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EcoHitch Hidden Trailer Hitch Installation - 2016 Volkswagen Golf

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How to Install the EcoHitch Hidden Trailer Hitch on a 2016 Volkswagen Golf


Ryan: Hey, everybody. Ryan here at etrailer.com. Today on our 2016 Volkswagen Golf, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the EcoHitch Class II Hidden Trailer Hitch Receiver.What I really like about this hitch is that, for the most part, it's going to be completely hidden. You're only going to see the receiver tube. And since it does have a black powder coat finish, it's going to blend in really good with the bottom of our bumper.Now, the main thing that sets this hitch apart from the others is that it's going to be made from recycled materials. So not only is it going to be sturdy, it's also going to reduce your carbon footprint.Our hitch is going to give us some pretty good clearance.

At the end of the receiver tube, it's going to sit just about even with the edge of our bumper. And that's going to work really good for those folding accessories. So whether you're wanting to carry bikes or extra cargo, you're going to free up some space on the inside of your Golf.Our receiver tube opening is going to be an inch and a quarter by an inch and a quarter. We're also going to have a reinforced collar for extra strength. Now, the hitch is going to have the half-inch size pin hole.

Now, keep in mind that it does not come with a pin and clip. However, if you need one, you can find it here at etrailer.Now, I'm not too crazy about the safety chain openings, because they are a little small. But they are going to be functional and work just fine.Now, a really nice touch, in my opinion, is that our hitch came with this piece of rubber which we'll put around our fascia in the opening, and that kind of just gives it more of a clean, finished look.Now, as fa as the weight capacities go, our hitch is going to have a maximum gross tongue weight rating of 200 pounds. That's going to be the amount of weight pushing down the hitch. So that's going to work for those one and two bike racks.As far as the maximum gross trailer weight rating goes, that's going to be 2,000 pounds, the amount of weight pulling on our hitch.

So that's the weight of your trailer, plus anything you might have on it. Now, it is always a good idea to check with your Golf's owners manual to make sure your car can pull that much weight.And if you do plan on doing a little bit of light-duty towing, I'd recommend picking up some trailer wiring. That way the lights on your trailer will work as you go down the road, keeping you safe and legal.Now I'm going to give you a couple of measurements. You're going to use these to figure out which hitch mounted accessories to get. From the ground to the top inside edge of our receiver tube opening, that's about 10 1/2 inches.

So chances are pretty good you're going to need to get a ball mount with a rise.From the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of our rear bumper, that's going to be about 2 1/2 inches. You're going to use that to figure out if any folding accessories you might have could be stored in the upright position, without contacting the bumper.Now, one thing I do want to point out, since our hitch does hang down a little bit and our Golf is already low as it is, you're going to want to keep that in mind when going up or down steep driveways.Now, since our hitch is hidden, the install is going to be a little involved. However, it's really not that bad. Speaking of which, let's go ahead and do it together now.To begin our install, we're going to be working on the underside, along the bottom edge of our bumper. Along the bottom edge of our bumper, we're going to remove four plastic screws. We're going to use a T15 Torx bit to do that. We'll have one here, here, here, and over here.Now here in our wheel wells, we're going to need to remove four T25 Torx bit screws, just like this. We'll have one here, here, here, and just right up in this area.With the wheel well liner out of the way, we're going to need to remove one more T25 Torx bit screw. Now, this one's going to be a little tricky to see, but it's actually holding the corner of our rear fascia up to the quarter panel. And it's going to be right here.Now we're going to need to remove our tail lights, so we'll start by opening up our rear hatch. On each side, we're going to have a small access panel. Just peel that back. And underneath it, we're going to remove this plastic wing nut. And once that's out, set it off to the side. We'll come to our tail light, carefully pull outward, and then we can disconnect it from the electrical. It's going to be a red tab. Going to have to push that back. And that will expose a black center tab. Push that down and remove the light.Before we start to take our rear fascia off, I went ahead and just put some masking tape on our quarter panel. That way, we don't have to worry about scratching our paint.To take your fascia off, we're going to break free each side, starting here at our wheel wells, and work our way towards the center. So I'll grab the bottom of it, and behind it there's going to be a small black tab. And I'm just going to use a plastic trim panel tool, you could use a flathead or whatever fits down in there. You kind of push that tab down and pull the fascia towards you at the same time and kind of just work it up. Those are the tabs that our fascia's connected to, that we're pushing down on. And same deal up here around the tail light pocket, some more of the tabs. And once we get to about this point, go do the same thing over on the other side.So now, with both of our corners started, we can grab the center of our bumper. Kind of work it up and down, pulling towards you. And slowly pull it back. And if you have any electrical wiring, you're going to need to disconnect it. Now we can take our fascia and set it off to the side.Now we need to remove our bumper beam. Over here on the passenger side, It's going to be held in place with four 13 millimeter bolts. And on this top one, in the corner here, what I like to do is just take that bolt out and then just thread it in a couple turns by hand. That way, when we remove the rest of the bolts, our bumper beam doesn't fall down. It's a little more easy to manage.And over here on the driver's side, we're just going to have three of those same bolts. Now we can hold our bumper beam and take out those two hand-tight bolts, and pull it away from the car.Now our attachment points to hold our hitch in place are going to be the same factory well nuts that we removed our hardware from, that was holding our bumper beam in place. Now, how this is going to work . Our hitch is going to sit over our rear bulkhead. And then our bumper beam is going to sandwich it in between the body of the car and the bumper beam itself.Now, the hardware that we're going to use to secure both the hitch and the bumper beam are these bolts that come included with the hitch. So we'll take a bolt, followed by a split lock washer, and then a flat washer. So we'll run it through our bumper beam and our hitch and thread it into the body of our car.Before we put our hitch into place, to give us a little help to hold it up while we get all our hardware in, what I'm going to do is just take one of our bolts and actually thread it in backwards, through this way. That way it'll come out and our bumper beam and hitch can rest on something. Come from the back.To get our bumper beam on our hitch on the driver side, we're going to take it and actually slide this corner down through that opening in the hitch, like that. Then we can pick our whole assembly up and put it on the car.Then when we have both sides lined up, we can take our hardware and get it started. It's a good idea to at least get one hand tight on each side. That way the hitch and the bumper beam will support itself. With our hitch and our bumper beam supporter, we can now remove the bolts that we put in earlier.With all of our hardware in place and hand tight, now we can snug it all down. Now I can use a torque wrench to torque everything down to the specification in our instructions.Now we're going to need to trim our fascia according to the diagram and our instructions, and I went ahead and drew that area out here, where I'm going to trim. Now, to cut it, I'm going to use a Dremel tool. However the plastic's relatively thin, so you could use a utility knife or even a pair of snips.Now with our fascia trimmed, we're going to put on this trim lock around the edge, and that'll just give us a cleaner look. So do that, it's going to be split here on the back side. And we can take the edge, run it down to the bottom. Just start to work that around the opening that we made.Now we can take our fascia and put it back in place. Light them back up.And that'll do it for our look at and our installation of the EcoHitch Class II Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2016 Volkswagen Golf.


Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Ryan G
Test Fit:
Ryan G

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