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2011 Subi Outback 3.6L
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,
I am interested in towing two dirt bikes and some gear. If you have a hitch you like I would love to hear about it. As well as trailers.

Thanks in advance,
Joe
 

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Hey All,
I am interested in towing two dirt bikes and some gear. If you have a hitch you like I would love to hear about it. As well as trailers.

Thanks in advance,
Joe
Search on hitches lots of very detailed and good threads about the pluses and minuses of each hitch brand etc.

Check out life time tent trailer - hauls your bikes and turns into a very nice tent trailer when you get to where your going.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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buy a hitch, trailer, learn to load them properly and done. dirt bikes are light and easy.

etrailer is good for having hitches, wiring, instructions.

if you think you'll ever want a 2" bike rack then get a 2" receiver now. otherwise you have to use an adapter and then the bike rack has no slide room, you have to use the most extended slot for the hitch pin.

the subaru hitches are nice as they're generally tucked up nice and clean. if you get another brand, just make sure it too sits to your liking. some will sit down rather low.
 

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2012 Outback 3.6R
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50 Posts
I use a Hidden Hitch Class III 2" that's custom fit for OB Gen 4 models. Hauls a 10' utility trailer w/ EZGO golf cart like a champ. Mounts invisibly into the rear frame, which prevents you from banging a shin when you're not using it. Installation is DIY or any capable mechanic can follow directions. eTrailer had best prices & free shipping.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i CVT
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468 Posts
Do a search for "hitch" as there is more on here about hitches than almost anything else. Have fun reading.
 

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2019 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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I use a Hidden Hitch Class III 2" that's custom fit for OB Gen 4 models. Hauls a 10' utility trailer w/ EZGO golf cart like a champ. Mounts invisibly into the rear frame, which prevents you from banging a shin when you're not using it. Installation is DIY or any capable mechanic can follow directions. eTrailer had best prices & free shipping.
Same here, from the same retailer.

The hidden hitch has a 600# tongue rating, as well. Nice to put a motorcycle carrier on if you're just hauling 1 somewhere.

The only gripe is that the pin sits pretty far back, so you have to stretch under there and search around to slide it in sometimes. Not a big deal.
 

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Same here, from the same retailer.

The hidden hitch has a 600# tongue rating, as well. Nice to put a motorcycle carrier on if you're just hauling 1 somewhere.

The only gripe is that the pin sits pretty far back, so you have to stretch under there and search around to slide it in sometimes. Not a big deal.
False!

The OB has a frame structure rating of 200lbs regardless of which hitch you bolt to it. Classic rookie mistake when it comes to towing and hitch loads. The vehicle rating is your limitation in the case of the OB not the hitch you bolt to it.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i
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I have 2012 and got a draw-tite class III 2" + wiring harness. Got everything from Amazon. I really like it. I think there is a 400lb tongue weight, not 200, but subiesailor is right tongue weight is the limitation. Also the receiver sits below behind the bumper. I shopped for a slightly longer hitch. I loaded a couple pics on my profile as i am unsure how to post them, but gave one a shot.
 

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I've purchased two Hidden Hitches from Etrailer. 2inch and a 1/14 inch. One for the Ob and one for the Legacy both Gen4's which are IDENTICAL in structure and hitch used.

Both times I did the OEM install involving removal of the bumper. Have been towing with subarus since 2001 all year around multiple different trailers and load types.

The 200lbs tongue weight is the car frame safe working load end of story doesn't matter what you have bolted to the car the cars frame limit is your limit

200lbs!
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i CVT
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468 Posts
subiesailor is dead on with the 200 lb limit. See my post about that here. In the end an Outback doesn't have a structure sufficient for handling a high tongue weight.

To actually answer your question about hitches. I have the Torklift option. That it is so hidden is nice but the installation requires a little more because of the tight clearance between hitch and car's metal body. Also, last I heard the company still doesn't used carriage bolts and a reinforcement plate with square hole (which would allow torquing of the forward mounting bolts as required without a 4 ft. long socket wrench).

