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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2020 Subaru Forester

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How to Install the Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2020 Subaru Forester

Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer today on our 2020 Subaru Forester, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Curt class three, two inch trailer hitch receiver. In my opinion, this is going to be a great all around hitch. Not only is it going to look pretty good, but it's also going to be really easy to use. The end of the receiver tube is going to sit just behind our bumper and give us plenty of clearance for many different types of accessories. And since there's nothing really here, interfering with the hitch, it's going to be really easy to get your pin and clip in as well as hook on your safety chains. Now, as far as looks go compared to some of the other hitches, this one is going to be a little bit more visible, but since the cross tube does sit pretty far back and it is going to blend in really nice.You're really not going to notice it, especially when the car is sitting on the ground.

Since this is a class three hitch, it's going to give us that two inch by two inch receiver, tube opening and a reinforced collar for extra strength. And I think it looks pretty good too. And it's going to have the standard five/eighths pin hole. Now keep in mind a pin and clip does not come included with the hitch, but if you don't have one, you can find one here at each trailer, safety chain openings are going to be really large and really easy to get to. So you shouldn't have any problems using just about any size hook that you might have.

And since thyr do sit a little bit further back, we're not going to have to worry about them interfering at all with our pin and clip.Now, as far as the hitches' weight capacities go, it's going to have a 525 pound maximum gross tongue weight rating. So, that's going to be the amount of weight pushing down on the hitch. So that's more than enough to say throw in a cargo carrier back here, or even haul around three or four bikes. That way you'll free up some space on the inside and still be able to have your roof clear for those accessories up top. As far as the maximum gross trailer weight rating goes, it's going to be 3,500 pounds.

So, that's going to be the amount of weight pulling on the hitch. So that is the weight of your trailer plus anything you might have on it. And I do always like to point out, it's never a bad idea to check with your Subaru's owner's manual to make sure your car can comply much weight.And if you do plan on doing a little bit of towing, I would recommend picking up some trailer wiring. That way the lights on your trailer will match the lights on the back of your Forester and you'll be safe and legal. Now I'm going to give you a couple of measurements and you're going to use these to help figure out which hitch mounted accessories to get.

