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I looking to purchase a UTV and haul it to various sites within 200 miles of my Phoenix home to ride in the desert and trails. It looks like the biggest concern I have is tongue weight and how my 2018 2.5 Limited will handle it.

If I am looking for an open air utility trailer, What would I need to get to not exceed the tongue weight? The UTV will be 118 long and 50 wide. I was hoping to get something inexpensive from Tractor Supply, but again I am worried about the tongue weight.

Also, I really like the look of the Torklift Ecohitch which is bumper mounted. Would I better off getting something like the Curt Class II Round Tube Receiver Hitch which has a higher tongue weight rating?

If this doesn't work I may have to go with with an ATV which weighs less than half what a UTV weighs.

Any recommendations appreciated, short of buying a new vehicle. Thanks.
 

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class 2 hitch is correct.

you can't go more then 200lbs on the tounge no matter what hitch you pick though.

_____

any 2018 outback has a 2700lb tow rating for a trailer with brakes.

towing a UTV is best with things that can take small cars. (like Miatas to the race track).

(like a used car trailer might be better then tractor supply, and to tow a light one of those might be best with something body on frame, with more muscle then a 2.5 outback.).

how much does that UTV weigh exactly?
 

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I edited down my previous post (like I deleted a whole half line by accident), before I hit the post button by mistake.

what I meant to type was how heavy are the trailers you are looking at?

land scapers with tandem axles seem to work also for such UTVs. things with nice 14" tires.

____

the problem with going lighter on the trailer: the UTV's weight starts to make the trailer bounce/ sway on the pavement.
so if you are not just going along on a short / slow trip,
it kind of SUCKS when you hit undulations in the road and you are going 50mph.

so to tow a 1300lb UTV you maybe right up at the 2700lb limit of the outback with a 1400lb trailer,.
...and looking for a better trailer, and a used pickup to tow it.
 

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Tongue weight is adjustable by where you park the utv on the trailer. Moving it more forward will increase the tongue weight and aft will reduce it.
There are plenty of steel or aluminum trailers that can carry 1300lbs and have a combined GVWR of 2000lbs. Looks to me like you're in good shape. A heavier duty trailer will last longer but whether that justifies the increased cost (up to the possibility of getting a different tow vehicle) is up to you.
 

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If you can somehow get the UTV on the trailer and use a bathroom scale to get the tongue wt before you buy, you'll be in good shape. There are ways to calculate centers of gravity and maybe get a decent idea, but weighing the real thing is best. You'll also be able to see how the tongue wt changes as you move the UTV fore and aft.
 

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I should have added:

I'd go with a class III hitch if the aesthetics don't bother you. The extra capability simply alleviates any concerns about the hitch.
 

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option outside the box:

skip the expensive UTV, skip the trailer.

buy a old wrangler or cherokee sport with a 4.0, (or something else low tech / cheap to maintain,)


....and drive it on the pavement to the trail. (plate it with low miles insurance.)

maybe make the air conditioner work.
 

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I should have added:

I'd go with a class III hitch if the aesthetics don't bother you. The extra capability simply alleviates any concerns about the hitch.
I think the general ratings are:

II = 3500 lb / 300 TW / 1.25" receiver
III = 6000 lb / 600 TW / 2" receiver

Outback = 2700/200

Both hitches are rated higher than the vehicle specs.

I do agree about a class III, the 2" receiver gives you a lot more options.
 

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I installed the Ecohitch and tow this jumping Jack trailer. It weighs in at 1250 as it is in the photo. Last archery season, I had a 700 plus lb Yamaha Grizzly 700 on it and camp gear, totes and a 150 quart Pelican cooler with lots of food and liquid refreshments on it. I towed it about 300 miles to our base camp. All in all, it totaled about 2300lbs. Tongue weight was adjusted with placement of the ATV. It will Wil no races getting there, but I didn't flog it at all either. I averaged 50mph up the pass and it towed it great. On the way home, the cooler and roof rack and whatever other place could be found? We hauled back another 400ish lbs of nature's finest organic table fare. Otherwise known as Wapiti.


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The problem with some of the trailers I have seen that will haul a utv is where the axle is located on the trailer. I have this trailer (this isn't mine--just a pic off the net), which predates utvs for the most part but was designed to hold two atvs sideways. The axle is located so far back on the trailer that it is tough to manage the tongue weight by shifting the load to the back. Most of the time I have just hauled a single atv or two smaller vintage snowmobiles so it has worked out, but I'm not sure a utv could be placed far enough back to keep the tongue weight down to the Outback specs. Ramp location is also something to think about. On mine, as pictured, the original ramp location is on the front, which adds to the tongue weight issue. I have at times relocated the ramps toward the back of the trailer to balance the weight a little better. I'm not a big fan of the fold down tailgate ramp, but those might be a little better for tongue weight balance.



