bing tracking image Trailer Hitch Receiver Installation -2005 Toyota Highlander

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How to Install the Trailer Hitch Receiver on a 2005 Toyota Highlander

Rob: Rob here at Today we're going to be taking a look at the eTrailer Class III Custom Fit Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2005 Toyota Highlander.Now this is what our hitch is going to look like once we have it installed. Now you can see, you can see the cross-tubes spanning from side to side so it is going to sit right below the bumper but it does have that really nice flat black carbide finish to it. It blends in really nicely at the bottom.Now our hitch is a Class III which means it's going to give us that 2" x 2" receiver tube opening so we're going to have a really wide variety, when it comes to accessories, that we can mount up. Maybe we need to make some room on the inside of our Highlander. We can put that gear on the outside with a cargo carrier.

Maybe we want to go on a bike ride, we can take a bike with us with a bike rack or if we need to pull a small trailer we can put a ball mount in here, but regardless of how we're going to be using it all of our accessories are going to mount through the hitch pin hole here on the side. It is going to accept a standard 5/8 pin and clip. Now these are not included with the hitch but you can pick them up here at Along with some locking devices to make sure your accessories are secure.Now if you are going to be towing a trailer obviously you need a spot to hook up your safety chains. Ours is going to be a plate style welded to the bottom of the receiver tube and the cross-tube.

You can see even with some of the smaller hooks we'll have plenty of room to get them on and off but you may want to come from the front because, as you can see, the flange on the side is a little thick and we're not going to be able to get them fully engaged.Regardless of what you're going to be using your hitch for you want to make sure that it's up to the task. Our hitch is going to have a 350 pound tongue weight, which is going to be the maximum downward force at the end of the receiver tube. It's going to be great for some of those larger bike racks carrying even four or up to five bikes, along with putting a lot of gear on some of those larger cargo carriers.Now as far as the gross trailer rating goes it's going to have a 3,500 pound rating. That's how much our hitch can pull but that does include the trailer itself and everything we loaded on it.Now the hitch is also going to be rated for weight distribution systems. That's going to bump the tongue weight up to 400 pounds and the gross trailer rating up to 4,000 pounds.

With all those numbers in mind you do want to double check your Highlander's owner's manual because you don't want to exceed the manufacturer's recommended weight.Lets give it a few measurements. These are going to help you when you're looking for accessories for your new hitch like a ball mount, a bike rack or even a cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outer most edge of the bumper we're right about 3". Now that measurement's going to come in handy when you're looking at folding accessories to make sure you have enough room and they're not going to come in contact with the rear bumper. From the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening it's right about 15-1/2".

Now that measurement's going to help you when you're looking for a ball mount so you can find the appropriate rise or drop to match up to your trailer.But now that we've seen what our hitch looks like and gone over a few of the features lets put it on together.To begin an installation we want to come to the back of our Highlander. We're going to come to the very edge right by our frame rail here. Now yours may or may not have a tie down hook attached to it. If it does we're going to need to pull that off but if it doesn't most likely the covers are going to be missing in your Highlander. If they are we're going to have three weld nuts, they're in the bottom of the frame here.Now since ours is on '05, it is a few years old, we want to make sure that the threads inside the weld nuts are clean so I'm going to take a little bit of spray lubricant, spray it inside each one of the weld nuts. I'm going to take a nylon tube brush, I'm going to come back, and clean all the dirt, debris and rust out of there. You want to make sure you clean each one of the weld nuts really well so we don't have any cross threading once we put our hitch in place. We're going to have three weld nuts on each side of the frame so we'll clean all these. Then we'll move to the other side and clean those as well.Now once you clean out all the weld nuts you want to grab one of your new bolts. We're going to want to make sure that we can thread it into the bolt hole, at least just by hand easily, and it doesn't bind up or anything. If you still can't thread it in easily and there's still a lot of debris in there you're going to want to grab an M10 by 1.25 bolt tap. Then we'll just run it through to clean out the threads. We'll just go through checking each one of the weld nuts, just making sure we can thread in our bolt.While we're here we'll here we'll go over the combination of hardware that's going to hold up the hitch. We'll have our new M10 bolt and we're going to slide on a conical tooth washer. There's little teeth on there, we're going to make sure those are pointing up towards the frame rail. Our hitch will be sitting in place, we'll go through our hitch and directly into the weld nut. That's going to be the same combination for all the mounting locations on both sides.Now on the passenger side we're going to have this loop right here. This needs to go below our exhaust but this needs to go over and to the side where our frame rail is. You want to get the passenger side started. Pivot it in and we'll lift it up, lining up the bolt holes. You want to get at least one bolt started, that way the hitch will support itself and we can work on getting the rest of the hardware in place.Once you have all your hardware in place you're going to want to come back with a 17 millimeter socket and tighten them all up. I'm going to come back with a torque wrench now. I'm going to torque all my hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. We'll make sure we go back and repeat that for all of our remaining hardware.Again, I'm Rob here at and that'll finish up your look at the eTrailer Class III Custom Fit Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2005 Toyota Highlander.

Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C
Employee Ryan G
Test Fit:
Ryan G

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