From the ground to the top inside edge of the receiver tube opening. It's going to be about 15 inches and you're going to use that to help figure out whether you need to get a ball Mount with either a drop or rise from the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of our rear bumper. That's going to be about five inches, and you're going to use that measurement to help figure out that if any folding accessories you might have, can be stored in the upright position without contacting the bumper.So overall a really versatile hitch that's going to work good for just about any accessory that you'd want to use That way you can enjoy yourself while you're out and about. As far as the installation goes to get this hitch on. It's really not that bad, but it does take a little bit of time. You should have no problem getting it done at home in the garage, or maybe even the driveway, speaking of which let's go ahead and put it on together now.To begin our install, we're going to be working underneath the back of our Subaru we're first going to need to lower our exhaust to give us some more room to work. But what I like to do since there won't be nothing supporting it is to take a strap, just kind of run it from side to side and that'll just kind of help pull it up a little bit. So we're going to have a total of three rubber exhaust hangers that we need to take off. We're going to have two here on our muffler. One will be on this side to get these off. You spray them down with some soapy water or some penetrating oil. It makes it a lot easier. And we can just grab a pry bar or even a big screwdriverAnd work that hanger off. The other one is going to be on this side of the muffler, use that same technique to get it removed. The last one is just going to be just in front of our rear axle.With the muffler dropped down a little bit. We can now gain access to our heat shield. So we're going to take that off. We're going to have four bolts fully in just like these. We use a 10 millimeter socket to take those out.Let me just snake our heat shield out for now. Now, if you move over to our driver's side, we're going to have this underbody panel that we need to take off. However, I found with these, there's going to be a couple of fasteners on this side of it, just behind our rear wheel. And those are easier to take off first. So here are the two fasteners that we need to take out. It's just a push pin fastener. So you can use a Flatheaded screwdriver pry underneath the head of it, kind of twist itAnd the head of it will release. And then you can just grab it and pull it completely out. And we're just going to do the same thing with this oneOn the bottom edge of this panel, there's going to be another three push pin fasteners. These are a little bit different, but work the same again. You'll just pry underneath the head of them and pop them. Then if we move up to our rail, there's going to be two 10 millimeter bolts.Take this out now. Once we have it out, we can just set it to the side. So I tried to pull that panel down and something was hanging me up and I realized I actually missed one of these fasteners here in our wheel is actually a total of three. So we should be able to pop this one out. And then that under body panel should come right out.Now, if you look at our frame rail, there's going to be three plugs. So we can go ahead and pop those out. Just use a Flathead screwdriver, pry underneath them. And I want to mention from this point on anything that we do to this frame rail, we're going to repeat over on the other side. We're also going to have another plug closer to the front of our Subaru. And we're actually going to pop that one out as well. And that's going to give us a larger hole to work with. We're going to use this as an access hole.So our hardware that we're going to use to secure the hitch is actually going to be in the frame rail. And so this hole here, we're going to use as an access hole, but if we take our spacer block and our carriage bolt, it's actually just a little too big to fit through. So what we're going to need to do is enlarge it. And I'm going to use a step bit. You could use a grinder or even a hand file. You don't have to take a ton of material out just enough for that hardware to squeeze through there.So with the whole Enlarged, big enough for our hardware to easily slide through it, what we're going to do is get it in there by using the fish wire technique, the attachment points set that we used to hold our hitch up, will be all three of these holes. And so we want to fish wire, the one furthest first. So we're going to start with this hole, take the coiled end, feed it through. And we want that coil and then to drop out of our attachment, or I'm sorry, our access hole here. Sometimes it's easier if you kind of reach up there with your finger and help guide it out, out a little bit. So what we're going to do is take our spacer block, slide that over the coil then, it was our carriage bolt. That's actually going to thread on to that fish wire, feed that hardware into the frame rail and I like to do it kind of one by one.We can pull the other into that fish wire and get it to drop down. So I'm going to use that same technique to do this hole next followed by this one. And that'll get all of our hardware ready. Once we have our hardware in, since we did create some bare metal here in our access hole, what I like to do is just take some spray paint and shoot a coat on it, just to help keep it protected from any rust. Now we can get our heat shield ready to put back up. And if you look at the heat shield, there's going to be some letters stamped into it. Well where those letters are there's also a little dimple and we're going to use that dimple as a guide to actually drill out that hole. That way our hardware can pass through it.So we can grab our heat shield, and we're going to take the fish wires that are attached to our hardware and run through the corresponding holes that we created. And the heat shield, kind of work it back into place. We'll sit out there just like that. Now we can resecure it with all of the factory hardware, but we're going to leave this folds out closest to the back of our Subaru.I'll get all three of them started can I can come back with my 10 millimeter and tighten up. Now with an extra set of hands, we can put our hitch in a position. So you're going to want to take the fish wires and drop them through the corresponding holes, get them all lined up. Once we getthem through, we can lift it up against the bottom of our prime rail one, all of our bolts to drop through. We can pull off the fish wire. We're going to want to get a least one flange nut started hand tight on each side. That way the hitch will support itself while we work on getting the rest of the flange on song.And when you go to put your flanges on, on if the bolt wants to push up, but you can do this kind of hold it steady with your finger, and that'll make it a lot easier.With all of our hardware in place and hand tight. Now we can use a three quarter inch socket to snug everything down.Now we can use a torque wrench to tighten everything down to the amount specified in our instruction. Now we can rehang our exhaust the opposite way that we lowered it. Except this time you can kind of just lift it up and get the hangers on with your hands. Well, it's supporting itself. You can go ahead and remove our strap. Now we can grab our underbody panel and get this put back in place. Work it up there. The panel is going to get attached.With all of those factory fasteners that we removed earlier with the exception of one, we're not going to be using that 10 millimeter bolt that went right here because now the hitch is going to block that. So we'll just re-install everything other than that one.And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Curt class three, two inch trailer hitch receiver on our 2020 Subaru Forester.

Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
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Jacob T
Employee Chris R
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Chris R
Employee Ryan G
Test Fit:
Ryan G

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