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Thread: Rear Hitch Carrier Strength

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Rear Hitch Carrier Strength

    My 2009 Forester doesn't have enough space for all the stuff I need for a 6 week camping trip from WV to the Dempster Highway and Denali, so I'm trying to learn whether a hitch-mounted carrier can take the strain of the 920 mile round trip gravel Dempster. Or do I need to get a small trailer? I have a class II hitch.

    If I can avoid a trailer, it will make the encounters with the big cities more bearable. But if the hitch or carrier will break on the Dempster ....

    Any knowledge/experience/advice appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Glen Burnie, MD
    Posts
    76
    I built my own hitch rack. 5' wide, 30" deep with 2" .25 wall tube for the receiver out the full 30" of the rack, 1.5" angle for the perimeter and steel mess for the floor. I know its solid and wont fall apart. I've used it on every rig I owned in the last 10yrs and had as much as 700lb worth of 1 ton axles on it. I'd build one before buying one. If your not talking about alot of weight on it you might get away with buying one, but I'd still weld it solid instead of bolting it together.

    Rick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    11
    Rick,

    Unfortunately a bullet proof rig like yours won't do for me. The Forester has a 200 pound weight limit on the hitch. Right now, I'm thinking I'd be putting lighter weight stuff (tent, tarp, poles, gas can?) out back and spare tire(s) up top (which has a 150 pond weight limit). It's the price I pay for having a vehicle suitable for the 95% of the time I'm not on vacation.

    Don

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    49
    I think your bigger issue will be the torque on the hitch itself imposed by the bouncing of the carrier over the rougher terrain. I worked for a shop installing hitches for a bit and we'd see bent hitches on Subis caused by bike carriers and such when the vehicle had been bouncing around forest service roads etc. Seemed like this was more likely the larger and or further out the load was from the hitch. The class II hitches on those foresters just usually aren't up for a heavy load. If you can source a class III hitch for your Forester, you'd definitely be better off.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    49
    If you don't already have a hitch, here's a class III for $130. http://www.hitchweb.com/product/88/1...ubaru-Forester

    I've purchased from this website and installed Curt hitches before, so I can recommend both. And, the hitch should install easily with hand tools in under an hour (I haven't specifically done a 2009 forester before but lots of other Subis).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    11
    Thanks, pcjeeper,

    This is exactly the information I wanted to know. I have a class II Curt, but I haven't installed it yet. I could return it for a class III. I got it from etrailer, which has both.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    49
    My suggestion is class III. I don't even know of any hitch carriers that will work out-of-the-bl with the smaller 1-1/4" receiver of a class II hitch. Good luck on your trip.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by pcjeeper View Post
    My suggestion is class III. I don't even know of any hitch carriers that will work out-of-the-bl "out of the box" with the smaller 1-1/4" receiver of a class II hitch. Good luck on your trip.
    Out of the box.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Whistler BC
    Posts
    2,508
    I have also fabbed my own hitch carrier, and will be making another in the next few months. What Rick said about welding up a bolt together store bought model is sound advice. You will want the 2" class III receiver for sure. If you stay light and weld the rack up, you should be ok. You could also have a heavier wall unit made out of aluminum if cash is not an issue.
    '98 Dodge 3500 4x4 12v NV4500 complete with a crap load of goodies.
    '11 Rubicon Unlimited OME heavies, 285/75-17 Toyos
    '07 Adventurer 10T with surfboard racks!
    '75 Argosy (Airstream) 26'

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    11
    Thanks, pcjeeper and redthies, for your comments. Etrailer has several hitch carriers for class I +/or II hitches, and at least one, a Draw Tight model,is welded. But based on comments here and on SubaruForester.org, I'm going to rethink my packing list and try really hard to make do with a rooftop carrier. If I have to get a hitch carrier, I'll get a class III hitch first.

    Don

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