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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Might as well start a discussion on it. Trailer hitch discussions can go here (do aftermarket fit, and so on), and I'll start out with the Subaru hitch and this particular Wilderness specific panel that will elevate your trailer hitch experience.

UPDATE: the trailer hitch panel part has been revised, is now part number L101SAN620 as noted in post 29. Most of the stuff here still applies.


Wilderness Trailer Hitch Panel

Subaru has introduced a new panel, part number L101SAN610, specific for the Wilderness model using the Subaru trailer hitch. It is currently listed as $39.95 MSRP... and is labeled as “Trailer Hitch Fascia Pane”. The initial instruction manual was released today.

The good news is that it IS pre-cut. You don't have to do the funky cutout that's in the instructions for the existing Subaru trailer hitch.

The other good news is that you must remove the entire rear fascia, AND you get to hone your plastic cutting skills because a cutout of the rear fascia is still required to install this trim panel!

Things to note:
  • this is an initial release of the instructions, it will be edited quickly for things like the incorrect part number on page 1 (the part numbers are correct on the page footers, but not on the first page header).
  • a cutout still needs to be made - roughly 15" across and about 9" down. It's not as complex as the template provided with the subaru trailer hitch.
  • The cutout / using a preformed small panel is a potential problem. If the cut is too big then the trailer hitch fascia pane won't line up properly (there is a bend). That will leave gaps.
  • no depiction of a removable lower smaller fascia - the entire rear bumper fascia is removed and is being worked on (cut). I've never installed one, I assume this is how it is.
  • not all illustrations are clear on if it's the inside or the outside of the fascia (when doing the work you might know), but subaru has edited the corresponding trailer hitch installation guide multiple times to show the inside/outside of the fascia when working with the template. I expect this to be edited similarly at some point. a few of the diagrams indicate if it's the inside surface, but not all the diagrams. And it switches back and forth depending on the step.. inside, outside, inside, outside. It will likely get edited once service departments ask questions about it when following the steps.
  • The part that is glued/pinned in place covers the cut so even a rougher cut would have a nice trim piece over the top of it. won't show as badly as the little trim provided with the regular trailer hitch kit would.
  • The updated part now uses some small push pins to retain it in place, this can help prevent gaps in the finished product where the tape wasn't provided on the trailer hitch fascia pane (I suppose you could put extra tape on the part where subaru didn't provide tape).
  • because it's not a smaller part that is being worked on - undoing a mistake is not as easy as the non wilderness model. Mess up the cutout, and the entire rear fascia needs to be replaced.

ok - on with the fun stuff... screen shots!

Pull the entire bumper baby!
514140


make sure you tape together and double check the dimensions of the template that is so large it's printed on 4 different pages of the instructions. Hey, at least they included the scale measurement on the pages on this first edition... it was missing on the initial release of the 2020 trailer hitch template

514141


now, after you've honed those scaled template making pinteresty skills... on to the tracing and cutout! Use more of your favorite tape. The little punch looking thing is supposed to be a marker. No indication of color, so I'll assume black isn't the best choice here. Note the emphasis of marking with the smaller dotted lines vs dashed ones. The instructions say that you've marked the edges of the template and "noting that the cut will travel straight back along the dotted lines at the bottom surface of the fascia". I guess you can eyeball the line perpendicular down to the edge.

514142


Switching your pinteresty tool kit icon to the cutting tool, cut that flashy new bumper!

514143


clean the surface on this optical illusion, guessing at which side you are supposed to clean. It's not marked like above, no indication of inside / outside. The clue that it is now the outside surface is reading the later steps. One visual clue is the little hole for the plastic clip is drawn differently - when they are two circles, one inside the other, it's the outside, the inside just has the one circle there. that's consistent with other drawings in other instruction manuals. This will likely be edited to indicate with words "outside of fascia shown" or even the step 6 title - adding the word outer or outside, depending on how you want to word that step title.

514144


Next, you fit the panel into place to use as a template to drill some holes... this is a good illustration showing the difference in how the outside vs inside plastic fasteners are shown... top is outside, you have the two concentric circles (maybe it looks like an installed fastener?)... and then the bottom one with the one circle. Also the inside views are more symmetrical, vs the odd perspective of the outside view of that fastener area. No matter- this will need edits indicating which surface of the fascia this panel is touching.

note the molded in clip on the inner surface at the top of the panel... a bad cut will not have that fit as nicely in place. There's two sided tape on the part, so that molded clip only positions the panel at the top most portion of the cutout before you drill some holes in your bumper...

