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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2017 Lexus RX 450h

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How to Install the Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2017 Lexus RX 450h

Speaker 1: Today on our 2017 Lexus RX 450h, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Curt Class III Custom Fit Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number C13282.Here we can see our Curt hitch installed on our Lexus, and the nice thing about this is it is going to be mainly hidden. It's going to be very minimal, and it's not going to be distracting from the looks on our Lexus.It is going to have that 2 inch by 2 inch receiver tube opening, which means we're going to have a ton of options for accessories that we can mount. So if you have a small trailer, you get a ball mount, or if you need to transport a few bikes, a bike rack, or maybe you're taking the family on a trip and you need a cargo carrier for that extra space.The hitch is going to be tucked up nicely right to the back of the fascia, and we can see it's pretty even from the side. So we're not going to have to worry about hitting our leg on it if we're walking behind our Lexus, or if we're loading something in the back.Our Curt hitch is going to have a loop style safety chain connection point. It's going to be welded to the bottom of the receiver tube. And as you can see, we're going to have a decent amount of room to get most sized hooks on or off without worrying about binding up, or the limited space.As far as how we're going to mount all of our accessories, this is a Class III, so it's going to take a standard 5/8ths pin and clip.

They're not included, but we do have a variety of pin and clips, as well as locking devices that you can pick up on our website.Our Curt's going to feature a 600 pound tongue weight, which is going to be a good amount for any kind of cargo carrier, or even a bike rack, but if you are towing a small trailer you want to double check that weight and make sure you don't exceed that.As far as the gross trailer weight rating goes, that's going to be the maximum amount our hitch can pull. That's going to be a total of 4000 pounds, and that includes the trailer, and anything you load on it. So you want to double check everything, and you don't ever want to exceed that weight rating.Now our hitch is compatible with weight distribution systems. The tongue weight is going to stay the same, but our gross trailer weight rating is going to jump up to 5000 pounds. Now with all of that in mind, you always want to double check your Lexus' owners manual, because you don't want to over exceed the amount that it can pull, or go over the manufacturers recommended weight.I'd like to give you a few measurements, and that's going to come in handy whenever you're looking for accessories for your new hitch.

From the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening, it's going to be right about 17-1/4 inches. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outer most edge of the bumper, is going to be right around 4-1/4 inches.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're going to need to remove our lower appearance panel at the very back. Now we're going to set it aside once we have it removed, so it can be trimmed later. Along the edge here we're going to have several plastic pushpin fasteners, and you'll notice that there's a small notch around the edge. You want to take a flat head screwdriver, go in between that notch, and pop the center section out.

We're just going to take the tension off of the pushpin, then we can get underneath the bottom and pull the rest of it out.Now at the very back of our wheel well area on the drivers side, we're also going to have a few bolts holding it in place. We're going to have three along the edge here, and then if we move up and towards the center, we're going to have two more that are holding it in place. So you're going to want to grab a 10 mm socket, and we're going to remove those bolts.Now over here, right by the exhaust on the passenger side in the top corner, there's going to be a couple of these plastic fasteners that are holding it in. So we want to grab a Phillips head screwdriver, you're going to want to unscrew those so that they'll loosen up off the fastener.Okay, we did find that we're going to have to move our wheel well liner cover out of the way, and there's actually a hidden fastener right behind there. Just going to be another one of those pushpins.

So grab that flathead screwdriver, pop the center section out, and we can set this aside.If we move to the inside of where our frame rail is on the drivers side, we're going to notice that we have several plastic and rubber plugs inside the frame on the bottom. I'm not going to have to worry about the ones on the inside on the vertical section, we're going to be paying attention to the bottom of the frame. And we'll grab a flat head screwdriver, and we're going to pop all of these rubber and plastic plugs out. Now the ones that have the small notch in them, can actually just kind of unscrew them a little bit, and they should come right out. And we're going to remove all the rubber and plastic plugs on the passenger side as well.Moving over to the passenger side, we're going to be removing our tow hook here. It's going to be held on by two 17 mm head bolts. So we can grab that socket, and pull them out. Now we're not going to be reinstalling this, because this is just in place in case of an emergency, and our hitch will serve the same purpose.Now you'll notice once you pull all those plugs out, we're going to have three threaded holes in our frame. It's a good idea to clean those out, even though they had some plugs in them. We want to make sure the threads are nice and clean. So I'm going to come back a little bit of spray lubricant, spray a little bit in each hole, and take a nylon brush and clean out all the thread, make sure there's no rust, debris, or anything else that'll cause problems.Now on each side of the frame, those three weld nuts are going to be our mounting location. So we're going to have our bolts from our kit, followed up by a conical tooth washer. There's going to be some teeth on there, you want to make sure that they're facing towards the hitch.Now with an extra set of hands, we're going to lift our hitch into place. You're going to want to go over the exhaust, you may have to kind of pull down a little bit to get it into place, and we're going to line up the holes in our hitch with the weld nuts in the frame. Now for right now, we're only going to get one in place on each side, just so the hitch will support itself, and then we can get the rest of the hardware in place.We can put the rest of our hardware in, and tighten it. We can then grab a 19 mm socket, and snug up all of our hardware. Now we're going to come back with a torque wrench, and we're going to torque down all of our hardware, and we'll find that specification in our instructions. Just so you know, it maybe a little bit easier if you use an extension to kind of drop that torque wrench down, so you have a little bit more room to torque the bolts. And we'll repeat that for all of our remaining fasteners.I already marked out where we're going to need to trim on our plastic appearance panel, and they do give you a guideline in the instructions. But to make sure, we're going to go ahead and just kind of loosely put it up there, line it up as best as we can with the fasteners, and see where our hitch is going to be interfering, so we can get an idea of where we need to trim.I'm just going to be using a pair of tin snips. You can use a razor knife, or whatever you have available. You just want to make sure you make your cuts nice and clean, and we can come back and clean up all the extra marks that I have here.We can put our panel back up, and make sure that our cuts line up. Once you have your panel back in place with everything lined up, we can start putting our fasteners back in. We can take a little bit of cleaner, and we can wipe off all of the marks we made when we measured out our hole.And that'll finish up your look at the Curt Class III Custom Fit Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number C13282, on our 2017 Lexus RX 450h.

Glenn J.


Today I installed the Curt 13282 on my 2021 Lexus RX450h F Sport model. The rear fascia on the F Sport has a sportier design with three raised diffusers. When mounted, the hitch receiver hits the fascia, thus making it necessary to cut or notch out the bumper fascia to prevent bending the fascia upward. I started my cutout dead center on the center diffuser, adjusting carefully to have a clean nice fit. Turns out, that after providing adequate clearance all around the receiver, the two inch opening in the receiver does not sit dead center on the exact center of the bumper and the center diffuser; its off to the left. It appears that Curt miscalculated, and I’m very disappointed that a mistake like this got by someone at Curt. Lexus designed this F Sport fascia with that center diffuser exactly centered, so it's not a Lexus problem.

Etrailer Expert

Jon G.


The Curt Hitch # C13282 that you're talking about hasn't been confirmed as a fit for your 2021 Lexus RX450h F Sport Model. Curt doesn't have a fit listed yet for a 2021 RX450h so I would imagine they already know this and are working on a new design for that vehicle.

Info for this part was:

Employee Kathleen M
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Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
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