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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2012 Dodge Journey - Curt

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2012 Dodge Journey

Today on our 2012 Dodge Journey we're going to review and install the CURT class three 2" receiver tube hitch, part number C13201. Here's what our hitch is going to look like once installed. As you can see, not a lot of the hitch is hidden but it is tucked up under the vehicle nicely. We've got a round crosstube that goes into our fully welded constructed receiver tube. The whole thing has a nice black powder-coated finish so it hides with the underbody of the vehicle. We've got our chain hold down on either side of the 2" by 2" receiver tube.

It's got pre-drilled holes on each side of the receiver tube for the 5/8 pinhole. This hitch is capable of up to 400 pounds of tongue weight and a 4,000 pound tow capacity. Next we'll give you a couple measurements to assist you with selecting accessories for your new hitch. From the center of the hitch pinhole to the outermost edge of the bumper is 3-1/2". From the top of the receiver tube opening down to the ground is 12-3/4". This will assist you with selecting accessories such as a ball mount, bike rack, or cargo carrier. We'll now go ahead and show you the minimum tools necessary for installing the hitch.

We're going to have our safety strap for tightening them down, our 3/4" socket, our torque wrench, pry bar, and our spray lubricant. To begin our install we first need to lower the exhaust. To safely lower the weight of the exhaust we're going to put a safety strap underneath. This will help support the weight. Next we're going to remove the ground strap that runs from the frame to the exhaust hanger.

Now to remove the ground strap we'll just push the clip off of the metal hanger. Now to lower the exhaust we need to remove the rubber isolators from the metal hanger. We have two here above the muffler and one just behind the rear axle in front of the muffler. Note, on vehicles equipped with dual muffler systems you'll need to do this on both sides. Now to remove the rubber isolators from the metal hangers we're going to spray each one with a spray lubricant and then use our pry bar or pliers to remove it. Now with the hangers remembered we can use the safety strap to safely lower the weight of the exhaust. Now that we have both frame rails exposed, let's go ahead and point out the attachment points.

Our hitch is going to have a total of six attachment points, three on each side. Our hardware and attachment points are identical so each process we do here on one side we'll repeat identically on the opposite side. Starting here at the frame, there's two pre-drilled holes towards the end of the frame. These pre-drilled holes will be our forward and center attachment points. Then inside the bumper structure will be our rear attachment point. Starting with the forward two fasteners, we'll secure the hitch with a 1/2" carriage bolt and spacer block. The carriage bolt and spacer block will get fed into the frame and down through the pre-drilled hole, and then we'll secure the hitch with a 1/2" flange nut. To get our hardware into the frame we'll use the 1/2" bolt leader supplied with the install kit. Starting with my forward attachment point, I'll take the bolt leader, feed it in and out through the end of the frame. Then I can slide on the block and thread on the carriage bolt. We'll feed them into the frame separately and pull them into position. Go ahead and remove the bolt leader and repeat the same process with the center attachment point. Now I'll go ahead and leave the bolt leader attached as it will assist with getting our hitch into position without pushing the hardware back into the frame. Now for our rear attachment hardware it will be the same 1/2" bolt, but a larger spacer block. We can go ahead and engage the two and then feed them into the end of the frame and into place. Now with all our hardware in place here on the driver side, we'll repeat the same process on the passenger side. Now before we put our hitch in place we're going to install the wedge block. The wedge block is narrow on one side and fatter or thicker on the other. The thicker end will face the rear of the vehicle and sits between the hitch and the frame. Now to install it we're just going to take some black electrical tape and tape it to the hitch. This way we don't have to try and install it while we're putting the hitch in place. Couple pieces of tape holding it on there and now we're ready to repeat on the other side and install the hitch. We're now ready to install the hitch. It's a good idea to get an extra set of hands to help you hold the hitch while you install your fasteners. As we bring the hitch up to the frame we'll feed our bolt leader through the center attachment point, being careful not to push the other two carriage bolts into the frame as we bring it up tight. Then remove the bolt leader and install the other two fasteners. Keep in mind as we install our fasteners we'll just install them finger tight until we have them all in place. Now we can go ahead and tighten down our fasteners. Next we'll go ahead and torque to specifications as indicated in the instructions. Now with our hitch tightened down and torqued to specifications, we're ready to reinstall the exhaust. We'll also reinstall our ground strap. Once we have the exhaust reinstalled, we'll go ahead and remove the safety strap. Just like that, our hitch is installed and we're ready to hit the road. That will do it for the review and install of the CURT class three 2" receiver tube hitch, part number C13201, on our 2012 Dodge Journey. .

Chánh N.


How about installation electric for light

Etrailer Expert

Chris R.


If your Journey has the LED tail lights, I recommend the Tekonsha # 118536 for trailer wiring. If it has the incandescent bulb lights you'll instead want the Tekonsha # 118567 . I linked a couple of install videos for both harnesses below.

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