514149



Using your pinteresty marker of indeterminate color... mark some spots. Drill baby, drill!

514150


Put the panel back in place, put your pins in, remove the plastic on the tape and make sure it sticks to the fascia

514151


there is a small cable tie anchor that is taped on at the end. Not sure why it's this last step... why it's not molded in already, why it's not put in before you tape everything down... it IS below that molded in clip on the underside of the panel, so you wouldn't be able to put it where it would interfere with installation... but, there ya go. Also this is the inside of the fascia, not the outside... the illustrations flip back and forth with no indication of where it is... obvious to some, won't be to others that have only seen this for the first time.

it's more interesting for showing the wire you pushed out of the way earlier so you didn't cut through it when making your monster hole in the bumper... and it shows the width of the hole.

514152


Instructions attached... have at it.
 

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2021 Outback Limited 2.5i Autumn Green
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Might as well start a discussion on it. Trailer hitch discussions can go here (do aftermarket fit, and so on), and I'll start out with the Subaru hitch and this particular Wilderness specific panel that will elevate your trailer hitch experience.

Wilderness Trailer Hitch Panel

Subaru has introduced a new panel, part number L101SAN610, specific for the Wilderness model using the Subaru trailer hitch. It should be available soon... the initial instruction manual was released today.

The good news is that it IS pre-cut. You don't have to do the funky cutout that's in the instructions for the existing Subaru trailer hitch.

The other good news is that you must remove the entire rear fascia, AND you get to hone your plastic cutting skills because a cutout of the rear fascia is still required to install this trim panel!

Things to note:
  • this is an initial release of the instructions, it will be edited quickly for things like the incorrect part number on page 1 (the part numbers are correct on the page footers, but not on the first page header).
  • a cutout still needs to be made - roughly 15" across and about 9" down. It's not as complex as the template provided with the subaru trailer hitch.
  • no depiction of a removable lower smaller fascia - the entire rear bumper fascia is removed and is being worked on (cut). I've never installed one, I assume this is how it is.
  • not all illustrations are clear on if it's the inside or the outside of the fascia (when doing the work you might know), but subaru has edited the corresponding trailer hitch installation guide multiple times to show the inside/outside of the fascia when working with the template. I expect this to be edited similarly at some point. a few of the diagrams indicate if it's the inside surface, but not all the diagrams. And it switches back and forth depending on the step.. inside, outside, inside, outside. It will likely get edited once service departments ask questions about it when following the steps.
  • The part that is glued/pinned in place covers the cut so even a rougher cut would have a nice trim piece over the top of it. won't show as badly as the little trim provided with the regular trailer hitch kit would.
  • because it's not a smaller part that is being worked on - undoing a mistake is not as easy as the non wilderness model.

ok - on with the fun stuff... screen shots!

Pull the entire bumper baby!
View attachment 514140

make sure you tape together and double check the dimensions of the template that is so large it's printed on 4 different pages of the instructions. Hey, at least they included the scale measurement on the pages on this first edition... it was missing on the initial release of the 2020 trailer hitch template

View attachment 514141

now, after you've honed those scaled template making pinteresty skills... on to the tracing and cutout! Use more of your favorite tape. The little punch looking thing is supposed to be a marker. No indication of color, so I'll assume black isn't the best choice here. Note the emphasis of marking with the smaller dotted lines vs dashed ones. The instructions say that you've marked the edges of the template and "noting that the cut will travel straight back along the dotted lines at the bottom surface of the fascia". I guess you can eyeball the line perpendicular down to the edge.

View attachment 514142

Switching your pinteresty tool kit icon to the cutting tool, cut that flashy new bumper!

View attachment 514143

clean the surface on this optical illusion, guessing at which side you are supposed to clean. It's not marked like above, no indication of inside / outside. The clue that it is now the outside surface is reading the later steps. One visual clue is the little hole for the plastic clip is drawn differently - when they are two circles, one inside the other, it's the outside, the inside just has the one circle there. that's consistent with other drawings in other instruction manuals. This will likely be edited to indicate with words "outside of fascia shown" or even the step 6 title - adding the word outer or outside, depending on how you want to word that step title.

