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Draw-Tite Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Ford EcoSport

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Ford EcoSport


Hey everybody. Rob here at etrailer.com. And today we're going to be taking a look at the Draw-Tite class two custom-fit trailer hitch receiver on our 2018 Ford EcoSport. Now here's what our hitch is going to look like once we have it installed, it is going to be hidden pretty well behind the bumper here. And all we're really going to see is that receiver tube sticking out. So it has a really clean, almost OEM look to it.

Now it is going to be a class two hitch, which means it's going to give us that inch and a quarter by inch and a quarter receiver tube opening. Really great for some of those bike racks, some of the smaller cargo carriers, but regardless of how we're going to be using our hitch, all of our accessories are going to mount to the hitch pin hole here on the side.Now the hitch is going to accept a standard half inch pin and clip. Now these are not going to come with the hitch, but you can pick them up here at etrailer.com, along with some locking devices to make sure your accessories are secure. And anti-rattle devices to cut down on that annoying rattle and shaking sound when driving down the highway. And obviously if you're towing a trailer, you got to have a spot to hook up your safety chains.

And here we have a loop style welded to the bottom of the receiver tube. And even with some of the most common size hooks, you'll see we've got plenty of room to get them hooked on or take them off. Or if we have some of the really large oversized hooks, you still have plenty of room to get those hooked on and take them off without any kind of interference.Now, as far as the weight capacity goes, our hitch is going to have a 350 pound tongue weight. That's the maximum downward force at the end of the receiver tube. So to put that in perspective, that's going to give us a good way that we can carry quite a few bikes with us.

Be able to put a bike rack in there, maybe carry two, three bikes with us, or if we need to make room inside of our eco sport, maybe we're on a road trip. We can get a cargo carrier out here and really maximize the carrying capacity of some of those smaller ones. Now, our hitch is also going to have a 3,500 pound gross trailer weight rating. That's how much the hitch can pull, but that does include the trailer and everything we have loaded on it. But with all those numbers in mind, you should double check your Ford's owner's manual.Cause those are a rating for our hitch and we don't want to exceed the rating for our eco sport.

I'd like to give you a few measurements and these are going to help you out whenever you're looking for accessories for your new hitch, from the center of the hitch pin hole to the outermost edge of the bumper through right about three-and-a-half inches. Now that measurement is going to help you when you're looking at folding accessories, to make sure you can put them in the upright store position, and they're not going to come in contact with the rear bumper. From the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening is going to be right about 12 inches. Now at that height, I would definitely recommend a bike rack or cargo carrier with a raised shank. That way we can get a little bit more ground clearance out of it.But now that we've seen our hitch looks like and gone over some of the features, let's walk through the installation together. To begin our installation, we're going to come to the very back of our eco sport now, and our particular application, we don't have this trim panel here, but if you look at the very bottom, you can see several holes that are spanning across the bottom of the facia here. Normally there would be a panel right here. Yours may or may not have it in there, but if you do, you need to pull all these screws out are going to be a five and a half millimeter. And then if you come inside just underneath the trunk pane itself, we're going to have two studs. One of them is going to have the heat shield attached to it with a plastic nut. The other side, there's nothing on it because the panel's not there, but these two nuts would also hold that panel in.So you remove those and pull that entire panel out. So now if we move in just a little bit towards the front and towards the passenger side. We'll find our muffler the very back now on the outside of that, we'll find our rubber isolator and hanger holding everything in place, I'm going to grab some spray lubricant to spray down the hanger in the isolator. That's going to make it a lot easier to get that hanger off. Typically, you just grab a pry bar, we'll use the muffler and the hanger itself to kind of pry against that rubber so we can get it loose and get it to slide all the way off.Now, clearly the muffler didn't come down that far. So if we move forward right above the rear axle here, we'll have another isolator. So we're going to remove the exhaust there. Now we don't have to worry about the exhaust coming down too far because the axle is going to stop it before can come down any farther than we need it to. But again, we'll just use a pry bar, use the muffler to kind of use this leverage, pry against it. Main goal is just to get that rubber isolator off. Now on each side of the frame and the very bottom we're going to have these two bolts that are going in. Remove these but we want to make sure we hold onto the hardware. So we use a 15 millimeter socket and pull both bolts out.So we're going have these exact same bolts on the other side of the frames. So we'll move to that side and pull those out as well. So if we come back to our frame rail, if we come forward just to those two bolts we pulled out all, those have a wire attached to the bottom of our frame. We don't have to, but I like to pull this wire down. We just grab that class plastic clip right here, feel the work it down to kind of want to push it out of the way for now. But now that everything's loose off the bottom of the frame, we can go over the attachment points. The two holes where we removed those bolts from those are going to be two attachment points and they aren't going to provide us with new hardware in our kit. So when we have a new bolt and each one of those bolts is going to get a conical tooth washer, little teeth on there.You want to make sure they're facing up towards the hitch. So we'll lift our hitch up, go through the hitch and then secure everything down with the new bolts, threading it into the weld nut at the bottom of the frame. Now we're going to use those four locations just to loosely get our hitch in place. And then we'll show you the rest of the hardware that we're going to be putting in.Now with an extra set of hands, we're going to lift our hitch up. Now you do want to get your hitch above the exhaust and you kind of need to work it over the rubber isolator here. So if you need, so you can actually just pull that rubber isolator off the hanger may make it a little bit easier to get everything in place. To lift our hitch up to the holes line up that you may have to, like I said, remove that rubber isolator here and then just kind of slide it so that isolator will go in that opening, just makes it a lot easier to get the hitch in place. And it kind of holds it while we get our hardware ready.We just want to take at least one piece of hardware on each side and put it into one of those four weld nuts. Make sure we get a couple threads on there so the hitch will support itself. And then we have both of those pieces of hardware in place on both sides of the frame. You'll notice that we're going to have one more attachment point that's coming towards the front of the car. I'm going to grab our nut plate. This is going to have a nut welded onto a handle. And if we look forward of the last attachment point, we'll find a very large hole that's right in front of our inaudible 00:07:34.So we'll take that nut plate. And I like to put in a small bend, so I'll kind of estimate how much I need. So I'll line up that nut plate with the hole, give myself a rough idea how long it needs to be, put kind of a bend in it like that kind of curve it if I need to make room for myself, but then I'll just pull my nut plate inside the frame and turn it to where it'll sit on that opening, where I can see it through the opening on the hitch.Once we have access to it I'm going to grab the half inch bolts out of our kit, I'm going to follow that up with a split lock washer and then finally a flat washer. And we want to use the handle on that nut plate. Hold it still. While we thread in that half inch bolt, this is going to be the same process and combination of hardware. So we'll repeat the same process over on the driver's side. Once all the hardware is in place, we'll take a three quarter inch socket, you can also use a 19 millimeter socket and we'll tighten up the large half-inch bolts towards the front.Now for our smaller four bolts towards the rear, we're going to use a 17 millimeter socket. You want to make sure you come back with a torque wrench. We're going to torque all of our hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. You want to make sure you go back and repeat that for all of your remaining hardware. Now, whenever you go to put your exhaust back in place, putting a little bit more spray lubricant on the hangers and the isolator definitely will help out a little bit. And also at this very rear one by the muffler, I suggest sliding the isolator back onto the hanger first and then lifting the muffler up that way we can kind of use that hole inside the muffler or that hole inside the hitch here to our advantage, to where we can get everything to slide back in. Just makes it that much easier for us. But once you have your exhaust back up and your bolts are all tightened down, that'll finish up your installation and your look at the Draw-Tite class two custom-fit trailer hitch receiver on our 2018 Ford EcoSport..


Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C

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