There are a couple of reasons why you bought the Subaru Outback, but we’re betting the fact that it’s a pickup truck is an important one. Two important words: towing and hauling. While the Subaru is a great truck just for driving around, it’s significantly being underutilized if it’s never used for towing or hauling.
The hauling bit is taken care of, thanks to the spacious bed of the Subaru Outback where you can load plenty of cargo. But you’ll have to get a hitch if you’re thinking of doing any kind of towing with your Subaru.
Top 5 Best Hitch for Subaru Outback in 2021
What’s the big deal with a hitch? Isn’t it just an extension? No, it’s much more than that. The quality of your hitch can drastically increase or decrease the strength and torque of your truck. Some would argue that searching for the right hitch is almost as important as searching for the right truck, since it can make or break your vehicle’s capabilities.
Most people go to their local mechanics and ask them to source the best hitch for Subaru outback, but this comes with extra charges and usually costs you much more than it should. After doing some basic research on your own, you’ll be able to discern which hitch is right for your vehicle and your towing needs!
However, there’s a lot of ambiguity in online markets over which hitches are compatible with which pickup truck. That’s why we’ve done the work for you, and only shortlisted the best hitches that are compatible with the Subaru Outback. Don’t forget to check out our Buying Guide and FAQs section to help you further make your decision!
We’ve selected Reese Towpower because it is the perfect hitch for beginner truck drivers to start towing with. This model 21536 Class III is very easy to install with a lot of strength to offer.
If you want the specifics, this hitch can handle about 6,000 lbs in straining pressure and with a nine inch shank. This shank gives the hitch plenty of turning space and also allows you to easily adjust the trailer level.
It’s easy to install because it comes pre assembled and the ball cannot be removed, adding more safety to the hitch.
- Manufacturer: Reese Towpower
- Model: FBA_21536
- Weight: 5.95 pounds
- Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.25 x 5 inches
- Drop: 2 inch
- Rise: .75 inch
- Long 9 inch shank
- Comes pre assembled
- Great for beginners
- Easy installation
- Can’t remove or replace the ball
This premium hitch is perfect for absolutely every kind of Subaru Outback driver, since it’s adjustable and can cater to any and all needs.
What do we mean by adjustable? The ball mount can be interchangeable. In addition to this, the unit can actually withstand up to an upper limit of 12,000 lbs. That’s definitely one of the strongest hitches on our list.
The Uriah is all you need for towing, and the unit actually comes with three chrome plated balls of different sizes so that you can swap them out according to your needs. Here are the ball sizes.
- 1 ⅞ inches
- 2 inches
- 2 5/16 inches
- Manufacturer: Uriah
- Model: UT623410
- Rise: 6 ¾ inches
- Drop: 6 inches
- Weight: 17 pounds
- Dimensions: 13 x 9 x 4 inches
- Exterior: Smooth
- Adjustable balls
- Great strength
- Durable build
- Comes with three balls
- Not affordable for everyone
The Rugged Ridge Black Receiver Hitch Kit also serves multiple purposes since it is essentially a ‘two in one’ receiver. This hitch advertises itself as the perfect hitch for ‘adventure towing’. It comes with a pre assembled unit with 3500 lbs as the upper limit of weight capacity.
This unit also provides you with towing hooks, hitches, and other attachments that are super useful. The unit itself has a 350lbs torque and even a two-inch opening. Some of the attachments even include racks where you can store your bicycle.
This hitch is very versatile and useful because of all the accessories and attachments that come with it.
- Manufacturer: Rugged Ridge
- Model: 11580.51
- Weight: 13.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 6 inches
- Exterior: Smooth
- 5 years warranty
- Comes with attachments
- Great for adventure towing
- Average strength
Maybe you’re simply looking for ease and a stress-free experience. You don’t want to get too much into the specifics, you just want to get a hitch that can do everything so you can forget about it. That’s not too much to ask!
The B&W TS10048B Tow and Stow Magnum Receiver is perfect if you feel this way, since it comes pre assembled and can be installed very quickly. Additionally, it is adjustable and comes with three different balls. However, you don’t have to take apart the entire thing if you want to change the balls. All you need to do is rotate it!
It’s not shy with strength either — this hitch can handle up to 10,000 lbs. When you’re not using the ball mounts, you can safely tuck them inside the hitch to protect them.
- Manufacturer: B&W Trailer Hitches
- Model: TS10048B
- Weight: 29.8 pounds
- Rise: 5 inches
- Drop: 5 inches
- 3 adjustable ball mounts
- 10,000 lbs strength
- Not affordable for everyone
The final hitch on our list is the reliable Andersen Rapid Hitch. It’s great if you’re primarily looking for a hitch with an adjustable ball mount. It comes with two ball mount attachments that can be changed out according to your towing requirements.
The first ball is 2 inches and can tow up to 8,000 lbs. The second ball is 2 5/16 inches and can handle up to 10,000 lbs! Both of these are impressive strength capacities and are definitely pushing the capabilities of the Subaru Outback as well.
We particularly like that the entire product is made out of high-grade aluminum that is completely corrosion resistant. That means this will last you years together, and you don’t have to worry about ever getting another hitch. The ball mounts are also very easily adjusted, you simply remove the securing pin and slide them to the correct height and then secure it again!
