Questions about a trailer hitch... - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Questions about a trailer hitch...

I am pretty ignorant about this, so don't laugh!

10 years ago I had a trailered boat and had Uhaul install a hitch for it. It was some non-standard size and no accessories (cargo platforms, bicycle carriers, etc) were available for it. Also, the way they attached the wiring cause a short. I ended up suing them and winning.

So, I am thinking about getting my 2019 Outback with a trailer hitch.
1) is the wiring done better than uhaul's so I won't have problems with it?
2) I "know" it is a class 1, which is a standard, but very light duty. Is stuff commonly available for it?

I won't ever be towing more than 1000 pounds, and then only for short distances.

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 10:23 AM
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I would recommend a 2" receiver from many aftermarket options.

You won't be able to tow more but 2" is more common than the 1.25" available from Subaru.

I installed the Torklift model. It's here.

It requires no drilling but does require removing the bumper cover and notching it (the same as the factory would do)

The wiring harness actually installs with a plug. It's just plug and play. I left mine in my spare tire well so it's protected from the weather and it's only a few moments to pull it out when I do need it.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 11:14 AM
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I did the same and love it!


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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 11:44 AM
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I did the Tourqe as well.

As far as wiring, their are a few install threads on here to describe it..... The wiring is under the carpet in the back, and gets left in your tire well until use- At first i didn't think i would like that, but its actually been fantastic.

Doing that wiring is a challenge to find the one wire to attach under the carpet on the driver side wheel well, but if you look at the threads it will make it much easier....and yes i would say better than U Haul.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tollerowner View Post
I am pretty ignorant about this, so don't laugh!

10 years ago I had a trailered boat and had Uhaul install a hitch for it. It was some non-standard size and no accessories (cargo platforms, bicycle carriers, etc) were available for it. Also, the way they attached the wiring cause a short. I ended up suing them and winning.

So, I am thinking about getting my 2019 Outback with a trailer hitch.
1) is the wiring done better than uhaul's so I won't have problems with it?
2) I "know" it is a class 1, which is a standard, but very light duty. Is stuff commonly available for it?

I won't ever be towing more than 1000 pounds, and then only for short distances.
Not sure what you had back then, but there are 2 standard sizes of receiver hitches.

The 1.25" and the 2". The OEM is 1.25".

There are lots of accessories for both sizes, but more for the 2". Many times the 1.25" accessories will come with a 2" adapter. The OB limits your towing capacity, not the hitch rating (unless the hitch is rated lower than the OB).

Wiring is already, mostly, provided in the OB. You will need to get a wiring module. One end plugs into the OB wiring harness that is already built into the car. The other end of the module is the trailer plug itself. There is no need to cut into and splice any wires, that's probably what caused your original problems. It's about a 5-10 minute very simple DIY.

edit: If you order with the OEM hitch, they will simply plug the wiring module in for you when they install the hitch. Plus, you get the new car 3/36 warranty on the install and parts. If you DIY, the wiring is very simple.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 12:23 PM
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Is about 6 of one, half-dozen of the other.

I have the Torklift EcoHitch others describe above. If you pay someone to install then the total cost is about the same as a factory installed hitch and less than paying the dealer to retrofit the Subaru hitch.

The advantage is you can get a 2” receiver which is easier to find accessories such as bike carriers. 1-1/4” isn’t impossible but if shopping at a brick&mortar 2” hardware is more likely to be in stock.

Another advantage is that you are more likely to find your ideal Outback in the lot at dealer if it absolutely doesn’t have to have the factory hitch.

The disadvantage is your brake lights, mud flaps, and entire rear bumper have to be removed to install. You rightly have a bad taste in your mouth from past experience. As has already been mentioned Subaru provides a dedicated connector for trailer light harness. Is near the left rear shock tower, inside the vehicle.


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 12:33 PM
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@N4HHE makes a good point.

If you are planning to pay someone to install the hitch anyway, go with OEM. Total cost will be close, plus it's covered by the vehicle warranty. Note that any damage caused by towing is NOT covered.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 04:23 PM
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I went with the factory hitch on my 2017 just because I am leasing and didn't want to mess with adding any major aftermarket accessories. As has already been mentioned going with the factory hitch at time of purchase gets it included in the factory warranty. The downside is the 1-1/4 receiver which is somewhat more limited in what accessories are available. If I was purchasing the car to keep longer I guess I would be more likely to go with a different option to get the larger receiver, but I was able to find pretty good options for a bike carrier that works with the smaller receiver. I never did buy one but they are out there. I probably wouldn't ever have a need for a hitch-mounted cargo carrier but if I did I would want the 2" receiver rather than using an adapter, which would stick it out even farther.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 10:24 PM
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I've been meaning to put a 2" hitch on my '18 3.6R Touring, but I haven't had the guts yet to take apart the bumper, lights, etc.

All I would use if for is to tow is a small kayak trailer, and to mount bike rack.

So for now I keep borrowing my wife's car, which does have the hitch - but I need correct that soon
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-28-2018, 04:01 AM
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When purchasing the 2016 OB Limited with Eyesight in November of 2015, I had the dealer contract out for a 2 inch hitch and wiring. For mine 16' OB, it's pre-wired for plug-in play power essentially. Buy the wiring harness and find the plug behind the rear seat on the drivers side (i believe). The hitch they installed was a Drawtite 2 inch class 3 hitch. The hitch ratings are more than what Subaru recommends for the 2.5i OB, but I wanted the 2 inch for accessories. Heck, my ball mount ratings are higher than the manufactures recommendation of towing. It's more compatible than the OEM 1 1'4. I have a bike rack, cargo rack and a ball mount to tow a small utility trailer. The cost wasn't much different, I think Subaru charged me the same as what the OEM cost. I knew my purpose for the hitch was to do a lot of attaching to take more junk on trips.

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