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2015 Limited 2.5
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All! First post! Proud new owner of a 2015 Outback (Loving everything about it so far) and I'm wanting to get rid of the crappy donut spare and carry a full size spare on the outside, preferably on the back with a swing out (or maybe a roof mount if you can talk me into it). I want to have the full size spare for the occasional offroad use, as well as clear up the cargo space down there to carry more gear!!

Firstly, I have done research and I know that 200 lbs is my working limit for tongue weight, no matter what hitch I get. I'm curious if there would be a way to beef up the car frame by fabricating something for where the hitch attaches to the car frame.

I want to have the Wilco Hitchgate solo to mount the tire and mount a 1up bike rack at the same time. I would then be able to lower the bike tray and swingout the tire to access the back hatch and cargo area. Also, I am trying to stay away from the rooftop cargo trays, as I will be mounting a kayak on there. I just like the idea of having the roof as stock as possible for fuel economy and highway riding the 60% of the time that I am not out adventuring.

Problem #1: Tongue weight is only 200#, and with only the bike rack, tire, and hitchgate, I'm already getting close to 200 without any bikes. Would surpassing the tongue weight be a significant problem? Especially since the weight would be so far out away from the hitch increasing the torque on the hitch attachment point.

Problem #2: If fabrication of a stronger hitch/unibody frame attachment point is indeed possible, would I want the Curt/Drawtite style hitch or do I want the Ecohitch?


Thoughts? Experiences?
 

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It's probably possible to reinforce the rear body, but without a bunch of testing how will you know? Especially in terms of how it may affect crash performance.

If anything the car is more sensitive to dangling weight on the hitch, since there is no trailer axle to absorb energy.

Is it possible to fabricate an equivalent tire mount in aluminum? I'd think that would give you significant gains.
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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2015 Limited 2.5
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Discussion Starter #4
Yup, I saw the wagon of doom and read all up and down that thread for ideas. I wouldn't want to cannibalize a bike rack like that because I wouldn't be able to lower the bikes AND the tire out of the way at the same time.

As for Aluminum, would it be strong enough to withstand the weird extended weight and torque? Especially offroad? I know aircraft grade aluminum will, and blah blah. I've just seen aluminum welds buckle and break from underwhelming forces. It would be awesome though for the weight savings.


About reinforcing the subie frame, anyone know specifically which hitch (based on how it mounts to the frame) would be better to try? If one part of the frame is beefier, I'd try reinforcing it there.
 

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'13 2.5 Premium
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Every few weeks I see the same Volvo XC-something with a roof basket and a full size spare laying in it. It has yet to impress me, but it's an option.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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Yakima has an aluminum bike carrier. Weighs 20lbs, hold up to 3 bikes so it should be good for at least 80lbs. Website doesn't show weight limit.
https://www.yakima.com/literider

Other bad news it is $300 retail. That may be too expensive to hack up.
But I would not worry about the strength of aluminum. There are hitch carriers rated up to 500lbs capacity made of aluminum.
 

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If you're planning on running a Hitchgate Solo, I would stick with the ecohitch. It has the highest clearance; anything lower would really mess with your departure angle, especially once things are loaded up.

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17 OB 2.5i
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The A/NZ Outbacks have a full size spare where you have your donuts (mine's also got the 18")

Is the cavity smaller on the U.S. model? .... trying to figure out why you can't just hide your spare in the same place.
I would have thought a narrow roof box to cleanly take care of canoe as well. The fuel usage using the roof box is reported as minimal, especially a low profile/aerodynamic one.

BTW, I am able to cram in a tool bag/tarp/tow rope/picnic rug and a bunch of other sundry with the tire. It actually fills one of those Ikea bags and I still haven't removed the foam insert.
 

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The A/NZ Outbacks have a full size spare where you have your donuts (mine's also got the 18")

Is the cavity smaller on the U.S. model? .... trying to figure out why you can't just hide your spare in the same place.
I would have thought a narrow roof box to cleanly take care of canoe as well. The fuel usage using the roof box is reported as minimal, especially a low profile/aerodynamic one.

BTW, I am able to cram in a tool bag/tarp/tow rope/picnic rug and a bunch of other sundry with the tire. It actually fills one of those Ikea bags and I still haven't removed the foam insert.
Yup. US versions are smaller. I think someone could get a deflated oem sized one in there, but kind of defeats the point.

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Yup. US versions are smaller. I think someone could get a deflated oem sized one in there, but kind of defeats the point.

Well that sucks :frown2:

I can't see the rationale on making the cavity smaller as it wont really help with clearance etc.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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I can't see the rationale on making the cavity smaller ...
One possible reason: North American Outbacks have higher-capacity fuel tanks.
 

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2015 Limited 2.5
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Discussion Starter #12
I'll welcome the extra fuel I suppose, but I do wish I could just fit the full size spare in there. Although, deflating one and sticking it in the back wouldn't be a problem because I do have a compressor.

The Yakima rack may work, but I was wanting a tray style bike rack to mount it from the wheels instead of the frame.

Another idea I'm having is to forgo the spare all together and just carry a good plug kit and the compressor. This should work just fine for anything other than sidewall damage which makes me a bit uneasy. Then whenever I go for a more remote trip, I could put a full size spare somewhere in there for extra insurance..

Which leads me to wonder if Wilco could create a sort of hybrid between their basic swingout and the hitchgate solo. A swingout that has a detachable spare tire mount for when you don't need to be lugging around the full spare, but can easily add it on. Gonna make a phone call tomorrow I think.
 

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I'll welcome the extra fuel I suppose, but I do wish I could just fit the full size spare in there. Although, deflating one and sticking it in the back wouldn't be a problem because I do have a compressor.

The Yakima rack may work, but I was wanting a tray style bike rack to mount it from the wheels instead of the frame.

Another idea I'm having is to forgo the spare all together and just carry a good plug kit and the compressor. This should work just fine for anything other than sidewall damage which makes me a bit uneasy. Then whenever I go for a more remote trip, I could put a full size spare somewhere in there for extra insurance..

Which leads me to wonder if Wilco could create a sort of hybrid between their basic swingout and the hitchgate solo. A swingout that has a detachable spare tire mount for when you don't need to be lugging around the full spare, but can easily add it on. Gonna make a phone call tomorrow I think.
I keep my tire repair kit in case I need to do a repair while around town, where a massive failure would only inconvenience me. I felt pretty good with the repair kit until I damaged my sidewall in the desert and had a stressful drive home.

Unless I have a long off road planned, I usually drive without the tire mounted. The camera is totally usable. I was actually thinking of getting a bike rack welded to a tire mounting plate so I can just bolt that to the tire mount on the hitch gate when I'm not rocking out the spare.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 

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2017 Outback, 2.5L, Auto; 2018 Forester, 2.5L, Auto (for Mama); 2005 Baja, 2.5 Turbo, Manual
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Yup. US versions are smaller. I think someone could get a deflated oem sized one in there, but kind of defeats the point.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
While I had my 13 OB, someone on the 4th gen forum talked about sticking in a deflated full size tire, then inflating it to stretch the well so a full size tire would fit. Just a thought, no first-hand experience...
 

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... someone on the 4th gen forum talked about sticking in a deflated full size tire, then inflating it to stretch the well so a full size tire would fit.
Trust me. It takes more than 40 psi to permanently "stretch" steel. It's more like 30,000 psi (or higher).
 
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