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2020 Subaru Ascent Limited
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Installed this hitch without any issues and took me 1.75 hours and I did it by myself. I used my wheeled trashcan to hold the bumper while you install it. I recommend getting the trim pad remover tool. It makes the job easier and you don’t have to worry about scratching anything like you would if you used a flathead screwdriver. Here are a few pics.
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What are your plans for it? I don't see wiring for brakes or trailer lights. So... bike rack type stuff?

Only one of the aftermarket hitches is pretty good. None are as good as the OEM though and it's not too expensive. This one might be okay depending on your use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why did you go with aftermarket?
Wanted the extra 250 lb of tongue weight this hitch allows for and the installation looked easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What are your plans for it? I don't see wiring for brakes or trailer lights. So... bike rack type stuff?

Only one of the aftermarket hitches is pretty good. None are as good as the OEM though and it's not too expensive. This one might be okay depending on your use.
I didn't have time to do the wiring right now but eventually will add it as I plan to tow in the future. I will use to carry a hitch mounted tire as well as a ski rack, storage platform and bikes. I wanted the extra 250 lb tongue weight this hitches allows for so I would have no issues with carrying my gear.
 

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2021 Ascent Touring Brilliant Bronze
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I commend you for the self install.

500 lbs is still the recommended tongue weight though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I commend you for the self install.

500 lbs is still the recommended tongue weight though.
Torklift Central website says 750 lb. Am I missing something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Torklift Central website says 750 lb. Am I missing something?
I see now that Subaru only recommends 500 lb. Thanks for the heads up
 

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I see now that Subaru only recommends 500 lb. Thanks for the heads up
Not just a recommendation—500lb is the vehicle’s tongue weight limit.
Text White Line Font Colorfulness


There has been a lot of discussion in the forum about tongue weight, trailer weight, hitches, etc.
Welcome to the forum. I’m confident you’ll find it very informative!
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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Wanted the extra 250 lb of tongue weight this hitch allows for and the installation looked easier.
You do NOT get an extra 250 lbs of tongue weight on the Ascent no matter what hitch receiver you install. The vehicle limit is 500 lbs. Nothing you can do will raise that. If the seller told you that the hitch you bought will provide higher tongue weight capacity from the OEM 500 lbs, they were either uninformed or using creative marketing. EDIT...it appears to be the latter.

They physical hitch receiver might be engineered to be able to handle a higher level of weight, but that's a moot point.
 
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I wonder if Subaru is stipulating that the tongue weight is based when towing. Not a dead weight carry like with a platform suspended load. The vehicle's load capacity is greater than 750 pounds for example. As long as carried is carried, not towed on the hitch, I don't see the problem.
Even if the tongue carry weight is limited to only 500 pounds, wouldn't it be safer to use a hitch RATED for more? That would be a pretty nice safety margin.
 

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Wanted the extra 250 lb of tongue weight this hitch allows for and the installation looked easier.
I hate being the bearer of bad news:
There is NO extra tongue weight. Your tongue weight is 500 pounds, no matter what hitch. That's buried in the EcoHitch instructions. It's sadly the opinion of many that it's a considerably inferior hitch that gains you nothing. You cannot exceed 500 pounds tongue weight, you cannot use a WDH, and you will likely deform the rear of the car if you use it to capacity.


BUMPER BEAM MOUNTED HITCH DEFORMS REAR END AND IS SLOWLY PULLING NUTS THROUGH
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WHAT IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE (not deformed)
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OEM on left vs DINKY hardware on right

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The Subaru OEM hitch is rated as a Class III. Your hitch is also a Class III. By rating, they have the same exact capacity. As others have mentioned, the Ascent maxed tongue weight is 500#s and that doesn't change regardless of the receiver installed. Unless your hitch inserts bars longitudinally into the Ascent's frame rails, you'd be wise to get the OEM hitch for safety sake. The OEM hitch is also crash tested as equal to the bumper bar which gets removed for hitch removal.

