Toyota Tundra: How to Install a Trailer Hitch

Towing is a big part of owning a Toyota Tundra, but you can't tow without a trailer hitch. Read on to learn how you can install one.

By Bassem Girgis - January 28, 2016

This article applies to the Toyota Tundra (2000-present).

The Toyota Tundra is a truck capable of much more than hauling passengers and things in the bed. It is also capable of towing up to 10,500 pounds. If you don't have the towing package on your truck from the factory, don't give up. This guide is designed to show you how you can install a trailer hitch on your Toyota Tundra so you can start towing immediately. The process isn't hard. Just be sure to purchase a hitch that can handle the load you plan on towing, and be careful to not exceed the maximum towing capacity for your Toyota Tundra, which is lower for trucks not equipped for towing from the factory. Read on to start towing.

Figure 1. Typical trailer hitch.

Materials Needed

  • Socket and ratchet
  • Impact wrench
  • Trailer hitch

Step 1 – Remove rear brackets

Remove the angle brackets between the bumper and the frame rail. There should be four fasteners for each bracket and two brackets, one on each side. You may need a big ratchet handle and 1/2" drive to get them loose, or an impact gun, as they are larger diameter bolts, and torqued pretty tight. Put the brackets somewhere safe, as you will not be installing them again unless you remove your hitch in the future.

Figure 2. Remove brackets on both side of frame rails.

Step 2 – Install trailer hitch

If you bought a trailer hitch specifically for your Tundra, it should fit right in place, as all the trucks have the bolt holes in the frame already. Ask for a helping hand when aligning the hitch in place, as it could get rather heavy, or use a jack to lift and hold it in place. Use the bolts provided with your hitch, or quality grade 8 or better hardware, and be sure to use the proper nuts. The hitch will be attached to the frame. Be sure to install the bolts on both sides, and torque them good and tight.

  • Figure 3. If your washer has teeth, they face the hitch, not the nut
  • Figure 4. Install bolts, washers, and nuts.

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