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Draw-Tite Sportframe Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Chevrolet Volt

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Sportframe Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Chevrolet Volt


Hello neighbors, it's Brad here at Etrailer. And today we're taking a look at installing a Draw-Tite class one trailer hitch receiver on a 2018 Chevrolet Bolt. Having a trailer hitch receiver on any vehicle really adds a lot of utility, whether it be pulling a small trailer or a bike rack, or even a cargo carrier, you're adding a lot of real estate and usability from your vehicle. And this one you can see here installed, does that without looking any different, really from OEM, except for the business end. You're gonna see that the cross tube is actually hidden behind the bumper here. So all you see is the receiver itself, so it gives it a nice OEM look.

And it's not too much to look at down here. It's gonna give it a nice clean look still. Now this particular hitch is an inch and a quarter. So you are limited a little bit to your accessories. So when shopping for accessories, make sure you are looking for that inch and a quarter.

Some of the features here that you're gonna see on the hitch, they're gonna be a rolled steel safety chain loop, and that's gonna be great for smaller trailers, if you're towing to put your safety chains on there, and it's nice and open so you can even do a larger clevis style hook on there. And you're also gonna have a half inch hitch pin hole, and that's gonna be great for putting your pin and clip in to put your accessories in place. Now the hitch does not come with the hitch pin and clip, But we have plenty of options here available at Etrailer, including locking hitch pins. And that way your accessories, when loaded up, aren't gonna disappear in the hands of someone else. Now, as far as weight ratings on this hitch, they're relatively low being a class one.

And that's gonna put you at a gross trailer weight rating of 2000 pounds, which is the weight of the trailer, plus the accessories loaded up. So if you have a small little utility trailer that you want to do some maybe yard work or pick up a few things at the hardware store, you're able to do that, but you want to adhere to the tongue weight rating as well, which is gonna be 200 pounds. And that's gonna be the downward pressure on the inside of the receiver tube opening. So when you load up your bike racks or your cargo carriers, you don't want to overload that 200 pounds. Now it's important to check your vehicle's owner's manual to see what the vehicle is actually recommended for towing and compare that with what the hitch is rated at, and go with the lower of those two numbers.

