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etrailer Class III Trailer Hitch Installation - 2021 Honda CR-V

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How to Install the etrailer Class III Trailer Hitch on a 2021 Honda CR-V

Hey everybody, how's it going Today we're gonna be going over and show you how to install the etrailer Trailer Hitch Receiver, here on our 2021 Honda CRV. So this is what our trailer hitch looks like installed. As you can see here, it has a nice hidden design. Now, what this means is, is that the cross tube here which attaches to the receiver tube gonna be hidden back behind our bumper here. So we don't have that ugly, bulky, cross tube hanging below our bumper here. The only thing we're gonna be able to see is the actual receiver tube.

Now this not only makes for a nice clean finished install look. it's also gonna provide us with the best ground clearance. A couple other things about the etrailer hitch that I like, is number one, it has this nice sturdy collar on the outside here then also has a nice matte black finish. Which is not only gonna do a great job of hiding any scratches. It's also gonna blend in with our vehicle well.

So the etrailer hitch has a two inch by two inch receiver tube opening with a class three rating. Now this is gonna allow us to do many different things. We can tow a trailer or since we have the two inch receiver tube opening we're gonna have a great selection of bike racks and cargo carriers to choose from. Now, if we are gonna be towing, we need to make sure that we abide by the weight capacities of the trailer hitch. It's gonna be 3,500 pounds for the gross trailer weight rating which is the amount we can pull outward on our receiver tube.

And then the tongue weight rating which is gonna be the downward force on the receiver tube. That's gonna be 525 pounds. Keep in mind. Our vehicle may be rated a little bit lower than this because the trailer hitch and vehicle are actually tested separately. So we want to make sure we go ahead and check out our owner's manual.

