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Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Installation - 2021 Toyota RAV4

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame 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 it, and showing you how to install the Draw-Tite Class III Trailer Hitch Receiver.So, one of the big questions that we get asked all the time is if the hitch is going to interfere with your hands-free lift gate assist feature, and the answer is no. Unfortunately our model today doesn't have that feature, so I can't actually show you. But, from my experience in the past, all you're going to have to do is kick your foot to one side or the other of the hitch, and might take a couple tries, but you'll find that sweet spot, and it'll work just like it should.So these RAV4's are really versatile SUV's.

I know I personally see them doing a little bit of everything. So if I was looking for a hitch for one, I would want it to be able to handle pretty much anything I want to throw at it. And that's exactly what this one's going to do. So, whether you're planning on using accessories, or doing some towing, or a little bit of both, this one will get the job done.And I say that for a couple of different reasons, one of them being it's going to give us some pretty good clearance. So, what I mean by that, the end of the receiver tube is going to be kind of just behind our bumper here.

So whenever you're using folding accessories, you're going to be able to store them and that upright position, and shouldn't have to worry about them contacting the back of your Toyota.Another reason why I say that is the fact that this hitch is a Class III. So it's going to give us that two inch by two inch receiver tube opening. That's a very common size, and there's a ton of different accessories that will work with it. This is going to have a reinforced collar for extra strength, and that's going to have that standard five-eights pin hole. Now keep in mind, the pin and clip does not come included, but if you need one, you can pick it up here at etrailer.

And there's also going to be a smaller hole in front of our pin hole, and that's going to be there to use a j pin. And this is a stabilization device, and what this is going to do if you use this, is it's going to eliminate any slop or play here in the connection point. So that'll keep things solid, and you won't hear them kind of bouncing around back here, whenever you're going down the road.It's going to have loop style safety chain openings, which aren't huge, but they do give us enough space to us to use pretty much any size hook that we might have. As far as the looks of the hitch goes.. Honestly, I think it looks pretty good.

For the most part it's going to be completely hidden. Really, the only thing you're going to see is the receiver tube opening here in the center. One thing that would be nice to see is if this plate up top here wasn't so wide. But honestly not a huge deal, that's just kind of my personal preference.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 about 12 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. 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 one of my favorite parts about the hitch is the weight capacities. They're actually pretty impressive, and to me, that gives me a little bit of peace of mind, kind of knowing you have a little overkill there. But with that being said, as far as the maximum gross tongue weight rating goes, that's going to be 675 pounds. And that's going to be the amount of weight that's pushing down 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'd want to, for example. As far as the maximum gross trailer, weight rating goes, it's going to be 4,500 pounds. And that's going to be the amount of weight that's pulling on the hitch. So that is a weight of the trailer plus anything that you might have on it.Now, this can be used with a weight distribution system, which is a separate component. And whenever you use that, what it's going to do is help your RAV4 and your trailer ride nice and level whenever you're going down the road. With that being said, though, if you do use that weight distribution system, the weight capacities are going to remain the same. And I do always suggest, never a bad idea either, just to grab your RAV4's owner's manual, that way you can make sure your SUV can pull that much weight safely.And if you do plan on doing some towing, I would suggest picking up some trailer wiring. That way the lights on your trailer will match up with the lights on the back of your RAV4, and you'll be safe and legal. But other than that, at the end of the day, a great all around hitch. Not only is it going to look pretty good, but you're going to be able to use it to do pretty much anything you want to. So, one you really can't go wrong with. Now, as far as the installation goes, believe it or not, it's pretty straightforward. There's really not a whole lot involved. More or less, you're just going to have to hold the hitch up and bolt it right in place. So, shouldn't give you too many issues or take you a whole lot of time.Speaking of which let's go ahead and put it on together now. To begin our installation, we're going to be underneath the back of our RAV4. And 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 the stickers off. Just grab a scraper, or a flathead screwdriver, or something like that, and get them removed. Once 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, 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 tube brush, 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 kind of help support our exhaust, and it will 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 to spray them down with some soapy water, or penetrating oil to help lubricate them. You can come back with a pry bar, or even a big screwdriver can work. You're just going to work one end of that hanger off.Over here on the 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, kind of 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. So, 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 weld nuts.Now with an extra set of hands, we can take our hitch, and raise it into position, going over our exhaust. Get the holes lined up with the hardware. We want to get at least one bolt started in each side, hand tight. That way, the hitch will support itself while we work on the rest of the bolts. Now, with all of our hardware in place and hand tight, we can come back with a 19 millimeter, and snug everything down.And I just wanted to mention, over here on the passenger side, you're probably going to need to use a box wrench like this. And that's because we don't have a ton of space here to get a traditional socket in there. But that being said, I'm using a ratcheting wrench. It just helps speed things up a little bit. But if you don't have one of these, it's not a big deal. You can use your standard one. That'll get the job done just fine as well.Now, we need to do is come back with a torque wrench, and tighten down the bolts to the amount specified in our instructions. And over here on the passenger side, since we don't have a ton of space, you may need to use a tool like this here on the end of your torque wrench. This is called a crows foot, and it's nice and thin, and allows you to get up there in that tight spot.Now that our hitch is all torqued down, we can rehang our exhaust. I'm just going to do this by hand. Make sure you spray the hangers down again, keep them lubricated, and make things a little bit easier. And just lift it up, push it back into place. I like to do the sides first. Then you can move to the center, and get that one back in as well. Once it's secure, we'll go ahead and remove our strap. And that'll finish up our look at, and our installation of the Draw-Tite Class III Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2021 Toyota RAV4..

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