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'13 Outback 2.5i Limited, EyeSight/Nav/Moonroof, Graphite Gray Metallic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at getting the Torklift EcoHitch Stealth 2" hitch for my 2013 Outback. I would be using it to carry bikes with the Thule 916XTR rack (2 bikes) or with the Thule 918XTR (4 bikes). If I'm carrying 4 bikes, the bike weight alone could be around 120 lbs.

I know the rack will support this kind of weight, but does anyone know if this hitch needs stabilizing straps to support this kind of load? I've seen some other hitches, like the Curt, that say a bike rack should be supported with stabilizing straps. Thanks.

Steve
 

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2013 Outback Limited, 2.5i, moonroof and all weather package
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I'm looking at getting the Torklift EcoHitch Stealth 2" hitch for my 2013 Outback. I would be using it to carry bikes with the Thule 916XTR rack (2 bikes) or with the Thule 918XTR (4 bikes). If I'm carrying 4 bikes, the bike weight alone could be around 120 lbs.

I know the rack will support this kind of weight, but does anyone know if this hitch needs stabilizing straps to support this kind of load? I've seen some other hitches, like the Curt, that say a bike rack should be supported with stabilizing straps. Thanks.

Steve
I'm doing the exact same research with that exact rack. Love the 918XTR.

Need to find a rack. In my research, I see the Torklift doesn't come with lag bolts like the Hidden Hitch.

I think for the price premium, that's pretty shoddy. I like the looks of the Torklift but will probably end up with the HH.

Did you install yet? Did you do the drilling or the removing of the bumper install?
 

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2008 Outback 2.5i
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What do you mean by lag bolts?
I looked at the parts lists/ pics and both hitches come with bolts to attach the hitch to the car.
If you are referring to the anti rattle bolt, that is usually hitch/bike rack specific.
 

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2013 Outback Limited, 2.5i, moonroof and all weather package
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What do you mean by lag bolts?
I looked at the parts lists/ pics and both hitches come with bolts to attach the hitch to the car.
If you are referring to the anti rattle bolt, that is usually hitch/bike rack specific.
Lemme try to dig up the thread, my understanding was the Torklift hitch attaches to the frame with smaller bolts.
 

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2013 Outback Limited, 2.5i, moonroof and all weather package
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See here:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...5380-group-buy-torklift-stealth-hitch-28.html
"They have changed things so the mounting bolts don't spin. The person I spoke with said they now use a star type lock washer between the bolt head and the backing plate. By star lock washer I am guessing he means an internal or external tooth lock washer. The theory here is that the washer grips both the bolt and backing plate so the bolt won't spin. I can't comment on how will it works obviously but it should. His reason for not using a carriage style bolt is that they require an even larger hole be drilled if installing without bumper removal."
 

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See here:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...5380-group-buy-torklift-stealth-hitch-28.html
"They have changed things so the mounting bolts don't spin. The person I spoke with said they now use a star type lock washer between the bolt head and the backing plate. By star lock washer I am guessing he means an internal or external tooth lock washer. The theory here is that the washer grips both the bolt and backing plate so the bolt won't spin. I can't comment on how will it works obviously but it should. His reason for not using a carriage style bolt is that they require an even larger hole be drilled if installing without bumper removal."
Given the frame rail the hitch mounts too is only just a hair thicker than 1/16 steel I wouldn't even consider a hitch that didn't use proper backing plates. Very surprised they take this approach with their hitch. Glad I saved the money and put two hidden hitches on my 2010's legacy and OB. Both were self installed by me using the bumper removal proper Subaru installation method.
 

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I installed a HH in the subaru already today. Waiting for the second box to get here for the CRV. I have a 3.6 so it was a little more involved. I did take the mufflers (2) off to help things along. By myself and taking my time it took about an hour. The crv will be faster because it only has one muffler and the bolt holes are threaded. Also the heat shield on the crv is attached to the muffler. Looks to be a good solid unit.
 

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Pictures of Hidden Hitch Installed

Pictures of 2013 Subaru Outback and 2011Honda CRV Hidden Hitch Installed:

ETrailer was awesome; start to finish. Prices were good and they had all of the accessories required. ETrailers onsite installation videos helped tremendously. I did both installs solo. Taking my time and having a learning curve, it took a hour and half for the Subaru and about an hour for the CRV.

Hope this helps

Patrick
P.S. I have listed the actually working times. The time it took to run to lowes or find tools was not included. ROFL
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i CVT
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Given the frame rail the hitch mounts too is only just a hair thicker than 1/16 steel I wouldn't even consider a hitch that didn't use proper backing plates. Very surprised they take this approach with their hitch. Glad I saved the money and put two hidden hitches on my 2010's legacy and OB. Both were self installed by me using the bumper removal proper Subaru installation method.
TorkLift does use backing plates that are just as big as those provided by HH and the other manufacturers. My post in the other thread was regarding the type of bolt used to attach the hitch. I identify a couple times that there is a backing plate and that they changed the spring type lock washer placed between the bolt head and the backing plate to a star type lock washer. Please exercise reading comprehension.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Premium 6MT
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Need to find a rack. In my research, I see the Torklift doesn't come with lag bolts like the Hidden Hitch.
Lag bolts aren't included with any hitch. I think what you are refering to are carriage bolts. The reason they don't use carriage bolts is a sound one, the bolts they use are as large as will fit through the existing holes, carriage bolts have a square shoulder that protrudes below the head of the bolt, to make a carriage bolt of the same size fit in the same place either the hole needs to be bigger or more spacers need to be used to prevent interference between the bolt shoulder and the frame.

