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Curt Class I Trailer Hitch Installation - 2020 Toyota Corolla

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How to Install the Curt Class I Trailer Hitch on a 2020 Toyota Corolla

Hello neighbors, it's Brad here at etrailer and today we're taking a look and installing the Curt Class 1 Trailer Hitch on a 2020 Toyota Corolla. So this is what our hitch is gonna look like once it's installed and you'll see right away this is an inch and a quarter, and this is a smaller size than your normal hitch. Now on many sedans and small vehicles such as this, including my own personal car, sometimes you're limited to an inch and a quarter, which isn't the end of the world. We'll just need to make sure when you're picking accessories, that you get the shank that's gonna fit that size. What is it capable of Well, this is gonna allow you to be able to put some bike racks, as well as cargo carriers on here. And that's gonna open up what you can actually do with the vehicle and give you a little bit of extra real estate.

So it is nice to have and I use mine for my bike rack all the time. So as long as you get a matching bike rack for the inch and a quarter, it does a great job. Now, as far as towing, that's something that you might wanna stray away from, being that it is a class 1. It does have rolled style safety chain loops here which is gonna be fine for normal hooks. But the weight rating on this, is gonna be a gross trailer rate rating of 2000 pounds.

And that's gonna be the weight of the trailer, plus the accessories loaded up. Now you also have a tongue weight rating of 200 pounds which is the downward pressure on the inside of the receiver tube opening. So those bike racks and cargo carriers, as they're suspended, you don't want to exceed over 200 pounds. Now you might be able to tow a small kayak trailer or something along those lines or just a small little tow dolly to be able to pick up you know, just a few things around at the hardware store whether it be some dirt or gravel or whatever it may be. But again, this is not really something that you want to put a ton of weight on, but again you do have these safety chain loops, that are gonna allow you to put a normal size hook or even a larger clevis style on here pretty easily.

Now taking a close look, you're also gonna see a half inch hitch pin hole and this is going to be for your pin and clip to go through to keep your accessories in place. Now it doesn't come with one, but generally a lot of your accessories that you would pick up will come with one. And if you want to actually upgrade to a locking version, we have plenty of those available here at etrailer. And that way, when you have your accessories on here, you know that it's locked and it's not gonna leave in the hands of someone else. Now we're gonna take a few measurements here from the center of the hitch pin hole to the furthest point of the rear fascia.

