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Discussion Starter #1
I looked around for a TH, looks like many are out there, dealer wants a lot of dough, probably would just install an after market anyway. Thoughts on which is the one to get for mine? I have done a lot of welding and bolting on front cattle guard grills, over the years. I am very handy :)
Regards,
GAB
 

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Try the 'search' function. This has been discussed regularly.

No need to do any welding, and the aftermarkets are reasonably easy enough for one person to do in a short afternoon.
 

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Just to get you started:

UHaul, Hidden Hitch, and Draw Tite are the same and can be installed with no drilling if you remove the bumper first.

Curtis and Torklift are two other brands you can check out.

Try doing a forum search on those hitches. I know there are before/during/after pictures out there.

The wiring connector is a simple 5- minute job. It just plugs into the existing harness.
 

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2013 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i All-Weather+Moonroof Venetian Red Pearl W/ Ivory Coth
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Best overall cost for someone to install is UHaul. Always beats everyone hands down. Mine was less than $240 installed. Also purchasing your own and installing yourself Uhaul is one of the lower cost ones as well. At current I believe Curt makes their hitches. Its a little different design than the Curt one, but I believe Curt makes them given that all of their accessories are made by Curt. Private labeling hides everything. One thing I noticed about the Uhaul hitch compared to Drawtite/Hidden Hitch as well as the Curt is that for the Uhaul the coating on the unit seems to be thicker mil. Ive seen drawtites on vehicles rusted out after two years but UHaul hitches seem to still be black. We ended up letting Uhaul cut into the rails and just git-r-done, but some on the forum do not do this. Do what you feel right, but I would say buying one from Uhaul would be a good plan even if you install yourself by removing the bumper
 

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Best overall cost for someone to install is UHaul. Always beats everyone hands down. Mine was less than $240 installed. Also purchasing your own and installing yourself Uhaul is one of the lower cost ones as well. At current I believe Curt makes their hitches. Its a little different design than the Curt one, but I believe Curt makes them given that all of their accessories are made by Curt. Private labeling hides everything. One thing I noticed about the Uhaul hitch compared to Drawtite/Hidden Hitch as well as the Curt is that for the Uhaul the coating on the unit seems to be thicker mil. Ive seen drawtites on vehicles rusted out after two years but UHaul hitches seem to still be black. We ended up letting Uhaul cut into the rails and just git-r-done, but some on the forum do not do this. Do what you feel right, but I would say buying one from Uhaul would be a good plan even if you install yourself by removing the bumper
I second that!
 

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2013 Outback 3.6R Ltd- Nav, Eyesight, HK, Graphite Gray Metallic
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Best overall cost for someone to install is UHaul. Always beats everyone hands down. Mine was less than $240 installed. Also purchasing your own and installing yourself Uhaul is one of the lower cost ones as well. At current I believe Curt makes their hitches. Its a little different design than the Curt one, but I believe Curt makes them given that all of their accessories are made by Curt. Private labeling hides everything. One thing I noticed about the Uhaul hitch compared to Drawtite/Hidden Hitch as well as the Curt is that for the Uhaul the coating on the unit seems to be thicker mil. Ive seen drawtites on vehicles rusted out after two years but UHaul hitches seem to still be black. We ended up letting Uhaul cut into the rails and just git-r-done, but some on the forum do not do this. Do what you feel right, but I would say buying one from Uhaul would be a good plan even if you install yourself by removing the bumper
Well I did a bit better. Went a local hitch place the day after I bought my subie and paid $165 for a curt hitch including installation.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Premium, CVT, Steel Silver, all-weather package. Upgrades: Tweeter kit, BlueConnect, media hub, remote start, Curt 2" receiver hitch.
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I'm a big fan of Curt hitches. I have had them on half a dozen or so vehicles, from a subcompact Scion xD to a Sprinter van. I like the look of the round tube on the Outback. I tow a 4x8 Harbor Freight trailer (for sale), a 5x8 enclosed trailer, and a 13 foot Scamp camper. I tow something at least once a week... Usually more often.

Never had trouble with any Curt hitch... And the fit and finish is a little better than most of the competition. Also, I have seen cases where Curt uses beefier hardware. Installation has always been straight forward, except with my VW Golf, but all non-Euro hitches have the same issues with that particular car.



