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2013 Limited 2.5 Special Appearance Pkg
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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all. Bought my Outback in Sept, have been lurking on this forum since but this is my first post.

First, I know there are many threads here on towing but I had difficulty finding anything addressing my question. So please don't flame me if I somehow missed it...:29:

I know my 2.5i tow capacity is 2700 lbs and a total tow weight of 2000 lbs should be within a safe margin for comfortable starting and stopping for a relatively short distance over level roads. My concern is over this flimsy looking 1-1/4" factory hitch. With the 2" adaptor installed to pull a trailer it seems too long and that thin male adaptor seems too fragile to handle these rated tow amounts.

Could people with experience please reassure me that it's OK to tow this amount using this setup? Thanks :)
 

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'08 Veracruz Limited
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You'll be fine. Go to some backwoods boat ramp and see what sort of cheap/makeshift hitches the hillbillies use to tow their 20' bass boats.

There's always a decent margin of error built into hitches.
 

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1 1/4 hitch is rated plenty for your car and the 2000lbs - not an issue. The receiver size has little to do with towing weight limits on the Subarus - more to do with the older idea that the lightest class of towing vehicles got the 1 1/4 receivers. But with attachments used today the 2inch receiver is more popular regardless of towing capacity limits on the vehicle.

If all I were doing is towing the 1 1/4 receiver is perfectly fine. However I got the 2 inch due to the need for a good bike rack to carry potentially more than two bikes.
 

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In researching this topic for my own situation, any of the 1 1/4-2" receiver adapters I've found state that they're not to be used for towing. They're meant to be used for accepting hitch accessories like bike racks. Check out this one at e-trailer: Hitch Adapter 1-1/4" to 2" Trailer Hitch Receiver (Class II Only) Hidden Hitch Hitch Accessories 80303

If my future Outback only has a 1 1/4" OEM receiver option, I'll get a smaller (1-1/4") drawbar and still use my 2" ball for towing my motorcycle trailer; I'll use the receiver adapter when hauling my bike rack.
 

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2013 Limited 2.5 Special Appearance Pkg
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Discussion Starter #5
Lando622 - I also noted on my 2" adaptor, PROVIDED BY MY SUBARU DEALER, that it says "Not for towing." This is exactly my point - if Subaru rates the car to tow 2700 lbs and I have the factory supplied tow hitch (at 1-1/4") which requires a 2" shaft adaptor to tow.....what am I missing here?:8:
 

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You guys are mixing up your towing bits.. When someone says 1 1/4th inch receiver this the physical tow bar bolted to the car. Which case you use a 1 1/4th inch hitch with whatever sized ball your trailer requires.

If you have a 2inch receiver bolted to your car - you use a 2inch hitch with whichever sized ball your trailer requires.

You do not use a 1 1/4 inch drop hitch fitting in a 2inch receiver. Regardless if you have an adapter sitting in your tool box or not. The adapters are for small light attachment items like light bike racks - not trailers.
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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I had a 1-1/4" hitch on my Elantra, I've towed well over 2000# with it for short distances. The hitch can handle that and plenty. Now the brakes, transmission and other parts are a whole other question. Subaru rated their OEM hitch at 2700 lbs for a reason.

Just get a 1-1/4" drawbar and a hitch ball to fit what you need and you'll be fine. I actually replaced my trailer's ball mount from a 1-7/8" to a 2" simply because every vehicle I used had a 2" ball already installed. I just put a 2" ball on my 1-1/4" drawbar.

As already noted, do not use the adapter for towing purposes.
 

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2013 Limited 2.5 Special Appearance Pkg
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Discussion Starter #8
OK guys, thanks for the responses. LOL - I am not a moron, but am amused at myself for having trouble with this. I asked the dealer for something to allow me to tow. He gave me one of these (see below). Since I have never personally seen a 1-1/4" drawbar for anything other than Class I, I assumed I needed a 2" bar to mount a ball (1-7/8", 2", etc) for any towing beyond 500 lbs. So I didn't question the part he gave me. But I see this adaptor should be used only for accessories (i.e. NOT TRAILER) such as bike mounts, etc. which require a 2" receiver. Based on your response I searched etrailer.com and now see one can obtain a CLASS 2 tow bar to hold any ball which fits our OEM 1-1/4" hitch, right?

