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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
THE 2011 HAS AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT REAR FASCIA THAN EARLIER MODELS. IT EXTENDS ALMOST FORWARD TO THE MUFFLER. IT EXTENDS SO FAR FORWARD THAT THE DEALER WOULD NOT/COULD NOT INSTALL THE FACTORY WIRING HARNESS THAT CAME AS PART OF THE TOW PACKAGE. THEY SAID (AND I AGREE) THAT IT COULD NOT BE INSTALLED WITHOUT REMOVING THE ENTIRE FASCIA (OR CUTTING BACK THE FASCIA AS PART OF THE HITCH INSTALL).

AN E-MAIL TO CURT ASKING ABOUT INSTALLING A HITCH ON A 2011 RESULTED IN THE REPLY: "WE HAVE NO EXPERIENCE WITH THE 2011 YET"

E TRIALER WAS VERY HELPFUL. THEY CALLED HIDDEN HITCH FOR ME. THE MESSAGE WAS THAT THE FASCIA WOULD NEED TO BE TRIMMED.

WAITING FOR A HICH TO BE DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR THE 2011 WASN'T AN OPTION BECAUSE 1) I DIDN'T HAVE THE TIME 2) IT AIN'T GOING TO HAPPEN -- LOOKING AT HOW THOROUGHLY THE THE FASCIA COVERS THE AREA.

CONSIDERING ALL OF THE ABOVE, AND BASED ON THE POSITIVE COMMENTS I FOUND ON THIS FORUM REGARDING CURT PRODUCTS, I TOOK THE PLUNGE AND ORDERED A 2010 HITCH ON LINE FOR $123.98 USD (DELIVERED)

I WILL ATTEMPT TO ATTACH MY PICS OF THE SUCCESSFUL INSTALLATION.

1ST PICTURE IS OF THE "BEFORE SURGERY" REAR END FASCIA SUPPORTS. PLEASE NOTE THE FACTORY PAINTED BLACK MUFFLER. THE ENTIRE MUFFLER IS PAINTED TO THE TOP.

2ND PICTURE IS THE "CUT OFF". THERE IS A VISIBLE RIDGE TO FOLLOW. IT WAS FAIRLY EASY TO DO.

3RD PITURE IS THE "CUT OFF" WITH A RULER TO ILLUSTRATE HOW MUCH I CUT.

4TH PICTURE IS INTENDED TO SHOW (MORE CLEARLY) THE PLASTIC SUPPORTS THAT YOU WILL ENCOUNTER. I PURPOSELY AVOIDED CUTTING THEM TO SHOW THEIR SIZE AND PURPOSE. THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY EASY TO CUT WITH THE INITIAL PASS (SABRE SAW, W/ SHORT VERY FINE BLADE). THESE SUPPORTS ARE SCREWED INTO THE UNDERBODY MORE TOWARDS THE REAR OF THE CAR. THEY ARE SECURED TO SECTION OF THE FASCIA THAT I CUT WITH FOUR PLASIC FASTENERS. PLEASE SEE THE FOUR HOLES IN THE "CUT OFF" SECTION. BE CAREFUL REMOVING THE PLASTIC FASTENERS AS YOU WILL BE RE-USING THEM. AFTER TAKING THE PICTURE, I CUT THE SUPPORTS FLUSH WITH THE REMAINING FASCIA. I THEN DIRLLED 5/16 HOLES THROUGH THE REMAINING FASCIA AND SUPPORTS AND REINSTALLED THE FOUR PLASTIC FASTENERS. IT WORKED BEAUTIFULLY.

5TH PICTURE IS THE FINISHED PRODUCT. I FOUND THAT I NEEDED TO MAKE AND ADDITIONAL 1" DEEP CUT, APPROXIMATELY 3" WIDE TO KEEP THE INSTALLED HITCH FROM DISTORTING THE REMAINING FASCIA. I THINK THAT YOU CAN SEE WHAT I DID. A GENTLE RADIUS CURVE WOULD HAVE LOOKED GOOD ALSO. I HAD THE HITCH NEARLY INSTALLED WHEN I DISCOVERD THIS AND THERE WAS NO WAY THAT I WAS GOING TO STRUGGLE WITH THOSE BOLTS AGAIN, SO I MADE THE ADDITIONAL LITTLE CUT WITH THE HITCH HANGING THERE.

TIP: IF YOU ARE INSTALLING ANY WIRING, DO IT AFTER THE CUT, BEFORE INSTALLING THE HITCH.

I CUT OFF THE ABSOLUTE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF FASCIA. IT WAS A TOUGH FIT GETTING THE HITCH UP, IN AND AROUND THE TIGHT SPACES. THE HITCH HAD TO BE "CONVINCED" TO MAKE IT INTO THE "STRETCHED AND PULLED" REMAINING FASCIA. I EVENTUALLY WON.

I APOLOGIZE FOR THE POOR QUALITY PHOTOS AND CONSTRUCTION OF THIS "HOW TO" POST. I'M 62 AND STILL LEARNING.

THAT'S SALT ON MY PATRIOT. I LIVE IN MICHIGAN.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS LITTLE PATRIOT.
 

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Great post! I know several folks have been waiting to see how the hitch would fit an 11 model. Thank you for being the first!
 

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Hey that finished result looks really good!. It doesn't look like the bumper was hacked away.

I am curious what the 2011 FDII looks like, as it is supposed to come from the factory with the wiring harness, right? Or is that only a part of the "Trailer Tow Prep Group" now?

Either way, I wonder what the Factory Trailer tow Prep group looks like
 

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Hey, Great job!

