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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2016 Toyota Highlander

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How to Install the Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2016 Toyota Highlander


Ryan: Hey everybody. Ryan here etrailer.com. Today on our 2016 Toyota Highlander, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Curt Class Three 2" Trailer Hitch Receiver.Now what I really like about this, and what sets it apart from some of the other hitches is the fact that it's going to be completely hidden for the most par., The only thing you're going to be able to see is the receiver tube.Many of our Highlander customers plan on using their vehicle to do a little bit of everything. This is going to be a good all around hitch for that since it is a 2" by 2" our choices for hitch mounted accessories are going to be pretty much endless. And since our hitch does come out a little bit past the bumper, it's going to give us great clearance, which will work perfect for those folding accessories.It's going to work good for towing too, since it is a class three hitch, it's going to have some pretty impressive weight capacities. As far as the maximum gross tongue weight rating goes it's going to be 500 pounds, or the amount of weight pushing down on our hitch.

That's going to work perfect for those one to four bike racks, and pretty much any accessory that you would want to use. As far as the maximum gross trailer weight rating goes, it's going to be 5,000 pounds, the amount of weight pulling on the hitch. So that's the weight of your trailer plus anything you might have on it. Now it is a good idea to check with your Toyota's owner's manual to make sure your Highlander can pull that much weight.And if you plan on using that weight capacity to do some towing, I'd recommend picking up some trailer wiring. That way your lights on the trailer work as you go down the road.The hitch is going to have a reinforced collar for extra strength and it's also going to have the standard size five ace pin hole.

Now, keep in mind it does not come included with the pin and clip. But if you need one you can find it here at etrailer. It's also going to have loop style safety chain openings, which are big enough and open enough to use just about any size hook.Now I'm going to give you a couple of measurements and you're going to use these to help figure out which hitch mounted accessories to get. From the ground to the top inside edge of our receiver tube opening, it's about 15-1/2". You're going to use that to figure out if you need to get a ball mount with either a drop or a rise.

From the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of our rear bumper that's about 1". You're going to use that to figure out if any folding accessories you might have can be stored in the upright position without contacting the bumper.Let's go ahead and put it on together now.To begin our installation over here on the passenger side right here above our tailpipe we're going to have a little plastic air deflector that we need to trim up to make some room for our hitch. As I said, this is a spin classic and there is a diagram in the instructions. It'll tell you where to mark it. I went ahead and already marked ours.

That way I can cut it. Now you can use a knife, a pair of tin snips. However, I'm going to be using a Dremel tool to get that trimmed off.Now, we're going to come over to the driver's side and we need to remove this plastic underbody panel. We're going to first start by doing that by removing the two plastic push pin fasteners, one here and one here. Now to do that we'll take a flat head screwdriver, kind of work underneath the head of the fastener and we can grab it and work it down.Now we're going to take out the three 10 millimeter bolts. One here, here, and here.Now, if we move to the inside here next to our spare tire we're going to have two plastic 12 millimeter nuts. You can typically do these by hand, loosen them up. And then what you usually have to do is kind of grab the panel and put some downward pressure on it while your unscrewing that nut to get it to break free.We can grab our panel, just work it out from under the vehicle and send it off to the side. On the driver's side, on the bottom of our frame rail, we're going to have some plugs that we need to remove. Two of them will just be rubber plugs. We can just take a flat head and kind of pry them out from the frame rail. And these three will actually be threaded. So we'll take our flat head and just unscrew those.Now on the passenger side we're going to have two rubber plugs and we'll need to take out as well as our tow hook. Now if your vehicle doesn't have the tow hook, what you would do is just remove all the plugs just like we did on the driver's side. To remove our tow hook we'll use a 17 millimeter socket to remove those two bolts.Now if we move a little further back on our frame rail, we're going to have this metal tab that we need to remove. To do that we'll first start by taking out this 10 millimeter bolt and then we can remove the 17 millimeter bolt.Now on each side behind our bumper we're going to have two plastic fasteners that we need to take out to help make room for our hitch. To get these out just take our flathead, pry underneath them and pull them out. Repeat that process for the other two.Now with an extra set of hands, we can take our hitch, put it into place, go over our exhaust. Then we can secure it in place using the three attachment points. Now what we're using is a bolt with a conical tooth washer. Make sure that the teeth on the washer face up towards the hitch. You want to get one pin tight on each side. That way the hitch will stay in place while we work on the rest of the bolts.Now just a quick tech tip. Whenever you are putting your hitch into place, this is how your tabs here are going to sit. So keep that in mind whenever we're lifting our hitch up, you're going to want to make sure that that top portion of our plastic here is on top of our hitch.With our hitch supporting itself now we can put in the rest of our hardware into our remaining attachment points using that same hardware, a bolt and a conical tooth washer.With all of our hardware in place now we can go ahead and snug it all down.Then torque the hardware down to the amount specified in the instructions.Now we can reinstall our pushpin fasteners. Just push them in, secure them like that.When it comes out under body panel. We have a couple of options. You could trim it out according to the diagram and the instructions, which I went ahead and marked out here for you just to give you an idea. You'd do that with a Dremel tool, a box cutter, or even a pair of shears. And then reinstall it the opposite way that we removed it. Or what you could do, which in our case, our customer is choosing just to leave it off entirely.And that'll do it for our look at and our installation of the Curt Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2016 Toyota Highlander.


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