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Toyota Rav4 Hitch

Care and Maintenance Pointers for the Toyota Rav4 Hitch

Whether you are going to the beach or camping out in the mountains, trailer hitches can be a great help in bringing all your stuff with you. So it shouldn't be a surprise that these components should be cared for and maintained properly. Although they are designed to last, trailer hitches will eventually break down due to wear and lack of proper maintenance.

In this guide, we've listed down some additional maintenance tips for Toyota Rav4 hitches for you to follow:

  • Don't pull anything that's heavier than what the hitch could handle.

Trailer hitches are categorized according to their weight class limit, and will get damaged or even break off if they are used to pull a trailer that's beyond their weight class. Rav4 trailer hitches are typically Class 3, meaning that they can only safely pull 6,000 lbs or less, although some SUV models might use hitches of lower weight classes. You can refer to both the owner's manual for your SUV as well as the guidebook included with your trailer hitch for accurate information.

  • Don't forget the wires.

In addition to regular checkups of the hitch frame, we also recommend inspecting the wires leading from the hitch to the trailer. Hitches have electrical connectors which the trailers can mate with in order to power up the lights at the rear. These connectors are vulnerable against deterioration, especially in dry, salty, driving conditions, and can get easily cut by sharp objects. And if they are damaged, the connectors may no longer be able to transfer electricity properly and may lead to malfunctions in the trailer's rear lights.

  • Treat a rusted hitch.

Corrosion is a common problem with trailer hitches, especially if they are frequently used in humid, off-road environments, and cleaning them will depend on whether they are chromed or uncoated. For chrome hitches, simply rub a ball of aluminum foil soaked in vinegar or soda and rub against the rust spots until they disappear. For uncoated iron hitches, use a wire brush to remove any loose rust flakes and particles and coat the affected areas with rust dissolver jelly for several minutes. Once the hitch is rust-free, polish it with carnauba wax or spray it with oil-based paint for chrome or iron hitches, respectively.

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  • Essential Tips to Follow When Installing the Toyota Rav4 Hitch

    The hitch is just one of the many accessories that you can install on the Toyota Rav4 crossover SUV. Especially helpful for those times you want to bring your fishing skiff or ATV on vacation, Toyota Rav4 hitches are not that difficult to install and require tools that you can find in your garage.

    Different Toyota Rav4 hitch models have their own respective installation steps, so make sure to follow the instruction manual that came with the kit. In this guide, we'll share some additional important tips you can use when installing a hitch in your Rav4.

    Tip #1: Make sure the hitch is rated for your SUV.

    Trailer hitches are divided into several classes based on how much weight it can support, and this must be followed accordingly when choosing a hitch for your SUV. A hitch pulling a trailer that's beyond its hitch class, for example, will get damaged or even snap into two when pulling. Typically, Class 3 hitches with a gross trailer weight limit of 6,000 lbs. can be used safely on the Rav4, although it is best to still refer to the owner's manual for your SUV for the recommended specifications.

    Tip #2: Lift it up.

    While the Rav4 may have enough ground clearance for you to slip in underneath, many mechanics recommend jacking the vehicle up for additional room for you to move and screw in the hitch assembly. You might also have to loosen the exhaust pipe or the rear bumper cover in order to install the hitch.

    Tip #3: Prep the mounting points.

    At the passenger side of the Rav4 are two thread holes drilled at the bottom of the frame; this is where the hitch assembly will be attached. Clean these threads by spraying it with penetrating oil and scrubbing it with a tube brush. Do the same to the threaded hole just behind the tie-down bracket. Take note that the older the molder, the longer it will take to clean out the threads.

    Tip# 4: Remove the tie-down bracket.

    Several Rav4 models have a tie-down bracket which has to be removed in order for the hitch assembly to fit. You can use a 17mm socket to remove the bracket and, once it's off, scrub and spray with lubricant to remove any rust spots.