How to Install Trailer Hitch on Honda Odyssey

Last Updated on January 26, 2023 by Will Sabel

Since 1994, Honda, a Japanese automaker, has been producing and selling the Honda Odyssey minivan. It is now in the stage of the fifth generation which began in 2018. 

The first generation of Honda Odyssey is from 1994 to 1998, the second generation from 1999 to 2004, the third generation from 2005 to 2010, the fourth generation from 2011 to 2017, and the fifth generation from 2018 to 2022.

Although it has different model years, the installation process for all of these models is remarkably similar. For some models, if an underbody panel is present, it must be removed to install a hitch. The underbody panel is not available for all model years. So you only need to remove it if it has an underbody panel.

There are minor differences when fastening the bolts to the trailer hitch for different bands. A fish wire is necessary when installing a Curt trailer hitch, but it’s not necessary when using a Draw Tite hitch. The hitch can be easily fastened to the attachment point. 

Honda Odyssey Trailer Hitch Installation Steps

Required tools 

Having all the necessary tools on hand before beginning to install a hitch will make the job much easier. This saves you from rushing to bring the necessary tools while working.  So gather the following tools before starting to install a trailer hitch.

  • Safety glasses 
  • Flathead screwdriver 
  • Torque Wrench 
  •  Wire brush 
  • Ratchet 
  • Thread Tap 
  • 10 mm, 19 mm sockets 
Don't forget to check our reviews of Honda Odyssey Trailer hitches before you buy one.

1. Remove the underbody panel 

Removing underbody panel

If the underbody panel is present, you must remove it from the driver’s side by removing three pushpin fasteners and one bolt, and a Phillips screw. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the push-pin fasteners and a socket to remove the bolt. The process for removing push pins and sockets are as follows:

  • Put the flathead screwdriver to the center portion of the push pins and simply pull it out. Remove all three push pins.
  • Apply a 10 mm socket to the bolt to be removed.
  • Take a ratchet and remove the Phillips screw.
  •  Pull the underbody panel to remove it from its position.

2. Lower the exhaust

You will need to lower the exhaust to install the hitch for some models of  Honda Odyssey. Spray some penetrating oil to the exhaust hanger. Pry off the exhaust hanger by using a pry bar.

3. Clean the frame’s weld nuts 

To install the hitch, there are weld nuts under the frame rail on both the passenger and driver sides. Clean those weld nuts with a wire brush and penetrating oil. First, spray some penetrating oil and then take the wire brush and run it in and out several times to the weld nuts.

The rust and dirt that may have settled inside the threads can be removed with a wire brush. You need to use a thread tap if the nuts are too rusted to pass the bolt.

4. Place the hitch into the position 

Lift the hitch above the exhaust and align it with the frame hole and hitch hole. Because the trailer hitch is quite large and heavy, you will require the assistance of another person to lift it. You can also use an u-exclusive haul’s hitch to raise your hitch.

5 . Attach and fasten  the bolts

You will need a fish wire to install some trailer hitches, such as a curt hitch. After positioning the hitch follow the steps below.

  • Fasten the hitch with the two bolts and tooth washers provided on both sides.
  • Insert the coiled end of the fish wire from the attachment point and take it out from the access hole.
  • Insert the spacer over the coiled wire and into the access hole. 
  • Thread the carriage bolt through the fish wire and pull it through to the attachment point. 
  • Remove the fish wire. 
  • Flange nuts are used to secure the carriage bolt.

For other types of hitches, such as the draw Tite trailer hitch, you have to use three attachment points to install the hitch. There are two weld nuts near the rear frame and the third one is a little further from the first two. Follow the steps below to attach and fasten the bolts.

  • Take the provided spacer and place it between the hitch and the frame, aligning the hole. Put all three spacers on both sides.
  • Take the provided bolt with a conical washer and thread it to the weld nut. Thread all the bolts one by one.

6. Tighten and torque 

Tighten and torque all bolts according to the instruction after ensuring the hitch is perfectly installed with the provided bolts.

7. Raise the exhaust 

Exhaust hanger reinstall

Spray some soapy water on the exhaust hanger to make it easier to raise the exhaust back into place. Reattach the exhaust to the hanger.

8. Reinstall the underbody panel 

First, cut the underbody panel according to the manufacturing specification. Put the push pin, panels, bolt, and screw back in place to reinstall the underbody panel.


All model years of the Honda Odyssey have a similar installation process. There are some small differences; for some models, it is necessary to remove the underbody panel, whereas, for other models, it is not.

Another difference is installing trailer hitch while attaching hardware for different brands. For the Curt trailer hitch, the fish wire must be used to attach the hardware; however, the Draw Tite trailer hitch does not require the use of fish wire. Depending on the hitch and your vehicle, installation can take from 1 to 2 ½  hours.

honda odyssey trailer hitch installation

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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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