Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2020 Subaru Outback Wagon

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How to Install the Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2020 Subaru Outback Wagon


Ryan: Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today on our 2020 Subaru Outback wagon, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Curt trailer hitch receiver at all the hitches available for the Outback.I will say I'm most impressed with this one. That's really for a couple of different reasons. First one being it's going to look really good. It's going to be pretty much hidden for the most part, but still really easy to use. The other reason is it's going to be extremely versatile.

The only thing you're going to be able to see is the receiver tube opening. And since it sits up nice and tight against the bottom of our bumper, in my opinion, it almost looks like it's part of the car.A lot of our Subaru customers use their cars to do pretty much a little bit of everything. And this is where the hitch is going to be versatile. Not only is it going to give us really good bumper clearance, what I mean by that, the end of the receiver tube opening is going to be pretty much flush with our back bumper. Because of that, you shouldn't have any issues at all using those folding accessories.

Not going to have to worry about flipping them in the upright position and contacting the bumper. And since it does sit nice and tight against the bottom of our Outback, it's going to give us some pretty good ground clearance. That way. If you do happen to use a cargo carrier or something like that, you're probably not going to have to worry about it dragging the ground whenever you go up a steep hill or over a big bump.Since this is a class three hitch, it's going to give us that two inch by two inch receiver tube opening. That's a really common size and you shouldn't have any trouble finding pretty much any accessory that you'd want to use.

It's going to have a reinforced collar, not only for extra strength, but I think it looks pretty good too. It's going to have the standard five eighths size pinhole. A pin and clip does not coming included, but if you need one, you can pick it up here at etrailer. Safety chain openings are going to be nice and thick. And to me that would just give me a little more peace of mind, knowing that we have a really solid connection where our safety chain hooks.

These are going to be large enough to use just about any size. I will say too, one of my favorite things about Curt hitches is that they're really well built. From the gloss black cotter coat finish all the way down to the little things like the hardware. It's all made right here in the USA, and you know it's going to last a really long time.So when it comes to towing or using our accessories, one thing that we do need to be conscious of is the weight capacities. The hitch is going to provide us with some pretty high numbers actually. As far as the maximum gross tongue weight rating goes, it's going to be 600 pounds. So that's going to be the amount of weight that's pushing down on the hitch. Like I said, it's a pretty high number, so you shouldn't have to worry about using pretty much any size bike rack or cargo carrier that you'd want to. As far as the hitches maximum gross trailer weight rating goes, it's going to be 4,000 pounds. That's going to be the amount of weight that's pulling on the hitch. So that's the weight of your trailer plus anything that you might have on it. And I do always like to recommend, it's never a bad idea to check with your Subaru's owner's manual to make sure Outback can pull that much weight safely.And if you do plan on doing a little bit of towing or maybe even have a light up cargo carrier, something like that, I would recommend picking up some trailer wiring. That way the lights will work and you will be safe and legal. And if you are interested in a bike rack, one that has worked out really well for many of our other Outback customers is the Kuat NV 2.0.Now we can go over a couple of measurements. The first one that we're going to take is the distance from the ground to the top inside edge of our receiver tube opening.That's going to be right at 16 inches. So if you do plan on doing some towing, it's really just going to depend on the height of your trailer. But I would say chances are pretty good. You're going to need to get a ball mount with a slight rise. If you measure from the center of our hitch pin hole, to the very edge of our bumper, it's going to be right at two and a half inches. And you can use that measurement to find out exactly if you're folding accessories can indeed be stored in the upright position without contacting. And as I said earlier, this gives us really good clearance. So I really don't see any accessories like that giving you trouble at all. But at the end of the day, a hitch you really can't go wrong with. For me, it checks all the boxes. Not only is it going to look good, you're going to be able to tow with it and use pretty much any accessory that you would want.Now, as far as the installation goes, this is probably one of the easiest ones that I've done, believe it or not. Other Outbacks that I've installed hitches on, hidden or not, take quite a bit of time and really aren't super straight forward. That's not really the case with this one. It's not too involved and you should have no problem getting it done at home. Speaking of which, let's go ahead and do that together now.To begin our installation, we're going to be underneath the back of our Subaru, and the first thing that we're going to need to do is remove this rear under body panel. So we're going to have a total of five push pin style fasteners, just like this one along this bottom edge. To get those out, we'll grab a trim panel tool. You can also use a Flathead screwdriver. Just got to pry underneath the head of it. And we can kind of pry under the base to pop it up. I'll do that same thing to get the other ones removed.Now what we can do is move underneath of our Subaru and kind of behind our panel that we loosened up, right here in this area, we're also going to have a handful of clips that we're going to need to release. So here is the clip that we need to release. There's going to be multiple of them all along that edge that are set up the same way. So to get these out, what you can do is just take a smaller screwdriver, and on this little bottom piece here, if you kind of just gently kind of pull it back or towards the front of the car, rather. Release some of that tension, then what you can do is grab a Flathead screwdriver, and we're just going to push kind of down on this top portion here. While you're pushing down, you can kind of push that under body panel forward a little bit, and it'll release. So I'm going to do that same thing to get the rest of them freed up.Once you get to this last clip, should be able to push back on the underbody panel and we can just set it to the side for now. Now what we can do is move to where our bumper beam is actually connected to the body of our vehicle. And so there's going to be one nut right here, and two bolts on the bottom and one on the other side. And we're going to take all three of those off, and from this point on anything we do to one side of our Subaru, we're also going to do to the other side, because it will be set up the exact same way. So I'll grab a 14 millimeter wrench to get all that hardware removed.So how the hitch is going to work is with our bumper beam loose, we're able to kind of move it in and out, and the hitch is actually going to slide in between our bumper beam in the body of our vehicle. Now, once you have it up there, the hardware that we're going to use is the factory nut. And that nut's going to go on the stud up here. And for the other two holes, this one on the bottom and one on the other side, instead of using that factory hardware, we're going to use the included hex bolts with a conical tooth washer. Now you want to be sure once you have the hitch up and and everything that the teeth on the washer will be facing this way towards the hitch.Now with an extra set of hands, we can grab our hitch and slide it into position. We'll carefully work it up. So once we have our hitch into position, I'm going to grab one of our bolts and we want to get at least one started on each side, hand tight. That way the hitch will support itself while we work on the rest of the hardware.Now that we have all of our hardware in place and hand tight, we can come back and snug it all down. Now that we have all of our hardware snugged up, we can come back with a torque wrench and tighten everything down to the amount specified in our instructions. To get our under body panel back in place, we are going to have to trim it out a little bit. And there is a diagram and instruction so I followed that and drew it out right here. This is relatively thin plastic. I'm going to use a Dremel tool to cut it out, but you can use a pair of snips, maybe a sharp utility knife, something along those lines. We can grab our panel, line it up, and we're just going to push it back into position. Once everything's lined up, we can grab our push pin fasteners and get those re-installed.And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Curt trailer hitch receiver on our 2020 Subaru Outback wagon.


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Test Fit:
Ryan G

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