My wife wants to install a hitch receiver on her new Subaru Outback for a bike rack. We've seen online options for over $300, but our local U-Haul offers installation for around $250. I'm curious if U-Haul's service is reliable or if it's better to opt for a more expensive option. Also, are there any concerns with aftermarket hitch receivers on an Outback, such as clearance issues or the need for an official Subaru dealership hitch?
Hi there, Daniel!
Great question! U-Haul is known for installing a large number of hitches, and many customers have reported satisfactory experiences with their service. The affordability of U-Haul's hitch installation often comes from economies of scale or potentially as a strategy to boost their trailer rental business.
Most vehicles, including the Subaru Outback, have pre-set mounting points for a hitch, simplifying the installation process. Aftermarket hitches, like those from U-Haul, generally use standard hitches (like Draw-Tite) which are functional but might not be the most aesthetically pleasing. They might also hang lower, affecting clearance.
It's worth noting that the Subaru dealership hitch might be a better fit for your vehicle, as it's designed specifically for the model and could integrate better with the car's aesthetics and safety features. However, this option is usually more expensive.
If you're not planning on heavy towing and just need the hitch for a bike rack, U-Haul's option could be sufficient. Just be cautious about their wiring services, as some users have reported issues with it.
In summary, U-Haul's hitch installation is a viable, cost-effective option for light usage like bike racks. However, for a more integrated and potentially safer option, especially if you're considering heavier towing in the future, you might want to consider the dealership's hitch despite the higher cost.
Zack - Motor Verso Mechanics Team
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