Forester Trailer Hitch Recommendations

Discussion in 'Subaru Forester' started by Victor Roberts, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. I'm taking delivery of a 2006 Forester X Premium on
    Wednesday. I need to add a trailer hitch and decided not to
    pay Subaru's very high price. I may go to the local U-haul
    store and have one installed but I also see Draw-Tite
    hitches on the web for the Forester that say they are "bolt
    on" with "no drilling". Some types state that the exhaust
    system must be temporarily lowered to install the hitch.
    Others do not have this indication.

    Does anyone have experience installing a trailer hitch on a
    Victor Roberts, Jun 25, 2006
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  2. Victor Roberts

    Grolch Guest

    Get the Subaru hitch at the time of purchase and it becomes warrantied the
    same etc. What high price anyway?
    Grolch, Jun 25, 2006
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  3. Victor Roberts

    Edward Hayes Guest

    The OEM hitch is a very well made and convient design for the vehicle.
    The list price for my 2000 Forester was $295 but, some discussion got
    it down to invoice or ~$190. There are other good hitches but, I've
    yet to see one that looks as good or is built any better than the OEM.
    JMO and observations. Ed
    Edward Hayes, Jun 25, 2006
  4. Victor Roberts

    Body Roll Guest

    I have the draw tite on my Protege. It works fine, looks&feels good.
    I think I paid around $130 installed.
    The only drawback is there is no wiring harness (which is probably why
    it's less than what subaru is asking for theirs).

    So if you need it for a bike rack I'd say go with an aftermarket hitch,
    if towing is your favorite pastime shell out extra for the subaru oem
    Body Roll, Jun 25, 2006
  5. What I don't understand is that you have spent over $20,000 for a new
    car and you're too tight to spend a lousy $200 on a unauthorised tow-bar.

    please explain.
    sarahs choice, Jun 25, 2006
  6. Victor Roberts

    nobody Guest

    Even buying an OEM "after the fact" (after purchase) isn't bad.

    I'm planning adding one to my Soobie OB (2000) here for ~$220

    Mounting is fairly simple; the holes and/or existing bolts are already
    there. IIRC, the exhaust has to be partially dropped to wiggle it into

    There's another Soob at work with this hitch installed, I'll have to ask
    the owner to pull it to a convenient curb to look underneath for more
    nobody, Jun 25, 2006
  7. Victor Roberts

    Body Roll Guest

    You are implying that the "unauthorized bar" would void the warranty?
    Mind you, Subaru for example does NOT sell hitches for impreza sedans
    for example, and the manual tells the owner to get an aftermaket one.
    I don't think Subaru worries about those $200 one way or the other.
    Body Roll, Jun 25, 2006
  8. Victor Roberts

    CompUser Guest>,

    Corrected for you.
    CompUser, Jun 25, 2006
  9. Victor Roberts

    Bonehenge Guest

    The "OEM" Subaru hitch is a Draw Tite, Valley, Hidden Hitch, or some
    other major brand, without decals.

    My dealer wanted $450 for an Outback hitch. I installed a Hidden
    Hitch in 30 minutes, obtained online for $160. If the dealer had a
    more reasonable price, I wouldn't have had a problem paying the dealer
    price. I think my high hitch price had more to do with my below
    invoice purchase of the car than the actual value of the hitch.

    The Outback installation process consisted of (4) bolts and an
    electrical plug. <G> I can't see a Forester being much different.
    The online hitch even included "bolt leaders" to pull the bolts
    through the box frame. I needed two socket(s), an extension, a
    ratchet, a phillips screwdriver, and a flat screwdriver to pop off
    frame plugs. The most difficult part of my installation was moving
    the fuel tank canister out of the way. I did a second one on a Legacy
    wagon in even less time.

    Many online hitch dealers will allow you to view a PDF of the
    installation manual, which can further simplify the decision process.

    As an aside, remember that new cars are clean and bolts are not yet
    rusted in place, making accessory installation much easier than
    repairing older cars.
    Bonehenge, Jun 25, 2006
  10. There are installation instructions a number of places on
    line, including See:

    scroll down to 2006 trailer hitch and choose publication
    Victor Roberts, Jun 25, 2006
  11. Victor Roberts

    etienne Guest

    I had a draw-tite hitch installed at u-haul. Works well, I towed a
    3300# trailer with my '01 Forester.
    etienne, Jun 25, 2006
  12. Victor Roberts

    B A R R Y Guest

    The wiring harness is a $20 item that plugs into an existing connector.
    B A R R Y, Jun 26, 2006
  13. Victor Roberts

    Body Roll Guest

    Oh, I was confused by the driving tips chapter ("SEDAN" on page 8-35)
    of 2005 impreza owner's manual.

    "SUBARU does not offer accessory trailer hitches.
    Consult with a professional hitch supplier to assist you in choosing an
    hitch for your vehicle."

    Sanq for correcting me. Sanq very much.
    Body Roll, Jun 26, 2006
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