Subaru Owners Registry

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Contributor I

60
Colorado Springs, CO
First Name
Nick
Last Name
Smith
Because once they made all the necessary mods it would no longer be a 30+mpg off-roader. Also, 90% or more of their customers could care less not to mention the additional price they would have to charge.
An increase in 2 inches of suspension travel and a bumper better designed for approach angle would have little if any effect on fuel economy. Keeping overall wheel/tire diameter the same as stock would also have no effect on fuel economy. Owners of subarus that have lifted them seldom report lower mpg unless they are running a heavy all-terrain tire in plus sizes above stock diameter.

I would also argue there is a demand for it. Look at how many subarus are being sold now. Subaru cant keep up, they advertise 8.9 inches of ground clearance on forester, crosstrek and outbacks for a reason. Ford has the fx4, Chevy/GM the z71, Toyota the TRD, Jeep the Rubicon, and Subaru........
 
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MiamiC70

Rank IV

Advocate II

An increase in 2 inches of suspension travel and a bumper better designed for approach angle would have little if any effect on fuel economy. Keeping overall wheel/tire diameter the same as stock would also have no effect on fuel economy. Owners of subarus that have lifted them seldom report lower mpg unless they are running a heavy all-terrain tire in plus sizes above stock diameter.

I would also argue there is a demand for it. Look at how many subarus are being sold now. Subaru cant keep up, they advertise 8.9 inches of ground clearance on forester, crosstrek and outbacks for a reason. Ford has the fx4, Chevy/GM the z71, Toyota the TRD, Jeep the Rubicon, and Subaru........
It’s called a Forester
Subaru builds for the masses not us on this forum.
 

Smileyshaun

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

3,857
Clackamas, Oregon
Member #

4799

It became apparent this weekend that I may need to consider getting a bigger vehicle. But amazingly I only had a small amount of rubbing over big bumps .
IMG_20190619_064944_005.jpg
 

Sasquatch SC

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

2,817
Spartanburg, SC, USA
First Name
Trey
Last Name
Hayes
Member #

17253

It’s called a Forester
Subaru builds for the masses not us on this forum.
I ruled the Forester out from the get-go because it only had a 1,000 tow rating. I wanted to be at least be able to tow my flats skiff so I needed at least 2000 lbs. The official tow rating on my '19 Outback 3.6 is 2700 lbs. I should technically be able to tow a bit more comfortably with the suspension upgrades, stiffer rear sway bar & heavy load springs at the rear. I had a Class III 2" receiver installed normally, but then I had a welder friend do a solid bead weld on both sides of where the receiver meets the frame. I installed a Redarc trailer brake controller for the car, a new brake system on the trailer, a trailer weight distribution system, and then a transom saver which is essentially a long pole that mounts to the trailer a little in front of the axle and then it is strapped to the outboard to lessen the load behind the trailer axle.
 
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Smileyshaun

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

3,857
Clackamas, Oregon
Member #

4799

I ruled the Forester out from the get-go because it only had a 1,000 tow rating. I wanted to be at least be able to tow my flats skiff so I needed at least 2000 lbs. The official tow rating on my '19 Outback 3.6 is 2700 lbs. I should technically be able to tow a bit more comfortably with the suspension upgrades, stiffer rear sway bar & heavy load springs at the rear. I had a Class III 2" receiver installed normally, but then I had a welder friend do a solid bead weld on both sides of where the receiver meets the frame. I installed a Redarc trailer brake controller for the car, a new brake system on the trailer, a trailer weight distribution system, and then a transom saver which is essentially a long pole that mounts to the trailer a little in front of the axle and then it is strapped to the outboard to lessen the load behind the trailer axle.
the funny thing is if you look outside the USA the trailer ratings for Subarus is almost double
 
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Sasquatch SC

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

2,817
Spartanburg, SC, USA
First Name
Trey
Last Name
Hayes
Member #

17253

the funny thing is if you look outside the USA the trailer ratings for Subarus is almost double
I've seen that and thought about it... in a lot of other countries you are required to have special certifications to tow a trailer on highways and major roads. I wouldn't be so concerned about pulling over 8k lbs if I kept it under 45 mph the whole time. Speed and traffic are why you have to pay attention to your GVWR, your GTW (gross trailer weight) and your tongue weight.

