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2020 Forester Limited.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lots of good info on these threads, thanks Supasta for one that was a LOT of help! I have to pick up some stuff in Vermont and my cheapest and easiest option is to rent a trailer from Uhaul. That means of course I need a hitch. I called my local Subaru dealer and was told that they do not install aftermarket trailer hitches, only OEM. I don't know how much towing I will be doing in the future. No real plans for a camper or a boat, etc. That being said the girl at the dealer also mentioned that getting a tow hitch installed by someone else could wreak havoc on the wiring if they don't get it right, the Forester "eyes", etc. I have wanted this car for a long time and don't want to mess it up in any way. In another thread they talked about a Torklift. The only hitch I found from Subaru had a 1.25" receiver, 176lb tongue weight and a 1500 lb towing capacity. I don't have any real idea on what things weigh, but 1500 lbs seems awful low, and if I ever did get a boat, camper etc, I could be shooting myself in the foot with this one! In all the dealer wants about $600.
For the record I have a 2020 Forester Limited. Thanks for any thoughts you may have!
 

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Have you checked your manual? Your 2020 Limited has a max tow of 1500lbs regardless of which hitch you install.

"Forester eyes" are in the front above the windshield, the hitch goes in the rear below/behind the bumper... I'm not sure why you would think those are related.

Cheapest easiest option is to have UHaul install you a hitch and wiring.

Easy but not the cheapest is via your local Subaru Dealer.

Cheapest option is to buy a Curt hitch and install it yourself.

I preferred a 2inch for bike rack rigidity/stability support, and no wiring because I have no intention of ever towing. 3 Subaru's in and 10 years and never missed it. Installed a Torklift myself as it's nice and no drilling.
 

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2020 Touring as of 8/28/2020!
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That being said the girl at the dealer also mentioned that getting a tow hitch installed by someone else could wreak havoc on the wiring if they don't get it right, the Forester "eyes",
The girl at the dealer just wants you to buy their overpriced hitch. Get a Curt, Drawtite or Ecohitch and have it installed at UHaul or other hitch place. Get a Class III 2" because it's more versatile and cheaper than replacing a Class II that isn't up to the job. Know the limits of the vehicle (1500 lbs WITH trailer brakes 1200lbs without, Tongue wight 175lbs) because the hitch you use isn't what defines them. Drive carefully.
 

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2020 Forester Limited.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks very much I appreciate it. Frankly I never thought about the towing capacity of the vehicle. That all makes sense. For what it potentially costs, maybe I'll just rent a larger SUV for this particular endeavor :D
 

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2020 Forester Limited.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@Menel,
True, the problem is I have to take my wife and my dog and I need a place for my wife to sit.....😂
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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True, the problem is I need a place for my wife to sit.....😂
:p

There's a connector in the storage area near the spare tire. With the Curt wiring adapter, it's plug and play. No need to hack any wiring.

The girl at the dealer just wants you to buy their overpriced hitch.
Exactly.

Or she has no clue about the products she selling/servicing.
 

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2016 Silver 2.5i CVT Forester
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You can install any hitch you wish, as long as it meets your current AND future needs. I am leaning towards a Curt or Drawtite with 2" receiver that tucks up behind the bumper( more options available for accessories). Can still only tow the max 1500 lbs as others stated. It you get the wiring harness from Subaru, they can't deny any warranty issues due to electrical, cause it's plug and play and not much more expensive than the aftermarket ones,
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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I looked for the harness from Subaru, but it seemed to be only included with the hitch. Unless you have a part number handy...
 

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2016 Silver 2.5i CVT Forester
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I found one for my model, maybe there is not one available for yours, yet. Thought there would be by now as should be the same as MY 19-22 I would have thought. Just getting back into the Subie swing of things after a hiatus, so pardon if I mis led a bit.
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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Being the aftermarket adapter is virtually the same as the Subaru adapter, I doubt it is grounds for voiding anything warranty wise.

It's just wires, or technically extensions of the wires.

Until something is connected to them: The only thing that could go wrong is if the trailer harness is not wired correctly. Which will hopefully only cause a blown fuse.

Subaru might sell an SK harness, but if they do, it isn't an easy thing to find in the public parts catalogs. I spent a while trying to source it going through the electrical parts. The PDF install instructions for the hitch show the harness, and related hardware, but no individual part numbers. I wanted to at least price a Subaru wiring adapter, but I had no luck.

According to Curt's website, it is the same adapter for Foresters from 2009 to 2021(22) so Possibly Subaru just hasn't added the connector to the newer model parts catalog.
 

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Being the aftermarket adapter is virtually the same as the Subaru adapter, I doubt it is grounds for voiding anything warranty wise.

It's just wires, or technically extensions of the wires.
Unless Subaru changed something on the SK series, there has to be a circuit board as well, to deal with the turn signals and brake lights on a 4-pin trailer adapter being the same lights. Subarus use a separate bulb for the turn signals and the brake lights, 4-pin trailers don't.
 