- Manufacturer: Andersen
- Model: 3410
- Rise: 6 inches
- Drop: 6 inches
- Weight: 17.76 pounds
- Dimensions: 11.9 x 9.3 x 5.4 inches
- 2 ball mounts
- 8,000-10,000 strength
- Easy installation
- Only suitable for 2-inch receivers
Buying Guide: Which Hitch Should I Buy for my Subaru Outback?
If you’ve read through all the products in this list and can’t figure out which one to buy, this buying guide was written especially for you. It can get confusing to pick a hitch when all of them seem to have a long list of competitive features. Understanding the difference between features and what will serve you best will enable you to make the right choice according to your needs.
Here are a couple of factors that decide what kind of hitch you should be purchasing:
One of the most important factors to consider is the strength that the hitch is offering. We can’t talk about towing without considering the strength.
You need to look at what is the amount of weight the hitch claims to handle. The hitch mount will always have a maximum weight capacity, and that should match the amount of weight which you plan to be towing.
However, not everyone has a specific number in mind about how much weight they’re going to be towing. For you, the answer might be “as much as possible!”. In this case, try to come with an estimated range of weight capacity so that you can know which category to look out for.
There are five weight categories when we look at hitches. Here they are:
- 0 to 2000 lbs Very Light Load
- 2000 to 3500 lbs Light Load
- 3500 to 5000 lbs Moderate Load
- 5000 to 10,000 lbs Heavy Load
- 10,000 to 17,000 lbs Heavy Duty Load for construction purposes.
Most people owning a Subaru Outback will fall into the second and third categories in terms of their expectations for weight capacity from the hitch. This also matches with the Subaru Outback’s capabilities.
Receiver Tube Size
This is important in case you want to verify whether the hitch will be compatible with your Subaru Outback. You must know that receiver tubes come in three different sizes.
- 1 ¼ inch for 0 to 3500 lbs
- 2 inches for 3500 to 10,000 lbs
- 2 ½ inches for 10,000 to 17,000 lbs.
According to the needs of the Subaru Outback, you will require the first receiver tube size, which is the 1 ¼ inch receiver tube. That’s because the Subaru Outback’s towing capacity falls within the 0 to 3500 lbs range. However, there are also adapters available that you can utilize if you need to use another tube.
Just like the receiver tube, the ball mount also varies in size according to the towing capacity. You’ll commonly find the 2 inches and 2-5/16 inches when you’re searching for hitches. There are many hitches that offer ball mounts that are adjustable through rotation, while others will include multiple sizes in the ball mounts.
Rise and Drop
You have to understand what the Rise and Drop capacity of the hitch you’re considering is. You might wonder what Rise and Drop is. It’s very simple — the rise and drop capacity refers to the height of the hitch for the trailer that it’s going to be towing.
It is the distance that the ball platform is set on top of the shank, while drop is the same distance of the ball platform set below the top of the shank. You should always opt for a hitch that has adjustable rise and drop, at least with increments of one inch.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions about Hitches for Subaru Outback
You might have a couple of questions about the hitch and which one to get for your Subaru outback. We’ve searched the internet for the most commonly asked questions and listed them here so that you have a resource to refer to if any questions crop up during your selection process.
What size is the Subaru Outback hitch?
The receiver tube of your Subaru Outback hitch is 2 inches. However, it’s recommended that you opt for an adjustable one.
How to install a hitch on a Subaru Outback
Installing a hitch is something that you can 100% perform yourself. You might come across a few product reviews in this article where we mentioned that the installation process is easy or tricky — but this doesn’t mean you need to enlist the help of anybody! It should take you about 20 minutes if you’re installing a hitch on your Subaru Outback for the first time.
Most hitches will not require any welding for the installation.
Here are the tools you need to perform it on your own:
- Flathead screwdrivers
- Electric tape
- Tin snap
- Torque wrench
- Safety glasses (important)
- Exhaust plier
- 1-inch hole saw
- 10mm and 11/16 in. sockets
- 6 in. socket extension
Here are the steps to follow while installing a hitch on your Subaru Outback:
- Add support to the exhaust system
- Lower the exhaust
- Carefully remove the heat shields
- Drill 1 inch access holes into the frames
- Thread the carriage bolts through the drilled access holes
- Tape the washers to the hitch
- Take the hitch and position it into place
- Torque the hex nuts
- After trimming, return the heat shields
- Raise the exhaust again
For more information on how to install a hitch successfully onto your Subaru Outback, check this out.
Does installing a trailer hitch void warranty?
This is an extremely important question because nobody wants to install a hitch or any other incredible attachment if it means that it could complicate or void the warranty on their vehicle.
The good news is that no, the hitch will not void your Subaru Outback warranty. In fact, any aftermarket attachment will not void your warranty. However, there is a big ‘but’ to this clause. If the aftermarket part you attached (such as the hitch) has been the source of your problems with the vehicle, it will void any repairs that would be otherwise covered by the warranty.
The bottom line is, no it will not void your warranty unless it’s the reason why something in your vehicle is not working. We don’t see what your hitch could possibly do that would make it the reason why you have to take it for servicing, so you shouldn’t have to worry about this too much!