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EcoHitch Hidden Trailer Hitch Installation - 2019 Volkswagen Golf

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How to Install the EcoHitch Hidden Trailer Hitch on a 2019 Volkswagen Golf


Hi there Volkswagen owners, today in our 2019 Volkswagen Golf R we're gonna be taking a look at and showing you how to install EcoHitch's Class III 2" Trailer Hitch Receiver. And this is what our hitch looks like when it's installed. The majority of the hitch is gonna be completely hidden behind the bumper, so you're just gonna see the receiver here at the back. The EcoHitches are made of recycled metal, so if you're looking to reduce your carbon footprint, this can be one of the best options for that. It does have a textured black powder coat finish on it, so it does blend in with the vehicle. With this particular one, since it's glossy down here, it does stand out a little bit, but it does kind of match as far as the depth of the black is fairly similar.

You'll secure your accessories to your hitch using a five eighths inch hitch pin and clip. Now one doesn't come included with the hitch, but we've got plenty available here at etrailer. And I'd also recommend locking ones to protect your investments. On bottom, it has plate style safety chain loops with a fairly large opening that should accommodate just about every shape, size, and style of safety chain. We've got our smaller S hook there and that has no problem and our big boy here on and off with ease.

This hitch offers a 300 pound tongue weight, which is the force going down on top of our receiver. Now with this you do wanna remember that the tongue weight is gonna be the weight of anything in the receiver. So that'd be the weight of your bike rack or your cargo carrier, plus any weight that's placed on those devices. Now you don't want to exceed that maximum 300. It also features a 2000 pound gross towing capacity, which is how much that you can pull behind it.

