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Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Installation - 2020 Ford Escape

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch on a 2020 Ford Escape

Hi there Ford owners today your 2020 Ford Escape. We're gonna be taking a look at and showing you how to install Draw Tite's Class III, two inch trailer hitch receiver. And this is what our hitch is gonna look like when it's installed. The cross tube does tuck up behind the bumper. So you won't be able to see that there. You'll just see the receiver here at the back.

At back it's a class three, two inch by two inch receiver. So it's gonna be great for all of your towing and accessory needs. Whether you're wanting to put a drawbar in there and bring a boat or a small camper with you for the weekend, or if you're wanting to use it for accessories, like a bike rack or a cargo carrier, all those are gonna work great with this. You'll secure your accessories to your hitch using a 5/8 inch hitch pin and clip. Now one doesn't come included with the hitch but we've got a lot available here at etrailer, and you can get locking ones as well.

And I would recommend those. So you can protect your investments attached to your hitch. On bottom, we've got hoop style safety chain loops, and it's got a very large opening that should accommodate just about every shape, size and style of safety chain. Our smaller chain goes on there with ease. And so does the big guy.

This hitch offers a 675 pound tongue weight, which is the force going down on top of the receiver. And that's gonna be more than enough for a four bike rack, fully loaded up of four bikes. And it's also gonna be enough for the largest cargo carrier here at etrailer, loaded up all the way to the max. Now you do want to keep in mind that with cargo carriers or anything in your hitch here, the tongue weight is gonna be the weight of the object in there plus any weight that's on top of it. For gross towing, it's gonna have a 4,500 pound capacity, which is how much that it can pull behind it.

