Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

This is going to sound incredibly ignorant, but I'm hoping to get some clarification on a few matters.

I'm new to the Subaru Outback world, and love my '15 Limited. I've been taking her to some hard-to-reach places over rocks, dirt, etc (with no cell phone reception). I'm a bit too nervous to bring her on sand yet.

What I'm wondering is: if I get stuck and there's no hope for me getting out (I know there are many ways to attempt getting unstuck - but for this scenario let's assume it's impossible) - is there a way for someone to pull me out with a winch or a tow from a truck?

I looked under the car (front and rear) and there doesn't seem to be anywhere to attach a hook to to pull the car. What have you guys done in a situation where you need some help getting unstuck like this?

Do you need a tow hitch?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
'18 Outback Touring Dark Blue Pearl 3.6r
Joined
·
1,651 Posts
I looked under the car (front and rear) and there doesn't seem to be anywhere to attach a hook to to pull the car. What have you guys done in a situation where you need some help getting unstuck like this?

Do you need a tow hitch?

Thanks!
Both the front bumper and the rear have a square cover over the spot where you can install the tow hook which I believe is located in the compartment where the spare tire is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for this advice re: sand! I do carry a shovel (though it's primary purpose is for using the 'restroom' in the woods).

I've always wondered... is the shovel to remove sand in front of the wheels and replace sand under the wheels when you get stuck?
 

·
Premium Member
2016 Outback Limited Titanium
Joined
·
433 Posts
For over sand, you will want to air down your tires to about 18 psi. Avoid hard braking or hard turns when driving over sand. Turn off traction control and enjoy the places you can go. I would suggest in addition to a shovel that you also have a tow strap and a shackle that fits on the tow hook that comes with the car. This way, if you need someone to pull you out, your ready. I have not gotten stuck yet any of the times I have driven over sand or off road. I did make a couple traction mats out of a couple plastic milk crates that I cut up and linked together with heavy duty tie-wraps. I also carry a Bottle Jack and a couple blocks of 2x6’s so I can jack up a stuck side if need be. Again, haven’t needed to as yet. Just use commonsense off road and pay close attention to the trail. You will be amazed where an Outback can go.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Lawn ornament XT
Joined
·
14,366 Posts
Yeah the whole key with sand is to air down. Way down, so your tires become big floppy sand-grabbing galoshes.

Doing that correctly means bringing an air pump or a pressure canister, or directions to a very nearby gas station and a roll of quarters. You will need to reinflate before you attempt normal traffic speeds again.
 

·
Registered
2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
Joined
·
3,257 Posts
Do not forget that, if stuck and unable to get moving.... sliding the shifter in to "manual" mode also reprograms the AWD system to distribute the torque to the wheels to help get unstuck. Us folks who drive in snow every winter have known this about Subaru for years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
For over sand, you will want to air down your tires to about 18 psi. Avoid hard braking or hard turns when driving over sand. Turn off traction control and enjoy the places you can go. I would suggest in addition to a shovel that you also have a tow strap and a shackle that fits on the tow hook that comes with the car. This way, if you need someone to pull you out, your ready. I have not gotten stuck yet any of the times I have driven over sand or off road. I did make a couple traction mats out of a couple plastic milk crates that I cut up and linked together with heavy duty tie-wraps. I also carry a Bottle Jack and a couple blocks of 2x6’s so I can jack up a stuck side if need be. Again, haven’t needed to as yet. Just use commonsense off road and pay close attention to the trail. You will be amazed where an Outback can go.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Wow!! This is grea thank you. I just wrote all this down.

For traction, i carry additional floor mats in my trunk. I like the idea of a couple 2x4s but it’s just so bulky.

Regarding the bottle jack - I have never heard of these before! I looked on YouTube and that’s amazing. I may just replace my provider jack with a bottle jack. Is there a reason not to do this? Does it stay stable on the surface of sand?

Which jack bottle do you use? I’d also like it to jack up and do oil changes with my new fumoto valve!
 

·
On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
Joined
·
26,132 Posts
lots more threads here on beach / sand driving and getting unstuck in this same "outback unpaved" section.

just need to read back though the threads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Do not forget that, if stuck and unable to get moving.... sliding the shifter in to "manual" mode also reprograms the AWD system to distribute the torque to the wheels to help get unstuck. Us folks who drive in snow every winter have known this about Subaru for years.
Oh wow interesting. Do you put it in X-Drive? Or do you keep it in manual mode, TC off, X Drive off?
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,289 Posts
For over sand, you will want to air down your tires to about 18 psi. Avoid hard braking or hard turns when driving over sand. Turn off traction control and enjoy the places you can go. I would suggest in addition to a shovel that you also have a tow strap and a shackle that fits on the tow hook that comes with the car. This way, if you need someone to pull you out, your ready. I have not gotten stuck yet any of the times I have driven over sand or off road. I did make a couple traction mats out of a couple plastic milk crates that I cut up and linked together with heavy duty tie-wraps. I also carry a Bottle Jack and a couple blocks of 2x6’s so I can jack up a stuck side if need be. Again, haven’t needed to as yet. Just use commonsense off road and pay close attention to the trail. You will be amazed where an Outback can go.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Kinda looks like Padre Island.

