How to Attach a Hitch to a Minivan

Last Updated on March 15, 2023 by Will Sabel

Minivan trailer hitch installation

A minivan is a vehicle with a low body, sliding or hinged rear doors, and three rows of seats that can accommodate up to 8-9 passengers. It provides plenty of room for both passengers and luggage.

You’ll need to install a hitch if you’re going on vacation and want to tow something like a trailer, boat, kayak, or bike. Ultimately, you’ll need a hitch if you intend to tow anything with your vehicle. You must be familiar with the hitch installation process to do so.  This article will provide you with some ideas for installing a hitch.

1. Determine your minivan’s lifting capacity

Determine your vehicle’s lifting capacity before installing the hitch. Don’t tow anything that exceeds the weight limit of your minivan. If you are confused about your minivan’s weight capacity, consult the instruction manual book.

2. Select hitch class

Minivans often have Class 2 hitches. The weight capacities of hitch classes differ.

As you upgrade the hitch class, the load capacity increases. A class 2 vehicle, for example, can transport up to 2000 pounds, while a class 3 vehicle can carry up to 3000 pounds. As a result, you must choose a hitch class based on the weight capacity that you intend to tow.

3. Collect hitch 

Trailer Hitch

You must purchase the hitch after selecting the hitch class. Many companies manufacture hitch. Investigate and buy the hitch that appears to be the best fit for you.

4. Gathering tool

After you’ve collected the hitch, it’s time to gather the tools you’ll need to install it. The tools you will need for installment are listed below.

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Safety glasses
  • Torque wrench
  • Impact  wrench
  • 13,15 and 18 mm sockets
  • A marker 
  • Razor blade or utility knife
  • Pry bar
  • Silicone lubricant

5. Lift your minivan

Firstly, you have to lift your minivan. Don’t forget to wear safety glasses before starting the procedure of installing the hitch. Use a lifting jack to raise your minivan. Lifting your minivan will allow you to work more efficiently. Because it gives you more room in the minivan’s frame.

6. Remove splash shield

removing splash shield

Some minivans come with a splash shield. If your minivan has one, take it off. Skip this step if you don’t have a splash shield. The steps for removing the splash shield are as follows:

  • Remove screws with a 10 mm socket
  • Remove plastic push pin with a flathead screwdriver
  • Pill the splash shield with your hand

7. Lowering the exhaust

Lowering the exhaust

Lower the exhaust by removing the rubber isolator. Use a 13 mm socket to remove the hanger bolt of the exhaust. Pull the hanger in the opposite direction from you. Push it with a pry bar and pull the exhaust down. As a result, your exhaust will be removed.

8. Remove bolts

The minivan’s frame has three attachment bolts on the driver’s side and two on the passenger side. Some minivans have the same number of bolts on both sides. It depends on the model of your minivan. You have to remove those bolts using 18 mm and 15 mm sockets.

If your minivan has a splash shield, the attachment points can be found after removing the splash shield. Those attachment points are covered with protective tape. Remove the tape using a flathead screwdriver.

9. Remove the bumper cover 

If necessary, the bumper cover can be removed. You can also install the hitch without removing the bumper cover. However, you must adjust the hitch placement by pulling the bumper cover if you don’t remove the bumper cover.

10. Put the hitch

Place the hitch in place by aligning the attachment points of the minivan and the hitch holes. Remember, the hitch weighs more than 50 pounds. So you’ll need someone to hold the hitch while you put it in place. Hitch jacks are manufactured by a few companies. You can use a hitch jack to lift your hitch into place.

11. Install bolts to the hitch

You have to install the hitch by inserting all the bolts into the attachment points. Follow the steps below.

  • Take all the bolts
  • Insert all the bolts to the attachment points with your hand.
  • Tighten the bolts with your hand first.
  • Then tighten the bolts with an impact  wrench and a Torque Wrench

12. Raising the exhaust

Bring the exhaust back to its position. Pull the hanger and put the exhaust into place by pushing it.  You can use some silicone lubricant while removing and installing the exhaust.

13. Reinstall the splash shield 

Splasho install

If your minivan comes with a splash shield then reinstall it. Otherwise, skip this step. Before reinstalling the splash shield, you must mark and cut it according to the instructions. Mark the shield and cut the marking line with a razor blade. Now place the splash shield in the position. Insert the push pins and screws to secure the splash shield.

Final Words

If you’re thinking about installing a hitch on your minivan but are worried about the installation, this article might be helpful. Follow the instruction above to install the hitch to your minivan.

It’s vital to remember that not all minivans have the same underneath the frame. Some have splash shields, whereas others don’t. The steps for uninstalling and installing a splash shield are detailed above. You must avoid these procedures if your minivan does not come with a splash shield.

Read Next: How is the length of travel trailer measured?

Author: Will Sabel

Will Sabel is an avid car enthusiast. When he's not writing for RidersWant, you'll find him cruising the country in a new car. People are always wondering how many cars he has!

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