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Recommended Trailer Hitch for Ground Clearance for Towing and Carrying Bikes on a 2018 Outback Wagon


Does choosing a particular hitch effect the ground clearance? I purchased a 2018 Touring Outback and need a hitch for towing and/or bike rack. I would like to choose a hitch that would not effect ground clearance if possible. Can you help? Thank you

Helpful Expert Reply:

Adding a trailer hitch will affect the ground clearance on certain vehicles depending on how it installs. In the case of your 2018 Subaru Outback Wagon it will affect the ground clearance a little due to the hitch receiver sitting under the bumper and rear fascia.

The trailer hitch that will affect it the least and what I recommend using is the EcoHitch # 306-X7266. From the top of the inside of the receiver opening to the ground on a 2017 Subaru Outback Wagon is about 16" so the ground clearance will be about 13-3/4" at the bottom of the receiver opening. Your Outback Wagon will have a similar measurement.

For towing you will also need a ball mount, hitch ball, and vehicle wiring.

A great option for a ball mount and hitch ball is the Curt # C45036 which comes with a ball mount that has a 2" Drop, a 2 inch diameter hitch ball, and a hitch pin and clip. You will want to check out the attached helpful article on ball mounts though to ensure that this is correct for your application.

For wiring I recommend the Tekonsha T-One # 118467 which will plug into existing wiring on your Subaru. I have attached videos of this and the trailer hitch being installed on a 2017 Outback Wagon that you can use as a reference.

If you do not already have a bike rack then I recommend using the Swagman Escapee 2 Bike Platform Rack # S64693. This bike rack will fit 2" hitches, can tilt for rear hatch clearance, fold for rear clearance without bikes, and also comes with rack and bike locks to deter theft of your equipment. It also features a wheel mount style that accommodates most bikes styles that do not have a fender.

A review video of this bike rack has been attached for you to check out as well.

helpful expert reply by:
Jon G

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