A few blogs back (Things That Go Bump) we talked about the dangers to a unibody vehicle being hit from the rear while a hitch is in the hitch receiver.
The force of the crash goes through the hitch & into the unibody frame structure, doing lots more damage than would have been done if the rear bumper had been allowed to do its job: absorbing impact.
But check out the hitch being produced in Burnsville by Mohr Manufacturing. It absorbs impact with a spring. The company says their auxiliary bumper (which fits in a standard hitch receiver) can help protect the vehicle and the occupants.
This may be one of those “why didn’t I think of that” kind of inventions. This thing obviously won’t do much in a serious, high-speed impact, but it may pay for itself in a situation where you back into a pole in a parking and do $500 worth of damage to a rear bumper.