Recommended Hitch, Wiring and Towing Components for 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Question:

I was looking at the Curt Class 1 and Class 3 trailer hitches for my 2013 Subaru Crosstrek. I would like to install it myself. Is there a difference in weight between the two hitches? Which one would you recommend? I would only be using it to tow a rented trailer once, and would most likely use it for a bike rack or kayak rack thereafter. What accessories would I need to tow a trailer? Thanks.

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Expert Reply:

The hitch I recommend for your 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is the etrailer 2-inch Class III hitch # E98838. I suggest this specific hitch for several reasons.

First, there is little difference in weight or cost between most Class I hitches and the Class III models. The etrailer hitch # E98838 weighs about 35-lbs while the Curt # C11286 weighs 30-lbs. The extra 5-lbs of hitch weight is a good trade off since this 2-inch hitch offers more than double the tongue weight (TW) capacity of the Class I (a full 525-lbs) and almost twice the towing capacity (3500-lbs). Installation time will be virtually identical. Detailed hitch install instructions are linked for your reference. Finally, the larger hitch will offer much better compatibility with the whole range of hitch-mount Class III accessories that are available, like bike racks such as the Thule EasyFold # TH903202 and cargo carriers too. In short, in the case of the Crosstrek and your intended uses there is simply no advantage to the Class I hitch.

To tow your trailer you will also need a wiring harness to power its lights. You can use plug-in 4-pole trailer wiring kit # 118467 which installs easily behind the driver-side trim panel as shown in the linked video. You'll also need a ball mount, hitch ball and pin/clip. To simplify matters I recommend the Ball Mount Kit # 989900 which includes several hitch balls and ball mounts as well as the needed pin and clip. This kit saves you having to measure the trailer to figure out what size ball it requires or the correct height of ball mount to use.

I linked for you several helpful articles concerning hitch installation, towing components and safe towing practices. If you would like recommendations for a bike rack or anything else I will be happy to assist if you'll share some details such as how many bikes and what types of bikes you need to transport.

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Adam R

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