Go with the HiddenHitch if you want a 2 in. receiver and the Subaru hitch if you want a 1.25 in. receiver. Just my opinion and I know others would say to go with the HiddenHitch regardless.
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
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I used to have a DrawTite 2" on my 3rd gen, but recently installed a used OEM 1.25".

It's so much nicer. Mounts better, looks better, and doesn't scrape all the time. I originally installed a 2" for the versatility of the most common hitch mount. It seems that these days though, there are more and more options for the 1.25". My guess is that since more and more people are trading in their trucks and SUV's for crossovers and wagons, it's a necessity if the accessory manufactures want to survive.

Regardless, each option allows you to tow/carry the same amount. Class II (1.25") is rated for 350/3,500lbs, which is over the Outback's rating.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i CVT
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I used to have a DrawTite 2" on my 3rd gen, but recently installed a used OEM 1.25".

It's so much nicer. Mounts better, looks better, and doesn't scrape all the time. I originally installed a 2" for the versatility of the most common hitch mount. It seems that these days though, there are more and more options for the 1.25". My guess is that since more and more people are trading in their trucks and SUV's for crossovers and wagons, it's a necessity if the accessory manufactures want to survive.

Regardless, each option allows you to tow/carry the same amount. Class II (1.25") is rated for 350/3,500lbs, which is over the Outback's rating.
A big reason lots of people don't go with the OEM mount on the 4th generation Outback is that is sticks out behind the bumper a lot, and I do mean a lot. People were complaining of cracking their legs on the hitch easily. Having seen one a couple times I can attest that it sticks out further than any receiver style hitch I have ever seen. Subaru did this to make the hitch pin hole accessible since the receiver pokes out through bumper. You can see this in some of the pics at this webpage, one of the last pics on this page really shows how far it sticks out... 2011 Subaru Outback Options and Upgrades, Photo Page #2
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
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It's crazy that it sticks out that far. Does the lower portion of the bumper wrap under a good ways? If the receiver was recessed, you should still be able to access the pin hole from underneath.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i CVT
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It's crazy that it sticks out that far. Does the lower portion of the bumper wrap under a good ways? If the receiver was recessed, you should still be able to access the pin hole from underneath.
It wraps around and under a good ways so there would be no way to access it if the hole were recessed. What they should have done is look at most every other company out there. Most just remove more of the bumper material so there is sufficient access on either side of the receiver. By making the hitch itself look nice the end product is still factory looking but more functional. Most Fords and Chevys work like this on their small SUVs.
 

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It's crazy that it sticks out that far. Does the lower portion of the bumper wrap under a good ways? If the receiver was recessed, you should still be able to access the pin hole from underneath.
The stock hitch passes through the lower plastic shroud of the bumper which is probably why they extended it so far to allow pin access. The hidden hitch and others hang about 2inches lower and are set back farther but the pin access is unobstructed by the bumper.

Side note the hidden hitch on my OB in stock form is 2inches higher off the ground than the hitch on my 1993 Landcruiser with 34inch off road tires.. The Landcruiser dragged the hitch bar often - the OB I have yet to drag. The legacy is the second legacy we have put this type of hitch on the prior one had the hitch on it for 180,000 miles we dragged it a few times here and there scuffed up the paint on the bar but thats it no biggie.

If your big off roader a hitch bar that hangs lower than the soft and tender easily torn off plastic bumper is actually a bit of a bonus given the hitch isn't going anywhere and will keep your bumper intact when you do find the limit.

I recall the OB is around 13inches of clearance.
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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200lbs


With the carrier (~30lbs) and the 5 bikes (~130 lbs 2 Al and 3 Steel) I wonder with the bouncing if it is torquing the frame. Usually I only have two on the carrier.
 

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With the carrier (~30lbs) and the 5 bikes (~130 lbs 2 Al and 3 Steel) I wonder with the bouncing if it is torquing the frame. Usually I only have two on the carrier.
The levered load for sure is in excess of 200lbs given how far out those racks hang. I've run that type of bike collection. I always put the big bikes on the roof.
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5, Ice Silver Metallic.
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Put the heavier bikes closest to the car and the lighter ones on the outside, this will help reduce some of that. I wouldn't sweat it. Those ratings are probably pretty lawyer padded and conservative.
 
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