Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts
F

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Subaru sells a trailer hitch that is ~$200 more than the hitch I can buy from u-haul. My local roof rack shop also has one for cheaper. What's the deal with the dealer hitches? Is there a hitch out there that we should get... that is better than all the rest, but doesn't cost a fortune? Or should we go with the more expensive hitch from Subaru?

This is for our 06’ Forester. We’ll mostly be towing yard waste, a bike rack, the odd move and maybe a dead moose.

Thanks.
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
The most important thing about a hitch is how much it is rated to tow. The tow-rating, in lbs., is always advertised for any hitch that's sold, and is probably stated on a label on the hitch. Use this rating to compare various hitches. Hitches come in classes. You'll probably want a Class II hitch. The higher the class number, the more the hitch is rated to tow. A $200 price difference between any two hitches for a Subaru is enormous. The dealer's probably looking to rip you off. Look at the hitch the dealer wants to sell you, and ask for its class and tow rating. Then look at and ask the same questions about the hitches at U-Haul and your roof rack shop. U-Haul sells a lot of hitches and has a good reputation for the hitches it sells. There's no reason not to install a hitch from a source other than a dealer, so long as it will fit on your vehicle. Most people buy hitches in the aftermarket. Be sure to check your owner's manual for specs on how much the vehicle will tow.

Check out the link below. It has 2 hitches, by two companies, that will fit your Forester. Hidden Hitch and Draw-Tite are two of the biggest selling hitches. The Hidden Hitches are, as the name implies, designed so that most of the hitch does not show. I have one on an 03 Ford Ranger pickup that I ordered through etrailer.com and its an excellent hitch. Most aftermarket hitches are designed to bolt directly to existing holes in your frame and you need not drill holes. They are not hard to install yourself. If you don't want to install it yourself, any reputable independent service shop can do it, and for probably a lot less than your dealer.

http://www.etrailer.com/products.asp?model=Forester&category=hitch&year=2006&make=Subaru&t1=&h=e

Also, check out this thread:

http://subaruforester.org/viewtopic.php?t=175
 

·
Administrator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
Joined
·
18,749 Posts
I think that you can count on paying extra for any accessory that a car manufacturer sells that isn't fundamentally a part of a car. Subaru's kayak rack, for example, has the word Yakima on it and it doesn't say Subaru anywhere. It's just not worth it for a car company to maintain their own kayak rack factory, and I would expect the same to apply to trailer hitches. So there's going to be an extra markup somewhere along the way, and then probably another one for the supposed cachet and guaranteed fit of having a "genuine" part.
 

·
Registered
2005 Forester XT 4eat
Joined
·
27 Posts
I bought the DrawTite from e-Trailer. Nice hitch & easy to install on my 05 XT. I bought a Subaru hitch for my 2000 Forester. It was branded Subaru, but was made by Valley Industries. It was ok, but it's not of as high a quality as the DrawTite one.

fufu- PM me if you'd like a discount code for e-Trailer.

Chuck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Crashton said:
I bought the DrawTite from e-Trailer. Nice hitch & easy to install on my 05 XT. I bought a Subaru hitch for my 2000 Forester. It was branded Subaru, but was made by Valley Industries. It was ok, but it's not of as high a quality as the DrawTite one.

fufu- PM me if you'd like a discount code for e-Trailer.

Chuck
I bought a class II from U Haul for 119.00 it is a nice product, it took 45 min to install, also it was powder coated wich is tons better than paint, it did not come with wireing, The factory Subaru one does.
All I wanted mine for is to carry a bike rack, so wireing was not a issue.
My local Subaru dealer wanted 275.00 and said he could not discount on accesseries, what ever !. If you need or want a factory one with wireing check this Subaru site out, they are willing to sale at wholesale to web customers from what I have seen , thank God not everybody's so greedy. https://www.subarugenuineparts.com/index.php
05 XT
 

·
11 sec club
04 Cayenne TT
Joined
·
1,486 Posts
I also just purchased and installed a Draw-Tite from etrailer.com and I have an 06. I also bought the plug-in harness and insert for the receiver that holds the ball. It was all under $200 shipped to my door.
 
P

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I've bought 2 Hidden hitches, 1 wiring harness and 1 bike rack from e-trailer and been completely satisfied. As you can imagine it was easier for hubby to install the hitch on our 05 than on the 99. Road debris and 85000 miles makes a difference on removing and installing bolts.
Either brand hitch should do the job.
 

·
#8 Post ho
1999 Subaru Forester
Joined
·
2,441 Posts
I got a curt because its made locally (5 mi away) and I'll never be able to overload the hitch.

It was stated as "bolt on" but as I found out.. that was definatly not the case. :roll:
 
B

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I've got my hidden hitch from etrailer. Great customer service!!

Only thing is that the hidden hitch might touch your muffler tail pipe after installed. so that when you step on gas, a grunt noise! :shock: I ended up making a big dent on the tail pipe cover so the hitch no longer touches it. Not a big deal!

I gotmy bike rack somewhere else, the brandname is Allen racks?? anywhere it's pretty good and not very expensive either.

Hope it helps
 

·
Registered
2016 Forester XT
Joined
·
35 Posts
I installed the factory one myself on my old 04 FXT, was only about $180 - easy & a perfect fit, pretty well hidden. It also comes with the wiring harness, most aftermarket ones don't & you'll have to buy seperately...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
I got my Subaru hitch for about $180. Took the best online price to the dealer and they matched it. Took about an hour to install by myself.
 
F

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the input everyone.

