Dealer installed Class II hitch should I be upset

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by JunieB, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. JunieB

    JunieB Member

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    2016 Subaru Crosstrek, Automatic. Boxer engine. Rated up to 1500 lbs towing.

    I asked Subie Dealer service to install "tow hitch" installed, and ASSUMED they would put on a Class III hitch like I always had before (on other vehicles) and Class III was ALL I ever saw used in MN.
    Picked up the car and it had a Class II on it (oops), which of course looks much smaller and is not a 2 inch bar.
    My 2003 Taos Coleman should not weigh over 1500 lbs. It has even been stripped of its kitchen cabinet and its table, so I think I'm good. There is an older thread with actual lbs and tongue weight on an '03 Taos.

    Service manager assured me I would NEVER be pulling anything exceeding a Class II.
    Well, what do you think? ETrailer has Class IIIs that are what it recommends for the Crosstrek. I am generally towing in the flatlands of FL, but hey, what if I wanted to go to hilly northern GA?
    Afraid to tow with it, until I know. I don't know whether to be mad, or just get towing. Thanks!
     
  2. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

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    My Ford with "tow package" ('08 Edge) is rated to tow 3500 lbs and came from the factory with a class II hitch. I towed a '74 Apache Ramada (probably 2100 lbs but lower frontal area than a Coleman) with it without problems, including over a few actual mountains (Cascades, Sierra Nevada, etc.).

    I don't know about your vehicle's towing capacity, but I wouldn't worry about the hitch. I hope you have brakes. I did have to add a brake line to my wiring setup--the car came with a 4-pin plug and my trailer required...errr...six.
     
  3. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    What is the cars tow rating?
     
  4. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    That should be the correct hitch for your cars max capacity. I wouldn't worry.
     
  5. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Since you did not specify a Class III, you got a hitch. Live with it
     
  6. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    1. Class II hitches are weight carrying (WC) hitches rated up to 3500 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 300 lbs.
    Installing a class III hitch will do nothing to better your towing with the vehicle you own. I would be more concerned about making sure your trailer does not exceed the 1500 lbs that your car is rated to tow.
     
  7. NMroamer

    NMroamer Active Member

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    The dealer is covering himself from future liability.
    Just because you can do something does not mean that you should .
     
  8. JunieB

    JunieB Member

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    I Researched youtube, that sort-of definitive source of all things technical :grin: last night. One Subaru video claims since their dealer-installed hitches are installed "in-line" with the vehicle's frame, this is better than an under-mount Towbar. It is designed for the correct crumple zones to work in a Subie crash. It seemed somewhat believable. So I don't feel so bad about not going to UHaul.

    Not sure what NRoamer meant. Protection from liability comes from the vehicle's Owner's manual stated restrictions on towing, and it is up to me to not exceed that. You could tow a 2,000 lb trailer with classII but should not, with this car.
    The trailer has brakes. Have not used them yet, nor the PO. It has both 7-pin, and then has magnetic lights attached for the 4-pin. Only ever used or needed, the 4-pin with the Acura. Most of my pre-install discussions w/Subaru were about that. After talking to the Service Writer who didn't know jack, not even difference between a wiring "harness" and a "Brake Controller" and additional wiring for that, I spoke to service manager pre-install. I was in a bit of a hurry since I THOUGHT I had sold my Acura TV already, and suddenly was ordered to MOVE that trailer, just a couple blocks, in 5 DAYS or less! More on that is in thread on N-FL Rally.

    I get that the Crosstrek is lighter and smaller brakes (than a 2-ton Acura SUV). I agree getting the Brake Controller using trailer brakes is a good idea. Right now-- mulling over if and when I should get rid of the SUV/Acura. Do some of you have a vehicle that you keep for towing only? Does that make sense at all?
     
  9. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    If you can afford to keep and maintain the Acura you would not have the the additional wear on the Subaru caused by towing at the max limit.
     
  10. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    Class II is more than fine for your 1500 pound tow rating. It's what we had with our old Grand Caravan which i towed our Pup with for 3-4 years.
     
  11. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Class I Hitch: A Class 1 trailer hitch can handle a gross trailer weight (GTW) of up to 2,000 lbs., and a maximum tongue weight of 200 lbs. This type of hitch is often used on small cars, pickups, or vans for light-duty towing.

    Class II Hitch: A Class 2 trailer hitch can handle a GTW of up to 3,500 lbs. and a maximum tongue weight of 300 lbs. This type of hitch is often used on full-size vans, full-size pickups, and SUVs for towing small boat trailers, snowmobile trailers, motorcycle trailers or campers.

    Class III Hitch: A Class 3 trailer hitch can handle a GTW of up to 5,000 lbs. and a maximum tongue weight of 500 lbs. The standard type of this hitch is considered for general towing.

    Class IV Hitch: A Class 4 trailer hitch can handle a GTW of up to 10,000 lbs. and a maximum tongue weight of 2,000 lbs. This type of hitch is usually a weight-distributing hitch.

