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Curt Class III Trailer Hitch Installation - 2022 Subaru Outback Wagon

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How to Install the Curt Class III Trailer Hitch on a 2022 Subaru Outback Wagon

Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today on our 2022 Subaru Outback wagon, we're gonna be showing you how to install the Curt trailer hitch receiver. But before we do that, why don't we check it out and make sure that this is gonna be the right hitch for you. When it comes to the Subaru Outback, a hitch looks right at home on it. People use these things to do a little bit of everything, honestly. You know, whether you're using a bike rack to go to the trails and do some riding, pulling some trailers around, maybe a small camper, some kayaks, stuff like that, maybe even throwing a cargo carrier back here to free up some space on your trip.

Whatever the case may be, having a hitch is really gonna open up your opportunities on the things you can do with your Outback. And another thing that kind of comes to my mind as well is how it's gonna look on the back of it. Right So in this case, I think they did a really good job with the appearance. For the most part, it's gonna be completely hidden. Really the only thing you're gonna be able to see is the receiver tube opening.

I do wanna address one of the more popular questions we get asked about these, and that has to do with fitment. You know, is this gonna fit all the different sub-models of the Outback And this hitch is designed to work with all of 'em, whether you have the base model, the fully loaded one, something in between, even the Outback Wilderness and ones that have single and dual exhaust. So actually matter of fact, today ours is single exhaust. I did this hitch last week on a '21 that has a dual exhaust and everything fit right and the way it should. So regardless on what model you have, this hitch is gonna work.

With this being a class three hitch, it is gonna have that two inch by two inch receiver tube opening. And this is arguably probably the most common size. So ton of different things will work with it. At the end there, it has a reinforced collar for a little bit of extra support. And it is going to use that standard 5/8 pin and clip.

