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That’s no moon.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I want to add a 2” hitch and a tray style rack to my 2013 Subaru Forester. I’m looking at two brands. One is Drawtite, which sits pretty far back from the bumper. With this hitch, a few of the racks I’m looking at won’t be able to fold up into the storage position without touching the bumper.

The other option is Curt which sits closer to the bumper edge, and I believe it would allow most racks to fold up. But they warn that a stabilizing strap should be used for non towing accessories like bike racks.

Does anyone have a 2009-2013 Forester with Curt hitch by chance? Any problems with hitch or car damage? The rack is rated for 400lbs. tongue weight and I think the Forester can only handle 200lbs. I’m aware of the factory hitch option, but it’s 2-3 times more expensive. :eekster:

I’d likely carry only one bike most of the time, and never more than two.
 

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EDR
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10,425 Posts
Regarding the stabilizing strap. I asked Etrailer.com this exact question. They contacted Curt and got back to me. The answer really can be parsed to this: They "recommend" a strap but it's not 'required'. there is nothing about their design vs. DT that warrants a required strap. It's legal-speak and mostly, it keeps novice rack users from complaining their bike rack bounces up and down when they hit the speed bumps at 15mph at their local Walmart.

I have a Curt on my Honda with a kuat T2 (no strap can be used). Works perfectly for my 2 bike set up. No wobble or excessive up/down movements. If I put a hitch on the Outback I might use the same Curt depending on fit.
 

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I had a 1.25" curt receiver on my 15 forester and it worked ok but I wanted to use a 3 tray 1up and switched it out for an 2" Ecohitch receiver. I can't say enough good things about the Ecohitch (I also replaced the drawtite on our van with an Ecohitch). Well worth the extra coin

Make sure you figure out where the end of the receiver opening is relative to your bumper. The curt and drawtite were tucked way under on my vehicles and the 1up couldn't fold up as a result.

You shouldn't need a stabilizing strap with a bike rack, in my exp.
 

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That’s no moon.
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815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys! 29ftw, what made the EcoHitch stand out for you? I see that it’s more hidden, but I’m not too concerned with that, and the price is up there with the factory hitch. I did read about hitches being too far tucked on later models but think the Curt is okay on my year model.

Eatdrinkride, thanks, that’s reassuring. I’m probably overthinking it. But it’s an expensive endeavor so want to make sure.
 

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If you don't have the issue with the receiver being tucked back under on your year then no worries there. The ecohitch does look a lot better, not having the crossbar hanging down! Does it look twice the price of the Curt better? Prob not for most people

I also drag a dirt bike trailer with my Sub and having the ecohitch, which is slightly higher, helped with ball mount choices for getting the tongue level. With the Curt I had to flip a drop hitch to get it high enough
 

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EDR
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10,425 Posts
The ecohitch is a 'hidden' hitch. May (likely) require minor cutting of the bumper cover where the reciever sits. No biggie for most folks. Not sure about the DT or Curt on your car, I'm guessing the receivers sits lower and no cutting needed. Both may require the removal of the bumper cover and bumper for install. That was not necessary on my Accord but is on my '15 outback (with the Ecohitch).
 

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That’s no moon.
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815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. I think I’m going with the Curt. It’s the cheapest and doesn’t require bumper removal or cutting. Just lowering the exhaust. I put a receiver hitch on another car once before and it wasn’t too bad, but will probably get someone to install this one. Now I just need to decide on a rack. Kind of narrowed it down to the Rocky Mounts Splitrail or the 1Up.
 

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For future reference, I went with the Draw-Tite #76182 Class 3 hitch on my 2015 XT. I chose it because it has similar ground clearance to the OEM and Ecohitch options at a fraction of the cost. It does require trimming/removing the heat shield(s) for the exhaust and some minor trimming to the bumper cover.

My Saris MTR-1 rack was delivered today and I fit it up and have no clearance issues at all. So far my only nitpicks are I'll add some thin sheet metal shims to tighten up the fit in the hitch. Movement isn't bad, but it will be better shimmed. Also, it would have been nice if the integrated lock cables had another 3-4" of length each. I can't quite run them through both wheels and the frame and get them to connect on the 1 bike I tried. I understand the limitations of the length of the rails, but oh so close...

Close up of bumper cutout:
Bicycle accessory Synthetic rubber Carbon Tread Security


Rear view with rack:
Motor vehicle Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Automotive exterior Automotive tire


Side view with rack:
Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive tire Vehicle Automotive tail & brake light


Side view of rack folded while opening hatch:
Motor vehicle Automotive tail & brake light Automotive tire Automotive design Vehicle
 
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