Help Needed with Short person and 2019 Chevy Trax AWD lift hatch

Thanks. The guy at the parts department just looked it up on a commuter and said there’s nothing he can do. He says only two types of lifts are available for the 2019 Trax. I asked if other GM parts lifts can be used. The salesmen is a decent guy and this is not a big town so he has some incentive.

Yes I’ve seen it. It is a last resort though. I really want the hitch step or modify the lift struts.

OK, I have one more thought than I am out of ideas . Find a custom vehicle shop and see if they can fabricate some kind of handle than she can reach but will not hit the bumper cover when closed.

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Can a rope or strap be attached to the inside of the hatch? It’ll hang down when the hatch is opened. When closing the hatch she can flip it inside just before she closes it completely.


The issue with the strap is the plastic isn’t strong enough for repeated use unless it’s bolted into the metal. That is an option though. Thanks. Hope to get more ideas from you all.

One thing you can bet will happen if a step is added to a hitch is that you and others are going to bang the shins into at some point; or many points.

One problem with shorter struts is that a few inches off the original struts could mean the bottom of the lift gate will be much lower than a couple of inches. Instead of shins then it’s forehead banging into it every time she leans inside.

I tend to think shanonia’s suggestion about a rope attached to the inside would be the easiest and cheapest way to go.

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My mother in law was just under 5’ tall, she put a pull strap on the hatch, easy to reach and use. She did have to swing it into the car when closing but was easy enough. If you look around you will find something strong enough fasten it to.

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The hatch door often has a hand hold on the bottom. If the Trax does, you might get a dowel and attach a hook to one end that mimics a hand to bring the hatch a few inches down, then she can use her hand to finish closing the hatch. It’s cheap to try, and won’t be a big deal if it doesn’t work.

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As others have wisely suggested, just create a “tether” of some kind which will dangle below the bottom of the gate: rope has been mentioned but I would prefer some woven webbing material rather than actual rope because webbing is smoother to grab than any rope I’ve seen. Ideally it would be attached to whatever handle is on the low end of the gate intended for pulling the gate down. But as someone also mentioned, that would require tossing the tether inside before fully closing the gate, which might be a bit of a gymnastic move; do-able but annoying.

I have two refinements to the tether idea. First, and I don’t like this very much but it would be simplest, is to attach one end to the tailgate inside pull down handle, and the other to something on the interior such as seat frame, or whatever is there. Adjust the length to keep the gate from rising to its full height, low enough that your mom can reach the handle.

What I visualize though is a SHORT webbing strap attached securely to the tailgate handle, just long enough for mom to reach comfortably, with a bungee cord attached to the free end and that anchored somewhere inside. If you calibrate the length just right, and pick the right anchor point inside, the bungee will stretch when the gate rises, and then pull the webbing away from the bottom of the door sill when she closes the gate. If you use ordinary bungees, be sure to squeeze the hooks closed with pliers so that they remain attached. Good hardware and building supply stores will sell webbing and “shock cord” in bulk. Then, learn how to tie a “two half hitches” knot, and use that to make the connections.

Two half hitches knot

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Thank you for your suggestions. My mom created a hook with some rubber tie downs that she swings into the recessed handle in the lift gate… I haven’t see what she did, but she claims it is fine. She uses that to grab the recessed tailgate handle. My preference would be a hitch step or short struts, but she has told me that she is fine with the hook and handle. I am going to the dollar store to find something that can also serve as a hook to grab the recessed handle like a big spoon or something.

I am going to keep researching this. She is too cheap to get a hitch step and too cheap for me to do a less than 100 dollar job for shorter struts. What’s frustrating is that I can do a fix that for anywhere between 100 to 300 dollars but she is too cheap. LOL.

I appreciate your help and if you can think of anything else please post it here. I will provide updates.

That is what my mom did sort of–she used a rubber tie down of some kind . I would prefer something stronger like you suggested. Thanks for you help.

Agree with the use of webbing strap I would use a dog leash as it has built in loop to grab on to.

I think she’s better off without the hitch step, I’d worry about falls and slips.


I like the pull strap idea too. Easy-peasy.

There used to be straps on the hatches. I have an S hook on a rope for the wheelchair because I can’t reach the hatch. My van has a handhold in the plastic. I pull the hatch down and then reach up with my other hand.

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We did the strap on our minivan. I built my own, but Amazon sells them. You mount it partway up the door and don’t have to toss it in. Under $20.

Rear LIFTGATE Hatch Strap

Thank you. Can you take a picture of what you did? The consensus seems to be a strap. I appreciate all of your suggestions and advice.

My curiosity if piqued though on the shorter lift struts, but she insists she is fine with what she did. I’ll see how long that lasts though.

Good Grief , I think I understand why your mother solved her own problem . You are making this way to difficult . Sometimes it is best to just mind your own business until help is actually requested .
I also go with the others that the bumper hitch step is a really bad idea . It will be in the way and a really good way to have a bad fall onto hard pavement.

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You are making this way to difficult

Well said!

Here’s one for the 4 Runner, the 4th pix shows the application. I used
the end of an old dog leash, a washer and small lag bolt. I drilled a
hole thru the door panel (and metal) on the right side of the hatch.

Sorry, no pix of mine. That 1999 was probably scrapped many years ago.

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