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'17 3.6R limited
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Hello everyone. In January of this year I sold my '11 STi and purchased a '17 Outback. I will soon be getting a 13' boler that I'm told weighs roughly 2500lbs loaded. From what I've read the car has a 3000lbs towing capacity, and the dealership has told me the same. I'm getting mixed info about needing trailer brakes or not for that 3000lbs.

Can the 3.6r tow that without trailer brakes, if so is it not recommended unless you have them?

Is a transmission cooler necessary or optional just to help out?
 

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Hello everyone. In January of this year I sold my '11 STi and purchased a '17 Outback. I will soon be getting a 13' boler that I'm told weighs roughly 2500lbs loaded. From what I've read the car has a 3000lbs towing capacity, and the dealership has told me the same. I'm getting mixed info about needing trailer brakes or not for that 3000lbs.

Can the 3.6r tow that without trailer brakes, if so is it not recommended unless you have them?

Is a transmission cooler necessary or optional just to help out?
From the cars101 website:

(Note:..for the 2017 model, the 3.6L's maximum towing weight has been dropped from 3000 to 2700 pounds. It was 3000 pounds on the 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012 3.6L models... )

So the limit is 2700 for both 2.5 and 3.6.

I think I saw the same 2700 weight limit for the 2018 MY.
 

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2012 Outback 3.6R
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510 Posts
Most cars including the Outback have marginal brakes without a trailer in tow.

I strongly recommend trailer brakes.

I tow a 2200 lb utility trailer with a Prodigy brake controller.

When stopping I rarely even notice the trailer.

Transmission cooler depends on where you plan to tow.

I have one on my 2012 3.6R Outback and I monitor the transmission temperatures on the 5EAT and it definitely needs the extra transmission cooler on the 6 percent grades we have in the West.
 

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2019 2.5i Limited Forester (hers) (4th Subie), 2014 Impreza Premium (mine)(#5)
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I thought the manual said trailer brakes are required above 1000 lbs?
It does. That's never changed. (Trailer brakes, that is.)

I really, REALLY wish they would make their minds up, though - or at least point it out to us. I've literally never seen this until now, simply because it's never come up, and they didn't point it out in any of our training that they'd reduced the load capacity. So I apologize to all those people I told wrong last year - we've spent the last 4 years saying one thing, now suddenly it's different. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

Because the other posts are also right - the '16 owner manual says 2700 / 3000. The '17 Owners Manual just says 2,700. And now the '18 Owners Manual says 2700, BUT now includes: When towing a trailer on a long uphill grade continuously for over 5 miles (8 km) with an outside temperature of 104F (40C) or above, it's 1350 for the 2.5 and 1500 for the 3.6. Which, as some of the other guys say, means you probably want to add a transmission cooler.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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11,280 Posts
It does. That's never changed. (Trailer brakes, that is.)

I really, REALLY wish they would make their minds up, though - or at least point it out to us. I've literally never seen this until now, simply because it's never come up, and they didn't point it out in any of our training that they'd reduced the load capacity. So I apologize to all those people I told wrong last year - we've spent the last 4 years saying one thing, now suddenly it's different. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

Because the other posts are also right - the '16 owner manual says 2700 / 3000. The '17 Owners Manual just says 2,700. And now the '18 Owners Manual says 2700, BUT now includes: When towing a trailer on a long uphill grade continuously for over 5 miles (8 km) with an outside temperature of 1048F (408C) or above, it's 1350 for the 2.5 and 1500 for the 3.6. Which, as some of the other guys say, means you probably want to add a transmission cooler.
1048/408C?

"When driving inside an active volcano, a transmission cooler is recommended."
 

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'17 3.6R limited
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Discussion Starter #7
From thecars101 website

(Note:..for the 2017 model, the 3.6L's maximum towing weight has been dropped from 3000 to 2700 pounds. It was 3000 pounds on the 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012 3.6L models... )

So the limit is 2700 for both 2.5 and 3.6.

I think I saw the same 2700 weight limit for the 2018 MY.


Ahh I see now. Thank you. My wife had the car so I didn't have the manual with me.

Most cars including the Outback have marginal brakes without a trailer in tow.

I strongly recommend trailer brakes.

I tow a 2200 lb utility trailer with a Prodigy brake controller.

When stopping I rarely even notice the trailer.

Transmission cooler depends on where you plan to tow.

I have one on my 2012 3.6R Outback and I monitor the transmission temperatures on the 5EAT and it definitely needs the extra transmission cooler on the 6 percent grades we have in the West.
Thank you for advice. Looks like if I end up with the boler I will be adding brakes to it or going with a different trailer. I will probably do most of my towing in Alberta (flat) but some will be through the mountains by Calgary and into BC to visit family so it sounds like a cooler should be on my list as well.



1048/408C?

"When driving inside an active volcano, a transmission cooler is recommended."
Ha! That was amusing.
 

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2019 2.5i Limited Forester (hers) (4th Subie), 2014 Impreza Premium (mine)(#5)
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1048/408C?

"When driving inside an active volcano, a transmission cooler is recommended."
Okay, apparently copy and paste from a PDF file doesn't work well. That's supposed to be the supercase o for degrees ...

