Outback versus Ascent - Dogs and HVAC - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Outback versus Ascent - Dogs and HVAC

Hi everyone,

I have been a lurker on these forums for a few years, but my fiance and I are about to buy a car and are very interested in the Outback and need some advice.

Our main concern is that we have two large dogs (a 110lbs Lab and a 70lbs Boxer) that always travel with us. We are in Phoenix, AZ so we have 5-6 months of hot weather and the Lab requires direct AC or he roasts. Since their is no 3rd row AC vents back in the cargo area, we are worried he won't be able to stay cool without freezing my fiance.

What are your experiences and thoughts? The alternative is getting the Ascent, but we honestly want a smaller vehicle for the daily driver in the city since I already have a crew cab truck (Nissan Titan).

Thank you in advance for your input.

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 10:40 AM
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My first question would be is it just the two of you, and could you fold the second row seat when the dogs are in? If that works, then there's a vent between the two front seats to cool the back. Or maybe folding just one side may also work if you need to carry a third person.
If folding the second row is not an option, then it might be a tight squeeze in the back for your two dogs. We have easily carried 3 Border Collies (35 - 45lbs) in the back but they are much smaller than your dogs.
Sorry I don't have a better answer.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 11:32 AM
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there are things that people do to maximize a/c output, (probably typical mods in the phoenix area frying pan)

with the vehicles your dog rides in you could also run a hose off one of the center stack vents to right where he/she is.

- the item to DIY or buy is called "coolcop" used by police to grab some a/c air and put it right into the top of the bullet proof vest.

_____

and people that work outside in the heat might have a gel cooling vest that they store in the freezer/ fridge and swap on and off.

(hopefully while supervised so none of the dogs will be permitted to eat or chew on such a great thing)..

____

@MiddleAgeSubie has a Tribeca,
and just traded a 2013 outback H6 for a Toyota 4runner for offroading as a very slow careful buy,
and may have more suggestions. (he also lives in zona).

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by base_nine View Post
My first question would be is it just the two of you, and could you fold the second row seat when the dogs are in? If that works, then there's a vent between the two front seats to cool the back. Or maybe folding just one side may also work if you need to carry a third person.
If folding the second row is not an option, then it might be a tight squeeze in the back for your two dogs. We have easily carried 3 Border Collies (35 - 45lbs) in the back but they are much smaller than your dogs.
Sorry I don't have a better answer.
Thank you... We actually want to bring our dogs down and see if the dealer will let them jump in the back so we can see what it looks like in the real world, but we realize they will not want us to do that (which I would understand). The scenario we are thinking is we would have items stored in the back seat so we would leave the seats up and pulled forward to maximize cargo area for the pups. We can get a roof mounted carrier as well for extra storage space for items as well, but I want to plan around us, the dogs and lots of stuff all being carried at the same time.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eagleeye View Post
there are things that people do to maximize a/c output, (probably typical mods in the phoenix area frying pan)

with the vehicles your dog rides in you could also run a hose off one of the center stack vents to right where he/she is.

- the item to DIY or buy is called "coolcop" used by police to grab some a/c air and put it right into the top of the bullet proof vest.

_____

and people that work outside in the heat might have a gel cooling vest that they store in the freezer/ fridge and swap on and off.

(hopefully while supervised so none of the dogs will be permitted to eat or chew on such a great thing)..

____

@MiddleAgeSubie has a Tribeca,
and just traded a 2013 outback H6 for a Toyota 4runner for offroading as a very slow careful buy,
and may have more suggestions. (he also lives in zona).
Thank you for those ideas... Both seem very feasible and inexpensive to implement.

Last edited by Tearsjoy; 05-18-2018 at 02:11 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tearsjoy View Post
Thank you... We actually want to bring our dogs down and see if the dealer will let them jump in the back so we can see what it looks like in the real world, but we realize they will not want us to do that (which I would understand). The scenario we are thinking is we would have items stored in the back seat so we would leave the seats up and pulled forward to maximize cargo area for the pups. We can get a roof mounted carrier as well for extra storage space for items as well, but I want to plan around us, the dogs and lots of stuff all being carried at the same time.

the biggest subaru dealers there might have a pre-production demo model like this thread has in current discussion:

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/...est-drive.html

and some dealer rep might flatten the 2nd or 3rd row seats to let your babies in.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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I just called our local dealer and they will have a demo unit May 22nd to look at... Great idea! Thank you!
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 04:33 PM
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Anyone tried a 12-V fan?

This is one I found in a few seconds on the google, I'm sure there are lots of other choices:
https://www.roadprobrands.com/produc...scillating-fan
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 04:52 PM
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I just called our local dealer and they will have a demo unit May 22nd to look at... Great idea! Thank you!
beware this demo unit maybe a little "rough, loose, noisy" .

car magazines sometimes type of this when they are driving such a pre-production vehicle and they know it is just plain screwy.

such get made as a test vehicles from limited production parts, which may have been fixed from its manufacture.

like its been used to listen for "noise/vibration/harshness" and the parts and manufacturing team have made corrections.

(like bigger door gaskets for wind noise, different screws under the dash to stop the rattles,
better CKE produced rubber on the sway-bar bushings to stop the big boat feel.)

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tearsjoy View Post
Hi everyone,

I have been a lurker on these forums for a few years, but my fiance and I are about to buy a car and are very interested in the Outback and need some advice.

Our main concern is that we have two large dogs (a 110lbs Lab and a 70lbs Boxer) that always travel with us. We are in Phoenix, AZ so we have 5-6 months of hot weather and the Lab requires direct AC or he roasts. Since their is no 3rd row AC vents back in the cargo area, we are worried he won't be able to stay cool without freezing my fiance.

What are your experiences and thoughts? The alternative is getting the Ascent, but we honestly want a smaller vehicle for the daily driver in the city since I already have a crew cab truck (Nissan Titan).

Thank you in advance for your input.
Unfortunately, probably all cars that lack roof vents will disappoint you in that regard. The Outback's cooling in the back always was a problem. In the cargo? It will be unacceptable here.

The 4Runner we currently have has a little bit better cooling in the first row but the system is fundamentally identical to the Outback's so pretty bad for Phoenix.

You will want a vehicle that has roof vents in the back, which means a proper 3 row vehicle (the Tribeca is a proper 3 row vehicle in that respect while the 7 pax 4Runner is not).


In addition, the Outback's cargo area is LOW ceiling. It is deep and quite wide but the ceiling is low. So, good for cargo, not so much for large dogs.

I would say stay away from the Outback with two large dogs in Phoenix. At least the 4Runner has a rear window that opens and a very tall cargo area.

The Tribeca is our preferred town car around here, especially now that the weather is hot again. Neither the Outback, nor the 4Runner can compete with it in terms of A/C.

Quote:
Originally Posted by base_nine View Post
If that works, then there's a vent between the two front seats to cool the back. .
That vent is utterly worthless in Arizona. It is not even fully synchronized with the front; just blows a bit of air that is a little cold or a little warm. That's it.

The Tribeca is perfect for hauling dogs in Phoenix and AZ and the Ascent should be perfect as well.

By the way, there is no appreciable difference in how H6 Outbacks and Tribecas drive around town or on the highway. Both can blow the majority of vehicles away while cornering and have mpg that is too close to matter. The Ascent may burn a little bit more fuel than the H4 OB but it will also be a great deal more vehicle all around.


Current: 2008 Tribeca, 2018 4Runner TRD OP (well-armored)
Former: 2013 H6 5 EAT OB with SubieLiftOZ, 2006 B9, 1995 Legacy wagon
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