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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Toyota Highlander - Draw-Tite

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Toyota Highlander


Speaker 1: Today in our 2018 Toyota Highlander, we're going to be taking a look at, and showing you how to install the Draw-Tite custom-fit trailer hitch receiver. Part number 75896. Here's what our hitch is going to look like. It is going to sit right below our bumper, and the cross tube is going to be visible spanning from side to side.Our receiver hitch is going to stick out past our bumper, which is going to be nice because we're going to have a lot of different options. When it comes to any type of accessory, we're not going to have to worry about it in contact with our bumper as much. Now, you do want to be careful when you're walking by, it's not sticking out to where you really have to watch, unless you're extremely close to the vehicle, but you want to watch your leg whenever you're walking behind it.

it's going to get a set 2 inch by 2 inch receiver tube opening, and have a wide variety of accessories available for it. It's also going to have a reinforced collar, not only giving it that finished look, but also a little bit of added strength.The way we're going to mount any of our accessories is through the hitch pin hole here, which is going to be towards the front of the vehicle. And it's going to accept a standard 5 ace pin and clip. These aren't included, but you can pick them up on our website, using part number PC3.The secondary hole towards the back of the receiver tube, that's going to be exclusively used for the J pin stabilization device, and that's going to be nice because it's going to apply pressure to the accessory inside the receiver tube here. And it's going to keep it from rattling when we're driving down the road.

It's going to be nice for any of those accessories you have that don't have a built in anti-rattle.As far as the safety chain connection points, there's going to be a plate style welded to the bottom and they're going to have rather large hooves, almost able to get my whole hand through it. We're not going to have too much trouble getting most sized hooks on or off. You just want to keep in mind, they are pretty inline with your hitch pin hole, so you just want to make sure they're not going to interfere with any kind of locking device, or the hitch pin itself. As far as weight capacity goes, our hitch is going to feature a 6,000 pound gross trailer rating, along with a 900 pound tongue weight rating.It is designed to work with weight distribution systems, which is going to bump your gross trailer rate rating up to 8,000 pounds and the tongue weight is going to stay at 900. With all that in mind, I always recommend you double check your Highlanders owners manual to make sure you don't ever exceed the manufacturers recommended weight.

One feature the Draw-Tite does is they put this electrical bracket, mounted right to the receiver tube, so if we have any kind of trailer wiring that we want to mount, it'll be right next to our receiver tube, ready to hook up when we're getting ready to tow.I'd like to give you a few measurements, and that's going to help you in deciding for accessories for your new hitch. This is a ball mount, bike rack, or even a cargo carrier. The center of the hitch pin hole is going to extend past the outer edge of the bumper, about a quarter of an inch. From the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening, that's going to be right about 16 and one quarter inches. Now that we've seen what our hitch looks like, gone over some of the features, let's show you how to get it installed.To begin our installation, I went ahead and lowered my spare tire.

It's not necessary, but it will make it a lot easier for you to work underneath the vehicle, give yourself a little bit more head room, and you'll be able to see a lot easier. On the drivers side here, we're going to have to remove this plastic appearance panel to the very back. We're going to have a few push pins, as well as a few bolts that are holding it in place. To remove the bolts on the outside of the panel here, I'm going to be using a 10 millimeter socket. For the push pins, you'll notice there's some small notches going around the edge, you're going to want to grab a flat blade screwdriver, and go right in that notch and it'll pop out the center section of the push pin first. You're just going to release the tension, and then we can remove the rest of it.There is going to be two more plastic retaining nuts on the inside, towards our spare tire. These are going to be 12 millimeter, and these aren't going to fully come off, but it should lower the panel while we loosen it. Then we can pull the panel out. We're also going to be giving room passenger appearance panel that's underneath. We're going to have some more 10 millimeter bolts holding it in place. Right behind the muffler, if we look up by the frame rail, there is going to be one that's going to be hidden, so we don't want to forget that one. And then we're also going to have some plastic push pins that we're gonna need to take out.On the passenger side we're gonna have this tow hook here, and we're going to need to remove the bolts that are holding it in place. You're going to want to grab a 17 millimeter socket, and we can pull them out. Now right towards the front of our vehicle, right by the muffler, we're also going to have this bracket, that's going to be in the frame rail. We're going to need to remove that bolt holding it in place. Again, we'll grab a 17 millimeter socket, and we can pull it out. I do want to mention, we will be reinstalling this bracket and sandwiching it in between the hitch.Now just towards the back, we're going to have our muffler hanger bracket that bolts into the side of the frame. We're going to need to remove these two bolts and hold onto them. Grab a 12 millimeter socket and pull those out. So now we're going to take our adapter plate that's in our kit, we're going to line it up with the holes that are in our frame and we're going to bolt it to the frame using those existing factory bolts that we just removed. We're going to line up the muffler bracket with the holes that are left in the adapter plate we just put on. We're going to take the bolts that are included in the kit, and we're going to pass through the hanger and into the bracket. We'll have one for each side of the muffler bracket. Then we're going to take one of the small conical tooth washers, they're going to have some teeth on them. You want to make sure that they're facing the bracket. Slide it over the end of the bolt and then take the included nut and put it on there hand tight, for now.We're going to secure both bolts that way. Now you're gonna want to grab your 12 millimeter socket and a 13 millimeter wrench, and we're going to tighten up our hardware. I'm going to come back, again, with a 12 and a 13 millimeter socket and wrench, and I'm going to torque the hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. Now the frame rail, we're going to have these plastic and rubber plugs, we're going to need to remove all of them. These plastic ones that have the flat notch in it, I'm just gonna take a flat head screwdriver, I'm actually going to unscrew the plug, because these are going to have factory weld nuts in them, so it will be a lot easier just to unthread it and they'll come right out. For the rubber plugs, you just pop them out, and it's going to be a hole in the frame. We'll remove all the plugs on the passenger side, as well.Before we put our hitch up, I want to go over the mounting locations. Our hitch is going to mount to all the factory weld nuts, or the threaded holes here in the frame. We're going to take our M12 bolts, and again a conical tooth washer. We're going to slide the washer over the bolt and we're going to make sure that it's facing up towards the hitch. We're going to be able to thread it in just like that. It's always a good idea to take your bolt, make sure that you can thread it into the frame nice and easy, and there's not going to be rust or corrosion inside the threads. Since all of them are covered up, and they had plugs in them, there shouldn't be anything in there.On the passenger side, I do want to mention, we're going to grab that bracket again, and we're going to sandwich it in between the hitch, before we put our hardware in place. With an extra set of hands, we're going to raise our hitch into place, you want to make sure you go over the exhaust so it winds up on the frame. You're going to line up the holes in the frame with the holes in the hitch, and we're going to take our hardware and loosely put it in place. You want to make sure you get one bolt on each side, just so the hitch will support itself, you don't have to worry about it falling down.With all the bolts in place, go ahead and grab a 19 millimeter socket and we can snug up all our hardware. With that same 19 millimeter socket, I'm going to grab my torque wrench and I'm going to torque all my hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. You want to make sure you repeat that for any remaining hardware. So if it's in place we can go ahead and put our passenger side panel back up. With these push pins you want to make sure you push the outer section in first then lock it down by pushing the middle in.Now we're not going to be able to reinstall our drivers side panel. If you want to, you can trim it. For our purposes, and per the instructions, we're going to go ahead and leave that off, as well as the tow hook. Now all we have left to do is put our spare tire back up and we'll be ready to hit the road. That will finish up your look at the Draw-Tite custom-fit trailer hitch receiver. Part number 75896 on our 2018 Toyota Highlander.