If you try to tow over what your vehicle is ready for and then jump on the highway at 70 mph you're going to have problems. Best case scenario, your car is going to be hurting after getting pushed around by the trailer. Most trailer brake controllers are delayed and apply the brakes evenly on both trailer wheels. If you don't have a proportional system that uses accelerometers to automatically slow down your trailer before you touch the brakes the trailer can push your car off the side of the road. Worse case scenario of towing what you are set up to do and going 70 is your trailer will catch a wind and get squirelly, then get the death wobble, and before you can do anything you're trailer is going to roll taking your rig with it.
 

Baipin

Rank V

Enthusiast I

Given how many Subarus I see modified for better off-road use out there in the wild and in online videos (just look at all the folks bombing through mud and Jeep trails in the Foresters and Crosstreks. Don't see as many Ford, Honda, or VW cars doing that)... On top of all the Subarus I see carrying something outdoors-related around town (e.g. kayak, bikes, skis); an off-road oriented trim would probably sell well. I know my fair share of people who want something more trail-worthy, but don't have the time or skill to modify it on their own.

Even in spite of all of the above, just look at what Jeep did with the Trailhawk Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. Those things have some serious off road chops, despite being "just" crossovers akin to the Forester:

104246 104249


With that said, it's not to say Subarus can't do any of the stuff pictured above - just look at the videos a few posts back - but it'd sure be a lot easier with a factory-installed diff locker, low range, and better approach angles, as @Nick - Overland Pro Shop said. The two Jeep trims above have those things.

Speaking of diff lockers... Anyone heard much about the Torq Master R160 locker? I know it's in testing now, and should be released within a month, but I'm yet to see results.
 

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Sasquatch SC

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

2,817
Spartanburg, SC, USA
First Name
Trey
Last Name
Hayes
Member #

17253

Given how many Subarus I see modified for better off-road use out there in the wild and in online videos (just look at all the folks bombing through mud and Jeep trails in the Foresters and Crosstreks. Don't see as many Ford, Honda, or VW cars doing that)... On top of all the Subarus I see carrying something outdoors-related around town (e.g. kayak, bikes, skis); an off-road oriented trim would probably sell well. I know my fair share of people who want something more trail-worthy, but don't have the time or skill to modify it on their own.

Even in spite of all of the above, just look at what Jeep did with the Trailhawk Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. Those things have some serious off road chops, despite being "just" crossovers akin to the Forester:

View attachment 104246 View attachment 104249


With that said, it's not to say Subarus can't do any of the stuff pictured above - just look at the videos a few posts back - but it'd sure be a lot easier with a factory-installed diff locker, low range, and better approach angles, as @Nick - Overland Pro Shop said. The two Jeep trims above have those things.

Speaking of diff lockers... Anyone heard much about the Torq Master R160 locker? I know it's in testing now, and should be released within a month, but I'm yet to see results.
I’ve been looking for news on that as well.

As much as I love my OB, I think the vehicle Subaru should start w/ to make a hardcore off-roader from off the showroom floor is the Crosstrek. It already has a pretty aggro look to it and has a pretty short wheelbase. They’d need to get something that puts out a lot more power than the 175 out of the 2.0 it has now. Beef up the suspension & have it sit higher. Put some more flex in the suspension. Rework the nose to bring the front axle closer to the front. That’d really give it a better approach & the higher sitting rear would help the departure.
The Crosstrek should have been the “Trailhawk” version of the Impreza wagon.
 

Baipin

Rank V

Enthusiast I

I’ve been looking for news on that as well.

