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etrailer Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

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How to Install the etrailer Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

Hola, neighbors. It's Brad here at etrailer, and today we're taking a look and installing the etrailer class two trailer hitch on a 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan. Now, this is what your hitch is gonna look like once it's installed on your vehicle. And it is pretty nice looking, as you just had the receiver tube opening and the rest of it is actually a hidden cross tube. So it gives it that OEM look, you're not really sacrificing kind of having that hang down of a hitch as some vehicles have that kind of give it a utility look. This still has that OEM appearance, yet you're still able to have that hitch ready to use.

Now, this is gonna be a two inch by two inch receiver tube opening, so that's gonna be great for a lot of different accessories whether it be a ball mount for a small trailer or or a bike rack or a cargo carrier, whatever comes your way. This is gonna be great for it. You're also gonna see it is coated in this nice, black powder coat finish, so it's gonna look good for a long time. You also have this rolled steel safety chain loop, so that's gonna make it nice and easy for hooking up your loops or your chains when hooking up to a trailer. You'll also have your standard five eighths hitch pin hole.

Now this does not come with a pin and clip but there's plenty of options here available at etrailer. And a lot of times your accessories that you pick up will come with them. Now, as far as weight capacities on this particular hitch, you're gonna have a gross trailer weight rating of 3,500 pounds. So that's a decent amount of weight. You're also gonna have a tongue weight rating of 525 pounds.

And that's gonna be the weight pushing down on the inside of the receiver tube opening. So think of that as your bike racks or your cargo carriers that you're loading up. Now, as far as the trailer weight rating, that's gonna be the weight of the trailer plus the accessories loaded up. Now, just because the hitch can handle that, you're also gonna want to check to make sure the vehicle's owner's manual gives you a weight rating that's comparable with that. And between those two numbers, you're gonna wanna take the lower of the two, just so you stay safe.

You can see it actually sits a little recessed from the fascia itself. So that's something to keep in mind. From our hitch pin hole here to the outer part of our fascia, we're looking at about four inches. So keep that in mind when choosing accessories as it is gonna kind of cinch in a little bit. So you wanna make sure you're not making contact with your rear fascia. Now, as far as ground clearance, it's gonna be fairly low here at about eight and a half inches. So just keep that in mind when you're going over rough terrain or maybe inclines as mostly when your accessories are loaded up, going up a hill, those can get even lower to the ground. So keep that in mind when you are in those areas driving around, and also you're gonna want to just make sure that your accessories aren't dropping down with a shank or anything like that, as it can get pretty close. Now, overall, installation's very simple. You're gonna be dropping the exhaust down with just two bolts. So that's pretty easy. And you're gonna be reusing hardware that's already in the frame. Some models, you may have to use a fish wire technique, but it's not too difficult to do. You should be able to get this installed pretty quickly and be ready to use your hitch in a short afternoon. Let's take a look at that video now. To begin our installation, we're gonna start by dropping the exhaust down, and it's pretty easy. There's gonna be some 13 millimeter bolts that are gonna go on brackets that hold it up. Now, before we do that we're gonna wanna make sure that it's supported, that way the exhaust isn't kind of just resting, using its own strength. It can damage things. So what we're gonna do, we're just gonna run a cam buckle strap here across suspension, just to kind of cradle this. If you're doing this on the ground, you can simply set a block underneath your exhaust just make sure it's not hanging down supporting its own weight. So you can kind of pick any point here just on the suspension. And I'll just simply cinch this up. This is kind of nice, too, because once you have it tensioned, you can actually, if this is resting on it, you can actually adjust the cam buckle and lower that exhaust down as necessary. But this should support it as it drops down. So moving along, you're gonna see your exhaust hanger isolator here. This is the red rubber. Above that is gonna be the bracket. So now we're gonna be removing the two 13 millimeter bolts that go into the bracket. There's gonna be one on each side. So to find it, just see your rubber isolator here, go up a little bit and it's gonna go into the frame rail. You can go ahead and take those down. Now, I do recommend as we actually take this hardware down, just store this in a safe place because you'll need this to put the exhaust back up. So we can see the exhaust already dropped down, and that's where that strap comes into play. So now at this point, you're gonna want to check on the outside of your frame rail on both sides. And ours has the factory nuts in place, which is gonna be nice because we're gonna be reusing these. And that means there's a threaded weld nut in here. Now some of the models actually won't have that in place and you're gonna have to run a fish wire technique with the new hardware that comes in the kit. So check to make sure you have your bolts. And if don't, you will have to change it up a little bit, but it shouldn't be too terribly hard to do that. Now, if you have this setup, it is gonna make it quite a bit easier. So let's go ahead, we're gonna remove all four of 'em using a 16 millimeter socket. They are pretty long, so just keep threading 'em out. Just go ahead and we're gonna get the remaining three. Now, for those of you that don't have those factory bolts in place, this is the fish wire technique that we we're talking about. And the way this works is it uses a carriage bolt with this spacer. And that's gonna actually hold in there. This will pop through and then we'll have a flange nut. And so the way that you do this is you actually feed the end of the fish wire through this hole in the frame rail. Now on a lot of these, it can be tricky to feed them in. This one seems like it should fit fine, but you can feed both of them in and make sure that you have the bolt threaded up on your actual coiled portion there. You're gonna put the spacer block in, and when you're pulling it through, just kind of be gentle. Kind of nudge it a little bit just to kind of get this to pop through. And then once it's through that hole, you're gonna want to make sure that that stays in place until you have a hitch in place. And you can actually feed that through the hole on the hitch. Now with the fish wire, it's gonna get tricky in the fact that when you put the hitch in place you're gonna want to pull this off so you can thread your flange nut on there. So just make sure that you're holding onto that bolt, because if it drops in the frame rail it can make for a trickier installation. So now you're gonna want to grab an extra set of hands, as we're gonna actually raise the hitch in place. Have your hardware ready, because once we slide this up, these are simply gonna go in those same weld nuts that we just took them out of. So you may have to slide it over the exhaust a little bit and kind of move that as necessary. And then make sure that the plate is on the outside of the frame rail. And then once you kind of have it lined up, just go ahead and you can hand thread one or two of them in and that's just gonna kind of hold this in place for the rest of the hardware. Now, if it does get tricky putting your hardware in, you're gonna see some of this frame undercoating can kind of gum up the threads here. So you might wanna just kind of grab a brush or just use your fingers to kind of just clean this area out before trying to thread in, and you may need to want to pass these through just to kind of clear that out. Otherwise, it can get a little bit tricky to bolt this back in place. So with that scraped outta the way, now I should be able to wind this up to where we can get this threaded in. Now, once you have those hand threaded in, you can go ahead and tighten them down. Now you don't have to get too crazy as far as really making sure they're super, super snug because we're gonna go back with our torque wrench to make sure they're at the proper setting. For now, let's go ahead and tighten all these down though. Now, once you have everything tightened down, you're gonna want to go back with your torque wrench and your 16 millimeter. Now you're gonna use the torque settings that are in the instruction manual. And this is a pretty important step, just to make sure that those threads aren't gonna be too tight, but also not gonna come loose. So if you need a torque wrench, we have these here at etrailer, or generally you can rent them at an auto parts store. Now with everything tightened and torqued down to proper specs, we're ready to put our bolts back up for our exhaust hangers, remove our strap, and then we're ready to get this thing hooked up and towing. And that was a look and installation of the etrailer class two trailer hitch on a 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan. Thanks for watching..

Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee Bradley B
Test Fit:
Bradley B

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