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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2015 Toyota Highlander - Curt

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2015 Toyota Highlander

Today on our 2015 Toyota Highlander, we're going to take a look at and then show you how to install the CURT custom-fit class three tailer hitch receiver. This offers a two-inch opening. It's part number is C13200. Here's what the CURT hitch is going to look like when you get it installed. You can see it tapers up right up underneath the rear valence. You're only going to have a short length of visible tube here.

It's the rounded style, so it gives it a nice, soft look. It's not so bold and so squared off there. Heavy-duty safety chain cables are going to give you a nice, wide hole here, so we're going to be able to connect safety chains from our tailer, things such as that, but also a lot of the other accessories if they've got anything that needs to be connected there. No problem getting that done. The hitch is an easy install to do, really. You've got three bolts on the left.

Three bolts on the right. You pull down a fascia panel under here. You'll see in the video. We trimmed ours to re-position it. That's optional.

Really, any trimming except for a small cut right here is going to be an optional thing for you to do. No drilling required, so pretty easy to get it in place. The hitch is going to offer a 5/8 pin hole, so a 5/8 pin and clips, anti-rattle bolts, anything like that are going to work great with it. It offers us a 6,000-pound gross tailer weight rating, and a 900-pound maximum tongue weight rating. If we switch into weight distribution, we can raise the tailer weight rating all the way up to 8,000 pounds while the tongue weight will stay the same. You do want to look in the owner's manual of your Toyota.

Make sure the Highlander can handle those kind of loads. If not, go off whatever the owner's manual says or whichever is the lowest of these numbers. Now a couple of measurements that will be helpful in selecting your ball mount, bike rack, or maybe hitch cargo carrier. It's going to be from the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening. We've got about 16 inches. From the center of our hitch pin hole to the outer edge of our bumper, it's only about 2. Now to begin our installation, we're going to remove the panel that kind of comes around here in this rear fender panel. We're going to have five bolts that we're taking out. One, two, three, then right up along this edge, we've got four and five. Right up here and here. Then we're also going to take out the push-pin fasteners located here and here. Start with our bolts. Now for your steel bolts on the outside, that's going to take a 10 mm socket. For the two plastic caps here, we'll need a 12. All right. Let's get those push-pin fasteners out, and we can remove it. For this, you use like a little screwdriver. I've got a pick here. We'll pull the center out and then the outside. All right, now let's wiggle our panel around here a little bit, and get it removed. Now it's time for us to remove a few caps here. These two, we're going to just remove these. Those are just going to pull right out. The other ones are kind of like threaded caps, so we'll use a screwdriver and then just kind of start unthreading them there. See that exposes our weld nuts that are located in our frame rails there. Perfect. Now here on the passenger side, it's a little different set-up. Everything is exactly the same as far as our connection points. We've got one here and here. These two bolts are holding our toe loop in. We're not going to need that once we get our hitch installed, so we'll be returning that to our customer as well as the two bolts here, and then up here, there's also a small little tab that comes over to hold our fascia up in place at this corner. We're going to be removing that bolt, this bolt, and that tab. We'll give those back to our customer as well. To make it a little bit easier to work, and make it easier to see for you, we're going to drop this rear tailpipe down just a little bit. It's not something required in the instructions, and really you can access all of our mounting locations without doing it. We just thought maybe it would be a little easier to see if we do. That will give us a little bit of room. Maybe you can get a little better view there. There's an exhaust hanger right here that's going to provide the support we need while it's stationary and sitting here. We will re-connect our exhaust hanger of course to give it full support when operational. We'll use our 10 mm for the small bolt here. Pull that out. For our bolts here, we'll be using the 17 mm. Just pull that little bracket down and out of the way. Now here we've got a wind deflector. We need to trim that off within two inches of the line or the hinge that they call it. Bring this up. Let's mark it along there. A couple of spots. We'll just use a straight-edge, just kind of give ourselves a reference point, kind of where we want to trim this out at. Here we go. We'll just cut straight across. For these couple of high spots, we can just trim those up with our knife. Really, the whole thing could be cut with a razor knife if you didn't have a rotary tool. I wouldn't be too scared about that. I'm just going to clean that up a little bit. All right. Perfect. Now we'll go through, and we're going to use a little spray lubricant in each of our weld nuts here. Then we're going to use a nylon tube brush that we've got. This is part number 814092. We just want to clean these out really well, free them up of any dirt or debris, rust or corrosion they might have picked up. All right. Now let's go to the passenger side. We can do that same thing. Now just before we put our hitch into position, we're going to remove the two rubber plugs here on the passenger side. They're in the same spot as the ones we removed on the driver side there. Now we'll raise our hitch up into position. As we do this, we're going to kind of guide it over our exhaust on the side here first so it gets up in its nook where it wants to be. Then we'll line up our weld nuts and place one of our bolts in. Now we're using M12 bolts and conical tooth washers. It's important for you to have the conical tooth washer's teeth facing up towards our hitch. Put a couple in this side to hold it up in place, and then we can head over to the other side and get it started. All right, with our three started here, let's start the last one on the passenger side. Now we'll take a quick look just to be sure we have our hitch centered with the vehicle, and we'll snug those down. For snugging our bolts down here, we're going to use a 19 mm socket. Let's head over to the driver side and we'll do the same thing. Now we can refer to our instructions, figure out what our torque specs are and get everything set to specification. All right, now we're going to kind of mock up our under panel since we've got everything torqued down and see exactly where we need to cut it or at least get a rough reference for where we're going to need to cut this for it to go into place. Now keep in mind, this is not required, but if you want to, you can do it, just to company I guess keep the bottom of the car kind of cleanish. Just kind of mark out a few spots there. I'm using my holes on top there for reference. I've got the mark here that we're using for the rear-most point. You can see it's kind of by that rectangular hole. I'm going to bring this over to the edge right here, and then come right down that high side edge. We'll bring it right over to there, then we'll just drop down to match up there. We're going to try to trim off as little as we can. If it doesn't fit, we'll trim off a little bit more, but that'll kind of be the trim line there. Then we'll rotate it, so mark here on the side I made, let's bring that down straight to that rectangular hole as well. All right, we'll cut that area out over to here, over to here, and then back down. That's going to remove this corner. Then here on the front, this is where that angle kind of sweeps down. We're going to bring a cut right over there, bring it right down to there, and then we'll just kind of match those two up. Just like that. We'll take these areas off. Fit it again. If it doesn't fit, we'll trim a little more. If it does, we're good to go. Then we've got our push-pin fasteners that we'll get in place. We would have had one here, but we removed that mounting location. Now you can it's back nice and sturdy under there. Cut out just enough to let our hitch come through there without any interference issues. As our last step, let's re-connect that exhaust hanger. Again, we removed it. It's not required for you to, but it will give you a little more room. With everything back in place, that's going to complete today's installation of the CURT custom-fit class three trailer hitch receiver, part number C13200 on our 2015 Toyota Highlander. .

Info for this part was:

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