We're looking at about two and a half inches and that's important to note for your folding accessories just to make sure that you're not gonna make any contact with your rear fascia causing damage to it in the process. Another thing we're gonna measure is going to be our ground clearance. So from the top of the receiver tube opening to the ground, we're looking at about nine and a half inches. And while I don't really worry about this making contact with the ground, when you do have those accessories loaded up, as you go up inclines or go in some rough terrains, sometimes they can make contact with the ground. So I do recommend when looking for accessories to have something with a raised shank to maybe prevent any damage from occurring but also just comes down to being aware when you have your accessories loaded up and when you're going up the hills, you just don't wanna make contact for the ground and damage them. The install of this hitch I will admit is a little bit of a tricky one. And part of that is the instructions aren't exactly clear on some of these steps that you should do, but I actually found ways to help you along. So I do recommend watching the install all the way through before actually starting the installation. Toyota also didn't really do us any favors as far as mounting spots for the hitch. So you are gonna be drilling into your frame rail but I'm gonna be here every step of the way to make sure that you can get it installed. So let's take a look at that now. We're gonna begin our installation by lowering down our muffler. But before we do that, we want to actually support it. So if you're doing this in your garage or on your driveway, I suggest getting a block of wood or something to support this, because once we take it off the isolators, that exhaust is gonna hang down and we don't wanna cause any damage further upstream by just it hanging. So what I'm gonna use is a cam buckle strap. I'm just gonna go across my suspension here just to create a cradle. So anything that really holds this exhaust from dropping all the way down. So there's gonna be a total of three rubber isolators that we're gonna need to pry off the muffler to allow it to drop. We have one here, there's gonna be one back here, and then we also have a center one that we're gonna remove as well. And that should allow this to drop. So a little helpful tip, sometimes these can be a little bit tricky, the rubber kind of dries up and it'll fuse a little bit to the metal. So to kind of help it along I'm gonna just use a little bit of penetrating oil here. You can either use a soapy water mix and that should also help kind of move it along. And once you have that soaked, what you're gonna do is grab a pry bar and you're gonna try to find a nice spot to where we are able to pry this back and off. These are pretty strong. So if it is kinda pullin', don't worry too much and they're pretty tough to rip. So whatever works best for you as far as leverage to kind of get this off. So now we're gonna need to remove our heat shield so that we can trim it in order for the hitch to go up. And the way we're gonna do that, there's going to be three 10 millimeter nuts. So let's go ahead and get those removed. Make sure you hold onto your hardware in a nice organized spot. It's gonna make re-installation of everything quite a bit easier. So now let's take this and we're gonna be doing some trimming on it. You can use a pair of 10 snips or if you have a Dremel you can use that as well. Just be careful because this can get pretty sharp especially if there's burs along here. Now in the instruction manual, they say to do three inch by seven, and that's what we have marked here. Looking ahead and kind of seeing the rest of the installation, I am kind of thinking we'd be better off to trim a little bit more. And the picture is a little bit tricky in the instruction manual as they actually have it down here but this is obviously longer than seven inches. So we're gonna go with the longer one here. So go ahead, snip this out. Again, just take your time here. It can get pretty sharp. So you don't want to cut your hands on this. So we can set aside our trimmed heat shield and we're gonna need to take down this underbody panel. It's gonna be pretty easy. There's gonna be some plastic push pins along the bottom here, and you're gonna want to make sure that you hold onto these as we go along. There's also going to be these plastic nuts here and they kind of just, they're pretty easy to do with your hand. And a lot of times they'll just slide down off the stud but if you wanna take them off with a socket, a 13 millimeter is gonna do the trick. So I'm gonna go ahead and get these popped off. And we're gonna pull off this underbody panel. Now these are kind of tricky at times, especially if they have some dirt or build up in 'em. The best way, you're gonna see there's four slots to allow you to put a flat head screwdriver in there and just kind of wedge it in, a quick little twist should pop it. And once you get that center portion to pop out you should be able to get the rest to it out pretty easily. Now I do have a tool that makes this a little bit easier and it's actually available here at etrailer and we'll be able try these out using that tool. The trim panel removal tool here is really nice when working with these. It prevents these from breaking which over time, it's pretty common for these to break. So using this tool, it's gonna allow us to kind of get underneath it without chipping off edges. And then once you have this intersection out, a lot of times you can reach under the whole thing and it should pry out. These ones are giving me a little trouble here, but we got that out and we'll continue along with the rest of them. Now there's also gonna be kind of an odd one. That's stuck here are up on the driver's side. This, you can actually probably re-spin with your hands or it's got a slot here. If you have a wide Flathead screwdriver you can put it in there if it is tight, but it should thread off pretty simple here. Sometimes they do kind of get hung up on those studs as well. So pulling it a little bit, might help kind of move it but we're just about there. Once you have everything removed, we can actually take the underbody panel out. Now be careful, a lot of times, rocks, dust, and dirt, and debris will accumulate. So make sure you have safety glasses and kind of stay away from the path of where this will fall out. But, this should come out here pretty easy. There's a cabinet that's kind of hung up there. Looking at the instruction manual, they have you cut a slot that is gonna be two inches wide by 11 and a quarter. So I've actually used painters tape and kind of gives you a nice clean line to follow. So let's go ahead and get this trimmed out. And then once that's trimmed out, we'll go back with a file just to kind of clean up those edges. So now we have this underbody panel nice and cut and you can clean. And we're gonna set this aside. We need to prepare the area where we're actually gonna put our hardware in place, and there's gonna be rubber