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Draw-Tite Sportframe Trailer Hitch Installation - 2011 Toyota Prius

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Sportframe Trailer Hitch on a 2011 Toyota Prius

Ryan: Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today on our 2011 Toyota Prius, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Draw-Tite sport frame trailer hitch receiver. So probably the very first thing I notice about this hitch is that it's going to look pretty good. It's going to be completely hidden for the most part. So you're really only going to be able to see the receiver tube opening. And after taking a closer look at it, I'll say one thing that this should work out real well with is those folding accessories.

And that's what a lot of our Prius customers plan on using their hitch for. And I say that because it's going to give us some good clearance. So the end of the receiver tube opening, it's going to just barely come out past our back bumper. That way, when we put our accessories in, like a bike rack for example, it will come out a little bit. We'll be able to put them in that upright position and not have to worry about them hitting the back of our Prius.So this is a class one hitch.

So it's going to have that inch and a quarter by inch and a quarter receiver tube opening. And it's going to have a half inch size pinhole. Now keep in mind, a pin clip does not come included, but if you need one, you can pick it up here at etrailer. They have loop style safety chain openings, which aren't huge, but they are nice and thick and they should give us just about enough room to use any size hook that we might have. Now as far as the hitch, as weight capacities go, it's going to have a 200 pound maximum gross tongue weight rating.

That's going to be the amount of weight that's pushing down on the hitch.So that's good for those one and two, maybe even three bike racks, for example. As far as the maximum gross trailer weight rating goes, it's going to be 2000 pounds and that's going to be the amount of weight that's pulling on the hitch. So that is the weight of your trailer plus anything that you might have on it. Now I do always suggest it's never a bad idea to grab your Toyota's owner's manual to make sure your Prius can pull that much weight safely. And with that being said, if you do plan on doing some light duty towing, I would suggest picking up some trailer wiring.

