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How I Installed a Hidden Hitch on my 2006 Honda Odyssey


It was high time I installed a receiver hitch on our Odyssey. The bike rack we own is one that requires a 1-1/4 or 2-inch receiver hitch, and my truck is the only vehicle that we can use it on. Also, it would be nice to be able to pull a trailer with the Honda every once in a while.


I ordered this Hidden Hitch from eTrailer.com with a 2″ receiver, for all my ball mounts are for such size. Because my order was over $150, shipping was free. It arrived at my door in less than a week.

The mounting holes are easily accessible without the need to jack up the vehicle.  This is the driver’s side, with the back of the van to the left. Our van is 6 years old, so a bit of rust build up can be seen here.  No problem, they just need to be cleaned a bit with a wire brush.

A shot of WD-40 in the hole and several seconds of spinning the wire brush did the trick.

The instructions recommend lowering the exhaust for easier installation of the hitch  But I figured I’d first try to install it without going to that trouble.  Turns out, I was able to fairly easily maneuver the receiver into place as-is. Saved me some time in lowering and then putting it back into place.

Working alone, I used the aid of a jack stand to aid in holding up the opposite end I was working on.   This worked out better than I had anticipated.

At that point, it was as simple as placing the metal spacer bars between the hitch and frame, and inserting and tightening the bolt with a washer.   I used a 3/4-inch socket with extension and in about 5 minutes had all 6 bolts tightened.

Tada!  Hitch receiver installed!

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9 Responses to “How I Installed a Hidden Hitch on my 2006 Honda Odyssey”

  1. Eric
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the detailed report. Have you experienced it scraping on steep driveways or uneven road surfaces? I’m considering a hitch-mounted bike rack for our 2012 Odyssey, but we have a steep driveway to deal with.

  2. Posted May 17, 2014 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Eric,
    I’ve never experienced any scraping. The hitch is 10-inches above the ground, so you would have to have a long bike rack sticking out, and be on a very severe slope to hit. Normal driving conditions are not a problem.

  3. Jason
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Hey Dave, did you do anything else to your Odyssey to be able to use the hitch? I keep seeing posts about having to add some transmission coolers. I would think that the existing transmission setup could handle some bikes or pulling a small trailer for some suitcases, coolers and beach toys. Obviously I would be concerned about pulling a boat or camper.

    • Posted June 2, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Jason, the Odyssey has a towing capacity of 3500 lbs. No need to add any transmission coolers for bicycles.

  4. TOM
    Posted June 28, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    I installed the same hitch on a 2008 odyssey and the hole on each side that is to the front of the van is threaded and is larger then the 4( 2 on each side) to the rear. The bolts that came with the hitch threaded in perfectly but the one on each side that is to the front is larger. Do you know what size I should purchase?
    thanks Tom

  5. Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    For certain sedans, a roof rack may be the best option for a
    2 or 3 bike rack. Although a determined thief would be able to steal the
    bike if they really wanted to, it certainly prevents just any passerby from taking your bikes
    are riding away with them. It is important to know where the mounting hooks
    will be installed.

  6. john carrature
    Posted April 10, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    1 question when you attached the wiring harness ,can you tap into the wires of the light or did you buy the harness that plugs in

    Thanks
    John

    • Posted May 13, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      I don’t have a wiring harness. I installed the hitch to carry my 4-bike rack.

  7. james smith
    Posted June 24, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Hi Dave,
    when you attach 4-bike rack to the Hitch, did you use the smaller hole towards outside or the bigger one towards inside. I am using the outside one, but the rack is wiggling. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Thank you