    Class V Hitch: A Class 5 trailer hitch can handle a GTW over 10,000 lbs. and a maximum tongue weight over 1,200 lbs. This type of hitch is usually a weight-distributing hitch, used for extra heavy loads like a car trailer, horse trailer or a large boat or camper.

    5th Wheel and Gooseneck Hitches: If it is too large for a Class V hitch, these might be your best option. They mount in the bed of your pickup truck.

    Hopefully this will help you determine what class of trailer hitch you need for your truck. And remember to always choose a hitch that is strong enough to handle the maximum anticipated total weight of the trailer but does not exceed the towing capacity of your vehicle.

    From https://www.tricktrucks.com/blog/knowing-the-difference-between-trailer-hitch-classes/

    Had the dealer installed a class III hitch, he would have sold you a more expensive hitch that did nothing to improve your towing capability. Doing that, he risks you getting mad because he threw your money away OR that you would believe it means you can tow over your vehicle's rated tow capacity and cause an accident.

    Had he gone with a class I hitch, you could have overloaded the rated tongue weight capacity with your trailer.

    Seems he made an informed and wise choice. I'd keep him around. :D
     
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  12. JunieB

    JunieB Member

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    Everything costs money to store and maintain and you MUST keep insurance and tags on a vehicle. I should price out the brake controller and compare. Yeah, I worry a bit about the CVT tranny too. Don't want to over-stress that baby.
    Anyway, All I know about Towing I learned right here on PUP! Except for doing the actual process, to hitch up and tow a boat from the ex-hubby who taught me well about the crossed chains and all that. NEVER go anywhere without checking your chains; save a life. Also check your lights before setting out and at each stop.
     
  13. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    You would need to calculate the added costs for keeping the second vehicle to determine if it makes sense.

    Depending on your daily usage with the Subaru and insurance options, keeping the Acura for towing might result in cheaper insurance costs. For example, when I bought my clipper (motorhome) and started using it for long distance travel, my annual mileage on my SUV dropped enough to get a lower insurance rate. The cost to insure both ends up being cheaper than insuring just the SUV at the higher rate and using it for everything.
     
  14. NMroamer

    NMroamer Active Member

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    JunieB The dealer was protecting himself from liability if the owner was to pull a trailer to heavy for the vehicle.
    Dealer put a Class III on so it must be ok. Just saying.
     
  15. JunieB

    JunieB Member

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    Yes, thanks, I know how to add 2+2 (Toedtoes). I am "the woman of many cars," actually. Gearhead. Enough said. I already get lowest rates since I don't exceed 7,500 miles on any particular vehicle; accident-free; multi-car, all that.
    I might accidentally exceed that on Subie if it was trip car AND daily driver though, so good point. Insurers do check mileage with the maintenance reports that dealer and certain mechanics file. Just pull a Carfax report on your own car, you'll see. I am really trying to simplify life now and must balance that goal.

    Hagerty's is a good option for cars of older vintage but that "hold their value." It has to be VERY infrequently used and only for pleasure, though. I think camping is Pleasure, personally. Getting a quote from them now.
     
  16. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Glad you got the point. I wasn't suggesting you were lacking in intelligence. Just pointing out that splitting out the mileage between two vehicles may make keeping both a better option. Many people don't factor that.
     
  17. JunieB

    JunieB Member

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    Yes, I knew you weren't trying to demean me in any way. I failed at being funny.
    Costs of a vehicle = Fixed costs + Variable Costs.
    Fixed costs include Tags/licensure, insurance, basic periodic oil changes (the time-based ones, whether driven or not). Oh, and car payments if you have those.
    Variable costs include Gasoline, service/maintenance, storage (if you store part-time vs. full-time and have to pay for it or have "opportunity costs" for that space), etc.
    As a vehicle ages, Maintenance/service costs generally rise. Also maintenance depends partly on miles driven but being not driven regularly is hard on a vehicle, too.
     
  18. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Glad we're good. :cool:

    Gasoline is usually a wash unless one vehicle gets significantly better mileage than the other or one tank has a leak. Otherwise, you're going to put it that same money in one tank or the other to go camping.
     
  19. JunieB

    JunieB Member

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    Yes, but 17 mpg vs. 29 mpg (highway) is such a substantial difference. The older vehicle also takes Premium only; new one takes regular. Couldn't believe my own eyes on the road trip I just took. It would be-- wait I ONLY put 12.5 gallons in? How can it be Full already and at that "low" total pricetag for a regular fillup? New cars are different animals. Technologies used to reach those mileage standards add up. Nothing wrong with an '02, I totally enjoy an older car, but they are different beasts.
     
  20. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    That's a significant difference. If it had been 17 versus 19, then that wouldn't be a huge deal considering you'd reduce the potential damage from towing with the newer less capable vehicle. It's never the same answer for everyone because there is always some factor that is different in your situation than in someone else's.
     

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