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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, looking for any advice or recommendations.
I recently bought a 2022 Outback Premium with a trailer hitch mount included on the accessory order.

I want to order a cargo carrier hitch mount, though I have no experience with one so I want to avoid any pitalls.

I need to get on it since in 1 month I will utilize it on a 10 hour road trip across the Appalachians, but then also in the future I likely will utilize it for football tailgates. So typically I imagine placing large cooler on this, with maybe a small grill or smoker. Of course I would need to ratchet strap them down.

Here is one example I found online Best Subaru Outback Wagon Hitch Cargo Carrier | etrailer.com
24" x 60" rated for rated for 500 lbs for $217 made by Reese.

As I scrolled down another made by Curt is similar, only 1" smaller at 24x59, still rated for 500 lbs, but is a bit cheaper $188.

And here's another by Curt, that is a smaller at 19x47 and rated for 300 lbs. It fits both 2" and 1.25" hitches, so more versatile and is $144.
https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Cargo-Carrier/CURT/C18110.html

All 3 claim to be in stock and have free shipping.

There is also a taillight kit for if stacking stuff creates a hazard by blocking your lights, here's one example for $43 Light Kit for Draw-Tite, Tow Ready, and Rola Railed Cargo Carriers etrailer Accessories and Parts 20174
Of course if I order the light kit, I'd want to make sure it says it's compattible with the cargo carrier.

Some sporadic questions coming to mind:
Is bigger/sturdier typically preferred over saving $70?

How carefully or light do you have to pack to not block your brake lights?

If you're packing a big cooler, do you usually have to unload to be able to open the Outback hatch?

Any ratchet strap recommendations, either to purchase or how to place on?

How much do you find that it changes the driving experience?
Do you feel it bounce much or find yourself braking more, esepically in cases of heavier loads?

One thing I've always loved about the Outback is how great in handles thorugh mountain areas. When I drive to Florida and pass through the I-40/75 corridor, I pass several hundred vehicles with ease and rarely ever have to use my brake unlike most all the rest of the drivers, or at least that was my experience with a 2011, 2014 and 2015, so I imagine 2022 will be the same.

Thanks
 

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Premium Member
2021 OB Touring, 2011 OB Premium
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Hello, looking for any advice or recommendations.
I recently bought a 2022 Outback Premium with a trailer hitch mount included on the accessory order.

I want to order a cargo carrier hitch mount, though I have no experience with one so I want to avoid any pitalls.

I need to get on it since in 1 month I will utilize it on a 10 hour road trip across the Appalachians, but then also in the future I likely will utilize it for football tailgates. So typically I imagine placing large cooler on this, with maybe a small grill or smoker. Of course I would need to ratchet strap them down.

Here is one example I found online Best Subaru Outback Wagon Hitch Cargo Carrier | etrailer.com
24" x 60" rated for rated for 500 lbs for $217 made by Reese.

As I scrolled down another made by Curt is similar, only 1" smaller at 24x59, still rated for 500 lbs, but is a bit cheaper $188.

And here's another by Curt, that is a smaller at 19x47 and rated for 300 lbs. It fits both 2" and 1.25" hitches, so more versatile and is $144.
https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Cargo-Carrier/CURT/C18110.html

All 3 claim to be in stock and have free shipping.

There is also a taillight kit for if stacking stuff creates a hazard by blocking your lights, here's one example for $43 Light Kit for Draw-Tite, Tow Ready, and Rola Railed Cargo Carriers etrailer Accessories and Parts 20174
Of course if I order the light kit, I'd want to make sure it says it's compattible with the cargo carrier.

Some sporadic questions coming to mind:
Is bigger/sturdier typically preferred over saving $70?

How carefully or light do you have to pack to not block your brake lights?

If you're packing a big cooler, do you usually have to unload to be able to open the Outback hatch?

Any ratchet strap recommendations, either to purchase or how to place on?

How much do you find that it changes the driving experience?
Do you feel it bounce much or find yourself braking more, esepically in cases of heavier loads?

One thing I've always loved about the Outback is how great in handles thorugh mountain areas. When I drive to Florida and pass through the I-40/75 corridor, I pass several hundred vehicles with ease and rarely ever have to use my brake unlike most all the rest of the drivers, or at least that was my experience with a 2011, 2014 and 2015, so I imagine 2022 will be the same.