That way the lights on your trailer will sync up with the lights on the back of your Prius and you'll be safe and legal.Now I'm going to give you a couple of measurements and you're going to use these to help figure out which hitch mounted accessories will work best. From the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening, that's going to be right at 12 inches. So if you do plan on doing some light duty towing, chances are pretty good you're going to need to get a ball mount with a rise. From the center of the hitch pin hole, to the edge of our rear bumper, that's going to be right at two and a half inches. And you're going to use that measurement to help figure out if any folding accessories you might have can be stored in that upright position without contacting the bumper. So at the end of the day, a hitch that's going to blend right into the back of your Prius and allow you to use those different types of accessories to help free up space on the inside of your Toyota.As far as the installation goes, believe it or not it's really not too bad. There's really nothing seriously too crazy involved and it really shouldn't take you a whole lot of time. Speaking of which, let's go ahead and put the hitch on together now. To begin our install, we're going to be underneath the back of our Prius. And first thing we're going to do is remove this plastic underbody panel here. So this panel should be held in place with multiple different types of fasteners that we're going to need to remove. The first one we're going to take out is this 10 millimeter nut here towards the front of our Prius on the passenger side. So I'll grab my socket and pull that off.We're going to have four pushpin style fasteners, just like this one, along this outside edge here. So the way to get these out, you take a Flathead screwdriver and pry underneath the head of it and work that fastener out. Same thing to get these other ones out. Sometimes if these get stuck from dirt and debris, what makes them a little easier is to use a trim panel tool like this. It just gives you a little more leveraging and sometimes that fastener comes out a little easier. We're going to have one more right here as well, just behind our driver's side back tire. So this works the same as the other ones.Now we're going to have four of these plastic screw-type fasteners. So the way to get these is using a large Phillips head screwdriver and you're going to loosen it. And sometimes what you need to do is put a little downward pressure on it as well, while you're loosening it up. We're going to have three more of those same type fasteners right here, here, and here. So I'll start towards the front of the vehicle and work my way towards the back. You have to reach your hand up, there's a panel there, put a little bit of that downward pressure on it like we talked about, and that should get them released.Now, when we get this one removed, this should be the last thing holding the panel up in place, so keep that in mind. You can support it with your arm, something, so it doesn't fall on you. Once we have that loose, we should be able to work our panel out from underneath our Prius. Now we're going to need to lower our exhaust to give us some extra room to get our hitch up. For that though what I like to do is take a strap, just run it from side to side. That way the exhaust, I have a little bit of support and we can control how far and how fast we let it down. So, that actually lowered the exhaust, we're going to have two rubber isolator hangers, one here by our tailpipe and one on the other side of the muffler. Starting with this one, I want to soak them down with some soapy water or some lubricant, it makes it a little easier. I'm just going to take a pry bar or even a big flathead screwdriver. And we're going to work one end of the rubber hanger off.It doesn't really matter which end you take off, just whichever one's easier for you. And here's the other hanger just behind our muffler. We'll do the same thing for this one to get it removed as well. Since the exhaust is free, now we can loosen up our strap a little bit, lowering it down, giving us that extra space. Over here on the passenger side, we're going to have this actual metal exhaust hanger bracket that's bolted into our frame rail here. So we're going to completely remove this by taking out these two bolts, which have a 17 millimeter head. We'll take our bracket down and save it for later. And on the driver's side, we're going to have this tie down bracket here. We're going to take that off as well. Again, using a 17 millimeter socket.Now I'd like to just point out our attachment points. It's going to be the same on each side of our vehicle. And they are just going to be these two threaded holes that we removed the bolts from that was holding in our tie down bracket and our exhaust hanger bracket. I do suggest spraying these out with some penetrating oil or something like that, and just cleaning out the threads, using a tube brush. It'll just make the bolts a little bit easier to go into place when we're holding the hitch up. Now, something that I did notice, this little plastic tab over here on the passenger side, this may interfere with our hitch when we go to lift it up. So we're going to remove that as well just like we did the other plastic fasteners. We'll take a screwdriver and pop it out.Now with an extra set of hands, we can raise our hitch into position. You're going to want to make sure you get up and over that carbon can here. You may have to pull out on your bumper to get it to fit in there properly. But once we have the hitch lined up with our attachment points, we're going to take our factory hardware and we want to get at least one started hand tight, that way the hitch will support itself while we work on the rest of the bolts. And all these attachment points are going to receive this factory bolt that we removed. Over here on the passenger side is going to be a little bit different, again then we'll use our factory bolts, but you're going to want to make sure to re-install your exhaust hanger bracket. With all of our hardware in place and hand tight, now we can come back and snug everything up.Once you have the hardware snug, don't forget to come back with a torque wrench and tighten it all down to the amount specified in the instructions. At this point, we can rehang our exhaust the opposite way that we removed it, spray it down. And usually you can just push them back in place with your hands. Since the exhausts is now supporting itself on its own, we can go ahead and just remove our strap, get it out of the way. Now we can trim our underbody panel. There's a diagram and instructions, so I went ahead and marked those areas out and this is relatively thin plastic, but we are going to have to go over some bumps and different angles there. So I'm going to use a dremel tool, but if you had to, I'm sure you could use a pair of snips or something like that to get everything cut out.Now that our underbody is trimmed, we can reinstall it the opposite way that we removed it. Sneak it back up into position, everything lined up. And then what I like to do is re-secure these first because once you're on the stud that these go over, they just snap right in, and they'll hold that panel up while we work on the rest of the fasteners. We'll save these tabs here, our hitch does come and clear it with a couple zip ties. And on the hitch itself, there is a hole there that line up with those tabs. So instead of raising those plastic push pin fasteners, we're going to take an included zip tie and secure it that way.And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Draw-Tite sport frame trailer hitch receiver on our 2011 Toyota Prius.

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Employee Joshua S
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Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
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Employee Brent H
Test Fit:
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