And with 2000 pounds you should be able to use maybe like some small jet ski trailers, potentially like a Jon boat, something like that, small utility trailers for maybe moving a small lawn mower around. So you got some options there 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 bumper, we're looking at here right at about three inches. This is important when determining if your accessories will contact the hitch one 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 at about 10 and a half inches. And this is important when determining if you need a drop, a rise or raise shank on your accessories. And since this hitch does sit so low to the ground, I would recommend raise shanks on your accessories so that way you have the proper ground clearance, especially when pulling into things like driveways, going over speed bumps, anywhere where you've got a steep incline that you need to go up. And now that we've covered some of the features of our hitch, why don't you follow along with me in the shop and we'll show you how to get it installed. We are gonna have to take the whole fascia off the back of this one, so if you're not used to working on vehicles, this is something I'd probably recommend holding off until a Saturday to complete. But if you're pretty well versed with tools then this is something you could easily knock out after work in an hour or so. We'll begin our installation here at the back of the vehicle underneath, we're gonna remove a few fasteners. Towards the center here you're gonna have these two kind of rectangular washers with a small torques in the middle. We're gonna use our T 15 to pull these outta here. And they are just plastic so you kind of wanna barely press in as you're trying to take these out. Cause if you're pressing in, they actually just want to just stay in. So you wanna just barely be in there and gently take it out. And if you're struggling, I'm struggling a little bit there. We're just going to switch to a hand tool since it keeps pushing up. You get a little bit easier time with this and even this is still pushing up. So what you can do is in the event that the plastic fastener keeps doing that, grab you a trim panel tool and once you got it started like that where it's out just a little bit, we can put our trim panel tool under it and then as we thread it out we can kind of pry downward with our trim panel tool and that'll pull that out of there. Once you get the center piece out, the other piece just pops out of there. So we're just gonna take our trim panel tool, get behind it and pop that out of there. There's quite a bit of dirt in there and that holds that up. So that works pretty well. So we're just gonna switch back now to our small socket on our gun, get the other one removed. And then we do need to switch to a different size for a couple different fasteners down here. So I'll take this one out, just get it started, get our trim panel tool under it. And there we go. We got that one popped out of there. Now we're gonna switch to a T 25. Cuz towards the outside you're also gonna have some and you may or may not have more of these square ones. Just next to this one we're getting ready to remove. You can see there's a square hole here. Sometimes there's an extra support bracket there that uses the same style that we removed just a minute ago, so you may have to remove those as well. We don't have 'em so we're not gonna, but just behind that is the one we are gonna remove. That's the T 25. And we've got the same thing on the other side. So here on our wheel well we've got three fasteners we're gonna need to remove. We're gonna use our T 25 Torx to do so. So just get up in there and get those out of there. You're probably gonna need a smaller racket like this and we're just gonna remove the next one down the line and get the third one and then we'll head over to the other side and do the same thing over there. After you got those three removed, we can peel our liner back some and right here where these two pieces meet, there's gonna be a fastener going this direction. So we're gonna take our T 25 Torx that we had. We're gonna get up in here. You're probably gonna need an extension to clear the tire to be able to get on this. Now that we've got it started, there's a good chance that a lot of times you can take just the extension with your socket on it once you get it broke loose and take it out by hand. Let's see if we can't do that there. It's still pretty stiff so we're gonna need the tools. So just it take your time with this one. It's not easy to get to to. All right, now that we've got that out of there. We're gonna head over to the other side to remove the same fasteners. So we're now inside the vehicle, we open up the back hatch. We're gonna remove both the passenger and the driver's side taillight assemblies. To do this, just on the inside you're gonna see this little hump kind of thing right there. This piece actually is part of this fabric, but it's perforated so it's designed to kind of peeled away. So you might need a little tool just to get in there to get behind it. And that'll just pull out just like that. Then you'll see the fascia that we've got right there. We're gonna remove that. And it just twists. All right, once we get it all the way removed there. You can just pull it outta there. There is a connector just inside here that you'll need to disconnect. So it's usually easier if you pull out the light just a little bit, but it's still connected so you can't pull it out that far. So we're just gonna pull a little bit rearward, just a little. There's our connector right there. It's not gonna come out that far, but it comes out just enough. Might need to use your little trim tool or something to pop back the red lock tab. Once you've got that pressed back, press the release lever there and then separate the pieces. We'll do the other side the same way. All right, so now we've got everything removed. We can peel our fascia off. I do recommend if you got two people, one person takes a side, it's a lot easier. But if you are just by yourself, you'll start on one side here. We're gonna peel it back here, just kind of peeling it. All right And once we get to this point right about here, we actually wanna stop and head to the other side if you're doing this by yourself. So we'll get this side released to that point now. All right, so we've got it released to that point on each side. Now we're gonna bring our body here to the middle so we can support it as we're peeling it off. That way it's not gonna fall off on us. Cause if you're just on one side and it pops that other side, you're not gonna be supporting