In moving from the city to the country, we discovered many (rather large) differences in lifestyle.  Quite a few of these differences are documented in this blog, but the one that probably took me most by surprise was the trash pickup situation.  As in there isn’t one…

That’s right, there is no municipal trash pickup in our neighborhood.  We can pay for a trash service to come, but I am not too keen on paying for the privilege of dragging trash bins down about a quarter mile of gravel road so someone can pick it up.  The alternative?  We drive our trash to the dump about 15 minutes away.  Not a great alternative, but with the number of improvements our house needs, I will save anywhere we can!

This presents a unique problem: I have to drive our trash to the dump…our trash…inside my car…gross.  Needless to say, it only took one trip with some old sushi in the back to seriously look for another way to transport the trash.  So a coworker kindly suggested we put the trash in a trailer and hitch it to our SUV when it needs to go.  Brilliant!!

First thing’s first – we need a hitch.  We never plan to haul a boat or anything with our hitch, so we found a pretty good deal on a medium duty trailer hitch.  And being a (stubborn) do-it-yourselfer, I dove right into the “installs in 30 minutes” instructions.  Turns out, it would have taken 30 minutes had I known what I was doing, but we got it on there nevertheless.

For our particular SUV (Mitsubishi Outlander), it wasn’t quite as simple as bolt this into that and done.  First, I had to detach the muffler, which sounds daunting and it kind of was 🙂  I had to crawl under the car a bit and use WD-40 and a crowbar to slide the three rubber hangers off.

Muffler hanger 1 (back passenger-side wheel well)-

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Muffler hanger 2 (between back two wheels)-

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Muffler hanger 3 (a little further back from hanger 2)-

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Notice the three holes just above hanger 3; those are the three holes into which the hitch will be bolted on the passenger side.

Now before detaching all three hangers, it would be wise to somehow brace the muffler because it will crash to the ground if unsupported.  I found it pretty easy to just use the car jack as a support (you will use it again later) and gently lower the muffler to the ground-

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With the muffler safely detached, it’s time to start bolting!  I started by screwing in the 3 bolts on the passenger side about 60% of the way…

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And using the jack to support the middle of the hitch while screwing in the 3 driver side bolts also about 60% of the way.

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Screwing the bolts in just 60% is pretty important because you now have to attach the hardware for the tow loop, which is under the car just to the passenger side of center-

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From here, tighten all 6 bolts to 100% and reattach the muffler with the hangers, and you now have a brand spanking new trailer hitch on your SUV!

Before-

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After-

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Pretty sweet.  Plus my car doesn’t smell like trash anymore 🙂