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Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Installation - 2020 Chrysler Pacifica

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch on a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica

Ryan: Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today on our 2020 Chrysler Pacifica, we're going to be taking a look at it and showing you how to install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver.I will say, this is a hitch you really can't go wrong with. It's probably my favorite one available for the Pacifica. And that's really for a couple of different reasons, looks and the versatility.As far as the appearance goes, it's going to be pretty much completely hidden, and it's going to blend right into the back of the Pacifica. That's important in my opinion, because these Pacificas do look really good, and you don't want to take away from that.As far as the versatility goes, the hitch is going to be able to do a little bit of everything. And so that's a perfect match up with the Pacifica.

People use these vans to do pretty much anything because they're really capable. So whether you plan on doing some towing, or just using accessories, this is going to work great for that.This is going to be a Class III hitch. So we're going to have that two inch by two inch receiver tube opening. And that is a really common size. So the types of accessories you can use are more or less endless.There's going to have the standard five-eighths pinhole.

Now pin and clip does not come included, but if you need one, you can find it here at etrailer. There's also going to be a smaller hole in front of the pinhole, and that's going to be there for a J pin. That J pin is a stabilization device, which more or less eliminates any play in the connection point here, helping keep a more quiet ride and side whenever you're going on the road.We are going to have plate-style safety chain openings, which to be honest with you, I'm not too crazy about. They do sit a little bit further back. But in my opinion, that little sacrifice is worth the better look.

Now we're going to give us enough room to use just about any size hook that we might have.As far as the hitch's weight capacities go, we're going to have a 675 pound maximum gross tongue weight rating. So that's going to be the amount of weight that's pushing down on the hitch. It's a pretty high number and you shouldn't have any issues using just about whatever size bike rack or cargo carrier that you would want to, for example.As far as the maximum gross trailer weight rating goes, it's going to be 4,500 pounds. That's going to be the amount of weight that's pulling on the hitch. So that's the weight of your trailer, plus anything that you might have on it.Now, this hitch can be used with the weight distribution system, which is a separate component.