And that's gonna be enough if you've got a small camper, maybe a pop-up camper, a boat, or a jet ski trailer, anything like that, that would work just fine with a hitch like this here. As always, I recommend you verify in your vehicle's owners manual and ensure you don't exceed any of its towing capacities. Now I've got some measurements for you to help you in deciding on accessories. From the center of our hitch pin hole to the edge of our rear bumper, we're at about five inches. That's important when determining if your accessories will contact the bumper when inserted into the receiver tube and if they can be placed in the upright storage position without contacting the bumper. And from the ground to the top inside edge of our receiver tube, it's right at about 13 and a half inches. And that's important when determining if you need a drop or rise or ration on your accessories. Now let me just cover some of the features of our hitch. Why don't you follow along with me in the shop and we'll get it installed together. But this one here, it's not a very difficult hitch. You will need to enlarge some of the pre-existing holes inside the frame to get it installed. So make sure you got a file or grind bit ready when you're ready to be in the install. We'll begin our installation here at the back of the vehicle. We need to lower down our exhaust in order to get our hitch into position. So we're gonna put a strap in place. We're just gonna hang in here on our suspension. And that's just gonna ensure that when we're lowering our exhaust down here that we've got a cradle there. So we can't lower down too far and cause any damage. To lower our exhaust down, we're gonna remove the hangers. I have one located on each side of the muffler, take out the bolt here using a 10 millimeter socket. I'm supporting the muffler just a little bit. So that way it lowers down gently. We'll then go over to the other side to remove the hanger over here. It's basically the same, but there is a nut on it first that holds on a wiring bracket right there. So we're gonna switch to an 11 millimeter socket, to remove the nut. We can then just slide our harness off of there. And then we'll go back to that 10 millimeter socket to remove the hanger. Now that we've got both bolts out, we'll just gently lower that down. And we can come back to our strap here and we can use that to give us a little bit of space to work here. And that should be plenty of room to work. We can easily get our hands up in there and we should have no problem lifting our hitch up in here as well. So now we've got that out of the way our heat shield is located above it. And part of the heat shield here will need to get trimmed off. We're gonna remove all the fasteners across the back here. We'll use a seven millimeter socket to remove these. We can now go ahead and trim off this portion of our heat shield. I'm gonna just kinda pull it back a little bit and kinda bend it down. And we're just basically gonna be cutting right here. At kind of the 90 degree curve all the way across. You can if you want, you can remove the entire heat shield to trim it. Or you could just take your snips in. We can just get up in here and just trim it where it sits. As what we're gonna do. We're just gonna go up in here and we're just trimming across. After we get that cut off, we'll just set that aside. The rest of it, that's up there, if you've got any rough edges and stuff like that, and you could snip those off. But what works pretty well, I suggest you just take a hammer and we're just gonna kind of knock this back up. We're now gonna get our hardware fed into place. This is the bottom of the frame here. You can see we're on the passenger side and this is a heat shield here. Our attachment holes are here where our hitch was actually gonna secure to the vehicle. Our access hole is gonna go towards the front. Right pass our wiring. You'll see our body bolt right here, where it attaches to the rear sub frame. We go straight up from that body bolt. The large access hole is gonna be just to the rear of where that is on the side of the frame there. we need to enlarge this a little bit to make the hardware fit. These spaces are gonna have to go in. The spaces you can see, slide in and out of the hole easily with no problem, but the carriage bolts that we'll need to feed in there, the head of the bolt, this is a little bit too big. It doesn't really wanna fit in there if you rock it around. So we're gonna use a file and we're just gonna file out a groove into that. So that way our bolt will go into place. See, I didn't have to take out very much material. We take our bolt here, if we put in one side first, you can see it just rocks right in there now. So that's one of the easiest ways, to just grab a file and clean out just a little bit of that material there. And we can get these in. So we'll take our fish wire now. And that's this guy here. We're gonna need to feed the hardware through the attachment holes, which are these ones towards the rear here. I like to start with the furthest one first. So, we're gonna take our coiled end of our fish wire that comes in our kit. We're gonna push that through the hole and we need this to go forward enough to where it's gonna come out of our access hole there. Sometimes you'll need to just put some bends in it to help it give you the right angle. That's gonna line up with your hole, Yeah, there's our coiled end. You can just pull it right out of there, just like that. Once you've got the coiled end pulled out, we'll take our spacer first. Slide that over the coiled end. Then I'm gonna put that into the frame there and just drop it into there. Next we're gonna grab the coiled end and our carriage bolt, we'll thread the carriage bolt into that coiled end, and then we'll take our bolt and push it into the frame. I find it easiest to view the head first. So we're gonna kind of bring it backwards, prop it in just like that. And we can pull our fish wire, until our bolt comes back down through the hole. We'll repeat this process for the other attachment hole here, and then we'll go over to the other side enlarge the access hole and get our hardware fed in the same attachments over there on the other side. After you got your hardware fed in, we're gonna take a little bit of clear coat and we're just gonna hit the access hole that we had ground up there. And that's just gonna ensure that we don't have any rust or corrosion occur in the future. And now with an extra set of hands, we're gonna take our hitch, feed the coiled wires down through the appropriate hole. It's gonna line up with our hitch and also with the bolts in the frame. Once we've got the fish wires fed through, we'll just lift our hitch up into position and we can pull those pull wires to pull it back down. We'll then remove the coiled wire from one of the bolts and on our bolt we're gonna place a conical tooth washer with the teeth facing away from the head of the bolt. and a nut. And it can be a little tricky to kind of hold it all up here. So we're just gonna first take our washer, put that on there. And then I want to put some side pressure on it. 'Cause we don't wanna push the hardware back up into the frame after moving the coiled wire and then just get a nut on there. Once we get one started on each side, the hitch will hold itself up, making it easier to install the rest of your hardware. We can now go back and tighten up our hardware. We're gonna use a three-quarter inch socket, and then we can go back and torque our hardware to the specifications outlined in our instructions. We can now put our exhaust back into position. So we're just gonna raise it up. Line up the hanger with the factory weld nut, and then just re-install our fasteners. With our hitch fully tightened and torqued down, our exhaust all the way back into position, all that is left is just to make sure that you don't forget your strap underneath and we're now ready to load up our hitch with our favorite accessories and hit the road. And that completes our installation of Draw-Tite's class III two inch trailer hitch receiver on our 2020 Ford Escape..

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