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Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Audi Q7

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Audi Q7

Hi there Audi owners. Today on your 2018 Audi Q7, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install Draw-Tite's class 3, 2-inch trailer hitch receiver. And this is what our hitch looks like when it's installed. The cross tube is going to be hidden behind the bumper, so you're only will see the receiver tube here at the back. It's a class 3, two inch by two inch receiver, so it's going to be great for all of your towing needs, whether you want to place a bike rack in, hit the trails, or if you want to hook up a small trailer and take some equipment with you to the campsite. It uses a 5/8 inch, hitch pin and clip.

One doesn't come included with the hitch, but we have plenty available here You also notice that there's a small hole just to the rear of our hitch pin hole, and that will allow us to use a J-pin, which is similar to our hitch pin, but wraps around and presses against whatever is in the receiver acting as an anti-rattle device.We have other anti-rattle devices also available here, if you want to use a different style. On the bottom, we have hoop style, safety chain loops with a very large opening that should accommodate just about every shape, size, and style of safety chain. It features a 770 pound ton weight, which is the force going down on top of the receiver, which is going to be more than enough for a four bike platform rack fully loaded up with four bikes, or even the largest cargo carrier that we have here in, fully loaded up to the max. It also features a 7,700 pound gross towing capacity, which is how much they can pull behind it.

And that's more than enough for a pop-up camper, if you want to bring a boat with you to the campsite for the weekend, this hitch should handle it with no problem.Now as always, I want you to verify in your vehicle's owner's manual and ensure you don't exceed any of its towing capacities. Now I've got some measurements for you to help you when deciding on accessories, from the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of the rear bumper, it measures about four inches. That's important when determining if any of your folding accessories can be placed in the upright storage position without contacting the bumper. And from the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube, it measures about 12 and a half inches. This is important when determining if you need a drop, a rise, or a raised shank on any of your accessories.

Since it is so low, I do recommend that you get a raise shank on any of your accessories. Now that we've gone over some of the features, let's go over the installation together to get us the confidence to do it at home. We'll begin our installation at the wheel well, and either the driver or passenger side, there are two screws here we're going to remove using a T25 Torx socket.And then if we go down just underneath, there are two more that we'll also need to remove using the same size Torx bit. We can then start to peel back the fender liner. And this is going to reveal another Torx bolt here on the inside that we'll need to remove.

