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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE

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How to Install the Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE


Hi there, Mercedes owners. Today, in your 2016 Mercedes GLE, we're gonna be taking a look at and showing you how to install Curt's Class III two-inch Trailer Hitch Receiver. Now, this is what our hitch looks like when it's installed. Here, you can see our receiver sticks out the back and you will be able to notice it a little bit. But for the most part, unless, you're really down here on your knees like we are, you're not gonna notice it too much. The cross tube's hidden completely behind the fascia on this one.

So you won't see any of that, just our receiver. It's a Class III, two-inch by two-inch receiver, so it's gonna be great for all of your towing needs, whether you're wanting to use it for accessories, or if you do have a trailer that you're wanting to pull behind you. You'll secure your accessories to your hitch using a 5/8 inch hitch which you can enclip. Now, this one doesn't come included with the hitch, but we've got plenty available here at etrailer, and you can also get locking ones, to protect your investments. On the bottom, we have hoop style safety chain loops, with a pretty large opening that should accommodate just about every shape, size and style of safety chain.

Our small one here, has no problem. And our big guy, on and off with ease as well. Now, I've got some measurements for you to help you when deciding on accessories. From the center of our hitch pin hole to the edge of our rear bumper here right at about 5 1/2 inches. And this is important when determining if your accessories will contact the bumper when inserted, and if they can be placed in the upright storage position without contacting the bumper.

And from the ground to the top inside edge of our receiver tube, we're right at about 14 inches. This is important when determining if you need to drop a rise or raise on your accessories. And this hitch offers a 750-pound tongue weight, and that's the force going down on top of our receiver. And that's gonna be enough for a Four-bike Platform Rack fully loaded up with four bikes. And it's also enough for the largest cargo carrier we have here at etrailer, fully loaded it up to the maximum.

