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Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Installation - 2011 Subaru Outback Wagon

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch on a 2011 Subaru Outback Wagon


Ryan: Hey everybody, my name's Ryan and here at etrailer, we install, test, fit and review a lot of different parts. That way we can try to answer any questions those of you might have. And that's exactly what we're doing today on our 2011 Subaru Outback wagon. We're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Draw-Tite Class III Trailer Hitch Receiver. Many of our Subaru customers plan on using their vehicles to do a little bit of everything. So if it we're me, I would want a hitch I can handle anything you throw at it.

So whether you do some towing or primarily use accessories, this hitch is going to get the job done. And I said that for a few different reasons. One of them being clearance. Since the hitch does sit up nice and tight against the bottom of our Subaru, it's going to be a little bit higher off the ground so we shouldn't have to worry with our accessories dragging or anything like that.It's also going to give us really good bumper clearance. So the end of the receiver tube is going to sit just about flush with the back of our bumper.

So that'll work out real well for those folding accessories, particularly bike racks and cargo carriers. That way, when you flip them up into that stored position, we're not going to have to worry about them hitting our back bumper. The hitch is also very versatile and that's because it is a class III hitch. So it's going to give us that two inch by two inch receiver tube opening. This is a very common size and a ton of different accessories will work out with it.

It's going to have a reinforced collar for extra strength, and it's going to have that standard five inch pinhole.Now keep in mind a pin and clip does not come included, but if you need one you can find it right here at etrailer. If we look in front of our pinhole, you're going to see a smaller hole and that's there to use a J-Pin. A J-Pin is a stabilization device that will eliminate any slop or play here and the connection point and keep it a little more quiet inside of your Subaru. And if that's something you're interested in, you can find it here at etrailer as well. We're going to have loop style safety chain openings, which give us more than enough room to use just about any size hook that we might have.

