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etrailer.com Trailer Hitch Installation - 2020 Honda Pilot

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How to Install the etrailer.com Trailer Hitch on a 2020 Honda Pilot


Hey guys. This is Connor here at etrailer.com. Today. We're going to be taking a look at the etrailer, class three trailer hitch, for our 2020 Honda pilot. Now, as you can see here we have a very clean look after it's installed. There's no visible cross tube here hanging below the rear bumper.

The only thing we're going to be able to see is the part we need, which is the receiver tube here. Now, another thing I really like about this etrailer hitch is the finish. As you can see here, when you compare it to other options, this has more of a duller finish. And basically what this is going to do is it's not going to take away from the look of the vehicle as much. And it's also going to hide any scratches or chips we may have when traveling down the road.

Now our trailer hitch here, as we can see has a two-inch receiver tube opening, as well as the class three rating.Now this is going to allow us to do quite a bit of different things. We can use bike racks, cargo carriers, and the two-inch opening allows for a lot greater variety of these accessories. Another thing we could be using our trailer hitch for is to tow an actual trailer. Now, the good thing about this is it as approved for use with a weight distribution system. And it has a standard 6,000 pound towing capacity, which is essentially what we can pull.

As well as a 900 pound vertical load rating, which is essentially the tongue weight and the downward force we have on this. Those capacities do increase when we're using a weight distribution system to 8,000 pounds. So that's going to allow us to tow a little bit of a heavier trailer. However, we want to make sure we check the towing capacity of our vehicle in the owner's manual and go with the lower of the two figures.And we have a couple attachments here we want to talk about in regards to towing. The first one is this hole here, which is going to be used to secure our ball mount or bike rack.

