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Discussion Starter #1
I just had Subaru install a 1.25” hitch on my 2018 Forester so I can get a bike rack for our two ebikes. I’ve since discovered that none of the platform racks will work with my hitch due to the hitch pin hole being so close to opening of the receiver. I called the dealer to see if I can return the hitch but they said they can’t just take it off because the hitch replaces the rear cross support bar. So, I can’t use the hitch for what I needed it for and I can’t take it off to replace it with another one. Subaru makes a rack that works with this hitch but it’s too light to hold our two heavy ebikes. Any suggestions?
 

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There's a reason most hitch bike carriers are for 2'' receivers. Unfortunately, 1.25'' hitches just can't deal with the torsional load that is placed on them by hitchmount accessories (bike racks, hitch cargo carriers).

I've seen as little as 1 bike on a hitch carrier cause the hitch itself to twist.

With that said, Harbor Freight makes a lightweight hitch bike carrier that works really well for 1 or 2 bikes. You can buy high end cradles for it from Yakima, Thule, Hollywood and turn it into a really nice carrier for not a lot of coin.
 

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Do not try to put two e-bikes on a 1.25” hitch! Those e-bikes usually weigh more than twice what a normal bike weighs, so really you are talking about the equivalent of four-five bikes. You will eventually end up with two damaged e-bikes and a damaged Forester.

Sorry that Subaru pushes such a lame option, but you need a different hitch. So what if the hitch replaces the factory beam? Have the dealer call you next time someone else gets a hitch and take their crossbeam! It’s not like that’s not a part that could be ordered, either. Your dealer is screwing you.

Call SOA if you have to. The fact that the dealer isn’t working with you here is unacceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've looked into getting an extension and also drilling a new hitch pin hole but decided that will probably make a bad situation even worse. I've asked the dealer to tell me what they can do to take that hitch off. What irritates me is that crossbeam was mine and they threw it away without even asking me if I wanted to keep it.

What is SOA? Thanks for your input!

Do not try to put two e-bikes on a 1.25” hitch! Those e-bikes usually weigh more than twice what a normal bike weighs, so really you are talking about the equivalent of four-five bikes. You will eventually end up with two damaged e-bikes and a damaged Forester.

Sorry that Subaru pushes such a lame option, but you need a different hitch. So what if the hitch replaces the factory beam? Have the dealer call you next time someone else gets a hitch and take their crossbeam! It’s not like that’s not a part that could be ordered, either. Your dealer is screwing you.

Call SOA if you have to. The fact that the dealer isn’t working with you here is unacceptable.
 

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What irritates me is that crossbeam was mine and they threw it away without even asking me if I wanted to keep it.

What is SOA? Thanks for your input!
You should be peeved about not being offered parts that the dealer removed from your car without telling you. SOA is Subaru of America. I just assumed you were in the USA.

The users manual covers class 3 hitches, and since Subaru doesn’t sell one in most markets they mean aftermarket. A fairly high percentage of Subaru drivers get Curt or Draw-Tite class 3 hitches, it doesn’t affect the warranty and is necessary to safely tow some loads.

Note that my Curt hitch came with a warning about using cross-straps to help secure the bike hitch against side loads. This isn’t necessary if you have an expensive bike carrier with a sufficiently strong anti-wobble mechanism (1 Up, Kuat). It definitely is with a cheap or mid-market carrier and heavy e-bikes.

Before you give up on the factory hitch entirely, you can look at the 1Up Equip-D double. They will carry 2 e-bikes <50 pounds, plus two more regular bikes. Their racks are designed much more robustly than others, and they can be taken off road. If your e-bikes are up to 50 pounds, it might be a good option. Pay attention to the fitment PDF.
 

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So, I can’t use the hitch for what I needed it for and I can’t take it off to replace it with another one. Subaru makes a rack that works with this hitch but it’s too light to hold our two heavy ebikes. Any suggestions?
Here's an option that will work for you. The Ecohitch mounts similarly to Subaru's in that it replaces the existing bumper/beam. It comes with a 2" receiver. ~$300. Torklift Central sells them.

I installed one last week. Took me about 4 hours in the heat. Below is a post detailing the 2019 installation process.

('19+) 2019 hitch install. ecohitch 2 inch - DIY - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
 
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