2018 Terrain - Trailer Wiring - TerrainForum.net: GMC Terrain Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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2018 Terrain - Trailer Wiring

Hey all - I recently traded in my 2015 Terrain V6 for the 2018 Terrain Denali with the 2.0t engine. Neither Terrain had/has the factory tow package included.

On my 2015 - I was able to get away with purchasing an aftermarket hitch and wiring setup. Both were installed by myself with no problems. The hitch mounted into the frame perfectly and fit into the pre-cut notch in the bumper. For the wiring - I was able to find an outlet down near the spare tire which allowed me to plug right in and start using lights (no splicing/cutting of wires - just plugged in and I was ready to go with a 4-pin connector)

On my 2018 - Its proving to be a bit more challenging. First, I did not get the towing package as the dealer made mention that available Terrains with towing packages were rare unless I wanted to have it custom-ordered from the factory (which I found out after the fact was False). First thing I'm noticing is the aftermarket hitches currently available put the hitch below the bumper, and on mine there's a pre-cut notch in the bumper that I just need to remove to have the hitch level with the rest of the rear of the car. I'll probably end up buying the GM OEM hitch due to this, which isn't the end of the world. Just a few more $$$, but it looks a ton better than having the hitch sit below the bumper.

The bigger issue I face is the trailer wiring aspect, for which I'm lost. I've seen it mentioned in other forums that there's a plug-in located within the rear bumper to plug into. I'm not seeing this on my vehicle. Wondering if anyone else has attempted to tackle this themselves.

I'm really kicking myself for not doing some more research into the factory towing package availability as I'd be all set already, but I basically ruined that chance after I drove the vehicle off the dealer's lot. Hoping there's some options out there that doesn't require cutting wires and doing a bunch of splices, but I'd value any input I can get on this. It was very simple on my old Terrain - love for it to be simple on this one as well. Thanks all!
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 08:21 PM
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I have an 18 LT, and I bought an aftermarket hitch, and while it does sit below the bumper, it is not at all unsightly. I din't even notice it. Yes, there was a plug sitting inside the bumper on the driver's side, and it was easy to access, and plug into.

2018 Equinox LT1 1.5 L 4 cyl, AWD, S/R Cajun Red Tintcoat/Black

2010 Equinox LTZ 2.4 L 4 cyl, FWD, S/R Cardinal Red/Black
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 08:33 AM
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Sounds like the wiring issue is not going to be a problem ? Maybe find a good looking aftermarket hitch and save a few bucks ?
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2018, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input RIT333 - I decided to give it another closer look over the weekend and sure enough I found the wires packed up within some padding in the bumper! So I'm all set there.

I talked to my local dealer, and after some haggling and using a GM Rewards certificate for accessories that I got for buying the vehicle, I was able to purchase the OEM hitch and wiring for almost the same price as an aftermarket hitch/wire. I attempted to install myself tonight, but after 2 frustrating hours, I'll probably be making my way back to the dealer for them to install. The hitch and wiring is easy and straightforward. The hard part? The whole rear fascia needs to be removed to get the hitch into the frame. On paper it didn't seem like a hard task, but once I started working at it (almost busting the fascia due to the force of the tabs holding it together), I'm rather nervous that I'm going to end up busting the plastic off and be out more money to have a new fascia installed. Not sure if anyone has had the pleasure of removing that - seemed easy, but I didn't have any luck. Posting pictures to show some of the many pry-points.

Again it wasn't nearly this hard on my old terrain - just take out the pre-cut cover on the bumper and screw it in.

EDIT: After doing some googling and youtubing, looks like I was going about the fascia the wrong way. Instructions made it sound like I needed to insert a blade into the crack and pull down, but from what I'm seeing its more about pulling the fascia back towards myself with the blade inserted to assist in allowing the tabs to un-grab from the rest of the car. Still not sure how I feel about that part, but I may give it a try for laughs and gigs.
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Last edited by CptSneb2191; 06-06-2018 at 09:13 PM.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 06:21 AM
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See what you mean from pic #1, you need some big OOs to simply bend and start pulling on that seem. Good luck
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 07:06 PM
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I installed the GM factory receiver on our '18 Equinox premier 1.5 in case I needed it for very light loads on my small aluminum trailer.
It took me a while to figure out the rear fascia removal, but once I got it started it came pretty easy. I also had to remove the tail lights. The GM unit I bought through the dealer came with a mickey mouse harness set up that had an adapter for the flat four connector at the end of the harness. I chose to modify the harness to accept a 7 pin receptacle, like the bracket on the receiver was meant for. On the Equinox the aluminum bumper support has to be removed and is replaced by the receiver. This is a significant part and if you have the dealer install the receiver I would ask for its return or ask for credit. On the Equinox the part also has the threaded section that the factory supplied tow hook is screwed into when needed. Of course you will have the safety chain holes to use for the same purpose if needed.
I was surprised that you had to add a hitch to your Terrain. The 2018 2.0 Equinox comes with the receiver and a 7 pin receptacle as standard equipment.
Howard
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 10:03 AM
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The GM trailer kit comes with the proper wiring. I purchase a 2018 Terrain AWD Diesel, and it did not have the hitch. You can go online and buy the proper hitch. It takes about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to install. I paid $362.62, but I remember the dealer wanted to charge $650 to put it in.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-09-2018, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Update - I finally got a bit of courage and decided to install the hitch myself. Thankfully it wasn't as hard as I expected. The fascia removal was the hardest part (mostly due to fear of breaking something), and once that was off it was simple. Took maybe 30-45min to install the actual hitch/wires.

Posting some pictures in case anyone else attempts to DIY this. One important note: There is a screw near the wheel well on both sides that I do not think were accounted for in the install instructions. These screws were why I was having so much trouble removing the fascia before, because I was fighting the screws when pulling on the fascia. Once those were out, taking it off was simple.

Appreciate all of the assistance from the posters here! This is my first forum post in the Terrain Forums.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-09-2018, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCO41 View Post
I installed the GM factory receiver on our '18 Equinox premier 1.5 in case I needed it for very light loads on my small aluminum trailer.
It took me a while to figure out the rear fascia removal, but once I got it started it came pretty easy. I also had to remove the tail lights. The GM unit I bought through the dealer came with a mickey mouse harness set up that had an adapter for the flat four connector at the end of the harness. I chose to modify the harness to accept a 7 pin receptacle, like the bracket on the receiver was meant for. On the Equinox the aluminum bumper support has to be removed and is replaced by the receiver. This is a significant part and if you have the dealer install the receiver I would ask for its return or ask for credit. On the Equinox the part also has the threaded section that the factory supplied tow hook is screwed into when needed. Of course you will have the safety chain holes to use for the same purpose if needed.
I was surprised that you had to add a hitch to your Terrain. The 2018 2.0 Equinox comes with the receiver and a 7 pin receptacle as standard equipment.
Howard
I think the 2.0t only comes with the hitch if you opt for the trailer package from what I was reading. If opting for the trailer package it includes the hitch, 7-pin hookup and a "Trailer Mode" option on the transmission to adjust shift ratios (maybe other options as well but those were the only ones that stuck out to me). Can't remember how much of an up charge it was for the "package", but really you can do it all yourself and save the money IMO. The only thing that is missing is the Trailer Mode on the transmission, but I'll use Manual/Low mode and shift myself if absolutely needed. I won't be pulling anything too heavy so I think just staying in Drive and being easy on the accelerator will be OK.

As other posters have indicated, if you buy the hitch package from GM and install yourself, it comes with a 4-pin instead of a 7-pin install. I'm curious to see if the wires still exist for brakes as the connector under the bumper looks like it has 6-7 wires going into it, just reduces that at the connector to 4 for the 4-pin. That part doesn't make much sense to me, but if I'm feeling gutsy I may take a look up at the front of the car and see if the wires have been run for a brake controller. Don't really need one at this point in time, but might be nice in the future.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-10-2018, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptSneb2191 View Post
Hey all - I recently traded in my 2015 Terrain V6 for the 2018 Terrain Denali with the 2.0t engine. Neither Terrain had/has the factory tow package included.



On my 2015 - I was able to get away with purchasing an aftermarket hitch and wiring setup. Both were installed by myself with no problems. The hitch mounted into the frame perfectly and fit into the pre-cut notch in the bumper. For the wiring - I was able to find an outlet down near the spare tire which allowed me to plug right in and start using lights (no splicing/cutting of wires - just plugged in and I was ready to go with a 4-pin connector)



On my 2018 - Its proving to be a bit more challenging. First, I did not get the towing package as the dealer made mention that available Terrains with towing packages were rare unless I wanted to have it custom-ordered from the factory (which I found out after the fact was False). First thing I'm noticing is the aftermarket hitches currently available put the hitch below the bumper, and on mine there's a pre-cut notch in the bumper that I just need to remove to have the hitch level with the rest of the rear of the car. I'll probably end up buying the GM OEM hitch due to this, which isn't the end of the world. Just a few more $$$, but it looks a ton better than having the hitch sit below the bumper.



The bigger issue I face is the trailer wiring aspect, for which I'm lost. I've seen it mentioned in other forums that there's a plug-in located within the rear bumper to plug into. I'm not seeing this on my vehicle. Wondering if anyone else has attempted to tackle this themselves.



I'm really kicking myself for not doing some more research into the factory towing package availability as I'd be all set already, but I basically ruined that chance after I drove the vehicle off the dealer's lot. Hoping there's some options out there that doesn't require cutting wires and doing a bunch of splices, but I'd value any input I can get on this. It was very simple on my old Terrain - love for it to be simple on this one as well. Thanks all!


Thatís kinda disappointing, All equinox 2.0tís come with a factory installed hitch and 7 pin plug... even has a nice removable cover in the bumper so you donít see the hitch when not in use.


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