Toyota Tacoma: How to Install a Trailer Hitch

The Toyota Tacoma is designed to tow up to 3,500 pounds. Read on to learn how to install a trailer hitch and start towing.

By Bassem Girgis - February 16, 2016

This article applies to the Toyota Tacoma (1996-2015).

Installing a trailer hitch on your Toyota Tacoma gives you the freedom of connecting any trailer to your truck. Whether you always tow, or you just want to have the option to tow, installing a trailer hitch adds value to your truck. You can always install a bike rack to your trailer hitch quickly and easily. Installing a trailer hitch requires a little bit of work, but once installed, your Tacoma will always be ready to tow. Read on to learn how to install almost any trailer hitch to your truck.

Trailer hitch
Figure 1. Trailer hitch.

Materials Needed

  • Socket
  • Trailer hitch

Step 1 – Remove rear bumper

The bumper is held in place by two bolts on each side: two on the driver's side, and two on the passenger side. Use your socket to remove the bolts, then slowly remove the bumper.

Removing rear bumper bolts
Figure 2. Remove bumper.

Step 2 – Remove bumper brackets

There are two bumper brackets: one on the driver's side, and one on the passenger side. Remove the three bolts holding each bracket in place, then remove the brackets.

Remove two bumper brackets
Figure 3. Remove two bumper brackets.

Step 3 – Install trailer hitch

Install the trailer hitch to the holes in the frame. Then, install the two bumper brackets back on and tighten the two bolts on each side of the trailer hitch as well as the three bolts on each of the bumper brackets. Install bumper to the bumper brackets, then tighten the two bolts on each side.

  • Install trailer hitch
    Figure 4. Install trailer hitch.
  • Install bumper brackets
    Figure 5. Install bumper brackets.
  • Install bumper
    Figure 6. Install bumper.

Featured Video: Trailer Hitch Installation

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