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Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver Installation - 2019 GMC Acadia

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver on a 2019 GMC Acadia


Rob: Hey everybody, Rob here etrailer.com. Today we're going to be taking a look at the Draw-Tite Class Three custom fit trailer hitch receiver on our 2019 GMC Acadia. Now here's what our hitch is going to look like. It's going to have a pretty factory look to it because it's going to come right out in the opening of the trap door that we already have on our Acadia and most of it's going to be hidden behind the bumper.The nice thing about it is it's a Class three, which means it's going to give us that two inch by two inch receiver tube opening and have widest variety of options when it comes to accessories. Most people automatically think of a ball mount when towing a trailer, but our hitch is going to allow us to put a bike rack in there so we can hit the trail with some friends, or if we just need to make room inside, we could put a cargo carrier in there.But regardless of how we are going to be using our hitch, all of our accessories are going to mount through the hitch pin hole here on the side. Our edge is going to accept a standard five eighths pin and clip.

keep in mind these are not going to come with your hitch, but you can pick them up here at etrailer.com.Now I know a lot of you might be wondering what this secondary hole is for. It's actually going to be used exclusively for the J-Pin stabilization device. Now the way this is going to work is it will have a threaded section, that's going to go into our hitch pin hole. Then we're going to take the nut and apply it on the threaded end. Once we tighten everything down, it'll bring that hook into the secondary hole and apply pressure to your accessory.

It's going to cut down on that rattling around and noise it makes when we're driving down the road. The J-Pin is also a locking device, so it's going to keep your accessories nice and secure. Now this is going to be sold separately but again, you can find it here at etrailer.com.Now if you are going to be towing a trailer, maybe you're taking a boat down to the lake, a jet ski, maybe you've just got a utility trailer you're working with, you've got to have safety chains to hook up. Our connection point is going to be a plate style welded to the bottom of the receiver tube.They have really large openings, so even if we have some of the really large hooks, we'll have plenty of room to get them hooked on and take them off. Or if we have some smaller, more normal sized hooks, we still have plenty of room.

But if you are using smaller ones, I do suggest coming from the front because you may not be able to get them fully engaged from the side because of the thick flange we have here.Another thing Draw-Tite has done that I really like is they went ahead and welded on this bracket here just left or towards the driver's side of the receiver tube. That's going to be great if we have any wiring that we are going to be mounting up. You can mount a four pole, five, six, or even a seven way on there. That way when we hook up to our trailer, our wiring will be ready for us.Now when you're looking at a hitch, you want to make sure that it's going to be up to the task and we put it to. As far as the weight rating goes, our hitch is going to have a 675 pound tongue weight.

