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Best Class III Trailer Hitch Receiver For a 2016 Subaru Outback For Carrying a Bike Rack

Question:

Hi, I am looking at: etrailer Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Matte Black Finish - Class III - 2 Item # e98847 and both of the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Class III - 2inch concealed or visible Can you compare the ground and bumper clearance of these three hitches for me? I am having trouble narrowing it down. Will either of these below-bumper models make that much of a difference in terms of ground clearance of my vehicle? Do bike racks tend to sit too close to the car on any of these three? Thanks in advance!

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Expert Reply:

I am going to recommend dropping the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver # 75673 from your top 3. We have installed all 3 of the receivers on different 2016 Subaru Outbacks and this one had the worst ground clearance(14-3/4" to inside top of receiver) and bumper to receiver pin length(5-1/2").

The etrailer Trailer Hitch Receiver # e98847 and Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver # 76227 both had very similar receiver locations. Both are 2-1/2" from the receiver hitch pin to the rear bumper and the Draw-Tite receiver is 16" to the inside top of the receiver while the etrailer receiver is 15". I would rate them as equals in this for a bike rack.

For me it comes down to an installation and aesthetic looks of the receiver. The etrailer Receiver # e98847 will be the easier to install but you will have the visible cross tube. Personally I like the hidden cross tube that you get with the Draw-Tite Receiver # 76227. It is more difficult to install and will require trimming of the rear lower fascia.

I recommend the Thule Apex XT 4 Bike Rack # TH9025XT for a bike rack. This hanging bike rack will carry most bikes regardless of tire size. It will tilt out when you do not have bikes loaded so that you can access your rear storage area and folds into a small profile if you wish to leave it mounted to your Subaru when you are not hauling bikes. Keyed alike locks are built into the hitch and bike carrier to secure the rack and bikes to your Subaru.

The Hopkins Plug-In Simple Vehicle Wiring Harness # HM11143885 will allow you to add a set of Auxiliary Lights # C53201 to your bikes or other cargo carrier as they may interfere with visibility of your taillights. It will also allow you to tow small trailers that use a 4-way flat connection.

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Gregory M

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