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09 Forester Towing Performance



  • If you want to be a hero with the wife, don't spend the bucks for the factory hitch- it's ok, but only a 1.25 " receiver and it is not very tight & quiet (lots of clunking) and I have tightened/checked all attachments & mounts. You can get a heavy-duty 2" aftermarket from etrailer for about $200- it hangs down a little more than the factory hitch( the dealer cuts a little of the plastic trim below the rear bumper to make a neater installation) but my experience with 2" hitches has been much more positive (less movement/rocking/clunking of the assembly) than with the 1.25"
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, more universal, too.

    I may put one on my Sienna instead.

    Same issue with clearance at the rear, though. The factory one is tucked in nicely but you have to cut the bumper IIRC.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
    That's great to know! I plan to put a hitch on my Forester before next summer, but had not decided on what to get. I was leaning toward "factory" just because I could use Subaru Bucks, but I may end up regretting that decision in the long run!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you think you can use the 2" receiver, then yes, but getting an OE hitch for no money is hard to beat.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
    True. But, I would still have to purchase all the balls, etc., specifically for a 1.25", whereas a 2" would provide perfect cross-compatibility with all my current equipment. If the 1.25 is noisy as indicated, I may be tempted. Also, I would like to use some of my Subie Bucks to buy a rack for my friend's Impreza in the same time frame as indicated with the hitch. We'll see; now that I have a $1000-buck annual capacity, maybe I will have enough built up to do both. I know, that doesn't make any sense to get the rack for him, but I'm a big-hearted guy. :D

    I just noted that the factory hitch requires slight bumper modification.... on my new car?! :cry:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Oh, if you already have 2" equipment, go with aftermarket. Didn't realize that.

    My OE hitch on the 98 did not require any modification, bumper or otherwise. Bummer that changed.
  • I had U Haul put on a Class III with 2" receiver for $200 including installation & sales tax. They did not have to modify the bumper. I beleive Curt is the manufactor.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's great.

    Did you lose much of your departure angle? i.e. does it stick down a lot below the bumper?
  • No, it is flush against the bottom of the bumper and looks like a professional job. That did not include the wiring,which I ordered the custom "t"connector from for $34.95 plus shipping, The wiring harness just plugs into the Subaru wiring and stows on top of the spare tire.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like the one on my 98 Forester.


    Share with us any towing experiences, if you will, good or bad.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
    I looked up information on each of those and it does look like I can get everything on the car for $200 or less. Of course, that would be me installing it, but I wouldn't have it any other way. :D

    Please do let us know your experiences and impressions as you use the setup.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's not difficult, just heavy. A jack or jack stands will help, as will tie-straps.
  • >> ... Did you lose much of your departure angle? i.e. does it stick down a lot below
    >> the bumper?
    > No, it is flush against the bottom of the bumper...

    So you lost some departure angle. the OEM hitch is in the bumper, and replaces the car's bumper bar.
This discussion has been closed.