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2017 Outback 3.6R Limited with Eyesight. Currently totally stock
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a mostly happy 17 OB owner (wouldn't you know... CarPlay on the 18).

Stock 3.6

I want to buy an off-road oriented teardrop trailer and go places like primitive car camping on back roads in Big Bend national park (SW Texas)
and beach camping on a beach. :roadtrip:

I know that new shoes are required for serious rough roads... I'm not sure that I'm that serious. I had a 99 MB ML320 for the last 18 years and took it off road (Death Valley and Baja California) maybe 5 times. I bought a set of stock wheels so that I might have hiking boots for my buggy as well as street shoes, and I never got the tires. I traded in the buggy and I still have the wheels :8:

So my history suggests that a primary set of really good off road tires for full time use is not the best option. How bad are the stock tires?

Maybe a second set of shoes is worthwhile? Lifting is not being considered.

Any experience among y'all dragging a trailer?
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,851 Posts
lots of good threads in the outback unpaved section here:

people seem to like to use Ko2 tires, and full metal skid plates.

If no 2" lift: bring a pick and shovel and be ready to take few minutes to work out protruding loose stones that you can't traverse.


other cool things to do instead of buying and pulling a trailer: getting a nice tent, setting it up, dumping the contents of the car into it, and sleeping in the car. (away from snakes, spiders, etc)

.....without pulling a trailer, around boulders....people do it, it must suck 10% of the time that is not on camera.
 

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Premium Member
2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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2,794 Posts
You do not need anything for dirt roads. It is just that stock tires don't allow the OB's potential on dirt to come through, which would not be an issue with a trailer.

I would keep the stock tires inflated to placard pressures unless I find myself in deep sand.

The skid plates would be good for beaches. They will make you lose about 0.5" of clearance, but that is not important in sand as they also enable the car to just plow throw the deeper sections.

While there are intriguing alternatives, the Primitive Racing skid plates remain the best value. They cover more than any other plate and none of the plates is likely to survive a really bad hit anyway.
 

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2021 Outback 2.5i Premium
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506 Posts
I can't speak to the trailer question, but

I've been going to Big Bend at least once annually for 22 years, and most of the primitive campsites can be accessed by a vehicle with "stock" P-metric or LT tires without much risk.

These include:

Paint Gap Roads 1, 2, and 3. 4 would require all terrain tires, though I did see a Ford Falcon make it there a few years back.

And..

All the Croton Springs sites, the Grapevine Hills sites, Nine Point Draw are doable. I've done them all in F150's and a Chevy conversion van through the years with "stock" tires, as well as my old '85 GL wagon with stock 13" tires. That little wagon was a champ with its true 4WD and low range to boot.



The rough roads like the Old Ore Road, River Roads East and West, I wouldn't do without good all terrain tires, like my Outback's current BFG KOs.
 

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2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium (The Superoo), Graphite Gray Metallic, CVT, Yoko Geolandar G015 AT 225/65R-17
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236 Posts
Good to see another Austinite on the forum! Seems like the G015 Yokohamas are the great compromise tire for these cars currently. Many threads covering those tires. Don't forget to post up Big Bend pics when you get back.
 

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2017 Outback 3.6R Limited with Eyesight. Currently totally stock
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to y'all
I appreciate the advice about hiking boots for my OB...
Does anyone have experience pulling a teardrop trailer?
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
Joined
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26,851 Posts
Thanks to y'all
I appreciate the advice about hiking boots for my OB...
Does anyone have experience pulling a teardrop trailer?
see this section here: with subarus its all about the wimpy 200# tongue weight. (all subarus for a long long time).

and keeping it light in hot climates so as to not tax the cooling system,...so what is actually pulled in the towing system is ultralight trailers / tear drops.

if the working weight is more then 1000lbs make sure you get someone to install trailer brakes, and any trailer company can locally do that.
(this will make you more happy when the road gets slick from a summer rain).

Towing - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
 

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2017 Outback 3.6R Limited with Eyesight. Currently totally stock
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What I'm thinking about
Max Flyer PLUS Mini Camper (I'm not allowed to post a link so google it)
just under 2000 lbs fully loaded

Am I asking for trouble? No Problem?
 

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2021 Outback 2.5i Premium
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506 Posts
Looks awesome.

A couple of questions and observations, not to dampen your spirits, but really curious.

Is there a tow speed limit on it? I-10 out to Fort Stockton is 80 mph, not that you have to run the limit. 90 is a little slower. And 385 is 75 mph with quite a few dips and curves.

And, the warranty looks a bit open to their interpretation as to what is abuse. Though the roads to most of the "drive to" primitive campsite in Big Bend aren't that terribly rough for a vehicle alone, a trailer would be subject to a lot of bumping and thumping. Might be worth asking for a clarification on that.

Of course the RV type campsites like Rio Grande Village and Cottonwood Campground are perfect for trailers. And a few places outside the Park, like Stillwell Ranch.

I'm really hoping you go for it, and post stories/photos. One of my favorite places on Earth.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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1,810 Posts
Last week, I pulled a box trailer (5x10?) and it was pretty taxing on the little 2.5. I would think the 3.6 would have no problem with a teardrop, even on I-10. It will suck gas, but going the speed limit+ out there will suck gas regardless.

As for the unpaved roads in BiBe: a few years ago I drove an MDX with Mich eco tires on the lower part of Old Ore up to Ernst Tinaja. It had no trouble with the trail which included desert dirt, gravel and softball sized stones on the grades. Not sure, but I think I recall reading the upper part of Old Ore is more difficult. Even so, I think the only place you'd have trouble is Black Gap. The extra torque the 3.6 has should pull the teardrop thru most anything out in BiBe. Just be aware of the articulation limits a normal ball-style hitch has. Normally not any problem for towing on the street, but you may encounter stuff on the trail that hits the limits. The limited approach/departure angles of the OB may make this moot.

BBRSP would be a very different discussion.

For more info and specifics about BiBe, you can check out BigBendChat.com
There is a forum specifically for Backroads and some local folks that are very familiar with the terrain are on there.
 
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