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etrailer Class III Trailer Hitch Installation - 2019 Dodge Journey

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How to Install the etrailer Class III Trailer Hitch on a 2019 Dodge Journey


Hello neighbors, it's Brad here at etrailer. And today we are installing the etrailer.com Class 3 trailer hitch receiver on a 2019 Dodge Journey. So one of the things you'll first notice while looking at the hitch installed is the fact that it is an exposed cross tube, which simply means that you can actually see the hitch portion hanging down below the fascia. And overall it does look pretty good with its nice black powder coat finish and that's going to keep it nice and sturdy and robust and also hold up to the weather over time. One other thing you're going to notice is the two inch by two inch trailer hitch receiver opening and this is going to be great for a number of different accessories. Your two inch by two inch is the most common for your bike cracks, cargo carriers, ball mounts whatever it may be.

So this is really going to open it up to what you can do. It also has a nice reinforced collar. So that's going to give it a little bit of extra rigidity. On bottom here you're going to see a plate style safety chain loop and that's going to be great for hooking up your standard hooks or even a larger clevis style can fit pretty easily on here. So that's going to make good when you are towing your trailer.

Another thing you're going to want to look at is the actual hitch pin hole and the hitch pin and clip does not actually come with the hitch. This is going to be a five eight. And so a lot of your accessories, when you pick them up they'll actually come with pin clips, but if you wanted to get a locking one and that way you can lock this in place have your accessories on here and make sure that they don't walk away in the hands of someone else. We actually have locking ones available here at etrailer. Taking a look at the actual weight specs of what this can handle.

It's got decent amount of capacity. So your gross trailer weight rating it could be the weight of the trailer plus your accessories loaded up. That's going to be 4,000 pounds. Now your tongue weight rating is going to be 400 pounds. And now that's just going to be the downward pressure on the inside of the receiver tube opening.

