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Stealth Hitches Hidden Trailer Hitch and Towing Kit Installation - 2018 Tesla Model 3

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How to Install the Stealth Hitches Hidden Trailer Hitch and Towing Kit on a 2018 Tesla Model 3


Hey everybody, Clayton here at etrailer.com. Here at etrailer we install, test and review a lot of different products to help you as a customer make a more educated decision before your purchase. Today we're gonna be working on a 2018 Tesla Model 3. We're gonna be taking a look at and I'll be showing you how to install the Stealth Hitches kit. Today we are gonna be doing the tow package but you can also find this without the tow package. Adding a hitch to the back of your Tesla is gonna be a huge upgrade.

With the tow package, it's gonna allow us to tow a trailer and with a standard one you'll be able to use a bike rack and cargo carrier. You wanna keep in mind you cannot use this receiver tube opening to tow a trailer. What really sets the stealth hitch apart from any of its counterparts is gonna be the fact that when we're not using it, it's simply not there, it's out of sight and out of mind. And one of the best features is, is whenever we need it we can simply grab our receiver tube or our ball mount and just jam that into place and now it's good to go. Whenever you're ready to take it out you can grab your keys, unlock it, then you'll turn the latch on the other side and it will release whatever accessory you have in place.

We are gonna get a two inch by two inch receiver tube opening, which is really nice because this is gonna play well with a lot of different hitch mounted accessories. I really like this reinforced steel collar that gives it a nice finished look while also adding some stability. And even though this is removable you're not gonna sacrifice any strengths. We're also gonna have a standard 5/8 inch pin hole opening, you wanna keep in mind a pin and clip are not included but you can find one here at etrailer. We're going to get a few measurements for you to help you understand where this receiver is gonna sit on the back of your Tesla.

From the ground to the upper most part of our receiver tube opening is gonna be about 10 and a half inches. Then our pin hole actually for truths past our fascia but from the end of our hitch to the fascia it's about three inches. This is gonna be very important you wanna make sure that nothing's gonna fold up and hit your bumper. And if you've got the towing package, you just put your ball mount in just like the receiver tube, and you loop your safety chains right here on the backside, you won't have to worry about them. Then whenever you are ready to hook up to your trailer you can grab your four-pole out from underneath there, and I really liked that it has a magnet on it so you can just stick that to the hitch then get it up and out of the way, whenever you're not using it.