Thanks
There are laws in most states which govern the covering or blocking of tail/brake lights, so do check on the laws in your states before you purchase and load up a hitch-mounted carrier. Additionally, I assume that you have the 2.5i engine and not the XT, correct? If so, you are limited to a tongue weight of 270 pounds, so this would mean that loaded carrier, including its unladen weight, should not exceed 270 pounds. If you have the XT model, that weight limitation rises to 350 pounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are laws in most states which govern the covering or blocking of tail/brake lights, so do check on the laws in your states before you purchase and load up a hitch-mounted carrier. Additionally, I assume that you have the 2.5i engine and not the XT, correct? If so, you are limited to a tongue weight of 270 pounds, so this would mean that loaded carrier, including its unladen weight, should not exceed 270 pounds. If you have the XT model, that weight limitation rises to 350 pounds.
Great start with stuff I hadn't thought of.

Yes, regular 2.5 liter engine.
 

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2022 Outback Wilderness
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There are laws in most states which govern the covering or blocking of tail/brake lights, so do check on the laws in your states before you purchase and load up a hitch-mounted carrier. Additionally, I assume that you have the 2.5i engine and not the XT, correct? If so, you are limited to a tongue weight of 270 pounds, so this would mean that loaded carrier, including its unladen weight, should not exceed 270 pounds. If you have the XT model, that weight limitation rises to 350 pounds.
Also blocking the license plate could be a problem in some states.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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Hitch carriers have the advantage of less aerodynamic drag vs a roof carrier and are also easier to load/unload.
But as you've already identified, there are drawbacks too.

If I were buying one, I'd look at an aluminum carrier. They weigh less (leaving more capacity for loading), are easier to handle, don't rust, and are rated to just as much capacity.

The extra load hanging a couple of feet off the back of the car will cause it to bounce more. You can expect that.
 

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2022 Onyx Edition XT
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There are laws in most states which govern the covering or blocking of tail/brake lights, so do check on the laws in your states before you purchase and load up a hitch-mounted carrier. Additionally, I assume that you have the 2.5i engine and not the XT, correct? If so, you are limited to a tongue weight of 270 pounds, so this would mean that loaded carrier, including its unladen weight, should not exceed 270 pounds. If you have the XT model, that weight limitation rises to 350 pounds.
What is different about the frame/body and rear suspension of these two cars that makes the tongue weight different? Wouldn't the rest of the car be the same, despite the engine? The tongue weights listed seem to be kept more in line with the towing capacity than the actual structure of the vehicle. I'm not advising one exceeds the manufacturers limits, just trying to understand why the rear of the car cannot support an additional 80lbs because the engine isn't as powerful.

OP, I have the Reese and the lights you linked. Love them both. Quality stuff, built like a tank! Had it since 2013, no complaints.
 

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What is different about the frame/body and rear suspension of these two cars that makes the tongue weight different? Wouldn't the rest of the car be the same, despite the engine? The tongue weights listed seem to be kept more in line with the towing capacity than the actual structure of the vehicle. I'm not advising one exceeds the manufacturers limits, just trying to understand why the rear of the car cannot support an additional 80lbs because the engine isn't as powerful.

OP, I have the Reese and the lights you linked. Love them both. Quality stuff, built like a tank! Had it since 2013, no complaints.
I think it has to do with to 10 percent of tow weight rating rule. The XT can pull more weight so the 10 percent number is higher on the tongue.
 

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2020 Outback 2.5i Premium
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I had a Lund steel basket. Auto Anything has them for $150. I don't know what I paid for it 10 years ago, but $150 sounds a little high. It was bare bones and got the job done. I agree with what the others say. Spend the extra few buck and go aluminum. Steel is heavy and bulky to mess around with. On the car, it a bit of a fight to get it on and off. The bigger issue was storing the thing. It was too heavy to hang on the garage walls via hooks, and it took up a lot of room in the garage. Corrosion was another thing. I just used to to carry the cooler and generator for hunting season. After two years of gravel roads, it was corroded enough that hand tools where no longer able to service it.

Pro tip, if you cross the US boarder with a cooler on the back and you don't declare any food items, you are going to secondary and getting the entire car searched. Don't make yourself a target.
 

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Which 10% rule would that be? I don't think that rule has to due with the towing capacity of the vehicle , but rather the GTW.
Example:

2022 outback wilderness tongue weight:
350 lbs
Total towing capacity:
3500 lbs
Equals:
10 percent.

2022 outback touring tongue weight:
270 lbs
Total towing capacity:
2700 lbs
Equals:
10 percent.


The 10 percent rule refers to the maximum tongue weight of the total towing capacity.

Feel free to check my info.
 

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I lifted this well thought out explanation from a Toyota forum that might give more insight as well…..

“Let me start by saying I am not an expert in towing, but here is my theory.

