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Old 03-18-2015, 08:35 PM   #1
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Subaru Outback Towing

We're new to forum. Is anyone out there hauling an Escape with an Outback? If so, what size Escape and what year Outback? Thanks, Don
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:51 PM   #2
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If you are thinking about buying an Outback, it's not a contender because of the low tongue weight it can handle.
My 17B tongue weighs 320 lbs.
Escape made a very few 13s that might have a low enough tongue weight, but would be hard to find one.

See post #14 on FGRV forum, for the voice of experience:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ack-67835.html
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
If you are thinking about buying an Outback, it's not a contender because of the low tongue weight it can handle.
My 17B tongue weighs 320 lbs.
Escape made a very few 13s that might have a low enough tongue weight, but would be hard to find one.

See post #14 on FGRV forum, for the voice of experience:
Eggcamper Weight, Tongue Weight & Towing with Outback - Fiberglass RV
Thanks for quick reply. Outback factory hitch (small 1.25in receiver) has max. tongue load of 200, but we have a beefier U-haul hitch rated to 600lbs tongue load. Outback manual says max total trailer weight of 2700lbs, so I think we would only be able to add 600 lbs to a 17 ft Plan B to stay under.
We already have the Outback and it is much more comfortable than our older Toyota Tacoma which could easily tow the 17 ft Escape. The Escape web-site Spec sheet shows 3500 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, but it appears maybe they are meaning the minimum towing capacity??
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyAndDon View Post
Thanks for quick reply. Outback factory hitch (small 1.25in receiver) has max. tongue load of 200, but we have a beefier U-haul hitch rated to 600lbs tongue load. Outback manual says max total trailer weight of 2700lbs, so I think we would only be able to add 600 lbs to a 17 ft Plan B to stay under.
We already have the Outback and it is much more comfortable than our older Toyota Tacoma which could easily tow the 17 ft Escape. The Escape web-site Spec sheet shows 3500 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, but it appears maybe they are meaning the minimum towing capacity??
The reason the Outback has a factory hitch that's 200# max. is, structurally, the frame of the Outback cannot handle more than 200# in gravity loads (weight straight down) and lateral loads (front-rear, and side to side). I would not argue with the automotive engineers at Subaru.
So, the U-haul hitch rating is immaterial. It would be like putting a railroad car coupler on my Honda and saying that I can pull a freight train.
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:43 PM   #5
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The hitch receiver you have does not increase the tongue capacity. It is still 200#. It's the vehicle that determines that, not the hitch you add on. My hitch is rated for 14,000 lbs. towing, but that doesn't mean I can tow that. I am still limited to 3,500.
I think the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating you refer to is the capacity of the axle that is used in the 17. It is the maximum weight that the trailer can be loaded.
Maybe Brian B-P or somebody will point you to the link that explains all the weight measures that are used and what they mean.
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:10 PM   #6
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Part of the tow rating for a vehicle involves the transmission torque available and braking capacity. Burning out the trannie is less risky than not having sufficient braking capability when coming up fast on a stopped school bus, however.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:05 PM   #7
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These folks towed a 15b with a Forester. There was a(n unanswered) question of how they got the tongue weight down low enough. Maybe they got it "close enough" and went from there.

Having a Forester myself I researched how to deal with the low tongue weight spec, read countless posts at the Subaru site on advantage/disadvantage of factory tow hitch vs. after market (they attach quite a bit differently, causing speculation on the low tongue rating being only for the factory model), etc. Some interpretations of the tongue weight limit suggested that any weight in the back of the Subie would have to be added to the trailer tongue weight, which was cause for consideration since we have the cargo area of our Forester all set up for our 50 lb mutt. I'm not sure that interpretation was accurate, though.

Over on FGRV there Is a woman who towed a 16 Scamp with her Outback, for years. She has a zillion posts or so (Carol). She eventually wore out her latest Outback doing this and bought a Nissan Frontier (which just happens to be what I somehow ended up with as a second vehicle). She regularly weighed her Scamp to make sure she was keeping the tongue weight down. She actively discouraged me from attempting to tow anything but a 13 with our Forester when I first joined that forum and posted such a question over there.

I know I probably won't attempt towing any Escape with our Forester. The Outback is constructed differently as far as suspension goes, so maybe more doable, and it does have a whopping 300 lb higher tow rating than the older Foresters, even though the tongue rating is still 200 lbs. But if you have an Outback model with CVT transmission...I've read bad things about those being used for towing. So, either manual transmission or pre CVT, which I think they introduced in 2010.

If you really are going to pursue this, I suggest joining a Subaru forum and searching there for your answers. If you want to stir things up, join FGRV and post this question. You'll get both encouragement from some members followed by accusations from others of endangering their children's lives with your wanton recklessness. Folks on this Escape site mostly are a bit conservative, perhaps more into not wanting to do anything that would require the level of constant vigilance that such an undertaking would entail. You'd definitely be skirting the edge.

There was a 13 for sale recently in Vancouver. They are a bit rare, but those are within towing specs of Subaru Outbacks. Both the 13 and 15 are no longer offered for sale by Escape.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:19 PM   #8
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There is this feeling of a great weight being lifted off your shoulders when you pay off your mortgage.
You get that same feeling when you have a tow vehicle that is more than capable of towing your trailer.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:42 PM   #9
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Thanks. More good info and I looked at the FGRV posts. I'm not wanting to argue with the Subie engineers, just trying to get good information. We've had differing info. from 2 Subaru dealers and our Tacoma mechanic. We have been pulling a 13' Scamp as long as we've owned the Outback. So it seems clear (sorta) that the tongue rating is based on the frame, not on the tongue or the vehicle suspension system.
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
There is this feeling of a great weight being lifted off your shoulders when you pay off your mortgage.
You get that same feeling when you have a tow vehicle that is more than capable of towing your trailer.
Amen on both accounts. Loren
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