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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,
We just picked up a blue Touring model 4 days ago and need to have a class III hitch installed.

I haven't figured out how to search within the forum yet, but did see a thread on factory versus dealer installs.

Does anyone have a recommendation on an aftermarket installation? I looked at the v3 instllation instructions and that hitch seems to be a bit higher than some of the aftermarket installs.


We love the car - traded in a Buick Enclave.
 

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I traded from an Enclave to the Ascent, I would only think about having the factory hitch installed by the dealer. Yes the hitch is higher, but it comes with a dropped ball mount, and the wiring all installed for 4 and 7 pin connectors. It also includes the harness for connecting a brake controller. Take the time to read the threads on the hitch, should be an easy decision.
 

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OEM hitch receiver for sure...anything aftermarket is going to hang down low and as has been discussed in another recent thread, the installation of aftermarket may possibly compromise the vehicle frame. At least in that particular situation it did. Whether you install it yourself (there's a current thread about that), have an independent mechanic do the work or have the dealer do it, the OEM hitch receiver is the only way I'd personally go.
 

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OEM hitch receiver for sure...anything aftermarket is going to hang down low and as has been discussed in another recent thread, the installation of aftermarket may possibly compromise the vehicle frame. At least in that particular situation it did. Whether you install it yourself (there's a current thread about that), have an independent mechanic do the work or have the dealer do it, the OEM hitch receiver is the only way I'd personally go.
This is incorrect. Here's one from Torklift that is bolt on and hidden behind the bumper cover.

I'm not suggesting that it's better than the OEM, I'm just correcting the statement that "anything aftermarket is going to hang down low".

https://torkliftcentral.com/x7381
 

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Thoughts on that one...

OEM hitch receiver for sure...anything aftermarket is going to hang down low and as has been discussed in another recent thread, the installation of aftermarket may possibly compromise the vehicle frame. At least in that particular situation it did. Whether you install it yourself (there's a current thread about that), have an independent mechanic do the work or have the dealer do it, the OEM hitch receiver is the only way I'd personally go.
This is incorrect. Here's one from Torklift that is bolt on and hidden behind the bumper cover.

I'm not suggesting that it's better than the OEM, I'm just correcting the statement that "anything aftermarket is going to hang down low".

https://torkliftcentral.com/x7381
Of ALL of the aftermarket options, I think the Torklift Ecohitch is the best thought out. It has a sub-frame support on each side (welded onto the hitch, instead of bolted like the Ascent's), that uses the OEM mounting points.

See the 2m45s mark.

"Problem" is the harnesses, etc, are extra, while, they're included from SoA with the OEM hitch.

I'd pick a factory installed OEM hitch over it (or a dealer installed one from a dealer that meets factory prices), but otherwise, I'd be ok with the Ecohitch vs a dealer installed OEM hitch at some of the dealer prices seen here (eg: $715) - the Ecohitch WITH harnesses would probably be a hundred bucks (or more) less with installation.

The online Ecohitch images make the OEM hitch look sturdier, which would probably be great for rear crashes, but, that ISN'T the actual hitch design. Compare this to what you see in the video.


THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT THE HITCH FOR THE ASCENT, EVEN THOUGH IT IS ON THAT PRODUCT'S PAGE
See the video above instead. This is actually a Tesla Roadster hitch - dunno why they are using it on the Ascent page, lol!!!


So, all in all, the one in the VIDEO looks comparable to the OEM one (hitch to hitch, attachment points to attachment points), but OEM comes with more things standard.
 

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I was unaware that Torklift brought out a version for Ascent...the Outback version is really well done. So I'll grant an exception for that one to my opinion. :) :D But what Robert brings up about the harnesses is certainly material to overall cost and needs to be considered.
 

