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2002 Forester 5MT, 2020 Forester Touring
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143 Posts
Installed an Ecohitch on my 2020 Forester Touring today. Thanks to all the prior posts, and the video on eTrailer.com, the installation went pretty smoothly.

To get the big bolts in the frame tightened to spec I fed a 19mm box end wrench into the frame to hold the bolt. After being torqued, on one side the top star washer bit in enough so that it would hold against 75 ft-lb torque, but on the other side it did not.

I removed the muffler to provide more working room. Was able to slide the hangers off by hand after spraying with some silicone lube. I had purchased a new gasket, but ended up reusing the old one, as it looked in good shape. We'll see if that was a good decision. As least it is easy to pop the new one in if it ends up leaking.

The only thing I did differently than noted in the prior posts is that I added some door edge guard around the perimeter of the cutout in the bumper. I cut on the outside of the lines to provide a bit of extra room for the edge guard. Gives it a bit more finished look (at least when you are on your back looking closely :)).

AD6B2A42-5412-47E7-A1DA-348138615C00_1_105_c.jpeg
 

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Registered
2002 Forester 5MT, 2020 Forester Touring
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143 Posts
It looks like the rear recovery point is built into the bumper beam that gets removed when the ecohitch is installed. Does anyone know if the hitch can be used as a recovery point instead? If not, any suggestions how to rig recovery straps on the back if needed?
I had some communication with Ecohitch about this issue and their first response was that the hitch should not be used as a recovery point. After I pointed out to them that installing their hitch deleted the factory recovery point, they changed their tune and said it would be OK to use the hitch as a recovery point as long as you stay within the capacity of the hitch. Unfortunately that is not very meaningful, since the hitch does not have a stated rating for longitudinal force, only for vertical force and trailer weight. My interpretation is that you should not exceed the longitudinal force associated with pulling a 3,500 lb trailer, however much that is.
 
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