The Best RAV4 Trailer Hitch in 2022 | Hitch Receiver

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Toyota RAV4 Trailer Hitch
Toyota RAV4 Trailer Hitch

Experience of installing a hitch receiver on your Toyota RAV4 can vary widely from model to model and the type of trailer hitch you go for. While the cost because of the original equipment manufacturer (Toyota) trailer hitch is almost twice the price as other options, costs, even more, to install, and requires cutting in the bumper but is aesthetically better and also gives more ground clearance. Some people may want to go for a DIY installation and save the average $500 installation cost altogether. There are a lot of DIY installation videos for the RAV4 trailer hitch explaining every step and tool required. We have done some analysis and comparison on the RAV4 trailer hitch receivers available out there to help you with the decision. The journey on hitch installation begins with finding the compatible one to your model and year of Toyota RAV4

ToyotaCurtDraw-Tite Reese ECO hitch
Hitch Opening2 Inches2 Inches2 Inches2 Inches2 Inch
ClassClass 3Class 3Class 3Class 3Class 3
Gross Trailer Weight35004000450045005000
Weight in Pounds904140.448
BrandToyotaCurtDraw TiteReeseTorkLift
Rubber tubeYesIncludedNot IncludedNot includedNot included
Drilling/AlterationBumper AlterationNoneNoneNoneNo
RAV4 Trailer HitchCurt RAV4 Trailer Hitch 113416Draw Tite 76201 for RAV4 Trailer Hitch

Best hitches for Toyota RAV4 Comparison

Toyota (OEM) RAV4 Trailer Hitch PK960-4K10 looks the best with extra ground clearance

The Toyota genuine (OEM) hitch PK960-42K10 receiver for models 2019 to 2022 comes at a price of $360 which is almost twice that of other market options. You would need to have alterations to the bumper from where the hitch comes out and this kit includes the stencil which is used to draw it out. Going through the bumper basically means you have more ground clearance as compared to the ones which appear from under the bumper. The extra ground clearance helps it avoid scratching on driveways and higher speed bumps. The con is the price of the hitch and installation cost if you go for the service dealers. Someone of them has charged closer to 1000$s for installation because of the manhours it might take. Important to note that some of the best bike racks for Toyota RAV4 by Kuat and Thule are most compatible with the OEM hitch receiver because it gives the exact ground clearance required. In other circumstances, you might end up buying hitch extenders to improve the clearance for bike racks or trailers.

Curt 13416, Economical and easy-to-install hitch receiver for Toyota RAV4

At half the price of the OEM RAV4 trailer hitch, Curt’s hitch receiver does not require an alteration to the bumper and weighs lighter as well. Because of the low clearance, you might need to have to go for an adapter for some attachments. The adapter (around 50$s) should ensure that your carrier does not hit that ground on steep driveways or uneven roads. At a similar towing capacity this tow hitch is easier to install and with some DIY videos, you might as we be able to pull it off without professional support. Most customers of the product appreciate it because of the ease of installing (with the right tools it’s only about taking off the 4 pieces of tape). I would advise you to look carefully into the comments section for the product because for every model there is a different requirement. Specifically, the 2019-2022 adventure sits low and you might benefit from others’ experience while installing.

Draw-Tite 76201

Slight more economical as compared to the Curt receiver, this receiver does fit multiple RAV-4 2022 models including RAV4 Prime. Very easy to install and some customers did not even have to lower the exhaust and were able to install it completely within 30 minutes. The receiver has a maximum gross trailer weight of 4500 pounds but as we know the maximum allowed by any RAV4 is 3500 pounds only, so a slight overkill there.

Bolts and tooth washers for RAV4 Hitch receiver

Reese 84201

Another class -3, 2-inch trailer hitch with a capacity of 4500 pounds as well. This powder-coated hitch receiver has electric brackets for wire crossing. The wires are particularly needed if you need to tow a trailer and you will need some wires to cross into for light on it. Wiring costs are separate and the installation for that is another task in itself. Overall Reese has been in the business for almost 70 years and stress tests all its product models. Similar to Curt and Draw-Tite, Reese 84201 trailer hitch for RAV4 is also compatible with the weight distribution system. A weight distribution system helps to keep the trailer and the vehicle more stable as compared to being without it.