We'll repeat the same process over on the other side. There's also four underneath that we'll need to remove as well. We'll use the same size Torx bit. Once we've got those out, we can peel down on the bottom here and there are going to be two more screws underneath that we'll also need to take out.We'll then need to gently pry back the trim piece here to excess some screws underneath. Now this piece is quite difficult to remove, so we're going to be using a plastic trim panel tool to assist us because it will pop out of here, but you want to make sure you get good surface area behind it with your tool before you pry out so we don't damage anything. Because these clips are very snug holding it in there. Just continually work your trim panel tool underneath, prying outward, working your way along the clips. It is going to be difficult, but just gently work your way there, and they will start to break free.We've got the one out there, so there's just another one higher up. So we just going to keep working our tool up, pulling and prying until we get it released. We only need to go this far to access these two screws there, and we'll remove those with the same T25 Torx socket that we've been using. We'll then do the same thing over on the other side. Now that we've got all our components removed, I've gone ahead and opened the lift gate, and then we can start peeling our facia off. We're going to start on one side, by peeling it to the fender back, working our way towards the center.Once we get this side popped out, down to the corner here, we are going to head on over to the other side and do the same thing. Man that's awfully tight. Now that we got that side worked over to the corner, we're going to come over to the other side and do the same thing. When working the facia off, sometimes it can get stuck on the tabs and we don't want to just keep pulling harder and harder because we can potentially break the tabs, so you can trim panel tool to work it down and work it off as you're heading down. You may need an extra set of hands with this as it is pretty long and the clips are very tight and once one goes, it's possible that the whole fender can just come off all at once and you want to be prepared and supported. Once you've got it pop loose like that, we want to make sure we disconnect all the electrical connectors located on the inside.There are going to be several actual connectors and the amount that's going to be there is going to vary depending upon the trim package options that you have on your vehicle. For some of the electrical connectors, I recommend putting a screwdriver in between so you can rotate it to move the tab to disconnect it. Once you have all of your electrical connectors disconnected, we can set our fascia aside where it won't get damaged. We'll then need to remove the bumper beam behind our facia. There's four bolts on each side that we're going to remove using an 18 millimeter socket. The first bolt that I take out, I like to do the top one because it's easiest to get to.And then I don't want to take this one all the way out. I'm going to leave one just like this on each side, take the rest out in that way we've got one here that just can't tight that we can take out that'll keep our bumper up from falling while we're taking the rest of the hardware out. Now with all the bolts removed, except for the last couple that we just left in there to support it, to keep it from falling. We'll just take those out and then we'll slide our bumper beam off. And we're just going to set it aside for now.We can now put our hitch into position. It's going to go right where our bumper beam used to be. There are a couple of studs that you can hang the hitch from, but you don't want to just let go of it because the weights going to want to kind of twist it and it's going to fall off like you see there so we're going to keep it supported. You can just use the studs to help support some of the weight. And then we'll grab our bumper beam, plank it up, do the same thing by resting it on the studs. And then if we can get one bolt loosely started on each side to hold it up.Now with one on each side, the hitch and the bumper will hold itself up. We can just kind of push them up. We want to make sure that the stud does line up through the hole there. We don't want to accidentally tighten our hardware down for it's pressing up against the stud, we want to make sure that that's around it. And we're just going to loosely install the rest of our hardware. We're then going to push everything up, double check those small studs to make sure they line up, and then tighten down our hardware. I'm going to do one on each side just to make sure it doesn't move. And then go back and tighten the rest out.We can then go back and torque all of our hardware to the specifications found in our instructions. We'll now need to trim out our facia for our receiver to pass through the bumper there. But before you trim it out, I did go ahead and mark it here, but you'll see that there's an antenna that runs along the bottom here. So we'll want to pop this out of its cavity. So just gently work your way down little tab you're going to kind of push them a little bit to release some of the tension and then just pull the antenna up. And we really just need to do this far enough to get the antenna out of the way. Now I've gone ahead and marked it out, but you can also find this template in your instructions. We're going to cut it out using a cutoff wheel.You could also use some snips, but due to the strange shape of the various cavities here, it could be difficult with some snips. We've got most of it cut there. There's a few spots here where we're going to have to hit a little harder with our dremmel. And it might be easier on some of these parts to maybe take your dremmel and run it down this way to trim off this high part here just to make it easier to cut. Once you've got that cut out, we can go back with the razor knife or a file and just clean up any of the rough edges here.Once we've got all the bars and everything knocked off, we can then go re-install our facia in reverse order how we removed it. Just remember to put your antenna back in the clips after you work it around the receiver. Now with an extra set of hands, we'll put our facia back in place. Make sure that you plug in all of your electrical connectors before doing so. There are several connectors, and again, depending on the options that you have, you may have more or less connectors than what we have here. Now we've got all of our electrical connectors back in place. We can work our facia back into place, keep an eye on that antenna down there. And then once you've got it all lined up, you can just start snapping it back into place.And now we're back underneath again. We're going to poke our antenna back down inside the clips that we had removed it from. You can see that it's going to work along the back side of our hitch here. And then we can just continue reinstalling our hardware in reverse order of how we removed it. And that completes our installation of Draw-Tite's class 3, 2-inch trailer hitch receiver on our 2018 Audi Q7.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Dave W.
Actually my car is a 2019, but you didn't have that option. and where is the closest place to have installed to me-I'm in Basalt Co.
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

The Draw-Tite # 76076 is a fit for your 2019 Audi Q7 as well. We don't have any specific recommendations for install locations, but any local mechanic/shop with a good reputation should be able to handle it without a problem. All the necessary hardware is included.

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