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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2015 Subaru Outback Wagon

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How to Install the Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2015 Subaru Outback Wagon


Hi there, Outback owners. Today on your 2015 Subaru Outback, we're going to be taking a look at and showing how to install CURT's Class 3 2" trailer hitch receiver. The crosstube's hidden completely behind our bumper, so the only thing that you're going to be able to see is the receiver tube here at the back. It does stick down and out a little bit so it is noticeable, but it doesn't detract from the looks of the vehicle too much.It's a Class 3 2" by 2" receiver, so it's going to be great for all of your towing needs, whether you want to take a bike rack, load it up with four bikes, or your camper with you to the cabin for the weekend. It uses a 5/8" hitch pin and clip. Now one doesn't come included with the hitch but you can pick one up here at etrailer.com.On the bottom we have loop-style safety chain hoops.

That's have a nice large opening that should accommodate just about every shape, size, and style of safety chain. It features a 600 pound tongue weight, which is the force going down on top of the receiver. That's going to be more than enough for a bike rack fully loaded up with four bikes or a cargo carrier fully maxed out to its weight carrying capacity. It also features a 4,000 pound gross towing capacity, which is how much it can pull behind it. That's going to be plenty for smaller utility trailers, for a popup camper, smaller campers.

Things of that nature, it's going to be fine. As always, I recommend that you verify in your vehicle's manual and ensure you don't exceed any of us its towing capacities.Now I've got some measurements for you to help you when deciding on accessories. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of our rear bumper, it measures about 3". This is important when determining if any of your folding accessories can be placed in the upright storage position without contacting the bumper. From the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube it measures about 16".

This is important when determining if you need a drop, a rise, or a raised shank on any of your accessories. Now that we've gone over some of the features, let's go over the installation together so you can have the confidence to do it at home.We'll begin our installation at the back of the vehicle. The hitch installs behind the bumper so we're going to completely remove it. We're going to use flat head and a Phillips screwdriver to remove the push pins on each side of the vehicle. Take your Phillips to twist out the center.