 

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2013 2.5i Limited, Special Appearance Package, Brilliant Brown Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather, HK Audio, Moonroof, Navigation
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I have the same Curt Class III. :)


I'm a big fan of Curt hitches. I have had them on half a dozen or so vehicles, from a subcompact Scion xD to a Sprinter van. I like the look of the round tube on the Outback. I tow a 4x8 Harbor Freight trailer (for sale), a 5x8 enclosed trailer, and a 13 foot Scamp camper. I tow something at least once a week... Usually more often.

Never had trouble with any Curt hitch... And the fit and finish is a little better than most of the competition. Also, I have seen cases where Curt uses beefier hardware. Installation has always been straight forward, except with my VW Golf, but all non-Euro hitches have the same issues with that particular car.



 

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I did a LOT of research before putting my hitch on and I went with a Hidden Hitch.

Here's why

1.) 100% no drill, bolt on installation available
2.) Price, Drawtite and Hidden Hitch are the same hitch. E-Trailer had Hidden priced lower. If Drawtite were on sale I would have went with it.

Curt certainly makes a quality hitch, however with the Gen 4 Outback they don't use all 4 stock mounting holes. So regardless of how you install it, you have to at least drill 2 additional holes .

I couldn't find any direct specs on U-Haul hitches, so I can't comment whether they use factory holes. If Curt makes them, I doubt it.

Torklift makes a good looking hitch, that they have revised to use factory holes, but it's a few extra $$, and this is an OB, so looks aren't high on my priority list. IMHO it doesn't do much for ground clearance as your mufflers are already the low point back there. I've hit plenty of steep hills at full speed where most cars will drag, my hitch has yet to scrape.

From your first post it sounds like you will do the install yourself. Most install instructions suggest cutting "access holes" in the rails to feed bolts through. Aftermarket installers will undoubtedly do this also. It could be quicker, but I"m not a fan of adding extra cuts or places for posible rust. I'm sure thousands of cars are out there with zero problems, but if I can avoid it, why not? You can remove the rear bumper and install with zero modifications to your car. That's how the OEM hitch goes on as well. But it's only a 1.25" and costs $$$$

Here is a link to my write up for my hitch install.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/99-do-yourself-illustrated-guides/47218-4th-gen-aftermarket-hitch-install-oem-method.html

And the search function sucks on this forum, plus it never hurts to get a fresh opinion. GL with your decision and ask any questions you may have.
 

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I did a LOT of research before putting my hitch on and I went with a Hidden Hitch.

Here's why

1.) 100% no drill, bolt on installation available
2.) Price, Drawtite and Hidden Hitch are the same hitch. E-Trailer had Hidden priced lower. If Drawtite were on sale I would have went with it.

Curt certainly makes a quality hitch, however with the Gen 4 Outback they don't use all 4 stock mounting holes. So regardless of how you install it, you have to at least drill 2 additional holes .

I couldn't find any direct specs on U-Haul hitches, so I can't comment whether they use factory holes. If Curt makes them, I doubt it.

Torklift makes a good looking hitch, that they have revised to use factory holes, but it's a few extra $$, and this is an OB, so looks aren't high on my priority list. IMHO it doesn't do much for ground clearance as your mufflers are already the low point back there. I've hit plenty of steep hills at full speed where most cars will drag, my hitch has yet to scrape.

From your first post it sounds like you will do the install yourself. Most install instructions suggest cutting "access holes" in the rails to feed bolts through. Aftermarket installers will undoubtedly do this also. It could be quicker, but I"m not a fan of adding extra cuts or places for posible rust. I'm sure thousands of cars are out there with zero problems, but if I can avoid it, why not? You can remove the rear bumper and install with zero modifications to your car. That's how the OEM hitch goes on as well. But it's only a 1.25" and costs $$$$

Here is a link to my write up for my hitch install.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/99-do-yourself-illustrated-guides/47218-4th-gen-aftermarket-hitch-install-oem-method.html

And the search function sucks on this forum, plus it never hurts to get a fresh opinion. GL with your decision and ask any questions you may have.
Thanks for posting that link. I actually forgot about it. I used your instructions when i installed my HH. I added my own pictures in that same thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you, to all who commented, it has really helped me make a decision.
vr4Legacy OEM Method, the way I will go, doing it myself. :)
Your pictures and explanation,very helpful...

