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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2021 Toyota RAV4

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How to Install the Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2021 Toyota RAV4


Hey everybody. My name is Ryan and here at etrailer, we installed, test fit and review a lot of different parts. That way we could try to answer any questions those of you might have. And that's exactly what we're doing here today on our 2021 Toyota RAV4. We're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the curt class three trailer hitch receiver. So one of the big questions that we get asked all the time is if the hitch is going to interfere with your hands-free liftgate assist.

And the answer is no. Now, unfortunately, our model that we have here today does not have that feature. But I do know from past experience, all you're going to have to do is kick your foot to either side of the hitch. And it may take a little bit to get used to kind of find that sweet spot, but once you do find it, it's going to work as it should.Well, with that being said, out of all the hitches available for the RAV4, I think this one's going to be my favorite. And for a couple of different reasons, it's going to be really versatile.

So you're going to be able to pretty much throw anything at it. And I think it's going to look really good too. It's going to be completely hidden for the most part. Only thing you're going to see is the receiver tube opening, which looks good, sets up nice and tight against the bumper and almost has a factory type appearance.So I mentioned that versatility and that's really important, especially on a RAV4 because I do see people using these SUV's to do a little bit of everything. So if it we're me, I would want a hitch just like this.

And I say it's versatile because one of the reasons is the clearance that it's going to give us. So the end of the receiver tube opening, it's going to sit kind of just behind our bumper. What that's going to allow us to do is use our folding accessories and that stored upright position and not have to worry about them contacting the back of our bumper.And another reason is the fact that this is a class three hitch. So it's going to have that two-inch by two-inch receiver tube opening. That's a super common size, and you can use a ton of different accessories with this hitch.

It's going to have a reinforced collar for extra strength. And I think it looks really good too. And it's going to have that standard five, eight pin hole. Keep in mind a pin and clip does not come included with the hitch, but if you need one, you can grab it right here at etrailer. We're going to have loop style safety chain openings. And they're not huge, but they should give us more than enough space to use just about any size hook that you might have.So it's also going to give us some pretty good weight capacities too. As far as the maximum gross tongue weight rating goes, that's going to be 600 pounds. That's going to be the amount of weight that's pushing down on the hitch. That's a pretty high number and you should be able to use pretty much any size bike rack or cargo carrier that you'd to, for example. As far as the maximum gross trailer weight rating goes, that's going to be 4,000 pounds. That's going to be the amount of weight that's pulling on the edge. So that is the weight of your trailer plus anything that you might have on it.And this can be used with a weight distribution system, which is a separate component. What that's going to do is help keep your RAV4 and your trailer nice and level as you're going on the road. With that being said, even when you do use that weight distribution system, inaudible 00:03:29 weight ratings are going to remain the same. I do want to suggest too, never a bad idea just to grab your RAV4 owner's manual to make sure your SUV can pull that much weight safe. And if you do plan on doing some towing, I would recommend picking up some trailer wiring. That way the lights on your trailer will match up with the lights on the back of your Toyota, and you'll be safe and legal.So let's go ahead and just take a couple of measurements that way we can try to figure out what type of hitch mounted accessories will work out best. If you go from the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening, that's going to be right at 12-inches. So if you do plan on doing some towing, chances are pretty good, you're going to need to get a bomb out with a rise. If you go from the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of our rear bumper, that's going to be right at five-inches. And you can use that measurement to help find out exactly if those folding accessories can be soared in that position without hitting the back of your Toyota. So at the end of the day, honestly, a hit, you really can't go wrong with. Not only is it going to look the best, the least I think, but it's also going to be able to handle pretty much anything you want to throw at it.Now, as far as the installation goes, it's really not too bad. Nothing too complicated here. All you're more or less going to have to do is raise a head shop and a possession and bolt it right in. So shouldn't give you two lotta issues or take you a whole lot of time. Speaking of which let's go ahead, pull into the shop and put it on together now. To begin our installation, we're going to be underneath the back of our RAV4. And first thing we're going to need to do is come to our frame rails on each side of our vehicle and locate our attachment points. So on the outside of our frame rails, we're going to have a total of two attachment points on here and here. Now these are covered up with some stickers, so we're ready to take the stickers off, just grab a scraper or a flathead screwdriver or something like that and get them removed.Once I have this one off from this point on anything I do to the side of our RAV4, also going to do to the other side because it'll be set up the exact same way. Even though our holes, our attachment points we're covered up, still not a bad idea to clean them out from any potential dirt or debris that could be inside. So you can just spray them down with some penetrating oil, take a tube brush and just kind of work it in and out to get anything off of those threads.Now, what we're going to need to do is lower our exhaust down a little bit. That way we can have a little extra room to work. Before we do that, what I like to do is take a strap and just kind of run it from side to side. That way it'll kind of help support our exhaust and it'll let us control how far and fast we want it down. If you don't have a strap laying around the house, you can always grab one right here at etrailer.To get our exhaust lowered, we're going to need to remove one side of these rubber isolator hangers here. We're going to have a total of three. So we'll start with this one. What you're going to do is spray them down with some soapy water or penetrating oil to help you rotate them. And then you can come back with a pry bar or even a big screwdriver can work. You're just going to work inaudible 00:07:24 to that, hanger off. Over here on this side, this is where our second hanger is. We'll go ahead and do the same thing. We're going to have one more hanger towards the center of our vehicle. So if you follow your exhaust forward towards the front of our vehicle, kind of just in front of our muffler, here's that third hanger. So I'll do the same thing inaudible 00:07:50So with those three removed, we can loosen up our strap and let our exhaust down a little bit. Now, before we put our hitch into position, I'd just like to go over the hardware combination that we're going to use to secure it. We're going to have a hex bolt and a conical tooth washer. The washer is going to go over the bolt like so. And you want to make sure that the teeth on the washer are going to face towards the hitch. The inaudible 00:08:39 combination is going to be the same for all four of our attachment points. And so when we're holding the hitch up, line up the holes in the hitch with our attachment points and our bolts are simply just going to thread right into position.Now with an extra set of hands, we can raise our hitch in a position, make sure to go over your exhaust, get everything lined up and you want to get at least one bolt on each side started hand tight. That way the hitch will support itself while we work on the rest of the hardware. Now that we have all of our hardware in place and hand tight, we can come back with a 19-millimeter and snug everything down. Now, something I do want to mention over here on the passenger side, it is a little bit tighter. You don't have as much space to work. So what you're probably going to have to do is use a box wrench to tighten down your bolts. I'm using a ratcheting wrench because it'll just help speed things up. If you don't have a ratcheting wrench, a classic standard one will work as well. Now, what we need to do is come back with a torque wrench and tighten down all of our hardware to the amount specified in the instructions.So since there's not a ton of space to get a traditional style socket over here on the passenger side, whenever you go to torque it down, you can use a tool like this here, which is called the crow's foot. It's nice and thin and allows you to get your wrench into position. Now that our hitch is all torqued down, we can raise our exhaust back into position. So I sprayed these down again. This time, I'm just going to use my hands to lift the exhaust up, line up the hanger and push it back into place. I personally like to do the sides first. Find it to be a little bit easier. It'll be the same thing over here. We can finish off by installing the center one. Now that it's supported, we can go ahead and remove our strap. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the curt class three trailer hitch receiver on our 2021 Toyota RAV4..


Questions and Comments about this Video

Chris J.

What about wiring? How difficult is that on a Rav4?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from David B.

What year is your Rav4 Chris? I might have a video guide.

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