I called the dealer again. They list the part number for their hitch as 36311, which is the same part number as the Draw-Tite. So I guess I'll get that one... along with the 'Draw-Tite T-One Wiring Harness' (18370).

It's funny how the dealers will do to sell you stuff. When we originally bought the car a couple months back, they (the sales guy) told us the hitch had to be welded in. Load of crap. It just happened that when we were there buying the car, a mechanic was installing one. He told me there was no welding and that it was an easy job.

This time when I called about the part, he strongly recommended I get the factory one installed by them... told me it was "very difficult".

Anyhow, the only think I heard from another company I called was that the Hidden hitch was more durable (they didn't sell the Draw-Tite).

Does the Draw-Tite chip and get all rusty? How about the Draw-Tite?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,229 Posts
I paid about $120 for a Hidden Hitch. It includes the drawbar, so consider that when comparing prices. It is a bit of work to remove stuff to install the hitch, but it bolted up perfectly.

All paint will eventually chip. The HH has been on for 4 years, and still looks good. The paint is only missing where it has been worn off by the drawbar or by planet earth (due to off road excursions!)
 
C

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
03 Forester hitch

Hey all,

I got a hitch from the dealer. I had previously installed a Reese on my Bronco, and spent an hour drilling the holes to mount it (really really thick frame members). I spoke with my dealer before I made the decision to get my hitch. He said they bolt right on with instructions. I was figuring that a aftermarket hitch would require drilling, modifications etc, so I went with the factory option, especially since it came with the wiring harness and directions.

It cost around $230 from Mastro, and was worth every penny. It also included the ball mount (something that was missing from the Reese, and its an extra $30 item). I priced 4 into 3 wiring converters at a local RV store, they cost around $50 for the good ones. So all in all I paid $150 for the receiver itself. Not bad since I paid around $100 for the Reese and I got it from a Kmart that was going out of business, at 60% off.

I dont see how a universal hitch would have fit under my Forester, since the factory one is made to go around components that are pretty uinque to this vehicle, the muffler and evaporator canistors are all back there you know. I pull a pop up camper, it weighs in at 1000 lbs which is light, but the hitch is a really solid mount, it is really well hidden. The only thing showing is the stub of the receiver.

Derek
 

·
#8 Post ho
1999 Subaru Forester
Joined
·
2,441 Posts
The curt hitch I recieved was ever so close to fitting perfectly....

besides for this:




Apparently cuts hitch is a swear word? :p

Edit:

Fixed

 

·
Registered
2005 Forester
Joined
·
21 Posts
Curt hitch 12038

After reading this thread, I checked out hitches from different manufacturers. In the end I went with the Curt 12038.

Thought I'd post about the 3 options in case anyone else finds it handy.

1) OEM - Has the tie down for towing hooks. I figure I will seldom need to be towed so I didn't worry about this so much. Besides, you're not really supposed to tow AWD vehicles with 2 wheels on the ground for long distances. Supposed to use a flatbed. When am I ever going to do that???

2) Curt - closest design to OEM. Clears the muffler by a country mile so you can go with different aftermarket mufflers. I don't plan on using a performance muffler... but should I ever need to replace, I like to know I don't have to pay for OEM muffler. Can go with any aftermarket and not worry about clearance. Power coating and overall quality of build seems nice on the Curt.

Major thing I don't like is it does not have a notch for the carbon canister bracket nor do they supply shims. This means the hitch on the passenger side does not fit perfectly flush against he frame. I thought it might be a problem but when I installed, it didn't seem to make much difference. Still bolts up quite tight against the frame despite being about 1/16" difference between the side with the canister and the other side.

Minor thing I didn't like is there doesn't seem to be a tab to support the fascia like on the OEM and Hidden Hitch. I don't think this is a big deal since the bumper cover doesn't really seem to need more support.

3) Hidden Hitch (which also makes the Reese, Valley, Draw-Tite). Didn't like the bent box design because it didn't look like it cleared the muffler by very much. I did like the fact that it had a notch on one side to fit the carbon canister and it has a tab to support the bumper fascia. There also seems to be a big price difference between the difference manufacturers even though the hitch (incl installation instructions) looked identical. I tend to think the Hidden Hitch version might be more cheaply made but I can't verify.

Installation - about 1 hour. Very easy. Wouldn't pay someone to do it.

Thanks for all the input in this thread. Helped me make an informed buying decision.
 

·
Registered
2018 2.5i Manual
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
Nice write up. Thanks. Another option is the Quality S hitch with a 2" receiver.
 

·
Registered
04 Forester 5MT
Joined
·
345 Posts
I've got the Curt on my 04XT. I went with the Curt because its hidden more and the extra room for the muffler is great. I put an aftermarket muffler on and I definitely needed the extra room the Curt gave me.

edit: BTW you'll want air tools to put on the hitch!
 

·
Registered
2005 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
·
2,160 Posts
I've got the draw-tite hitch, and i don't know what the other hitches are like, but i hate the setup for the driverside hanger. It's such a terrible design with the hanger bolted to the hitch frame, and a square cut out to let the exhaust poke through the bottem part of the hanger.

I find my exhaust keeps rattling against the trailer hitch frame thanks to that stupid hanger placement on the hitch frame...
 

·
Registered
2004 Forester XT-5MT
Joined
·
425 Posts
I bought a Draw-Tite but it rattled against my aftermarket Exhaust.... I ended up going with the OEM Subaru & I have no more rattles.... In fact I've got plenty of extra room.....

 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top