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2021 Trailblazer Active AWD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For reference, this is a quick explanation of how the optional trailer hitch gets installed on a Trailblazer. I've seen discussions regariding third party hitches but how do you compare those to the dealer installed one? Maybe a little understanding might help.

For myself, I am interested in cycling, so I wanted a better way to carry a bike, and the better bike racks are usually trailer hitch mounted. But at the same time, I didn't want any loss in ground clearance as access to a lot of Mt. Bike trails involve unpaved roads and fields.

Key information the might be helpful is that in order to attach the hitch, there are electrical connectors behind the rear bumper cover that are accessed by removing that cover as well as there are additional structural items for added strength. While I have done items like this before, I had this performed at the dealership before taking delivery as I wanted to have to option for use right at the start of car delivery.

If you do order the kit from the dealership, there are unique bezels that are installed surrounding the hitch that are unique to your vehicle trim leve such as LS, Active or RS. Remember, this will extend into the Buick versions of the vehicle as well.

So what's involved?

A good majority of the work is just getting the rear bumper cover off. To do that, the rear wheels have to be removed, several body clips and fender liners have to then be removed. There is another piece of trim that is on the outside of the wheel well that then has to be taken off as it joins over the gap between the rear quarter panel and the bumper cover. After all of that, you can then can remove the cover. To give one an idea of this, from the instructions on the hitch installation guide looks like:

542


And the above illustration, you can see the structural beam that will have to be removed:

543

Here is a better view of that beam, and in the inset of the image, you will see where some additional structures will be inserted.

And all those different bezels to surround the hitch?
544

Just ensure the dealership has the right one for your trim level as they are different. There are guides behind the cover that mark where to remove material. But again, unique per trim levels.

When finished, the hitch is nicely tucked up out of the way and won't affect ground clearance. Yesterday was probably the first day I really got to get out with it, and I drove a couple of miles of dirt roads and was pretty happy to arrive the parking lot with a clean bike rack (my last vehicle would collect a lot of mud/spray from the rear wheels).

Here's what the rack in the hitch looked like:
545


I liked the fact that it's tucked up out-of-the-way, you can see the muffler is still at a lower point.
 
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2021 Chevy Trailblazer Activ
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Thanks for the involved look! I just ordered my hitch and bezel cover. I will be preforming the install with a friend. I found instructions off curt's website for their hitch. But I can not find instructions online for the OEM hitch. I would like to read through it before I get the hitch. Does anyone know where I can find it?
 

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2021 Trailblazer Active AWD
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I do believe it should be included with the kit, but I don't think a lot of the service materials have been released yet to 3rd parties (not sure why).
 

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Hi! I just picked up my hitch from the dealer today, and was counting on the install instructions promised by gmauthority...

"Naturally, Chevrolet recommends taking the 2021 Trailblazer to a dealer for the job, but for those DIY’ers out there, every hitch and trim piece comes with instructions and a template for where the bumper should be cut. "

My hitch was backordered and has take 2 months to arrive, and I still have at least 2 more weeks before my trim piece arrives, and I did not get the instructions/template that I was promised. Does anyone have at least the instructions? I am trying to decide if I can install the hitch now (so I can get back to biking) or if I need to wait until I get the trim piece and instructions/template.

Thanks
-Shannon
 

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2021 Chevy Trailblazer Activ
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I finally got my OEM hitch installed on my TB Activ about 2 weeks ago. Here are my experiences with it so far.
Installation.... I originally was going to do it myself. The hitch and bezel from Chevy did not come with instructions. I had to call my dealership and they sent me a PDF version of them. I asked them if they have ever installed a hitch yet too. They said no. After reviewing the instructions, I felt like this may be way over my head to do. More like I couldn't get myself to cut the bumper on my new TB. And all the trim pieces that have to come off, I didn't want to break anything. After my dealership said they never installed a hitch yet on the new TB. I figured I would call around to a Chevy dealership that has done one. No one in my area (Pittsburgh, PA) has done this install yet. So, I just brought it to my original dealer. They said it would take about 2.5 hours to do. I waited in the dealership for it (bad move). The install actually took 5.5 hours for them to do. The service manager was very nice about it but he sternly said, "they will never install one again for a customer". They ended up breaking 2 trim pieces and cutting the bumper for the bezel was not easy at all. In the end, my TB looks great and they did a good job installing it. I am sure glad I had them install it instead of me.
Using the hitch.... I mainly use the hitch with a cargo carrier to carry supplies and bikes. I would suggest to use the Curt #18110 Cargo Carrier (48" x 20" Black Steel Tray Cargo Carrier (1-1/4", 2" Adapter, 300 lbs.)). I like this one because the shank curves up giving you more clearance in the back. It also sticks out far enough to clear the back bumper, but does not stick out too far. The only issue I have with the OEM hitch is that I need to lay on the ground to get the pin in to secure the hitch. It is recessed so far in the bumper that its hard to see where everything lines up. Other than that, the hitch works well!!!
 

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2021 LT AWD
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I would of had to test drive every vehicle waiting that long. My fear would be cutting the bumper cover to perfection, but being off center. Please post a few pics. Would you also post the instructions.
 

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2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer LS
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I bought the LS a couple of months ago and was told 2 different things by the same dealer parts store, 2 different employees. I am trying to determine if the LS can even have the hitch attached in order to install the bike rack assembly. The dealer tells me to contact GM directly because they can’t determine if a hitch can be bought and mounted to my vehicle or if it can, what part number it would be. Is there direction somewhere as to different LS models that would allow/not allow a tailer hitch?
 

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2021 Chevy Trailblazer Activ
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From what I understand, the hitch can be put on any model of the trailblazer. BUT, it's the bezel piece that might be the confusion. I'm pretty sure there is a bezel for the LS model. I would go to the Chevy accessories website and put in your specific model. That will give you all the parts that are for your model by the manufacturer.
 

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2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer LS
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Thanks for the quick response. Using the login to MyChevrolet and viewing accessories using my VIN yields the bike racks that fit into the receiver of the trailer hitch as well as roof rack cross beams and accessories but it does not give me an option to buy the receiver or the roof rail kit for the cross beams(the actual tracks that have to be mounted to the drilled out anchors of the roof). The dealer said they could not find GM suggestions for my LS to sell or install for either the receiver or the roof rail kit. This contrary to what I was told from the dealer sales reps at the time of buying the vehicle. Had I known these options weren’t available for purchase, I would have insisted on a different vehicle. The parts guys suggested I contact the dealer service guys(100’) away from their alcove and get advice. I mentioned that service simply schedules service and knows nothing about the vehicles and parts agreed. SOL I guess.
 

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2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer LS
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FYI, after my dealer service department stated that they would not like to take my money to install the hitch on my LS, I found the entity they sub work to would purchase and install the hitch-$335. I also found out that U-Haul routinely sells, installs, and provides a receiver with accessories in stock. They will also install products brought to them for a fee. Not every location will do this but most that rent trailers will given the benefit that you are more likely to rent their products with the appropriate equipment.
 

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2021 TB Zues Bronze Activ
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Looks good.
 
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