Thanks again, I promise to be smarter with my next question :D
 

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OK guys, thanks for the responses. LOL - I am not a moron, but am amused at myself for having trouble with this. I asked the dealer for something to allow me to tow. He gave me one of these (see below). Since I have never personally seen a 1-1/4" drawbar for anything other than Class I, I assumed I needed a 2" bar to mount a ball (1-7/8", 2", etc) for any towing beyond 500 lbs. So I didn't question the part he gave me. But I see this adaptor should be used only for accessories (i.e. NOT TRAILER) such as bike mounts, etc. which require a 2" receiver. Based on your response I searched etrailer.com and now see one can obtain a CLASS 2 tow bar to hold any ball which fits our OEM 1-1/4" hitch, right?

Thanks again, I promise to be smarter with my next question :D
Classic - look around the parts counter - no hitch for the 1 1/4th but a random adapter is sitting there. Not into letting the customer leave empty handed they sell you a useless adapter.

By the way Walmart has a nice selection of hitches and balls for fair prices. You will probably want a strait bar not a riser or drop just a strait one. Make sure you read the tongue ball size on the trailer you plan on towing and have the right sized ball or get one when you go get your strait hitch.

Make sure you have trailer wiring plug not all cars with a hitch have had the wiring installed. This is a plug and play harness that simply plugs into a plug in the cars wiring.
 

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^ +1 to Walmart. That's what I ended up doing. Plus, if you get one and misjudged just take it back.

I ended up getting a 2" drop/ 3/4" rise and it works great. My trailer has 8" tires, so I am currently using it with the 2" drop, but most full size tire trailers would sit perfect at 3/4" rise.
 

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2013 Limited 2.5 Special Appearance Pkg
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Discussion Starter #12
Problem solved. I'm not mad about the adaptor because I can still use it for my "Cansporter"; I moved recently to a house with a 500 ft driveway and this hinged contraption lifts and holds the 90+ gallon trash cans on the back of the car to the end of the driveway...and it needs a 2" receiver. Very useful tool-

Anyway, I need to be able to tow a sub-compact utility tractor with a loader on the front - total about 2000 lbs. I'll go get my Class 2 1-1/4" drawbar with minimal lift or drop as you recommended and a 2" ball to fit my trailer. I have infinitely more confidence in this set-up than with that adaptor hooked up to a 2" drawbar. :29:

Nice forum - people seem helpful here. I used to be on the BMW boards but had to trade my 3 series sedan for something family friendly and more reliable long term. 14,000 miles already in almost 6 months and really enjoying this car - surprising power for a 4 cylinder too. But I digress. Thanks again all!
 

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Just watch your trailer weight + the tractor. Most flat bed utility trailers used to haul tractors weigh in the neighborhood of 1000lbs empty for the small trailers. Pending what sort of front loader your moving your going to be over your max limit even with trailer brakes. Even my little heavy built 2000lb rated utility trailer is 900lbs empty. Some of those really nice garden diesel tractors are heavy little suckers.
Snap a pict of the load and post it on the owners photos and drop a link here for kicks! LOL
http://www.subaruoutback.org/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=15986&sort=1

For what us sailors call yard towing - moving the boats around the parking lot you can move some pretty heavy stuff as long as the tongue weight isn't over the top too much. But once you start moving at speed down the road you face trailer stability issues paired with a trailer weighing nearly what the car weighs - not exactly a good combo for anything over 30mph. I've probably towed a max of about 2700lbs without trailer brakes - your stopping distance once your in the 2500lbs and up range is considerably longer and don't be surprised if you get the pads and rotors a bit smokey and hot in stop and go stuff.

If your just hauling it down the street to a neighbor no big deal - hauling it across town? Stick to the slow not so busy roads plan on stopping long long way before the stop. If you need to haul it to the next town over borrow a pickup or SUV.
 
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