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Deciding Between 1-1/4-Inch Class II or 2-Inch Class III Hitch for 2005 Subaru Legacy Wagon

Question:

I have a 2005 Legacy and am debating between the 1.25 and 2inch hitch. It will be for a bike rack, so towing isnt really an issue. I cant tell from the pics, but does one hitch provide more ground clearance than the other?

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Expert Reply:

We generally always recommend the higher-capacity hitch option when the option does exist, as it does for your 2005 Subaru Legacy which can be fitted with either a 1-1/4-inch Class II or a 2-inch Class III hitch. There will be very slightly more ground-to-hitch space with the smaller hitch tube but this will be only one of many factors that affect your actual ground clearance. Passengers, cargo, tire tread depth and inflation pressure also can affect your actual clearance as much as your choice of hitch.

Another advantage of a larger hitch is that there will be more options for hitch-mounted accessories; more choices in bike racks and for other items such as cargo carriers like # C18151. Even if you'll never tow the stronger hitch is my recommendation.

I do suggest the 2-inch Class III Draw-Tite # 75560. This will bolt on using included hardware and requires no drilling. Basic tools are needed but you'll also need a torque wrench like # ALL944001 to secure the fasteners to the specs noted in the written instructions. The hitch instructions as well as an install video and article are linked for you.

When you select your bike rack, choose one that provides at least 7-inches of clearance from it's hitch pin hole. This will ensure no contact between the rack and car. Thule's 4-bike Hitching Post Pro hanging carrier # TH934XTR will fit with plenty of room to spare as will the 2-bike platform carrier # S64670 from Swagman.

If you do decide on a hanging style rack, and if any of your bikes do not have a horizontal top frame tube (as found on a typical man's bike), then you'll want to use a bike adapter bar on such bikes to keep them level on the carrier. A link to our page for these items, such as # UB01, is provided for you.

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