03 Cooper S Trailer Hitch Suggestions

Started by tmsmini, April 21, 2023, 02:59:11 PM

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tmsmini

My son has an 03 S that keeps going...
He is looking at trailer hitches, not to tow anything but for a bicycle rack.
The one that MM and others sell say they are not for the S model due to the backup light. I think we can work around that but does anyone have any experience?


MiniDave

I've installed Curt hitches on them......

I buy straight from Curt rather than Etrailer......but here's the link for them anyway

https://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2003_Mini_Cooper.htm
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

MPlayle

I installed one of the MiniDoMore hitches on a 2002 Cooper-S.  The Curt hitch is very similar.

Both install behind the bumper.  On the Cooper-S with the center back-up light, you have to trim a plastic support piece for the hitch to clear.  The receiver ends up hidden behind the back-up light.  You unclip and disconnect the light whenever you use the hitch.  When not using the hitch, you reconnect and insert/clip the light back into the bumper.


BruceK

About 7 years ago I installed a Curt hitch on my '02 Cooper S so I could tow my classic Mini to the Mini Meet in San Diego.  The hitch was easy to install and it pokes out through the hole left when the stock backup light is removed. I don't remember having to do any cutting or trimming.  I've left the hitch installed because it's a pain to install or remove it due to tight access above the exhaust pipes, and behind the bumper cover.  Likewise, it is no fun to install safety chains up under the bumper either. On the positive side of things, if I were to remove it, it would go back to a stock appearance. Since it's on full-time, I created auxiliary backup lights using a little round LEDs.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

MiniDave

I have a Curt hitch on my 09 Clubman S, it also installs behind the bumper cover, but in my case I had to drill an access hole for the tow bar to fit thru into the hitch, it's covered by the lic plate when not in use. Mine is very easy to install and remove the bar. I also tow my classic Mini with mine and I've done tens of thousands of miles that way - works a treat.

Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

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