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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2016 Toyota Highlander - Curt

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2016 Toyota Highlander


Today on our 2016 Toyota Highlander we're going to be taking a look at and installing the Curt Class 3 Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number C13200. What I like most about this hitch is how it's pretty close to flush, so it should give us room for just about any type of accessories that you may want to use with this. With where it sits, the cross tube is pretty well hidden to where it maintains a really clean look on the vehicle. It's got the two inch by two inch receiver tube opening with this nice welded on reinforcement collar around it to make it look nice and heavy duty, but also give it a very clean look. It's got the plate-style safety chain connection points with the nice large holes in order to connect your safety chains to, so it really shouldn't be a problem in order to get any safety chains that you may have connected to that. Standard five eighths inch hitch pin hole, which is going to be good for all your class three accessories. It features a nine hundred pound max tongue weight, which is the total downward force on the hitch, and a six thousand gross trailer weight, which is going to be the weight of the trailer and anything that's on it. In use with the weight distribution system, the max tongue weight is still nine hundred pounds, but the gross trailer weight goes up to eight thousand pounds.

You will want to refer to your owner's manual to make sure that your vehicle is capable of that type of weight. Now, let's give you some measurements to help assist you with your selection of hitch-mounted accessories such as ball mounts, bike racks, or cargo carriers. The distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the outermost part of the rear bumper is about two inches, and the face of the receiver tube opening is about a quarter of an inch past the outermost edge of the bumper. The distance from the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening to the ground is about fifteen and a quarter inches. Now, let's show you how to install this hitch. First thing that we'll need to do to begin our installation is we'll need to remove the panel for this side. We'll need a ten millimeter socket.

There will be three of these screws. You'll have two of these push pin fasteners. In order to remove those you can take a flat head screwdriver and work under the edge of it in order to get that center popped out, and then you can remove the entire thing. I've got a bit of dirt and debris up inside these clips. You may just have to do a little bit of working back and forth all the way around the head of that center pin.

Up top there's two plastic nuts close to the spare tire. You'll need a twelve millimeter to begin loosening those. You can put some downward pressure to help work those off of there. Once you've got those loose you can pull this under body panel down and pull it out toward the rear of the vehicle. Over here on the passenger side right above the exhaust in the frame rail there's these two rubber plugs. We'll need to use a pair of needle nose pliers.

Grab those and pull those out of there. Over here on the driver's side it will have two more rubber plugs that we'll need to pull out from there. We'll need a flat head screwdriver in order to take these little plastic caps off. Underneath those plastic caps are the weld nuts that we're going to be using as our attachment points. Back over on the passenger side we've got this tow hook, so we'll need to use a seventeen millimeter socket and take the two bolts out in order to remove it. Now we'll need to remove the small ten millimeter bolt that's right there that helps to hold this panel on. Once we've taken that off we'll need to grab our seventeen millimeter socket and remove that bolt so that we can take that little fascia bracket off. On the bottom of the bumper fascia we've got this little air deflector that's designed to help keep the exhaust fumes angled going down, but in order to install our hitch we're going to need to cut that, and I'll mark that according to our instructions. We'll cut along that line, and we'll be cutting this end off. You can use some tin snips, or any type of shears, a utility knife, to cut through this. Now, we'll take our hitch and slide it up into place. We're going to carefully slide it over the exhaust in order to get it back up into position, and then you want to get it lined up with the weld nuts. Take one of your twelve millimeter bolts with a conical tooth washer. You want to get one started on each side. The teeth on that washer, you want to be sure that they're facing up toward the hitch. Once we've got one bolt installed on each side, we can go back and get the rest of our hardware started. With all the hardware installed, we'll take a three quarter inch socket and begin to tighten all the bolts down. After we've tightened all of our bolts, we'll need to go back around and make sure that they're torqued to the specification listen in the instructions. The driver's side under body panel, I've gone ahead and marked it according to the instructions in the two locations that we'll need to trim out some of the material in order to be able to get it to fit back up underneath the vehicle with the hitch on it. This is optional. You can just leave this panel off entirely if you'd like. I'm going to use a utility knife and carefully follow the lines that I've marked. You can also use a rotary-style tool with a little cutting bit, or some shears like tin snips if you'd like. Now we can reinstall our under body panel, and we'll reinstall all of our fasteners, and then tighten down our ten millimeter screws. That's going to complete our look at the Curt Class Three Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number C13200 on our 2016 Toyota Highlander.


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