Now pin and clip don't come included. If you need one, though, not really a big deal. Something to point out with it, just kind of the nature of the hitch and where it sits, a pin and clip like this that has just a hole at the end of it does work like you've just seen, but if I we're to buy one, I'd probably get one that has the groove that runs all the way around. That way, when you put this in, you can kind of just clip this in wherever, just make it a little easier on you. With that said, though, the safety chain openings, these are gonna be a loop style and give us more than enough space to use just about any size hook that our trailer might have. As far as the hitch's weight capacities go, it's gonna have a 350 pound maximum gross tongue weight rating. And that's gonna be the amount of weight that is pushing down on the hitch, so a decent number. And you should be able to use those one to four bike racks, just to kind of give you an example. As far as the hitch's maximum gross trailer weight rating goes, that's gonna be 3,500 pounds. And that's gonna be the amount of weight that is pulling on the hitch, So the weight of your trailer plus anything that you might have on it I do always like to suggest, though, it's never a bad idea just to grab your Subaru's owner's manual. That way you can make sure your Outback can pull that much weight safely. And with that said, if you're gonna be pulling a trailer around, you're gonna want the lights to work on it. That way everyone around you knows what's going on and you'll be safe and legal. And to accomplish that, you can always grab some trailer wiring. Now we can just go ahead, grab a couple of measurements and you'll be able to use these to help figure out which hitch mount accessories will work best. You go from the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening. That's gonna be right at 16 inches. So if you're gonna be pulling a trailer around, chances are really good you can use a ball mount that has a straight chain. If you go from the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of the rear bumper, that's gonna be right at three inches. And you can use that measurement to figure out that if any folding accessories you might have can be stored in that upright position without contacting the bumper. With that measurement only being three inches, that's really good clearance, and chances are really high that essentially whatever type of folding accessory you have will be able to clear everything without any issues. Compared to some of the other hitches available, it's kind of tricky. There's quite a few of 'em that we carry. And in terms of appearance, they're all gonna look about the same for the most part, sit in the same area. Really you'll just see this receiver tube. With the exception of one, there's a draw tight that is completely visible so the whole hitch kind of hangs down under the bumper, don't look terrible by any means. I mean, it's on a Subaru so you kinda expect to see something back there. But kind of the benefit to that one though, it has really high weight capacities. So if you're gonna primarily be towing kind of some heavier things, it might be a better option for you, kind of give you a little more peace of mind knowing that the hitch has those higher capacities and is overbuilt. But that's not to take away from the other ones. These and all the other ones, you're gonna be able to pull your trailer around. In terms of the ones that are pretty much hidden like these, they're all gonna be about the same. Some have a little higher weight capacities but that's really about the only difference, so not really a huge deal. Other than that, though, at the end of the day, definitely a good option. I think it looks good and it's gonna get the job done. And as far as getting the hitch installed, really not too bad, believe it or not. You do have to remove your bumper cover. But don't let that intimidate you. Subaru made it really easy. There's only a handful of plastic fasteners you need to take off. They're all easy to get to, and essentially just kind of just snaps off. And from there, it's kind of a breeze. You just essentially bolt the hitch up, more or less. So as long as you take your time, really shouldn't run into too many issues. But speaking of that, why don't we go ahead, pull into the garage and put it on together now. To begin our installation, we're gonna be here underneath the back of our Subaru. And we are gonna need to remove the bumper cover to get our hitch up. Not really a big deal. These are pretty easy to come off, actually. So first thing we need to do, around the whole edge of the bottom of our bumper, we're gonna have several push pin type fasteners that we need to pull out. So in order to do that, you can take a flathead screwdriver or even a trim tool, pry it out on the head of it and pull it out. And yours may or may not have these two here. Just really depends if you have these mud flaps. But actually this one looks like we don't need to pull on 'cause it's not holding our fascia. So we'll skip that one and just continue to work our way all the way around here. Looks like this one we don't need to remove. It's kind of just holding this silver piece, the actual bumper. But this one, however, you need to pull out. Sometimes these can be really tight and this is where the trim tool kind of comes into play, makes it a little bit easier to pry them out. You may have to just kind of pull down. For some reason, this one is super tight. Not a big deal, as long as we get 'em out of there. So I'll just continue to work around the edge here and get these removed. Now we can come to our wheel wells, and at the top here like where our bumper cover meets the quarter panel, we're gonna have a fastener there we need to pull out. And I wanna mention, from this point on, anything we do to one side of the vehicle, we're gonna do it to the other side as well 'cause it'll be set up the same way. But the way to get these out, they're a little different. You take a smaller screwdriver like this, push down on the center of the fastener. And that'll allow you to kind of get in behind there and pull it out. In our case, our mud flaps are connected. So we're gonna pull them off as well. Looks like we'll just have that one there, a plastic screw type fastener. So we'll pull that out, let the mud flap kind of hang and continue on. So now with an extra set of hands, we can actually get our fascia removed. I did put some tape along the seams just to protect the paint. That way, if you bump it or something, you're not gonna scratch anything. But what you're gonna do is start at the corner, and just carefully start to pop this out. And all these Subarus, they come apart pretty easy. Just kind of carefully work our way around here kind of going under the tail light. And eventually we'll just get it to pop off. Now you may have some wiring. In our case, we do over on the driver's side. And so we're gonna want to disconnect that. So you just push down on the center of the connector. And when you're pushing down on it, you should be able to kind of pull the two ends apart. If you need to just pop it off the bulkhead on the back of the car, that's fine too. But once we have 'em separated, we'll go ahead and set our bumper cover off to the side. With the bumper cover removed, if you ended up pulling this connector off like we did, we'll just go ahead and lock that back into place. And since we're gonna have to take off her bumper beam, we'll also disconnect this one here too. So same deal, push down on the center of the tab and pull it off. We can now work on getting our bumper beam removed. Each side of it, you're gonna have three fasteners, one at the bottom and kind of one up in each corner there at the top. You're gonna use a 14 millimeter socket. We can pull those out. So I can get this last one removed. And I already got the other side fasteners removed. So we should be able to just slide this straight off and set it to the side. If we look inside of our frame rail, you can see just a couple of plugs that are sticking up from the bottom. And we don't want these to interfere with our hitch 'cause there's gonna be some tabs that kind of slide in here. So I'm just gonna take a screwdriver and pop 'em out. This one might be kind of tough to get from up here, but if you just go right underneath the vehicle, we can pry that out. Pry that out as well. So now we can take our hitch and slide it in onto the back of our car. And what I'm gonna do is just temporarily put these factory nuts back on the stud so the hitch will hold itself up. That way we can get our hardware started inside of the frame rail. It's now underneath the vehicle. If you look at our frame rail, these are the two holes that we removed those plugs from. This one closest to the front of the car, that's gonna be used as an attachment point. So that hole will line up with the hole in the hitch. And to get our hardware up there, you could take the fish wire, you take the coil of it, run it through and you're gonna push it towards the back of the car where it can come out through an opening in our hitch. So here's where our pull wire came out. And what you're gonna do is take the carriage bolt, thread that on. And we can feed it through and pull it back down. Just kind of a pointer, if you're having a hard time getting the hole in the hitch to line up with the hole in the frame rail, say if it's wanting to sit too far forward, you can always tighten this bolt down and kind of draw everything together. And sometimes it makes it easier to line up, so just kind of a pointer there. We'll pull this down till it drops out. We will remove the pull wire. And you're just gonna take a flange nut, get it started hand tight. It does help sometimes, you can have them put a little side pressure on the bolt, stop it from wanting to push back up, makes it a little easier to get the nut started. So now you want to try to center the hitch as best as you can, 'cause you can move it from side to side a little bit. So I did that. And what we're gonna do now is remove those nuts that we put on and take your bumper beam, get that back into position. And I'm just gonna take the same nut and get it back on hand tight. And that way, everything will be kind of supported. And it'll be a little easier to get the rest of our hardware going. So to get this one on, sometimes it makes it easier if you just take your socket and extension, and then put the nut into the socket 'cause it's kind of hard to get your hand back here. Sometimes that'll make it easier to get that nut started. For these two attachment points, you're gonna take the included bolt and conical tooth washer. Make sure that the teeth on the washer are gonna face this way towards the hitch. And these are simply just gonna thread into place. So I like to get everything just kind of hand tight 'cause you might have to kind of shift, shift your bumper beam around or shift the hitch around a little bit to get everything to line up. Get this thing here. So I want to get started super easy. I just need to kind of lift up on some of our parts. Now with all the hardware in place and hand tight we can snug everything down. For the new bolts here, I'm gonna use an 11/16 size socket. Now we can go underneath the car and get the one that we put in through the frame here. The one underneath the frame, I'm also gonna use that 11/16. 17 millimeter can work as well. Now we need to make sure and come back with a torque wrench and tighten down all the hardware to the amount specified in the instructions. If you don't have a torque wrench, you can get one here at etrailer. Or a lot of times go to your local auto parts store and they'll have one available for rent. Now we can move over to the bottom of our fascia, and we are gonna need to cut a spot out. That way it'll clear our hitch. So there's some measurements and the instructions so you can just follow them. I put some tape on there. So we kind of draw on it and do what we need to do. Pretty thin plastic. I think in the past, I've used tin snips, utility knives, whatever you got. This time, I'm just gonna use my Dremel tool though to cut this out. Now with an extra set of hands, we can get our fascia reinstalled. Don't forget to plug in any electrical connectors that you may have disconnected. Just carefully get everything back in place. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Curt trailer hitch receiver on our 2022 Subaru Outback wagon..

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Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Ryan G
Test Fit:
Ryan G

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