How to Install Hitch Wiring on a RAV4

Written by jonathan pfeiffer
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How to Install Hitch Wiring on a RAV4
Installing hitch wiring allows you to legally connect a trailer to your vehicle. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The Toyota RAV4 is a mini SUV designed for family recreation as well as light off-roading. It is capable of towing small loads making it ideal for moving and other duties that require a trailer. Whether you already own a trailer hitch or in the market to purchase one, the trailer lights must be properly wired to the vehicle. In order to have that happen, a trailer wiring harness and small amount of time will be needed. Following a few key steps, a trailer harness can be installed in a short amount of time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Interior panel removal tool
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Self-tapping screws
  • 1/4-inch ratchet and socket set
  • Aftermarket trailer wiring harness
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Zip ties
  • Open-end wrench set
  • Yellow butt connectors

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  1. 1

    Open the hatchback door to the RAV4. Utilise the interior panel removal tool to pull out the middle panel in the floor of the trunk. Use a ¼-inch ratchet and socket along with a Phillips-head screwdriver to take out the bolts holding the side panels in place. Use the panel removal tool to assist you in removing the panels and put them aside.

  2. 2

    Find the port located on the backside of the driver's side tail light. Disconnect the stock wiring harness plugged into the port. Connect the stock harness to the aftermarket trailer harness receptacle and the aftermarket wiring harness into the port on the tail light. Repeat the process for the tail light located on the passenger side.

  3. 3

    Utilise a drill and self-tapping screw to secure the white wire from the driver's side harness into the surrounding sheet metal. Use a pair of wire strippers to strip the end of the aftermarket kits' black wire and the red wire from the harnesses' control box. Use a yellow butt connector and a pair of wire crimpers to connect the stripped wires together.

  4. 4

    Feed the black wire through the grommet located underneath the driver's side tail light. Using the tape provided with the kit, attach the trailer box to the interior panel. Put the interior panels back into place and lock them back down using the factory hardware.

  5. 5

    Feed the black wire up to the front of the RAV4. Make use of zip ties to fasten the length of wire to the chassis. Lead the wire into the engine compartment, cut it to length and strip the end. Use a pair of wire crimpers and a yellow butt connector to connect a fusible lead to the black wire. Utilise an open-end wrench to connect the opposite end of the fusible lead to the positive terminal on the battery. Put in the fuse to the fuse holder.

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