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Draw-Tite Max-E-Loader Trailer Hitch Installation - 2019 Toyota Highlander

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Max-E-Loader Trailer Hitch on a 2019 Toyota Highlander

Today in our 2019 Toyota Highlander, you're going to be taking a look and show you how to install the Draw-Tite Max e-Loader Trailer Hitch Receiver.This is what our hitch looks like when it's installed. You can see the cross tube is visible, however it sits nice and tight up against the bottom of our fascia and has a round tube design so it fits nicely with the contour of the vehicle. The receiver tube does stick out a little bit away from our bumper so you just want to make sure you watch your legs when loading and unloading the back of the vehicle. It has a 2" by 2" receiver tube opening with a nice reinforced collar to give it a little extra stability. Hitch pin hole which is this hole here is going to be 5/8" in diameter. The hitch pin does not come with the hitch, however it can be found here at

The second hole here, this is going to be for a J pin stabilization device only and what that does is it takes any shake and play out of any of your hitch mount accessories you may have.We're going to have plate style safety chain loops that are welded to the bottom of the receiver tube and cross tube. You can see they're very large openings. It's going to give you plenty of room for different size hooks. This hitch is going to have a nice black powder coat finish. It's also going to resist any rust or corrosion.

Another thing that's nice about this hitch is we're going to have a pre-welded bracket right over here on the side for any of your wiring extension you may want to add later on.As far as the weight capacity goes, you're going to have a 900 pound max tongue weight, which is the downward pressure on the inside of the receiver tube. And a 6,000 pound gross trailer weight, which is the trailer plus the load included. Now you can use weight distribution with this hitch. Tongue weight is going to stay the same. However your trailer weight's going to go up to 8,000 pounds.

I always recommend checking the owner's manual of your Highlander to make sure the vehicle can withstand that amount of weight and you're going to go with the lowest number between the vehicle and the hitch.Now let's give you a few measurements to help you when deciding on any hitch mount accessories you may need. From the center of the hitch pin hole back to the outer most part of the bumper is going to be about a 1/2". From the ground to the top innermost part of the receiver tube, it's going to be about 17".Now let's show you how to get this installed. To start your installation, go ahead and remove your spare tire. Then you're going to have two bolts holding your exhaust bracket up.

Take a 12 millimeter socket. We're going to take these two bolts out. You're going to have a bracket, it looks like this, it's going to be attached to your hitch. Go ahead and take it off your hitch. You're going to use the existing bolts and you're going to put those in place where you just removed your exhaust bracket. Go ahead and tighten those down.Now we'll take our exhaust bracket. We're going to take the bolts that come in our kit. These are going to be the smaller bolts. Then on the backside we're going to use this small conical tooth washer, make sure the teeth are facing towards the bracket and then we're going to put on it a nut. The same thing here. Get it like that. Once you've got your bracket installed, your exhaust back up, go ahead and tighten and torque the bottom two bolts to the specifications in the instructions.Then we're going to remove our two appearance panels on the bottom driver's side and passenger side. We're going to have a couple of push pin fasteners that look like this. And then we're going to have a couple of bolts like this. We'll use a 10 millimeter socket to remove those. You can take a flathead screwdriver or a trim panel tool if you have one like this. Pop out the center and make sure you bring the base with it. Then we'll have two fasteners on the inside. We'll use a 12 millimeter socket to remove those.It's easier if you just put some downward pressure on it too, 'cause these are plastic. Pop our panel out like that. Then for our passenger side, we're going to have a bolt here, here and here. And then our push pin fastener here.And then we're going to have one more right up in this back corner. We're going to take a 17 millimeter socket. You can see a small bracket here on your passenger side. We're going to remove this bolt. Hang onto this bracket. We're going to be reinstalling it with the hitch. Now we'll take our trim panel tool or flathead screwdriver. We're going to pop out all the plugs on both frame rails.We're going to be using the three weld nuts on both frame rails. Because they we're covered, it shouldn't have anything in the threads, but what I suggest doing is taking your hardware and hand threading it into the hole just to make sure there's nothing stuck in there. If it is, I suggest maybe spraying some lubricant or something up in there and taking a tube brush and clean the threads really well.I've already installed one bolt on one side to hold my hitch up. Now on our passenger side, we're going to reinstall this bracket. We're going to slide it into place like that in between our frame and our hitch. And then we're going to put a new hex bolt, conical tooth washer, make sure the teeth are facing up towards the hitch. We're going to use that combination of hardware for each one of the holes. Now we'll take a 3/4" socket, go ahead and tighten and then torque all of our hardware to the specification in the instruction.Once you've got all your hardware tight and torqued down, you can go ahead and reinstall your spare tire, reinstall your passenger side appearance panel, and then the driver's side panel will not be reinstalled.That'll do it for a look at and installation on the Draw-Tite Class 5 Max e-Loader Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2019 Toyota Highlander.

Jeffrey L.


Is it necessary to use the exhaust lowering bracket to complete this install? Not sure I want my exhaust any lower than stock.

Etrailer Expert

Chris R.


The instructions do call for the exhaust to be lowered using the included bracket, but looking through the customer reviews for this hitch it doesn't look like it's always necessary. It seems like it's probably more of a case by case thing. I wish I could give you a more certain answer, but I can say that even if the exhaust needs to be lowered it really shouldn't cause any real issues with regards to ground clearance.