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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all! I just got my first Outback 3 weeks ago (2016 2.5i Premium in Black). Love the car, and happy to join the community here. The first modification I want to do is install a trailer hitch. I will use this primarily for hitch-mount accessories such as a bike rack, but may also do some light towing with a small utility trailer (well under the 2700 lb rating).

I want this hitch to have the lowest possible profile to minimize effect on ground clearance. I looked into getting an OEM hitch installed at a Subaru dealer first, because it seems to me the OEM hitches have the lowest profile. I was a little surprised at how little knowledge of these parts that the service managers and parts guys I spoke to had. I called two dealers and got estimates ranging from about $580 - $620. One of these dealers even directly recommended I go to an independent 3rd-party hitch installer instead of them. I tried to express my concern for the profile of the hitch assembly and its affect on ground clearance and the parts and service guys both seemed confused and dismissive of this concern,

So, I called the recommended hitch installer and they are significantly cheaper (~$300 out the door) but they install an aftermarket Draw-Tite hitch. One thing I do like is they will do a 2 inch or 1 1/4 inch receiver for the same price. However, based on my research, those Draw-Tite hitches have a beefy cross-member (har har) that sticks down several inches below the car, which I am trying to avoid.

Am I trying to have my cake and eat it too? Or is it possible to have a hitch on an Outback that is flush with the bumper? Any advice/experience to share on getting a hitch put on an Outback? Thanks!
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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moved to towing section, lots and lots and lots of similar threads there.

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/130-towing/

things to skip: 1.25" hitches. anything you want to put on there comes in 2"

but keep in mind there is no way to get around the outback's 200lb tongue weight. ...if you want more you need a new Ascent. (anything over base model = 500lbs tongue, and 5000lbs max )
 

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The most recommended on this site are the Ecohitch and #76227 Drawtite both require removing the rear bumper and trimming the bottom around the hitch area.

The 2 inch receiver is more universal for accessories
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ah, thanks, and sorry to pollute the forum with a common question, posted in the wrong place. I still welcome any responses, but I'll check out the posts over there.
 

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I installed the older DrawTite. The new one wasn't available at that time.


The install pix:

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/522151-post24.html


Some measurements for bike rack clearance:

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/1899025-post18.html


I know that some people are worried about ground clearance, but I'm not so sure that's as big a deal. The cross bar on the older version is below the bumper cover, but it's still higher than other parts of the vehicle. The problems come into play when you have a dropped drawbar and go in and out of a driveway or other dip. I'm not sure that wouldn't be a problem with an OEM or other "hidden" type of hitch. Somewhere I have a photo of the hitch height measurements (ground to receiver), I am curious the height difference between the old style DrawTite and the new style.


edit: I did notice the photo I was looking for. It's in the series with the bike rack pix and shows the ground to bottom of receiver measurement to be about 12.5".
 

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Yeah agree that the actual clearance is pretty much all the same. The main difference is just less surface to hit.
I installed the older DrawTite. The new one wasn't available at that time.


The install pix:

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/522151-post24.html


Some measurements for bike rack clearance:

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/1899025-post18.html


I know that some people are worried about ground clearance, but I'm not so sure that's as big a deal. The cross bar on the older version is below the bumper cover, but it's still higher than other parts of the vehicle. The problems come into play when you have a dropped drawbar and go in and out of a driveway or other dip. I'm not sure that wouldn't be a problem with an OEM or other "hidden" type of hitch. Somewhere I have a photo of the hitch height measurements (ground to receiver), I am curious the height difference between the old style DrawTite and the new style.


edit: I did notice the photo I was looking for. It's in the series with the bike rack pix and shows the ground to bottom of receiver measurement to be about 12.5".
Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

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Yeah agree that the actual clearance is pretty much all the same. The main difference is just less surface to hit.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
When you get a chance, can you measure from the ground to the receiver on your DrawTite?


I'd like to know the difference in the two. It's hard to tell, once the hitch is installed, is the actual receiver part the same height or not?


My pics show approx 12.5", or about 13" to the bottom opening.


I do like that new version, I probably would have gone that route if I had the choice back then.
 

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Sorry, I have a ~3" lift and overized tires so it wont be a good reference.
When you get a chance, can you measure from the ground to the receiver on your DrawTite?


I'd like to know the difference in the two. It's hard to tell, once the hitch is installed, is the actual receiver part the same height or not?


My pics show approx 12.5", or about 13" to the bottom opening.


I do like that new version, I probably would have gone that route if I had the choice back then.
Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 
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