That way you're staying safe. Now let's do some quick measurements. I'm gonna measure from the center of the hitch pin hole to the furthest point on the rear fascia. And that looks to be right at about four inches. And that's important to note when picking accessories or if you're looking at the accessories that you already own. And that way you can determine whether or not you're gonna have clearance on your rear fascia without making any contact causing scratches or damage. Something else that we're gonna measure that's important, is meteor ground clearance. So from the top of the receiver tube opening to the ground, you're looking at right about 10 and a half inches. And that's important to note, if you're planning on driving with accessories loaded up and going up an incline, or maybe an rougher terrain, you may have to worry about your accessories hanging low and making contact as you go up hills or have uneven surfaces. Now the hitch is steel construction with a nice black powder coat finish. So not only is it sturdy, but it's also gonna hold up to weather and corrosion with that powder coat finish, keeping it looking nice for a long time. Now, as far as the installation goes, it's not terribly hard. You are gonna have to remove the rear fascia as the hitch actually sits behind the factory impact bar. So don't let that scare you off. I'm gonna show you how to do it, step-by-step. So let's take a look at that. To begin our installation, we're gonna be needing to remove the rear fascia, and the hitch is gonna live behind here. So in order to do that, we'll begin by taking off Torxe bits in the wheel wells. Now we're gonna using a T15 Torxe bit and there should be five of them on each side. Now we'll be doing all of this on a lift. So it is gonna be a little bit easier for me to do it than the typical person at home, but I'm gonna walk you through this and I can trust that you'll be able to do this in your garage or on your driveway with basic hand tools. So let's go through this and you'll be able to see step-by-step how to get it done. And we'll be removing quite a bit of hardware, and it's really important, you're gonna want to keep these in an organized spot altogether. And that way, during re installation of all of these, you'll make sure that you have them all and not having anything missing. Now, fifth one is tucked a little bit back here, so it might be hard to find for a second, but just go a little bit further inward and you'll see it there. Okay so now that we have our inner fender liner T15s out, there's also three right here that attach it to this part of the bumper, we're gonna go ahead and remove those. And that way we can gain access to the bolt that's up here and that's gonna help get our fascia off. Now on the driver's side, you're gonna have the five in the wheel well as well, but you're also gonna have five down here instead of those three, so go ahead and remove those. So now we're gonna peel back this inner fender liner here. Just gonna work your way up. And once you get to where the rear fascia meets the rear quarter panel, you can feel the head of a seven millimeter bolt. So we're gonna go ahead and take that out. Now we can go ahead and do that on the other side of the vehicle. So now we're gonna go to the underside here where this under covering meets the rear fascia, and you're gonna see there's gonna be more seven millimeter screws here. So we're gonna go ahead and get those five removed. So now we're gonna need to take our taillights out and there's gonna be two T15 Torxe bits as well as a Phillips head right here. So we'll go ahead and remove those. So now with our three screws out, we're gonna take the taillights out. Now sometimes they can be a little bit tricky as they have pins that kind of slide in, and they're kind of meant to hold those. So you may have to kind of wiggle this back and forth a little bit, just to kind of knock it loose. And you can also give it a little forward movement here and with a little bit of patience and moving back and forth, we should be able to get this out. So just like that, you can see that actually slides over that. And that's where the pin is. So you're kind of trying to overcome that. There's also one down here. So that's where your friction is coming from, so be careful, but you're also gonna have to give it a little bit more force than you might think. So now, once we have this out, we're gonna simply unclip here and that way we can get our taillight out of the way. So you're gonna pull this red clip back. Now, sometimes these clips can get a little, you know, built up with some dirt and debris. So the flat head might pry this open just a little bit, just be gentle here, so there you go. You want that red to pop open and that's just the locking feature. You can then push this down and that should separate. Now put your taillight in a safe place. I'm just gonna put it here in the trunk and then we'll have it ready for installation later. So now we're gonna be pulling off the rear fascia. You're gonna want an extra set of hands here because this can be pretty large and you don't want to drop your bumper and scratch it. Now something else, you don't want to just pull this off completely once you have it detached, because there may be some electrical connections still attached. So let's make sure that we get those taken apart before taking the fascia completely off. Now the best method to do this. You're gonna start at the wheel-well side and slowly pry back at the clips, working your way towards the middle. So as I pry back, slowly gonna work our way here. You're gonna see these have little clips here, that slide onto those. So those should come off pretty easy. And then once you get both ends on the wheel-well side, pry it back, you'll get to this middle part and this should unclip just like that. And so here's this electrical connection that we're talking about here. So just like the other clips before slide this red tab back, and then this should push it in. Now with a little bit of wiggling, we should get this plug out. So sometimes if you push the clip in and then pull, it's gonna make it a lot easier. So now set your fascia aside. I'm just gonna be using just a trashcan here just to set it up. So our hitch is actually gonna live behind this impact bar, and it's gonna use these studs, but in order to get that, we're gonna need to take our exhaust here down because it does attach to it as well. But before doing that, we're gonna want to make sure that we brace up the exhaust before lowering it. And that way it's not using its weight to rest on itself, it can damage it. So what I'm gonna use is just a cam buckle strap here. I'm just gonna kind of loop it under it. And that way when it lowers down, it's got a little bit of support. Now, if you're in your driveway, you can use a block or whatever to hold this up, or you can wrap something here around it. As long as the exhaust isn't hot, main thing is you just don't want this dropping down and hanging down. So now with your 13 millimeter socket, we're gonna go ahead and remove these two bolts from the hanger bracket. And you can see it actually sits on this. We're gonna raise this up just a little bit to get this off, just like that. Next with a 15 millimeter socket, we're gonna go ahead and loosen up these nuts here. Now I'm gonna take off two of them and I'm gonna leave one of them still on threads. That way I can go to the other side and not have to worry about this side falling off. So now I'll take the one little nut here that I've left on there completely off, and now we can take our impact motor off. Now, when it comes to your underbody panel, you can actually take the whole thing off and not put it back on, or you can choose to trim it, which I think is a better option. So I've marked off based on the instructions, what that size should be. And I'm gonna go ahead with some snips here and just cut this off. So having this cut is going to give us clearance for that receiver to actually stick out. And the rest of this will stay covered. So trimming this out is gonna be nice because you still get the utility, but you're also still getting that protection underneath your vehicle. So now we're ready to put our hitch in place. And this is simply gonna slide over these studs here. And then our impact bar is actually gonna go on top of this, so I'll grab that. And I suggest having at least two of those nuts handy, in that way, once this is place, you can just hand thread this on there, and that will keep it in place for you. So now I have these hand tightened on. I'll go ahead and tighten them down. You don't need to get too crazy with them because we're gonna go back with a torque wrench, but this will get it in place a little bit better. So now we can go ahead and get our exhaust hanger bracket back into those little slots there. Now with that hitch behind there, I'm seeing that I will have to kind of bend these out just a little bit, because that space has been filled up with the hitch. So I'm gonna go ahead with just a pair of pliers and kind of bend these out a little. And with just that little bit that allows that to slide in. And I'm gonna go ahead and put our bolts back in. So now I'm gonna go back with my torque wrench. And based on the manufacturer's recommendations, I'm gonna use those torque specs to tighten these down. Now, this is an important step because it's gonna ensure that it's not too tight putting stress on the studs, but it's also not loose to where it's gonna come loose while using the hitch. Now, if you don't have a torque wrench, we do sell these here at Etrailer. Or generally, you can rent them at an auto parts store, but make sure you are doing this step. I'm gonna go through and do all the bumper beam nuts first. And then I'm gonna go back and do my exhaust bracket. Now note that those are different torque settings, as far as the smaller hardware here. So just refer to your instruction manual to make sure you had those proper settings. So now go ahead and remove your support that you had on your exhaust, and you can take that out. And at this point we have our hitch installed. Really all that's left to do is get our rear fascia put back on, our plug plugged back in, and all of our hardware cinched in place. So once you have all that in, ready to use your hitch, very crucial step, obviously make sure that you get your taillights reinstalled. And that was a look and installation of the Draw Tite class one trailer hitch receiver on a 2018 Chevrolet Bolt, thanks for watching..


Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C
Employee Bradley B
Test Fit:
Bradley B

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