That's going to be the maximum downward force at the end of the receiver tube. To put that in perspective, we're going to be able to get a good size bike rack on there, maybe four or five bikes or really be able to maximize the carrying capacity of those large cargo carriers.Our hitch is also going to have a 4,500 pound gross trailer weight rating. That's how much you can pull, but that does include the trailer and everything we have loaded on it. It is compatible with weight distribution systems as well, and that's going to be a separate component that's mounted on your trailer. But our tongue weight and the gross trailer weight is going to stay the same. With all those numbers in mind, you always want to double check your Acadia's owner's manual because we don't want to exceed the manufacturer's rating for our car.I'd like to give you a few measurements. These are going to help you whenever you're looking at accessories for your new hitch, like a ball Mount, a bike rack, or even a cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outermost edge of the bumper is right about four and three quarter inches.That measurement is going to help when you're looking at folding accessories to make sure you have enough room that you can put them in the upright stored position and not make contact with the rear bumper. From the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening is right about 17 and three quarter inches. That measurement is going to help you when you're looking for a ball mount so you can find the appropriate rise or drop to match up to your trailer. Now that we've seen what our hitch looks like and gone over some of the features, let's go through the installation together.To begin our installation, we want to come to the back of our Acadia and we're going to come right in the center. Now we're going to have this panel here and it is removable. We're going to have two bolts holding it in on each side. We're going to grab a seven millimeter socket and pull each one of those out. We're going to set this aside where it won't get damaged.Now just to the outside of that on each side, we're going to have another bolt that's going to be holding our fascia supports. We're going to pull those out. We'll use that same seven millimeter socket.At this point I want to open up our rear hatch. In just the inside of our taillights we'll have a fastener down here. I'm going to grab a T-15 Torx bit and we're going to pull that out. Were going to remove the screw and the little cover or washer that's around it. We're going to have one on the other side so we want to pull that out as well.Now right above that fastener we're going to have this plastic cover right underneath our taillight. You can take a flat blade screwdriver, there's a really small notch on the bottom, put our screwdriver in there and pop the cover open. We'll grab that same seven millimeter socket and pull the bolt out. We want to do that on both sides.To remove our rear wheel well, at the very back of our tire here, the corner of our fascia, we're going to have a bolt going up. Then if we move to the inside of the wheel well liner, we're going to have a few more that are going to be going along the edge. They're all going to be T-15 heads, so we'll grab our T-15 Torx bit and pull those out. We'll have another one right before the lower section of our panel meets this trim piece, we're going to pull that one out as well. We're going to repeat the same process on the other side.Once we have all those bolts removed, we're going to come right to where that trim cheese meets the lower section. There'll be a seam right here. Now I'm going to be using a trim panel tool, a plastic one. That way I'm not going to because any damage. But you want to come in between that seam. I'm going to pry upward on this upper piece, that way it would come out of the groove and loosen up the bottom. We want to work our way up at least to where we have this same here where our fender meets our fascia.If you can get it unclipped a little bit farther it'll make it a little bit easier to work with, but we're going to have a few bolts behind here that we're going to have to loosen up. At the bottom we'll have a seven millimeter bolt. If we follow that up, right at that seam we'll have another one. We'll grab our seven millimeter socket and pull both of those out. Once we have these bolts removed we're going to repeat the same process on the other side.At this point we're going to be pulling our fascia off, so I suggest getting extra set of hands because it's not very heavy but it is rather large and we don't want to cause any damage. We're going to pull back that trim piece come to the edge of our fascia, and we're going to start pulling it away, releasing the clips, and working our way towards the center.Now you may have that plastic support piece that was in the wheel well come off and it's completely fine. We're just going to set it aside. Again, just start working our way towards the center. Once you get to about your tail lights, you may kind of have to work it up and down to release those clips. Now you don't want to pull too far away because we are going to have some wiring that's going to be attached to the back of our fascia.We follow it up. I'm going to release this clip that's attaching it to a screw on the body. If you're having a little bit of trouble, you might want to get a flat blade screwdriver or trim panel tool or anything you've got just to pull that off. If we move up we'll find the plug itself. That little red tab on there, we need to pull away. We'll press down on the black center piece. You should be able to separate the two plugs. Again we're going to have one more clip holding that plug in place, so we need to pull that off so we can sit our fascia aside where it won't get damaged.Now that we have our fascia removed, we're going to remove our bumper beam. But if you look at our bumper beam structure, our exhaust hanger is going to be bolted to it well. We want to make sure our exhaust is supported so it doesn't cause any damage when we lower it down. I'm going to put up a support strap. I'm going to come to about the rear axle where our exhaust Ys off. I'm going to find a secure point on the car, tighten up my strap so that it won't come down too far.Now on each side, on the top of our bumper beam, we're going to have two flange bolts. Then on the bottom where our exhaust hanger is, we'll have two bolts going into it. We're going to grab a 15 millimeter socket and pull all of those out. Now if you look at that lower bracket where our hanger is, you'll see that there's a little tab that's going to be going through, that's what's actually holding our exhaust in place even though we took the bolts out.You want to just lift up very gently. We're going to slide the hanger back enough so we can get off of that little post. Just be mindful that your bumper beam is loose so you don't want to let it fall, just make sure you have a grip on it. We'll do that on both sides. Then we can take our bumper beam and we're going to slide it towards the rear and we'll set it aside for right now.We're also going to have this wiring harness here. We can actually just grab it and slide it off of the clip that it's being held onto. We'll just let it hang out of the way. We need to remove these. They're going to be held on by two bolts. We'll grab our seven millimeter socket again and pull both of those bolts out. I'll move to the other side and pull the other one off as well.At this point, we want to grab our hitch and the two holes in the top are going to line up with the studs that we removed our bumper beam from. We want to let it hang just like this, and we're going to grab our bumper and put that back over on top of our hitch. Slide that in place. I always like to get one of the nuts on top. We're going to loosely reinstall it and put one on each side, that way we don't have to worry about the bumper beam or the hitch falling down.Then we can take our exhaust hanger bracket, we're going to want to lift it up. Again, make sure that notch goes through, make sure the holes line up, and then we're just going to reinstall the factory hardware that we removed. We'll do the same thing on the other side, putting our exhaust back up and then reinstalling all the factory hardware. We can grab that same 15 millimeter socket from before and we're going to snug all the hardware back down.You want to make sure you come with a torque wrench and 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 any remaining hardware that you have.Now the wiring that we removed from that fascia support obviously is not going to be going back on because our hitch is taking the place of our fascia support. Rather than just let it dangle around and make a bunch of noise, I'm going to come over to this factory harness here and I'm going to take a zip tie and zip tie it to it. Now there's not going to be any zip ties that come in your kit, so you will have to provide your own or provide a way to secure this so it doesn't make any noise while you're driving down the road.Now before you put your fascia back on, it will be easier to put these support brackets back into the wheel well now, because once we have our fascia on it's going to be pretty hard to get in there. But you'll remember that we have that lower bolt that's going to line up with the bottom, another one that's going to line up here, and this third one should line up with the hole on our wheel well liner. We want to line it up and then we'll take that T-15 Torx screw and we're just going to attach it to the liner. Again, just making it a little bit easier on ourselves once we get the fascia back on. We'll do it here and then we'll do the same thing on the other side.Now with an extra set of hands, we're ready to put our fascia back on and we're just going to reverse the order of taking it off. You want to make sure you do plug your wiring back in and plug that locking tab back down so it doesn't come apart. You can always put the fastener back onto the body as well. Make sure the wire is not going to hang down. Then we just need to clip everything back in place.Now that everything's back in place, we can remove the strap supporting the exhaust. Now we do have the option of putting that panel back, but it is going to require some trimming. We're not going to be doing that in our application. That'll finish up your look and installation of the Draw-Tite Class Three custom fit trailer hitch receiver on our 2019 GMC Acadia.


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