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Adding an after market trailer hitch with lights on 2016 Enclave

MitchEnclave

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Buick Ownership
2016 Buick Enclave Convenience
Any experiences folks could share on installing a trailer hitch and wiring on the Enclave? Dealer said, “not interested.”

Stopped by a dealer in a recent visit to the big city (we live way out in boonies) to pick up a hard to find part and asked about a hitch while there.

Parts guy flatly said not interested because the Enclave is not suited for towing and wiring harnesses for the trailer are not available.

Google search indicates otherwise.

I’m talking towing a lawn mower on a utility trailer, not a twin engine cabin cruiser.

As far as I can determine, my Enclave does not have any factory installed towing equipment (lights nor hitch).

What have been folks’ experience?
 

mtbsteve

New member
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2014 Enclave Leather AWD
I added one the first month I owned my 2014. The primary use is hauling 4 bikes on a carrier a few times per summer, maybe 800 miles of driving. I also have a folding 4' x 8' trailer I built from Harbor Freight with a 1,200 lb limit that I have used to haul everything from 25+ bags of mulch, wood, furniture, lawnmower/snowblower, over weight construction debris, soil, bricks, etc. I usually only tow these things no more than a few miles since I am maxing out the trailer weight in some instances but the Enclave does it just fine and the trailer keeps the real messy stuff out of the interior.

From what I remember, even though mine did not have the trailer package, the wiring is nearly complete from the factory. I remember having to lay under the passenger rear of the vehicle and feeling around for the harness near the rear wheel well. Once you find it, you plug in the new harness you buy and then mount it next to the hitch. Installing the Hidden Hitch mount was pretty easy from what I remember as well. The small piece of plastic on the lower rear bumper comes out easy with just 2 little twist locks. It looks like you can be up and running for under $140 and some time in the driveway. Just wear some eye protection as old dirt/rust falls onto you as you wrench away.

Check the Q&A sections for whatever parts you go with in these links, should have the info you need to complete it.

Wiring
2016 Buick Enclave Custom Fit Vehicle Wiring - Tekonsha
Hitch
2016 Buick Enclave Trailer Hitch | etrailer.com
 

redvett

3.8L S/C Member
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Buick Ownership
2017 Buick Enclave Premium
Your Enclave is capable of towing 2000 lbs by just adding the OEM hitch but if you add the coolers, transmission harness/switch, trailer wiring pigtail its capable of towing 4500 lbs. If you like the smooth look of the rear valance then order the hitch from GM but otherwise any brand will work only you wont be able to put cover back on.
 

mtbsteve

New member
8
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Buick Ownership
2014 Enclave Leather AWD
Your Enclave is capable of towing 2000 lbs by just adding the OEM hitch but if you add the coolers, transmission harness/switch, trailer wiring pigtail its capable of towing 4500 lbs. If you like the smooth look of the rear valance then order the hitch from GM but otherwise any brand will work only you wont be able to put cover back on.
We posted at the same time so I figured I would add more input. The Hidden Hitch I have fits fine behind the factory cut out. It looks like the $99 one from etrailer in the link above will work fine too.
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MitchEnclave

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2016 Buick Enclave Convenience
Thanks. Sadly, except in extreme emergency, my days of crawling under a car are over. However, your info will let me talk somewhat intelligently to an installer.
 

MitchEnclave

New member
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Buick Ownership
2016 Buick Enclave Convenience
... If you like the smooth look of the rear valance then order the hitch from GM but otherwise any brand will work only you wont be able to put cover back on.
Thanks. Looks like it’s time to talk with a different Buick dealership.
 

MitchEnclave

New member
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Buick Ownership
2016 Buick Enclave Convenience
We posted at the same time so I figured I would add more input. The Hidden Hitch I have fits fine behind the factory cut out. It looks like the $99 one from etrailer in the link above will work fine too.
Thanks! I do want to keep it behind the factory cut out.
 

MitchEnclave

New member
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Buick Ownership
2016 Buick Enclave Convenience
Interesting.

A second Buick dealership said, basically, “not interested” in installing a hitch and wiring on my Enclave.

Do they just not make any money on these things or do I need to rethink my towing options?
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mtbsteve

New member
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Buick Ownership
2014 Enclave Leather AWD
Likely a liability thing as the amount of money that can be charged at the dealer is infinite. I find that talking to the dealer about doing anything other than something they recommend doing instantly shuts the conversation down. They don't want to be liable for when you pull back in the shop after towing something too heavy and wreck your brakes, cooling system, transmission, etc and have to deal with you to deny warranty coverage or something similar. ( I know you mentioned towing items well under the limit, just making a point. )
Pretty sad, can't even talk "car talk" with these guys anymore, they are all vague and evasive. Have found that at the Buick dealer and well as VW and Hyundai as well.

Maybe try to find a small shop and say you will provide the harness and hitch. Explain to them what you know in regards to how to find the factory trailer wiring that ends a few feet from the rear of the vehicle, likely on the passenger side. With a lift, the whole process should be under 20 minutes. You don't even need to jack up the car though, just would make it that much easier. Good luck!
 
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