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Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Installation - 2021 Lexus RX 350

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch on a 2021 Lexus RX 350


Hey everyone, Shane here with etrailer.com. Today, I have a 2021 Lexus RX 350. I'm going to walk through how to install the Draw-Tite Class 3 trailer hitch receiver. Adding a class 3 hitch on your vehicle is going to give you a lot of different options. Maybe you have some bikes and you're tired of loading them inside the vehicle. You're looking at getting a bike rack, but you don't want a bike rack you have to put up on your roof because let's face it, getting them off the roof each time and putting them back up after a long day of riding can be a little bit tiring.

Adding hitch on can make it a lot easier to put a bike rack on to load and unload your bikes. Now you want to put a cargo carrier on, get some stuff from inside the vehicle, but outside and make a little bit more room for your passengers. Maybe you want to pull a small trailer. This hitch is going to allow you to do all of those things. It's going to be class 3 as I mentioned, 2 inch by 2 inch receiver tube opening, so it's going to accommodate a lot of different hitch mount accessories.

Hitch pin hole, which is here. It's going to be 5/8th inch in diameter. It's going to take a standard 5/8th hitch pin. Hitch pin and clip does not come with this hitch, however they can be found here etrailer. We're going to have rolled steel safety chain loops.

You can see very large openings will accommodate different size safety chain hooks. One thing you're going to notice right off the bat is that our crosstube is completely hidden behind our facia. The only thing that we can really see is our receiver tube and it kind of sits back. It doesn't hang out past our, the outer edge of our facia, so we don't have to worry about hitting her shins on it when we're loading or unloading the back of the vehicle. And it also maintains a nice clean look on the back of the Lexus.

It's going to be a steel construction, black powder coat finish. It's really going to hold up well, all weather conditions. It's going to hold up well against rust and corrosion. Now, what I recommend is if you're going to put a hitch on, you ever plan on towing, add wiring. There's two types of wiring for this vehicle. You have wiring for a tow package and then wiring that's not for a tow package. How you can tell if you have tow package is right in this corner on driver's side, if you look up underneath the vehicle, you're going to see a plug and it's hanging down. It's going to have a white cap on it. If you have that, you have a factory tow package. If you don't, the second kit, the wiring that's available for the non-tow package is going to Mount inside the vehicle. You can find each of those here at etrailer. Now, what I also recommend is if you add wiring, getting a long no-drill mounting bracket and a four-pole mounting bracket. No-drill mounting bracket is going to clamp onto your hitch cross tube. It's going to come out, your four-pole bracket's going to mount on the bottom. And then your plug is going to mount inside of that to give it a more permanent mounting location. If you don't have those brackets, your wire's going to hang and you're going to have to hook it onto your safety chain loop. It can kind of get in the way if anything goes underneath the vehicle, if you rip it off, so I recommend getting the no-drill mounting brackets. Now there's only going to be one hitch available for the Lexus RX 350. However, that hitch is also going to be compatible with the ES. Now, as far as the installation process, this is the first time I've installed this on this vehicle, but the process is very simple. It's not going to require any welding or drilling. You're going to have a small cutout. You're going to have to go right here on the bottom of your facia or around your receiver tube. And you're going to have two bolts on each frame, where they have to be installed. One thing I will recommend, the bolts have to be torque. If you don't have a torque wrench, you can find one here at etrailer. This can be done with the vehicle on the ground. We actually lifted to make it a little bit easier for you to see what we're doing. So what I recommend if you plan on towing, not only the wiring, but also a ball mount, a ball, a hitch lock, and a hitch cover. CURT makes a great option that has everything included in it. It's a starter towing kit. Comes with a two inch ball, the receiver or the ball mount for a two inch by two inch receiver tube opening. A lockable hitch lock or hitch pin, and a cover, so if you remove your ball, you can put it over the front of this and it will keep any debris from getting inside. You can find those here at etrailer. As far as our measurements go, rom the center of our hitch pin hole to the outermost part of our facia, we're looking at about five inches. That number is important for any of your hitch mount accessories, like your bike racks and cargo carriers that may fold up. You want to make sure they're not going to make contact. From the ground to the top innermost part of your receiver tube, you're looking at about 15-1/4 inches. Keep that number in mind for any hitch mount accessories that may require a little bit more ground. As far as our weight capacities go, we're gonna have a 675 pound max tongue weight, which is a downward pressure on the inside of the receiver tube. You want to make sure when you're loading cargo carrier, bike rack, or even the trailer, you want to make sure you're not exceeding that. We're going to have a 4,500 lb gross trailer weight, which is how much the hitch can pull. That's going to be a trailer plus the load included. You can use weight distribution with this hitch. Those numbers are going to stay the same. I always recommend checking the owner's manual of the vehicle to make sure the vehicle can withstand that amount of weight. You're going to go to the lowest number between the vehicle and the hitch. Now that we've going through all our features, let's walk through how to get it installed. To start our installation, we're going to start underneath the car on the passenger side. We're going to be removing the toe hook. 17 millimeter socket, we're going to remove these two bolts. It will not be reinstalling. On the driver's side frame rail, towards the back, we're going to be removing these three plugs. The center one is going to be rubber. You can use a flat blade screwdriver or trim panel tool. These three are going to be plastic. Flat blade screwdriver, we're going to spin it. Next, we need to trim out our lower facia. I recommend putting some painter's tape on the bottom here. We're going to find center. We're going to go up three inches. It looks like right at the top of my tape there. We're going to do a total of three inches wide, Come back and we'll make that square, and then we'll cut it out. Now I'm just going to use a rotary tool. Make sure you don't have anything back here. If you have a center wire, you're going to have to move it. Use the rotary tool or cutting blade. This stuff's fairly thin. Now, you can come back here with a file. I like using just a regular utility knife. All these little burrs, you can kind of clean up these edges. Run that knife across there. Before we install our hitch, I recommend spraying some cleaner up inside the weld nuts. Take your brush, brush those out. Take one of your bolts that comes in your kit. You want to make sure you can hand thread that in. Before we install our hitch, we have some foam here. This is probably going to get in the way of our hitch coming back far enough. So what we're going to do is take a screwdriver, and we're going to get some of this out. We're going to do that same thing on the side. Now the next set of hands, we're going to raise our hitch up in position. You're going to take one your hex bolts, kind of go through the washer and make sure the teeth are facing up towards the hitch. We'll get one in on each side. It'll hold the hitch in place while we install our remaining hardware. The rest of the hardware, it's going to be the same combination for the last two holes. You're going to have one on each side. Come back with a 3/4 inch socket. We're going to tighten everything down and then we're going to torque it to the specifications in the instructions. Once you have everything torqued to the specifications, you're ready to go. And there's our look at an installation on a Draw-Tite class 3 trailer hitch receiver on a 2021 Lexus RX 350..


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