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2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT
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What's the argument? The car with more torque and the beefier CVT can tow 800 pounds more "if the trailer has brakes".

Outbacks in Europe have much higher tow ratings. People tow trailers there instead of owning monster pickup trucks so the market demands higher tow ratings. Same car, different ratings. The North American specs are extremely conservative. An empty U Haul weighs 900 pounds and doesn't have brakes. People tow a modest load with those on Outbacks all the time.
i thought all the u-haul trailers have surge brakes. Certainly the last one I rented did. The Surge brakes use hydraulic fluid to activate the brakes when the tongue is compressed. I think maybe the smallest u-haul trailer doesn’t have brakes. Actually, by law, in most states, the larger u-haul trailers are required to have brakes. Not electric brakes, just brakes. Since U-Haul cannot rely on people having brake controllers, they are forced into putting surge brakes on their trailers.
 

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2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT
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I am wondering what the best brake controller would be for the outback. I am assuming it would be a lot like the ascent setup and to use the same one that they are using, completely forgetting the one they have been using on the ascent forum predominantly.
I got an in-line brake controller from Curt. It requires a 30 AMP, (30 AMP is the standard, 20 AMPs might do), line to the battery. This line goes to the 12VDC conductor. The Curt in line brake controller gets its power from this conductor, the brake line in the 7 way from the vehicle isn’t used. There is no escaping the line to the battery. Should be 10 gauge copper wire for 30 AMP or 12 gauge for 20 AMP. Since u-haul only has 12 gauge wire I had them use two 12 gauge lines joined together. I still finished the wiring at the hitch myself. The 7-way bracket lines up with the existing bracket. I needed to make one hole on the 7-way bracket a little bigger because it’s not an exact match. I also had to bend the seven way bracket. But, it’s a very finished look and it is rock solid. Not like the screws in the plastic u-haul used. I’ll upload a photo later.
 

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This is more than a little confusing. I am trying to gain a better understanding of towing as I am about ready to pull the trigger on a 2020 Onyx with hitch. I find the 3500lb towing capacity to be an attractive feature. But reading the above suggest to me that the actual towing capacity is only 1000# since there is no brake controller and the wiring harness that comes with the hitch is only 4 pin which does not include a brake control wire. Further, from other posts, it sounds like trailers up to 3000# may not even have brakes which to me imply they are not really needed.

Now for the question, if I have a small camper that is say 1700 lbs. without brakes, could I practically, if not legally, tow it behind a 2020 outback?

It seems a little disingenuous to offer a hitch and specify a 3500 lbs. towing capacity without plug and play harness to utilize that capacity.
It is probably safer to use trailer brakes. There are aftermarket 4 pin to 7 pin adapter harnesses. Moving to 7 pin may also mean running a +12V (from somewhere other than the 4 pin) to the adapter harness. For brake controller, some people use the Prodigy RF (wireless). There are solutions. Etrailer.com, for example, often gives advice on such things.
At least for the 2020 Outback, the 12VDC line needs to go all the way to the battery. Even if you don’t go with the standard 10 gauge / 30 AMPs there is still not a Constant 20 AMP source near the back.
 

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2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT Autumn Green
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Are Curt hitches in low supply? I ordered one at a local shop and it still hasn't arrived 3 weeks later. I need to call them to find out what is going on with the order. I'm in Indianapolis.
 

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Are Curt hitches in low supply? I ordered one at a local shop and it still hasn't arrived 3 weeks later. I need to call them to find out what is going on with the order. I'm in Indianapolis.
Some CURT hitches, I believe, are made to order. Since Subaru offers a hitch for the 2020 Subaru Outback, CURT may not sell many. I think CURT hitches are extremely well made. Keep in mind that sometimes you can get more money for a car if an after market hitch has not been installed. Because of my past experience, I recommend always removing an after market hitch before trade in, especially if you plan to sell your car to CarMax. I lost $8,000 because I had a U-Haul(probably made my CURT) hitch installed on my last car. Technically they think enlarging a hole will compromise the structural integrity. The better the hitch, the fatter the bolts.
Very often the Hitches are shipped directly from CURT. The only thing that would delay it by three weeks is they have to make one. I have had to go to a custom welding shop before to get a hitch custom made.