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2020 Subaru Forester premium
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266 Posts
I found a place that sells trailers...obviously if you sell trailers you probably install hitches..and have guys that know how to do it right also. I got a quote from them and they were $150 less than the dealership for a better hitch so they installed it and it works great..find a local place that installs them get a quote, many Uhauls install them, get a quote from them also..
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2002 Forester 5MT, 2020 Forester Touring
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One additional thing to be aware of that I I did not see mentioned in this thread is that if you get either the Subaru or Ecohitch you will lose the rear towing eye because the bumper into which the towing eye attaches is removed as part of the installation process. The hitch frame bar uses the bumper attachment points and replaces the bumper function. So there is a tradeoff between the sleeker profile of the Subaru or Ecohitch, as compared to the Curt or Drawtite, and the loss of the towing eye.

Also, a claimed advantage for the Subaru or Ecohitch design is that they preserve the crumple dynamics of the rear end, and hence crash safety, better than a hitch that attaches to the bottom of the frame (pseudo-frame) rails, like the Curt or Drawtite. I think that claim depends somewhat on the specifics of how a crash happens, but I suspect there is some merit to it.

I ended up choosing the Ecohitch for my car. I wish Subaru and/or Ecohitch added a nut in the right place so that the towing eye could still be used, but they don't.
 

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One additional thing to be aware of that I I did not see mentioned in this thread is that if you get either the Subaru or Ecohitch you will lose the rear towing eye because the bumper into which the towing eye attaches is removed as part of the installation process. The hitch frame bar uses the bumper attachment points and replaces the bumper function. So there is a tradeoff between the sleeker profile of the Subaru or Ecohitch, as compared to the Curt or Drawtite, and the loss of the towing eye.

Also, a claimed advantage for the Subaru or Ecohitch design is that they preserve the crumple dynamics of the rear end, and hence crash safety, better than a hitch that attaches to the bottom of the frame (pseudo-frame) rails, like the Curt or Drawtite. I think that claim depends somewhat on the specifics of how a crash happens, but I suspect there is some merit to it.

I ended up choosing the Ecohitch for my car. I wish Subaru and/or Ecohitch added a nut in the right place so that the towing eye could still be used, but they don't.
Huh, I didn't notice that. It's more of a recovery eye. But yea, but in the case of recovery... you can use the hitch, which is rated for WAY more than the recovery eye. So the recovery eyelet thread in would be redundant.

I seriously doubt Ecohitch did any crash/crumple testing. That would have been exorbitantly expensive.
 

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2018 Forester Limited
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Amazon confirms that I ordered the Curt 56040 4 pin trailer interface module/harness for my 2018 Forester and years ago for my 2014 Outback. In fact, they show it as a pretty universal fit across the Subaru universe for multiple generations.

There is typically a connector provided in the OEM harness as a starting point. On the Outback it was in front of the rear wheelwell, on the Forester it was behind the rear wheelwell, both on the drivers side. You might be able to pull the panel partially off and get your hands back there.

These are interface modules. They draw a very low current signal from the OEM connection and use a powered driver (fresh 12v line) within the module to run the trailer lights. In the event of a short on your trailer wiring, a circuit breaker and master fuse on the module protects the vehicle wiring from an overload.
 
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2019 Forester Touring
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Lots of good info on these threads, thanks Supasta for one that was a LOT of help! I have to pick up some stuff in Vermont and my cheapest and easiest option is to rent a trailer from Uhaul. That means of course I need a hitch. I called my local Subaru dealer and was told that they do not install aftermarket trailer hitches, only OEM. I don't know how much towing I will be doing in the future. No real plans for a camper or a boat, etc. That being said the girl at the dealer also mentioned that getting a tow hitch installed by someone else could wreak havoc on the wiring if they don't get it right, the Forester "eyes", etc. I have wanted this car for a long time and don't want to mess it up in any way. In another thread they talked about a Torklift. The only hitch I found from Subaru had a 1.25" receiver, 176lb tongue weight and a 1500 lb towing capacity. I don't have any real idea on what things weigh, but 1500 lbs seems awful low, and if I ever did get a boat, camper etc, I could be shooting myself in the foot with this one! In all the dealer wants about $600.
For the record I have a 2020 Forester Limited. Thanks for any thoughts you may have!
Just a cupla thots!! I’ve put hitches-2” receivers; frame mounted; on the last 3 SUVs we’ve owned: really no intention to tow, BUT: have had 3 rear end collisions where the vehicles that hit us were either totaled, or undriveable ours suffered a dented deck lid; no serious damage!! Most recent on our 19 Forester Touring was nicely done by UHaul.
John in MD
 

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2021 Subaru Forester Sport
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I've been on the fence with my hitch options but I agree with those above. Get a 2" hitch for its versatility so you don't run into any issues down the road if you end up needing a 2" hitch and you had settled for the Subaru OEM 1 1/4".
 
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