OT bent hitch

Ok, this is not about my little 318i, but I can't think of better place to ask this question.
I was a passenger in a Subaru Forester. While standing still at a stop
sign, a Ford Explorer rammed into the hitch on the Subaru. U-Haul and dealership reps said the the hitch thingy (hitch receiver(?)) that is bolted onto the car is bent 1/2 " inn and the hitch with the ball was twisted up and to the side. No damage to the car it self.
The hitch is rated for 3,500 lbs. What kind of force does it take to do that?
Harald.
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Could be more, could be less, but I doubt the 3500 pound rating covers 0 to max rating in the instant of impact. That's a step function to which hitches should never be exposed...
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3500 pounds of rolling load and 3500 pounds of blunt force are not going to be the same thing. My guess is that it will withstand much less blunt force. Having said that, I am not sure what the Suburu has in the way of a frame, but if the hitch is toast, I'd like to think there is going to be some damage to the vehicle as well.
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I was once "bumped" from behind in my 320i 1987, by a Nissan pickup which was trying to skip the traffic light for which I was stopping. The tow hitch was bent like a twig and the rear of the car was badly damaged. The panel shop said that the car would have been a write off if there was not hitch installed. I would say, from my experience, that I would not take that much speed to result in the damage you described. The driver of the Forester would have had a foot on the brake also, probably increasing the damage.
People fit bull bars on the front of vehicles all the time, and even though they mostly do it for cosmetics, it does protect vehicles from collision damage. The Nissan pickup that smashed into me had one fitted, and apart from the bull bar epoxy coating that was transferred, the Nissan and its bull bar were both intact. I doubt very much that the Forester wagon 4x4, will suffer any long term effects due to this collision. Replacing a hitch is cheaper than any fender bender to fix. The tow hitch saved someone a lot of money in this case.
MW

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That's certainly true. The hitch would act as a reinforcement for the bumper/frame, and in that capacity it is certainly possible that the hitch owuld take the brunt of the impact and actually save frame damage. I don't know what I was thinking earlier ...

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The force applied by a 2 ton vehicle with any kind of momentum is considerable. To put it into perspective, have a 200# person step onto a nail you want to drive. Now hit it with a 1# hammer. Which method (ignoring the issue of keeping the nail straight) will drive the nail further into the board.
R / John
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