Now, that does include the weight of anything put in the receiver. So for example, your cargo carrier, plus any weight placed on top of that. So, you just gotta add that in with your cargo carrier weight plus the weight on it. Now, the largest cargo carrier we have here can hold up to 550 pounds. So if you add the weight of the cargo carrier into that, you still have some headroom. So this hitch just got plenty available there. It also has a 7,500 pound gross towing capacity, which is how much that it can pull behind it. And you can get a lot done with 7,500 pounds. That should be able to pull some medium and smaller size campers, pop-up campers should be no problem. Medium and smaller size boat should also be easy, jet skis. So it's just got a whole lot of things that you could get done with this hitch here. All right, now that we covered some of the features of our hitch, why don't you follow along with us and we'll show you how to get it installed. I will say, this is something if you're doing it at home, it's a little bit more involved than your typical hitch. It doesn't just raise up in both of the bottom of the frame. It's actually sandwiched between our bumper beam here on the vehicle. So we are gonna have to separate that. We don't have to remove the entire fascia here at the back, but we are gonna have to make that separation and then slide it it up in between the two. So sliding our hitch up from the bottom here is possible on the ground. But any extra distance you can give yourself is really gonna help you out a lot. I'd recommend maybe a set of ramps. So you can drive up on to give yourself some more room to work. If you are planning on doing this at home, I'd say, maybe wait till a Saturday for this. 'Cause I'd say, it's probably about a three-hour install. If you're moderate with your do it yourself abilities. Now, if you're not very confident and you're kinda new to this stuff, you probably wanna add an hour or two to that, 'cause again, it's a little bit more involved. But if you're very confident, and you're kinda do this stuff all the time, you can probably shape a half an hour to an hour off of that. We'll begin our installation here at the back of the vehicle, for us to pull the entire rear fascia off the vehicle to install this hitch. So get along for the ride here. We're gonna start our, at the bottom here removing the fasteners that we see attaching the fascia to the bottom here. We'll use our 10-millimeter socket to remove them. Next, we're gonna lower down our exhaust. Before we do that, we're gonna go ahead and put a strap in place. So we're just gonna hook it underneath there. Pull our strap tight. That way, when we take the fasteners, the hangers, that's holding it up loose, we can use our strap to gently lower it down 'cause this is very heavy. And we don't wanna lower it too far, 'cause we could potentially damage it further up on the exhaust. So that'll be our support strap. And now, we're gonna remove our hangers. You can see that there's one here. There's one in the same location over on the opposite side. Let's just double check, to make sure we don't have anything else going on there. Looks like it's just gonna be these two on each side. So let's start with those. We'll grab some silicone spray and a pry bar to remove those. We're just gonna squirt it, that'll make it slide off of there easier. Grab our pry bar here. And we can just pop this right off of it. Just like that. And then, if you can get it off all the way there, I like to twist it kinda to the side a little bit. That way, it just kinda stays out of our way. And we will get the other one on the other side the same way. All right, so now, that we've got those loose, we'll come to our strap here in the middle and we're just gonna gently lower down some pressure on it. So it looks like we're hitting on our exhaust tips here on each side, preventing it from coming down. So I think we're probably gonna have to remove those. Let's assess the situation here. All right, so we are gonna have to get these exhaust tips out of the way to get this down. If we look at it here, we've got two bolts, one on each side. We're gonna remove those with a T40 Torx All right, after we get both of those bolts removed, there's a couple of just hooks on top. So you kinda just bend it down a little bit, slide it towards the front of the vehicle to clear the hooks. I'ma have to pull down just a little bit on the fascia. There we go. And then, it just rocks out the, these are the two hooks. They just kinda clip just around the fascia, so they're just kinda hold it up there. So we're gonna remove the tip on the other side the same way. All right, next, we're gonna remove our heat shield that runs all the way across the top of our muffler here. There are 10 fasteners that hold this in. You're gonna have 10-millimeter on the outside for the sockets that you're gonna need. Same on the other side. And then the rest of the ones, all towards the middle here are all gonna be eight millimeters. You might notice here, that this has got kind of a, like a inverted torch shape. If you have inverted Torx sockets, I'd recommend using 'em. But if you don't, an eight-millimeter will work on that. So we're just gonna remove those. And also, all these little nuts that you see on these studs up in here, all these have to come down as well. So again, there's a total of 10 fasteners and you're gonna be removing eight with an eight-millimeter socket two with a 10. Okay, so we got all of our fasteners loose, but we can't pull it down, because you see the exhaust hanger here doesn't fit through the slot. So we're gonna have to pry that whole rubber piece off of the vehicle so we can remove this. It's gonna be the same story over on the other side. So just move it up and then it should be able to get your pry bar up in here. So you pry it off of there. It's like, we're getting there. All right, we're gonna remove the other one on the other side so we can get this heat shield down. All right, so now that we got this, we should be able to kinda rock it down. And kinda just slide it outta here. Kinda pulling down on the exhaust. While we slide this out. There we go. And we'll just set that aside. We're now inside the vehicle at the back, we've opened up the four pan here, it just lifts right up, and your spare tire here. Our camera's sitting right on the spare tire. This is the striker here for the lift gate when it's opens. And this is the bolt that we need to remove. So it's pretty much if you're standing behind the vehicle, just go straight forward from the striker and look down, it's right there. We're gonna use a T30 Torx Socket to remove this. Once we remove this bolt, this entire panel here, we can now remove. Now, we're just gonna grab the side of our panel here, get our fingers under it and just kinda pull up a little bit. And we're gonna work our way down the panel. We don't wanna pull up if it feels like it's on there too tight, 'cause that means, there's another clip further down that we missed. And there it was! You always wanna pull as close to the clips as possible. So that's why we're working our way down until we feel it where it's kinda stuck on there. We'll now take this panel and we can set this aside out of our way. Underneath that panel, we can take our carpet now and we're gonna peel it back, and we're also gonna peel back the corner here. We need to do remove the nuts that's holding on the bumper beam, the bumper there. And this is one of 'em right here. And then, actually, if you go in further, there is another one located back here as well. So we're gonna remove those. This one that's located further, we're gonna see if we can remove this tray to try to get to it. Otherwise, we're gonna have to use a wrench, which is gonna be difficult. So we'll see if we can pop that tray out of there, but we're gonna go ahead and grab our 16-millimeter socket and get off the ones that we can get to. All right, we got that one. There's the same two over on the other side. And now, I'm gonna assess this tray situation here, real quick. A lot of times, these trays just pull straight up. Not always the case, but that is often the case. All right, so actually, if we look straight down in the tray, there's some covers here, and these covers are actually plastic nuts. So we're just gonna twist that counterclockwise. Man In this small-To remove it from there. Same thing over with this one here. And if you look at the top of it, if you're having a difficult time just doing it by hand, See, there's two old pegs in it. You could take, like, a pair of needle-nose pliers and