Quantcast

Trailer hitch.....

mantispf2000

Turbo Monkey
Aug 9, 2001
1,712
162
Nevada, 2 hours from Mammoth
OK, RM-land, I'm looking to install a trailer hitch to our Forester, and am taking hints as to which would be the better out there. If it hauls a camper, great. Bike rack, it better!! Self-install with minimal tools at home? A huge plus......

Who has had luck with what following the above guidelines, and thank you for your input!!!!!
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
4,146
1,928
Curt 2" from Amazon, an hour outside on the driveway to fit to our Crosstrek.

For towing you'd likely then want to pickup the Subaru cable harness.
 

kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,565
1,361
Tustin, CA
Curt from Amazon. Most of them are pretty basic and can be done with hand tools. The install is a factor of your vehicle and not the hitch you purchase. I'd say most cars less than 20 years old are pretty straightforward. Some cars are a pain in the ass having to drop or get access around the exhaust or possibly fish the bolts into the frame rails. Other than those certain cars, it's pretty simple. Chances are you can google or youtube an install and see what's needed on your exact vehicle.

I've installed all my own hitches on vehicles that didn't come with them from the factory. Pretty much for bike rack application.
 

Montana rider

Monkey
Mar 14, 2005
469
339
OK, RM-land, I'm looking to install a trailer hitch to our Forester, and am taking hints as to which would be the better out there. If it hauls a camper, great. Bike rack, it better!! Self-install with minimal tools at home? A huge plus......

Who has had luck with what following the above guidelines, and thank you for your input!!!!!
Curt from Amazon. Most of them are pretty basic and can be done with hand tools. The install is a factor of your vehicle and not the hitch you purchase. I'd say most cars less than 20 years old are pretty straightforward. Some cars are a pain in the ass having to drop or get access around the exhaust or possibly fish the bolts into the frame rails. Other than those certain cars, it's pretty simple. Chances are you can google or youtube an install and see what's needed on your exact vehicle.

I've installed all my own hitches on vehicles that didn't come with them from the factory. Pretty much for bike rack application.

Not sure about new Forresters but I had to drop exhaust and fish bolts on our 2010 Forrester ('06 outback just required dropping exhaust)

Ive had good luck with these guys pricewise:


I like hidden hitch style to avoid bashing shins...

2" receiver gives more better bike carrier options and you may as well pick up / install the Suby wiring harness for trailer lights...


I used a long pry bar (galvanized steel pipe) to increase leverage with my socket set...


90 mins and 2 beers, would bang again.
 
Last edited:

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,864
957
01776
Did a curt reciever hitch on the RAV4 in the garage with hand tools and some patience. One of the bolt holes was a little corroded so that took some time, but otherwise it was easy enough. Purchased off amazon.

Going to put a subaru branded hitch on the ascent. It's far more expensive, but the factory hitch is hidden behind a panel when not in use, which is really slick.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
9,516
5,234
Canaderp
Installed the hitch on my Mazda 3 in driveway. That one was a pain, as you had to drop nuts into the frame and hope for the best.

Have since just paid my shop to install the last two hitches on the WRX and Matrix. They don't charge much to do it. We also have as store around here that specializes in car/truck racks. They will install the hitch for free if you buy it from them.

The hitch on the WRX was interesting. Because of the exhaust, no aftermarket receivers would fit. Turns out the OEM Subaru one from an Outback/Forest would fit. I say its interesting, because the OEM hitch receiver replaces the collapsible bumper bar. I wonder how that affects safety for collisions? I wouldn't want to hit the rear end of a Subaru with one of those hitches, they are pretty stout.

ala...
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
13,949
1,317
Colorado
I've installed on a 2004 and 2010 Forester. The exhaust drop is easy on both - it's a rubber hanger. I have a 1.25" Curt from etrailer iirc. Wiring install is a plug and play. Etrailer tends to have how-to videos for install as well.

You might need to clean your threads though, so expect that. I can take a picture of the 2010 if you would like.
 
Last edited:

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
13,949
1,317
Colorado
class 1 hitches only exist to keep idiots from towing things they shouldn't be. stop advocating for them.
I didn't advocate for it. I know what I was realistically going to use it for, so that's all I got. The Infiniti has a 2" because it might actually be used. The Subaru won't pull shit, so I don't set it up to do such; it's not even wired.
 

Pesqueeb

bicycle in airplane hangar
Feb 2, 2007
26,935
3,435
Riding the baggage carousel.
subaru's are known for... interesting hitch installs. look it up before you attempt yourself.
:stupid:

I've not done one on a forester, but I've personally installed hitches on ever car we've ever owned. The impreza required a fair bit of drilling, for something sold as a "no drill" install. :rolleyes:

What is the towing capacity of a Forester?

If one is available, always go 2 inch, it will bolt up exactly the same way. That way you can always upgrade your bike hitch if you want. If you're even sort of handy with tools you should be able to install one yourself.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
54,752
4,205
media blackout
+rep

Sadly, class 1 hitch is only thing available for the leaf. Guess I'm getting a new bike rack. :(
any trailer shop should be able to replace the receiver on a class 1 hitch with a 2" receive with an angle grinder and a welder for less than the cost of a new rack.
 
Last edited:

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
54,752
4,205
media blackout
That had not occurred to me. There are some more than competent welders on night shift who could probably do that for me for a case of beer. :think:
also, make sure when they cut out they account for the additional space a 2" receiver will take up.

and they probably wouldn't even need a case of *good* beer
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,864
957
01776
any trailer shop should be able to replace the receiver on a class 1 hitch with a 2" receive with an angle grinder and a welder for less than the cost of a new rack.
I might try to do this with my alfa. I can buy a weird euro hitch, but I would want a 2" receiver or stealth style hitch. It's impossible to tell if it'll actually mount up without getting elbows deep in rear bumper, so I haven't pulled the trigger...
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
9,516
5,234
Canaderp
any trailer shop should be able to replace the receiver on a class 1 hitch with a 2" receive with an angle grinder and a welder for less than the cost of a new rack.
I tried to getting a trailer shop to do this once... they flat out refused and said no due to liability reasons.