You can use your flat head to get behind it and pop it out. Once we've got both of these popped out, we can use our flat head again to get behind the plastic cover here. Just work your way down. There is a little tab in there that you need to pop loose. There we go. Then we can just pull this out and set it aside. Behind that you'll find two bolts that we're going to take out using a 10mm socket.We can then remove our taillight assembly by pulling rearward on it. Using a trim panel tool to help pry it rearward will make it come off a little bit easier. Once you've got it popped out, on the backside we're going to disconnect the electrical connector as well as remove the two bulbs that are in the assembly. Just turn those counterclockwise and we can set our taillight assembly aside. We're going to repeat this on the other side as well to remove that taillight assembly.Once you get your taillight assemblies removed, underneath your taillight assemblies you'll see a cover here in your fascia. We're going to use a flat-bladed screwdriver to go in the little notch there and pry this cover out. Behind the cover we're going to reveal another bolt that we're going to take out with a 10mm socket. There's one just like this on the opposite side so we're going to remove that one as well.We're now in the wheel well on our passenger side. You'll see a push pin here towards the top of your fascia where it meets our body there. This pin you'll push in on the center. That will release it. Then we'll take a flat-bladed screwdriver or a trim panel remover tool. We're going to get behind it and we're going to pop it out. Some ways it can make it a little easier and help you prevent you from causing any damage is if you can get behind the actual panel sometimes and pull it down, and that'll help give you a little bit of a gap just like that there. Then I can just pull it out.From that push pin, if we follow it down, we'll see three screws that we're going to take out here that go into your mud flap. You may or may not have a mud flap, so yours might be slightly different, but the goal is to ensure that these screws aren't keeping our fascia attached to the fender liner here. The lowest one is a little bit difficult to get to, so we're going to be using a bit and a small ratchet. We're going to do this on the other side as well.We're now underneath the vehicle and we're going to take out all the push pins along the bottom that run all the way around underneath. There is a total of seven you're going to take out. Use your flat-bladed screwdriver to pop out the center first. There's a little notches around it, so just work your way around those notches. These pins are very fragile. They tend to break even after just being on there for about a year or so. You'll just want to go really slow and work them out. Dirt and debris get in there and it binds them up. Then they're also outside in the elements, so the plastic becomes very brittle. You can get it to pop out like that and you're still having a difficult time getting it out, a pair of needle nose pliers or side cutters work really nice because you can just grab it and work it out at this point. We're going to repeat that for all the remaining clips.Now if you have mud flaps, we're going to need to remove those. There's one pin left that holds those mud flaps on. Now that we've got our mud flap removed, we'll expose one more push pin underneath the mud flap that we'll need to take out. This is just like all the rest. There's one on each side hidden underneath those mud flaps. Now if you don't have mud flaps on your vehicle, you would already see a pin down here and you would just remove that. You would still actually have the same number of pins on the bottom because one of the pins we took out was to help us get that mud flap off. You wouldn't have that one, you'd just have this one instead.Now on one side of the vehicle we're going to grab our fascia at the top corner and we're going to start working it out heading towards our taillight assembly. Once you get back to your taillight assembly, we want to try to just get it off of there. It's not a bad idea to stop once you hit the last tab here on one side and then go over to the other side and work that side off to this same point. Now that we've got it released to these last tabs, you may need to get a screwdriver to help assist you getting off some of those tabs there. They can be a little stiff getting it off the pins.Now at this point we're only held in by the middle, so you'll want to grab it by the bottom and just start working it across. It is just going to come off there, so you want to brace yourself. Don't pull too hard and lose your balance. You'll then want to check behind for any electrical connectors that you may have. We have none on this vehicle but depending on your options, there may be connectors that you want to be aware of. You then want to set your fascia aside where it won't get damaged.We'll now want to remove the foam cover on our bumper beam. Pop out the passenger side first, and then we can get over here to our driver side and maneuver it out of the hole. We'll set this aside. We will be reinstalling it. We've now revealed all the bolts we need to take out for our bumper beam. There's holes here in the front that are access holes. We're going to take those out using a 14mm socket. There's four on each side. I like to leave one bolt just a couple of threads on on each side to hold it up so the bumper beam won't fall off while I'm taking out the hardware. So this one here, perfect candidate. I like to make it one of the ones that's easy to get to as well so I can just by hand undo that last couple threads when I take the beam off. With all of them loose, we'll take off the ones we left just a couple of threads on. Then we can take our bumper beam off and set it aside.We're going to be smashing our hitch in between the bumper beam and the vehicle, so don't go too far with it. There's a tab at the bottom of the vehicle in the center. Before we put our hitch on, we want to knock this tab up and just bend it flush. That'll give us the clearance we need to put our hitch in place. Then you can set your bumper beam back in position over your hitch and reinstall the factory hardware. Then we can go back and tighten them down. Then torque your bolts to the specifications found in your instructions.We'll now need to trim out our fascia to go around our receiver. I've gone ahead and marked it out here. You'll find a template in your instructions to assist you in marking it out. Can then cut it out using a cutoff wheel or a pair of snips. We're just going to follow the inside edge of the marks we made because we can always take out more material later if we need to. All right, now we can hold it up to the vehicle, test fit it and make sure everything looks good. If it does, you can use a file or razor knife along your edges here to clean them up. And you can use some rubbing alcohol to clean off any of the paint stick that may have used to mark it out. Once you're satisfied with your trimming, you can just reinstall your fascia in reverse order of how you removed it.Don't forget to reconnect any electrical connectors that you may have had. Then you can reinstall your taillight assemblies as well. Before you put your fascia back on after you're satisfied with your trimming, make sure you put your foam piece back in place. If you had mud flaps, don't forget to reinstall those as well. That completes our installation of CURT's Class 3 2" trailer hitch receiver on our 2015 Subaru Outback.


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