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R52 2018 S 4WD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to add a hitch to my 2018 S, and I see two ways to do that.

One way is just to buy 3rd party receiver and wiring. A III class receiver costs $150-180 at Amazon, and another hundred would go to the harness, brackets etc.
This 3rd party receiver would be easy to install, but it looks like it reduces the ground clearance - at least at the photos on the Internet.
An example:
Car Tire Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Vehicle registration plate


Another way is to go with native parts. The minimum I see is 999T5-RZ100 receiver ($180+), 999T8-XZ000 harness ($80+), 999T5-X5190 finisher ($50+) and, the most important, 85022-9PF1H bumper cover ($350+ and necessity to match the color). This should give something looking like below, with hitch hidden in the bumper:
Automotive tail & brake light Car Vehicle Tire Grille


So, the problem is that the 'native parts' approach not only doubles the costs of the parts, but also adds a lot of efforts on finding the bumper cover of the proper color and replacing it.

With that, the question is whether reduced ground clearance with 3rd party receiver is a serious issue? If someone has this type of hitch, what's the distance from it's lowest point to the ground? Is it less that the announced clearance of 180 mm / 7" of a stock Pathfinder?
 

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I installed the OEM Nissan hitch on my 2017. I bought the hitch, harness and finisher (Amazon and Ebay) and that was all I needed. It cost me ~$100 more than the aftermarket hitches but I wanted a) the factory look and b) the ground clearance. You have to cut the lower part of your bumper cover which is not painted. The finisher is the same color as the unpainted bumper cover so nothing more needed. Just make sure you get the finisher for your year. The pic below is a pre-2017 finisher as my 2017 looks a little difference.

Automotive tail & brake light Grille Vehicle Automotive lighting Motor vehicle
 

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There are a number of threads like this one on here describing the process. Lots of people have done it. I believe everything happens below the bumper cover, so no need to match colors. I could be wrong about that. I would strongly advise against the first option you mentioned. The rear suspension on the R52 Pathfinder is pathetic as it is and with that setup and even a moderate sized trailer, you'll be scraping the ground.
 

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R52 2018 S 4WD
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the references guys! Looks like a way to go, but there is still one important thing. All the photos I was able to found were for cutting of a 'flat' bumper cover, while 2018 S has three 'teeth' there.
And I wonder if it does not interfere with the central 'tooth'.

Car Tire Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Vehicle registration plate


But it's probably a question for one of those existing topics...
 

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My 2017 has "teeth". With the correct finisher, you basically cut the middle "tooth" out The finisher is square (circled in blue) and the right "tooth" is circled in red. It attaches via tape. Mine's been on for 5 years. Still looks like factory.
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