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When we bought our 2021 Ascent Premium, I needed a hitch to tow our 17' Lund boat. They wanted an ungodly amount of money for install...close to $700 in labor.... so I told them throw the hitch in for free and I would install it. After receiving the hitch with NO INSTRUCTIONS IN THE BOX, I found them on the support site. The install only took 2 hours of my time and everything needed was in the box, including a harness for wiring an electric trailer brake!
7115
 

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Beautifully done!!! And, congrats on the correct choices of hitch!!!
 

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When we bought our 2021 Ascent Premium, I needed a hitch to tow our 17' Lund boat. They wanted an ungodly amount of money for install...close to $700 in labor.... so I told them throw the hitch in for free and I would install it. After receiving the hitch with NO INSTRUCTIONS IN THE BOX, I found them on the support site. The install only took 2 hours of my time and everything needed was in the box, including a harness for wiring an electric trailer brake! View attachment 7115
not bad pay for a couple of hours work.
 

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2021 Crystal Black Silica Touring (named "Emma" by the wife)
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Beautifully done!!! And, congrats on the correct choices of hitch!!!
Figured I'd ask... but are their wrong choices of hitch? I'm looking to either get a Draw-Tite or Curt (depends on price... weird how these things fluctuate, I bought a Curt for my other vehicle because it was like $100 cheaper than the Draw-Tite... but for the Ascent it's reverse) and a Tekonsha wiring harness probably from e-trailer. Install looks fairly similar and is so much cheaper than OEM while having a higher tongue weight limit.
 

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I wouldn't EVER get either. Only the OEM hitch bolts through the frame rails of the Ascent. DrawTite uses the tiny bumper bolts as connection points. Curt sells one that hangs off the car and hurts departure angles, and the other one is pretty much the same as the DrawTite. U-Haul uses either of Curt's hitches.

Also, only OEM is designed and tested to maintain the Ascent's 3rd row crash testing (yes, Subaru already built and internally tested for third row safety).

And finally, you need zero wiring harnesses with the OEM hitch. It comes with the pigtail that plugs directly into the car and splices to the Tekonsha.

My friends at @Liberty Subaru will install it for $528 (plus tax) if you call their sales manager and tell him I sent you. Otherwise, call and order the hitch and DIY it.

You compare... you decide...
OEM bolt on the left
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DrawTite dinky connection point/method
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MASSIVE OEM hitch beam and bolts, with NO use of the bumper nuts to hold it.
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OEM bolted THROUGH the frame rails
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DrawTite was ripping the bumper nuts out/off of the car.
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Figured I'd ask... but are their wrong choices of hitch? I'm looking to either get a Draw-Tite or Curt (depends on price... weird how these things fluctuate, I bought a Curt for my other vehicle because it was like $100 cheaper than the Draw-Tite... but for the Ascent it's reverse) and a Tekonsha wiring harness probably from e-trailer. Install looks fairly similar and is so much cheaper than OEM while have a higher tongue weight limit.
 

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so much cheaper than OEM while having a higher tongue weight limit.
There's no higher tongue weight. It's 500 pounds, no matter what hitch you choose. Anything else is marketing information with them potentially or unintentionally misleadingly using the Class IIIA rating to confuse people... but, as their instructions will tell you, max tongue weight is determined by the vehicle specs and limits (and thus, is 500 pounds).
 

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but for the Ascent it's reverse) and a Tekonsha wiring harness probably from e-trailer. Install looks fairly similar and is so much cheaper than OEM while having a higher tongue weight limit.
No, you will NEVER have a higher tongue weight limit no matter what hitch receiver you install. The limit is for the vehicle and is 5000 lbs trailer/500 lbs tongue weight. The marketing for those hitch receivers is deceiving. They may be able to carry more on a vehicle that's rated higher, but Ascent is not rated higher.

This has been discussed many times, but these third party hitch receivers do not integrate with the subframe like the OEM unit does and are not crash tested. Yes, the OEM costs a little more, but it's a better built product. You can install it yourself if you prefer, too, and are mildly handy.
 

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2021 Crystal Black Silica Touring (named "Emma" by the wife)
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There's no higher tongue weight. It's 500 pounds, no matter what hitch you choose. Anything else is marketing information with them potentially or unintentionally misleadingly using the Class IIIA rating to confuse people... but, as their instructions will tell you, max tongue weight is determined by the vehicle specs and limits (and thus, is 500 pounds).
Duly noted! I had planned to get my Ascent with the OEM hitch but it was near impossible to find one installed at port. I'll look to get this through my dealer as they seem to have decent pricing (Competition Subaru in Smithtown), but I'll keep in mind to ping Liberty if I get lazy ha. Thanks much Rob!

