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Hitch Tongue Weight: 500 lb Ascent, vs traditional 200 lb Outback (2000-2019)

37917 Views 72 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  ELPTXJC
I got a factory hitch for my 2017 3.6 OB from the dealer when I b

I'm looking at something like the attached picture. I was just at the rv dealer and we put the the trailer hitch on a scale and it came in at 350 lbs.

The factory hitch max tongue is 200 lbs?

This is empty. I'll likely add 50 to 80 lbs of battery which goes in the front.

So is this out of the question?


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The towing capacity is listed as 200# tongue wt. Factory hitch or not, that's the limitation based on the frame of the vehicle.
So all of the discussion here about ecohitch or drawtight does not make a difference? Whether I had a hitch that was "rated" at 350 or 600 lbs, that much tongue weight is out of spec for the vehicle?

At first I was bummed that I spent over $500 on the OEM setup. Now I'm bummed that it doesn't matter.
yep, that trailer is out of the question.

what subarus tow usually is things described as "ultralights"


that looks like a rather large and heavy thing on the end of the scale, for those looking for single axle things like tear drops.

and what you got there is something made to tow by a light body on frame truck or SUV.

and in that particular one I would think there is no way to shift enough weight onto the ass end to lighten 150# on the front. (it is just made to be towed by things that can take its load there....and do it well,. if you got a chevy tahoe, with a 500# tongue limit, this is a beast for you,...and you can really load it up.
Yeah, be satisfied with what you have, and have fun with it. It will be OK.
Bitter medicine :crying:

I was looking at teardrops and I got concerned about feeling claustrophobic. I sat in a Max Flyer+, saw that it was in range of towing capacity, got excited.

Then the salesman looked at my hitch and threw the cold water on my face.

Oh well... Be happy with what I can have and have fun.
Hitch classifications fit various towing capacities, but they can outperform the vehicle they are mounted to. In the case of Subaru, and probably many other car manufacturers, the frame strength is less than the full capacity of the hitch. Just because the hitch can take a 600lb load, doesn't mean the frame of the vehicle that supports the hitch can take it. For a truck or full size SUV with solid beams on the frame that's one thing, on a Subaru or other vehicle with thin, lightweight, box-beams that's a totally different story.
The 200lb tongue weight is pretty light, I think, but that's just the way it is, and it's a limitation of the frame and not necessarily the hitch.
I went to my dealer (Austin Subaru). I spoke with a "design consultant" and she got back to me with the suggestion that she can get me a hitch with a tongue weight rating of 600 lbs.

OK, how much faith would y'all put in what she has told me?

The you say about the frame of an OB being the limiting factor makes sense to me.

And maybe I should just consider an Assent.
heh... it appears that if I want anything bigger than a teardrop... and I want solar/batteries which seem to go in front... and I'll be dragging this trailer down back roads...

It ain't gonna be no Outback doing the dragging.

I can't find ANYTHING about the tongue weight spec for the Assent. Anyone seen a spec anywhere?

Modding my 2017 Outback sounds like it would be more expensive than trading it for an Assent.
I'm also thinking that anything with a tongue weight of 350 lbs plus will probably exceed the overall towing weight of the Outback.
What I want: Explore Flyer Mini Camper

Weight Range: 1400 - 2050 lbs
Tongue Weight Range: 290 - 390 lbs

What my OB supports

Weight: 3000 lbs
Tongue Weight: 200 lbs

So total weight is ok. Just out of spec on the tongue weight.
Let me fix that for you:
..., and then you've bent your car.
You say that like it's a bad thing >:)

Any official word on the Assent tongue weight spec?
Well well well... I brought in my ob for a service, asked about the assent tongue weight... and...

277 lbs.

So... that is rather a... unfortunate limit.

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FYI y’all, the number was from an Assent brochure. So not just a sales dude talkin outa hiz... uhm... knowledge. Said on the specs page... towing capacity 5,000 lbs, tongue weight 277 lbs.

That is a really weird number. Maybe a Kg to Lbs conversion?

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pic or scan on that?
No, sorry. It did not occur to me to snap a pic.

I was getting my free service and thought I was ask about the Assent tongue weight spec. The salesman dragged me into his office and grabbed an assent brochure.
Golly... I think y'all are just trying to goad me back into going to the dealer to snap a pic of that brochure.

Unfortunately, Austin Subaru is closed on Sundays. Weird, I know, buts theys iz.

I'm 100% confidant that it was "Tongue Weight" and there were no engine specs on that page.
Well... I was wrong about the brochure.

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I got a response from a salesman, 500 lbs

I got a response from a salesman, 500 lbs

I'm sending this email to follow up on the tongue weight of the 2019 Subaru Ascent. The tongue weight on the Ascent is 500lbs.

Is there anything else I can help you with?


Brandon Perkins

Sales & Leasing Consultant

Austin Subaru

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I'm going with the Pursue w/o the kitchen. I'm likely going to scrap the shelving in front in exchange for something lighter/smaller also. Things like a generator and a 12v refrigerator will go on the rear. I've found that the Outback is rated with a tongue weight of 330lbs in Australia. I also found that the hitch that's equiped there is more in line with the aftermarket types (DrawTite and Curt) that bolt further in on the chassis as opposed to the factory class 2 (undersized for just about any trailer) or the EcoHitch that mount to the bumper. I can't see Subaru producing wildly different chassis across markets. My trailer is coming with brakes to help ease the work on the car's brakes and I may look at the Rallitek springs to keep the suspension/tires good if there's too much squat. There was guy on the inTech owners Facebook group that has a fully loaded Pursue (close to 350) that he tows with a 2017 Outback 2.5. He claims no issues.

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Can this tow bar from Australia fit on my USA outback?
Can this tow bar be legally installed on my USA outback?
Can I purchase this towbar and have it delivered to me in the USA?

I did not see the specs on the .au accessories web page, just the price.
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