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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2012 Toyota RAV4 - Hidden Hitch

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2012 Toyota RAV4

Today on our 2012 Toyota Rav4 we'll be installing a hidden hitch part number 70785. This is what our hitch will look like once it's installed. Next we'll go ahead and give you a couple of measurements to assist you in selecting accessories for your new hitch. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outermost edge of the spare tire is 4-1/4 inches. From the top of the receive tube to the ground is 12-1/2 inches. This will assist you in selecting accessories such as a draw bar, a bike rack or a cargo carrier.

Now let's go ahead with installation. First we'll need to remove the tow hook on the driver's side. There are two fasteners securing it. Now with the tow hook out of the way, we'll need to go ahead and remove the covers for the weld nuts in the frame that will be our attachment points. Starting from the rear nearest to the bumper we'll be using the first weld nut as our rear attachment point and the third weld nut as our forward attachment point.

Keep in mind that each process we do here on the driver's side, we're going to repeat it identically on the passenger's side. Now that we've uncovered the weld nuts we'll be using in the frame, we'll go ahead and clean them out. To clean them out we use some spray lubricant and a 1/2-inch nylon toothbrush part number 814092 to thoroughly clean them out because over time they're going to build up with rust, dust, dirt and debris and can make it difficult to install the new idea. Quick tick tip I also recommend to go and take one of the new fasteners and thread it in to make sure it's going to go nice and easily. As you can see here on the forward attachment for the driver's side we've got it cleaned out and it goes nice and easily.

So now I'll go ahead and repeat the same process for the other three attachment points. Now with all the attachment points cleaned out, we're ready to go ahead and install the hitch. We'll be using the new 12mm bolts along with a conical tooth washer. The teeth of the washer will face the hitch. We'll free the passenger side up over the exhaust first and then bring the driver's side in position.

It's a good idea to get an extra set of hands to help you hold the hitch in place while you install the fasteners. We'll install each fastener finger-tight until we get them all in place. Now with all four fasteners in place we'll go and tighten them down. Next we'll go ahead and torque to specifications as indicated in the instructions. Now with all the four fasteners secured and torqued to specifications, that will complete our install of our hidden hitch part number 70785 on our 2012 Toyota Rav4.

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