Our four-pole is gonna give us all those necessary lighting functions to tow a trailer. We're gonna get our taillight signal, our brake light signal and our turn signals. And if you are towing your total towing capacity is gonna be 3,500 pounds. You wanna keep in mind that that's gonna be the weight of the trailer and the load included, and your max tongue weight rating is gonna be 350 pounds, and you need to check with your owner's manual and make sure that your model is capable of towing at those capacities. If it's not always go with the lowest number between the two. And if we're using the rack receiver you're gonna get a 600 pound tongue weight rating. Again, you wanna keep in mind to check with your owner's manual and make sure it's capable of towing you those capacities. And as far as the installation is concerned getting this installed kind of is a hard job. It's definitely something you wanna set some time aside for, if you're doing just the hitch, it's not too bad the hardest part is gonna be taken off the fascia, but if you are doing your wiring, it is pretty involved, you'd have to run a wire up to the front so you just wanna keep that in mind, but it's most definitely something that you guys can do at home. That being said let's take a look at the installation together now. To begin our installation we wanna pop the trunk on our Tesla. Now we're gonna move to the top of our taillights. We're gonna have a trunk stop on each side, we're gonna remove this just by turning it, it is kind of hard to do. And if you're having trouble turning this you can grab an adjustable wrench, tighten it down to that size and then give it a turn. It is kind of hard to do it by hand if I'm being honest. Once you get this off you'll repeat that same process on the other side. We're now gonna peel back our trunk lining, to do this we're gonna grab a trim panel tool kinda reached behind this gasketing and then pull back that carpeting. They're gonna have a plastic push pin on the backside but we have a small flat blade screwdriver pry out on the head of that push pin. You need pull that out or use a trim panel tool to remove that clip. With that clip removed, we'll be able to peel this back quite a bit. Located right here, we're gonna have two eight millimeter nuts that we need to remove, gonna be just inside of that liner. Then we wanna follow our wiring harness up to our taillight. There's gonna be a tab right here, we're gonna push in on that tab and pull out on the plug, just like that. Again that tab is gonna be located right there gonna the push down and pull out. Then we wanna wiggle our taillight assembly and carefully work it out of place, just like so. we're gonna repeat this exact same process on the passenger side. We now have a 10 millimeter bolt that we need to remove. We're gonna have one of these on each side. We're now gonna be moving into our wheel aligner we're gonna have three push pin fasteners down at the bottom. I have one here, one kind of on that inside angle and then one on the flat. When we remove these, we're gonna start with a small flat blade screwdriver. Once we get the head kinda popped out, we'll go in there with the trim panel tool and pop it all the way out. Just like that and then we'll repeat that process for this one and then the one behind the tire, and we'll do the same thing on the other side. This one is gonna be pretty hard to see but we're gonna have a T25 Torx bit to remove right on this body line here. We're gonna follow our inner wheel all lining up and it's gonna expose that 225 bit right here. Again, this is gonna be pretty hard to see but it's gonna be right there on that body line. If you're having trouble getting that out you can always grab a magnet and kinda reach up in there and grab that bolt just like so, again, we'll repeat that same process on the other side. We now have to move underneath and remove some hardware. We want to start by prying out on these tabs with a pick tool, once we get those opened there's gonna be a 10 millimeter bolt behind there. I went ahead and already removed that but there's gonna be one of those on each side. And then if you move down here to the middle we're gonna have three 10 millimeter fasteners that run right here in the middle of our underbody panel. Then we're gonna have two more down here at the front. Our next step is gonna be to remove the fascia, but before we do that I always like to put some blue painter's tape along these body line, it's just gonna help protect our paint when we're pulling that fascial off 'cause the last thing we wanna do is damage our vehicle. Now you don't have to do this, but I highly recommend it. And now with an extra set of hands we're ready to start pulling off our fascia, we wanna work here at the corners and kinda work our way towards the middle, but we don't wanna just rip it off because we do have parking sensors. So just wanna get that slightly off of our vehicle and we can unplug those sensors. In these corners, you're gonna lift up and out like that, and then carefully work your way towards the middle. Now, once you get up here, you might need a trim panel tool to kinda push down on these tabs to help them release. With those tabs are released on the side, you can carefully work our way towards the middle. Then our wiring is gonna be right here. We're gonna have a tab here, you need to pull back on that a little bit. You then wanna push down here, kinda wiggle it and then we can pull it apart. Now I wanna set our fascial off to the side somewhere safe. We now are gonna be removing five, 10 millimeter bolts along our plastic trim piece. You wanna be careful that you're not just ripping this off once you get it done 'cause you're gonna need to save the clips in the top corners. And once you get to the sensor we're not gonna be removing this one but we're gonna be removing the one next to it. With those removed, you should have enough play in here now to get our hitch in place. And along our bumper beam here at the ends we're gonna have three 15 millimeter nuts that we need to remove. And you don't need to worry about this falling down because our studs are going to hold it in place so we'll repeat that same process on the other side. Now with those removed, we can grab our support