These are the clarifications for hitch products. The classes for cut off on the left but they're I, II , III s you go down the
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I wonder if Subaru is stipulating that the tongue weight is based when towing. Not a dead weight carry like with a platform suspended load. The vehicle's load capacity is greater than 750 pounds for example. As long as carried is carried, not towed on the hitch, I don't see the problem.
Even if the tongue carry weight is limited to only 500 pounds, wouldn't it be safer to use a hitch RATED for more? That would be a pretty nice safety margin.
The engine and part of the CVT is forward of the front axle, so, it counterbalances tongue weight, allowing BOTH axles to compress. The simplistic way to think that the weight on the front wheels gets lighter, but that's not correct - it starts off getting heavier when load is put on the rear end, because, the front end is heavier than the rear end and acts as a counterbalance, and, to an extent, an anchor "fixing" that end of the car. Once the weight on the rear end exceeds the counterbalance weight of the front end, then, the front starts to lighten. Once you exceed 500 pounds (and probably some undisclosed safety margin), the front starts to "skate" because there's so little weight on the wheels. Eventually, the rear suspension fully compresses, so, without springs taking up some of the weight and avoiding some weight transfer, it becomes an actual fulcrum...

All of this, by the way, can be seen on people's weigh tickets posted in this very forum, where, they can see a trailer's tongue weight (when within the proper range) gets distributed to both axles, as opposed to lifting the front.

Additionally, as Titanrx8 and others mentioned, lateral forces also exist. The Ascent isn't very long, or tremendously heavy. I am pretty sure that vertical and lateral forces were all used to figure out a safe tongue weight.

...and thus, I am pretty sure those were some of the reasons Subaru deemed 500 pounds to be a safe tongue weight.
 

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Wanted the extra 250 lb of tongue weight this hitch allows for and the installation looked easier.
I did my install and it took about 2.5 hrs (with OEM) and that's me taking my time and reading and watching videos on the install. I don't think it's any harder considering the hardest part was taking off the bumper. Got the wires in and all as well. As long as it serves your purpose.
 

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The engine and part of the CVT is forward of the front axle, so, it counterbalances tongue weight, allowing BOTH axles to compress. The simplistic way to think that the weight on the front wheels gets lighter, but that's not correct - it starts off getting heavier when load is put on the rear end, because, the front end is heavier than the rear end and acts as a counterbalance, and, to an extent, an anchor "fixing" that end of the car. Once the weight on the rear end exceeds the counterbalance weight of the front end, then, the front starts to lighten. Once you exceed 500 pounds (and probably some undisclosed safety margin), the front starts to "skate" because there's so little weight on the wheels. Eventually, the rear suspension fully compresses, so, without springs taking up some of the weight and avoiding some weight transfer, it becomes an actual fulcrum...

ht.
I'm not completely sure I buy this logic. By definition of this statement, you are saying that Subaru intentionally designed as a nose heavy vehicle? I struggle with that. First, if all the weight is forward, then you are saying that the front end suspension should always be compressed and that it "balances out" when a trailer is attached? I'm sorry, but I have towed trailers for 30 years in every size from a Honda Del Sol pulling a jetski to a 3/4 ton pulling enclosed car haulers. I have never heard anything like this theory. I find this to be mere speculation or perhaps a theory from someone who doesn't really understand vehicle towing suspensions. A towing vehicle is designed with some capacity in it's rear suspension to account for towing. They are not overweighted in the front as a counterbalance. This would throw handling completely out of whack. By default placement of the engine, yes, the front of the car will be heavier. This is why some sports cars utilize a mid-engine---to increase balance. If you actually look at the engine in the Ascent, it is not significantly in front of the axle nor is the CVT. In order to effect your counterbalance theory, both engine and CVT would need to be significantly in front of axle, closer to the grill. Post something from Subaru that says this and then I'll believe it.