2018 and older model RAV4 trailer hitch options

The RAV4 2018 and older models would mostly not be compatible with the hitches mentioned above. Consider the below options from OEM, Draw-tie, and Curt.

Draw-Tite CURT Toyota
Hitch Opening2 Inches1-1/4-inch114
ClassClass 3Class 2Class 1
Gross Trailer Weight350035001500
Weight in Pounds3827.3
BrandDraw TiteCurtToyota
Rubber tubeNot includedNot includedYes

Toyota RAV4 towing capacity

2022 Toyota RAV4 towing capacity

The maximum towing capacity of 3500 comes in RAV4 2022 Adventure and TRD Off-road while almost all other versions of the vehicle have 1500 or 1750 pounds of towing capacity. The maximum allowed tow weight not just depends on the cargo but also on the base curb. Also, important to note is that some sensors such as the ‘kick sensor’ might not be useable after installing a hitch receiver on this model of RAV4.

LEHybrid LETRD Off-Road
XLEHybrid XLEXLE Premium
AdventureHybrid SELimited

Confirm more specs from the Toyota website

2021 Toyota rav4 towing capacity

Similar to the 2022 model the Toyota 2021 basic models have a towing capacity of 1500-1750 while the adventure and TRD models can manage 3500 pounds

2020 RAV 4 towing capacity

Amongst 2020 RAV4 models maximum capacity of the advanced adventure is 3,500 pounds while those of other models are around 1500 pounds

Rav4 prime tow capacity

The 2022 RAV4 Prime has a towing capacity of almost 2500 pounds. Similar capacity in the 2021 RAV4 prime as well.

How to install a trailer hitch on a Toyota rav4

Tools required to install a trailer hitch on Toyota rav4

  • Compatible RAV4 Trailer Hitch along with some penetrating oil
  • Torque wrench to ensure bolts are torqued to the right limit. Not having it on the right torque would mean the risk of damaging or getting them to lose sooner than they should
  • Some cleaning utensils to clear the area of bolts where previously rubbers seals or stickers were pasted
  • A ratchet since you would not be completely able to the screws given the spacing and structure of the SUV
  • A safe way of holding the hitch in position while installing it. Extra pair of hands or a jack

Steps for installing a trailer hitch on Toyota RAV4

Follow the below steps for installing a stand hitch

  1. Bring the vehicle to a position where you can easily access the area where installation is required. A slope might help create more clearance from the ground
  2. Take off any sticker or rubbering coverings from the holes where the bolts will go in
  3. Clean the area inside using any brush, WD-40, or cleaning agent as per the condition of the holes
  4. Once dry, bring the trailer hitch receiver into position and screw in the bolts without fully torquing them yet
  5. Use the wrench to snug everything up, bring it to the exact force as mentioned by the manufacturer, and use the torque wrench. You might have to use a few additional tools for the passenger side because the area is too tight. Please go through the below video for a visual view of what you might need to install a curt trailer hitch
Steps for installing a trailer hitch on Toyota RAV4

FAQs for best hitches for Toyota RAV4

What is the bolt torque for a curt trailer hitch for Toyota RAV4?

The bolt torque for the curt trailer hitch for Toyota RAV4 is 86 ft-lb as per the instructions

How much would it cost to install a RAV4 trailer hitch?

The hitch alone can cost you from $150 to $500 depending on which one you select. OEM hitch is expensive while Curt and other brands sell it cheaper. Some hitch receivers are fairly simple to install and with the right tools, there should hardly be an additional cost if you decided to DIY. Getting it installed by a professional can cost an additional $100-$1000, depending on the man-hours it takes to install it. Again the Toyota service center would be more expensive as compared to non-branded mechanics. Lastly, this does not include the cost of wiring required to light the trailer and its installation.

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Bike Scientist

S Chaudhry is the founder and the first writer for BikesRacks. He covers almost all the bike reviews after doing a lot of secondary and primary (hands on) research on the products. Apart from that he is the author of a number of how to do articles as well on the website. He is an avid road bike cyclists who is dealing in a lot of areas related to biking. Currently he has gained experience fixing bikes to retailing accessories related to them as well. His eventual goal is to build an authority site on cycling and also become a profession bike fitter.