Hidden Hitch Class III Receiver Hitch
WHY? This truck is a working truck; I have to use it to haul things around a ranch and I have occasion to pull an assortment of different trailers. I set out to look for a class III receiver hitch. I was about to buy the OEM Nissan hitch when I came across an interesting item on eBay--a unit made by Hidden hitch specifically for the 2012 Frontier. This hitch tucks up nicely behind the bumper yet does not interfere with removal of the spare tire; it bolts into existing frame holes and no cutting or drilling is required. The towing rating is 5000 pounds and a 500 pound tongue weight. The price was definitely reasonable--$153 plus free shipping. I paid online via Paypal.
SERVICE. The eBay vendor was an outfit called tsetruckstuff_sales. Their service was exceptional. I received an email confirmation after placing the order, together with shipping information. The hitch arrived at the door two days after purchase, which I consider to be fantastic. Everything arrived in the original packaging and appeared to be in good shape. Parts and instructions were included and there were no obvious dents or dings, all of the welds looked to be clean, and the black finish was without blemish.
INSTALLATION. This job could be accomplished by an owner with modest mechanical skills and required only basic hand tools, though it would be handy to have a floor jack or a friend to help support the hitch as it is being bolted into place.
Using a floor jack to lift everything into place, I had everything bolted into place within 15 minutes. The illustrated instructions were clear but almost unnecessary, as it is pretty obvious how the hitch fit into place. There are three mounting holes on each of the left and right frame rails and they are easily accessible:
After everything was in place I was careful to tighten all the bolts to the recommended torque specs, 68 ft/lbs.
RESULTS. Nice. I'm really impressed with the fit and finish of this hitch, and it bolted into place without any problems. You'll also notice that the only part of the hitch that is visible below the bumper is the receiver itself. Unlike the OEM nissan hitch, this unit does not come with a bracket for mounting a 7-pin trailer wiring connector; if you wish to add one you'll have to do some improvisation. You can see my article on adding 7-pin wiring here.
WORTH THE MONEY? Absolutely. It's a nice price for a quality hitch. Just a note here: As with any other do-it-yourself automotive project there are often costs beyond the purchase price. Virtually any time I work under a vehicle with heavy metal objects I end up with wounds on hands and knuckles, and this job was no exception. The damage was light, however, with only a bruise and small cut on the back of my hand: