It's difficult to say where future trends in towing hitch covers will lead, but it's pretty safe to assume that people will still be installing hitch covers themselves in the future. So until scientists invent tiny robots capable of locking a pewter bulldog head onto your truck, you're going to have to suck it up and do it yourself. Luckily, it's one of the easiest projects you could hope to tackle.
With simpler, plastic models, installation of hitch covers is as simple as clipping them on. Other designs may require you to latch the actual, decorative cover onto the mounting piece that slips inside the drawbar receiving tube. Designs vary, but typically this won't require anything more advanced than a simple Phillips head screwdriver. Next, slide the mounting piece into the receiver and line up the side hitch pin holes in the receiver with the holes in the side of the mounting piece. Finally, slide a hitch pin through the holes until it locks. Now your hitch cover is latched in place. If you're concerned about possible theft, you can also invest in a hitch lock, which works instead of a hitch pin and is secured with a key.
You'll want to perform this installation under dry conditions. Otherwise, you might trap moisture between the metal parts in the receiving tube, which can lead to rust. Also, bear in mind that some materials, such as plastic, shrink or expand depending on temperature. As with other vehicle accessories, the manufacturer may suggest that you install the hitch cover within a particular temperature range.
Once your hitch cover is locked in, you're ready to hit the road -- at least until you actually need to haul something behind your vehicle. Explore the links on the next page to learn all about towing.