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Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Installation - 2017 Dodge Durango

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch on a 2017 Dodge Durango


Speaker 1: Today on our 2017 Dodge Durango, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Draw-Tite class three custom fit trailer hitch receiver, part number 76196. The really nice thing about this hitch is that it's not going to be sticking out whenever we're not using. It's going to be hidden right behind the door. So we can come to the bottom, release the tabs, pull the door off and our hitch will be right here.It is a class three hitch, which means it's going to give us that two inch by two inch receiver tube opening, giving us a lot of different options for accessories. All the way from a ball mount up to some of the larger bike racks that can hold up to five bikes. The way we're going to mount all of our accessories is through the hitch pin hole on the side.

And it is going to accept a standard 5/8 pin and clip. These aren't included in the kit, but you can pick them up on our website using part number PC3.The safety chain connection points are going to be a loop style welded at the bottom of the receiver tube. And as you can see, even with some really large hooks, we're not going to have too much trouble getting them on or off. Now the safety chain loops do sit extremely close to where the fascia would be. As you can see, we did have to trim ours here.

They don't come in contact, but in order to get the loops to go through, you do have to trim it because if anything we're to happen you wouldn't want the chains resting on it or pulling on it, potentially causing damage to your fascia. And that's going to be great to mount any kind of electrical connector. That way you have your seven way or your four pole flat ready whenever you're ready to tow.As far as weight capacity is concerned, our hitch is going to have a 900 pound tongue weight, which is going to be the maximum force at the receiver tube. It's also going to have a 6,000 pound gross trailer weight rating, which is the amount it can pull including the trailer and everything loaded on it. It is designed to work with weight distribution, which is going to be a separate component that's on your trailer.

The tongue weight is going to stay the same, but the gross trailer weight rating is going to jump up to 7500 pounds. Now with all that in mind, you always want to double check your Durango's owners manual to make sure you don't exceed the manufacturers recommended weight.Overall, I really like this hitch because it is going to be completely hidden when we're not using it. And then it's going to allow us to use the door for the intended purpose of hiding everything. Opposed to some of the other hitches that are going to be sitting below the bumper and they're constantly going to be out. The installation is going to be a little bit more in depth, because we are going to have to remove the fascia as well as doing some trimming.

