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Curt Trailer Hitch Receiver Installation - 2019 Subaru Crosstrek

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How to Install a Curt Trailer Hitch Receiver on a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek

Hey everybody. Rob here at and today we're going to be taking a look at the Curt Class II custom fit trailer hitch receiver on our 2019 Subaru Crosstrek. Now here's where our hitch is going to look like once we have it installed. I really like it because the crosstube's completely hidden behind the bumper here and all we're going to see is that receiver tube sticking out. Not to mention the receiver tube is almost flush with the back bumper, so we don't have to worry about walking by and hitting our leg on it. Now it is a Class II, which means it's going to give us that 1-1/4" by 1-1/4" receiver tube opening, which would be great for accessories like bike racks.

We can go put a bike rack in here, take some bikes with us and hit the trail. But regardless of how we're going to be using our hitch, all of the accessories are going to mount to the hitch pin hole here on the side.Our hitch is going to accept a standard 1/2" pin and clip. Now these are not going to come with the hitch but you can find them here at, along with some locking devices and anti-rattle devices to make sure your accessories are secure and we don't have that annoying rattle when we're driving down the road. Now if you are going to be towing a trailer, obviously you need a spot to hook up your safety chains and we have a loop style welded to the bottom of the receiver tube and with most size normal hooks will fit. No problem, shouldn't have any kind of interference with the pin and clip or worry about getting hooked or unhooked.

The same thing goes if you have those really large oversized hooks too. Those really wide openings make it extremely easy to put those hooks on and take them off.And speaking of towing, if you do plan on doing some light duty towing with your Crosstrek, our hitch is designed to work with specific draw bars or ball mounts and you can find those here at Now as far as the weight ratings go, our hitch is going to have a 350 pound tongue weight and that's the maximum downward pressure at the end of the receiver tube. And to put that in perspective, depending on the weight of your bike in the rack, we'll be able to carry three, maybe even four bikes with us. Now as far as the gross trailer rate rating goes, our hitch is going to have a 3,500 pound rating.

That's how much the hitch can pull, but that does include the trailer and the load we have loaded on it. Now always keep in mind those are the ratings of our hitch. So we do want to double check our Crosstreks owner's manual and not exceed the manufacturer's rating.Like to give you a few measurements and these are going to help you whenever you're looking for accessories for your new hitch, like a bike rack or even a cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outermost edge of the bumper, it's right about 2-1/4". This measurement is going to help you when you're looking at folding accessories to make sure that you can put them in the upright stored position and not make contact with the rear bumper.

And from the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening is going to be right about 15-1/2". Now at that height I'd recommend a bike rack or a cargo carrier with a raised shank. That would get a little bit more ground clearance out of it, but at that height it shouldn't be a major concern. But now that we've seen our hitch and gone over some of the features, let's bring into the shop so we can go through the installation process together.To begin our installation, we want to come to the back of our Subaru and we're going to come right underneath the rear bumper. If we move to the outer edge we can find the frame rail, and we're going to have to remove a few rubber plugs. So here in the frame rail you'll see we have three rubber plugs. We just take a flat blade screwdriver, something kind of sharp or flat and we're just going to pry those plugs out.You want to remove all three of these and we'll move over to the other side of the frame and remove the three that are over there as well. The large hole in the frame towards the front of our Subaru, that's going to be our access hole. We need to get our hardware through there, but if we grab our spacer block you can see it doesn't quite fit in there and our carriage bolt barely fits as well. So we're going to need to enlarge this hole. You can use a file. I'm going to be using a step bit just to make the process a little bit faster. You do want to periodically stop and check to see if your hardware can fit, because we only want to enlarge it enough to get the hardware in.Now that the hole is drilled out, I'm going to come back and cover up the exposed metal with some spray paint to hopefully prevent any kind of rust or corrosion from building up. Then we'll move over to the other side and enlarge that hole as well. So now that we have our holes enlarged, we'll grab our pull wire. It's going to have a coiled end on it. We need to come in through the hole at the very back of our Subaru and we want the coiled end to come out the access hole. To make it a little bit easier, just estimate how long it needs to be. Put a bend in the wire and you just take the coil down and start feeding it towards the front and once it gets to that bend, should make it a little bit easier for us to get that pull wire out.If you do have to reach inside the frame, just be extremely careful because we did just file that, so you don't want to cut your finger. The whole goal here is just to have that coiled end come out. Sometimes it does help if you put your finger in. You can feel the end of it. Push it against the end of your finger to help guide it through. Once you have the coiled end through, you want to make sure the tail is still sticking out, so I'll put a bend in there as well real quick. Take our square hole spacer block. We're going to slide it over the end of our pull wire. Then we'll take a carriage bolt and thread it onto the end of the coil.Push the block back in the frame. Then we'll push the bolt into the frame as well. You want to pull on the pull wire. You may have to jiggle a little bit. But you want your bolt to come through. Make sure it goes through the block and comes down to the bottom of the frame. Now at this point I always like to leave the pull wire attached. That way when we go to put our hitch up, we don't have to worry about pushing that bolt back in, because we can just pull it back down. Now the secondary attachment point is going to be a little bit different since we're going to have it come out the access hole. We're still going to grab our pull wire and with the coiled end we'll start with our square hole spacer block, slide it over the end.Then we're going to thread on our carriage bolt. We'll put the carriage bolt into the frame first, followed by the spacer bar. Then you just want to pull back down on the bolt. Make sure it comes through the block. And again we'll leave our pull wire attached. This is going to be the same combination and locations of our mounting holes on the other side of the frame. So we'll repeat that over there. On the side plate of our hitches here, we're going to have the two mounting locations. Now one thing we are going to have to do is we're going to have to put this spacer block in. Now this needs to go to the furthest forward mounting hole or furthest away from the bumper. So we want to put it on this mounting location here. Now we really don't need to secure this fully because it just needs to be a spacer going between the frame and the hitch. So to loosely hold it in place, just going to put a piece of tape on there.That way there's still a little bit of movement and I can get my bolt to come through rather easily. Now there is going to be one on each side, so we'll tape the other side on as well and then we can get ready to lift our hitch in place. Now with an extra set of hands, we're going to lift our hitch up. You're going to take your pull wires and go from the top going down through the hitch. Just want to make sure when you are feeding them to go over your exhaust, you don't have to fight it when you put the hitch up. We want to go over our exhaust. Going to have to sweep it over on the driver's side. We're going to pull the slack down. Once we get our bolts to come through, we'll remove the pull wire.Again, be careful not to push those bolts back up into the frame. Then we'll grab one of the flange nuts out of our kit. We'll get it started, one on each side at least. That way the hitch will support itself and we can put the rest of the flange nuts in place on the other hardware. Now that all the hardware's in place, I'm going to come back with a 3/4" socket and tighten up all those flange nuts. Then I'm going to come back with a torque wrench. I'm going to torque all the hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. You want to make sure you go back and repeat that for all your remaining hardware.Well once you have all that torqued down, that'll finish up your installation and your look at the Curt Class II custom fit trailer hitch receiver on our 2019 Subaru Crosstrek.

Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Zach D
Video Edited:
Zach D
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C
Employee Ryan G
Test Fit:
Ryan G

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