I have a Curt Class III hitch and wire harness that i removed from my 2010 Patriot (write off) and I have a couple questions.

1 - Did you remove the bumper cover to install the hitch, or just cut the cover while it was still attached to the Jeep?

2 - Did you also order the wire harness for the 2010 Curt Class III hitch? And, did you install it?

When I installed the hitch on our 2010 we removed the bumper cover completely and that made it super easy to install the hitch. I didn't get to install the wiring before the Jeep was totaled but i do have it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
MrBrandonScott-
My 2011 is a FDI. I ordered it with the trailer tow prep package. This package on the 2011 included the oil cooler (installed at the factory), the full size spare and the wiring harness which was in a plastic bag to be installed by the dealer or owner. There isn't any room to install it with the new rear fascia as it is delivered. The rear bumper cover would need to be removed or modified as in my install to gain access. This factory harness is MUCH more involved than an aftermarket harness. Which is better??????--that's up to whoever.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Niblips-
I considered removing the whole shebang -- but wanted to visually line up the frame (unibody) hitch mounting holes to the fascia as installed to eyeball how much to cut off. I couldn't do that with the bumper cover off, although I can see how that would make a straight forward install easier. Cutting the fascia in place was not that difficult. You just need a good fluffy piece of cardboard to lay on.

I ordered my 2011 with the trailer tow package which included the wiring harness, so I did not order the wiring kit from Curt. I did have to install the factory harness.

I was impressed with the Curt hitch. I also liked the fact that Curt made provisions for additional bolts through the frame. They were not the easiest thing to drill or install but were certainly a plus over the other hitches that relied on just four bolts as opposed to the Curt unit's six.
 

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Manual2011- I am glad you say that you love your Jeep! It is a great vehicle. Just one question, why did you decide to go for a class III if the Pat is not rated to pull more than 2,000 lbs?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
dj xs--

1) The class III price was within PENNIES of the class II.
2) I have several different ball mounts of varying drops and rises from previous vehicles that fit the 2" square class III receiver.
3) I don't have any class II ball mounts.
4) I have a bike rack that fits the class III
5) I have a cargo basket that fits the class III
6) There are many more accessories like #4 and #5 above that fit class III's
7) When I sell the vehicle, there are far more people out there that are in a similar situation like me (having class III accessories).
8) Class II is not as strong as class III.
9) I can't imagine that the class II would be any easier than the class III to install. The fascia would have to be cut on a 2011 to install ANYTHING.
10) Given all of the above, why wouldn't you buy a class III?
 

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Niblips-
I considered removing the whole shebang -- but wanted to visually line up the frame (unibody) hitch mounting holes to the fascia as installed to eyeball how much to cut off. I couldn't do that with the bumper cover off, although I can see how that would make a straight forward install easier. Cutting the fascia in place was not that difficult. You just need a good fluffy piece of cardboard to lay on.

I ordered my 2011 with the trailer tow package which included the wiring harness, so I did not order the wiring kit from Curt. I did have to install the factory harness.

I was impressed with the Curt hitch. I also liked the fact that Curt made provisions for additional bolts through the frame. They were not the easiest thing to drill or install but were certainly a plus over the other hitches that relied on just four bolts as opposed to the Curt unit's six.
Thanx for the quick reply... I hope when I install mine this spring that it goes a smoothly as yours did.
 

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you have to cut the rear fascia for the MOPAR hitch too. The factory one is designed that way to keep the departure angles high and I think also to keep the trailer from being too low to the ground.

Most class III are 2" opening and most class II is 1.25" opening. Although there used to be a few class II hitches that had 2" opening, but I don't think that is the case anymore.

Accessories that fit a 2" opening are easier to find than those that fit 1.25" opening.

- Dan M
 

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Went ahead and installed a Class II hitch on the patriot yesterday. It looks really well and even with cutting the bumper the hitch is still hidden behind it. The most difficult part was getting the tools in there to tighten the bolts to the frame.
 

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Went ahead and installed a Class II hitch on the patriot yesterday. It looks really well and even with cutting the bumper the hitch is still hidden behind it. The most difficult part was getting the tools in there to tighten the bolts to the frame.
What brand hitch did you use? I emailed etrailer about the changes to the 2011's and the purchase of a draw-tite hitch. They told me the draw-tite hitch would not need the rear bumper to be cut up to install on the 2011. It doesn't take a genius to see you're going to need to cut the bumper though.
 

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If you do not have the oil coolerthan your tow capacity rating is 1000 lbs,with the oil cooler the capacity is 2000 lbs.
 

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Don't Cut So Much!

Hello-

I've been reading the posts here, and scratching my head.

I just put a Curt class 3 hitch on my 2012 patriot, and I only had to cut a notch in the facia the size of the 2" square tubing.

You don't need to cut the entire bottom of the bumper off. The receiver can be slid in between the bumper and the exhaust. Then just put one bolt in each side, and roll the receiver up until it hits the bumper. Start cutting the bumper where it is contacting the top of the 2" receiver sticking out. Cut a little then lift up the receiver. Cut some more and lift up again until your second set of bolt holes line up. Slide in the second two bolts and you are done. Super easy. I used a vibrating multi-tool to cut the bumper. You can't even tell that I did it. It is just a 2" x 3" notch out of the bumper. The rest of the receiver is hidden behind the bumper.

No lifts or jacks or special tools required. Just a little bit of patience and mechanical ability and you are set. The instructions said to drop down the exhaust and remove the heat shield, but that is not necessary.

Ask me questions if you want, or if anyone wants my finished pictures, just ask.

Good luck. Not a hard job. Thanks-

Jason
 
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