I've looked at relocating the axle farther forward on mine but the way the cross beams are located it would then be too far forward and I would have the opposite problem with the load weight being too far back. I have considered adding a second axle ahead of the original which would really help, but the added weight and cost have kept me from doing it.


 

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You can still tune the tongue weight even on a aft-axled trailer like the one shown by putting the heavier end on the back part of the trailer. That may mean backing it onto the trailer if the utv is nose heavy.
If you end up doing that, check things like the windshield if so equipped. Windshields are normally installed to withstand force pushing against them going forward, not in reverse.
 

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You can still tune the tongue weight even on a aft-axled trailer like the one shown by putting the heavier end on the back part of the trailer. That may mean backing it onto the trailer if the utv is nose heavy.
If you end up doing that, check things like the windshield if so equipped. Windshields are normally installed to withstand force pushing against them going forward, not in reverse.
It can be done you just need to be more aware of it on a trailer like mine. I haven't used it much with the Outback but I've had some crazy loads on it at times that took some planning and rearranging to get the tongue weight low enough to pull with the Ford Escape I had previously. A couple of years ago I had a zero-turn mower, an atv, and a Volkswagen engine on it, along with some miscellaneous items. Pulled it from Arkansas to Michigan. I think the trailer and tongue weights were within limits, but with all the stuff I had inside the Escape I was probably pushing it a little. That's a load I wouldn't have been able to even consider with the Outback.



I also don't think that same 1,000 mile trip pulling this would be a good choice with the Outback either.


 

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I installed the Ecohitch and tow this jumping Jack trailer. It weighs in at 1250 as it is in the photo. Last archery season, I had a 700 plus lb Yamaha Grizzly 700 on it and camp gear, totes and a 150 quart Pelican cooler with lots of food and liquid refreshments on it. I towed it about 300 miles to our base camp. All in all, it totaled about 2300lbs. Tongue weight was adjusted with placement of the ATV. It will Wil no races getting there, but I didn't flog it at all either. I averaged 50mph up the pass and it towed it great. On the way home, the cooler and roof rack and whatever other place could be found? We hauled back another 400ish lbs of nature's finest organic table fare. Otherwise known as Wapiti
Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

Did your trailer have trailer brakes? Subaru recommends trailer braking for anything over 1000 pounds.

I wish I would have researched UTV's more before buying my Outback.....
 

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It did not on the trip mentioned. To be honest? Let the hazing begin...... with smart towing. Watching your follow distance, downshifting on big hills, watching your gauges and such and using the manual shift/paddle shifters for down hills? Subaru will always ere on the side of caution. As will any manufacturer these days. But the brakes on the car impressed me. I had one SUDDEN stop I had to make and it surprised me how well JUST the OB brakes work. I HAVE since installed electric brakes on the trailer with the appropriate controller. No sense working them any harder than need be. If you're mechnicly inclined? The electric brake conversion and controller was about a 3 hour job to include adequate beaks to partake in some barley and hops.
Did your trailer have trailer brakes? Subaru recommends trailer braking for anything over 1000 pounds.

I wish I would have researched UTV's more before buying my Outback.....
Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 

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It did not on the trip mentioned. To be honest? Let the hazing begin...... with smart towing. Watching your follow distance, downshifting on big hills, watching your gauges and such and using the manual shift/paddle shifters for down hills? Subaru will always ere on the side of caution. As will any manufacturer these days. But the brakes on the car impressed me. I had one SUDDEN stop I had to make and it surprised me how well JUST the OB brakes work. I HAVE since installed electric brakes on the trailer with the appropriate controller. No sense working them any harder than need be. If you're mechnicly inclined? The electric brake conversion and controller was about a 3 hour job to include adequate beaks to partake in some barley and hops.

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For many yrs I dragged an 1800lb boat around 2001 Legacy GT and our 2010 OB. At times we were in the 2000-2500 range. From about 2300 and up braking took far more pedal force but emergency stops were not dangerous or crazy long. Both Subarus easily out stopped my Sequoia with the same boat and did so in a far more controlled manner than the Sequoia. In my case saltwater trailer ment no brakes they turn to useless junk after about a yr with saltwater boat ramps.

For my mini Jumping jack tent trailer 4x6 Lifetime tent trailer we are typically at 1200-1300 loaded for trips no ATV we do haul a boat occasionally but its under 200lbs. Heavy packed we hit 1500lbs. The 2.5 OB hardly notices typical long trips 500-800 miles we’ll do a trip mileage average of 21mpg. My boat was 8.5ft wide 26ft hitch to stern and about 10inches taller than the roof line on the OB. At 1800lbs, 70mph with slight head wind the OB ran 16mpg. 65mph and under I averaged 18-19mpg. Wind drag has a big effect in performance.