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I was unaware that Torklift brought out a version for Ascent...the Outback version is really well done. So I'll grant an exception for that one to my opinion. /forum/images/smilies/smile.gif /forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif But what Robert brings up about the harnesses is certainly material to overall cost and needs to be considered.
Torklift's hitch was released in Sept/Oct 2018. Here's another one (coming soon?) from Draw-tite. Again, I'm not making any comparison to OEM but only want to point out that there are aftermarket options for consumers and likely to be more over time.


https://www.drawtite-hitches.com/products/Class_III_IV_Trailer_Hitch_Receiver,76253
 

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Torklift's hitch was released in Sept/Oct 2018. Here's another one (coming soon?) from Draw-tite. Again, I'm not making any comparison to OEM but only want to point out that there are aftermarket options for consumers and likely to be more over time.


https://www.drawtite-hitches.com/products/Class_III_IV_Trailer_Hitch_Receiver,76253
That's the one I am not fond of. Check Page 4 Image 3 of the instructions (and the drawings. Three bolts to the bumper nuts per side (and one pin per side), doesn't integrate into the sub frame rails or even bolt onto them. Puts all the weight on the bumper nuts. It's also a lot smaller crossbar than the Torklift and OEM.

http://www.hitchpro.net/application/support/instructions/n76253.pdf

I am hoping they do design revisions before it's released.

ON THE OTHER HAND:
MANY Ascent owners won't be using the hitch for anything more than a bike rack or very light trailer at most. I think this would probably make the perfect way to save a few bucks on a hitch for such purposes.

Though, personally, I would be a little worried about the crashworthiness - but that's because 90% of the time, I have expensive gear back there, and the other 10% I have even more valuable cargo in the form of my nieces - many people won't have to worry about more than the occasional grocery bag. If those criteria were me, I'd probably consider it, to save a bunch of bucks.
 

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For those of you considering an integrated aftermarket hitch (eg: Torklift or Drawtite), you can get the removable quarter turn fasteners to "convert" your hitch cover to a removable one by ordering this part number. Reportedly, it comes with the clips as well.

PN: L101SXC700

If you order it, lemme know if you can't figure out how to assemble. Basically, the split washer goes between the spring cup and the arrow-head insertion end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you to all for your inputs. Will probably go with the dealer installed unit make sure everything is proper. Was hoping there wouldn't be any problems going with a lower cost after-market.

We don't have any current plans for doing any heavy towing and need the class III as a mount to use for external Bruno lift for my wife's electronic folding chair

I'll look for more messages about hitches.
 

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"Dealer Installed" doesn't necessarily mean OEM unless you specify so...be sure you ask for what you want specifically.
 
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Found a good drawing...

I was looking at the latest Ascent hitch install manual for someone else who's trying to figure out how to wire his 4 and 7 pin harnesses and brake controller, and ran into a good drawing of the OEM hitch where you can clearly see the hardware and frame reinforcement/loading bars that go into the frame rails. Note that this also shows the bolt torquing order.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update - went with dealer-installed OEM hitch. $577 out the door, installed. Discounts for being retired miitary and having bought the car there. Install was done within 1.5 hrs after I arrived for appointment.
 

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Ugh I cringed a little when I saw this earlier today…
Tire Wheel Sky Car Land vehicle

Automotive parking light Car Automotive side-view mirror Vehicle Automotive tail & brake light


dashcam isn’t the highest resolution here but can anyone make out that familiar logo?
 

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This thread is amazingly full of great hitch related information … I am always impressed at the quality and details that Robert and Jim make available to the forum. FWIW, I am super happy with my dealer installed OE hitch. Paid about the same as Chaz. Out of curiosity, is there significant price advantage to going with an aftermarket brand?
 

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Out of curiosity, is there significant price advantage to going with an aftermarket brand?
Yes, which is why folks get caught with them...thinking with the wallet rather than about the needs of the application. I bet a lot of dealer sales folks s are not actually knowledgeable about the physical advantages that the OEM hitch receiver brings to the table including integration into the subframe, heavier bolts and bolt orientation as well as safety testing. The provide a price and...folks head off to "hitches are us" and get hitched to a technically inferior product. But for less money.
 
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