brace and just slide it out of the way. Now if you come to that plate that our support brace was mounted to we're gonna have a 15 millimeter nut at each corner. So we need to get these removed again they're gonna be four on each side. Now with those removed, you can just slide this out of the way, and we'll do this on both sides. We wanna make sure to save those factory nuts. And we now wanna clean off the surface, you can do this with either rubbing alcohol or brake clean really anything that you have readily available. We just wanna wipe this off make sure you get the edges real good, and we'll be doing this on both sides. We now wanna grab our nylon spacers, gonna take these and just slide them over our factory studs, we'll be doing this on both sides. We now wanna grab our hitch, I went ahead and just put one bolt loosely in here that way our plastic support brace is been held up and then we can just grab our hitch, lifted up into position and line it up with our studs on each side. Now the hitch is pretty light so I doubt that you'll need an extra set of hands. On our two outside studs on each side, we're gonna be reinstalling those factory bolts that we removed. Now, I wanna come back and torque down the bolts on the outside to the amount specified in our instructions. We are now ready to add our center section. Now, if you're not doing the tow package, you'll take one of our provided bolts, slide that through both our hitch and the center section. But since we are doing the tow package need to grab our safety chain loop, we'll slide that over our bolt with the hook facing the front of the vehicle, we grab our center section slide that through on the backside we'll add our safety chain loop and then eventually our nylon lock nut. And we'll just some grab a 19 millimeter socket and tighten that down. We now just wanna come back and torque this down to the amount specified in our instructions. We now wanna grab our left side bracket we're gonna grab one of our bolts slide our metal flat washer over it, I'm gonna take this and slide it through that opening in our bracket. We'll take our nylon spacer, slide it through there. This whole thing is gonna go over our bumper beam and we just wanna drop our flange nut in and get it started. If you're having trouble, you can reach through the side to get it started. So I'll just run that down to where it's flush, and we'll repeat that same process for our two remaining bolts here on the back and the three on the other side. Now we'll grab our whole assembly and we wanna make sure to leave these loose so we can get everything aligned properly, and then we're gonna lift these up and line it up with the tabs to the studs I should say, on our factory bumper beam and our hitch. We wanna grab our factory nuts and we we're gonna re-install those on these stubs and do this on both sides. We now wanna come back and torque those down to the amount specified in our instructions. Now I wanna come back and torque down those nuts and bolts inside of our bumper beam on the backside we're gonna be using a 17 millimeter wrench and on the front side we're gonna be using a 16 millimeter socket and the torque specs can be found in your instructions. As far as getting our hitch installed, we are done there all we have left to do for that it's gonna be trimming our fascia and reinstalling it. But since we are doing wiring now is gonna be the time to do that with our fascial off. So if you did not yet wiring, you can skip forward where we start trimming the fascia and re-install it, but if you did get wiring you can follow along with us. We now wanna grab a 3/8 drill bit, we're gonna drill out this factory grommet. If your grommet does pop out, that's not a big deal, you can just push that back into place. We're now wanna grab our wiring that has the four-pole side. We're gonna take our four wires and work them through that grommet. We're gonna take this wiring run it behind our bumper beam and over to our hitch. We'll now gonna grab our provided black power wire we're gonna take this end and just push it through that grommet. It might be a little tight since that is a rubber hole that we drilled but you should be able to get it through there no problem. We're gonna need a little bit more access working behind our taillights. So I'm just gonna pull off this cover here, all you gonna do is pull straight up on it, I might have to lift up on here to get a better access. For this is just fastened with some plastic pushpins, so you're not gonna have to remove any hardware. Now we've got that piece off, and as you can see there's just four pushpin fasteners that hold that in place, so it's not a big deal taking that out. We're gonna have one push pin fastener down here, we're gonna remove that the same way that we did the rest of them. And as you can see, here's where our wires come out. We now wanna grab our module with all of our wiring. As you can see there's four wires that already have butt connectors crimped on there, and this is actually what we're gonna be attaching to those four wires that we ran in. We're gonna attach the brown wire to the brown wire, white to white, yellow to yellow and green to green. It's kinda tight down here so I'll go ahead and do it and then we'll pick up with you after. And if you're having trouble making those connections behind your taillight or inside of your vehicle I should say, you can actually pull all those wires out of that grommet, you just wanna make sure you leave the grommet on this side. So as you can see, brown to brown, yellow to yellow, green to green, white to white, then we're gonna take that power wire that we ran in and connect it to the black wire on our harness. Now I just wanna take all this and push it back into our vehicle. We now wanna grab our white wire attached to our black power wire I'm gonna strip it back and add our provided ring terminal for our ground. Now right here behind this panel is gonna be a really good spot to ground it. We're just gonna loosen that up with a 10 millimeter socket slide that under and ground it. So now we have our four wires coming off of our module. We've figured out where they go, but our brown and our green wire are gonna stay on the passenger side. Our yellow wire is gonna get run