So some of your suspended accessories like your cargo carriers, your bike racks, that's the amount of weight that this is going to be holding up. Now this can be used with weight distribution but the numbers are going to stay exactly the same. It's also important, you're going to want to check the owner's manual to see what the vehicle is capable of towing and compare it with the actual hitch numbers, take the lower of those two and that way you're going to stay safe. We're going to get some measurements here, so starting of, we'll look from the center of the hitch pin hole to the furthest point on the rear fascia. It's going to put us about three and a half inches and that's important to note for your fold up accessories just to make sure that they're not going to make contact with your rear fascia when they're in the stored position. And another one we'll check is going to be our ground clearance. Now from the inside of the receiver tube opening to the ground, we're looking at 14 inches. So overall that's a decent amount of ground clearance. You're not really going to have to worry about your hitch making contact, but if you do have some accessories on here it's going to extend the length of the vehicle. And as it goes up a incline they can actually make contact with the ground, 14 inches you shouldn't have to worry too much but also something to keep in mind when you do have your accessories loaded up. Now, if you are getting a hitch to really open up to what you can actually do with your vehicle one of the things that people kind of worry about is going to be the installation. Well, I'm here to tell you it's pretty straightforward on this one. You can definitely do it in your garage or on your driveway and I'm going to be here every step of the way to make sure that you get it installed. So let's take a look at that. Now to begin our installation, we're going to be dropping down our mufflers by removing the exhaust isolators. And the reason being, is the hitch is actually going to bolt up in the frame rail, right kind of where the muffler sits. So to gain access to that we're going to need to drop that down. But before we do that, we're going to want to support our exhaust because once we take the exhaust hangers off here it's actually going to kind of lean down and put a lot of stress on the rest of the exhaust. So if you're doing this in your garage or on your driveway I recommend getting a block of wood or something to put underneath the exhaust to support it, but also allow you to kind of move it as necessary to gain some more space. What I'm doing here is going to be using a cam buckle strap. You can simply just put it onto the end lengths or some suspension component that's going to be solid. And we're really just going to want to create a cradle for that exhaust for when we drop it down to make sure that it's not going to just kind of hang there unsupported. So there's going to be a total of four isolators that we're going to need to remove. You'll see one on each side of each muffler. So you can pry on bottom or the top whichever one works best, but a helpful tip. These are kind of tricky at times. They don't want to budge off of that, especially if they've sat there for a bit. So putting a little bit of penetrating oil, just kind of where we're going to be prying is going to help lubricate that rubber to make it slide off quite a bit easier. Once you've sprayed that down, you can actually just take the pry bar find a nice little focal point here and then just, it should slide off with a little bit of persuasion by pry bar. And if you don't have a pry bar, you can use a long handle flathead screwdriver and use it in the same method that I'm doing here. With our first one removed, we'll go ahead and do the same process on the other three. So now, we're going to need to grab our carriage bolts as well as our spacer blocks. Now there's going to be two different styles. In fact, there's three different styles. You have the smaller one here. There's going to be a larger one. There's also a wedge one and that's pretty easy to determine. So for this one, we're going to be using the small ones. And what we're going to be doing is pretty much getting our bolt and our spacer block to sit in here and that's going to create a stud allowing us to actually mount our hitch up. So what we're going to do here, is we're going to feed our fish wire through. And so what you're going to do pretty easy here you're going to just take your coiled end and run this back and starting at this one's going to be it's going to make a lot easier rather than having to pass over so I suggest doing the middle one. Once you have the coiled end through. We're going to just take our spacer block, feed that over. We can just set this up in this little gap here and then we're going to just take our carriage bolt and thread it onto our coiled end here. And then pulling the other end of the wire and just kind of move this along. We can feed the carriage bolt in like that. And just with some minor jostling we should be able to get this to drop in. Now, we only have two fish wires and we're going to be doing this technique actually again on the other side, as well as one over here. So I'm going to just uncoil this for now and so we can reuse it. So we have this one in we're going to do the same exact thing on this one. It should be pretty easy. So with these two in place, we're going to go ahead and use the same technique to get our carriage bolt into this one. Now we are going to be using the large spacer block for this. So what we're going to do is feed our coiled end over here and that's going to be the whole of our bumper support there. So we'll go ahead. We'll get our large spacer block slid up into the frame and then the coiled end same thing. We'll just do the same technique that we did before. And there we are. So now we're just going to go ahead repeat the same process on the other side of the vehicle. So now, we're going to get ready to raise our hitch up in place. So you're going to want to grab an extra set of hands but I do recommend with our two fish wires what I'm going to do is on the furthest studs towards the front of the vehicle, I'm going to actually put our coil on here. The reason being is when you put your hitch in place if this pushes up in the frame you'll have to retrieve that, this one is right here so it should be pretty easy. Same with this one it'll be easy to access. So putting them on these back ones, it's just going to give us a little bit of insurance to make sure that we don't have to actually fish them out. So with our wedge, we're going to put this in place here and it's going to go in between the actual hitch and the bumper support with that flat portion on the hitch and this wedge facing towards the front. So when we put this in place just going to have a finger ready to make sure it's actually in the proper orientation but really we going to need to pass that bolt through and get a few threads on, and that's going to hold our hitch up and allow us to get the rest of this in place. Now, something else we're going to want to do as we lift it up, this fish wire that we had, we can feed that in that back hole and pull that as we go up it's going to kind of help align it as well. So just make sure before you tighten anything down or as you hand thread just make sure you have enough space to make sure that this is properly orientated. So feed your fish wire through. We're going to kind of just slide it over the muffler. And so you can see, I have my hand on our wedge here. In fact, you can kind of feed that up if that makes it a little bit easier. And then we'll just kind of get that stud to feed through here. So if you're having trouble raising this up in place our plug here is actually making slight contact with it allowing it to kind of just stop it from going all the way up on our threads. So if you need to actually remove the plug here you can use a trim panel tool here or a flathead. We're going to just pry this off right now going kind of underneath the plug. It should just kind of pop out with a plastic clip here and that's going to just allow us to have that extra space and we can probably put it back later or just re zip tie it to a secure location. So just be careful prying it out just get underneath the plug. There we go. So with a little persuasion we can get that out. We'll just kind of push it off to the side and that's going to allow us to get our hitch actually now raised up. So now I'm going to just hand tighten the nut here and that's going to hold that side up in place for us. So now, with both sides actually holding itself up we're going to go ahead and get the rest of the nuts on here. And we're going to just kind of need to align our studs here to where we can push our hitch up, getting those threads in and we'll hand tighten these as well. So let's get those all mounted up. We're going to go back with the three quarter inch socket and we're just going to tighten these down. Now, we don't have to get too crazy here because we're going to go back with our torque wrench and get them to the proper torque setting, but you want to make sure that it's all snug and kind of working your way around. Something you want to keep in mind is as you're tightening that wedge can actually move around. So if you need to, you can put a little screwdriver to wedge it, but just kind of check the orientation as you're tightening it down to make sure that it's where it needs to be. So now we have everything tightened down. We're going to go back with our torque wrench that same socket, and we're going to just use the torque settings that are in the instruction manual. Now, if you don't have a torque wrench, we actually have these here at etrailer. We can generally rent them at an auto parts store. This is something that's pretty important because it's going to make sure that it's not too tight putting stress on the threads, but also it's not going to become loose over time. So let's go ahead and we'll torque all of these down So now, with everything torqued down properly we're going to go ahead and get our exhaust isolators back up. So you may need to actually lift the muffler up. And I'm going to actually use my cam buckle strap to hold this in place as I raise it up. And we'll just slide these back on. Now, with this one on I'll go ahead and get the rest of them on as well. So we can remove our strap or whatever support device you have. And you can go ahead and make sure that electrical plug is in a good spot. It's going to probably not go back to in that factory but you can go ahead and just zip tie that up to a few other factory lines and that's going to keep it protected. But other than that, we're ready to use our hitch. And that was a look and installation of the etrailer Class 3 trailer hitch receiver on a 2019 Dodge Journey..


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