Trailer Hitch Installation on 2018 PHEV - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Trailer Hitch Installation on 2018 PHEV

I'm restarting the Hitch thread with some results. I just finished installing a Curt class III hitch with 2" receiver. I will use it for a bike rack. The local installer (Rack and Road) started the installation but couldn't finish because there is a piece on the passenger side frame that interferes with the hitch. I brought the hitch home, made a small modification of the hitch (it can be done with a hacksaw blade on a sawzall or a grinder with a cutting blade.) I then installed the hitch following the youtube instructions from eTrailer.com. The installation went smoothly.

A class III hitch is rated for significant tongue weight, which I will never approach with a bike rack. The hitch modification involved notching the vertical metal plate above the forward mounting hole on passenger side. You can leave 1/4" of metal above the hole and only need to notch the hitch about 4" so the other mounting hole is not affected at all. I don't think this weakens the hitch at all, but even if it does, the hitch, with 6 attachment points, is way over-engineered for a bike rack. Hitch installations are kind of hard and Rack and Road would have done it after I modified the hitch, but I just decided to do it myself.

I saw a video for installation of a Drawtite hitch which seemed to be more problematic. I would recommend a Curt; I know it will work on a 2018 and 2019 PHEV with a simple modification.

Robert
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 09:37 AM
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Did you cut only the hitch, or did you have to cut off any parts on the Niro itself? And would it affect any warranty on the car directly/indirectly?

I got a PHEV and want a hitch for bike rack too, but I'm not handy myself with such jobs. Need to find a place in Greater Toronto Area who can do such hacks to make things work.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 05:16 PM
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The curt just requires the hitch that you are installing to have a bit trimmed off. As well, there is a small modification needed to the back wheel cover. That part if you needed to replace can be purchased from KIA.. unlike the Drawtite hitch that wants you to cut the rear bumper.

2018 Niro EX - Ocean Blue
GTA - Canada.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 09:33 AM
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Can you recommend someone who can do that in the west of GTA (Mississauga/Brampton/Oakville/Milton/Burlington)?

And 2 questions about those modifications

1. Does cutting off the hitch bring more chances of rust seeping in?

2. Does modifying the back wheel cover or bumper void the warranty?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythisme View Post
Can you recommend someone who can do that in the west of GTA (Mississauga/Brampton/Oakville/Milton/Burlington)?

And 2 questions about those modifications

1. Does cutting off the hitch bring more chances of rust seeping in?

2. Does modifying the back wheel cover or bumper void the warranty?

1. If you cut the small notch on the one side of the hitch, just make sure to give it a blast of Rustolium paint.

2. The cover that it getting trimmed is cosmetic. It's a small bit that you need to notch to miss where the hitch is now getting bolted to. There is no way they could say it voids the warranty. It would be like KIA saying that since you repaced the floor mats inside your car, your warranty is void.
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2018 Niro EX - Ocean Blue
GTA - Canada.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 08:49 AM
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Thanks for the tips. I'm checking around who can do that for me now...

Love my new De-Niro PHEV
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 01:43 PM
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BTW, been thinking about this, is a class III an overkill for a bike rack? Can a class II suffice? I wonder if the heavier weight of the Class III hitch versus a Class II can have any impact on the economy. Or maybe the weight difference is to insignificant in this case?
EDIT: Got the above answer in another post.


BTW, I've called many auto part suppliers, and most have refused the installation, and one is charging more than the hitch price itself for labor!?! Sigh...

Love my new De-Niro PHEV

Last edited by mythisme; 06-05-2019 at 01:50 PM.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 02:35 PM
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I actually have a second Curt class iii hitch sitting inside my shed waiting for some better weather to install it onto the back of my wifes Niro. Short of the little bit of metal on the hitch that needs to be removed, its not that bog of a job. I installed it on my Niro in less than 30 minutes. It was a bit easier with the help of a second person, but all they did was hold the other side up while I fitted the first bolt in the hitch. It could have been a cardboard box holding the other side up for all it mattered.


I don't know where in the GTA you live. I am in the west end. I can understand why the auto places don't want to do it as it's a liability sort of thing that if you decide you don't like it or complain, then they are out, so want to charge enough to cover the risk.

2018 Niro EX - Ocean Blue
GTA - Canada.

Last edited by Roadkill401; 06-05-2019 at 02:37 PM.
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