Funny this thread started today after I saw the video posted here: https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/61-general-discussions/496571-gone-swimming.html
 

·
Premium Member
2016 Outback Limited Titanium
Joined
·
433 Posts
Wow!! This is grea thank you. I just wrote all this down.

For traction, i carry additional floor mats in my trunk. I like the idea of a couple 2x4s but it’s just so bulky.

Regarding the bottle jack - I have never heard of these before! I looked on YouTube and that’s amazing. I may just replace my provider jack with a bottle jack. Is there a reason not to do this? Does it stay stable on the surface of sand?

Which jack bottle do you use? I’d also like it to jack up and do oil changes with my new fumoto valve!


The bottle jack is an 8 ton that I picked up at Harbor Freight. I carry my Vapair 400 Compressor and recovery gear and tools in a couple old Ammo Cans.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
2013 OB 3.6R (former)
Joined
·
2,779 Posts
What others have said. If you don't turn traction control off and you get stuck, it is on you.

The one thing I will add: don't assume that a random "truck" will help you out if you do manage to get a Subaru stuck in sand after airing down, turning traction control off, and keeping your momentum. Chances are the trucks would rather stay in the nearby parking lot. You would be looking for a Wrangler or the comparatively rare Toyota that goes further than 4Wheel Parts.

The above is true throughout the SW anyway and on our recent trip to Montana, our 4-month 4runner was the only vehicle of less than 10-12 years anywhere beyond the smoothest terrain. We saw a new Z71 Colorado and a Tacoma parked and camping right before a rocky section that any 2010+ utility Subaru can handle in stock form. The camp spot at the end of the trail was far, far nicer. And available.

Bottom line: be self-reliant. That's not hard to do in sand. But be wary of rocks. There is only that much a Subaru can do in rocks.
 

·
Registered
2013 Outback 2.5i Limited CVT Ice Silver
Joined
·
53 Posts
Since you are new to the Subaru world and sounds like to off-road adventures. I would suggest that you READ the owners manual from front to back. There are a lot of good details in it. There are many features that can be adjusted or personalized that are not obvious. One of the important ones I read was how to Release the electronic parking brake if it won't release from the lever/button!! Subaru even provides a TOOL for it so it can happen or will at some point.
If you bought it used and it didn't come with one I would hunt one down or download it. For long time Subie owners it might be old news but on the newest models there are a lot of new features and personal settings to play with..

Good luck and have fun.
 

·
Registered
2019 Outback 2.5i base
Joined
·
445 Posts
Both the front bumper and the rear have a square cover over the spot where you can install the tow hook which I believe is located in the compartment where the spare tire is.
The one time on Padre Island I desperately need that little tow hook I had to unload large quantities of cargo out of my cargo area to get to it, and something to screw it in tightly so the kind couple in the jacked up F150 could yank me out of the soft sand my 2013 was buried in. Glad they didn't get tired of waiting while I got to it.

I now keep a couple (ordered another one) handy, along with shackles and tightening tools so I can get the tow hooks set up front and back in a similar situation. Along with tow straps.

They tried pulling me out from the rear first, (no go) then had to wait while I transferred the hook to the front so they could pull me out in the forward direction. Wonderful couple, and kept me from spending a looooong night worried about the tides claiming my rig before I could dig myself out.

Now plan to go ahead and rig a tow hook complete with shackle front AND back while waiting for a tow so nobody has to wait on me.

I had been 20 miles up and down North Padre many times in my 2013 (VDC off - CVT manual - aired down) with nary a problem. This time I forgot to turn off VDC, and was stuck before I thought about it. Can't swear that would have saved me, but who knows? The VDC off would have had all 4 tires in play, while the VDC on had only the tires getting traction spinning and they quickly dug themselves down into the sand bringing the frame down with them. A least that's how I understand it.

So my suggestion is to keep those tow hooks and tightening devices accessible. For me a large crescent wrench works best to screw the tow hook in and out. A piece of rebar works well in the eye of the hook too, but if you keep a shackle preinstalled on the tow hook that doesn't work, and you need to use the flats of the hook for the leverage.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top