Reese Hitch Installation Instructions

Written by thomas west
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Reese Hitch Installation Instructions
(Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Reese is an American company that has specialised in manufacturing trailer towing equipment since 1952. According to the company's website, Reese was one of the first companies to manufacture the bolt-on receiver-style trailer hitch. The receiver hitch has a square tube built in, allowing owners to insert a hitch draw bar of their choice. Reese makes its trailer hitch specifically for certain vehicles, making installation easier by often not requiring drilling.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Felt-tip pen (optional)
  • Drill bit (1/2 inch) (optional)
  • Power drill (optional)
  • Socket set
  • Torque wrench
  • Ratchet wrench (optional)

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  1. 1

    Lift the hitch to the frame members of the rear of your vehicle. Line up the mounting holes in the hitch mounting flanges to the factory-drilled holes in the frame. Skip steps 2 and 3 if all of the holes in the mounting flanges of the hitch line up to factory-drilled holes in the frame rails.

  2. 2

    Note that the frame rails on some vehicles may require you to drill additional holes into the frame to mount the hitch. Hold the hitch into position and line up the holes as in Step 1. Mark the frame rail with a felt-tip pen using the holes in the mounting flanges on the hitch as a guide. Lower the hitch to the ground.

  3. 3

    Insert a 1/2-inch drill bit into a power drill. Drill through the frame using the marks made in Step 2. Raise the hitch to the frame, and line up all of the mounting holes.

  4. 4

    Insert the bolts and flat washers that came with your hitch through the holes in the mounting flanges on the hitch and into the holes in the frame rails. Place a lock washer and nut over the threaded end of each of the bolts. Run all of the nuts onto the bolts finger tight.

  5. 5

    Tighten 1/2-inch bolts to 75 foot lbs. with a socket and torque wrench. Tighten 5/8-inch bolts to 100 foot lbs. in the same fashion.

Tips and warnings

  • Some vehicles may require the removal of factory tow hooks or under-body-mounted spare tires to make room for the hitch. Remove tow hooks by twisting off the retaining nuts with a socket and ratchet. Remove the spare tire by following the tire-changing instructions in your vehicle’s owner guide.
  • Use only the bolts that came with your hitch to mount it. Use of lower grade bolts may cause the hitch to detach from the vehicle while towing and possibly cause an accident.

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