How to Install a Tow Hitch

Last Updated on April 3, 2021

The tow hitch can be an excellent piece of edition to your vehicle. You are supposed to understand the importance of a tow hitch if you are a proud owner of a vehicle. It helps a lot in your critical situations. For example, a tow hitch can be used for towing any vehicle or a trailer with lots of accessories on it. So, it is recommended to have a tow hitch installed in your vehicle.

However, if you don’t have any tow hitch installed in your vehicle, then you should do it as early as possible. You might be worried about the installation process of a tow hitch in your vehicle. Don’t worry. I am here to help you out.

In this article, I will be talking about the detailed steps following which you can install a tow hitch in your vehicle by yourself. If you are looking for the same piece of information, then this article is going to be highly beneficial for you. So, stay with me till the end.

How to Install a Tow Hitch

Go through the user manual:

Your first task towards installing your tow hitch should be going through the user manual. You will find the manual comes with your tow hitch. You will find everything about what to do and what not there. So, go through the manual first and check whether there are any restrictions and precautions given or not. Don’t worry if you don’t understand. I will be guiding you till the end.

Tools required:

After going through the instruction manual, your next task is gathering the tools you will be needing while installing your tow hitch. You will find most of the tools available in your tool box. I have attached a general tools list below. The required tools vary on your hitch model though.

  • Instruction of installing a tow hitch
  • Trailer hitch
  • Jack
  • Wheel chocks(2)
  • Work light
  • Torque wrench
  • Socket set
  • Ratchet
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses

Checking your vehicle’s wheel and jacking up the vehicle:

After gathering all the tools you need, now you will have to keep the wheel chocks on the front wheels of your vehicle and then jack the vehicle up. So, simply keep the wheel chocks in their position and jack your vehicle up.

Well, jacking up your vehicle is not mandatory. It actually depends on your hitch type. But, it is better to jack up your vehicle so that you can get some extra space under your vehicle for working comfortably. If you do so, then please be careful about activating the emergency brake of your vehicle. The emergency brake will keep your vehicle stable.

Setting up a work light:

Setting up a work light is not mandatory if your working place has enough light. But, it is better to set up a work light as you will be working under the vehicle and dealing with small accessories like bolts and nuts. So, bring the light and set it in a position so that it does not make any disturbance and also you can see everything clearly.

Removing the spare tire:

Now, if there is any spare tire under your vehicle and you want to set the hitch, then you will have to remove the spare tire. Removing the spare tire is like a walk in the park and you can do it easily with the help of a ratchet and socket set. Apart from that, you may need to lower the tailpipe and exhaust. It totally depends on your trailer. So, pay heed to this.

Removing bolts, plugs and other parts:

Now, you will have to remove bolts plugs and other accessories for mounting your tow hitch. But, there is a question that which type of tow hitch you have. Because some of the hitches require drilling into the frame for mounting, whereas some tow hitch requires removing bolts and rubber plugs.

On the other hand, there are some tow hitch available in the market that requires trimming or removing small panels or heating shield. You can understand that this step totally depends on your hitch type. So, go accordingly to your hitch type. You will find all the accessories such as bolts and nuts come with your purchased hitch.

Placing the hitch into its position and attaching the hardware:

Now you are set to place your hitch into its position and attaching the hardware. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from anyone if you need so. Because some of the tow hitches are very heavy-weight and it is not possible to deal with them alone.

After placing the hitch into its place, now you will have to slightly tighten all the bolts that hold the tow hitch in its position. Once you are done with tightening all the bolts and finding that the hitch is attached completely, now you can move to the next step.

Tightening the nuts and bolts:

Your next and last step for installing the tow hitch is tightening all the nuts and bolts of your hitch. Before that, make sure that all the bolts are placed well in their position. Now, torque all the bolts. You need to torque them following their accurate torque values. You will find the torque values mentioned in the user manual. The value actually depends on the size of the bolt. You will find some tow hitch that needs 150-foot-pounds of torque and some hitch needs 100-foot-pounds torque.

Once you have finished the task, that means you are done installing the tow hitch. Now you can take off the work light, keep the spare tire in its position and remove the wheel jacks. Do them accordingly following the way you did while installing.

I hope, you’ve enjoyed this guide and found it helpful. You might also like to read our trailer hitch installation guide.

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