So compared to some of the other hitches, I think this one is definitely one of the better looking ones. For the most part, it's going to be completely hidden.Really you're only going to be able to see the receiver tube opening. And as I mentioned, a lot of those other hitches are really visible. They actually hang down below the bumper. You'll see a big bar kind of running across, which not only in my opinion is kind of an eyesore, but it's going to affect your ground clearance as well since it hangs down further. So this one you really can't go wrong with as far as versatility, as well as lows. Hitch is also going to give us some really good weight capacities. As far as the maximum gross tongue weight rating goes, it's going to be 600 pounds and that's going to be the amount of weight that's pushing on the hitch. That's a pretty high number and you should be able to use pretty much any size bike rack or cargo carrier that you would want to.As far as the maximum gross trailer weight rating goes, it's going to be 4,000 pounds and that's going to be the amount of weight that's pulling on the hitch. That is the weight of your trailer, plus anything that you might have on it. I do always like to suggest never a bad idea just to grab your Outback's owner's manual. That way you can make sure your Subaru can pull that much weight safely. Now we can go ahead and take a few measurements and these are going to help you figure out which accessories will work best. If you go from the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening, it's going to be right at 15 inches. So if you do plan on doing some towing, chances are pretty good you need to get a ball mount with a slight rise.If you go from the center of the hitch pinhole to the very edge of our bumper, that's going to be right at about two and a half inches. And you can use that measurement to help figure out that if any folding accessories, you might have can indeed be stored in an upright position without contacting the bumper. So at the end of the day, a hitch it's going to check all the boxes. Not only is it going to look good, but you're going to be able to use it to do a little bit of everything. Now, as far as the installation goes, believe it or not. It's really not too bad. Even though you do need to take the rear fascia off, it's really not involved. And all the fasteners are pretty easy to get to. Speaking of which let's go ahead and put the hitch on together now.To begin our installation, we're going to be here at the back of our Subaru, and we're going to need to remove our fascia that way we can get our hitch on. So the first thing that we need to do is open the hatch and remove our taillights. If we look on the side of the taillight here, we're going to see two plastic fasteners. They're going to have a Phillips head. I'll take a screwdriver and just use light pressure to kind of back it out. Then you can just grab it and pull it out. If the base comes separated from the head, no big deal, you can just kind of snap them back together. It's going to be the same thing for this one up here.And then we should be able to grab this piece of plastic and kind of work it out. Let's set that off to the side as well. And that'll expose two 10 millimeter bolts. So you can either use a 10 millimeter. It looks like they also have a Phillips head inside too. So you can also use a screwdriver. Let me grab my socket. Pull those out. We should be able to grab our taillight, kind of work it back and forth, pull it out. And what we're going to do is just disconnect everything. So these are just quarter-turn bolt so you just grab the housing, kind of rotated a quarter turn and that'll allow you to pull them out.So now that I have this tail light removed, I'll simply repeat this same process over on the other side. Now, if we move here to our rear wheel well just behind our tire, we're going to have some fasteners we need to pull out. The first one being this bolt right here. So I'll take a eight millimeter wrench or socket and pull that out. So once we have that one out, if you look just a little bit more inside of the wheel well, we're going to have a Push Pin Style Fastener we need to take out as well. So you can grab a flat head screwdriver or a trim tool .work underneath the head of it and pop it out. And we're going to have another Push Pin Style Fastener further up. And this one's a little tricky to see. It's right here in this little pocket, and we're going to remove that the same way that we removed the last push pin fastener. So we'll grab a trim tool, work underneath it and pop it out.Now from this point on, I want to mention, anything we do to one side of our Subaru we're also going to do on the other side because it's set up the same way. Now underneath of our Subaru, if we look at our mudflap, if you kind of spin it, you can see inside there, we're going to have a Push Pin Fastener as well located right there. So we'll pull that out with a trim tool and get that removed. Our mudflap will drop down and then we can just set it off to the side. Then here in the center, underneath our Subaru, we're going to have three more Push Pin Style Fasteners that need to come out as well. So again, just take our tool and get all those removed. Now with an extra set of hands, we can actually remove our fascia. So you're going to want to start at the corner where our fascia actually meets the quarter panel. And this has actually just kind of snap into place. So what you can do is grab the corner and try to carefully work it towards the center and release all of those clips.Once you do pull it off, you don't want to pull it back all the way. You may have an electrical connector that you have to disconnect. In our case, we don't. So we can just set this off to the side, somewhere safe. With the fascia out of the way, we can actually remove our bumper beam. So on each side, we're going to have a total of four nuts, two up top and two on the bottom side. So I grab a 14 millimeter socket and pull all of those out.So once we get all of those nuts removed, we can go ahead and pull your bumper beam back towards you and we'll set it to the side for now. So now we can lay our hitch flat and take our bumper beam and set it over the hitch then we can pick everything up as an assembly. And the way this is going to work is our hitch is going to go over the factory studs and our bumper beam is going to kind of sandwich it. So we'll line everything up and then we're going to take the factory nuts that we originally removed and get them back into place.It's a good idea to get at least one started on each side, hand tight. That way everything will be supported while we work on the rest of the hardware. Now that we got all of our hardware in place and hand tight, we can go ahead and snug down all of the bolts. In tightening them down I kind of like to make an X pattern almost, that way everything will kind of draw down evenly. It'll be nice and flush. Now we can come back with a torque wrench and tighten down all the hardware to the amount specified in the instructions.Now we can move over to our fascia and trim out a small opening that way it can fit around our hitch. There's a diagram and the instructions and you can see those for exact measurements, but I went ahead and drew those out and gave me a line to cut. This is relatively thin plastic I'm just going to use a pair of snips. You can also use maybe a sharp utility knife, or maybe even a Dremel tool. Well with that being said, I go ahead and trim this little section out. Now that we trimmed out our fascia, we can go ahead and re-install it the opposite way that we removed it.These lights work the same way when you re-install them you just kind of put them into position and rotate them at a quarter turn again. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Draw-Tite Class III Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2011 Subaru Outback wagon..


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