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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanted your opinion on which is a better pick between the oem hitch vs the EcoHitch. Not going to be towing anything crazy other than maybe 4 bikes on a rack. Cost is roughly about the same more or less. Just wanted to see what the general discussion would/could be. Pros? Cons? Thanks.
 

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Both are solid options. Both come with sub frame support reinforcements to properly load any weight in the correct places on the frame.

EDIT: the EcoHitch does NOT come with frame rail reinforcements that integrate into the frame rails. It only appears to in early drawings.


Get OEM.


The Subaru hitch comes with a four and 7 pin harness, which you may or may not need (it's an option for the Ecohitch).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Both are solid options. Both come with sub frame support reinforcements to properly load any weight in the correct places on the frame.

The Subaru hitch comes with a four and 7 pin harness, which you may or may not need (it's an option for the Ecohitch).
Thank you Robert. Do you believe the EcoHitch to compromise the safety or integrity of the rear bumper during a crash, as I have read elsewhere. I appreciate and value your input. Thanks. I like to typically stick with oem everything, but the EcoHitch seems easier to install after reviewing the oem instructions. What’s your take.
 

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Easy is all relative to who is doing the work. I'd lean oem just because it's been tested by Subaru. I would not install any hitch that sat under the bumper but that's personal preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Easy is all relative to who is doing the work. I'd lean oem just because it's been tested by Subaru. I would not install any hitch that sat under the bumper but that's personal preference.
Your correct, easy is a very subjective term. Lol. You make a good point. The EcoHitch actually sits in the same spot as oem behind the hidden portion of the bumper. Thanks for making a point in regards to Subaru testing. All things considered will go the oem route. Will try and document my work with pictures for the forum. Thanks guys.
 

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My thoughts...

Thank you Robert. Do you believe the EcoHitch to compromise the safety or integrity of the rear bumper during a crash, as I have read elsewhere. I appreciate and value your input. Thanks. I like to typically stick with oem everything, but the EcoHitch seems easier to install after reviewing the oem instructions. What’s your take.
I'm not aware of Torklift doing crash testing with their hitch, and though it does load the weight on the frame in a way that's very close to how Subaru does, I do know that Subaru built their hitch as a bumper replacement and, that was after already having done crash testing with their car.

That doesn't mean that the Ecohitch isn't as capable in a crash - I just don't have any objective data to compare with (even Subaru's own 3rd row/rear end crash testing data is secret).

As for installation, the installation is as easy for either hitch... to a point. The key differences will be in installing the wiring harnesses for the 7 pin and 4 pin connectors. In other words, if you get the OEM hitch, you have a little extra work, but, on the other hand, you gain a lot more in having those harnesses installed and accessible.

If you were considering buying the optional harnesses for the Ecohitch, your work would be about the same, give or take.

Also, if you get the Ecohitch, it will not come with the quarter turn locking pins and clips to make hitch cover removal easier. But, you can buy those really cheap from Subaru. They're part number L101SXC700 (they may show as discontinued or unavailable in parts of your dealer's parts system, but they CAN order them).

Personally, I'd get the OEM hitch, but, of the three aftermarket options, Torklift's Ecohitch would be the only other one I'd consider. Keep in mind that I tow. If I was just using a bike rack, any of the four options would be fine.

All in all, with the prices being similar for factory installed OEM hitch and aftermarket installed Ecohitch, I'd pick the OEM hitch, simply because I got more for the price, and know it was designed to be a bumper replacement by the company that designed the bumper it's replacing. :tango_face_wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you Robert. Do you believe the EcoHitch to compromise the safety or integrity of the rear bumper during a crash, as I have read elsewhere. I appreciate and value your input. Thanks. I like to typically stick with oem everything, but the EcoHitch seems easier to install after reviewing the oem instructions. What’s your take.
I'm not aware of Torklift doing crash testing with their hitch, and though it does load the weight on the frame in a way that's very close to how Subaru does, I do know that Subaru built their hitch as a bumper replacement and, that was after already having done crash testing with their car.