Whichever is the lower rated of the two components is the one we need to abide by. So as we said, our trailer hitch here is gonna be perfect for towing as well as bike racks and cargo carriers. If we're gonna use a bike rack, we can even carry up to five bikes with a hitch mounted accessory. We have plenty of these to choose from here at etrailer along with cargo carriers so make sure you check out our selection. So here on the side of the receiver tube we're gonna have the industry standard five-eighths inch diameter hitch pin hole which will accept the standard five-eighths inch diameter hitch pin and clip. Keep in mind, this is gonna be sold separately. So you may want to pick one of these up. If you're using it for a bike rack or cargo carrier chances are they're gonna come with their own hitch pin and clip or for using it for a ball mount. You'd probably want to go ahead and take one of these up. And then on the bottom here, we have our safety chain tabs. These are gonna accept both these smaller S type hooks as well as the larger clevis hooks. So now we have a couple of measurements for you here. The first one I like to do is the distance from the ground to the bottom edge of the receiver tube. That's gonna be our ground clearance measurement. And this one is gonna be about 11 and three quarter inches. Now I'm gonna give you the distance from the ground to the bottom edge or the top inside edge of the receiver tube, but rather this is gonna be useful. We're selecting a ball mount so we make sure we can get the correct rise and drop to tow our trailer level. For this particular application. We're gonna get it right at 14 inches. And then finally we have the distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the outside edge of the bumper. Now this one's actually pretty close. It's gonna be about one and a half inches. So that measurement is gonna be useful for selecting our folding accessories. That way we can make sure while they're in the stowed position that they don't contact the bumper, being that the hitch pin hole is sort of close to the bumper. We shouldn't have any issue at all with that. So in regards to installation, this is definitely one that you guys can do at home by yourselves. You don't need to lift, although we will be using one just to show you a little bit better, what's going on. We don't have to drill into the vehicle at all. We do, however need to make one small cut on the bottom side of our bumper fascia here, but it's not really gonna be noticeable from outside the vehicle. And in regards to tools, there's no specialized tools. You should have everything with just the basic socket set. So let's go ahead and jump into that install now so we can show you guys how it's done. So the first step of our installation we're actually gonna be lowering the exhaust here. Give us a little bit more room to get our hitch up into position. Now, in order to lower exhaust the first step we're gonna do we're gonna be taking a spray lubricant here. We're gonna be spraying down each of our three rubber isolators. It's gonna make them a lot easier to remove. So the three rubber isolators we're gonna have one over here above this muffler one over here above this muffler. And then finally we're gonna have one in the center here. So we're gonna take our spray lubricant here or we're just gonna spray down where the metal hanger inserts into the isolator. So down the next thing we're gonna do we're gonna be supporting our exhaust here because once we break those isolators free, it's gonna fall down. We don't want it to cause any damage, but chances are you guys are probably gonna be on the ground working on this. So in which case you could just use a Jack stand or a block of wood. Anything you have to sort of support the exhaust but since we're working in the ear here we're gonna take a cam buckle strap. We're gonna go ahead and attach it to two points here on the bottom of our frame, pull it tight. And this is what's gonna be, gonna provide the support for our exhaust. So in order to remove our isolators we're gonna have a couple options here. As far as the tool goes we can use a large pry bar like we have here or we can actually use an exhaust hanger removal tool. Now we'll go ahead and show you both methods. Cause chances are, you probably don't have this one at home but you will have this one or something similar So this tool here is obviously gonna be designed for this task. It's a little bit easier, but here's how it works anyways. You may even need to come back with our pry tool here and get it the rest of the way off. So now we'll show you the pry tool only method. So we're gonna come to the rear edge of our bumper fascia here. We're gonna have a couple of these push pin fasteners securing the bottom of the bumper fascia to the body of the vehicle here. Now we actually only have two. You may have five here, which are just running along this bottom edge. So we need to go ahead and remove these. We're gonna be taking a pry tool or a Flathead screwdriver whatever you have we're gonna sneak it in to the center of that. Then we should be able to pull it all the way out. So now we're gonna come underneath our vehicle here on either side here, directly above our muffler. We're gonna see a couple sets of holes. We're gonna have our larger access holes here. And then the holes that our hitch will be securing to which are those smaller ones there. So what we're gonna do is, we're gonna take the fish wire that comes in our kit here. We're gonna take the coiled in, and we're gonna place that through one of our hitch holes. And then we're gonna feed that out our access hole. Use our finger as a guide there to help get it out. Just like so, so once we have our fish wire there through the hole we'll take our spacer block place that over. And then we're gonna take one of our carriage bolts here and thread that onto our pull wire. So now we'll go ahead and feed our spacer blocks through the frame first and then we'll pull in our carriage bolt. Align the holes up and just pull everything down like so. We'll go ahead and repeat this same process for the other side here as well as the other side of the vehicle. So once we have all of our hardware in the frame here the next step of our installation, we need to go ahead and trim a little bit of the bottom bumper fascia here just this lower portion of the panel. To allow for clearance of the receiver tube of our trailer hitch. Now you'll have to go ahead and measure out here just a little square rectangle in the bottom of the bumper fascia. There's gonna be a good easy use diagram in the instructions but we're gonna be using this tab here on the left side it's gonna be directly left of the tow hook here. We're gonna be measuring from the center of this out and then we're gonna be measuring from the bottom edge here up. So once we have our cutout made you can use a marker or we're just using some masking tape. And then we're gonna take a trim panel tool. Chances are, if you have a set of tin snips or even a sharp razor blade you can probably score this enough to break it off. But if you have a Dremel tool it's gonna be a little bit easier. So now that we have our safety goggles on and our gloves we can go ahead and make our cut. So now if you use a Dremel tool like us chances are you're gonna have some rough edges here. We'll go ahead, come back with a razor blade and clean those up. So now with an extra set of hands we can go ahead and set our hitch up into position. We're gonna have to come over the exhaust in order to do so. So now we're gonna come down here to the bottom of the trailer hitch on the receiver tube. We're gonna have this bracket. We're gonna attach this to the safety chain loop on our vehicle. We're gonna take our larger carriage bolt here. We're gonna slide that through the end opposite here of the tow hook. Then place our flat washer on and then our flange nut. So now we're gonna come back and tighten down our hardware here. We're just gonna start with a regular wrench now. We're gonna start with this bolt here using a three quarter inch socket. We're just gonna snug that up and then we can come back with our torque wrench. Now we'll take an 11 16 inch socket. We'll go ahead and snug down our four bolts inside the frame here. So once we have all of our hardware snug we'll come back with the torque wrench here. We'll torque everything down to spec. So now we're gonna go ahead and resecure the bottom part of our fascia to the body of the vehicle here. And now finally, we're gonna go ahead and lift our exhaust back up into position. And that'll do it today for our look and installation of the etrailer Trailer Hitch Receiver. Here on our 2021 Honda CRV..



I have a Honda CRV Touring Hybrid 2022. Will this hitch fit, and without any cutting on the vehicle? I want to make sure the kick sensor to open the back will still work. Thank You.

Etrailer Expert

David B.


Hey Lori, the hitch # e98848 will indeed fit your 2022 CRV touring hybrid. No drilling required, whoever installs it will have to lower the exhaust temporarily and the fascia WILL need to be trimmed. Your kick sensor WILL still work, you just have to move your foot a few inches to either side of the hitch receiver for it to be "noticed"

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