How to Install a Trailer Hitch on Vehiclesby Contributing Writer
The Vehicles is a dependable family Vehicles that has room Vehicles all of your family plus their gear. If you enjoy Vehicles camping or need a bit of extra cargo room, you may be interested in mounting a Vehicles hitch on your Vehicles. Mounting a Vehicles hitch designed Vehicles your Vehicles is not difficult because the hitch manufacturer designs the hitch to bolt directly to your van's undercarriage. Follow these simple instructions to mount your hitch today.
Under The Hood:
- How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a Dodge Caravan
- How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a Jeep Liberty
- How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a Toyota Camry
- How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a Honda CRV
- How to Install a Trailer Hitch in a Dodge Grand Caravan
- How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a Toyota RAV4
Park the van in a level area and put the parking brake on. Crawl under the rear of the vehicle and locate the main frame crossmembers (the metal bars located behind the rear bumper). This is where the hitch will mount.
Unpack the hitch and, using the included instructions, assemble the two main pieces of the hitch to see how the parts fit together and to make sure you received all of the equipment. Slide the "T-shaped" portion into the "H-shaped" portion and tighten the bolts down to secure the two pieces together.
Crawl under the van again and slide the hitch into place on the crossmembers.
Line the bolt holes up with the pre-existing holes in frame and then attach the hitch to the crossmembers by tightening the bolts down with the socket wrench. Check to make sure that the receiver portion of the hitch (the hollow square tube) is sticking out away from your bumper by at least an inch or more to give clearance for the trailer hitches.
Items you will need
Socket wrench set
Slide under the rear of your Liberty and locate the factory-installed weld nuts mounted on the ends of each rear frame rail. Clean the frame rail mating surfaces with a scraper or wire brush.
Raise the hitch into position on the underside of the truck so that the two holes on each hitch mounting flange line up with the two rearmost weld nuts on each frame rail. Have a helper hold the hitch in position or temporarily attach the hitch to the frame with C-clamps.
Place a conical toothed washer or a lock washer -- depending on the hitch manufacturer -- onto each of the four hitch mounting bolts.
Thread the bolts through the hitch mounting holes and into the weld nuts on the frame rail finger-tight.
Tighten each of the four bolts with the a socket and torque wrench to the torque indicated on the hitch instruction sheet -- usually 68 to 75 foot pounds.
Remove the C-clamps, if applicable.
Items you will need
Helper or 2 C-clamps
Open the trunk lid and lift up the carpet mat. Loosen the thumb screw and remove the spare tire from the well at the bottom of the trunk compartment.
Slide under the rear end of the car. Lubricate the rubber exhaust hangers with penetrating fluid. Hold up on the muffler with one hand while sliding the hanger from its bracket with an exhaust hanger removal tool -- available where automotive tools are sold. Lower the muffler and let it hang out of the way.
Pry out the plastic rivets that secure the bottom of the bumper fascia to the underside of the trunk pan, using a flat-blade screwdriver. Remove the plastic cover from the underside of the trunk pan in the same fashion -- if your Camry is so equipped.
Locate the metal bracket attached to the driver's frame rail and the sheet metal end panel. Remove the retaining bolts from the bracket with a socket and ratchet wrench. Remove the bracket from the car. Note that the now-vacant bolt holes on the end panel will be used to mount the hitch.
Raise the hitch to the underside of the car and line up the vertical mounting holes with the existing welded-in nuts on the car's sheet metal end panel. Place conical or lock washers -- depending on the hitch manufacturer -- onto the hitch mounting bolts. Thread the bolts through the mounting holes in the hitch and into the welded-in nuts on the end panel. Tighten the bolts finger-tight.
Use a power drill and bore a ½-inch hole through each of the two forward horizontal mounting holes in the hitch and into the bottom of the trunk pan from under the car. Scrape the foam rubber material away from the vicinity of the holes with a metal putty knife from inside the trunk compartment.
Insert two bolt blocks over the two remaining hitch mounting bolts. Insert the bolts through the holes inside the trunk compartment. Place washers and nuts over the threaded ends of the bolts that protrude through the bottom of the trunk and through the two forward hitch mounting holes.
Tighten all bolts and nuts with a torque wrench to the tightness indicated by the hitch manufacturer -- usually between 40 and 80 foot-pounds.
