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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2021 Subaru Crosstrek

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How to Install the Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2021 Subaru Crosstrek

Hey everybody my name's Ryan and here at etrailer we install, test fit, and review a lot of different parts. That way we can try to help answer any questions those of you might have. And that's exactly what we're doing here today on our 2021 Subaru Crosstrek. We're gonna be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Curt Class 3 Trailer Hitch Receiver. So right off the bat getting a hitch for your Subaru is never a bad thought. These Crosstrek's are really versatile and you can use them to do a lot of different things.

So having a hitch will allow you to use those accessories like a bike a rack or a cargo carrier or even tow a trailer so whatever it is that you're trying to accomplish this will help you get the job done. So since this hitch is a class 3 it's gonna have that 2 inch by 2 inch receiver tube opening. That is a very common size and it really opens up your options as far as what type of accessories you can use more or less the choices that you have to pick from are more or less endless. One of the things I really do like about this one is the way it's gonna look on the back of your Crosstrek for the most part it's going to be pretty much completely hidden really the only thing you're gonna be able to see here is the receiver tube opening and what's nice too is it sits up nice and tight against the bottom there so it's really gonna help give you some good ground clearance. Now I'm gonna give you a couple of measurements and you can use these to help figure out which hitch mounted accessories to get.

From the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening that's going to be about 15 and a half inches. So if you do plan on doing some towing chances are pretty good you can get a ball mount with a straight shank. It's also gonna give us some pretty good bumper clearance. And what I mean by that is the end of the receiver tube opening here is just going to barely come out past our bumper and that's important because a lot of accessories are actually ones that can be folded upright that way you can store them and save a little bit of space. And because of that good clearance that we have we shouldn't really have any issues at all taking those accessories and folding them into that position without having to worry about them hitting the back of our vehicle.

At the end here the collar is going to be reinforced for some extra strength and its also gonna have the standard five eighths pin hole. Now keep in mind a pin and clip does not come included. But if you need one you can grab it right here at etrailer. We are gonna have loop style safety chain openings which are nice and thick so you can depend on them. And they're gonna be relatively large and in the open.

