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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Nissan Pathfinder

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How to Install the Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Nissan Pathfinder


Rob here, detroit.com, and today you're going to be taking a look at the Curt class three custom-fit trailer hitch receiver on our 2018 Nissan Pathfinder, and this is what our hitch is going to look like. Once we have it installed, it's going to have a really clean, almost factory look to it because the crosstube's going to be completely hidden behind the bumper, and all we're going to see is that receiver tube sticking out. So it's not going to distract from the looks of our Pathfinder and we're going to have pretty good ground clearance. Because again, that crosstube's going to be completely hidden behind the bumper. It is a class three hitch, which means it's going to give us that two inch by two inch receiver tube opening. So a really wide variety of options when it comes to accessories.Now the way we're going to mount any of our accessories, this is the hitch pin hole here on the side.

It is going to accept a standard five eight pin and clip. Now these do not come with the hitch, but you can pick them up here at etrailer.com, along with some locking devices to make sure your accessories are secure. Now, if you do plan on towing a trailer, obviously you need somewhere to hook up your safety chains. And our connection point is going to be a loop style welded to the bottom of the receiver tube. And you can see we're going to have no problem getting most sized hooks on or off.You want to make sure that the hitch is going to be up for the task that we put it to.

So as far as the weight rating goes, our hitch is going to have a 900 pound tongue weight, which should be pretty high. I mean, great for those bike racks, all the way up to four or five bikes, or those really large cargo carriers. That way we can maximize the amount of stuff we put on it. As far as the gross trailer weight rating goes, it's going to have a 6,000 pound gross trailer weight rating. That's how much our hitch can pull, including the trailer and everything we have loaded on it.

Now it is designed to work with weight distribution systems as well. That's going to be a separate component mounted on your trailer, but both the tongue weight and gross trailer weight rating are going to stay the same.But with all those numbers in mind, you want to double check your Pathfinders owner's manual because you don't want to exceed the manufacturer's recommended weight. Now let's give you a few measurements and these are going to help you whenever you're looking for accessories for your new hitch, like a ball Mount, a bike rack, or even a cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outermost edge of the bumper is right about five inches. And that measurement's going to come in handy when you're looking at folding accessories to make sure you have enough room, and they're not going to come in contact with the rear bumper and from the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening, it's right about 14 inches.

That measurement is going to help you. When you're looking for a ball Mount to make sure you can find the appropriate rise or drop to match up to your trailer.But now that we've seen what our hitch looks like and gone over some of the features, let's get it installed together. To begin your installation, you want to pull your spare tire down, once we have enough room to get our Hitchen, but also, so we have some headroom to work on underneath. Then we're going to move over to the driver's side frame rail at the very back. Here, we'll find our factory tie-down hook, and we're going to pull this out. It should be two bolts in the very bottom, and two on the outside frame rail. So you want to grab an 18 millimeter socket and pull all the bolts out.We'll go ahead and pull our tie down, hook down and the hook and the hardware are not going to get re-installed. Now, if we come behind our fascia, we'll see that we're going to have a support on each side. We're going to pull these out as well, so on the very bottom, there's going to be a push pin. So you have a flat blade screwdriver. We'll come to the very center of the push pin, we're going to pop the center out, which will take the tension off and we can come underneath the base and pull the rest of the clip out. And we're going to pull the one out on the other side as well. There's going to be a bolt holding the support in place on the bumper structure. So you want to grab a 12 millimeter socket and remove the bolts.Once we have these removed, you do want to hold onto the bolt, the pushpin and the bracket, because these are going to get re-installed. So we'll pull out the other one as well. Now, if we come to the bottom of the frame rail, we're going to have several holes in the bottom, but on the very inside towards the center, we're going to have three threaded holes. That's going to be the same on both sides, and those are going to be our mounting locations, and we need to make sure that the threads are clean. There's no dirt debris or rust in there, so I'm going to take a little bit of spray lubricant and spray it inside the threads of each one of the holes, and I'm going to come back with a nylon brush and clean them out and make sure there's nothing in there, so we won't have any problems putting the bolts in later. When it go through and clean it, each one of the threads, all the weld, nuts on both sides of the frame.I went ahead and marked out the area that needs to be trimmed on our fascia. Now you want to find the very center point and then they even follow the diagram in your instructions. Now the easiest way to find the center point, is you find a reference point, come to these two round holes, find that measurement split in half, and that will be our center measurement. And whenever you going to cut this out, you can use whatever you have available pair of tin, snips, or a razor knife. I'm going to be using a rotary tool that way you just make a quick clean cut. You just want to start out a little bit smaller than you think you need to cut, because we can always take more material away, but we can't put it back.Yeah, we can always come back, clean off the excess plastic and the marker we used to mark out the hole. And when everything turned down, since it's going to be easier to show you the combination of hardware now, without the hitch and the way we're going to take one of the bolts out of our kit, we'll grab a conical tooth washer, because we got a little teeth on there. You want to make sure those are facing up towards the frame. We're going to go through our hitch and we'll secure it into the frame directly into the weld nuts. Now the next thing is, we're going to lift our hitch up, kind of want to go above the exhaust, then lift it up where you can get behind the facia here, then we'll want to line up the holes and there the holes in the frame, we're going to get at least one bolt on each side, that way the hitch will support itself and we can work on getting the rest of the hardware.Once you have your hardware in, come back with a 19 millimeter socket and we're going to snug it all up. Then You want to make sure you come back with a torque wrench and torque, all your hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. Let me go back and repeat that for all of our remaining hardware. So we can grab our fascial support, we'll line them up and we can replace the hardware in the pushpins.Then with our hitch torqued down, all we have left to do is put our spare tire back..


Questions and Comments about this Video

Wayne M.

Are the installation instructions the same for a 2020 Nissan Pathfinder SV? What wiring kit is suggested for this Hitch installation? What other parts are needed or are desirable options ... ball hitch, silencer, etc.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

The installation for the Curt # C13309 should be the same for your 2020 Pathfinder. For wiring use part # 118670 for standard trailer lights or part # 118273 for a 7-Way connector. The additional parts kind of depend on what you plan on using the hitch for. If it's a smaller trailer then you can go with a ball mount, but if it's on the larger side you'll want a weight distribution system. Anti-rattle devices and locking hitch pins are good options too but it really boils down to what you plan on using the hitch for.

Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
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Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
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Jacob T
Employee Chris R
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Chris R
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Jonathan Y
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C
Employee Conner L
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Conner L

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