plugs here on the frame rail. You can actually go ahead and take this one out. There's gonna be one on the other side as well. And these can be a little tricky to get out as well just using your fingernails. So just you can pry it with either a scraper or a Flathead screwdriver and speaking of scraper, we see we have some caulk from the factory that they put on the seams, we're gonna need to actually scrape this away. You can use a flat knife, a butter knife, something along those lines or a scraper to get a nice clean surface. And so you're gonna want this to be flushed. So we'll go ahead, get this all scraped off. You're also gonna have it on the other side. So go ahead and repeat that once you're done on this. Sometimes going ahead and making a few cuts and kind of digging under it, you can pull it off in one big piece and that's gonna make it a lot easier. With an extra set of hands, we're gonna put our hitch up in place. And that's gonna give us the spot where we actually need to drill for our hold that's gonna be further up. So what we're gonna do, the plastic plugs that we took out, you're gonna line this up and then on the back with a paint marker or a pen, something along those lines we're gonna go ahead and mark where the other hole is. So, kind of align that there. And I'm just gonna go ahead and make my mark right here. I'm gonna do that on the other side of the vehicle as well. So now we're going to need to drill a pilot hole first here. So I just have a small drill bit and I'm just gonna center it up here and make a first drill mark. Now we are gonna have to enlarge this to a one inch hole and there's a few different ways you can do that. You can use a larger drill bit to widen this out and put a die grinder bit in there and kind of work that circle, or to make it a little bit easier, you can actually use a hole saw with a one inch blade on it, or even a step bit just mark where that one inch is and only go that far. Either way, you're gonna want to have a nice round circle there, just to make it a little bit easy for you. So I'm gonna go ahead and use my hole saw here and I'll get those holes made on both sides. Now, while you're drilling, if you're wondering how large you really need to make it, basically you wanna make sure that you can get your spacer in place. So as long as it is wide enough for this to feed in, that's gonna help out. Now, before we do anything else, we're gonna wanna make sure we file down some of these edges, get some of those burs out. And then once we have this all actually nice and smooth out, we're gonna go ahead and just put a little bit of spray paint. I'll be just using a clear gloss, clear coat and that should just be fine to coat this raw metal, prevent any rust from happening. If you have black- it really doesn't matter. As long as we coat this up, that's gonna make sure that it protects that raw metal. We need to get our hardware and we're gonna get this in place. And what it's gonna do is have two studs here to where hitch can actually raise up and the way that we're gonna accomplish that is using a fish wire technique. So you'll have this coiled little wire in your kit and you're also gonna want to grab a carriage bolt and a spacer block. And so we're gonna do this one first that way we can get this one in place. This one should be pretty easy, but what you're gonna do is take the coiled end and you are going to just feed it over to that hole that you made. And if you want to, you can put a little bend on this so it doesn't pull through, but you got plenty of wires so it shouldn't be too big of a problem. You then just take your spacer block. You can slide that up in there and then you're gonna just thread on to that coiled section. And then you'll feed this in. With a little jostling, this should drop down just like that. Now leave the wire on. It's gonna make it a lot easier when we actually put the hitch up and install it. So now this one's gonna be a little bit easier here. What I'm going to do, is take my spacer block and I can just feed that like that with the coil. Take a carriage bolt, thread this on. Then we just feed these up in the frame rail here. And then, go ahead and pull that down. Again, you're gonna wanna leave the wire here and we're gonna go ahead and repeat the same process that we just did here on the other side. So now go ahead and grab your trim heat shield. And we're gonna put this back in place. Now, one of the mounting holes has been actually removed in the process of trimming it. So you're gonna have an extra nut but the other two we're gonna just use those existing ones that came with it. So now with an extra set of hands, we're gonna actually raise our hitch in place. Now it might help to raise it over the muffler first, just for clearance issues. And as we feed the hitch up, what we're gonna do is take the corresponding fish wires and feed them through the holes and you can pull those. And what helps sometimes is I just grab the wires down here and pull, as I might work my way up until those studs are popping through. So once you have those through, what you're gonna do is remove one of the fish wires. You can just pull it and careful, sometimes they can pop and catch your knuckles. But once that's off, the main thing you want to do is hold to make sure that this isn't going to push back up in the frame. Otherwise you're gonna have a rough time getting that back out. So I'm actually sliding the hitch forward to kind of put some pressure on it. And that's gonna allow me to just go ahead and hand tighten one of our nuts on here. And once we have one on each side, that's just gonna hold that hitch in place to make it a lot easier. Now we're just gonna go ahead and do the same process on the remaining hardware. Just making sure we have these just hand tightened on for now. If you need to, just kind of hold that with your thumb. Again, try not to push that back up in the frame rail. Just putting these back on. You can generally- if you spray them with the penetrating oil, they should just kind of pop back into place, but make sure that you get all three. Before tightening the hitch up, when you just have it hand tightened, kind of leave that loose to gave you a little bit more access in order to feed that under body panel up. And now that we have everything put back in, like our plastic push pins, we've tightened down those plastic nuts. We're gonna go back and tighten 'em. Now you can see it's gonna be accessible because of this slot and something else that I noticed, this will actually kind of cause a little bit of issue here because we trimmed it and it was still tight against the hitch. So if that's the case, as you're putting it up, I would take a utility knife and just kind of run along here and peel back as much as you need to, to make sure that it has clearance to sit flush. And that was a look, an installation of the Curt Class 1 Trailer Hitch on a 2020 Toyota Corolla..

Info for this part was:

Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Bradley B
Test Fit:
Bradley B

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