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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2017 Jeep Cherokee - Curt

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2017 Jeep Cherokee


Today on our 2017 Jeep Cherokee we're going to take a look at and also show you how to install the Curt Custom-Fit Class 3 Trailer Hitch Receiver. It offers the two-inch by two-inch receiver tube opening. It's part number is C13171. This is what our hitch is going to look like installed. We're going to have the square crossbeam. It's going to come over and meet at our receiver tube opening.

You see that's finished off with a nice flush looking reinforcement collar. It's going to be just inset of the bumper a little bit there so we're not going to have to worry about really bumping into it or anything like that as we're walking around. This is a class 3 hitch. This is going to be very, very versatile. It's going to work out great with bike racks, cargo carriers, ball mounts, just about any accessory that they make for a hitch will be available in the class 3 option.

That's how popular the two-inch by two-inch opening is. When you go to secure all of your items we've got a single pinhole here on the side. This is five-eights of an inch in diameter. You want to choose class 3 accessories. You'll see there's plenty of room there for whatever type you might choose, whether it's just a standard pin and clip, maybe a locking hitch pin or even anti-rail device and the collar around the end will allow us to use some of the hitch immobilizer products that are out there as well. You'll notice we've got a plate style safety chain connection point here.

It's going to have a nice large squared style rectangle style hole so we should have plenty of room there to get whatever style chain connected that you might want. There are two different styles of hitch available for the Cherokee. In this case, we are using the type that has the exposed cross member or cross tube. On some models that is hidden up behind the rear fascia. The biggest negative to the other styles of hitch are going to be the four and a half by three and three quarter inch hole that you have to cut out here in the rear. I think this hitch is going to provide a really good alternative if you don't want to modify the vehicle or if maybe it's a lease car and you have to turn it back in at the end of a certain period or something like that.

You certainly don't want to turn it back in with a big hole in it. This hitch is going to be a good and versatile hitch. You're going to see it a little bit more but it requires less vehicle modification and the installation process is going to be pretty much the same side-to-side, this one being maybe just a little easier. As far as weight capacities go for our hitch, we've got a 750 pound tongue weight rating. That's the maximum downward force that we can put here at the receiver tube opening. It's going to give us a 5,000 pound gross trailer weight right here. That would be the total weight of our trailer and anything that we we're to load up on it. The hitch is rated for use with weight distribution. The tongue weight is going to stay the same when using weight distribution, however, that gross trailer weight rating, it goes up to 6,000 pounds. You'll definitely want to check the owner's manual on the Cherokee though. You need to see what its tow rating is and go off of whichever of those numbers are the lowest. A few measurements that you'll find helpful in selecting your ball mount, bike rack or hitch cargo carrier will be from the ground to the inside top edge of a receiver tube opening. We're going to have about 11 and a quarter inches. Then from the center of our hitch pinhole to the outer most edge of our bumper is going to be about four. You do want to keep in mind when choosing accessories for your hitch, with the receiver tube opening being lower than 13 inches, it's a good idea to choose products that have a raised shank so you can help promote better ground clearance at the rear. To begin our installation we need to take care of our frame rails here by doing a couple of things. One, we've got some square hole plugs. We want to get these removed. That's going to give us access to get into our attachment points. That's where we'll be putting our hardware. These are just rubber plugs. You can pull them out. This is going to be our forward attachment point for the bottom. This is going to be our rear attachment point for the bottom and then just up on this outside edge there's a hole. That's going to be our side attachment point. You see there's a little bit of caulk that kind of seals those up. We want to take that down to where it's pretty flush so that doesn't interfere with the side plate of the hitch. On our driver's side, it's going to be the same thing. You've got the plug here, and that caulk there, but if you've got any wiring that runs down and around, we want to take that down for now. We'll just let that kind of hang there so we can get our hitch in position. We're just going to use a razor knife and kind of trim this off flush. All right. That should be good. We'll do the same thing over on the driver's side as well. Now we're going to get our hardware put in position. We'll start in the rear access hole here on the bottom of the frame. You just want to guide it. We're going to start in our rear attachment point here. We want to guide our fish wire up so it comes out of the access point, that larger square hole. Thread our bolt under our fish wire there. Just pull it down and through. We're going to do the same thing for the one on the side. Hopefully, it will come out of the side there. Once we have the bolt engaged in the black we want to just kind of tip that back in. That way we can raise our hitch in it and pull it out. Then for that forward attachment point we'll be using a reverse fish wire technique, which essentially just means you're going to put your spacer block and bolt on your wire before you put it in, just like that. The bolt will go up in, the spacer block will go in, and then we'll pull that down through. We'll go do the exact same thing for our driver's side. With the help of an extra set of hands, we'll be able to get our hitch raised up into position. This is a single exhaust so we'll go kind of in front of it and back over it on that side. We do want to remember we need to avoid that wiring that's over there. You'll put your fish wires down through the corresponding holes, so the rear one for the frame goes in the back, the forward to the bottom of the frame will go in the forward most hole, and then the one that goes through the side is going to go right through the hole in the side plate. Once our hitch is raised up into position we just want to pull on this pull wire that's on the side. We want to bring that bolt out through that side plate. That'll actually hold it in position for us while we can get our hardware started. Once we have that done on both sides, we can just let our hitch rest in position and get our hardware started. That would be just threading a flange nut under each of our bolts. Now we're ready to use a three quarter and 19 millimeter socket. We want to get all of our hardware snug down. Once we've got that completed we'll torque it down to the specifications which are listed in our instructions. With everything torqued down properly, that's going to complete our installation of the Curt Custom-Fit Class 3 Trailer Hitch Receiver, Part #C13171 on our 2017 Jeep Cherokee.


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