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EcoHitch Hidden Trailer Hitch Installation - 2021 Mazda CX-5

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How to Install a the EcoHitch Hidden Trailer Hitch on a 2021 Mazda CX-5


Hey everybody, how's it going Today, we're gonna be going over and showing you how to install the EcoHitch hidden trailer hitch receiver here on our 2021 Mazda CX5. So this is what our trailer hitch is gonna look like installed on our CX5 here. Now, as the name says, this actually has a hidden design, which means the cross tube is gonna be tucked away behind the bumper. So the only thing we are gonna be able to see is the receiver tube, which gives us the best overall appearance. Now what we can see the receiver tube, as well as the rest of the hitch is gonna have that hammer black powder coated finish, which is gonna do a great job of helping protect that hitch over time, being that it's on the underside of the vehicle and subjected to the elements. So adding a trailer hitch to your CX5 is gonna be an excellent option because it's gonna make your vehicle that much more versatile.

Now we can obviously use the trailer hitch for towing, but if we wanted to hit the trails or free up some space inside the vehicle for those long road trips with the family, we could easily attach either a hitch mounted bike rack or hitch mounted cargo carrier. So in regards to those hitch mounted accessories, you guys will be glad to know that we do have the larger two-inch by two-inch receiver tube opening. Therefore, there's gonna be a much greater variety of those bike racks and cargo carriers to choose from. Make sure you check out our selection here at etrailer, if you need one. So in regards to towing, our trailer hitch is gonna provide us with a 600-pound tongue weight rating.

That's gonna be the downward force on the receiver tube. It also has a 4,000 pound gross trailer weight rating. That's the amount we can pull outward on our fully loaded trailer. Now keep in mind, these capacities are for the hitch only, which is tested separately of the vehicle. Therefore, you need to verify your vehicles towing capacity in the owners manual and then abide by the lower of the two rated components, whether that's the hitch or the vehicle.

So if we take a closer look at the side of the receiver tube, you're gonna see, we have our hitch pin hole, which is a 5/8 inch diameter hitch pin hole. So keep in mind the hitch pin and clip don't actually come with the trailer hitch. And the reason for that is most of your accessories are gonna come with their own hitch pin and clip, most likely specific to that accessory. And then welded to the bottom of the receiver tube, we have our safety chain tabs and those are gonna accept both the two clevis style as well as the smaller S type hooks on your trailer. So now a couple of measurements for you guys.

