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2021 Base CVT Crosstrek
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newbie here. Former Corolla owner, one time Accord owner. I spent a lot of time under the Accord, no time under the Corolla.

I stuck my head underneath the Crosstrek's trunk and thought, "I could live under here!"

So, friends, I've been watching those awesome detailed videos of people adding hitches to the Crosstrek and I can do that - I have some mechanical ability. My sole use will be hauling three bikes. I have three questions

  1. I think I can do it without a lift/ramp. Am I underestimating the intricacy?
  2. Probably 2" receiver?
  3. Any hitch model reccos?
Thanks!
 

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2019 Base MT
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It's definitely do-able without ramps. I went with a 2" receiver. The Kuat rack I was planning to use is expandable to carry 4 bikes and it seemed like a lot of weight for 1.25". Probably silly since they're designed to pull much heavier things, but there you go.

I had a very good experience with E-Trailer. The Curt hitch I ordered included hardware and a tool for fishing bolts in to the frame, delivery was quick, and their site has vehicle specific installation videos. A torque wrench is a must and installation did require an existing hole in the frame to be slightly enlarged, which was easily accomplished with a dremel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alright! Thank you for your answer. Ordered a Curt 2" from etrailer and a Torque wrench (was waiting for an excuse to get one). Can't wait to work on my XT!
 

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2018 Lifted 6-speed Crosstrek
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I also installed mine without jacks/ramps/lift.

I also went with a 2" as I believe it to be more universal for towing. It is generally also safer to use adapters to go down in receiver size compared to adapting up in size.

I went with the Ecohitch Stealth. When you're not using it, you can remove the receiver to make it seem like you dont have a hitch installed. Bit pricey, but worth it IMO.
 

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I installed mine without, but I did back it up onto a couple pieces of 2x4 that I have lying around. That extra 1-1/2 inch is nice.

My other tip would be to just completely uninstall the muffler and set it aside to do the hitch. You can wiggle the hitch into place without removing the muffler, but it's a pain.
 

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There are a couple good videos on you tube with step by step instructions to give you an idea of what you're up against. It's pretty easy except for opening up the holes.

No lift? Do you have a curb you can put one side up on for more room to work with?
 

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Ramps aren't too expensive (compared to a good torque wrench) and not necessary, but might be nice. I installed mine with the back end on ramps. The nice thing with that extra room is that I could help hold the hitch in place with my knee while I got the nuts on the bolts.
I also did mine without moving the exhaust at all. It would definitely be easier without the exhaust in the way, but I'm not sure enough easier to make it worth the time to remove the exhaust.
 
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Find a friend that will work for beer. I installed my Curt class 3 2inch hitch by myself, and it was a total pain in the ***. Having someone to help hold the hitch while you're taking the fishing wire off the bolts and trying to line things up without pushing the bolt back up into the black nether regions would of been extremely helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@CrosstrekkerNV ok good tip. I'll enlist my better half. I'd ask my neighbor who is into cars a lot, but $%@# COVID.

I'm not adverse to buying ramps but I have an irrational fear of the car slipping off the ramps and onto me.
 

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In changing my oil on a slant, I used to put a couple of boards under the front end to level the car that also gave me a couple of inches more room to work. Two or three pieces of 2X6 under each rear wheel?

artosa
 
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Not sure if it's too late, but sometimes amazon sells the Curt for quite a bit cheaper than etrailer.

It's also possible to install it without enlarging the holes with a file if you'd prefer. just have to remove the bumper cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not sure if it's too late, but sometimes amazon sells the Curt for quite a bit cheaper than etrailer.

It's also possible to install it without enlarging the holes with a file if you'd prefer. just have to remove the bumper cover.
That's a great tip, thank you! I just checked and ATM etrailer seems to have it for $10 less + free shipping.

For the rear bumper, this page (Subaru Crosstrek Service Manual - Removal - Rear bumper) makes the removal sound quite complicated. Is it?
 

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That's a great tip, thank you! I just checked and ATM etrailer seems to have it for $10 less + free shipping.

For the rear bumper, this page (Subaru Crosstrek Service Manual - Removal - Rear bumper) makes the removal sound quite complicated. Is it?
It's mostly just a bunch of clips, except for the two screws under the taillights. Not too bad for me, but I'm not sure what you're comfortable with.
You'll also have to remove the crash beam but that's just four bolts and two nuts.
 

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Got my hitch on Amazon as it was definitely cheaper. I was intending to install it myself, but the nearby U-Haul outlet specializes in installs - whether its bought from them or from others. They just made it too easy with both price and an appointment.
 

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Two tips that helped me:

I used a pair of scissor jacks to hold the hitch up in place. The balance was a bit fiddly but a lot less strain on the back and arms.

I also used a magnetic pickup tool to grab the bottom of the bolt and then slid the washer and nut up the tool to get the threading started. That idea came to me after I knocked one of the bolts back up into the frame.

I used a step drill to enlarge the frame holes to push the bolt thru.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The new tools I needed are all here. Still waiting on the actual hitch. I'll post photos/updates of how it goes.

Two more questions
  1. I'm planning to spray rustoleum auto paint on the filed edges of the bolt holes. Anything else I should do? Dab some grease on the edges?
  2. Is there any locking compound I should use on the nuts? I'm assuming that the torque wrench + the recommended torque is what locks the nut in securely for all time, but I thought I'd ask.
Thanks!
 

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The new tools I needed are all here. Still waiting on the actual hitch. I'll post photos/updates of how it goes.

Two more questions
  1. I'm planning to spray rustoleum auto paint on the filed edges of the bolt holes. Anything else I should do? Dab some grease on the edges?
  2. Is there any locking compound I should use on the nuts? I'm assuming that the torque wrench + the recommended torque is what locks the nut in securely for all time, but I thought I'd ask.
Thanks!
Mine came with serrated cone washers that do the locking. loctite is probably overkill, but it couldn't hurt.
 
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