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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


Hi there, Toyota owners. Today, on your 2021 Toyota RAV4, we're gonna be taking a look at and showing you how to install Curt's 1 1/4 inch trailer hitch receiver. This hitch is a class II 1 1/4 by 1 1/4 receiver. And here you can see what it looks like when it's installed. The cross tube is barely visible here at the bottom of our bumper, but for the most part, the majority of it's hidden behind it, and you're really only gonna see the receiver here at the back. And it really doesn't detract too much from the looks of the vehicle cause it is tucked up pretty nicely.

A 1 1/4 inch receiver is great for accessories, such as bike racks, and we do have some cargo carriers that can work with them as well. So, this is gonna be great for all those accessories. But with it being a class II hitch, if you did wanna get a small draw bar, you could get some minor towing done with it as well. You'll secure your accessories to your hitch using a half inch hitch pin and clip. Now, one doesn't come included with the hitch, but we've got plenty available here at etrailer, and you can also get locking ones to protect your investment.

On bottom, we have hoop style safety chain loops that has a pretty large opening there for a 1 1/4 hitch, so it should work with just about every shape, size and style of safety chain. Our small one here goes in there with no problem, and even our big guy doesn't have any issues hooking up to those loops. This hitch offers a 350 pound tongue weight, which is the force going down on top of the receiver. And that's gonna be enough for a four-bike platform rack fully loaded up with four bikes. It also offers a 3,500 pound gross towing capacity, which is the amount that it can pull behind it.

And that should be enough if you've maybe got a small boat, or a kayak trailer that you wanna bring with you, something like that, and even a jet ski. You should have enough capacity here to be able to bring that with you as well. Now, as always, I recommend that you verify in your vehicle's owner's manual and ensure you don't exceed any of its towing capacities. Now, I've got some measurements for you to help you when deciding on accessories. From the center of our hitch pin hole to the edge of our rear bumper, looks like we're right at about 5 1/2 inches there.

And this is important when determining if your accessories are gonna contact the bumper when inserted into the receiver, and if they can be placed in the upright storage position without contacting the bumper. And from the ground to the top inside edge of our receiver tube, it measures right at about 12 inches. And that's important when you determine if you need a drop or rise, or a raise shank on your accessories. And since this one does sit so low, I'd recommend a raise shank on your accessories. Now, we've covered some of the features of our hitch, why don't you follow along with me in the shop and we'll show you how to get it installed. It is rather easy to get this hitch up into place and it shouldn't take very long. However, you are gonna need a bit of a special tool in order to torque down the bolts on the passenger side there. We're gonna be covering that in detail. So, why don't you follow along with us, or if you have the appropriate tools, this is something you should be able to do in your driveway in less than a half an hour. We'll begin our installation underneath the vehicle. On both the driver and passenger side, we're gonna have some factory weld nuts that have stickers covering them up. So, we just need to get those removed. A small flat bladed screwdriver, or you could even use a little razor blade, or something to just get underneath that sticker to peel it off. So, we're starting on the passenger side. This is our exhaust pipe here. There's the exhaust hanger bracket. This is the bottom of the frame. If we go around the side of the frame and this is the outside side of the frame towards our, like the actual fender and bumper on the side of the vehicle, there's our sticker there, and there's one towards the front of the vehicle there. We're just gonna take our little screwdriver here. We're just gonna get underneath of it and just pop it off of there. Once you pop it loose, usually you can just peel it off of there. So, we're gonna get both of these removed on this side, and then we're gonna head over to the other side of the vehicle and remove the stickers over there. They're gonna be in the same location, just on the other side. Now, on the passenger side here, on the bottom of the frame, you may or may not have a tie-down hook on here. And if you do, you'll have to remove that, it'll be in the way. Our vehicle doesn't have it equipped, but it would normally be bolt on in locations about right here. We can now prepare our hardware. We're gonna take each of the bolts and take a conical tooth washer and place it on the bolt. We want the teeth to face away from the head of the bolt. So that way, when it goes into our hitch, it's gonna dig in. We'll have two of these for each side prepared. It's just easier to get your hardware fed in if you've already got those prepared. Now, with an extra set of hands, we're gonna slide our hitch into position. Just kind of slips up in between. You might have to pull your muffler down just a little bit to get it out of the way. And now, we'll take the hardware that we prepared. We're gonna line up the holes in our hitch with the weld nuts in the side of the frame, and we're gonna get these started. And now, that we've got that one bolt in there, that'll make it easier to get these other ones in, so we don't have to support the whole weight of the hitch. It can rest on those bolts. And now, we'll go back with our 19 millimeter socket and get these tightened down. And due to the tight clearances over on the passenger side, we'll be tightening these down using a wrench. It's a 19 millimeter as well. And then we can go back and torque all of our hardware to the specifications outlined in our instructions. And then on your passenger side, due to the tight clearances, we're gonna be using a crow's foot to torque down this side. You can get crow's feet at your local automotive store. And that completes our installation of Curt's 1 1/4 inch trailer hitch receiver on our 2021 Toyota RAV4..


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Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Test Fit:
Joshua S
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
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