Selecting the best trailer hitch for your Subaru Outback can be a real pain in the neck if you don’t have a clear idea as to what you are looking for.
Someone proficient in certain automotive areas might be completely befuddled in others.
On the topic of trailer hitches there are several different variations available, and only a few that will fit your specific needs.
In order to find the right hitch for your vehicle, let’s first break down how exactly you’d pick your hitch, to begin with. Then, after we’ve come to an understanding of the mechanism, we can look at a few options that work perfectly for the Outback.
Understand Your Weight Class
If you are shopping for a Subaru Outback then you fit into the Hitch Class 1/Class 2 range. A good rule of thumb to follow is to have more hitch than you actually need. You can use a heavier hitch (class 2) for lighter items, but not the other way around.
You never know when you’re towing needs will change, so for that reason alone we suggest shopping for Class II towing receivers.
Let’s take a look at a few high quality trailer hitch receivers and then close things off with a few final notes.
Reese Towpower 44581 Class III 2″ Hitch Receiver
The first hitch receiver on our list of suggestions is the Towpower 44581 developed by Reese Towpower. This hitch has a 400 pound rated tongue weight with a towing capacity of 4,000 lbs. These numbers put you firmly in Class 3/4 towing category.
What we really like about the Towpower 44581 is that it is rated for a lot of power but it doesn’t up-charge for that additional oomph like many of the other market options available will.
Not only is the price nice, but these are very durable models. One of the scariest things that can happen to you on the road is to feel your haul start to waggle behind you in the wind. Safety should be paramount and this model meets and exceeds all safety inspection tests.
The manufacturer claims that it “exceeds industry standards by 20%” and we think that sounds about right.
Our final note is this: when looking for Class 4 options that fit the Subaru Outback you won’t have a diverse selection available. Thankfully this is a solid and affordable choice.
CURT 13390 Class III Receiver Hitch
The Curt 13390 is probably our favorite Class 3 receiver around, for a variety of reasons. The first we’d like to discuss is the standard 2″ receiver opening that allows for a variety of different ball and mount options, depending on the needs of your towing materials.
Second, and most importantly, CURT has managed to develop a heavy-duty hitch that is completely unobtrusive. An easy install, the 13390 is all but invisible when mounted but that doesn’t stop it from doing its job easily.
Grab this hitch while it’s on sale along with the right ball mount and you will be hauling in no time. This Class 3 is rated for 3,500 lbs though CURT does make options that can haul up to 6,000 lbs but those would be well out of the Outback’s weight class.
Draw-Tite 75673 Max-Frame Receiver
The final suggestion is the Draw-Tite 75673 Max-Frame Receiver. There were a few things that drew us to this hitch receiver.
First off the design is minimal and the installation is easy, with only a handful of moving pieces that you need to use.
This receiver has a 2″ square receiving tube and it is a solid frame, completely welded construction. Sold along with a lifetime warranty and backed by one of the better companies in the business, you could do worse than to trust your haul with this hitch.
A Final Note Regarding Ball Mounts
So you got to see our trailer hitches and figured that was the end of the learning experience. Unfortunately, we need to stress one more bit of knowledge before you go and it relates to the ball mount.
The hitches listed above do not come with ball mounts and there is a little bit of strategy that goes into selecting the right mount. In order to purchase a ball mount, you need to match the receiver tube size with the mount.
The hitches we listed above are all 2″ square receivers, though this changes depending on the brand. The ball mount is what allows you to hook up your load to your actual hitch and is, really, the most important piece of the puzzle.
As your load won’t always stay the same height, the ball mount allows you to raise or lower the hitch ball in order to match up the towed materials. This keeps everything level and, most importantly, safe.
When looking for a ball mount make sure to look for the proper size as well as the proper length of ‘dropping’ and ‘rising’ ability. This will give you the most room to maneuver your load and, as we said above, more is always better.