Now, one that I like to do on hitches that hang lower to the ground is give you the ground clearance, which is the distance from the ground to the bottom of the receiver tube. And this one is 10-1/2 inches, so really shouldn't be too restrictive. You really shouldn't be hitting that on anything, even some steeper driveways. But then we have the distance from the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube. That one's gonna be right at 13 inches. And that'll be useful when you're selecting a ball mount, that way you can make sure you get the correct rise and drop to tow your trailer level. And now finally the distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the outside edge of the bumper, that's gonna be right about three inches, maybe a little under. And that will be useful when you're selecting your folding accessories, such as a cargo carrier or a bike rack. That way that you can make sure that while they're in the stowed position, they don't contact the bumper and damage the vehicle. So in regards to installation, this one is very simple. It's definitely something you guys can do at home by yourselves. There's no modifications to the vehicle whatsoever. We don't have to do any drilling or welding, anything like that. And chances are, you're probably gonna have all the tools you needed right at home in your toolbox. There is one you may not have, and that's a torque wrench. Now we do sell some cost-effective options here at etrailer. You can pick up along with your hitch, but I certainly understand not wanting to purchase a tool for one specific job. Therefore, in most cases, you can actually rent these torque wrenches for free for most local auto parts stores. So the first step of our install, we're gonna be coming underneath the vehicle here. Now there's this little tiny trim panel here between the bumper and the muffler we need to remove. It's gonna be held on with two pushpin fasteners, one on either side. We'll just take a flat blade screwdriver, pry out the center section, and then the rest should follow. And then it'll just pop out just like that. So now we need to come to either side of our frame here. And on the outside of our frame, we have a wiring harness attached to that before these clips. So on both sides we need to remove them. So we're gonna be taking a trim panel tool. You're just gonna pry that behind the clip between the frame and just sort of pull out just like that. And again, we have one on each side, we need to remove them both. So next we need to lower our exhaust. In order to do that, we're gonna come to either side here. We're gonna have these rubber isolators attached to metal hangers holding onto the vehicle. So we're actually gonna be prying that metal hanger from the rubber isolator. Now these can be kinda tricky. So what I recommend doing is spraying them down as best we can with some sort of spray lubricant. We need to do this on both sides. We'll let that spray lubricant sit in for a couple minutes, let it do its job. And now before we break those hangers free from the isolators, we need to support our exhaust here. There's a couple different ways to do this. The best way, depends on if you're working on the ground or if you're in the air. If you're on the ground, get a single jack stand or a couple blocks of wood. Or if you're in the air, grab a cam buckle strap here, otherwise known as the ratchet strap. Just hook it to two points on the frame. I like to use the coil springs and then pull it tight. And then we're gonna take our tool here. We're gonna remove the hanger from the isolator. You can use either an exhaust hanger removal tool, which is what we have here or you can just use a pry bar. They both work pretty well. So there's that one. We got another one back here. And again, the same two on the other side. The next thing we need to do, we need to come to either side of our frame rail here 'cause we're gonna be doing this on both sides. We're actually gonna have tape covering up the mounting holes for our hitch. There's one just directly behind the bumper beam flange. And then there's gonna be one all the way over above the mount for the rear subframe here. So in addition to removing those two pieces of tape, you're also gonna have to remove any of the sealer. You can see we have this excess sealer here, so we're just gonna take a razor knife or we're just gonna shave that flush to the frame. So we don't have any issues when we're placing our hitch up. So now once we get this side done, we'll just jump over to the other side and repeat those same steps. So now we're just about ready to set the hitch into position. But before we do that, we want to prep our hardware. So we're gonna grab two M12 hex bolts, along with a half inch split lock washer and a half inch flat washer. We're gonna assemble them like this. And we need one on each side. When we lift the hitch up, we're gonna be installing these into the weld nuts, closest to the front of the vehicle. And then the rear hole, we're gonna be fish wiring a bolt through with a spacer block. So now with an extra set of hands, we can go ahead and lift our hitch into position over the exhaust and under the bumper. And then we can secure them in two threaded holes in the side of our frame. Make sure you come up and over the wiring harness on either side. So once we have our two hex bolts holding the hitch onto the vehicle here. For these two holes closest to the rear of the bumper, what we're gonna do is we're gonna grab one of our fish wire that comes in your kit. You're gonna place the coiled end through the outside of the hole. Now, if your hole doesn't quite line up, you may need to use a jack stand to stabilize the hitch and hold it into position, or it may have a friction fit on the frame allowing you to do that. But nonetheless, we're gonna feed the coiled end down through that hole and then out the access hole in the bottom. And then we're gonna place on a spacer block and thread on one of our half inch carriage bolts. Next, we're gonna grab a hold of our fish wire. I'm going to shove the spacer block into the frame, along with the carriage bolt. And then we're gonna pull that through and it should come out the hole on the side of the hitch, just like so. Now we're going to remove the pull wire and then we'll take one of our hex nuts. Make sure you don't push the bolt back into the frame and we'll thread it on. And we'll just repeat that same process on the other side. Next we're to gonna take a three-quarter inch socket, we're gonna tighten and torque all of our hardware to the specifications in your instructions. So next in your kit, you're gonna get two zip ties. What these are gonna be used for is to secure the wiring harness that we removed from the frame earlier. There's gonna be a hole in the side of the hitch. We'll just take our zip tie, feed that through, loop the wiring harness in there, pull it tight, cut the excess off, and then repeat that same process on the other side. So now, all that's left to do is to simply raise our exhaust back up into position. Now keep in mind, our trim panel piece that we removed earlier that looks like this. We actually won't be reinstalling this on the vehicle. But with that said, that's gonna do it today for our look and installation of the EcoHitch hidden trailer hitch here on our 2021 Mazda CX5..


Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Conner L
Test Fit:
Conner L
Employee Ryan G
Test Fit:
Ryan G

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