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Discussion Starter #1
I decided not to let the summer get away from me without being able to haul our bikes and tow my little sailboat to the river, so I asked a local welding shop that specializes in custom hitches to take a look at building a hitch with a 2" receiver for our E (I need a 2 incher because i have a nice Yakima rack that requires it, as well as a ball tongue for a 2 incher).

I was delighted with the resultant installation which is very strong, almost invisible except for the square receiver and "only" cost $325. I thought it was a good deal considering the lack of credible alternatives. I don't like the 1 1/4 to 2 inch adapters and had one local rack dealer tell me about a 1 1/4" brand name hitch (the brand has been recommended on this board) he had seen on another model of SUV that had bent with the weight of bikes/bike rack and leverage due to the extra length of such an adapter. I can post pix of our installation if there is any interest.

yelapa
 

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This isn't as heavy duty as the hitch mentioned above, but with the reduced towing ability of the Element anyway, this $99 solution with free shipping is a nice option for those with small utility trailers and boats.

http://www.hidden-hitches.com/t1_31.html

This is also a "no drill" option that makes sense too.

Fweem
 

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fweem said:
This isn't as heavy duty as the hitch mentioned above, but with the reduced towing ability of the Element anyway, this $99 solution with free shipping is a nice option for those with small utility trailers and boats.

How much ground clearance and/or angle of departure do you lose once the hitch is installed? I'd like an hitch that ran through the bumper and didn't cost me any precious clearance.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My installation appears to allow approximately the same departure angle and ground clearance as does the exhaust tip.
 
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