Not trying to incite a riot, just trying to make sure the most accurate information is passed on---
 

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I'm sorry, but you're inferring reasonings and statements I didn't make. I'll try to be clearer. Also, key thing (the part I think you missed) was the discussion of overloading the car. 750 pounds tongue weight starts to lighten the load on the front tires. We've already seen that happen in this very forum. :(

  • The Ascent is front axle heavy, to the tune of 54/46%, roughly. So, no, your theory aside, the front is heavier than the rear, and, that weight is pretty much from the drivetrain that sits on and mostly in front of the front axle. It's a matter of what that fact allows - not a matter of whether it is by design.
  • The Ascent GAWR-R is higher than GAWR-F to accommodate cargo weight, which includes tongue weight. So, the more you load the very rear of the cargo area and the tongue, that ratio slowly shifts from a front heavy car to a rear heavy car.
  • BECAUSE the Ascent has a heavier front end, and that weight is in front of the axles (that is simply the way our non-transverse mounted drivetrain works), the engine acts as a counterbalance. That's just physics.
  • When the suspension on the rear axles on anything compress all the way, and counterbalancing weight is overcome, the front end lightens. Also just physics.
Now, if you put all that into perspective with the OP discussion of overloading the car with 750 pounds tongue weight... ;)

Hope that helps!
 

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Thanks for the post, but to me your post read as you were saying that Subaru designed front counterbalance for towing. 56/44 is not significant front bias. The average front wheel drive car is closer to 60/40. With an approximate curb weight of 4500lbs, 4% of that is 180lbs. That is not enough to actively counterbalance tongue weight by design at the factory. As you claim, by laws of physics, weight added to the opposite end of any fulcrum (defining the full tow vehicle as the fulcrum), counterbalance will occur, but in this case, it's the design of the vehicle, not for the purpose of towing. You stated that the heavier weight in front allows both axles to compress when loaded with a trailer if I am reading the post right. How does adding weight to the rear actively compress the front past it's normal non towing state? The only way to compress the front more than normal is by adding weight, which can only be done through a WDH, which the car is not designed for. It may improve balance, which would likely be offset by the increase in carried weight. Absolutely a car can begin to unload the front suspension when towing, and it happens with the first amount of weight placed on the hitch, even if it is a very small amount of weight and the effect is miniscule. You do not have to exceed the tongue weight rating to make the front end "skate" to use your words. You find this more common as the trailers get heavier. The magic point is understanding when it becomes unsafe. I don't know what your experience is towing, but if you ever have towed heavier trailers, it becomes apparent quickly (heavy meaning more than 5-6k).

As for the original OP, I took his statement of utilizing a hitch with 750lbs of capacity as giving him a margin of safety on the hitch strength alone. Obviously it doesn't do anything to change the rating of the car. This is another example of people not fully understanding tow ratings. It's about way more than the hitch rating.
 

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With an approximate curb weight of 4500lbs, 4% of that is 180lbs. That is not enough to actively counterbalance tongue weight by design at the factory.
First, it's not 4% - that's not how the math works. Common mistake.

FRONT | REAR
56 pounds | 44 pounds =100 (4% of 100 pounds is 4 pounds)
+0 pounds | plus 4 pounds = 104 pounds
56 pounds | 48 pounds <--- still front biased

(it's also not 6%)

Try this:


FRONT | REAR
56 pounds | 44 pounds =100 (12% is 12 pounds)
+0 pounds | plus 12 pounds = 104 pounds
56 pounds | 56 pounds <--- BALANCED

12% of 4,603 pounds (my Touring, with nothing in it) is 552.36 pounds


Also, weight and distance to load counterbalance tongue weight, and act as a counterbalance even when those factors are exceeded.

These are entirely made up numbers, but, if I put a 56 pound weight 10 feet from a fulcrum, and then a 44 pound weight 5 feet from a fulcrum, how much additional weight (at five feet) is needed to overcome the front bias?


I don't know what your experience is towing, but if you ever have towed heavier trailers, it becomes apparent quickly (heavy meaning more than 5-6k).
As for what I've driven and towed, I've driven this, for a living, and had to learn exactly how counterbalancing works. It can lift 1,500 pounds at 54 foot extension, or 10,000 pounds at no extension. It's a Luhl Telehandler. So, yes, I literally had to learn how counterbalances, angular forces, and so on, work - because I worked with 33,000 pound piece of heavy machinery that depended on me knowing the principles and the math.

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