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Is Fascia Trimming Required for Trailer Hitch Installation on a 2011 Jeep Patriot  

Question:

Hi there, Im looking to purchase a hitch for my 2011 Jeep Patriot but i seem to be getting conflicting information. Ive heard you need to cut part of the fascia in order to install a hitch yet i also read no trimming is required, which one is it? All i need is a simple hitch so i can put a bike rack on it, specifically a Yakima double down 4. I was looking at the Draw-tite hitch, code # 36423. I dont want to have to trim anything as i dont have the tools to be able to do this. I took pictures of the cars bodywork where the hitch would go so if that will help let me know and i can attach them to an email and send them your way. If i can get feedback on this issue id appreciate it, thanks a lot.

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Expert Reply:

When I enter your 2011 Jeep Patriot into our fit guide, I show that all of the available hitches (see link to the options) require fascia trimming. The 2011 models have a 2 inch vertical fascia that will interfere with hitch installation.

Trimming is not as difficult as you might think, and you may have the tools you need already. You can use a utility knife to score the trim lines and aviator shears to make the 2 inch long cut on each side. Then, it is just a matter of bending the now cut piece of fascia until it comes off. Sand of the rough edges and that part will be complete.

Since you want to carry a 4 bike rack, I recommend going with a Class III hitch, Draw-Tite # 75712, because it has a higher capacity than a Class II hitch and can better handle the stress. I have included a link to the installation instructions that also show where the trimming needs to occur.

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