But I think the end result is going to be a lot nicer, giving it more of a factory clean look.I'd like to give you a few measurements that'll help you when deciding for accessories for your new hitch such as a ball mount, bike rack, or even a cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outer most edge of the bumper, it's going to be right about three and a quarter inches. That measurements going to come in handy when looking at folding accessories, making sure you have adequate clearance so that doesn't come in contact with the bumper. From the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening, is going to be around 19 and 1/4 inches. Keep that measurement in mind whenever looking for a ball mount, so you can find the appropriate riser drop for your trailer. Now that we've seen what our hitch looks like and gone over some of the features, let's show you how to get it installed.To begin our installation, we went ahead and lowered our spare tire. It's not necessary for the install, but it will give you a little bit more head room, make it a little bit easier to see. Now we're going to go ahead and remove our door right here. At the bottom on each side, we're going to have some quarter turn fasteners. Just turn them to unlock, so they're horizontal. Then we just gently pull down, pulling away and popping the clips out and we'll go ahead and set this aside for now.Behind the door that we just took off on our fascia, we're going to have our fascia support, that's going to be bolted to our bumper beam. We're going to have one on each side. We'll be using a 10 millimeter socket to take out the bolt. Now if we move to the back of our rear wheel well, the very bottom we're going to have a bolt holding it in place. I'm going to be using an eight millimeter socket to pull it out.Then if we move farther up, we're going to have a 10 millimeter bolt about halfway towards the top of our wheel well. Use a 10 millimeter socket to pull it out. Now in between the two bolts, we're going to have some plastic rivets. Now we're going to have to drill those out in order to get the fasteners removed. So I'm going to be using a 3/16 drill bit, going to be drilling right into the center of that plastic rivet. It may be a little bit of a awkward angle because of the tire here. But again we're just drilling the rivet out, so it doesn't have to be a perfectly straight on shot.If the rivet didn't come out all the way after you drilled through it. You need to reach back there, try moving it around to get it out or grab a pair of pliers, make sure that you drilled it out all the way. Now if we come to the very edge of our wheel well where we have this trim piece here. We're going to pull gently away from our car. Just held in by some clips, you're just going to want to work your way from the bottom going towards the top. Just enough so we can get access. There's going to be a bolt holding everything in place about halfway til we get where our fender meets our fascia. I'm going to be using a seven millimeter socket to pull that bolt out.Then we're going to repeat that whole process on the other side as well. Now if we open up our rear hatch. Right below our taillights, we're going to have a bolt that's holding our fascia to the vehicle. We're going to be using a T30 Torx bit to pull that out. We're going to pull out the other side as well. We're going to start at the corner where our fascia meets our fender. I'm just going to start peeling it away, be held in by clips. You're going to want to work your way towards the taillight. And it may be helpful if you have an extra set of hands, because the fascia is rather large and you don't want to damage it.Now you're going to have some connectors if you have any sensors at the back. Be over here on the drivers side, right below our taillights. Just push in on this tab right here, should release the tension. We'll disconnect the connector. Now we're going to set our fascia aside, so it won't get damaged.Now if your Durango has the wiring be careful not to pull the fascia away too fast, because there is a plastic fastener that's holding it in place. So with our fascia removed, we're going to be able to see our exposed bumper beam and it's going to be held in by two bolts along the inside of the frame here. As well as one right on the bottom of the frame right above our exhaust. Now you can lower the exhaust down to make it easier to gain access or you get an extension and a swivel to bring it down, so you have a little bit more working room. I'm not going to be lowering the exhaust because it is a little bit more work and getting an extension and a swivel to get that socket on there is going to be a lot easier.To remove all the bolts, we're going to be using a 21 millimeter socket. Just want to be careful of the wiring that's coming along the side of the frame rail here. We're going to have those same three bolts on the other side, so we can remove those as well. Now whenever you pull the last bolt out on the other side, you want to make sure that you have your hand supporting it because it does go into the frame. However, you don't want it to fall and hit you in the head.Now a quick tip to help get it out, is if you grab each end and pull equally out at the same time, it'll come out a lot easier. So we can grab our hitch and each side is going to have some tabs on it. It's going to go in just like our bumper did. So you're going to go onto the inside of the frame. And again, you may have to kind of work at it, because it is going to be a nice snug fit. So try to grab it from each end and go in at the same time.Now we're going to push it all the way back, but in order for us to get our hardware in. We're going to have to pull it back out, so we can get everything lined up because this isn't a very big hole to get our hardware in place. So we're going to be using the same mounting holes that our bumper did. In order to get our hardware in place, we're going to take one of our pull wires and coming from the inside of the frame, we're going to feed it into the frame and then the hitch. And we're going to go back towards the back of our vehicle.I can see that coiled end coming back through here. I'm going to pull it just enough so that you leave that tail on the inside of the frame, but you can access that coiled end. We're going to take one of our square spacer blocks, feed it over the coiled end. And then take a carriage bolt and thread it onto the end. Then one piece at a time, we're going to feed our spacer block and our carriage bolt back into the frame. We're going to pull on our pull wire until we can get our hardware to come through. Just want to make sure that those blocks are aligned properly. But you may have to pull them back through or work at it a little bit, so they're laying flat against the frame and that the bolt comes back through. And we're going to repeat that process for all the remaining mounting holes.So just to make sure that my bolts don't fall back in the frame. I'm going to leave my pull wire attached. I'm going to take a conical tooth washer. I'm going to make sure that those teeth are going to be facing towards the frame. So we're going to go ahead and slide it over our pull wire and onto the bolts. Then what I'm going to do to kind of make sure it doesn't fall through is I'm just going to put my finger on it and push on the bolt to the side. Then pull my pull wire off. I'm going to take one of our hex nuts and secure the bolt down. We're going to repeat that process for all of our remaining hardware.I'm going to come back with a 19 millimeter socket. You can also use a 3/4 inch socket and snug up the hardware. I'm going to come back with that same 19 millimeter socket and I'm going to torque down all my hardware to the specified amount in the instructions. We're going to repeat that for all of our remaining hardware.With our hitch torqued down, we can put our fascia back. Just don't forget to plug that connector in back on the driver's side. Just make sure it locks into position. Make sure everything lines up along the edges. We can start pushing it back into position. Then we can start putting all of the fasteners back in place.Now for the two fasteners that we had to drill out earlier. Our kit does come with some plastic rivets to replace it. I'm going to go ahead and put in our plastic rivet gun, insert it into the hole. And also of times these plastic rivets they work, but they don't like to break off. Fortunately for us, this one did. But if you have an issue where that tab won't break off, just want to make sure that its fully seeded. And if you're still having trouble breaking it off, go ahead and take a pair of snips and just cut it off.So we'll go ahead and replace the other one and the two on the other side.Now our support tabs at the bottom of our fascia aren't going to have that tab that was on our bumper to secure it. So instead, Draw-Tite's included in our kit a couple zip ties. So we're going to go and go through the support tab. We're going to go around the cross tube of our hitch. Then zip tie it to the hitch, that way it just gives it a little bit of support. So when we're going down the highway and we get a strong wind or anything like that it's not going to be just banging around back here. And we'll do that for the other one as well.So we put our spare tire back, got our hitch all in place. But as you can see, our safety chain loops aren't really going to be usable just because of our fascia right here. So we are going to have to do some trimming. Now the easiest way, the instructions are going to tell you a few different measurements, which are pretty much going to come out right at the corner, the opening here and the corner opening here. Now we're going to need to follow that all the way down and come straight down all the way to the bottom. And we're going to be removing this entire area down here. That way we have access to our safety chain loops. But we're still going to have the structural integrity and we're not going to see it because our cover's going to be able to go back in place.I'm going to be using a rotary tool to cut through. It's just plastic, so you can use whatever you have available. Just want to make sure you have a nice clean cut and go slow because you don't want it causing other damage outside of the area we're cutting. We can come back and clean up the edges now that we have a little bit more room to work with.So with our lower section trimmed, we can put our door back in place. That'll finish up your look at the Draw-Tite class three custom fit trailer hitch receiver, part number 76196 on our 2017 Dodge Durango.


B C.

4/4/2020

Great video with all steps covered thoroughly. On the 2015 before pulling the facia off, you will need to slip the corner over the hole where that screw came out before pulling. Also, careful not to pull trim too far from vehicle at apex of wheel well as there is a hidden plastic rivet in that area. Thanks again for the great video and customer service with everything that is needed!!

Chris R.

4/6/2020

Thanks so much for the kind words and for sharing your particular experience. Hopefully it will help others in your same spot!

Matthew

11/19/2018

Hey guys! Thanks for the great tutorial. One thing I’d love to have clarified is if this hitch installation still allows for the original flush bezel cover that comes with the vehicle to be used to cover the receiver, as compared to needing the separate bubble bezel cover like the Durango’s with the factory tow package use? It would be nice to keep the flush appearance rather than the bulge. Your reply is appreciated. Thanks!

Etrailer Expert

Rachael H.

11/19/2018

Yes the bezel can be reused after the hitch is installed. In fact the installer does remove the bezel at the :23 second mark, and it is re-installed at the end of the video at about the 14:40 mark.