On that note, I had my trailer on my 2004 Audi S4 Cabriolet up to 110 MPH once. I saw a cop and slowed down quick. I was still going a little over the speed limit. He used his PA system to yell at me to get out of the left lane, he thought I was going too slow.
😂😂😂
(My aerodynamic trailer had the same wheels as the Audi S4 Cabriolet and matching paint codes with an Audi emblem on the back. It's currently behind some guy's motorcycle.)
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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Are Curt hitches in low supply? I ordered one at a local shop and it still hasn't arrived 3 weeks later. I need to call them to find out what is going on with the order. I'm in Indianapolis.
eTrailer shows them in stock/ready for delivery in 2 days.. Not sure where your guy gets them from though.
 

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2018 Outback Premium 2.5
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Are Curt hitches in low supply? I ordered one at a local shop and it still hasn't arrived 3 weeks later. I need to call them to find out what is going on with the order. I'm in Indianapolis.
We ordered ours from Amazon and it was here in 2 days.
I'd be calling the shop...

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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View attachment 469078


So I had a long discussion today with a Subaru service manager. He was adamant that they don't install ebrake wiring and if I have it done elsewhere I void my warranty as if something with towing or electrical were to go wrong. I don't see how he can be correct since the manual (above) clearly states that the trailer needs brakes to get the full tow rating. I need to decide what to do soon. About to tow my trailer for the weekend. any advice?!
PS I have a dealer installed hitch and 4 pin wire but need the module and 7 pin connector wired.
I know this post is old, but the power for the brakes needs to go to the battery directly, by spec it should be 30 amps, if you tried to wire it somewhere else you would have problems. This 30 amps is for the +12VDC pin on the 7-way. An in-line brake controller uses this pin, in-line brake controllers are configured through a smart phone. If the manual says brakes are required, then you cannot void your warranty by properly installing any brake controller. Most service mangers have nothing but empty space between their ears. Even saying the towing capacity is 3,500 pounds, since most states require brakes over 3,000 lbs and many over 2,000, mandates the installation of some type of brake controller for towing those weights. Most trailers with brakes have electric brakes. I have had 3 campers, all three had electric brakes. 2 of these were 3,500 lbs or less. If Subaru really says the towing capacity is 3,500 and they at the same time will not allow a properly installed brake controller, then they are looking for a class action lawsuit. Any lawyer only needs 1 member of a class to get started on that. I also know that the attorneys for many auto manufacturers also have nothing between there ears. (I saw a letter from one of them implicating their company in an in-state price fixing scheme. It threatened a dealer if they discounted something.)
 

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i thought all the u-haul trailers have surge brakes. Certainly the last one I rented did. The Surge brakes use hydraulic fluid to activate the brakes when the tongue is compressed. I think maybe the smallest u-haul trailer doesn’t have brakes. Actually, by law, in most states, the larger u-haul trailers are required to have brakes. Not electric brakes, just brakes. Since U-Haul cannot rely on people having brake controllers, they are forced into putting surge brakes on their trailers.
Nope. Has to be bigger than 5x9. I generally rent 4x8 and 5x8 enclosed cargo trailers for moving things that can't get wet; and 5x9 open utility trailers for yard debris/garage cleanout. Those don't have surge brakes. If you look on their web site, any trailer larger than 5x9 has "Automatic hydraulic surge brake" in the features list. The smaller ones don't list that feature. Those trailers empty are pretty heavy and near the towing limit for an unbraked trailer.

My boat trailer doesn't have brakes. Boat + trailer + fuel is over 3,000 pounds. I'm fine going slowly on flat paved roads for a couple of miles with a 6-cylinder. There's no way I'd try to go farther than that and there's no way I'd want to be in a situation where I had to panic brake.
 

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Nope. Has to be bigger than 5x9. I generally rent 4x8 and 5x8 enclosed cargo trailers for moving things that can't get wet; and 5x9 open utility trailers for yard debris/garage cleanout. Those don't have surge brakes. If you look on their web site, any trailer larger than 5x9 has "Automatic hydraulic surge brake" in the features list. The smaller ones don't list that feature. Those trailers empty are pretty heavy and near the towing limit for an unbraked trailer.

My boat trailer doesn't have brakes. Boat + trailer + fuel is over 3,000 pounds. I'm fine going slowly on flat paved roads for a couple of miles with a 6-cylinder. There's no way I'd try to go farther than that and there's no way I'd want to be in a situation where I had to panic brake.
Any loaded trailer in the state of Florida cannot legally be on the road without trailer brakes weighing over 3,000 lbs. Both the 4x8 and 5x8 do fall under 3,000. I must never have rented those smaller ones. Also, in VT it is 3,000 lbs, but Mass shows 10,000 lbs(AAA.com). By the way, if you vote in VT, my cousin is running for governor, “ Rebecca Holcombe”.
 

