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2020 Onyx XT
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! Brand new Subaru owner and brand new to this forum!

I looked and there are a lot of towing posts but not many I could see about how much people actually tow.

I want to get a camper that weighs 2022 dry and the gvwr is 3350. So under the XT rating of 3500. Hitch weight is 300.

I see the manual says trailer brakes may be required. Which is fine.

Has anyone towed anything this heavy yet? Any posts or insights at all will be greatly appreciated!
 

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2016 2.5i Premium / 2020 2.5i Premium
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You'll want to take it very easy with that much weight behind an Outback.
Are you sure that the tongue weight (loaded) is only 300 lbs? I would think that's the empty tongue weight, as it should be around 15% of the total trailer weight.
What kind of trailer is it? A travel trailer will be much harder to tow than a popup.

I am towing a full sized travel trailer with an F-150 for around 3-4k miles per year, and IMO it's usually not a good idea to get close to the weight limit with a travel trailer. It may be fine with a flat bed or boat, but a TT adds the wind resistance in all directions, it's like a sail.
 

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2020 Onyx XT
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply! That’s definitely why I’m trying to see if anyone has done it. I want to get any first hand reports from those who have.

I have a “teardrop-like” camper now that isn’t aerodynamic in the slightest with a flat front, back, and sides coming in at 1700lbs loaded, and it tows it like a dream.
 

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Subaru Outback Outdoor XT 2020
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Also interested to hear recommendations from members. I'm currently looking for a popup trailer and I have found one really nice with a GAWR of 2090lbs and 2438lbs for the max weight (GVWR). Not sure if it's too heavy for long trips.
 

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Hope this helps a little. I have been trailering my boat and with all the gear and trailer is right around the 2000 lb range. I have an Onyx. Trailering in western NY along the thruway up and down gentle hills roundtrips of approximately 200 miles to Lake Erie. I usually drive the speed limit but I pushed it a little and kept it at 70 mph on the last trip. No problems at all. I had plenty of power to spare. Mileage at 70 was 17.3 and at 65 it has been 18.5. About the same as my non turbo 4 cylinder 2011 outback.
 

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2020 Onyx XT
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Discussion Starter #6
Hope this helps a little. I have been trailering my boat and with all the gear and trailer is right around the 2000 lb range. I have an Onyx. Trailering in western NY along the thruway up and down gentle hills roundtrips of approximately 200 miles to Lake Erie. I usually drive the speed limit but I pushed it a little and kept it at 70 mph on the last trip. No problems at all. I had plenty of power to spare. Mileage at 70 was 17.3 and at 65 it has been 18.5. About the same as my non turbo 4 cylinder 2011 outback.
That is super helpful. Does your boat trailer have surge brakes?

I found a new camper brand/model yesterday that is 1900 dry, 260 dry tongue, and, 2900 gvwr w/ electric brakes. I feel very confident towing this as it’s not much more than I tow now.

I would like to think that SoA thinks of things like wind resistance, trailer height, load height, etc, when when giving the car it’s seemingly conservative weight rating. Maybe that’s just my hopeful thinking haha.
 

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2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT Autumn Green
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I found a new camper brand/model yesterday that is 1900 dry, 260 dry tongue, and, 2900 gvwr w/ electric brakes. I feel very confident towing this as it’s not much more than I tow now.
What did you find?
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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Also interested to hear recommendations from members. I'm currently looking for a popup trailer and I have found one really nice with a GAWR of 2090lbs and 2438lbs for the max weight (GVWR). Not sure if it's too heavy for long trips.
My 2 cents:
Not really specific to the Outback but I've learned over the years that towing heavier trailers with a 4 cyl is dramatically affected by:

  • the type of terrain I'm hauling over.
  • the speeds I will need to maintain
  • wind resistance of the trailer (and overall load if car topping anything)
ie , Towing 2200# on a hilly highway with big rigs up my butt at 70 is not fun if there isn’t allot of “Umph” in reserve. Double that dread if I’m driving 6-10 hrs a day and/or have a wind resistant canoe on the roof.,
Yet towing that same 2200# down the road 10-20 miles on relatively flat rural roads is a joy. So I guess what I’m saying is that anybody looking to tow decent weights with an outback XT really needs to determine the realistic parameters of their towing needs/wants. What is comfortable for some owners, won’t be for others.

Personally, I would not purchase anything over that 2000# mark in a camper/boat with my XT without an extensive test tow over realistic usage conditions. ( Even if I had to rent one for a weekend.)
p.s I've towed around 2500# once ( Load of loam in a utility trailer) but that was only for a few level miles. Teh car did fine but I'm not thinking I'd want to do it all day at high speeds.
 

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2020 Onyx XT
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Discussion Starter #9
My 2 cents:
Not really specific to the Outback but I've learned over the years that towing heavier trailers with a 4 cyl is dramatically affected by:

  • the type of terrain I'm hauling over.
  • the speeds I will need to maintain
  • wind resistance of the trailer (and overall load if car topping anything)
ie , Towing 2200# on a hilly highway with big rigs up my butt at 70 is not fun if there isn’t allot of “Umph” in reserve. Double that dread if I’m driving 6-10 hrs a day and/or have a wind resistant canoe on the roof.,
Yet towing that same 2200# down the road 10-20 miles on relatively flat rural roads is a joy. So I guess what I’m saying is that anybody looking to tow decent weights with an outback XT really needs to determine the realistic parameters of their towing needs/wants. What is comfortable for some owners, won’t be for others.

