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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Toyota Highlander - Curt

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Toyota Highlander

Speaker 1: Today on our 2018 Toyota Highlander 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 C13200.Here's what our hitch is going to look like. It is going to sit just right below the bumper and the cross-tube is going to sit right below the bumper as well, and it is going to be visible. The receiver tube is going to be pretty close to flush with the back of the bumper. Maybe just a quarter or an eighth of an inch, not sticking out much at all. We're not going other have to worry about running into it when we're walking behind our car.Our hitch is a Class III hitch, which means it's going to give us that two-inch by two-inch receiver tube opening and it's going to feature a reinforced collar not only adding to the nice look of it, but also giving it some added strength. Since it's a Class III, we're going to have a wide variety of accessories available.

The way we're going to mount all those accessories is going to be through the hitch pinhole here. It's going to accept a standard five-eighths pin and clip.Now, 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 plate-style welded to the bottom of the receiver tube and as you can see they're going to have rather large holes. I can almost get my entire hand through. We're not going to have too much trouble getting most sized hooks on and off.

Just keep in mind that if you do have some smaller hooks coming from the side is going to be rather difficult because of the flange here. If you have some that are rather small as well it's not too bad, but there is a bit of a large flange through where you're going to have to try to get that hook over.Now our hitch is going to feature a 900 tongue weight along with a 6,000 pound gross trailer weight rating. It is designed to work with weight distribution systems as well. Its tongue weight is going to stay the same at 900 pounds but our gross trailer rating is going to get bumped up to 8,000 pounds. Now with all that in mind, I always recommend that you double check your Highlander's owner's manual and you never exceed the manufacturer's recommended weight.I'd like to give you a few measurements and that's going to help you in deciding for accessories for your new hitch, such as a ball mount, bike rack, or even a cargo carrier.

From the center of hitch pinhole to the outermost edge of the bumper it's going to be right about two inches. From the ground to the inside top end edge of the receiver tube opening, that's going to be about 16 inches. Now that we've seen what our hitch looks like and gone over some of features, let's show you how to get it installed.To begin our installation I went ahead and lowered my spare tire. Now, it's not necessary but it'll 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 driver's 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 10mm socket.For the push pins, you'll notice that 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 you're gonna 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. Now there is going to be two more plastic retaining nuts on the inside towards our spare tire. These are going to be 12mm 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 need to remove the passenger appearance panel that's underneath. We're going to have some more 10mm bolts holding it in place. Now 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. Then we're also going to have some plastic push pins that we're going to need to take out. On the passenger's side we're going to 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 17mm 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 bold holding it in place. Again, we'll grab our 17mm 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 bolted to the side of the frame. We're going to need to remove these two bolts and hold onto them so I'm going to grab a 12mm socket and pull those out.Now on 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 had the flat notch in it, it's going to take a flathead screwdriver. I'm actually gonna unscrew the plug 'cause these are going to have factory weld nuts in them. It'll be a lot easier just to unthread it and it'll come right out. For the rubber plugs, you can just pop them out and then there's just going to be a hole in the frame. Remove all the plugs on the passenger's 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 that are 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 bolts 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. Now it's always a good idea to take your bolt and make sure that you can thread into the frame nice and easy and that there's not going to be rush or corrosion inside the threads. Now since all of them are covered up and they have plugs in them, there shouldn't be anything in there.Now with an extra set of hands we're going to lift our hitch into place. You want to slide it over the exhaust. We can line up the holes in our hitch with the holes in the frame. You're going to want to get at least one bolt in on each side to help support the hitch, then we can get the rest of the hardware in place. With our hitch in place I'm going to come back with a 19mm socket and I'm going to snug up all my hardware. I'm going to come back with that same 19mm socket and a 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 all of your remaining hardware. With our hitch in place we can put our passenger side panel back in. Since we removed that bracket back there we won't be reinstalling that last fastener at the front of that plastic panel. Now as you see our hitch is going to interfere with our panel. Now we have the option to leave it off, or I made some general marks of where I'm going to cut my plastic panel here. We could always go back and trim some more but we should be able to just notch this down a little bit, come over, and then cut this front section off that's going to interfere with the hitch. I can use a pair of tin snips, cutters, a sharp utility knife, or I'm going to be using a rotary tool to cut this section out.Now we can test fit it and trim it anywhere else as necessary. We can see that our panel is going to back in place. We may just need to take just a tiny bit more off the inside edge of this opening right here. Once you have your panel trimmed up, go ahead and put your hardware back in for the panel. Just keep in mind, we are going to lose that one fastener because we had to trim the panel to put it back in. Finally we can put our spare tire back into place. That'll finish up your look at the Curt Class III Custom Fit Trailer Hitch Receiver, part number C13200, on our 2018 Toyota Highlander.

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