Complete Towing Setup for 2011 Chevy Express Van

Question:

Hi, I’m buying a 2011 Chevy Express awd van and it does not have a hitch on it. I’m looking to add a 7 way wiring kit as well as a brake controller and 2” receiver, can you tell me which parts I need to order? I’ve read that the express is presided for at least a 4 way flat, can I just add the battery wire and brake controller wire?

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Helpful Expert Reply:

I can help you find everything you need. Assuming that this is the passenger/cargo version and not the cutaway cab and chassis, for a hitch I recommend going with the Curt Class V Hitch # C15320 . This is a 2" receiver hitch and is the highest rated hitch for your vehicle in terms of towing capacity- which will come in handy if you have the 3500 Express Van. If you've got the 1500 Express or 2500 Express, you'll still be limited to the factory recommended towing capacities for those models since you're always limited to the capacity of your lowest rated components.

For wiring, it appears that the Chevy Express either comes with a quick connect plug to add a 4 way connection (but doesn't actually have the connector), or with the factory towing package that comes with a 7 way connection. Since your vehicle should be equipped with a simple quick connect you can use the Hopkins Plug In Simple # 41155 to give yourself a 4 way connector- I've attached an installation video that shows what the plug is and where to look for it. If it turns out your vehicle doesn't have this connection, you'll need the Tekonsha # 118392 to wire in a 4 way connector. After you've got your 4 way, you will need the # ETBC7 to add a 7 way connector. Either way, if you don't have the factory tow package, you will need to wire in the brake controller wire and battery wires-but these wires and circuits are included with the # ETBC7 kit.

For a brake controller, I recommend using the Hayes Genesis # HA81790 which requires adapter # HA81789-HBC . The Hayes Genesis is a proportional brake controller that allows you to control the brakes on up to 4 axles and automatically levels itself for easy setup.

To complete your setup you'll also need a ball mount. If you're going to be towing under 7500-lbs, part # 989900 provides a complete kit with 2 hitch balls and ball mounts to allow you to pull different trailers with different rises/drops. If you need something more heavy duty you can use # EBMK2216 which has a 16000-lb capacity.

helpful expert reply by:
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Erik B

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