Personally, I would not purchase anything over that 2000# mark in a camper/boat with my XT without an extensive test tow over realistic usage conditions. ( Even if I had to rent one for a weekend.)
p.s I've towed around 2500# once ( Load of loam in a utility trailer) but that was only for a few level miles. Teh car did fine but I'm not thinking I'd want to do it all day at high speeds.
So incredibly helpful! Thank you.

For the most part, my trips would be 2-3 hours max distance from my house. Michigan is not a mountainous state lol but has some legit hilly regions for sure.

Definitely not looking to do any across state or across country trips. All “local” trips.
 

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Subaru Outback Outdoor XT 2020
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My 2 cents:
Not really specific to the Outback but I've learned over the years that towing heavier trailers with a 4 cyl is dramatically affected by:

  • the type of terrain I'm hauling over.
  • the speeds I will need to maintain
  • wind resistance of the trailer (and overall load if car topping anything)
ie , Towing 2200# on a hilly highway with big rigs up my butt at 70 is not fun if there isn’t allot of “Umph” in reserve. Double that dread if I’m driving 6-10 hrs a day and/or have a wind resistant canoe on the roof.,
Yet towing that same 2200# down the road 10-20 miles on relatively flat rural roads is a joy. So I guess what I’m saying is that anybody looking to tow decent weights with an outback XT really needs to determine the realistic parameters of their towing needs/wants. What is comfortable for some owners, won’t be for others.

Personally, I would not purchase anything over that 2000# mark in a camper/boat with my XT without an extensive test tow over realistic usage conditions. ( Even if I had to rent one for a weekend.)
p.s I've towed around 2500# once ( Load of loam in a utility trailer) but that was only for a few level miles. Teh car did fine but I'm not thinking I'd want to do it all day at high speeds.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Once a year we plan to have a longer trip (ie: Montreal - US east coast), so a more lightweight trailer would be less a pain to tow, and save on gas too.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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Thanks for sharing your experience. Once a year we plan to have a longer trip (ie: Montreal - US east coast), so a more lightweight trailer would be less a pain to tow, and save on gas too.
I would think you can always rent one for the occasional trip that is outside your norm of use. I did that a few times years back and it was pretty inexpensive. These days I either tent or rent a cabin as I found the storage, maintenance and depreciation associated with owning camping trailers was not effective for the limited use I gave them. I see their attractiveness if they fit your lifestyle though.
 

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There are no surge or electric brakes on my boat trailer. The approximately 2000 lbs I tow doesn’t seem to need them. I now have 12000 miles on my Onyx and have made close to 20 trips of over 100 miles. Some of my trips have been to the fingerlakes region of NY where it is relatively hilly. I have had close to 50 yrs experience towing boats up to a 25’ Grady White up and down the east coast. The larger boats all needed surge breaks, the present boat does not.
 

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I towed right at about 3400lb from TN to OR in late May. Other than dismal gas mileage, car performed better than I expected across mountain passes, in crosswinds, in rain/inclement weather. In my case I had a u-haul trailer loaded to the gills (that has the hydraulically-actuated u-haul auto trailer brakes, ie no brake controller on my car). I def wouldn't go above the 3500 rating or so. I probably had a little more than 300 on the tongue btw :)
 

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2020 Onyx XT
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Discussion Starter #14
I towed right at about 3400lb from TN to OR in late May. Other than dismal gas mileage, car performed better than I expected across mountain passes, in crosswinds, in rain/inclement weather. In my case I had a u-haul trailer loaded to the gills (that has the hydraulically-actuated u-haul auto trailer brakes, ie no brake controller on my car). I def wouldn't go above the 3500 rating or so. I probably had a little more than 300 on the tongue btw :)
Wow, that had to be a fun drive, if not also a nail-biter at times! Thank you for posting your experience.

I met a couple last week who tow a camper that’s about 3000lbs loaded and they let me drive it all hitched up. I agree, it handled far better than I expected within reason ... and cautious driving.
 

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2020 Outback ONYX XT, Blue with upgrade package
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I Tow and iron horse trailer. Teardrop fiberglass on metal frame. Clamshell opening and electric brakes. Also makes a good tent! Trailer is 1100lbs. Loaded with a 900lb Harley and all my camping gear it bumped up against the limit for my 2016 Outback. It was easy and relaxed on mostly level east coast roads and hilly highways and local roads leading to the Appalachian mountains but once in the mountains like Daniel Boone national Forest in KY or in western North Carolina, Maggie Valley and Cherokee where there were steeper and longer grades I was taxing the motor on the way up and very glad for electric brakes on the way down!
So I just bought a 2020 XT and I’m thinking it will be a little easier but still a test in the more challenging mountains. A good run at the start of a mountain helps but on a long grade is loose energy rather quickly.
still happy with the car and setup! And the 2020 refinements is icing on the cake. If I towed all the time I might have bought a truck but this will do nicely.
 

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