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Will An Aftermarket Hitch on a 2018 Subaru Forester Increase Towing Capacity Limits?

Question:

The 2018 Subaru Forester manual claims it will only tow 1500 pounds, down from previous years. Hitches are rated for higher loads. Going through the QandA and product information I did not find anything that says the hitches increase the towing capacity because of design differences from Subaru OEM equipment. Can the Forester tow more with a third-party product?

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Expert Reply:

Aftermarket trailer hitches like the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Class III - 2" # 75876 are not able to increase the towing capacity of your 2018 Subaru Forester. They are rated for higher capacity simply because they are tested independently of the vehicle. This ensures your hitch is not the weakest part of your system and will be able to tow the max capacity of your vehicle without issue. You should not tow anything beyond the manufacturer listed towing capacities in your owners manual.

In some cases, the hitches are a fit for other vehicles as well that may have a higher manufacturer rated towing capacity.

If you don't already have the trailer wiring, I recommend the Tekonsha T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4-Pole Flat Trailer Connector # 118467. This custom-fit T-One connector plugs into your Subaru Forester's wiring harness, which is located in your rear cargo area, either behind the driver's-side trim panel or in the spare tire compartment. You will need to remove some interior paneling to access this harness. Once you've plugged in the connector, insert the provided fuse into the in-line fuse holder. The harness will stow in your cargo area when not in use.

For a ball mount, you may be interested in the B&W Tow & Stow 2-Ball Mount - 2" Hitch - 3" Drop, 3-1/2" Rise - 7.5K - Black # BWTS10035B which will give you the two hitch ball sizes that will work with trailers of that weight. It also has a nice stowable option to protect your shins when not in use and has a clean look. You may also be interested in a hitch lock like # e98882 to protect your ball mount or other accessories you've invested in.

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