Subaru Outback Towing capability - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Subaru Outback Towing capability

What year / model Outback do you have, have you towed with it (and approximate weight), did you make any modifications before towing, and how has the car handled and held up?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 06:41 PM
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2002 H6 3L auto VDC
Towed quite a bit with it..
last time was with an empty (no engine, box, interior) "vanagon" panel van shell (I would post a pic if I knew how) on my Brian James trailer..
prob around 1400kgs gross, towed like a dream.. 60mph easy.. fuel economy was around 23mpg (UK Gal = 4.54L)
legally here it will pull 1800kgs


What do you want to tow with it??

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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What do you want to tow with it??
17' Ski Boat -- probably close to 2500 pounds fully load. Distance will only be 10 miles round trip and I'll only tow about 5 times a year. Speed limit is 45mph but there are some hills. 2015 Outback - 2.5
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 09:10 PM
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17' Ski Boat -- probably close to 2500 pounds fully load. Distance will only be 10 miles round trip and I'll only tow about 5 times a year. Speed limit is 45mph but there are some hills. 2015 Outback - 2.5
you will get **** mileage but you can do it

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 10:37 PM
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I only tow occasionally, maybe 3 times a year. Almost always rented u-haul trailers. 2006 XT turbo.

Under 1000lbs I can't tell it's there apart from the rattles, no restrictions needed for speed or distance. 1001-1500lbs I need to think about temperatures on hot day hill climbs- the 3rd generation outback (and earlier) just don't have much reserve cooling capacity. I haven't needed to haul any more than that. I know the car will do it, but I'll face more and more restrictions as the weight & wind resistance go up.

Not bad for a unibody car, really...
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 08:09 AM
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your infrequency and short distance should be cake.

2 H6 outbacks and 1 H6 Tribeca - they all run hot if it's a sizable load 1,000 - 2,000+ and steep grades in high summer heat/humidity.
Lots of other experiences are the same - watch your temps in high heat/grades.

i installed stiffer rear springs as i'm usually carrying significant interior weight too.

H6 OBW VDC, H6 OB Sedan, Tribeca, Lifted XT6
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. My follow up question what's the best way to keep an eye on temps? I assume there's an ATF temp warning indicator but is there a way to tell the actual temperature?

I may pick up an OBDII scanner, especially if it can read the ATF temp and other useful info while towing.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 02:23 PM
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Thanks for the replies. My follow up question what's the best way to keep an eye on temps? I assume there's an ATF temp warning indicator but is there a way to tell the actual temperature?

I may pick up an OBDII scanner, especially if it can read the ATF temp and other useful info while towing.
Many diagnostic scanners can be set to read the temp, but aren't usually set up well to be a persistent gauge.

Scangauge can do it with their x-gauge custom mode- I would recommend this one because it is optimized as a permanent resident gauge in the car and it also gives diagnostic capabilities rather than the other way around.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 02:57 PM
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oh yeah right newer models don't have temp gauges, is that why you're asking?

H6 OBW VDC, H6 OB Sedan, Tribeca, Lifted XT6
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rasterman View Post
Many diagnostic scanners can be set to read the temp, but aren't usually set up well to be a persistent gauge.

Scangauge can do it with their x-gauge custom mode- I would recommend this one because it is optimized as a permanent resident gauge in the car and it also gives diagnostic capabilities rather than the other way around.
Is the x-gauge custom mode easy to set up? My understanding is that I would need to enter a PID for the 2015 Outback but after searching through previous threads, I'm not sure what the PID would be. I would also love to monitor my 2007 Honda Pilot if possible.

Also, I'm guessing this version would work? - https://www.amazon.com/ScanGauge-SGE...ords=scanguage

Thanks for the help -- I just don't want to spend ~$100 and realize I can't get it to do what I'm looking for.

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