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Draw-Tite Trailer Hitch Installation - 2021 Toyota RAV4

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Trailer Hitch on a 2021 Toyota RAV4

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 could try to answer any questions those of you might have. And that's exactly what we're doing here today on our 2021 Toyota RAV4. We're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Draw-Tite Class II Trailer Hitch Receiver. So one of the main questions that we get asked all the time is if the hitch is going to interfere with the hands-free lift gate assist, and the answer is no. Unfortunately the model that we have here today does not have that feature, so I can't actually show you, but from my experience in the past, I've put hitches on RAV4s that do have that feature.

You don't have any issues, really, you do have to kind of find the sweet spot. So what I mean by that is you're just going to have to kick your foot on one side of the hitch or the other. And once you find that spot, it has no issues working the way it should.So this hitch should work out real well for those of you that already have inch and a quarter accessories, or if you primarily just plan on using accessories, particularly bike racks. If you're looking to do a little bit more and have a hitch that's a little more versatile, I would suggest a Class III - 2" Hitch, it allows you to do some heavier duty towing, use larger accessories and things like that. Now, one of the benefits to having a Class II Hitch though, is it is smaller in size, so don't take up as much space and typically looks a little bit better, because it's less noticeable.One thing I'm not too crazy about is the reinforced collar here compared to some of the other hitches, in my opinion, this one don't look as good, but honestly, that's just personal preference.

And at the end of the day, it's doing its job and it's really just going to be up to you, whether you like the style or not. So, as I mentioned, this is a Class II Hitch. So it's going to give us that inch and a quarter by inch and a quarter receiver tube opening. And it's going to use the standard half inch size pin hole. Now keep in mind a pin and clip does not come with the hitch, but if you need one, you can always grab it right here at etrailer.

These safety chain openings are a loop style. And although they're not huge, they are going to give us enough space to use just about any size hooks that we might have.Now, as far as the hitch's weight capacities go, it's going to have a 350 pound maximum gross tongue weight rating. And that's going to be the amount of weight that's pushing down on the hitch. So that's good for those one to three bike racks, just to give you an example. As far as the maximum gross trailer weight rating goes, it's going to be 3,500 pounds, and that's going to be the amount of weight that's pulling on the hitch.

So that is the weight of your trailer plus anything that you might have on it. Now I do always like to suggest, it's never a bad idea just to grab your RAV4's Owner's Manual, that way you can make sure your SUV can pull that much weight safely.Now I'm going to give you a couple of measurements and you can use these to help figure out which hitch mounted accessories will work best. From the ground to the top-inside edge of the receiver tube opening, that's going to be right at 12 inches. So chances are pretty good if you do plan on doing some light duty towing, you're going to need to get a ball mount with a rise. From the center of the hitch pin hole, to the edge of the rear bumper, that's going to be about five inches and you can use that measurement to help figure out that if any folding accessories you might have, can be stored in that upright position without contacting the bumper. So at the end of the day, a great way to carry around your accessories and free up some space on the inside of your RAV4. Now, as far as the installation goes, believe it or not, it's relatively straightforward, there's not a whole lot to it. The hitch just more or less bolts right into place. So really shouldn't give you too many problems or take you a whole lot of time.Speaking of which let's go ahead and do that together now. To begin our installation, we're going to be underneath the back of our RAV4. And the first thing we're going to need to do is come to our frame rails on each side of our vehicle and locate our attachment points. So on the outside of our frame rails, we're going to have a total of two attachment points one here and here. Now these are covered up with some stickers. So we're going to take those stickers off, just grab a scraper or a flathead screwdriver or something like that and get them removed. Looks like I have this one off, from this point on anything I do to this side of our RAV4, I'm also going to do to the other side, because it'll be set up the exact same way.Now, even though our holes, our attachment points we're covered up it's still not a bad idea to clean them out from any potential dirt or debris that could be inside. So you can just spray them down with some penetrating oil, take a toothbrush and just kind of work it in and out to get anything off of those threads. Now, what we're going to need to do is lower our exhaust down a little bit. That way we can have little extra room to work, before we do that, what I like to do is take a strap and just kind of run it from side to side. That way it'll help support our exhaust and it'll let us control how far and fast we let it down. If you don't have a strap laying around the house, you can always grab one right here at etrailer. To get our exhaust lowered we're going to need to remove one side of these rubber isolator hangers here. We're going to have a total of three. So we'll start with this one.What you're going to do is spray them down with some soapy water or penetrating oil to help lubricate them. And you can come back with a pry bar or even a big screwdriver can work. You're just going to work for an end of that hanger off. Over here on this side, this is where our second hanger is, we'll go ahead and do the same thing. We're going to have one more hanger towards the center of our vehicle. So if you follow your exhaust forward, towards the front of her vehicle, just in front of our muffler, here's that third hanger. So I'll do the same thing to get it removed. So with those three removed, we can loosen up our strap and let our exhaust down a little bit. So before we put our hitch into place, I'd just like to go over the hardware that we're going to use to secure it. It's going to be the same for all of our attachment points and it's really simple. We're just going to have a hex bolt and a conical tooth washer.When you put the washer over the bolt, you want to make sure that the teeth are going to be facing towards the hitch, you want it set up this way. And once we're holding our hitch up, we're going to line up the holes in it with our attachment points. We're simply just going to take our hardware combination and thread those into the factory roll-nuts. Now with an extra set of hands, we can take our hitch, put it into position. You want to go over your exhaust, that's it, we can get everything lined up and you want to make sure that we get at least one bolt started on each side, hand tight. That way the hitch will support itself while we work on the rest of the hardware. Now that we have all of our hardware in place and hand tight, we can come back with a 19 millimeter socket and snug everything down.Over here on the passenger side, it is a little tight, you don't have a ton of space. So chances are pretty good at you're probably going to have to get a box wrench in there to tighten everything down. It does not have to be a ratcheting one like this, but if you have one, I'd definitely use it because it will speed things up a little bit. Now what we want to make sure and do is come back with a torque wrench and tighten down all of our hardware to the amount specified in our instructions. To torque the bolts down on the passenger side, you may need to get a tool like this. It's called a crow's foot, and that allows you to get into that tight area and get everything properly torqued down.Now that we have our hitch all torqued down, we can raise our exhaust back into position. So I lubricated the hangers again, these you can usually just do by hand. So you lift up on it, get everything aligned back up. We've got center one left. Now that we have the exhaust secured, we can go ahead and remove our strap. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Draw-Tite Class II Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2021 Toyota RAV4..

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