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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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367 Posts
I think I read it somewhere OEM hitch has a cut out on your rear bumper. They basically replace the bottom piece of your rear bumper, and it's not recommended with your Touring Trim. I have a Touring trim too, our rear bumper has special silver color, where rest of the Forester trim has black plastic over there. If you get OEM hitch, the rear bumper area will change to black plastic instead of the silver.
The plastic bumper surround is trimmed:

 

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2005 2.5X Auto
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6 Posts
etrailer.com or U-Haul

I've installed 3 aftermarket hitches by myself, now on my 4th.
If you're up to self-installing, it ain't Rocket science. Plan on about 1.5 hrs. Hitches for Subs are about $115 from etrailer.

Otherwise, get a quote from U-Haul.
Both have videos on YouTube. $600, even installed, is Ridiculous.
 

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2019 Forester Sport
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11 Posts
I got the Curt 2" hitch installed on my '19 Sport and love it. It was $290 total installed price and took the place that sales trailers and campers about 1 hour to install. I just need it for my bike rack so didn't get the wiring connection.
 

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2019 Forester Base Model CVT
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1 Posts
I have installed OEM hitch, it come in 3 separate parts, 2 of each parts go into frame hole where bumper mount, one long bar attaches to to those 2 mounting pieces. so it is easy to install. other type of hitch often are one piece and heavy, but coming with 3 separate pieces makes easy to install one piece at the time.
I had to cut parts of muffler shield alminium thin sheet, which was cut easily with $1 harbour freight free scissor.
price paid for hitch without mount or ball was $380 including tax. I notice it is much cheaper to buy online rather than go to dealer parts department.
so I purchased online from local subaru dealer, and choose local store pick up option stead of shipping to house. I was able to save 40% on price using this method.
I bought ball and mount from etrailer. OEM trailer hitch take 1.25 inch square mount stead of more common 2.0 inch square mount.
ball mount hole is 1/2 inch diameter.
the connector cable came with was too short , so I purchased extension 4 pins trailer electric cable from harbour freight.
there was a large plug behind plastic bumper cover on Driver's side , so I was able to use that to put cable through.
original instruction showed trailer electrical cable to be placed through under spare tire , but I think putting through plug behind plastic bumper cover is better method, just need trailer electric cable extension, which can be purchased from harbour freight less than $10
I only tow very light trailer less than 700 pound loaded, 350 pound empty, 4x8 ft harbour freight trailer.
it seems OEM trailer hitch is adequate, and can not be seen from outside.
some after market trailer hitch extend below, which make ground clearance less, but OEM do not make ground clearance any less.
 

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1998 Forester S 5 spd manual
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20 Posts
I went with "Hidden Hitch" brand

i know this has been discussed a lot here. But I cannot find any images of what the OEM hitch looks like installed. My dealer wants $600.
Are there any advantages to the OEM. I want it to be as inconspicuous as possible.

I'm getting my 2019 Touring Bronze/Black later this week!

Thanks!
I got a good deal on a "Hidden Hitch" brand of a receiver type / style hitch for my '98 Forester off of Ebay. I believe it's a 3500lb. rated, 300lb. down weight rated receiver.

It was easy to install. Bolts up to the frame with grade 8 bolts. The fit was perfect. Took me an afternoon. The package included the slip in hitch ( no ball included ) and a custom molded receiver cover that actually blends right in and looks quite nice. I don't remember if it included the wiring harness or not.

The only thing I didn't like was that it is a 1 1/4 in. receiver, but it is rated to 3500 lb which is the max towing load for that year Forester anyway.

If "Hidden Hitch" has still kept this style for the newer models and it fits like mine did, I think you'll be happy with the fit, form and function.

Has anyone else used or seen these?
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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60 Posts
I have a Touring, so I'm included to go the EcoHitch route. Not excited about cutting out a section of the rear fascia, and I like the 2" receiver better for my accessories (i.e. bike rack).
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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367 Posts
I have a Touring, so I'm included to go the EcoHitch route. Not excited about cutting out a section of the rear fascia, and I like the 2" receiver better for my accessories (i.e. bike rack).
A small section of the bumper plastic will be removed to accommodate the EcoHitch, but it is all on the bottom and not visible.



 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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367 Posts
@RawLand where does your trailer wiring hide?
Since I seldom use a trailer, I leave the wiring under the rear storage cover inside the car. I have a 4' extension which I drape out under the lid to the outside. That way, if the wires are damaged, it is a $4 replacement.

For 10 or so times a year use, it is easier to keep the trailer wiring clean and protected inside. The extension takes all the abuse.
 

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31 Posts
I decided it was worth going with the OEM hitch. I could not be happier with how it turned out.
Installed by Williams Subaru in Charlotte NC.
Hi there! I guess your post is old, but are the cross bars completely hidden? Or can you see them from the rear? Do you have a Touring? That’s what it looks like. Thanks!
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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353 Posts
With the OEM and Eco hitches, the only thing showing is the hitch receiver, as shown in photos in this thread. The cross member is up inside the bumper cover and replaces the Forester bumper beam. RawLand has pictures showing this in post #26 of this thread. I have the EcoHitch.
 
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