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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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5,026 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our winter has come late here but we are finally getting dumped with snow. After another dumping last night, I pulled the snow off of the roof of the OB. It was a bit wet so it had some wieght to it but I didn't realize how much until I shoveled it off of the driveway.

I was thinking...just how much snow in terms of wieght, can the roof hold before it starts to buckle? Soft fluffy stuff is not too bad, but the load of wet stuff we got was heavy. The roof was covered with about 4-5 inches of damp, heavy snow.

Wieght limit anyone?
 

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Fresh Out of Outbacks!
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14,499 Posts
A commonly accepted value for the weight of snow is 1.25lbs per square foot per inch of thickness.

The safety standard your pre-2013 Subaru was built to allows for appx 5100lbs of weight evenly distributed across the roof without a collapse. Cars built after September 2012 are held to an updated standard, 3x the curb weight of the vehicle or 10,941lbs in the case of the 4th gen Outback. Note that the test does allow the roof to be bent and damaged at those weights, but it is not allowed to collapse.

An Outback has roughly 41 square feet of roof area, so the back of the envelope says:

99.5 inches of snow* for the pre-2013, 213 inches for the '13-up. Remember- these are not the values the roof crushes at, these are the values that the vehicle has proven to withstand in federal testing. Actual strength could be higher but let's hope we never see that winter.

* 24"/52" if it's all solid ice
 

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18 Posts
A commonly accepted value for the weight of snow is 1.25lbs per square foot per inch of thickness.

The safety standard your pre-2013 Subaru was built to allows for appx 5100lbs of weight evenly distributed across the roof without a collapse. Cars built after September 2012 are held to an updated standard, 3x the curb weight of the vehicle or 10,941lbs in the case of the 4th gen Outback. Note that the test does allow the roof to be bent and damaged at those weights, but it is not allowed to collapse.

An Outback has roughly 41 square feet of roof area, so the back of the envelope says:

99.5 inches of snow* for the pre-2013, 213 inches for the '13-up. Remember- these are not the values the roof crushes at, these are the values that the vehicle has proven to withstand in federal testing. Actual strength could be higher but let's hope we never see that winter.

* 24"/52" if it's all solid ice
Wow! You must have engineering in your blood :)
 

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2011 Outback 2.5 CVT
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19 Posts
I always get the snow off the roof no matter what. it my bad habit from the past that did bent a little on my old 1990 Pontiac Grand Am. I know it will be pain the butt to get the snow off your car. I always use the snow broom and it more easier than the snow brush. You can buy them at Wal-Mart for $15 US dollar. Here is the pic:
Tool
 

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277 Posts
A commonly accepted value for the weight of snow is 1.25lbs per square foot per inch of thickness.

The safety standard your pre-2013 Subaru was built to allows for appx 5100lbs of weight evenly distributed across the roof without a collapse. Cars built after September 2012 are held to an updated standard, 3x the curb weight of the vehicle or 10,941lbs in the case of the 4th gen Outback. Note that the test does allow the roof to be bent and damaged at those weights, but it is not allowed to collapse.

An Outback has roughly 41 square feet of roof area, so the back of the envelope says:

99.5 inches of snow* for the pre-2013, 213 inches for the '13-up. Remember- these are not the values the roof crushes at, these are the values that the vehicle has proven to withstand in federal testing. Actual strength could be higher but let's hope we never see that winter.

* 24"/52" if it's all solid ice
I declare this reply the winner. /thread
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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826 Posts
With that kind of snow load you can do a few types of snow stability test to make sure you, your OB, or some pore shlub watching you drive by isn't the victim of a roof avalanche.

shovel compression test
extended column test
rutschblock test

Subaru must have really beefed up the OB roof in '13 to handle '18 of snow.
 

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2013 Outback - 3.6R Limited, EyeSight/Nav/MoonRoof/Kitchen Sink.
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683 Posts
A commonly accepted value for the weight of snow is 1.25lbs per square foot per inch of thickness.

The safety standard your pre-2013 Subaru was built to allows for appx 5100lbs of weight evenly distributed across the roof without a collapse. Cars built after September 2012 are held to an updated standard, 3x the curb weight of the vehicle or 10,941lbs in the case of the 4th gen Outback. Note that the test does allow the roof to be bent and damaged at those weights, but it is not allowed to collapse.

An Outback has roughly 41 square feet of roof area, so the back of the envelope says:

99.5 inches of snow* for the pre-2013, 213 inches for the '13-up. Remember- these are not the values the roof crushes at, these are the values that the vehicle has proven to withstand in federal testing. Actual strength could be higher but let's hope we never see that winter.

* 24"/52" if it's all solid ice
So, I think what you're saying is that it's safe to put my mother-in-law on the roof of my Outback?
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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826 Posts
Edna rides in style on my OB. She gets stuffed in the roofbox.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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2,893 Posts
At least you clear it off! So many people drive around here with two feet of snow piled up on their roof. I keep quite a bit of distance behind them in case some of it ends up being a giant chunk of ice. Don't want that flying at me!
 
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