This has been discussed many times, but these third party hitch receivers do not integrate with the subframe like the OEM unit does and are not crash tested. Yes, the OEM costs a little more, but it's a better built product. You can install it yourself if you prefer, too, and are mildly handy.
I can definitely handle the install and will heed the advice. Thanks Jim!
 

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Wanted to add that it's great to know that there's a reason for the added cost (and not just OEM markup... like the LED interior lights, even though I have those and love them). I'm glad I posted the question now and appreciate the responsiveness of this forum!
 

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Duly noted! I had planned to get my Ascent with the OEM hitch but it was near impossible to find one installed at port. I'll look to get this through my dealer as they seem to have decent pricing (Competition Subaru in Smithtown), but I'll keep in mind to ping Liberty if I get lazy ha. Thanks much Rob!
Oooh! Three things...
  1. Tell them Subaru Ambassador Robert said hi!
  2. If you get a beach pass or Suffolk County 4x4 pass, follow my FB page for some quick few hour trips/events I do.
  3. Join MtnRoo Tri-State if you're considering some fun in the woods, on trails, or in the Pine Barrens.
I'm right in Suffolk County, if you hadn't guessed.
 

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2021 Crystal Black Silica Touring (named "Emma" by the wife)
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Oooh! Three things...
  1. Tell them Subaru Ambassador Robert said hi!
  2. If you get a beach pass or Suffolk County 4x4 pass, follow my FB page for some quick few hour trips/events I do.
  3. Join MtnRoo Tri-State if you're considering some fun in the woods, on trails, or in the Pine Barrens.
I'm right in Suffolk County, if you hadn't guessed.
Gathered you were in NY! Thanks, not a huge beach person but will definitely look into MtnRoo Tri-State, thanks again Rob!
 

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Duly noted! I had planned to get my Ascent with the OEM hitch but it was near impossible to find one installed at port. I'll look to get this through my dealer as they seem to have decent pricing (Competition Subaru in Smithtown), but I'll keep in mind to ping Liberty if I get lazy ha. Thanks much Rob!



I can definitely handle the install and will heed the advice. Thanks Jim!
And awhile on the subject of the OEM hitch, weight distributing hitches don't increase tongue weight either. Take a look at this lengthy thread.
 

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2021 Crystal Black Silica Touring (named "Emma" by the wife)
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Thanks much, at most I'm hauling is a light duty trailer to bring my motorcycle to the track so it won't be much stress but I MUCH prefer something bolted to the frame (esp if I plan on getting something like a MotoTote or Versahaul). There was apparently some shortage of OEM hitches when I was shopping last month and since I wanted to take delivery before end of Jan for the 0% I couldn't wait for one. I will get the OEM hitch.
 

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I have to agree the OEM hitch is a better setup. I can't tell from the picture of the bumper nuts, is there damage there?

One thing I thought of, the DrawTite hitch mounts to the same mount points which the factory recovery(or tow tiedown) point uses, it must have some structural integrity.
 

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I have to agree the OEM hitch is a better setup. I can't tell from the picture of the bumper nuts, is there damage there?
Yes. The sheet metal that the nuts are welded behind is deformed rearward. Compare what happened
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To how it should look...
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One thing I thought of, the DrawTite hitch mounts to the same mount points which the factory recovery(or tow tiedown) point uses, it must have some structural integrity.
The structural integrity of the tow hook mount is for very short distance flat towing. It is not a dedicated recovery point or long term tow point. There's a big difference between using that point to overcome inertia (or maybe inertia and a snow bank) to roll the car a few dozen feet, and towing (as much as) a 5,000 pound trailer that's concurrently putting (as much as) a static 500 pound load on the mount point, and a dynamic load that can be considerably higher due to hills, bumps, pot holes, highway acceleration and deceleration - for hundreds or thousands of miles. 😉
 

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@OOhobbes just ignore the part about the cover plates, and ball mount. Neither are included (cover plates are kinda just cosmetic and the ball mount isn't the right size drop for many people). Otherwise, the installation is the same.
 

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One other note, @OOhobbes, pay attention to the torque order of the bolts.
 
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