefully towing a few sheets of plywood back home from a lumber yard or some bags of leaves and grass to the recycling center.;)
autocrossing isn't that stressful. it wears down tires faster. and maybe wheel bearings if you're running R-compound tires.
 

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It seems as though the guidelines for determining what vehicles can handle a class-I towing hitch have changed in recent years. I had a uhaul class-I hitch installed on my '98 civic (5-spd MT) and towed a uhaul 8x4x4 enclosed trailer from central PA to Denver Colorado in 2006. My Civic weighs only 2200lbs, but for a laugh, I weighed both it and the trailer (both were packed to the gills with the material goods that comprised my life at the time) on a truck stop's truck scale, and I think it was like 5800lbs altogether.

If a 2200lbs civic can pull nearly 3 tons from PA to CO, why is it 'not recommended' for the heavier 2500-lb festiva with a more powerful engine? (FWIW, the 3000lb mazda3 is also 'not recommended' for towing, so I'm guessing the 2012 Focus will also be 'not recommended' for towing.)

Really, is there, like, some new federal regulation on towing that they're not recommending cars should tow today even when they're 50% heavier/more powerful than cars that could tow a decade ago?
wow. im sorry, but thats INSANELY idiotic. that is extremely dangerous. what happens if a tire blows on your car or worse, on the trailer. you put your life and everyone elses lives at risk by doing that. i could write enough to fill a whole page of this thread, but this is all i'm gonna say. i dont want to start any arguments, but you have a couple loose screws up there if you think thats safe

a friend of mine recently passed away while towing a flatbed trailer with an srt4 on it with his underpowered S10 pickup. tire blew on the trailer, sent the trailer sideways. truck shot over the cement barrier and flipped over, crushing him
 
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