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Trailer Hitch Installation - 2007 Subaru Forester - Curt

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How to Install a Trailer Hitch on a 2007 Subaru Forester


Today on our 2007 Subaru Forester, we're going to take a look at and also show you how to install the Curt Custom Fit Class-2 Trailer Hitch Receiver. This hitch offers the 1 1/4 by 1 1/4 opening. It's part number is C12038. Here's what our hitch is going to look like installed on our vehicle. We'll see a little bit of the cross tube here, but really at ground level, it's going to be pretty hidden. We've got the arm that goes right over our exhaust giving us nice, secure, custom fit.

The main part that you're going to see from behind the vehicle is going to be our receiver tube, here, and also our safety chain connection points. You can see these are rounded steel stock material. Good room in there to get chains connected with. We've got our 1 1/4 by 1 1/4 opening with the nice flush looking reinforcement collar around the end. With this being a class-2 hitch, it's going to work out really well for bike racks, cargo carriers, small trailers, and things like that. To secure our items, we're going to have a 1/2 inch diameter pin hole.

Looks like plenty of room around it, here. Whatever class-2 accessory that you choose should work out okay, whether it's just a standard hitch pin and clip, maybe a locking hitch pin, or even an anti-rattle device. When it comes to weight ratings, we're going to have a 350 pound tongue weight rating. That's the maximum downward force we're able to put on the receiver tube opening here. We're going to have a 3,500 pound gross trailer weight rating. That's going to be the total weight of our trailer and anything that we we're to load up on it.

Of course, we do want to check with the owner's manual on the Subaru, we'll see what it's rated for, and then just go off whichever of those numbers are the lowest. A couple of measurement that are going to be helpful for selecting ball mounts, bike racks, or hitch cargo carriers, will be from the ground to the inside to edge of a receiver tube opening. We've got about 12 1/2 inches. Then from the center of our hitch pin hole to the outer most edge of our bumper is about 4 1/2. To begin our installation, we're going to take down the charcoal canister, here. For this we use a 12mm socket, and we need to remove the two nuts, here, on the backside. That will allow us to bring down, out of the way, slightly so we can get to the rest of our bolts.

The next bolt that we'll take out will be right here on the side. This is just a little support bolt for our tow bracket. For this one we'll need a 14. Now we can grab our 17, and we need to take out the three bolts that run right up our frame rail here. See, the tow bracket will come off. Here on our driver side, we've got a bolt we're going to be removing, and two more working forward. These are all three the 14mm. Get our exhaust hanger out of the way. We need to take out the four running forward. Now, we'll set all of our hardware aside because we're going to be reusing some of it when we re-install our hitch. We're also going to take down our fascia support bracket. Just want to remove the pushpin fastener. Just pull out that center. Usually, the outside portion comes out pretty easily. This one's going to need a little help. Now we'll grab a 10mm socket. We're going to pull the nut off this forward attachment point. Then we can remove the bolt that goes into the backside of the trunk panel. Now we'll use a little bit of spray lubricant on our exhaust hanger and we want to get that separated. Typically, a large screwdriver or a pry bar from underneath will get the job done for us. Like that. That's just going to give us a little bit of room to pull that down, and get in, and install our hardware. What we're going to do is just guide our driver side in first. We want this to rest on top of our exhaust. That acts as a good perch for it while we get the passenger side installed. Now we want to sandwich the canister bracket between our hitch and our frame as we do our installation. We're going to reuse our original hardware. Just want to get it threaded up in there for now. That's going to hold it in position. We can come and get our driver's side started. Once we've got three of four good turns on that, we can just let our hitch rest there while we get the rest of our factory hardware in place. Now we'll just take a quick look to be sure we have our hitch centered with the vehicle. Then we'll start tightening down our hardware. Now we need to look at our instructions, there we'll have our torque specs listed. What we're going to do is torque all seven fasteners down appropriate. Now we need to get our charcoal canister put back up into position. We're going to secure it with the same nuts we removed earlier. Now we'll slide our inboard exhaust hanger on. For the exterior, we're going to use the provided hardware. We're going to take the provided bolt that needs to go through our exhaust hanger, just like that. Then through the hole that's on the side of the hitch. Then we can take our provided flange nut, then get it tightened down. Then we'll get it torqued to the specifications also listed in our instructions. Now we just want to give our exhaust a little bit of wiggle here. Make sure it doesn't make any contact with our with. With that being the case, our hitch is read for use. That's going to complete the installation of the Curt Custom Fit Class-2 Trailer Hitch Receiver, part #C12038, on our 2007 Subaru Forester.


Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Kathleen M
Video by:
Kathleen M
Employee Randy B
Test Fit:
Randy B

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