View attachment 514144

Next, you fit the panel into place to use as a template to drill some holes... this is a good illustration showing the difference in how the outside vs inside plastic fasteners are shown... top is outside, you have the two concentric circles (maybe it looks like an installed fastener?)... and then the bottom one with the one circle. Also the inside views are more symmetrical, vs the odd perspective of the outside view of that fastener area. No matter- this will need edits indicating which surface of the fascia this panel is touching.

note the molded in clip on the inner surface at the top of the panel... a bad cut will not have that fit as nicely in place. There's two sided tape on the part, so that molded clip only positions the panel at the top most portion of the cutout before you drill some holes in your bumper...

View attachment 514149


Using your pinteresty marker of indeterminate color... mark some spots. Drill baby, drill!

View attachment 514150

Put the panel back in place, put your pins in, remove the plastic on the tape and make sure it sticks to the fascia

View attachment 514151

there is a small cable tie anchor that is taped on at the end. Not sure why it's this last step... why it's not molded in already, why it's not put in before you tape everything down... it IS below that molded in clip on the underside of the panel, so you wouldn't be able to put it where it would interfere with installation... but, there ya go. Also this is the inside of the fascia, not the outside... the illustrations flip back and forth with no indication of where it is... obvious to some, won't be to others that have only seen this for the first time.

it's more interesting for showing the wire you pushed out of the way earlier so you didn't cut through it when making your monster hole in the bumper... and it shows the width of the hole.

View attachment 514152

Instructions attached... have at it.
I had higher hopes that the OEM hitch installation process would get easier when it comes to working around the fascia. Really, I was hoping for a nice panel that pops right out, similar to the ascent, with a seven pin and a four pin connection cozily tucked inside. Over which this panel can be attached and you’d have yourself a two minute hitch fascia job.

while I’m griping, really an OEM seven pin solution would also be nice… Not to mention the warning message in the instructions: “Do not use with any other trim of the Subaru Outback.” This solution truly is wild.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
installed product - pics lifted from another thread. (thank you @CladWgn). I'm sure people will find and post more later.

large cutout, there is no removable piece that is modified. cut is right in the bumper, but the plate masks out the area nicely. Assuming the cut is centered and all that. Looks like there is a possible 3/8-1/2" overlap where the cut is and the outside lip of the hitch fascia plate (just guessing based on the zoomed in pic here).

There is some clearance allowance in the provided cutout and the hitch itself - any slight off centering might not be noticeable, but it's hard to tell from this angle. I don't think the tape goes all the way down the edges on the sides, just on that upper area, although I haven't seen one in person. If so, gaps could form in the lower sides where the plate meets the bumper, and that might bother some people. Hard to say if that would be a problem, I haven't inspected the part and haven't seen one in person on a vehicle yet to say, just thinking out loud here.

does give a nice finished look though. Something that would be nice for the hitch for the other trims, as people have mentioned, a pre-cut and finished piece.

514297


zoomed out

514298
 

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My disappointment with this is immeasurable. They had a chance to improve on the design and it seems like all they did was produce something that creates more billable hours. :(
 
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My disappointment with this is immeasurable. They had a chance to improve on the design and it seems like all they did was produce something that creates more billable hours. :(
I agree that it is odd that they only removed one point of bumper cutting in order to add another one. I'm also not a fan of how much more apparent the hitch is on the Wilderness vs. it practically disappearing on my Onyx, although the more exposed hitch pin holes may save a few seconds when connecting something.
 
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Thanks for the info!
Picked up my Wilderness Package yesterday and it's fantastic so far.
Can anyone confirm that the actual bolt on hitch is the same as the 2021? Looking at aftermarket options but it's not listed anywhere.

Thanks!
 

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Hitch looks great. 7 pin wiring harness available?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
don't believe so - it's still the current model trailer hitch, which has the 4 pin harness. In the instructions for that little panel, it says

"This panel is only for use with trailer hitch part number L101SAN000 on the Outback Wilderness
Trim vehicle. Do not use with any other trim of the Subaru Outback."
 

