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etrailer Class III Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Honda Odyssey

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How to Install the etrailer Class III Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Honda Odyssey


Ryan: Hey everybody. My name is 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 2018 Honda Odyssey. We're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the etrailer.com Class III Two Inch Trailer Hitch Receiver.So I see a lot of people using these vans almost as family vehicles and that means you're not going to want to clutter up the inside. You want all that space in there, so your family can ride with you comfortably.

And so it's not all that practical to load everything up, whether it be bikes or a bunch of extra cargo on the inside when you can keep it out here. And that's exactly what the hitch is going to allow us to do. It's going to allow us to use those accessories like a bike rack or even a cargo carrier.And not the mention, I see a lot of people towing with these, they're really versatile and capable vehicles. And so if that's what you're looking to do, the hitch is going to be perfect for that. It's going to be heavy-duty enough and strong enough to allow you to maybe pull your boat down to a lake for the weekend or maybe even go to the store and get some home improvement goods.

Whatever the case may be, the hitch is going to be able to handle pretty much anything you want to throw at it.The hitch is pretty much completely visible. It does hang down just below the bumper. And honestly, I really don't think it looks too bad. It has that nice matte black powder coat finish. It kind of sits back a little bit.

So it does a pretty good job of just kind of blending into the back of our van. Now, if the appearance is something that's really important to you, there is a hitch available that I really like and that's the EcoHitch. And the only thing you're going to be able to see when you have that one installed as just the receiver tube opening. So if that's the route you're trying to go down, that would be the hitch I'd definitely recommend.With this being a Class III hitch, it's going to have that two inch by two inch receiver tube opening. That is a very common size and a ton of different accessories will work with it.