>:)
 

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3.5R w/ CVT in Australia is rated 4000lbs max w/ trailetr brakes and 400lbs max tongue weight - why only 200lbs tongue weight in US?
(2.5 3300lbs and 330lbs tongue weight)
 

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As for towing do some digging here search on Alto youll find a thread Canadian 3.6 towing. He targeted 1800ish lbs. As do I with the 2.5 power isnt the issue. Cooling capacity is. One trip through the mountains and you’ll either go much lighter trailer or get a bigger tow vehicle. Brakes on the RV trailer is a no brainer and at that weight a must.

If you haven’t purchased the trailer and dont plan on going bigger heavier tow car I highly recommend going to a lighter trailer. The Cricket trailer might be interesting.

My boat was 1800lbs loaded all up towed nice with the OB but long climbs and or hot summer temps and head winds were less than ideal strictly due to cooling capacity limitations. Adding a cooler seems to give marginal results some of which could be just added fluid volume. There is only so much space and air flow to use for shedding heat which no doubt plays a role in the effectiveness of added coolers.
 

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2005 Outback R LL Bean 3.0 H6 w/ 5 speed sport shift
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Get electric brakes! They make the trailer so much easier to tow and when you have that unexpected moment when you got to lock em up, you won''t be watching your trailer coming around to meet your driver's door or pushing you into what you're trying to avoid.

Besides, it's so much easier on your vehicles brakes too!

A transmission and oil cooler are both good ideas to keep your vehicle healthy!

At least get a surge brake system!
 

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There are wireless brake controllers now that seem to be getting good feedback. Go Electric brakes on RVs. Working trailers that get lots of abuse dirt etc surge brakes are a more reliable way to go. My boat was in salt water constantly and essentially could not have trailer brakes the Legacy and the OB handled the 1800lbs of very stable well balanced low height boat/ trailer exceptionally well. But RV type trailers dont tow anywhere as nice and see far more goofy weight distribution changes which is where trailer brakes really help with stability.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Limited
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UK Outbacks are rated at 4400lbs. Why the disparity between specs in the US and UK?
Answer = L-A-W-Y-E-R-S....

The Ru will move the load but can't stop it with those teeny tiny rear brakes. Risk management suggests that lighter loads = less chance of damage/accident/death/liability.

Another big issue is "that" driver with poor basic skills tooling heavy implements of death down the road with no regard for safety. These are usually the dimwits that don't use pins or locks to secure hitch balls, don't properly use safety chains, have trailer lights/brakes that don't work, don't have properly inflated tires, don't bother to properly secure/cover a load, and use excessive speed.

Safe towing is the best towing. It gets you home to your family and allows others to get to theirs.

Cheers!
 

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I figure the difference is that on average we're fatter in the US so the trailer weight has to be lower to offset the driver and passenger weight in the car.
 

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No euro specs are based on the strict trailering laws which are low speeds 45-50mph, very different trailer designs regarding suspension which greatly improves braking efficiency etc.

My last trip to Yellowstone we did 10hours doing 80-85mph with my well behaved low profile 900lb trailer in tow. Even then we were passed by a 5th wheel stock trailer no joke doing 90-95mph and countless semi trucks. Towing at 65mph would have been hazardous from a stand point of going too slow for traffic.

We did not do this trip with the Subaru! We took the 4.7L V8 Sequoia.

Could I have taken the Subaru? Yes. But the gear I stowed in the truck would have been lashed to the trailer deck and I would have had to remove it for a hotel stay one night each way. The subaru at 75-80mph with trailer would return about 17mpg average. The truck did 15mpg average there and 14mpg back with a head wind. While at the park sub 50mph speeds we had one tank average of 21mpg with the truck. The Subaru would have been 32mpg.

My dream rig? GMC 2.8L Canyon SLT long bed 4dr 4x4 it will beat the Subaru in mileage crush my Sequoia in towing and is a quiet nice ride.
 

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Hello everyone. In January of this year I sold my '11 STi and purchased a '17 Outback. I will soon be getting a 13' boler that I'm told weighs roughly 2500lbs loaded. From what I've read the car has a 3000lbs towing capacity, and the dealership has told me the same. I'm getting mixed info about needing trailer brakes or not for that 3000lbs.

Can the 3.6r tow that without trailer brakes, if so is it not recommended unless you have them?

Is a transmission cooler necessary or optional just to help out?
Yes you need brakes! Not worth an accident. As additional cooler is probably advisable if you are traveling in the south in very hot weather with a heavy load or in the mountainous west. I have not found a need in upstate NY.
I purchased the 3.6R with all the bells and whistles and use them all. I tow an Aliner Expedition camper that fully loaded weighs 2900 lbs. I added electric brakes and a friction stabilizer (anti sway) due to the lightly loaded (200 lb.) tongue. I use the factory hitch. Perfect, and I tow at a max of 65 MPH. Travel to Cape Cod and the Adirondack Mountains in New York. I kept all the towing parameters within the recommended maximums. The 3.6 pulls without any problem. Lots of power on the hills. Rear visibility was a problem so I installed a wireless camera on the back of the camper and hang the screen over the rear view mirror. Now I can see all around me. On hot days I can monitor the engine oil and it can creep upwards of 225F if I am pushing it, from a normal flat cruising of 195F - 205F. I can't see what the CVT temp is, but have never had a warning come on. I just back off on the steeps. Awesome car. My first but not my last!
 

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