A tow hitch, trailer hitch, or receiver hitch, allows you to hook a trailer to your vehicle for towing. It includes a reinforced receiver that can accept a certain size draw bar, and each one is rated for a specific weight class. The hitch you choose will have a towing class that corresponds with the towing capabilities of your vehicle, so that’s the most important thing to know before deciding on a trailer hitch. You should never haul anything that exceeds the towing capacity of your tow hitch or your vehicle.
Supplies Needed for This Job:
1. Safety Glasses: https://urlzs.com/hbwc
2. Gloves: https://bit.ly/2GvfwAm
3. Trailer Hitch: http://bit.ly/2onCF1p
4. Penetrating Oil: http://bit.ly/2H6qr42
5. Wire Brush: http://bit.ly/2GLDsjj
6. Ratchet and Sockets:
7. Wrenches: http://bit.ly/2JiE0yF
8. Trailer Hitch Ball Wrench: http://bit.ly/2qMpLe9
9. Vise: http://bit.ly/2mZtkMA
0:00 Welcome Back
0:15 Trailer Hitch Basics
0:55 Locate Mount Points
1:18 Clean Mount Surface
1:58 Install the Hitch
2:26 Install the Ball
3:19 Changing Ball Size
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And not only does a tow hitch allow you to haul trailers and boats, it can be used for a bike rack or a cargo carrier for extra space on road trips.
Today I’ll be working on this 2010 Nissan Frontier, but the installation will be similar for most vehicles. Once you’ve got your hitch and supplies together, here’s what you’ll do:
We’ll start off by taking a look under the vehicle to find the mounting points in the frame. A lot of vehicles have provisions for a trailer hitch or tow package when they leave the factory, so in most cases, modifying the vehicle or drilling holes won’t be necessary. In some cases, there may already be bolts in place, but if your trailer hitch includes new bolts, it’s best to use them. They should be the proper grade bolts for the weight rating of your hitch.
As you can see, there are three threaded holes in the frame on both sides. Because this vehicle hasn’t had a trailer hitch installed, these are pretty rusty, and it’s best to clean them out before attempting to install your hitch to avoid damage to the threads. To clean these, we’ll use some penetrating oil and a wire brush that fits inside the threads.
Once we have our threads clean, we’ll test one of the bolts included with the hitch to make sure it threads easily by hand. If it does, we’re ready to mount the hitch.
You may need the help of a second person to get the hitch in place. It can be a little heavy, so be careful when you raise it. Once the hitch is slid up into place… put the provided washers on your bolts… and start threading the center bolts into the holes on both sides of the frame. The teeth on the washers should be against the receiver hitch. Make sure and get several turns on the bolt before taking pressure off of the hitch.
Once both center bolts are started, install the remaining bolts. Using a ratchet and socket, tighten the bolts until they are snug against the hitch, and the hitch is fully seated against the frame. Then torque the bolts to manufacturer specifications.
Now that your receiver hitch is installed, you’re ready to install your hitch ball… draw bar… draw bar pin… and retainer.
Select the ball size you need for the trailer you’ll be towing… and the ball mount drop height. Lifted vehicles will need a draw bar with a larger drop. It’s EXTREMELY important that the trailer be level with the hitch for towing.
Unscrew the nut and remove the lock washer from the ball… and pass the threaded end through the top of the ball mount.
It can be difficult to install the ball and tighten the nut, because these parts may require tool sizes larger than what you might have in your garage. So, there are ball mounts available that have the hitch ball already installed and torqued to specification.
**View full video for complete instruction**