Mount the spare tight back inside the trunk and close the trunk lid. Raise the muffler and hold it into position with one hand while working the rubber hanger back over the metal bracket with the other hand. Push the plastic rivets back into place to secure the rear bumper fascia. Do not install the plastic cover over the trunk pan, if your car was so equipped.
Items you will need
Exhaust hanger removal tool
½-inch drill bit
Metal putty knife
Lift up the vehicle using the jack and place it on jack stands. Make sure the vehicle is secure before you crawl underneath it.
Remove the muffler hangers from the muffler by loosening them with your hands or use the pry bar for extra force. There are several threaded bolt holes on each frame rail as well as a pair in the middle by the tow hook. Spray the penetrating oil in these holes then scrub them with the wire brush. This should remove any scale or rust from the inside of the hole and make bolting in the hitch a little easier.
Slide the hitch over the muffler and loosely bolt it in place using the 3/8-inch ratchet, extension and sockets, and the hardware provided with the hitch kit. There is a u-bolt provided with the kit that goes around the tow hook mount, and you should loosely bolt this in place at the same time.
Torque down all of the hardware using the torque wrench and sockets to 56 foot-pounds. Manually reinstall the muffler, then raise the vehicle off of the jack stands using the jack and place it back on the ground.
Items you will need
Spray penetrating fluid
24-inch pry bar
3/8-inch ratchet, extension and sockets
Torque wrench and sockets
Slide under the rear of the van and locate the rearmost muffler hanger bracket mounted to the right side frame rail. Loosen and remove the bracket bolt with a socket and ratchet wrench. Remove the bolt and place it aside. Allow the muffler to hang down to make installation of the hitch simpler.
Remove the existing bolts from the welded-in nuts on the underside of the ends of each frame rail with a socket and ratchet wrench. Place the bolts aside.
Locate the plastic rivet that attaches the bottom of the left side rear inner fender liner to the left side frame rail. Pry the rivet out with a flat blade screwdriver and discard it.
Raise the hitch into position under the van and line up the holes in the mounting flanges on each side of the hitch with the bolt holes where you removed the existing bolts in the frame rails.
Thread the bolts you removed earlier through the hitch mounting holes and into the welded-in nuts on the frame rails, and tighten them finger-tight. Slide the hitch towards the left side of the van so that the side of the hitch is up against the sheet metal trunk pan. Tighten the bolts to the specifications in the hitch instructions using a socket installed on a torque wrench, usually to between 50 and 100 foot pounds.
Trim the plastic fender liner with a utility knife if the hitch interferes with its positioning. Do not install the original retaining rivet.
Raise the muffler into back into position with one hand. Rotate the muffler hanger bracket so that it will clear both the frame and the exhaust pipe. Thread the original retaining bolt through the bracket and into the frame and tighten it with a socket and ratchet wrench.
Items you will need
Flat blade screwdriver
Utility knife (optional)
Locate the hitch area on the rear frame of the RAV4 (it is under the vehicle). There should be several holes on the rear cross-member, which is the main rear frame support for the RAV4.
Align the mounting bracket holes of the hitch kit to the mounting holes on the frame.
Slide the bolts through the mounting brackets and the cross-member and bolt the hitch bracket to the frame. use the torque wrench to tighten the bolts to the torque specifications listed in your hitch kit's instructions, normally between 35 and 45 ft.-lbs. (47 to 61 Newton-meters).
Test fit the hitch. Align the hitch with the frame and mounting brackets to make sure that the hitch is symmetrical to the vehicle before inserting the retaining bolts.
Position the hitch flat against the frame and align the mounting holes on the hitch assembly to the mounting holes on the RAV4.
Bolt the hitch to the reinforcing mounting bracket and cross-member. Tighten the bolts with a torque wrench to the maximum torque recommended by the hitch kit, normally between 125 and 150 ft.-lbs. (170 to 203 Nm).
You will need to make sure that your RAV4 is equipped with a brake and light controller for over-the-road trailers, campers, etc. If it is not, you will need to have this wiring installed on your RAV4 at a Toyota dealership or qualified service station.
Items you will need
RAV4 hitch kit
1/2" socket wrench with socket set