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If you want to carry 3 bikes do not buy a 1 1/4 inch receiver, buy a 2 inch as it will sway much less and work better over all. 1 1/4 is okay for up to 2 bikes. 3 or 4 bikes put a lot of leverage on a hitch.
 

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PDawg: Totally agree. The Eco Hitch is a 2" hitch so might as well use a 2" receiver and have that security even with one bike.

Bike Rider: Super nice. I love how clean that Thule rack is and it seems to keep the wheels really secure.
 

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I was surprised the Eco Hitch was only 2", but since the Thule Helium could do either size hitch, I went with it. Now that it's in, I feel like the larger hitch is sturdier anyway, even if it's not technically needed. I love having access to the back hatch, after months of the trunk rack.
 

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Oh it looks like I was confused. I thought that the Helium had the option of using a 2" receiver, but the 1/4" receiver it has is compatible with both 1/4" and 2" hitches.

I like that the Eco Hitch is 2". More security and can hold more tongue weight.
 

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2017 Premium 2.0i

Intended hitch use: Trailering an Escape Mango sailboat

Installed the Draw-Tite 24959 Class 1 Sportframe Hitch (1-1/4") purchased from Amazon ($115 - best price! - vs. $158 at etrailer), using the video from etrailer.com: Easiest install I've ever done, even with one person!

Added the Tekonsha 118744 T-One Connector Assembly with Upgraded Circuit Protected ModuLite HD Module ($61 at Amazon, $68 at etrailer), with multiple modifications from the sparse install instructions themselves (and the absolute absence of any install videos online!):

All instructions direct one to install the wiring UNDERNEATH the vehicle - NOT a viable option in Minnesota!

Also specified cutting the taillight harness grommets sufficiently to pass their "T-plug" through, then sealing again with gunk - NOT!

I simply cut the suppled 16-gauge wires, passed them through the factory grommets (without ANY modifications), then reconnected with inline splices - shrink-wrapped and taped. NOTE: the driver's side yellow/brown leads are barely long enough to reach the taillight when installed behind the interior panel, let alone were they to be installed beneath the vehicle. The passenger's side green/red lead are MORE that sufficient in length (nearly two feet longer than necessary) to be installed by threading within the aft support member from the inside - again, by cutting and splicing to pass through the frame members!

Had to drill a 1/8" hole in the floor behind the left rear panel to screw down the white ground wire with a #10 x 3/4" stainless steel screw (with two ss flat and lock washers), using that same hole and screw to mount the module.

Instructions called for the hot lead to be attached directly to the battery - again, running under the vehicle!

Found a route along the driver's side door sills (simply pop up the plastic covers and route through the channel containing what appears to be the rear windshield washer tubing and the fuel lid release cable).

Last challenge was finding a passage through the firewall: I'm working on threading through the hood release cable grommet (no chafing, closest route to the battery) but if unable the Subaru dealership's assistant service manager recommended running through the main engine electronics feed portal (above the steering column).

Still hoping to access via the hood release cable route, which appears to run through a boxed-channel along the inner left front fender. Again, NO videos seem to exist that illustrate how to replace the hood latch release cable - which I'd hope might shed some light on the physical passage I'd need to follow - and the dealership was of no help.

LONG time to carefully remove all panels and run the wiring, but in the end much more secure from potential damage and visually appealing (invisible, truth-be-told).

All told with the trailer weight and sailboat, I'm looking at a total weight of less than 300#, with a tongue weight max of 200# and a total towing capacity of 2,000# (hitch rating, not the vehicle). I figured if the CrossTrek with the identical driveline could handle that, then there's no reason my Impreza couldn't, too - despite the owner's manual "discouragement"...

Sorry I didn't take photos of the process (thunderstorm was imminent), but feel free to contact me at anytime with questions?
 

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ResqDogz: Wow! What a really comprehensive post. Yeah I never understood why the Crosstrek has a tow rating and the Impreza does not. Perhaps because of the higher ground clearance?

I'd love to see the finished result when the storm clears. I know that Drawtite, Curt, and Eco Hitch are the main hitches for the Impreza, with the Eco being the only Class III (2") hitch. I've debated which one to get for awhile, if I do. But I don't use it enough right now.
 

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I’ll try to snap some photos of everything, when I’ve pulled the hot lead through the firewall!
Since my install bore the implication of voiding my warranty, I went with the smaller hitch.
I mostly transport rescued companion animals, but the sailboat was a concession to my former life - living on a large lake, sailing at my leisure for years...
 

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Awesome. Sounds like a great life! Thank you for your service rescuing animals. My two dogs are both rescues from the animal shelter.
 

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Sorry to bump an old thread, but just wanted to share my experience with the Curt Class I hitch that I purchased 3 years ago for our 2017 hatchback. I initially purchased the Curt thinking that I would only ever be carrying 1 bike, and it functioned perfectly for that in conjunction with my 1up single tray rack. And no, I didn't use the stabilizing strap that Curt "requires."

However, within the last few months my wife has also gotten into mountain biking, which means we often times need to haul 2 bikes. Unfortunately with the 2 bikes loaded up on the bike rack, the hitch sways enough to make me concerned about a fatigue failure in the hitch. The torsional and lateral movement is very clearly due to flex in the hitch, rather than flex in the bike rack. Closer inspection of the Curt class 1 design vs the EcoHitch Class 3 design makes it clear why the EcoHitch is 2x more expensive and rated to more than double the tongue weight. The EcoHitch website also explicitly states their load ratings are taking into account the longer lever arm created by a bike rack. I could use a stabilizing strap and maybe that would help, but I can't figure out a way to use the strap without applying pressure on the rear spoiler of our Sport hatchback.

So all that being said, I just placed an order for the EcoHitch. Fingers crossed that it results in less sway, but even if it doesn't, at least I have it in writing that the use of a stabilizing strap is NOT required :) Moral of the story - buy the right hitch the first time around. Don't be like me and end up buying two hitches!

Curt design does not provide any way to react lateral load. The structural members leading from the mounting holes to the hitch receiver are flat sheet metal.
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EcoHitch uses 3-dimensional structural members leading from mounting holes to the hitch receiver.
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The ecohitch design does look better, but those pictures don't look like those 2 hitches would work for the same car. The Curt hitch looks like it has a lot further drop from the mount point to the receiver outlet.
 

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The ecohitch design does look better, but those pictures don't look like those 2 hitches would work for the same car. The Curt hitch looks like it has a lot further drop from the mount point to the receiver outlet.
Good point. Probably a stock image for the Curt. The vertical height might be a little less than shown, but my Curt hitch is constructed in the same way - no bracing to react against lateral load.
 

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Received and installed the Torklift EcoHitch today and it is far stiffer/sturdier than the Curt. The employees at Torklift also went above and beyond in doing everything they could to meet my expedited schedule - I knew it wasn't reasonable to demand anything of them, but I figured it didn't hurt to ask, and they were more than happy to help accommodate my needs. Would definitely recommend them to anybody in the future.

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