If I put two my bikes up on the roof with our 4x6 trailer we knock our trip average from 21mpg to 18mpg just by adding the bikes to the roof.

1800lbs is about the max weight for go anywhere good performance weight. Start getting 1800+ lbs and climbs get slow, ypu need to really watch for temp spikes in hot regions be it climbs or head winds etc.

Outside of that subarus tow well and handle well with trailers.

Both my Subarus ran 60,000 miles per set of brake pads towing yr around. On average I probably tow once a month.
 

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As for trailer brakes if I had a traditional RV trailer I would go electric brakes. The Jumping Jack actually would be nice to have electric brakes on especially for dirt roads hauling back into remote hunting camps. But boat trailers that go in saltwater you avoid them unless your dragging around a massive heavy thing.
 

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It can be done you just need to be more aware of it on a trailer like mine. I haven't used it much with the Outback but I've had some crazy loads on it at times that took some planning and rearranging to get the tongue weight low enough to pull with the Ford Escape I had previously. A couple of years ago I had a zero-turn mower, an atv, and a Volkswagen engine on it, along with some miscellaneous items. Pulled it from Arkansas to Michigan. I think the trailer and tongue weights were within limits, but with all the stuff I had inside the Escape I was probably pushing it a little. That's a load I wouldn't have been able to even consider with the Outback.



I also don't think that same 1,000 mile trip pulling this would be a good choice with the Outback either.
how much did that VW Thing weigh? how was it to flat tow. (presumably it was a manual trans in the VW and fine to tow 4 wheels down).

problem with UTVs and doing that: CVT transmissions in them. and the off road tires.

although I wonder if anyone has put road/ trailer type tires on them. and disconnected shafts to tow them 4 wheels down without a trailer. and then put the off road tires on near the trail head.
___
@MiddleAgeSubie may have some suggestions as to how people get such UTVs to the trailheads around zona/colorado etc.
 

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how much did that VW Thing weigh? how was it to flat tow. (presumably it was a manual trans in the VW and fine to tow 4 wheels down).

problem with UTVs and doing that: CVT transmissions in them. and the off road tires.

although I wonder if anyone has put road/ trailer type tires on them. and disconnected shafts to tow them 4 wheels down without a trailer. and then put the off road tires on near the trail head.
___
@MiddleAgeSubie may have some suggestions as to how people get such UTVs to the trailheads around zona/colorado etc.
I'm pretty sure the Thing weighs about 2200lbs normally. In my case the engine was out so that dropped maybe 200lbs, but this one had the heavier hard top on it plus the convertible top rolled up inside, along with various boxes of extra parts and a couple of extra tires/wheels for spares if needed.



It pulled like a dream behind the Escape. Most of the time I couldn't even tell it was back there. I just had to plan ahead so I never got in a spot where I would have to back up. Flat towing like that there is almost no tongue weight to speak of and it tracked amazingly well, even in turns. The only thing that I was really concerned about was not having brakes if I ever got in an emergency stop situation. I mostly just drove fairly slow but it pulled so smoothly that I did catch myself creeping up to just over 70mph a few times. Pulling it home over the 1,000 miles I averaged 21mpg with the Escape. Without it I usually got around 25mpg on the same trip so it did far better than I expected. Pulling the trailer pictured in my earlier post with the load described I think the mileage was down around 17 or 18 and you knew the trailer was there every mile of the way.


I don't know what it would take to flat tow a utv but if it wasn't too much work to set up I would think they would pull very easily. Unfortunately it might be pretty tough to disconnect the shafts if that was necessary. Changing tires wouldn't be bad though.
 

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presented in the first post was the idea of getting a 4 wheeler, (or 2) instead of UTV.

____

from my own experiences of riding and driving such things: and knowing people that have wrecked them.

I like the safety of the cage around the UTV.
but hate them for their bizarre expense, and fragility to do actual work. (vs. say a tractor).

I have known people that were injured by 4 wheelers (2 debilitated),
and a few more that have dumped them and were thrown clear.

____

how about a 2wd or 4wd sand rail? (with a subaru engine stuck in it, ...although air cooled is great).
 

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Eh, at that point, getting an XJ etc, just ditch the Outback for a 4Runner...


On paper, the H4 Outback + UTV is a very, very sensible combo for AZ.


The caveats are, yes, tongue weight and then also overheating between May and October.



On I-17, engine temperature and ATF temp run at the top or above what is generally recommended, definitely on the big climbs WITHOUT a big load. Add a trailer and it becomes a real issue during 5-6 months of the year. You will have to leave home like 6AM during the summer months when headed northbound.



Your coolant temp will easily be over 230F on the climbs and the ATF won't have much trouble getting over 250F, which is not good.



And towing off-pavement on anything but smooth and flat dirt roads is out of the question, if you want to keep your engine and ATF temps not too far from the recommended ones--even in mildly warm weather.
 
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