Regards,
GAB
 

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Glad I could help!

One thing I'll add, leave the rear bumper in the sunlight for a couple hours to soften it up.

If you have any questions post them here or on the install thread.
 

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I don't see why people are so afraid to drill - mostly "access" holes. If you properly rust proof the hole after drilling, there is no "rusting".
I have U-Haul (with access hole drilled and rust-protected) on my 3rd Subaru and I never had a rust problem in over 15 years now!
There is hardly any "structural" compromise by drilling into the body or frame; actually, in some cases, round holes may improve the structural integrity on any frame or body.
Putting holes in metal in the right places can make the piece lighter without losing much strength. This is important on airplanes. Airplane frames often have many round holes.
 

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I don't know if I'd go so far as to equate an aircraft part that was designed, engineered, and certified to be manufactured with a hole to a car frame that's about to be molested by someone with a hole-shooter.

Still, the hole that's drilled probably ends up being reinforced by the hitch anyway. Spraying some primer or other rust inhibitor should take care of that worry.

Actually, after putting on my HH and removing the bumper -- if i had to do it again, i'd simply use the access/inspection holes that are already in the trunk floor. Just peel off the tape, widen them a bit, spray a little primer, and cover with some new tape when finished. No exterior drilling, and no need to remove the bumper.
 

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I don't know if I'd go so far as to equate an aircraft part that was designed, engineered, and certified to be manufactured with a hole to a car frame that's about to be molested by someone with a hole-shooter.

Still, the hole that's drilled probably ends up being reinforced by the hitch anyway. Spraying some primer or other rust inhibitor should take care of that worry.

Actually, after putting on my HH and removing the bumper -- if i had to do it again, i'd simply use the access/inspection holes that are already in the trunk floor. Just peel off the tape, widen them a bit, spray a little primer, and cover with some new tape when finished. No exterior drilling, and no need to remove the bumper.
Well... that is basically what I was trying to say...I was not trying to compare aircraft parts to auto body parts but I have mentioned that just for the reference purposes. Most poster on this forum are scared of drilling any body part whatsoever. Thanks for articulating my thoughts a bit better KansasMathew...
 

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Yeah - out of tens of thousands of cars with hundreds of thousands of miles, for decades-- if adding an after market trailer hitch by drilling a hole would make a car break in half, i think we would have heard about it by now.

I went the bumper-removal route for a couple reasons- i didn't want to buy a hole saw, i had a free day, i just felt like tearing into the car, and frankly i didn't feel like cutting any holes.
 

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I don't see why drilling a hole saves that much time. It took me 22 minutes to get my bumper off. That was stopping to take pictures along the way. I can't imagine it taking any less than 15 minutes to drill 2 or 4 holes and fish bolts and keyplates through them.

I agree, it is highly unlikely that you will see any negative consequences from drilling. But the off chance is there. I can guarantee that taking an extra 30 minutes (if it's even "extra") to remove and replace the bumper will cause ZERO problems.

In the end I'm more with Kansas Matthew in that I don't have a good hole saw and frankly just don't like cutting through metal and fishing bolts. I did it more because it just seems easier to have open full access than to mess with cutting through metal and blindly fishing bolts.

Just my $0.02
 
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I vote for something other than OEM hitch

FWIW - I just went through a hitch change from OEM to a U-Haul. Had an OEM on my 2011 OB, installed when we bought it. Recently bought a new 2013 OB and needed a Hitch to accommodate a power wheelchair lift. OEM had the 1 & 1/4 receiver - we tried it for about a week and the lift flopped around and just did not feel secure. I had the OEM hitch replaced with a U-Haul with 2" receiver (had to have the OEM taken off by a dealer since U-Haul wouldn't do it! - cost me $225!!) The U-Haul fits up and under - existing bolts - which IMO is more secure. With the U-Haul, the lift fits about 8" closer to the rear of the car and there is no more "floppy" feel. I vote for U-Haul or any other hitch that mounts under the frame vice behind the bumper...:29:
 
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