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I mounted the Curt 2" hitch and had a local auto electric guy wire up the brake and lights for me. Used the Curt Echo controller and it seems to work like a charm. Caution if you use the Echo controller be sure to use zip ties to secure it as the Curt Echo weighs a pound or two and has a poorly designed rubber band to secure it to the plug in. Had to carry extra zip ties and a cutter so that I can release and reattach the controller while in camp. Minor nuisance. Pulled an Airstream Sport (2500 or so) to a campground. More weight than I like but all systems worked fine.
 

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I mounted the Curt 2" hitch and had a local auto electric guy wire up the brake and lights for me. Used the Curt Echo controller and it seems to work like a charm. Caution if you use the Echo controller be sure to use zip ties to secure it as the Curt Echo weighs a pound or two and has a poorly designed rubber band to secure it to the plug in. Had to carry extra zip ties and a cutter so that I can release and reattach the controller while in camp. Minor nuisance. Pulled an Airstream Sport (2500 or so) to a campground. More weight than I like but all systems worked fine.
I just had a similar experience yesterday, However, I have the OEM Hitch. The Echo is very easy to setup. I think my tongue weight was a little incorrectly stated on my camper. I'm never towing far and not very often. I did not do anything extra to fasten the Echo. However, the OEM bracket for the Wiring is welded to the frame and I have bolted to that using the existing holes. So the 7-way outlet is rock solid. That said, I am still nervous that one bad bump and the thing will be knocked out.
 

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2020 Limted XT Black/Ivory
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I mounted the Curt 2" hitch and had a local auto electric guy wire up the brake and lights for me. Used the Curt Echo controller and it seems to work like a charm. Caution if you use the Echo controller be sure to use zip ties to secure it as the Curt Echo weighs a pound or two and has a poorly designed rubber band to secure it to the plug in. Had to carry extra zip ties and a cutter so that I can release and reattach the controller while in camp. Minor nuisance. Pulled an Airstream Sport (2500 or so) to a campground. More weight than I like but all systems worked fine.
How did it do towing? Looks like the lightest sport is 2860lbs dry. I’m looking at a pop up that’s around 2600 so I’m curious how things went with you. Also, do you have a 2.5 or 2.4?
 

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How did it do towing? Looks like the lightest sport is 2860lbs dry. I’m looking at a pop up that’s around 2600 so I’m curious how things went with you. Also, do you have a 2.5 or 2.4?
Any chance the dealer/seller would let you rent one (or a like sized trailer) to try first? Nothing like first hand impressions to see if it works for you in the conditions/places you'll take it..
 

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Any chance the dealer/seller would let you rent one (or a like sized trailer) to try first? Nothing like first hand impressions to see if it works for you in the conditions/places you'll take it..
I’m sure that’s an option and was going to be a next step. The problem with that is that I’ll need to buy the trailer brake controller, blah blah blah and if it goes poorly, then I’m out that cost. If I can at least get a firsthand account or two, then I’ll be more comfortable making that next step.
 
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Any chance the dealer/seller would let you rent one (or a like sized trailer) to try first? Nothing like first hand impressions to see if it works for you in the conditions/places you'll take it..
Also, I kind of just answered my own question. When I picked up my kid's playset and our gazebo from Costco right before everything shut down, I used the 5x9 trailer with ramp from uhaul. That is 1240 lbs, the playset and gazebo combined were 1235 lbs, so we were just under 2500 lbs. There's a huge steep ramp to get on the highway from there and the car didn't even sweat going up it. I didn't realize that load was so heavy.
 
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OK so I have the Touring XT which is the 2.4. I rented and towed the 2015 Airstream Sport just fine. I wanted to test the tow before investing in a similar trailer. After that experience I will look for a lighter trailer. My Avg. mpg went from 28 naked down to 17 w/ the load on it.
 

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OK so I have the Touring XT which is the 2.4. I rented and towed the 2015 Airstream Sport just fine. I wanted to test the tow before investing in a similar trailer. After that experience I will look for a lighter trailer. My Avg. mpg went from 28 naked down to 17 w/ the load on it.
Yeah, the mpg penalty definitely comes with the territory.
 

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I just realized something about my Camper’s Tongue weight. Reducing the total weight of a single axel trailer can increase tongue weight. I never gave this much thought. Today, I used a different ball mount. Still 2 inch receiver / 2 inch ball. The weight of my trailer bent the ball mount. I was only driving 4 miles. I need to understand where to add weight to reduce the tongue weight. Like a full waste tank if it’s behind the axel will reduce the tongue weight. I’m also thinking about a weight distribution system.
 
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