That doesn't mean that the Ecohitch isn't as capable in a crash - I just don't have any objective data to compare with (even Subaru's own 3rd row/rear end crash testing data is secret).

As for installation, the installation is as easy for either hitch... to a point. The key differences will be in installing the wiring harnesses for the 7 pin and 4 pin connectors. In other words, if you get the OEM hitch, you have a little extra work, but, on the other hand, you gain a lot more in having those harnesses installed and accessible.

If you were considering buying the optional harnesses for the Ecohitch, your work would be about the same, give or take.

Also, if you get the Ecohitch, it will not come with the quarter turn locking pins and clips to make hitch cover removal easier. But, you can buy those really cheap from Subaru. They're part number L101SXC700 (they may show as discontinued or unavailable in parts of your dealer's parts system, but they CAN order them).

Personally, I'd get the OEM hitch, but, of the three aftermarket options, Torklift's Ecohitch would be the only other one I'd consider. Keep in mind that I tow. If I was just using a bike rack, any of the four options would be fine.

All in all, with the prices being similar for factory installed OEM hitch and aftermarket installed Ecohitch, I'd pick the OEM hitch, simply because I got more for the price, and know it was designed to be a bumper replacement by the company that designed the bumper it's replacing.
This was way thorough and descriptive. Exactly what I needed to hear. Now any specific website you recommend. Oem
Is the direction I’m going. Thanks again. I’ll also do my search to see who is cheapest.
 

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These instructions should help...

This was way thorough and descriptive. Exactly what I needed to hear. Now any specific website you recommend. Oem
Is the direction I’m going. Thanks again. I’ll also do my search to see who is cheapest.
Installed:
Cheapest is to have it installed at the "factory" (port install), meaning, ordering it as a part of your vehicle order. I THINK that usually, you have until the car is in the assembly to add more port installed accessories (NY and NJ, you have a little longer).

Otherwise, dealer prices have been anywhere from factory price ($400-$500 for hitch, harnesses, etc, installed) to normal dealer labor rates ($600-750 for hitch, harnesses, etc, installed).

Self Install:
Or, you can use the instructions and do it yourself. It's really simple, and the instructions are kinda reminiscent of Ikea instructions (for better or for worse, lol). Seriously though, they're very easy to follow. Here's the link:

You'll note it even tells you exactly what tools you'll need.

As for purchasing for self-install, I'd shop around. My friends over at Subaru Parts for You (Dan Perkins Subaru) will give you a good price (currently on sale even):

I've also ordered from Planet Subaru, Competition Subaru, North Coast Subaru, Metric Subaru, and the place I bought both of my Subies from, Liberty Subaru. I highly recommend ANY of them for purchases, as well as after-purchase support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This was way thorough and descriptive. Exactly what I needed to hear. Now any specific website you recommend. Oem
Is the direction I’m going. Thanks again. I’ll also do my search to see who is cheapest.
Installed:
Cheapest is to have it installed at the "factory" (port install), meaning, ordering it as a part of your vehicle order. I THINK that usually, you have until the car is in the assembly to add more port installed accessories (NY and NJ, you have a little longer).

Otherwise, dealer prices have been anywhere from factory price ($400-$500 for hitch, harnesses, etc, installed) to normal dealer labor rates ($600-750 for hitch, harnesses, etc, installed).

Self Install:
Or, you can use the instructions and do it yourself. It's really simple, and the instructions are kinda reminiscent of Ikea instructions (for better or for worse, lol). Seriously though, they're very easy to follow. Here's the link:

You'll note it even tells you exactly what tools you'll need.