it. So now we'll need to use our trim tool or something to press the release tab down here just a little. To get this to release. There we go. So we got that one released, again supporting here in the middle. All right. This one released to there. All right, we're released to that point on each side. So now we're just gonna kind of grab it and start peeling it away here from the back. And then we don't wanna go away super quick cause we may or may not have an electrical connector that we'll need to disconnect here. So just double check. We do have an electrical connector over here on the passenger side. So the release tab for our connector is here. Sometimes you need to stick your trim tool in there a little cuz this thing, it's got so much just dirt and debris, it's in those connectors and it just makes 'em very difficult to disconnect. Now we got disconnected. We'll just set this aside where it won't get damaged. So you may or may not have blind spot sensors if you do have blind spot sensors, you can see here that it's in the way. We're gonna have to get it out of the way. So to remove these, the way you would do that is you actually gotta remove the sensor from the bracket first because Volkswagen put the connector that releases the wire inside so you can't access it. So to do that you'll want to press in on these tabs here. There's one there and one there. And then you can pop that out of there. Slide this out and then you have access to disconnect it. And then we can press back on on that pin there, release tab and disconnect it. And again, these are gonna be difficult to release. They always are. These Volkswagen style connectors when they get a little bit of dirt in there, they get very stiff. So we got that guy out. We're gonna remove the one on the other side the same way and then we can start taking these parts off to get our hitch on. All right, so we got both of those out. We're gonna be removing 'em here in a minute. But let's get the foam off. Just kind of pull up on this little tab there at the top. Might have some underneath there. There we go. It's kind of glued right there in the middle. Just peel that off of there and then we're gonna set this aside. It's not gonna fit once we add our hitch back in there so the foam will not get reinstalled. Then we'll grab a 10 millimeter socket so we can get the side blind spot removed. There's three fasteners holding this one on. And then slide that off the studs and we're just gonna kinda tuck it back out of the way like that. Just need to be out of our way. On the other side it's similar but the two bolts where it goes to our hitch actually hold the hitch on. So you just have the outer one here. All right, so we've switched to our 13 millimeter socket now. So we can take out all the bolts holding the bumper beam on. Now what I like to do is this top outer corner on each side. After I zip that one off, I like to just thread it in a turn or two. That way when I'm removing the bolts I know that this can't just fall off of there. There's something there holding it. We'll then head to the other side to remove this side. And upon removal of this last bolt, we're gonna make sure we support our stuff. You can then slide that bracket off of there. Come to the middle, remove the bolt that we just had on there temporarily. I have to lift up just a little bit to get it out of there. And then you'll lift up a little bit and then pull backwards. If we look right here, you'll see that that little tab slides into that slot right there. There's one on each side so you have to lift up just a little to get it off. So now we're gonna take the bigger bolts that come in our kit, see that opening right there This bolt is going to slide around and hang out just like that. We're gonna use that. It's just gonna be a temporary bolt. It's not gonna stay there. It's gonna help us get everything lined up though. So we're gonna take the same bolt with a washer on it over on this side. Same thing, slide it up in there. And bring your stud out. Okay. Now we can grab our hitch. We're gonna bring it up here into place and line it up with the bolt that we just brought over. Same thing on the other side. Then let just a little bit of weight from the hitch rest on it if you can. That'll help hold it. You might lift up or down or to the side, just something to put a little bit of pressure on the bolt. And then we'll loosely install our nut on there. And we'll do the same thing on the other side and that'll temporarily hold our hitch up there for us while we go slide the bumper beam back into place. So you might need to slide it left or right, we're just trying to get our holes to line up. Just kinda looking at 'em, get it centered as best you can. So we're just taking our bumper beam now, raising it back into place. And then just for a temporary bolt we're gonna grab one of the ones with the studs on the end that we had over here just cause they're easier to grab. And we're just temporarily gonna thread one into each hole and that'll just hold it up there and we can start making our new hardware for installation. You'll assemble these pieces. It's gonna be a bolt followed by a lock washer and a flat washer like you see there. These are the ones we really want to use. So go ahead and line those up and thread those in there. You might have to lift up or down slightly to get 'em to thread in. Wanna try and get one on each side, that way I can take out those temporary bolts that we had in there. And we're just gonna replace the temporary factory bolts that we put in here with the ones from our kit here. So again, you might have to raise or lower the hitch slightly to get it to line up. All of our factory hardware is gonna get replaced where it was connecting our bumper beam into position. And you might have to lift just a little bit. There we go. We got all those started. So now these bolts that we've had down here that we installed, this temporary bolts, you can go ahead and remove those. We're not gonna be reinstalling these. I suppose if you wanted to leave 'em there that it's up to you but it's pretty low so I'm assume that they're probably having you remove 'em cuz it may have a vibration with the exhaust or something there. All right, now we can go back and tighten our hardware. We'll use a 13 millimeter socket. Now on this side we actually want to, I put those bolts in there. We're actually gonna loosen 'em up just a little bit cuz this piece has to go back in place. These have metal inserts in 'em so we can put it right back in here. The one on the other side we have to do a little bit different. So we got it all snug down now. So it should make