over to the driver's side, underneath our carpeting and our red wire is not gonna be used. So we need to get in here and strip back our wire loom on our wiring. I went ahead and already did that. We're gonna be using our yellow and our red wire. Our green wire, which is gonna be our stop and turn is gonna get connected to that red wire and our taillight wiring which is that brown wire is gonna get connected to our yellow wire. Now our kit is gonna come with quick splices. So we're gonna go ahead and do that and then I'll explain to you the process since it is a little tight right here. This is what the finished product is gonna look like. We're gonna take that red wire, slide it through one of the openings in our spade connector same thing with the green wire and then using channel locks we'll crimp down on that to lock it in place. Repeat that same process for our yellow and brown. We'll just squeeze that with those channel locks and lock it in place. We now just want to run our yellow wire over the passenger side. We're just gonna tuck that behind the carpet. I'll go ahead and do it, then I'll show you the route took. Our yellow wire is gonna be right here, we wanna push that down below that carpet line where our push pin fastener goes. I went ahead and did that already so it's gonna be run right down here along the bottom of our vehicle, right over to this way, and then up to here, again we're gonna take that push pin fastener out over here, then our wire pops up right here. Now we're gonna make this connection the same way that we did it over on the driver's side except this time we're gonna be using that purple wire. And this is what our connection is gonna look like on the passenger side. That yellow wires getting spliced in with that purple wire. Now I wanna grab our two-sided tape, we're gonna peel back one side of it and stick it to the back of our module, and we're gonna take the covering off of this side, and I'm gonna reach in to our body down here and stick it to the side. You wanna make sure to clean that surface off before you do so. The module is stuck way down here on the flat side. You wanna make sure to stick it to something flat so it's not gonna move, now we can clean up our wiring. We now wanna run our black wire up to our battery I'll go ahead and do it and then show you the route we took. Our wire is gonna be zip tied to our factory wiring right here. Then it comes down right over here, and then right down here. I do want to be careful we need to stay away of anything moving. I'm gonna run that underneath our underbody panel, so that's gonna come out right down here, and then that takes a turn here and it's gonna run up this channel all the way. This is the only spot where we we're able to put this wire due to the fact the bottom of our car is all metal. So it's gonna run up this channel, you just wanna kinda pull down on it and tuck that wire underneath. It's gonna run all the way up this way, then our wire comes out right here. Now I need to run a pull wire from the engine bay. I went ahead and already did that but it helps if you remove this push pin fastener and this 10 millimeter nut. When you run this pull wire, I'll show you up top but there's gonna be an opening on the left side. We're gonna push that wire down till it comes out here. When we open our frunk we're gonna be taking off this cover, and that's gonna expose our battery which is gonna be right here. But for that airline tube we're gonna come over to our hood cylinder, we're gonna push that airline tube down through an opening in our wheel well, then we can get that pulled up. You can just get that airline tube out of the way. And we wanna route this wire underneath this plastic tray and over towards our battery. We will need to remove our intake priver, and just use a trim panel tool to do so, we'll pry that up and out of the way, and here's gonna be our positive post. We can just route this wire over behind everything and I'll just zip tie it to this factory line. Then I'm gonna cut back our wiring. We have our wire strippers, to strip back the end, then we can grab our provided fuse holder. You wanna make sure to pull the fuse out before you start doing this we're gonna slide that onto our butt connector. We'll crimp that down. I always like to give it a little tug and make sure it's nice and secure and since this is not a heat shrink connector. We will wanna add some electrical tape. If you don't have electrical tape you can find it here at etrailer. Then I'm gonna grab a 10 millimeter socket and remove our positive terminal. With that nut removed, we can just slide on our ring terminal and reinstall that locking nut. We then wanna add our 20 amp fuse provided. Now, before we reinstall our fascia we wanna test everything out. We'll start with our brake lights, our running lights, our left turn and our right turn. We're now ready to trim the hole in our fascia. Our instructions are gonna include a diagram. You can cut this out, set it right here on these channels, kinda mark the outside with a paint marker. Now I'm just gonna use a Dremel tool with a cutoff wheel to cut this out. Once we get this cut out we just wanna take a pocket knife and kinda clean up these edges. We now wanna re-install everything that we've taken off in the reverse order we took it apart. And with everything reinstalled, we're now ready to hit the road. That's gonna do it for our look at and our installation of Stealth Hitches kit with the tow package on our 2018 Tesla Model 3..


Info for these parts were:

Employee Joshua S
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Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
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Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
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Dustin K
Employee Chris R
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Chris R
Employee Jonathan Y
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Jonathan Y
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C
Employee Ryan G
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Employee Clayton O
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Clayton O
Employee Bradley B
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