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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe

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How to Install the Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe

Today on our 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe we're gonna be taking a look at, and showing you how to install the Curt class 3 custom fit trailer hitch receiver. The hitch on our Santa Fe's gonna be completely hidden behind this appearance panel here. We can remove it, and our receiver tube will be ready for us right there. It's really nice that the hitch is gonna be hidden behind there, 'cause it's not gonna be distracting, taking away from the looks of our Santa Fe, or have anything hanging down below the bumper.Our hitch is a class 3, which means it's gonna give us a two inch by two inch receiver tube opening, and have a lot of different options for any kind of accessory that we wanna mount up. The way we're gonna mount any of our accessories is the hitch pin hole here on the side. It is gonna accept a standard 5/8 pin and clip.

These are not included in the kit, but you can pick them up here at along with some locking devices to keep your accessories secure. Our safety chain connection points can be a plate style welded to the bottom of the receiver tube. As you can see we're not gonna have too much trouble getting most size hooks on or off.As far as weight capacity goes, our hitch is gonna have a 900 pound tongue weight, which is gonna be the maximum downward force of the receiver tube, along with a 6,000 pound gross trailer weight rate. That's the amount it can pull, including the trailer and everything we have loaded on it. Our hitch is rated for use weight distribution systems, which can be a separate component mounted on your trailer.

The tongue weight's gonna stay the same, but it is gonna bump the gross trailer weight rating up to 8,000 pounds.With all those numbers in mind, you always wanna double check your owner's manual and never exceed the manufacturers recommended towing weight. I'd like to give you a few measurements, and that's gonna help you whenever you're looking for accessories for your new hitch. In the center of the hitch from the hole to the outer most edge of the bumper is right about 4 1/2 inches. That measurement's gonna come in handy when you're looking at folding accessories, to make sure you have enough room and clearance so that it's not gonna come in contact with the rear bumper. From the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening, it's right about 16 inches.

That measurement's gonna come in handy when you're looking for a ball mount. That way you can find the appropriate rise, or drop, to match up to your trailer.Now that we've seen what our hitch looks like and gone over some of the features, let's show you how to get it installed. To begin our installation I wanna mention that I went ahead and lowered my spare tire down, that way I have a little bit more room to work with underneath. If we come to the very back bottom of our Santa Fe, we're gonna have this removable panel here. There's gonna be two push pins, one on each side, that we're gonna have to remove.

We can grab a flat head screwdriver, or a trim panel tool, and we'll come underneath the center section of the push pin, and the outer section and we'll pull them out.Then, we'll have these two push tabs, we'll just push in and remove that panel for now. Now, if we come underneath right where our frame rail is, you'll notice we're gonna have two holes on the inside that go all the way through. Then, we're gonna have two more on the bottom of our frame. Those four points are gonna be our mounting locations on each side. You'll notice that we're gonna have this rod that's going right in front of the hole, so we're either gonna need to cut this, or bend it out of the way. This is really just an alignment pin for the bumper beam itself. I'm just gonna take a pry bar, come behind it, kind bend it away and down so we have room to get a bolt to go through there. You wanna make sure you do that on both sides.For the holes on the bottom, those are gonna be threaded, those are gonna be weld nuts inside the frame. I'm gonna take a little bit of spray lubricant, spray it inside, and then come back with a nylon brush, make sure there's no dirt, debris or rust inside. You wanna do this for both holes on each side of the frame. Then we'll wanna grab one of our M10 bolts, and make sure that we can easily thread it in by hand and that it's not gonna cross-thread. When we do raise our hitch up, the hardware combination going to the bottom of the frame is gonna be our M10 bolt, followed by a conical tube washer. Wanna make sure those teeth are facing up towards the hitch, we'll go through the hitch and into the weld nut.Now, with an extra set of hands we're gonna lift our hitch up, we're gonna line it up, and we'll take one of our bolts and washers, and we're gonna loosely get it installed. That way the hitch will support itself and we can get the rest of the hardware in place. With our hitch supported, and the hardware in the bottom, you'll notice that the holes in the side plates here are gonna line up with the ones in the frame. We're gonna take our long carriage bolts and we'll slide them through the frame. May take a little bit of pressure to get them to go all the way through, but once we have them going all the way through, we'll come to the outside of the frame, we'll secure them with our flange nuts on the outside. You wanna do that for both sides of the frame.I'm gonna come back with a 17 millimeter socket and tighten up our M10 bolts in the bottom of the frame. For the flange nuts on the outside of the frame, you can use a 3/4 inch socket, or a 19 millimeter socket and snug those up. I'm gonna come back with a torque wrench and torque all my hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. To tighten the M10 bolts, we use that same 17 millimeter socket. Just make sure to double check the torque specs 'cause it is gonna be different between the different size bolts. With everything torqued down, we can grab our appearance panel, we can click it back into place and it'll hide the hitch until we're ready to use it. Now, all we have left to do is put our spare tire back. That'll finish up your look at the Curt class 3 custom fit trailer hitch receiver on our 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Steve H.


Jon received your your e-mail about my 2018 santa-fe ultimate you said the hitch i need is the draw tite item# 75776 i had called after i e-mailed you last week and was told that the hitch i need is a curt item# 13153 which one is correct or will either one fit ? I am confused. Thanks Steve Hemp

Etrailer Expert

Jon G.


Both the Draw-Tite # 75776 that I referenced and the Curt # C13153 that was also referenced are compatible with your 2018 Hyundai Santa-Fe Limited Ultimate. Since you initially asked your question about the Draw-Tite # 75772 (which fits the Sport model) I was referencing the Draw-Tite equivalent for your specific model. Either of these options will work well on your Santa-Fe and I honestly wouldn't hesitate to recommend either one for you. On a side note, if you do plan on towing the Draw-Tite has an advantage because it includes a bracket that you can mount your wiring to. Since both trailer hitches exceed the trailer towing weight capacities for your vehicle this gives the Draw-Tite that slight advantage.

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