When you install a normal hitch, the ball is located about 3' behind the rear axle (just guessing). When you connect a trailer with a tongue weight of 200 lbs, you have created a lever with the axle acting like a fulcrum. In this case the lever moment is 600 ft-lbs. This is the force that is being exerted to lift the front wheels off the ground, and is what Toyota considers the maximum.

If your cargo hauler sticks out another 3', and the total weight is 230 lbs, you now have a lever moment of 1380 ft-lbs. That's more than twice what your vehicle is rated for and not just 30/200 or 15%.

I know that all the weight isn't going to be at the very rear of the cargo carrier, but rather distributed, so you won't actually reach the full 1380 ft-lbs, but you can see that having 200 lbs on a ball, and having 200 lbs extending out a distance to the rear are not equal.

Putting the weight out a greater distance is also stressing the hitch itself, and applies more forces to the attachments points.”
 

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When you install a normal hitch, the ball is located about 3' behind the rear axle (just guessing). When you connect a trailer with a tongue weight of 200 lbs, you have created a lever with the axle acting like a fulcrum. In this case the lever moment is 600 ft-lbs. This is the force that is being exerted to lift the front wheels off the ground, and is what Toyota considers the maximum.

If your cargo hauler sticks out another 3', and the total weight is 230 lbs, you now have a lever moment of 1380 ft-lbs. That's more than twice what your vehicle is rated for and not just 30/200 or 15%.

I know that all the weight isn't going to be at the very rear of the cargo carrier, but rather distributed, so you won't actually reach the full 1380 ft-lbs, but you can see that having 200 lbs on a ball, and having 200 lbs extending out a distance to the rear are not equal.

Putting the weight out a greater distance is also stressing the hitch itself, and applies more forces to the attachments points.”
Someone (can't recall who) recently posted they were going to move a bunch of items to the rear of what they were towing in order to reduce the tongue weight. :eek:
 

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Someone (can't recall who) recently posted they were going to move a bunch of items to the rear of what they were towing in order to reduce the tongue weight. :eek:
As a person that pulls a trailer a bit……that could result in a very interesting and sudden arm workout as they try to keep the vehicle going STRAIGHT down the roadway if enough of that weight is put behind those trailer tires. Lol.

If you are stating you can move the load around to reduce tongue weight in a slightly snarky way, the OP is wanting to use a hitch mounted carrier. There isn’t a trailer with wheels involved in this.
 

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Example:

2022 outback wilderness tongue weight:
350 lbs
Total towing capacity:
3500 lbs
Equals:
10 percent.

2022 outback touring tongue weight:
270 lbs
Total towing capacity:
2700 lbs
Equals:
10 percent.


The 10 percent rule refers to the maximum tongue weight of the total towing capacity.

Feel free to check my info.
I understand all of that, but that rule has nothing to do with your towing capacity. It's 10 to 15 percent of your gross trailer weight, not to exceed your tow capacity.

Ideally you want your tongue weight to be 10 to 15 percent of your GTW, which in the case of the 2.5, would be 270lbs if you're towing...but the max tongue weight of the Outback is determined by what the suspension and frame or unibody can handle. If the suspension and unibody are the same between models, then why can't a 2.5 handle a 350lbs tongue weight when not towing?
 

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2022 Outback Premium 2.5
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813 Posts
I have a lot of past experience towing (not with an Outback) an inboard ski boat with the rather large gas tank in the very rear of the boat. I found that when towing with a full tank of gas in the boat it would sometimes sway at highway speeds. The less weight behind the trailer axle, the better it towed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I had a Lund steel basket. Auto Anything has them for $150. I don't know what I paid for it 10 years ago, but $150 sounds a little high. It was bare bones and got the job done. I agree with what the others say. Spend the extra few buck and go aluminum. Steel is heavy and bulky to mess around with. On the car, it a bit of a fight to get it on and off. The bigger issue was storing the thing. It was too heavy to hang on the garage walls via hooks, and it took up a lot of room in the garage. Corrosion was another thing. I just used to to carry the cooler and generator for hunting season. After two years of gravel roads, it was corroded enough that hand tools where no longer able to service it.

Pro tip, if you cross the US boarder with a cooler on the back and you don't declare any food items, you are going to secondary and getting the entire car searched. Don't make yourself a target.
Thanks for the tips regarding Aluminum. Of courese I know it's lighter, but hadn't even considered it from a storage / hanging standpoint which is a great call.

Do you, @dukey33 or anyone else have a site or dealer you can recommend?

I need to get on this order probably in the next day or two.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (me) 2020 Forester Limited (Spouse) 2016 Outback Limited (Daughter)
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Dollar for dollar, you cannot beat the value of the aluminum hitch receiver mounted carrier from Harbor Freight, honestly.
 
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