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2015 Forester CVT
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after much research, I had decided to just have the Subaru OEM hitch installed even though it was expensive. Then I started looking for hitch mounted bike carriers and I learned something really bad about the OEM hitch. Apparently the pin hole in the hitch is only about 1/2 from the rear end of the hitch.

You can see a picture of how close the hole is to the end here:
http://www.cars101.com/subaru/forester/forester14-trailer-hitch2.jpg

It sounds like etrailer says that only Yakima bike racks will work, and I believe the Subaru bike rack is made by Yakima. See this response:

Hitch Bike Rack Recommendation for a 2015 Subaru Forester with a 1-1/4 inch OEM Hitch | etrailer.com

So now I am questioning my decision to go with the OEM hitch. For those of you that have the OEM hitch, has the hole location been a problem? I mainly need to carry two bikes, but might use a cargo carrier or pull a small trailer in the future. I want to make sure the hitch I install can do anything I want.

Thanks.
 

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2014 2.0 XT yes
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2,752 Posts
I know someone on the forum had their hitch re-drilled so it had a second deeper hole, but I can't find the posting. The word "drilling" often comes up in hitch threads.
 

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2011 Touring 4EAT
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307 Posts
1UP hitch mounted bike racks are not dependent on hole location. They are expensive but one of the best racks I've seen.
 

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2014 Forester cvt
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19 Posts
I have oem trailer hitch and the harbor freight bike carrier, no problems with pin location.
 

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2015 Forester limited NA CVT
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117 Posts
Stock mount and I have a cargo carrier and two diff hitches 1 & 2 inch drops with no issues. I haven't tried my bike rack yet. But will if it doesn't fit I will post the brand.
 

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2002 WRX
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18 Posts
paying close attention to this thread.
I ordered the 2016 2.0XT with PIO hitch, and now I'm wondering if I should stop that installation.
Wouldn't a 2 inch hitch be better and also not have that crappy half inch pin hole.?
I'll check out after market hitches and pay to have it installed if that gives me years of hassle free bike rides and cargo carrying time.
 

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2015 SJ 2.0XTP HTLCVT
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203 Posts
Getting a straight and/or consistent answer from some of the trailer experts as to just why the hole of the Subaru OEM hitch being too close to the end of the receiver rules out the use of some specific carriers proved elusive when I tried, so here are some of the conclusions I came to:

No question about the fact that things mounted in 2" receivers GENERALLY tend to wobble less than 1 1/4" rigs, but there ARE ways to address that.

Some said only a carrier with a solid steel bar that went into the receiver would be safe for use with the Subaru hitch, which leaves out a LOT of bike carriers.

Some mentioned that some hitches had cross holes in their mounting bar that would normally be inside a deeper receiver tube, but would be exposed outside the tube and in a high stress location when used with the Subaru OEM hitch.

A Swagman XTC-2 is an excellent carrier that unfortunately APPEARS to suffer from the last two faults listed above, BUT:

1) It has a hollow receiver tube because it needs to for the the supplied anti-rattle.wobble hitch pin or the optional locking one,
both of which work very well, and the wall thickness of the receiver tube is a very meaty ~3/16", which should be plenty.

2) When installed into the Subaru OEM hitch, the receiver tube only goes in about 2" which leaves a ~3/8"+ cross hole hanging
out (which is used to secure the included 2" adapter sleeve). So, if you drill out the adapter mounting hole to ~.485" to clear
the threaded anti-rattle hitch pin or lock (no need to go to 1/2" as the hole should never be needed for a conventional hitch
pin), that will allow the receiver tubes to engage by about 3 1/2", with no holes hanging out exposed, which should be fine.
Sure it voids the warranty, but a new stock replacement (upswept) receiver mounting bar only costs about $28, so again,
not an insurmountable issue.

Although a 1 Up USA Quik Rack does not have a solid receiver mounting tube, its high strength aluminum alloy one is drilled longitudinally for its unique locking bolt and seems up to the job. PLUS, if you have an Ice Silver Metallic Forester, the silver version of the rack MATCHES, is actually cheaper than the black one, and helps balance out the gloomy karma of all those Plasti Dipped Foresters running around out there...

Both can be easily configured to handle fat bikes at reasonable cost if you're also into such perverted stuff.

I have both, and simply use the 1 Up USA when carrying one bike (you can add another tray for a 2nd position), and the Swagman XTC-2 when I can't decide which bike to take or just need a spare. I also have hanging carriers but have generally stopped using them on SUVs as I didn't like the way things moved around back there with firmer suspensions (and had to do something to to keep me from looking at the rear view mirror each time I got on the gas or brakes).

Both of the subject racks, like any rear mounted ones, block some coverage areas of the backup camera, which makes it easier for rocks to sneak up on you when reversing, so WATCH OUT (don't ask how I learned this).
 

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2002 WRX
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18 Posts
@cjkeller thanks for the video it makes me want to stick with the OEM hitch for safety. Still don't understand why they didn't use a 2 inch hitch.

We were about to get a Saris axis to hang 3 bikes. We bought used bikes and go only as far and as fast as our 6 year old can go. The 1up is a wallet buster for us. Not sure what to do now but the Yakima used by Subaru was not in our top 10.

I'll keep checking this thread since delivery of our vehicle is Nov.
Keeping the OEM :|
 

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2017 Forester 6MT
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115 Posts

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2017 Forester XT Touring Auto
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8 Posts
Another go at bike racks

2017 Forester XT

I want to put a hitch and hitch bike rack on my car. I would like the tray type. I have no plans to tow anything. I have read everything I can find on this subject. Most of what I have found is a couple of years old so thought I would see if anything has been updated.

First, I do like the mounting style of the OEM hitch but it is expensive. I saw a YouTube video with something called an accessory hitch, simply for carrying bikes. Any input on that? Anyone know what it is?

Are the Yakima or 1up still the only easy choices or has Subaru changed the pin hole placement?

Have plans to talk to my dealer but they have a Thule rack in the showroom. Wishful thinking?

Sorry for so many questions, just looks like this little project could cost over $800. And I am a low mileage, weekend rider.

Thanks for bringing me up to date.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i MT
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324 Posts
If you like the mounting style of the OEM hitch, but not the price, look into the posts here on the Torklift hitch. If you read them all, and your only slightly handy, you can self-install. It cost me $285. And it looks great.
 

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2017 Forester
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13 Posts
Would someone be able to tell me or measure the size of OEM hitch pin hole? My bike rack has two different sized pin holes and I want to make sure I get the right pin.
 
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