Given the frame rail the hitch mounts too is only just a hair thicker than 1/16 steel I wouldn't even consider a hitch that didn't use proper backing plates. Very surprised they take this approach with their hitch. Glad I saved the money and put two hidden hitches on my 2010's legacy and OB. Both were self installed by me using the bumper removal proper Subaru installation method.
Torklift does in fact use backing plates, the only change is the addition of an internal tooth lock washer between the bolt head and the backing plate.
 

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2013 Outback Limited, 2.5i, moonroof and all weather package
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Pictures of 2013 Subaru Outback and 2011Honda CRV Hidden Hitch Installed:

ETrailer was awesome; start to finish. Prices were good and they had all of the accessories required. ETrailers onsite installation videos helped tremendously. I did both installs solo. Taking my time and having a learning curve, it took a hour and half for the Subaru and about an hour for the CRV.

Hope this helps

Patrick
P.S. I have listed the actually working times. The time it took to run to lowes or find tools was not included. ROFL
Did you remove the bumper, or go the drill a big hole method?
 

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2013 Outback Limited, 2.5i, moonroof and all weather package
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Lag bolts aren't included with any hitch. I think what you are refering to are carriage bolts. The reason they don't use carriage bolts is a sound one, the bolts they use are as large as will fit through the existing holes, carriage bolts have a square shoulder that protrudes below the head of the bolt, to make a carriage bolt of the same size fit in the same place either the hole needs to be bigger or more spacers need to be used to prevent interference between the bolt shoulder and the frame.



Torklift does in fact use backing plates, the only change is the addition of an internal tooth lock washer between the bolt head and the backing plate.
Yep, I figured out that carriage bolt was what I meant. Am I correct in understanding that most installs use carriage bolts that lock into a backing plate?
 

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I know the rack will support this kind of weight, but does anyone know if this hitch needs stabilizing straps to support this kind of load? I've seen some other hitches, like the Curt, that say a bike rack should be supported with stabilizing straps. Thanks.
To the OP - I just went through the same issues with my daughter's '99 528i. She's got my 4X4 for the winter and I was left with no easy way to transport the mountain bike(s). Curt, UHaul and the others all had nearly identical bolt-on hitches with the "must use a stabilizing strap" warning. I called two of the mfg'rs and both told me that one or two bikes should be fine, just watch out for excessive play.

I chose to build my own for the simple reason that I wanted a 2" receiver to use my Thule. Due to the sheet metal mounting I added several more mounting points and spread the load. It's rock solid. There is a little play with two bikes on the back but no more than was visible with my 4X4. The Thule locking hitch pin works wonders to eliminate the slop.

I have over 600 miles on the hitch with bikes and all is well. I even made a weekender from LA to the Colorado River with no issues - but I did get a few :29:

I checked the fasteners after a few trips and all were still snug.

Good luck.
 

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Yep, I figured out that carriage bolt was what I meant. Am I correct in understanding that most installs use carriage bolts that lock into a backing plate?
That is correct. I have not seen the HH hardware for the Outback so I can't speak specifically to how they address bolt size and the shoulder of the carriage bolt, but I had a HH on my old Element and the carriage bolts were indeed undersized for the existing frame holes. This was to allow for the shoulder of the bolt to clear the frame. The difference though, was that in the Element there was no way to access the bolt head for fastening so a carriage bolt was an absolute necessity whereas in the Outback it is possible to get to the bolt heads. Either way I have no doubts about the strength of the hardware or the hitch. I would recommend making a decision based on cost and aesthetics, not on hardware.

As to the original question of stabilizing straps, that's more a function of the rack than the hitch and I'm quite certain it is a CYA move on Curt's part.
 

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Just wanted to add that I use a Thule Apex 4 on my TorkLift hitch and so far no issues. Now we have only put two bikes on there at a time and they were both light weight road bikes. I do like this bike rack a lot because of its "Snug-Tite" hitch system that takes up the gap inside the hitch's receiver. No wiggle at the hitch connection and it locks.
 

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2013 Outback Limited, 2.5i, moonroof and all weather package
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Question about tongue weight...

I see on etrailer.com that the Hidden Hitch has a tongue weight of 600lbs while the Curt only specifies a 350lb tongue weight.

I thought I read somewhere that Subaru only recommended a 350lb tongue weight, is that correct. Is the HH actually stronger?
 

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I see on etrailer.com that the Hidden Hitch has a tongue weight of 600lbs while the Curt only specifies a 350lb tongue weight.

I thought I read somewhere that Subaru only recommended a 350lb tongue weight, is that correct. Is the HH actually stronger?
A 600 lb tongue weight limit is what Hidden Hitch identifies that their hitch can take. Subaru states that the car's maximum is 200 lbs. Always follow the vehicle manufacturer's maximum rating, it take into account the vehicle's structure, drive train (more applicable to total trailer weight than tongue weight though), suspension, etc. Even if the Hidden Hitch is stronger than the Curt one they are both more than strong enough to handle the car's maximum ratings of 200 lb tongue weight and 2700 lb trailer weight (3000 lb for the 6 cylinder).
 
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