Tongue Weight? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Tongue Weight?

I understand that one should not exceed the towing weight of the OB regardless of what the hitch manufacturer states as their towing rate. Example, Ecohitch for the 2019 states 3,500 lb tow weight but I believe my 2019 3.6R is rated at like 2200-2500 lb tow weight. However the Ecohitch is rated at 525 tongue weight. Can I use anything close to this weight, even if I'm not towing a trailer (just a bike rack)? I think the vehicle says 200 lb tongue, but the manual shows a picture of a trailer tongue being weighed.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 11:30 AM
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The physical vehicle structure regardless of what hitch is bolted to it is rated at 200lbs max. Nothing changes that doesn’t matter what hitch you have.

Your car is rated to a maximum of 2700lbs with cooling limitations tied to outside temperature 99 degrees and higher and climbs exceeding a certain grade % and length can’t recall the exact numbers but in worst case Subaru had used 1500lbs as the max. So in mild temperatures and relatively flat up to 2700lbs is fine.

Hot steep locations 1500lbs.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by djxpress View Post
I understand that one should not exceed the towing weight of the OB regardless of what the hitch manufacturer states as their towing rate. Example, Ecohitch for the 2019 states 3,500 lb tow weight but I believe my 2019 3.6R is rated at like 2200-2500 lb tow weight. However the Ecohitch is rated at 525 tongue weight. Can I use anything close to this weight, even if I'm not towing a trailer (just a bike rack)? I think the vehicle says 200 lb tongue, but the manual shows a picture of a trailer tongue being weighed.

The tongue weight is is the weight pressing straight down on the hitch. Doesn't matter if it's a trailer or a bike rack. Because the hitch is mounted to the frame of the OB, that weight pressing down on the hitch transfers to the frame. The OB is not a truck and doesn't have a strong enough frame to support as much downward wt putting extra torque forces into it. In the "pulling" direction, the frame (and brakes, and cooling system) can handle one set of forces (the 2700 lb tow capacity), but in the "downward" direction, the frame is only rated up to 200lb.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Curious if the Subaru manufacturer's specification for tongue weight is just derived from a percentage of the max tow weight? As other websites have mentioned, tongue weight is usually derived from 9-15% of max tow weight?

Or is it likely that the rear of the vehicle can really only support 200 lbs pushing directly down? Seems pretty light as my 1up hitch bolts to the back bumper frame with 6 thick bolts. I would imagine this could hold more than 200 lbs, even with downward torque being considered.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 02:52 PM
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Or is it likely that the rear of the vehicle can really only support 200 lbs pushing directly down? Seems pretty light as my 1up hitch bolts to the back bumper frame with 6 thick bolts. I would imagine this could hold more than 200 lbs, even with downward torque being considered.
200 lbs might not seem like a lot in a static condition, but start shaking it around (dynamic loading) and it can easily generate forces much higher than 200 lbs. Force = Mass x Acceleration
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 04:47 PM
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for bike racks and cargo carriers also consider how far the weight is out from the hitch and that this increases the leverage on the receiver.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 05:19 PM
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moved to towing section.

where lots of similar discussion is,

...towing a trailer gets tricky, like popping it up over a curb or though a ditch as your vehicle is so long, so the twisting force on the hitch can get weird.

and this is just a car and not a body on frame SUV

or a Ascent with its 500# tongue weight and better cooling / brakes to match. (any over base model)

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Found a Subaru Vin Decoder (also works on many manufactures):
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