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Difference in Aerodynamics Between Class III Hitches on Mazda CX-5


I am deciding between the 2 hitches, and noticed that the Curt has a metal plate shaped like home base which attaches the receiver to the crossbar. On the Draw-Tite, the same plate looks smaller. Unfortunately there are not may photos of the HH. As the scale of the photo are different im just wondering which of the 2 have less cross sectional area which would cause less drag.


Expert Reply:

There is a small difference in size and shape between the receiver tube reinforcement plates that are part of Curt C13127 and Draw-Tite 75217 Class III hitches. The size/shape/position of these plates are determined by engineering considerations, to give the hitches their maximum strength, but not with regard to wind resistance or drag.

Hitch makers do not really address wind resistance in the design of their hitches since in reality there are many other factors in play that will have far more effect on the vehicle's aerodynamics. For example, a dirty car, as compared to a spotlessly clean one, will have more wind resistance and drag. This is why airlines keep their planes very clean - it saves fuel. Tire inflation pressure also has more effect on fuel consumption than the small surface area of the hitch plate.

Between these two hitches I would choose based on your intended use since they have identical capacities. If you plan to use a hitch bike rack or cargo carrier go for the Draw-Tite 75217 since it does not require use of a stabilizing strap # 18050 as does the Curt hitch C13127. If on the other hand towing is the plan then the Curt is my recommendation since it is lower in cost.

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