it easier to just kind of take these out, slide this in and put 'em back in. If you don't have the blind spot then you'd skip all this. You wouldn't need to worry about it. When you're putting this back in place too, make sure you get this other side over here slid over the stud first cuz once you tighten these bolts down you're not gonna be able to move that piece if it's not lined up. And now we can run these down. I'm not running 'em crazy tight cuz they don't actually torque all that tight so we're just gonna kind of throw it snug and that's pretty good. Now we'll grab our torque wrench and torque all of them. So we'll just torque all the hardware. We can go ahead and install the blind spot on this side. Put your single nut on first cuz once you put the module in place you cannot access the bolt anymore. And plug your connectors back in. Our module will slide in, push until it clicks. Make sure both of the ears have clicked in place. On the other side is gonna be a little bit different. You do not get any zip ties in this kit but you are gonna need some. We do carry zip ties here at etrailer so you can get get some zip ties cause you can see here the previous ones we can't attach it like we did on the other side. The other side had metal inserts there. This is plastic so this would just, you know you tighten this down, it would just bust it up. So since we can't clamp it there, we do still have our one attachment over here. So we're gonna go ahead and put our wiring back in and go ahead and get the one attachment back in place. Secure it with our nut. Well we're probably not gonna secure it just yet. I'm gonna try and line it up with the exact spot. If you look at the spot there, you see where it was before. So we're gonna try to closely mimic that. There we go. Now on this side here, we're actually just gonna take this and cable tie it to the bumper beam. To cable tie this, we're gonna go through the top one with our cable tie. We're using pretty long cable ties here. I believe these are 14 inch. And then we're gonna come back down through the bottom hole and then we're gonna let it hang out there just like that. Grab a second cable tie, we're gonna push this up around our bumper beam, slide it into the top cable tie and grab the other end. Attach this to the bottom cable tie. And then we can just start snugging it down. We wanna just snug it down enough to eliminate as much movement as possible. Cause we want our blind spot system to be steady. And that feels pretty stable right there. You don't wanna pull it tight enough where you damage the plastic or anything. So that feels pretty good. We will trim the edges, before we trim 'em and get the module mounted in there Just to make sure it all snaps in and feels solid. That felt really good. So then we'll trim our cable ends off. So we're at the point now where we can go ahead and reinstall the fascia here on the back. But we do need to trim out a little bit that you see there to allow for the hitch to pass through. So you'll find the diagram in your instructions. I've gone ahead and marked it out per the diagram there. You got a lot of different options on how you want to cut it. If you want to use a cutoff wheel or anything like that, I'm just gonna use some snips. I find that some snips followed up by a file usually gives you kind of the best results. Cause a lot of the cutoff wheels and stuff, they actually melt the plastic cuz of the speed of the blade and things like that. So this is just a little bit, usually ends up a little cleaner. So we're just gonna follow our mark here, churning it on down. I marked it on the back side as well cause sometimes it's easier to see on the opposite side, it just kind of depends. And we're just gonna snip this across here. We're gonna clean this up with a file cuz you might get some rough edges so you just clean that up with a file once you're done. All right, so we hit it with our file, we got it relatively cleaned up and now we can take the rubber kind of guard strip that you get and this is just gonna press in around the edging here. So just kind of spread it open just a little bit. You can see it's got like a metal insert type thing in there to help hold it in place. So it can be a little bit difficult to get it started but once you get it started on there it usually pushes around quite a bit easier. We're trying to make sure we keep that metal tab in there that kind of locks down on it. So now we'll take our rubber strip here and we're just gonna feed it in place, push it over your paneling and just kind of work it all the way around. Can be difficult at times to get it to spread open to slide on, but just kind of take your time. Sometimes you can use like the other end and start it there and work your way back if that's easier. It just kind of depends. I do recommend filing it first though, that'll help clean it up. Be smoother to get this insert on here a little bit easier. But it is not the easiest thing to slide on there. And then you're likely gonna have some excess that you're gonna need to trim off. That's pretty normal. So then we'll just take our snips and trim off what we've got left here. So now with the extra set of hands we can put our facial back on. You do have an electrical connector, don't forget to plug that one back in when you're putting it back on. You can do this by yourself but it really would be great to have an extra set of hands for this part cuz trying to plug in that connector and hold this up while you're doing this can be quite difficult. Once your fascia's back on, you can slide your taillights back in. Don't forget to plug in your electrical connector. It's usually easier to plug here on the outside than it is through this little cover here. And then you can reinsert your fastener in there and tighten it down. And you're just gonna tighten this by hand. It's got a wing nut on it. It's just plastic. So once it stops, don't try and force it any further. And now we can head to our wheel wells and reinstall these bolts. Don't forget the one that goes up here in the corner. This one is pretty and pretty difficult to get to, but you should be able to reach up in there. And as we take care of our wheel well just make sure you head underneath and reinstall all your lower fasteners and at that point you're ready to load up your favorite accessories and hit the road. And that completes our look at EcoHitches Class III 2" Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2019 Volkswagen Golf R..


Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F
Employee Schuyler H
Video by:
Schuyler H

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