What receiver hitch on your Subaru Forester?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Thatís no moon.
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    What receiver hitch on your Subaru Forester?

    Hi all,
    I want to add a 2Ē hitch and a tray style rack to my 2013 Subaru Forester. Iím looking at two brands. One is Drawtite, which sits pretty far back from the bumper. With this hitch, a few of the racks Iím looking at wonít be able to fold up into the storage position without touching the bumper.

    The other option is Curt which sits closer to the bumper edge, and I believe it would allow most racks to fold up. But they warn that a stabilizing strap should be used for non towing accessories like bike racks.

    Does anyone have a 2009-2013 Forester with Curt hitch by chance? Any problems with hitch or car damage? The rack is rated for 400lbs. tongue weight and I think the Forester can only handle 200lbs. Iím aware of the factory hitch option, but itís 2-3 times more expensive.

    Iíd likely carry only one bike most of the time, and never more than two.
    2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy
    2016 Salsa Fargo

  2. #2
    EDR
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    Regarding the stabilizing strap. I asked Etrailer.com this exact question. They contacted Curt and got back to me. The answer really can be parsed to this: They "recommend" a strap but it's not 'required'. there is nothing about their design vs. DT that warrants a required strap. It's legal-speak and mostly, it keeps novice rack users from complaining their bike rack bounces up and down when they hit the speed bumps at 15mph at their local Walmart.

    I have a Curt on my Honda with a kuat T2 (no strap can be used). Works perfectly for my 2 bike set up. No wobble or excessive up/down movements. If I put a hitch on the Outback I might use the same Curt depending on fit.

  3. #3
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    I had a 1.25" curt receiver on my 15 forester and it worked ok but I wanted to use a 3 tray 1up and switched it out for an 2" Ecohitch receiver. I can't say enough good things about the Ecohitch (I also replaced the drawtite on our van with an Ecohitch). Well worth the extra coin

    Make sure you figure out where the end of the receiver opening is relative to your bumper. The curt and drawtite were tucked way under on my vehicles and the 1up couldn't fold up as a result.

    You shouldn't need a stabilizing strap with a bike rack, in my exp.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys! 29ftw, what made the EcoHitch stand out for you? I see that itís more hidden, but Iím not too concerned with that, and the price is up there with the factory hitch. I did read about hitches being too far tucked on later models but think the Curt is okay on my year model.

    Eatdrinkride, thanks, thatís reassuring. Iím probably overthinking it. But itís an expensive endeavor so want to make sure.
    2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy
    2016 Salsa Fargo

  5. #5
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    If you don't have the issue with the receiver being tucked back under on your year then no worries there. The ecohitch does look a lot better, not having the crossbar hanging down! Does it look twice the price of the Curt better? Prob not for most people

    I also drag a dirt bike trailer with my Sub and having the ecohitch, which is slightly higher, helped with ball mount choices for getting the tongue level. With the Curt I had to flip a drop hitch to get it high enough

  6. #6
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    The ecohitch is a 'hidden' hitch. May (likely) require minor cutting of the bumper cover where the reciever sits. No biggie for most folks. Not sure about the DT or Curt on your car, I'm guessing the receivers sits lower and no cutting needed. Both may require the removal of the bumper cover and bumper for install. That was not necessary on my Accord but is on my '15 outback (with the Ecohitch).

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys. I think Iím going with the Curt. Itís the cheapest and doesnít require bumper removal or cutting. Just lowering the exhaust. I put a receiver hitch on another car once before and it wasnít too bad, but will probably get someone to install this one. Now I just need to decide on a rack. Kind of narrowed it down to the Rocky Mounts Splitrail or the 1Up.
    2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy
    2016 Salsa Fargo

  8. #8
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    For future reference, I went with the Draw-Tite #76182 Class 3 hitch on my 2015 XT. I chose it because it has similar ground clearance to the OEM and Ecohitch options at a fraction of the cost. It does require trimming/removing the heat shield(s) for the exhaust and some minor trimming to the bumper cover.

    My Saris MTR-1 rack was delivered today and I fit it up and have no clearance issues at all. So far my only nitpicks are I'll add some thin sheet metal shims to tighten up the fit in the hitch. Movement isn't bad, but it will be better shimmed. Also, it would have been nice if the integrated lock cables had another 3-4" of length each. I can't quite run them through both wheels and the frame and get them to connect on the 1 bike I tried. I understand the limitations of the length of the rails, but oh so close...

    Close up of bumper cutout:
    What receiver hitch on your Subaru Forester?-img_3330.jpg

    Rear view with rack:
    What receiver hitch on your Subaru Forester?-img_3331_li.jpg

    Side view with rack:
    What receiver hitch on your Subaru Forester?-img_3333.jpg

    Side view of rack folded while opening hatch:
    What receiver hitch on your Subaru Forester?-img_3332.jpg

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