Menu Icon

Trailer Hitch Installation - 2009 Toyota Highlander

content loading

Customers compare 13534 to these similar products

Products Featured in this Video

How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2009 Toyota Highlander

Today we are going to be installing Curt hitch part number 13534 on a 2009 Toyota Highlander. We are underneath the vehicle, and we have gone ahead and lowered the spare tire out of the way. It is not necessary to do this, but it will ease in the installation of the hitch. The trailer hitch is going to mount to both frame rails, but to first gain access to those frame rails we are going to need to remove the underneath panels that are both on the drivers and passengers side, as well. To do that, there are multiple fasteners that we are going to need to remove. There are two push pins: one here, on the outboard side, and one here, at the bottom of the bumper. And there are multiple10-mm/Phillips-head screws, as well. You have got one here, one here, two here on the inboard side - and I believe that is it.

So removing all those fasteners will allow us to take this panel off on the drivers side. On the passengers side, we have a similar panel. It looks like we have got one push pin, right here Phillips heads here and here and then actually a metric bolt right here, attached to the bottom of the frame. So the first thing we need to do is to go ahead and remove both of those. The drivers side panel that we will be removing will actually stay off the vehicle. The passengers side one we are actually going to reinstall after the hitch is in place. All we need to do is to take a flathead screwdriver and pop the center section out. That will allow it to come out fairly easily. Okay, when you have all those fasteners removed, take the panel off and set it aside. We will do the same thing with the passengers side here. And again, just to repeat, you want to make sure you save the fasteners, especially here on the passengers side, because we are going to be putting the panel back up.

With the panels removed, you can see now that we have got tow hooks on both the drivers and passengers sides. Those are going to need to come down. These are going to provide the two rear-most attaching points for the trailer hitch, these two weld nuts here. So we want to do that next, on both sides. Okay, on the drivers side, again, we just removed the tow hook, and those are the two rear-most attaching points. There is a third attaching point here, forward on the frame, where this plug is. We are just going to go ahead and remove that. And as you can see, that exposes the weld nut in the frame. Over here on the passengers side, again, where we removed the tow hook, those are going to be our two attaching points on the bottom of the frame. And we have actually got a flange that mounts to the outboard side of the frame here on the passengers side. You can see we have three rubber plugs in the frame. We want to remove all three of those so that the hitch sits up flat. But we are just going to be using the rear-most and the forward-most ones of the three as our attaching points.

So, with all the plugs removed and the tow hooks removed, we can go ahead and put the hitch up into position. We are going to be using the 10-mm bolts along with the conical-tooth washer and all of the weld nuts. Over on the the passengers side, you will note that there is a cutout on the hitch for the exhaust, so you want to make sure that you put the hitch up and over the exhaust and then attach it to the frame. You also want to make sure that the cutout for the exhaust goes up and over this flange here at the bottom of the bumper. Okay with the bolts all up into place, we want to go ahead and torque them down. You want to verify with the directions the appropriate torque rating for each individual bolt. Okay, now that we have got all the bolts torqued down, we want to go ahead and put the underbody panel back up on the passengers side. If you removed the spare tire earlier, you want to make sure you put that back up into place, as well. This will conclude the installation of hitch part number 13534 on a 2009 Toyota Highlander.

Questions and Comments about this Video

add comment

Info for this part was:

Video Edited:
Zack K
Video Edited:
Andrew K
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Video Edited:
Jacob T

At we provide the best information available about the products we sell. We take the quality of our information seriously so that you can get the right part the first time. Let us know if anything is missing or if you have any questions.

About Us
photos and videos
1,056,204 Original Photos & Videos

Produced to make sure you know what you are getting and you get exactly what you need.

35,570 Installations Completed

To make sure products work and fit the way they are supposed to.

etrailer call center
2,476,511 Phone Calls & Emails Answered

1,125,924 phone calls and 1,350,587 emails to help find the right solution.

etrailer training
400+ Average Hours of Product Training

We get to know our products firsthand so experts can better help you.

etrailer service
73 Years of Quality Customer Service

Assisting our neighbors and customers, face to face at the counter.

etrailer experts
193,357 Pages of Expert Information

Created to make sure you have all the answers to your questions, from real experts.