And if you use that, the maximum gross trailer weight rating does increase to 5,000 pounds. However, the maximum gross tongue weight rating does remain the same at 675.And I do always like to point out, it's never a bad idea to check with your Pacifica's owner's manual to make sure that your Chrysler can pull that much weight safely.Now, this is something small, but one thing that does help separate this hitch from some of the others, is the fact that it already has a bracket attached to it. That can really come in handy, especially if you plan on doing some towing. It's going to give you a perfect spot to mount up any trailer wiring.Trailer wiring, I would definitely recommend if you are towing. That way the lights on your trailer will match up with the lights on the back of your Pacifica, and you'll be safe and legal.One thing that I did notice, is the hitch is going to give us some pretty good clearance. It's going to sit just behind our bumper here, so it's still going to be easy to get to, but not so far back that we're going to have to worry about our folding accessories coming in contact with the bumper. Where it sits right here, it's kind of that happy medium, that sweet spot. You don't lose accessibility, but you're still going to be able to use it with just about any folding accessory.Now we can take a couple of measurements and those will help us find out what accessories will work best. If we go from the ground to the top inside edge of our receiver tube opening, it's going to be right at 13 inches. So if you do plan on doing some towing, chances are pretty good you're going to need to get a ball mount with a rise.If you measure from the center of our hitch pin hole, to the very edge of our bumper, it's going to be right at about five inches. And you're going to use that to find out exactly if you have enough room for your folding accessories, that way they can be stored in the upright position without actually contacting the bumper.So at the end of the day, a hitch that's going to check all the boxes. Not only is it going to look good, but it's going to be able to handle just about anything you throw at it. Now, as far as the installation goes, even though the hitch is completely hidden, it's really not too bad. I'd say the most time-consuming part is removing the underbody panel underneath the van. But other than that, everything's pretty easy to get to and straightforward.Speaking of which, let's go ahead and put the hitch on together now. To begin our install, we're going to be working underneath the back of our Pacifica. And the first thing we're going to need to do is remove this underbody panel.That's going to be held in place with multiple different types of fasteners. The first ones we're going to take out are these eight millimeter screws. So we're going to have a total of six of them along this whole bottom edge here.If you look just behind our back tire, over here on the driver's side, we're going to have another eight millimeter screw. So go ahead and grab our wrench and pull that out. Then, if you just look behind our back tire again, only on the side, we're going to have two more of those eight millimeter screws.Now, if we move to the center, we're going to have two 10 millimeter bolts. So pull them out. Once we have these out, this panel can lower down a little bit and that will expose two more 10 millimeter plastic nuts. So we'll run those out. And we're going to have a few more, just like these plastic nuts.On the driver's side, we're going to have two. We kind of work our way relatively close to the center. We're going to have one more. Over here on the passenger side, we're going to have two more.And we're going to have two of these plastic Phillips head bit fasteners. The way these work, you take a large screwdriver and loosen them up. These actually won't come out completely from the panel, but you can feel them kind of break loose. And we're going to have one more right here. Now, once we take this on off, we want to kind of hold that panel up because this is the only thing, keeping it in place.And sometimes what you might have to do. Well there it went. But sometimes, if this just keeps spinning and not backing off, you might have to put a little downward pressure on the panel while you're turning it to free it. Once we have it free though, we can take our panel and work it out from underneath.Now, we are going to need to lower our exhaust a little bit to give us a little more room to work. So what I like to do is take a strap and just run it from side to side. That way the exhaust will have a little bit of support and we can kind of better control how far down and how fast we let that exhaust down.We're going to have a total of two rubber isolator hangers that we need to remove. Going to have one right here next to our tailpipe. And what you want to do is spray them down with some soapy water or some penetrating oil, and that'll make them easier to slide off.You can grab a pry bar or a big screwdriver, whatever you have. Just kind of work that rubber portion off of the metal hanger. If you follow our exhaust forward, the other one is going to be located right here in the center, and I'll use that same technique to get that removed. Then we can loosen up our strap a little bit and that'll give our exhaust some wiggle room.At this point, we can lower our exhaust heat shield right here. It's going to be held in place by two 10 millimeter nuts. You're going to have one right up here in this corner. And one right back here. We'll go ahead and pull those out. We can grab the shield, kind of work it down off the studs and just set it to the side for now.Over here on the driver's side frame rail, we're going to have a ground wire attached to a stud, and we're going to remove that for now. That way it won't get in the way when we go to put our hitch up. So I'll take a 10 millimeter socket and pull that nut off. We'll just set this nut off to the side for now. We can grab our wire, kind of just pull it down out of the way for the time being.Now, we're able to get our hardware inside of our frame rail. The first two attachment points we're going to be working with, will be this one here, and this one here. So what we're going to do is take one of our pull wires, and we're going to take the coiled end, feed it up through this hole, and push it towards the front. We're trying to get that coiled end to drop down through this opening here. That's a little bit larger. Sometimes you may have to kind of reach up there and help it down.Once we have that coiled end out, what you're going to do is take one of the smaller spacer blocks, put that over the coiled end. We're going to take a carriage bolt and thread that on. Then we can feed our hardware up inside of the frame rail. And pull on the other end, so you can get the bolt to drop down. I'm going to use that same hardware combination and technique to get our bolt to pass through this hole here.We're going to be using this larger hole as our third attachment point. The way to get our hardware in there is going to be a little different. We're going to use reverse fish wire and take the coiled end and our larger spacer block. Put that block over it, take another one of our carriage bolts and thread that on. We're just going to push that hardware up one at a time into that opening. And simply work it around and get our bolt to drop down.From this point on, I do want to mention, anything we do to this side, we're also going to do to the other side of our Chrysler. And that's because everything will be set up the same way.Now with an extra set of hands, we can raise our hitch into position. Going to want to run your pull wires through the corresponding holes in the hitch. And on the passenger side, you want to make sure to go up and over your exhaust.Once we have the hitch flat up against our frame rail, what we're going to do is remove one of the pull wires and we want to get a least one nut started hand tight on each side. That way, the hitch will support itself. We're going to be using a conical tooth washer, we want the teeth to face up towards the hitch, followed by a hex nut.Just to show you a little trick. If you're having trouble getting that nut started because that bolt wants to kind of push back up into the frame rail, what you can do is put on your washer and just take a flathead screwdriver and kind of apply some pressure, side pressure, to that bolt. And that'll keep it steady and make it a lot easier to get that nut started.Now that we have all of our hardware in place and hand tight, we can go ahead and snug it all down. Now we can grab a torque wrench and tighten up all the hardware to the amount specified in our instructions.If you had this ground wire here that we had to remove, go ahead and slide that back over the stud. Reinstall the nut and just tighten it back down.Now we can grab our heat shield and get it trimmed. There's a diagram and instructions, so I went ahead and followed it and made some lines here to give you an idea on where we need to cut. This is relatively thin metal, so I'm just going to use a pair of tin snips to get it trimmed out.With our heat shield trimmed, we can put it back into position. Except this time, for now, we're just going to be securing it in place with one of our plastic nuts right here.Now we can go ahead and rehang our exhaust. So I sprayed the hangers down again with some soapy water. And then this time we can just kind of line everything up and get it back in by hand. Once it is supporting itself you can go ahead and remove our strap.Now we can trim our underbody panel. There is a diagram and instructions, but I kind of just loosely held our panel up and it looks like we aren't going to have to cut out as much material as the instruction suggests. So what I did was just mark out an opening here. Once we have it cut out, we can test fit it. If it doesn't fit, no big deal. We can always come back and cut out a little bit more.But I think this would be a good place to start at least, because if you can get away with this, it'll just give us a little bit more of a cleaner look. So I marked that out. And this is relatively thin, it's almost like a cardboard material, so I think I'm just going to use a pair of scissors to create that opening.That opening that I trimmed does indeed work. We don't need to cut any more out. What we can do now is re-install our underbody panel, the opposite way that we removed it.And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2020 Chrysler Pacifica.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Jim V.

what about one with a hands free lift gate module

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

Oftentimes the hands-free liftgate can still be activated after a hitch is installed. You will typically need to direct your foot to either side of the hitch receiver in order to avoid the hitch while still being in the scope of the sensor.

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