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So just for everyone's info... The hitch from Curt (part number 13437, or same manufacturer but rebranded as ENTHUZE CLASS III RECEIVER HITCHT RAILER HITCHENTHUZE#ACTENT73431) fits perfectly and is bolt on as the Subaru one.
515294
515296

Now, as for the fascia part, really not needed for this one at least. I printed out the template and I thought that was crazy .. I cut a 2.5 inch by 3.5 inch rectangle and it fits perfectly. I even ran the wiring harness there no problem. Maybe the Subaru hitch rides a little higher. But cutting that whole chunk out isn't needed for aftermarket.
515292

But also, be advised that the instructions have an extra step that doesn't exist on my Wilderness in Canada at least... Step 2B... Just be aware so you don't go poking anything you shouldn't.
515293
 

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thanks for the hot tip on the missing piece.. will confirm in a week or so from my toronto wilderness, I would guess they are the same! I'm waiting on the fascia piece from the factory hitch kit.
 

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thanks for the hot tip on the missing piece.. will confirm in a week or so from my toronto wilderness, I would guess they are the same! I'm waiting on the fascia piece from the factory hitch kit.
I had ordered it here in New Brunswick and wasn't going to be in stock until late July I was told. I'm going to cancel it now that I don't feel I need it.

Overall the process was quite easy and I did it alone so it's a 1 person job. Took about 2 hours total but I could do it in less now that I know what I'm doing. Probably an hour and 15 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I had ordered it here in New Brunswick and wasn't going to be in stock until late July I was told. I'm going to cancel it now that I don't feel I need it.
You don’t with the aftermarket ones… the Subaru receiver is located higher requiring a cut high enough that they wanted something to cover the cutout.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here is another pic from a different thread.

The template is going to be key, even here. If the cut is too high or too low at the top, the contoured part of the plate won't line up to the contour of the bumper, making it difficult to get the tape to adhere properly. Here it is not bad. Decent enough of a finished look.


516046
 

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Is the subaru (class 2 btw, it's not class 3 even though it's a 2" hitch) hitch the only one that sits higher like this? I priced the hitch and trim install at two dealers and 500-650is range. Not sure it's worth that much when I can get a 3 with less clearance for half that...
 

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got mine on yesterday. Can confirm step 2a on the fascia piece can be ignored, no bolt hiding anywhere holding the bumper on.

Was very simple I was quite happy I didn't get stuck anywhere.

I didn't have a 14inch deep profile socket, only a normal one. But it was only needed for 2 bolts (1 on each side) removing the bumper crash piece and they could be accessed from the side with a wrench.

I did find adding the fascia trim piece to be a bit trickey. But the really good part is that cutting it out is very simple and using the guides its impossible to overcut or cut it off center. All the lines are smooth, no 90 degrees or tight turns so using a flush cut saw and then just a box cutter for the curners was what I did.

The part I messed up on was that when the bumper is off the vehicle, it is very flexable, and the fascia piece will look bad is if the contoured grooves of the piece dont match up with the bumper and cause it to stick off the bumper just a tad. So when you drill the 4 holes in the underside to use the push fasteneres to secure it, make sure your bumper is not sagging or twisted, because it will be properly level when installed. I wasn't happy with my first install, but it was easily removed while on the vehicle and I just fixed the 1 side that was off by drilling some new holes, then finally the tape removed and stuck in place
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Good tips! Especially about if the fascia is off the car how tricky it can be since it’s flexible and will move around.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
a new technical service bulletin was released for the 2022 outback today:

12-224-21 Technical Service BulletinTrailer Hitch Fascia Panel / Lack of AdhesionAug 13, 2021

I haven’t read it, but I’m guessing it’s what I pointed out in post #4 - that the adhesive tape doesn’t go down the entire length of the edge of the plate and causes a gap. but it’s only a guess without reading it.
 

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Has anyone run power to a 7-pin harness? Did you go underneath or through the cabin? Any advice on a route?
 

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a new technical service bulletin was released for the 2022 outback today:

12-224-21Technical Service BulletinTrailer Hitch Fascia Panel / Lack of AdhesionAug 13, 2021

I haven’t read it, but I’m guessing it’s what I pointed out in post #4 - that the adhesive tape doesn’t go down the entire length of the edge of the plate and causes a gap. but it’s only a guess without reading it.
Is the technical service bulletin available to anyone to review? Do you have a copy I could review?
I had a very poor outcome when the dealership installed the trailer hitch and fascia panel. The fascia panel was detached before I made it home. The panel wasn’t lined up correctly, the cut out is not even and I believe too much of the bumper was removed. Installation at the dealership took 4+ hours. 🙁
 
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