As for purchasing for self-install, I'd shop around. My friends over at Subaru Parts for You (Dan Perkins Subaru) will give you a good price (currently on sale even):

I've also ordered from Planet Subaru, Competition Subaru, North Coast Subaru, Metric Subaru, and the place I bought both of my Subies from, Liberty Subaru. I highly recommend ANY of them for purchases, as well as after-purchase support.
Thank you for all the info. Will look to purchase the hitch online with the link you provided. I’m confident enough to believe I can do it on my own. I’ve built a few bunk beds from ikea....so utilizing about a few hundred pegs. Lol. Anyhow love this forum thus far. Btw. Picked up my ascent today. Time to add some goodies.
 

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Installed:

As for purchasing for self-install, I'd shop around. My friends over at Subaru Parts for You (Dan Perkins Subaru) will give you a good price (currently on sale even):
I have been going back and forth between these same two hitches. I was struggling to find a good price for self install on the OEM hitch compared to ordering an Ecohitch... until now. I'm not sure if you get a commission Robert, but I just placed an order at this website, as the price beat any other I could find. Thanks so much for the recommendation. For anyone curious, my total was $356 shipped to PA.

:thumbsup:
 

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Installed:

As for purchasing for self-install, I'd shop around. My friends over at Subaru Parts for You (Dan Perkins Subaru) will give you a good price (currently on sale even):
I have been going back and forth between these same two hitches. I was struggling to find a good price for self install on the OEM hitch compared to ordering an Ecohitch... until now. I'm not sure if you get a commission Robert, but I just placed an order at this website, as the price beat any other I could find. Thanks so much for the recommendation. For anyone curious, my total was $356 shipped to PA.

<img src="https://www.toyotanation.com/forum/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Thumbs up" class="inlineimg" />
LOL, no, I get nothing for anything any of you buy from anyone I recommend. I just know how daunting it can be to find good sources for stuff, so, I talk to places, test them out and talk to others to get feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Installed:

As for purchasing for self-install, I'd shop around. My friends over at Subaru Parts for You (Dan Perkins Subaru) will give you a good price (currently on sale even):
I have been going back and forth between these same two hitches. I was struggling to find a good price for self install on the OEM hitch compared to ordering an Ecohitch... until now. I'm not sure if you get a commission Robert, but I just placed an order at this website, as the price beat any other I could find. Thanks so much for the recommendation. For anyone curious, my total was $356 shipped to PA.

LOL, no, I get nothing for anything any of you buy from anyone I recommend. I just know how daunting it can be to find good sources for stuff, so, I talk to places, test them out and talk to others to get feedback.
The place you recommended is truly a good price. After purchasing my ascent the dealership priced me on additional accessories that were “invoice” price plus 10%. Believe that’s the employee discount unsure though. But the hitch was 305 plus tax. So 350-360 shipped isn’t bad or terrible.
 

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These instructions should help...



Installed:

Cheapest is to have it installed at the "factory" (port install), meaning, ordering it as a part of your vehicle order. I THINK that usually, you have until the car is in the assembly to add more port installed accessories (NY and NJ, you have a little longer).

Otherwise, dealer prices have been anywhere from factory price ($400-$500 for hitch, harnesses, etc, installed) to normal dealer labor rates ($600-750 for hitch, harnesses, etc, installed).

Self Install:
Or, you can use the instructions and do it yourself. It's really simple, and the instructions are kinda reminiscent of Ikea instructions (for better or for worse, lol). Seriously though, they're very easy to follow. Here's the link:

You'll note it even tells you exactly what tools you'll need.

As for purchasing for self-install, I'd shop around. My friends over at Subaru Parts for You (Dan Perkins Subaru) will give you a good price (currently on sale even):

I've also ordered from Planet Subaru, Competition Subaru, North Coast Subaru, Metric Subaru, and the place I bought both of my Subies from, Liberty Subaru. I highly recommend ANY of them for purchases, as well as after-purchase support.
Replying to an old thread, just wondering these instructions should be the same for a 2021 Ascent and what looks like an updated part number (L101SXC004 vs L101SXC002), right?
 

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The installation process is the same. The OEM hitch kit part number has evolved. The instructions mention a few parts that no longer are included, however. That's detailed in another thread.
 
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