stick it down on those pegs down if you twist it. But they're really not that difficult. You should be able to just twist them off of there. Now, we've got those removed, our tray should pop outta here. There we go. And that'll make it much easier to get to that other nut. All right, next, we're gonna remove the bumper beam nuts where underneath the vehicle now. You'll see that there's one here and here and that's the bumper beam right here. There's our exhaust right on the edge. There's two on this side and there's gonna be two on the other side. Looking at this particular customers, they are fairly corroded on our nuts here. So we're gonna put a little bit of spray on there, just to try to assist getting those off a little bit easier. Yeah, it looks like on this one, our deep well's gonna be in the way, so. Might have to switch to probably a shorter socket or see if I can just pull that off of there by hand. Now, we have to switch to a wrench for that one or a shorter socket, 'cause of the exhaust hanging in there. All right, so we got our shorter socket. It's still a 16-millimeter for these. And we're gonna get each of these removed. All right, so now that we've got all of our nuts removed, the bumper beam should be able to slide out of there now. So we're just trying to get our pry bar in there 'cause it's not uncommon for there to be, like, some sealants and stuff here that is back here. There we go. You can kinda hear it peeling away from those sealants. And we're just trying to push that out a little bit. We're gonna make sure we get it separated on this side. Okay, and now the tricky part, you're gonna wanna grab yourself one, maybe even two extra sets of hands. Because what we needed to get this hitch installed is we're gonna pull that bumper beam away, push our hitch up and then push the bumper beam back in with those studs sliding through our hitch. So just sandwich it in between and then we can reinstall our nuts and put things back together. So I'm gonna go round up a couple extra guys here to make this a bit easier. So now, that our bumper are beams loose, we just gotta get this one piece here out of the way. There's a nut here at the top and we're gonna use a 10-millimeter socket on. And we're just gonna set this bracket aside. And now, we're gonna grab that extra set of hands to help us lift our hitch into position. All right, so we got some guys here, but I did wanna just show you the attachment points here. This is the driver's side, passenger side's on the opposite down there. You'll notice these top ones here aren't full circles. They're slotted at the top. So we only need to separate the bottom of our bumper beam to get those studs to slide through there. These ones we just brought it right up against the bottom of 'em inside the little grooves there. So that makes it a little bit easier. So now with our extra set of hands, we're lifting it up enough to pull out on the fascia just a little bit. And then we'll use a pry bar to pry out on the bumper beam. And then we can wedge our hitch in between the two pieces. There we go. Once you get it started, we can go over to the other side to get this side started. We're just prying it out just enough to be able to slide it up in there. And now, we should be able to just push it into place. Just keep giving it a little bit of tap there. We're almost there. All right, and it pops right back into our holes there. Same thing on the other side. And now, we can reinstall our nuts. All right, we're just putting our nuts on the back side here and we're gonna grab our 16-millimeter socket, so we can tighten those down. After tightening our bolts, we're gonna go back and torque our bolts. All right, we're gonna put our heat shield back in place, but with the hitch there, it makes it even more difficult, all right 'Cause it was difficult to remove it. So we've gone further forward on the vehicle. We're at the resonators here. So we just followed the exhaust forward, and you can see we've got some isolators here one on each side. We're gonna remove these and that'll let us pull the hitch down just a little bit further to make it easier to get those reinstalled. And then we're gonna remove these the same way, just to move and up and then pry 'em off of there with our pry bar. There. Okay. That one removed, and then we'll remove the one on the other side. All right, and so that'll give us just a little bit more excess to work with. I did tighten my strap up just a little bit, so that way, it couldn't drop down uncontrolled. This'll let us- Have a little bit more control over it there. Yeah, and that'll make things quite a bit easier to get this reinstalled. Okay, and now we'll just lift it back up and reinstall the hardware that we've removed. Yeah, and we're just holding it up there, getting it lined up. I like to start with the outside bolts. And now, we're just gonna reinstall this- In reverse order here just to get this in place. 'Cause- We've got some additional bracketry to install in our heat shield for our bumper at the back. But getting this heat shield in after you install that is even more difficult. So it's just easier to put this on now. So these are our brackets for our piece of the back that we had removed that we're not gonna reinstall, the little white kinda Y-shaped piece. We're gonna take the bolts that come in our kit. We're gonna slide it through like this. And then this here, is gonna slide into the side of our hitch. There's two small holes right here in the side of the hitch. So just line up those bolts with those holes. And then we can install the hardware on them. So I'm reaching inside the hitch around here to install these. So you really can't see 'em, but the bolts are going through all the components, and then we're just kinda reaching up. You can reach around. It's easiest to reach around from the front, 'cause the bolts are positioned towards the front. I mean towards the rear, I'm sorry, towards this opening here in our bumper beam, right above the receiver. So we're just gonna get both of these installed here, and then we're gonna put the same bracket on the other side of our hitch here. You get two of these one for each side. All right, so now we've got both of those installed on each side. You can go ahead and put the pins in. That's probably the best thing and then we'll snug it down. So you get some push pins in your kit. Those actually slide through the bottom of our fascia here and they're gonna push into our bracket. The bracket's still a little bit loose. That way, we can kinda line it up to make sure it lines up with our bumper nicely. We move it to the other side. We'll now use an 11-millimeter socket to tighten down our hardware. On the inside here, I'm not even using a wrench or anything. I'm just putting my finger on the nut. These don't tighten down that tight and that actually should be plenty of force for you to be able to just put your gun on there and zip it down. And then we're gonna do the same thing on this side. And now, we can just run back and just double check to make sure we've got these torqued to the specifications outlined in our instructions. All right, so now that we've got everything kinda torque down, we just went ahead and reinstalled our exhaust. Just push that back up and your hangers just slide right back into place. We can go ahead and put our exhaust tips back on. We've got kinda everything just reinstalled and reverse order at this point. After we get finish up here on the bottom, now we're gonna head back inside. We need to get those bolts reinstalled and torqued for the top of our bumper beam to finish clamping down our hitch up top. After working down here underneath, though, you might be kinda dirty. So we're gonna head to the bathroom to clean up before we head back inside to finish up. All right, so now we're back up top again, and we're gonna snug these bolts down. I just wanna go ahead and thread the nuts on there. And we wanna make sure we get all four of them. After we snug 'em down with our tool here, we're gonna go back and hit those with the torque wrench as well. All right, now all we have left here is just put our tray back in and then you can just thread those plastic nuts back down on there. The panel here just sits back on and just kinda- Snap it back down into place. And then reinstall the single Torx bolt that we had there. And that completes our installation of Curt's Class III two-inch Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2016 Mercedes GLE..


Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F

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