It's going to have this reinforced collar for extra strength and it's going to have that standard 5/8ths pin hole. Now a pin and clip does not come included, but if you need one, you can grab it right here at etrailer. It's going to have plate style safety chain openings, which aren't very huge, but they are easy to get to and do sit a little bit further back that way. That way they shouldn't interfere with our pin and clip. And they'll allow us to use pretty much any size hook that we might have.So one of the big questions we get asked all the time in regards to putting a hitch on the Odyssey is if you're going to lose that lift gate assist function. And the answer is no. Regardless of what had she put on back here, it will still work. Now I will say it may take a little practice to kind of find that sweet spot, but as long as you kick to one side or the other of the hitch, it will work and open as it should.This hitch is also going to give us some really good weight capacities. As far as the maximum gross tongue weight rating goes, it's going to be 525 pounds. That's going to be the amount of weight that's pushing down on the hitch. So, that's a pretty high number. You should be able to use pretty much any size bike rack or cargo carrier that you would want to for example. As far as the maximum gross trailer weight rating goes, it's going to be 3,500 pounds. 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, this can be used with the weight distribution system, which is a separate component. And when you use that, what that's going to do is help keep your Odyssey and your trailer nice and level when you're pulling it down the road. If you do use that, the maximum gross tongue weight rating is going to remain the same at 525. However, the maximum gross trailer weight rating will be increased to 5,000 pounds.Now I do always recommend never a bad idea just to grab your Honda's owner's manual. That way you can make sure your Odyssey can pull that much weight safely. And with all that being said, I do always suggest it's never a bad idea just to grab your Honda's owner's manual. That way you can make sure your Odyssey can pull that much weight safely.Now I'm going to give you a couple of measurements and you're going to use these to help figure out which hitch mounted accessories to get. From the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening, that's going to be about 13 inches. So chances are pretty good if you do plan on doing some 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 our rear bumper, that's going to be about three 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 hitch you really can't go wrong with. Not only is it going to do a great job of kind of blending into the back of the Odyssey, but it's going to allow you to get all those things done that you want to do, whether it be for work or play. Now, as far as the installation goes, it's really not too bad. You're going to have to take down a small panel or two. And more or less, the hitch is just going to bolt right up. So it shouldn't take you a whole lot of time or give you a whole lot of trouble.Speaking of which, let's go ahead and put that on together now. To begin our installation, we're going to be underneath the back of our Odyssey, and first thing that we're going to need to remove is this small little plastic piece here just above our tailpipe. It's going to be held in place by two push pin style fasteners. So you can take a flathead screwdriver and kind of pry down on the head of that fastener. Sometimes these are a little tricky to get out. They're just kind of packed with dirt and debris, and things like that. If that is the case, you can keep working it with your flathead. Or sometimes it makes a little easier to get a trim panel tool like this to pry that out.Once we have that other fastener removed, we can take our small panel and just set it off to the side for now. And then if you move over here to our driver's side, we're going to have an underbody panel that we need to remove. It's going to be held in place on this bottom edge with some push pin type fasteners. In our case, we have three. It looks like there may be a fourth, however it is missing. So you may have that one in there. And if that's the case, you need to pull that one out too. But we'll just remove these the same way that we did the other ones by prying down on the head and pulling that fastener out.Now if we kind of move to the other side of our panel here, we're going to have one 10 millimeter bolt that we need to remove. I want to point out too it kind of looks like there may be another fastener or two that is supposed to be up in here in this area. As I mentioned, ours is missing a couple. I just wanted to point that out. If you remove this bolt and the panels still don't want to drop out, you may have to pull out the fasteners in this area as well. With that being said, we'll get this one out. Looks like our panel is free up. You should be able to kind of work it out and set it off to the side.So now we can go over our attachment points and the hardware that we're going to use to secure our hitch. And from this point on anything we do to this side of the vehicle, we're also going to do on the other side because it'll all be set up the exact same way. So we're going to have a total of three attachment points. We're going to have two factory weld nuts, which are these right here. And what you want to do with these is take a toothbrush, maybe some penetrating oil, just run it through there just to clean out any dirt or debris that may be inside.And we're also going to be using this opening here as an attachment point. And what we're going to do to get our hardware in there is called the reverse fish wire. So we're going to take the coiled end of the fish wire, a spacer block will go over it. Then we're going to take a carriage bolt and thread that onto the fish wire there. So, that's what it'll look like. You're going to take the head of the bolt, push it up into the frame rail as well as the spacer block, and you can just drop it down like that.Now, as far as the hardware goes that we're going to use for our weld nuts, it'll be really simple. Just a hex bolt followed by a conical tooth washer. Make sure that the teeth on the washer are going to face up towards the hitch. And so once our hitch is in place, we're just going to take these and thread them right into those factory weld nuts there. So now with an extra set of hands, we can raise our hitch into position. We want to make sure that you feed your pull wires through there and raise it over through the tailpipe on the passenger side. Your bolt should drop through the hitch like that.Then what we're going to do is take one of our bolts and get at least one started on each side hand-tight. And that way the hitch will support itself while we work on the rest of them.We get this other bolt started and then what we're going to use for this bolt here, you're just going to pull that fish wire off carefully. Then we're just going to take a flange nut and get that started as well. And now one tricky can do, if the bolt wants to kind of push up on you while you're trying to start the nut, you can take your finger or you want a flathead screwdriver and kind of just apply some side pressure. That'll keep the bolts steady that way you can get it going.So now we can tighten all of our hardware down. We're going to use a 19 millimeter socket for these two bolts and an 11/16ths socket for that nut there. Now what we need to do is grab a torque wrench and come back and tighten down all of our hardware to the amount specified in our instructions. Now, when it comes to the underbody panel, you have a couple choices on what you can do. You can leave it off, which is what our customer chose to do today or you can trim it and re-install it.And it looks like you would only need to take off maybe half inch or so along this edge here a little ways down. That way you can put it back into place and re-secure it the opposite way that you removed it. And then what we can do is take this little panel here that we removed just above our tailpipe. This one don't need trimmed or anything. You can simply just re-install it the opposite way that you removed it.And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the etrailer.com Class III Two Inch Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2018 Honda Odyssey.


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