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Replacing 1-1/4" Trailer Hitch Receiver For 2" On a 2011 Subaru Outback Wagon

Question:

I have a 2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R which currently has a factory-installed 1.25inch hitch receiver. I want to upgrade this to a 2inch receiver to use with a bike rack. However, I also intend to tow a ~2500lb trailer which will be pushing the limits of what this vehicle can tow. I am leaning toward the 76227 or C13410 receivers because they dont require drilling and I prefer the low-profile appearance. That said, those both mount to the studs meant for the bumper and will be loading those studs in tension. Conversely, the 75673 receiver is less attractive to me in terms of appearance and installation, but is configured such that the fasteners will installed farther back on the body of the car and will be loaded in shear. My gut feeling is that this would be the safer bet for towing a heavy trailer. So my question: Am I being paranoid? Are the bumper mounted receivers just as safe/reliable for heavy towing?

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Expert Reply:

My recommendation is for the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver # 76227. This style hitch will work well for your 2011 Subaru Outback Wagon. I prefer it over the Curt # C13410 as it has the gussets in between the receiver and cross tube that provide additional strength. And as you have already noticed it looks a lot better than the Draw-Tite # 75673.

While I can never recommend towing over your maximum vehicle weight rating I would like to point out that all 3 of these receivers have been tested and certified to be able to handle 600lbs of tongue weight and 4,000lbs of trailer weight. You will be just as safe towing with the bumper mounted receiver as you will with the underbody receiver.

I did notice that your current 4-way flat connector is held in place with a zip tie. We have the Curt Easy Mount Bracket # C58001 that will secure the 4-way to the end of the 2" receiver tube. This will reduce the chance of it getting caught up by any road debris and also make it easier for you to access.

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Gregory M

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