This is the hitch pin hole and is going to accept a standard five-eighths hitch pin and clip, which we sell here etrailer.com. Please keep in mind, these do not come with the trailer hitch. And we just simply insert that into one side and use our clip to secure it to the other side. We also have tons of locking options for that, if you should choose that as well. And then we're going to work our way down here to the two safety chain loops. Now these are going to be used solely for towing, and they're going to accept two different kinds of safety chains here. Because they're a pretty good size.We can have the standard S-type safety chain loop, which are going to be used on some of our smaller trailers. As we can see there, it fits over there pretty easy. As well as our larger clevis hooks, which are going to be used for some of our larger trailers. And again, it fits over the safety chain loop nicely. We don't have any interference with our hitch pin.Now the installation process, as you're about to find out, is super easy. And you can definitely do this by yourself at home with just some common hand tools. I really liked this option here again, because it doesn't require any modifications to the tow vehicle. You simply place the trailer hitch up along the frame rail and start the three respective bolts on each side. And there's also, what's really nice, is there's no cutting of any of the trim panels here.As you can see here, we have plenty of clearance between the receiver tube and the bumper here. So we don't have to do any major permanent modifications to the vehicle, which is again, what makes this a really good option. Now we have a few measurements for you here, which are going to help with selecting a ball mount or your hitch mounted accessories, such as a bike rack or cargo carrier. The distance from the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube is going to be right at about fourteen and three quarter inches. This is going to be particularly useful when we're selecting our ball mount. The other measurement we have here is the distance from the center of the hitch pin hole, out to the outermost edge of our bumper. And that's going to be right at about four and a half inches. This measurement is going to be useful when we're looking at our folding bike racks and cargo carriers, to make sure they don't come into contact with the vehicle in the stowed position.To start our installation today, the first thing we're going to want to do is open the rear hatch on our vehicle here, because we're going to need to access the inside so we can lower the spare tire. Which is then going to allow us to raise our hitch up into position. So there is going to be a button on the underside here we can press. And we can come in here and there's going to be a few panels that we need to remove first, in order so we can get to the nut to lower the spare tire down. The first one, just outer panel here, we can go ahead and release the lever here, and pull it out of position. Then we're just going to place it up here in the vehicle to get it out of our way.Now that we have the top panel out of the way, we can go ahead and work our way down to this center hole here. This is going to expose the nut for the spare tire. So we're going to take our trim panel tool here, just pry this cover off. And then we have a rubber plug here which needs to be removed as well. We can take our same trim panel tool, or a Flathead screwdriver. Whatever you have on hand. And just sort of gently ease that out, making sure we don't damage the grommet. So this is going to expose the nut or bolt here, if you will, to lower our spare tire. Now in order to lower it down and turn this, there's going to be some tools we're going to need, which are also located in the vehicle. And they're going to be on the driver's side here, behind this panel.We want to simply remove this. And as you can see here, we have our two holes. We have our two tools here. That we're going to have to pry out from this panel here. Just take our trim panel tool again, just lift it up to break those free. So how this works is we're going to place the socket in here over the bolt here that we removed the plug from. We're going to simply place that over there. And then what we do here is we take this other end with the sort of indented head here, and we're going to insert that through the hole here on the crowbar. And now this is going to allow us to turn counter-clockwise. And this is actually going to loosen up the spare tire. We'll hear it break free down there. And once we get it nice and loose, we can lower the rest by hand by just simply turning this crowbar here.Now we don't need to go all the way down. So I recommend giving it a few turns and then looking underneath to see how far down the spare tire has moved. Now, as you can see here, we have the spare tire lowered already. We're going to go ahead and give it a couple more rotations to lower it more. It's basically just going to help with lining the hitch up on the frame a little bit easier. Now that we have the spare tire lowered, our next step is going to be to raise the hitch up into position. However, before we do that, we want to clean the weld nuts inside the frame. And as you can see here, we have three on each side. So one here, one towards the middle, and one towards the back. In order to clean these out, we want to take some general purpose lubricant, just give those a good spray down.And then we want to take a nylon brush, which we carry here at etrailer.com. We just want to run that through the weld nuts a couple of times, to make sure to clear out any gravel or dirt or anything that got up in there, because these are on the underside of the vehicle. Now keep in mind, this is a newer vehicle, so we're not going to have nearly as much cleaning out to do as we would on something a little bit older. Now we need to first make note of our hardware. That's included with the kit. We have six M 14 bolts as we see here, as well as six matching conical tooth washers. Now the thing we want to pay attention to is the teeth on these. When we insert the bolt through these, we want to make sure the teeth are going to be facing the underside of the hitch when we put them into the vehicle. And keep in mind, we are going to need a 22 millimeter socket, as well as a ratchet and probably an extension to get all these bolts in. We're going to show you that next.Now for this next part, we're going to want to grab an extra set of hands because the hitch is pretty heavy. So we're going to use this, and we're going to slide it under the bumper here. Making sure we clear the spare tire that we lowered earlier. And we'll butt this up against the frame. To get started, we're just going to want to put one of the bolts in. I'm going to use this forward-most one. So once we get it in there, have to thread it in by hand. Once we get this started, it'll hold it in place. We can go ahead and insert all the other bolts.Now that we have all the bolts hand tight, we're going to go ahead and take our impact driver here. You can just use a ratchet. It's just going to take a little bit more work. We're basically just going to snug up all these bolts to save us a little bit of a stress when we go to torque everything down with our torque wrench.Now that we have all our bolts snugged down, we want to go ahead and take our torque wrench here and we're going to torque all the hardware down to the amount specified in our installation instructions. Now that we have our bolts torqued down, the last step is what we're going to want to do is just simply raise our spare tire back into position using the nut inside the hatch, as we did earlier. And keep a note when we're raising our rear tire back in place, we do need to be mindful of the receiver tube here. Ours aligned pretty good on its own, but it's a good thing to stop tightening about halfway through, come down here and just make sure everything's coming up smoothly. So you don't damage the pulley system. Well, now that we have the hitch installed, everything's torqued down to spec. We have the spare tire raised up in the place. That's going to do it today for the etrailer.com trailer hitch on our 2020 Honda pilot.


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