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2017 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #1
I had a Subaru L101SAL013 hitch installed on my 2017 Outback 2.5L thinking that hey, it's factory, surely the engineers know what they are doing so that's going to be my best option. Plus, I wasn't too keen on the aftermarket hitch install on a 2016 I had which required two large holes to be drilled into the unibody.

Today, I was looking at upgrading to a 3 or 4 bike hitch rack from Thule and, low and behold, they all require a Class II hitch.

When I got to digging around, turns out the Subaru L101SAL013 is only a Class I :mad:

Drawtite offers an aftermarket Class III that bolts to the bumper brackets. Granted, I know the car can only handle 2,700 lbs of towing capacity and a Class III hitch is overkill for that, but when it comes to hitch accessories—like bike racks and things— people need more capacity. What the heck Subaru? I thought this car was all about accessorizing? Why is your hitch only Class I?

There's $500 down the proverbial hole ($389 for the hitch + install).

Does anyone have any sage advice that would make me feel better?

I can probably chance it since the Subaru hitch is rated at 200 lbs. tongue weight and the rack with the bikes wouldn't exceed that, but still... If something were to happen, like everything fails and my rack falls off causing a major accident on the interstate, that would be part of the investigation and I would be liable.
 

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2019, Subaru Outback Limited 3.6R
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1,063 Posts
EcoHitch. 2” hitch no drilling low profile.
 
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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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2,692 Posts
Ecohitch FTW.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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7,108 Posts
... I know the car can only handle 2,700 lbs of towing capacity ...
... the Subaru hitch is rated at 200 lbs. tongue weight ...
Those are both vehicle limits, regardless of the hitch rating.
 

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2018 3.6r Touring, Black, modifications: 255-55-zr18 Continental DWS06
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408 Posts
Because you aren't towing, rather carrying bikes, I suggest the options shown below for consideration. I would add, the adapter should be secured with a threaded bolt (not hitch bolt with cotter pin) to limit play/sway. To everyone's point, the tongue weight is 200lbs. Carrier and 4 bikes is pushing that. Add sway of the carrier while driving will result in peaks of pressure exceeding 200, possibly by a significant amount.



My Sportworks/Thule T2 uses a bolt for the joining of hitch to recieved to address the same.

Don't lose your bikes off the hitch.


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2019, Subaru Outback Limited 3.6R
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1,063 Posts
Yea, make sure you add even more length to the hitch and reduce aMyles oven more 🙄
 
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2018 3.6r Touring, Black, modifications: 255-55-zr18 Continental DWS06
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408 Posts
I have used the solution (not my preference) and carted $12k worth of bikes from Houston to Terlingua. The etrailer has the shortest version. I installed the class hitch I needed for my carrier. Still think that is the very best solution.

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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1,370 Posts
Lots of owners hang bikes on the Sube hitch with a bike carrier sold thru Sube.
One bike will be fine. Worry less, have more fun.
200 lb limit takes into account dynamic loads and has a factor of safety included. No one sells consumer products and puts the service load rating anywhere near the ultimate load rating.
 
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