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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought the 2018 limited and am extremely excited about a car for the first time in forever.

I'm not 100% sure about 2017 Vs 2018 differences, but not having apple/android auto functionality was what made me wait for the 2018.

I'm planning on having a hitch installed for bike rack and general towing. Is it best to just have it done at the dealer or are there better options offsite?

Thanks
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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Welcome. There are a bunch of discussions on brands and applications, but in my mind the factory hitch is the most expensive for what you get (only 1.25" receiver). There is the Ecohitch which mounts in the factory position with a 2" receiver and then those that mount beneath the frame like the Hidden Hitch, Draw-Tite, Reese, or Curt. Money-no-object, I'd say the Ecohitch is best, but I haven't been able to justify the cost for my limited use yet. Search those names. Some DIY guides, too. Good luck.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver
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I bought and installed the Ecohitch myself as did many others on this site. While more expensive than say a Curt or Drawtite, I am glad I did as the only thing you see is the receiver tube. The other options (except factory) you have a cross bar that is visible from behind the car which will ultimately end up rusting if you live in the northern states. Somewhere on one of the hitch threads is a video that someone posted that shows that the factory hitch (this would be the same for the Ecohitch) does not interfere with the factory designed crumple zones saying that the typical aftermarket hitches negate those because they bolt a big metal plate across those areas. To see how crumple zones work, there is guy on here that has his older OB rear ended pretty bad and the car behind the rear wheels was compressed to the back wheels but the rest of the cabin was completely unaffected.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes , thanks gents...I just finished reading through 22 pages of a recent hitch thread and I'm all sorted.....will be following msprygada with an ecohitch install, especially after watching suburu 'scare' safety video :)

Thanks again. Great forum, and great car!!
 

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Is there any benefit other than aesthetics to have the hitch mounted on the factory mounts vs. the bottom of the frame?

Here in Canada land, the OEM hitch will cost me $850+ tax installed, whereas an aftermarket (bottom mount) hitch will cost me $495 + tax installed. The Ecohitch is not available in Canada.

Is the Ecohitch the only alternative hitch that used the factory mounts?
 

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2016 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited with Tech & Eyesight
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Didn't look into OEM hitch + install cost here in AB, but I did (finally) found an installer who will do it for $880.00 Cdn (parts & labour) + tax (so about $700 USD) - Ouch.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver
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Is there any benefit other than aesthetics to have the hitch mounted on the factory mounts vs. the bottom of the frame?

Here in Canada land, the OEM hitch will cost me $850+ tax installed, whereas an aftermarket (bottom mount) hitch will cost me $495 + tax installed. The Ecohitch is not available in Canada.

Is the Ecohitch the only alternative hitch that used the factory mounts?
That I have seen. So if you cannot get the Ecohitch then I would go aftermarket as most people go for the 2" receiver where the factory is 1.5" and most say it is not very rigid for carrying say a bike rack.
 

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Didn't look into OEM hitch + install cost here in AB, but I did (finally) found an installer who will do it for $880.00 Cdn (parts & labour) + tax (so about $700 USD) - Ouch.
What hitch did you have installed for $880 + tax?


That I have seen. So if you cannot get the Ecohitch then I would go aftermarket as most people go for the 2" receiver where the factory is 1.5" and most say it is not very rigid for carrying say a bike rack.
Our previous vehicle (Carvan) had the 1 1/4 hitch installed, we never had any issues with a 4 bike rack on it. But maybe it's differences in the mounting or the hitches themselves?

I am going to see what the cost would be to get a Ecohitch from the US (likely shipped to a US border address and me picking it up) and then having my local garage do the install.

My main question between bottom mount and factory location mount is whether the bottom mount has a negative impact on the structure or crumple zone of the vehcile during a collision.
 

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2016 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited with Tech & Eyesight
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What hitch did you have installed for $880 + tax?




Our previous vehicle (Carvan) had the 1 1/4 hitch installed, we never had any issues with a 4 bike rack on it. But maybe it's differences in the mounting or the hitches themselves?

I am going to see what the cost would be to get a Ecohitch from the US (likely shipped to a US border address and me picking it up) and then having my local garage do the install.

My main question between bottom mount and factory location mount is whether the bottom mount has a negative impact on the structure or crumple zone of the vehcile during a collision.

I didn't go for it b/c of the price - I'm still looking between 1) OEM hitch installed at dealer or 2) Find a reputable shop that has experience installing the Ecohitch within my driving area :)
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver
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I didn't go for it b/c of the price - I'm still looking between 1) OEM hitch installed at dealer or 2) Find a reputable shop that has experience installing the Ecohitch within my driving area :)
Install it yourself. It is pretty easy.
 

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Thanks msprygada for the video, I am pretty sure I had seen that video during my general research when buying the Outback, and that put the nagging question in my mind. So seriously, thanks for reaffirming I am not making stuff up!

I didn't go for it b/c of the price - I'm still looking between 1) OEM hitch installed at dealer or 2) Find a reputable shop that has experience installing the Ecohitch within my driving area :)
I just found an Ottawa Ecohitch dealer listed on Torklift's site which didn't come up on my searches earlier today. So sent them an email asking to confirm they sell Ecohitch and for an estimate on install.
 

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I didn't go for it b/c of the price - I'm still looking between 1) OEM hitch installed at dealer or 2) Find a reputable shop that has experience installing the Ecohitch within my driving area :)
There seems to be two EcoHitch installers in Calgary, being Auto Truck Depot and Hitch Shop.
 

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Installed the Ecohitch myself, it did take longer than what they said but it was because I was worried about the bumper fascia going back into place and the bending and hitting it... I did have to go to the auto parts store and get some nylon push pull pins that snapped but really it is not bad and you save yourself a few hundred dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Find a reputable shop that has experience installing the Ecohitch within my driving area
if you call torklift central they are super helpful in helping you find ecohitch dealers/installers in your area.
 
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