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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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I see no issue using a shackle in the receiver for this purpose, especially on a "light weight" vehicle like the Ascent and similar. It's a bit easier than trying to attach via a hitch pin, too, as well as provides a little more lateral flexibility if the relationship between the vehicle to be recovered and the tow vehicle are not "all in a line" due to site conditions. It also has no "sharp" edges like would be the case coming out of the receiver with the strap.

I can't help with the front hook question and will leave that to others.
 
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