So you shouldn't have any issues using just about any size hook that you might have. The hitch is also going to provide us with some pretty good weight capacities. As far as the maximum gross tongue weight rating goes that's gonna be 525 pounds and that's gonna be the amount of weight that's pushing down on the hitch. That's a pretty high number and you should be able to use pretty much any size bike rack or cargo carrier that you'd want to for example. As far as the maximum gross trailer weight rating goes that's going to be 3,500 pounds and that's gonna be the amount of weight that's pulling on the hitch. So that is the weight of your trailer plus anything that you might have on it. Now I do always suggest, never a bad idea, just to grab your Subaru's Owners Manual that way you can make sure your Crosstrek can pull that much weight safely. And with that being said, if you do plan on doing some towing never a bad idea just to grab some trailer wiring that way the lights on your trailer will match up with the lights on the back of your Subaru and you'll be safe and legal. So at the end of the day a hitch you really can't go wrong with in my opinion this is kinda that great all around option. Not only is it gonna look good but it's gonna be able to handle pretty much anything you wanna throw at it. Now as far the installation goes this I will say this is probably one of the easier ones to get on the Crosstrek. So it really shouldn't take you a whole lot of time or give you too many issues. Speaking of which, let's go ahead and put it on together now. To begin our installation we're gonna be here underneath the back of our Subaru and what we're gonna need to do is lower our exhaust down a little bit that way we have some room to work. However before we do that I suggest taking a strap and just running it from side to side that way the exhaust will have a little bit of support and we can kinda control how fast and how far we let the exhaust down. So we're gonna need to remove 3 rubber isolator hangers so we're gonna have 2 over here on the driver's side and one just like it on the passenger's side. What I did is just spray these down with some soapy water or you can use penetrating oil as well that just helps them glide off a little bit easier. We'll take a pry bar and just work one side of that hanger off of the exhaust. And then if you follow the exhaust forward there's gonna be one more hanger right here. We will go ahead and get that one off as well. Once we have all of them removed what you can do is loosen up that strap and lower the exhaust down some. Now what we can do is come over here to the bottom of our frame rail and remove these rubber plugs and that's because we're gonna use these as an attachment point as well as an access hole. So we'll just take a flathead screwdriver we're just gonna pop those out. And I do want to mention from this point on anything we do to this side of our vehicle we're also gonna do to the other side because it will be set up the exact same way. Now what we need to do is come to this hole here closest to the front you can see it's a little bit larger we're gonna use that as an access hole that way we can fish wire our hardware into place. The only issue is it's just a little bit too small to actually get our hardware inside there. This is one of the spacer blocks and one of our carriage bolts you can see they don't fit so what we need to do is just enlarge it a little bit. I'm going to use a step style drill bit to open it up just big enough to get our hardware in there. Since we don't have to remove a ton of material you could use a hand file to open that up as well but it might just take you a little bit longer or you could use some type of die-grinder bit something along the lines just to open it up a little bit. So as you can see once we have it large enough our spacer block will go in with ease. You actually don't want to push it in the frame rail just yet just want to make sure it fits. And same thing with our carriage bolt here. So now that we've verified that not a bad idea to come back with some spray paint and put a layer of paint over that exposed metal that way we don't have to worry about rust or anything like that. So after we gave our paint a few minutes to dry we can now get our hardware in place and the way we're gonna get our hardware into this attachment point here we're gonna use a fish wire and what I like to do take the coiled end and just kind line up the two holes makes it a little easier because we're gonna take that coiled end feed it through that hole and we want the coiled end to drop out of this one that we enlarged here drop it down hang onto it grab one of our spacer blocks and our carriage bolt carriage bolt is gonna thread onto the pull wire. And then we can feed our hardware inside one at a time. Pull on the other end of the wire until we get the bolt to drop down like so. Now for this attachment point it's gonna be a little bit different we're gonna use the reverse fish wire technique. So we grab the coiled end put a spacer block over it thread on one of the carriage bolts then we're gonna push the carriage bolt in first followed by our spacer block then we can just pull back down on it and get the bolt to drop down through like so. Now what we can do is grab our hitch and on these attachment points here you're gonna take the square spacer blocks like this and tape em to the hitch so you want the hole in the hitch to line up with the hole in the spacer block there. And I find it a little bit easier to tape em like this that way we're trying to hold em up there while we're trying to get the hitch up and everything else. So just a quick. Now with an extra set of hands we can grab our hitch and raise it into position gonna make sure you take your pull wires and run em through the corresponding holes in our hitch. We're gonna go over our exhaust What you're trying to do is to get your bolts to drop down through the hitch like that. So once you have em down you can remove those pull wires You're gonna want to take a flange nut and get one started on each side hand tight that way the hitch can support itself while we work on the rest of the hardware. Now that we have all of our hardware in place and hand tight we come back with a three quarter inch socket and snug it all up. And then we need to come back with a torque wrench and tighten down all the hardware to the amount specified in the instructions. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Curt Class 3 Trailer Hitch Receiver On our 2021 Subaru Crosstrek..

Questions and Comments about this Video

Mark B.
did you ream out the forward hole? I am thinking to ream out the middle hole for an access hole as the forward frame hole and the rear frame hole matches the center to center 7" dimension on the hitch body. Regards
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Les D.

@MarkB I would only ream out the hole demonstrated in the video.

Mark B.
the hitch bolting pattern is 7" center to center. on the vehicle the forward frame hole and the rear frame hole are 7" center to center. why not use the middle frame hole as the access hole? doesn't make sense to me to ream out the forward hole and make it an access hole and then use it to drop the forward bolt up in it. am I missing something?
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Les D.

@MarkB I think it is easier to fish the hardware over from a hole that is not so close.

A very helpful and thorough video. The soapy water tip was key for getting the rubber mounts on and off. One minor quibble was that the drilled holes on the hitch just barely matched the holes in the Crosstrek frame; it was a TIGHT fit and took some wiggling and pushing to make it happen. Welds on the frame were bulky and slightly interfered with the proper flush placement of the spacers on the front (vehicle front) end of the hitch. That said, it did happen eventually without any extra modifications to either the frame or the hitch. I was able to install this hitch on my 2021 Crosstrek in my home garage, solo, with some creative use of a ratchet strap. Took about 2.5 hours at a leisurely pace.

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