As much as I love my OB, I think the vehicle Subaru should start w/ to make a hardcore off-roader from off the showroom floor is the Crosstrek. It already has a pretty aggro look to it and has a pretty short wheelbase. They’d need to get something that puts out a lot more power than the 175 out of the 2.0 it has now. Beef up the suspension & have it sit higher. Put some more flex in the suspension. Rework the nose to bring the front axle closer to the front. That’d really give it a better approach & the higher sitting rear would help the departure.
The Crosstrek should have been the “Trailhawk” version of the Impreza wagon.
You make some good points, and I think Subaru might be closer to that sort of Crosstrek than we realize. The plug-in hybrid version of the Crosstrek has, of course, electric motors. Info on its off-road prowess is limited, but from what I've heard - and seen with other electric vehicles - the instant torque of those electric motors would really enhance the vehicle's capability in everything from hill climbs to mounting larger obstacles (i.e. rock gardens). A high torque Crosstrek + a greater towing capacity + a basecamp trailer would be a helluva' lot of fun!
 

Sasquatch SC

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

2,817
Spartanburg, SC, USA
First Name
Trey
Last Name
Hayes
Member #

17253

You make some good points, and I think Subaru might be closer to that sort of Crosstrek than we realize. The plug-in hybrid version of the Crosstrek has, of course, electric motors. Info on its off-road prowess is limited, but from what I've heard - and seen with other electric vehicles - the instant torque of those electric motors would really enhance the vehicle's capability in everything from hill climbs to mounting larger obstacles (i.e. rock gardens). A high torque Crosstrek + a greater towing capacity + a basecamp trailer would be a helluva' lot of fun!
The general size of it would keep its towing capacity low. Especially if you shorten the wheelbase. I think it would be awesome to have a diesel. Is there such a thing as a diesel boxer?
 

Baipin

Rank V

Enthusiast I

The general size of it would keep its towing capacity low. Especially if you shorten the wheelbase. I think it would be awesome to have a diesel. Is there such a thing as a diesel boxer?
I've seen people tow ultralight trailers no more than 1500 lbs behind a Crosstrek, which I think is their capacity. You can definitely get some livable space to walk around and sleep in for that kind of weight (though you'd have to be careful towing something like that off road at least with the relatively low-powered engines presently in the Crosstrek.

Diesel engines do exist though! The FA20 DIT comes in a diesel variant in Europe. Really wish that were a thing over here...

 
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Sasquatch SC

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

2,817
Spartanburg, SC, USA
First Name
Trey
Last Name
Hayes
Member #

17253

I've seen people tow ultralight trailers no more than 1500 lbs behind a Crosstrek, which I think is their capacity. You can definitely get some livable space to walk around and sleep in for that kind of eright (though you'd have to be careful towing something like that off road at least with the relatively low-powered engines presently in the Crosstrek.

Diesel engines do exist though! The FA20 DIT comes in a diesel variant in Europe. Really wish that were a thing over here...

Very true. The trailer brake controller I got is actually designed w/ the ability to do that kind of stuff in mind. It even talks about it having a user function mode that says in the literature: “...particularly beneficial when overlanding or towing a trailer off-road...”

https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Controller/Redarc/331-EBRH-ACCV2.html
 
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Baipin

Rank V

Enthusiast I

Very true. The trailer brake controller I got is actually designed w/ the ability to do that kind of stuff in mind. It even talks about it having a user function mode that says in the literature: “...particularly beneficial when overlanding or towing a trailer off-road...”

Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 3 Axles - Proportional Redarc Brake Controller
Very handy to know, thank you. I'm still not sure if I'm in the "tow your home" or "put your home in your rig and its roof" camp.

On one hand, towing lets you take a larger living space and more stuff with you, plus leave it as your basecamp while you venture out in your vehicle. That said, it's poorer off-road: I worry about getting bogged in mud I could otherwise drive through without a trailer in tow.

For a rooftop tent, I've got everything all in one nimble vehicle - no trailer to worry about (and if you cut a hole in the bottom of the rooftop tent, you've got an area to stand up in/access your sleeping space from inside the vehicle). Also, I've already built an entire kitchen, fridge, and storage into my Forester, so a trailer would be somewhat redundant. Plus, I figure I'd do less driving, more biking/walking/kayaking to move around camp.

Always something to think about... :)
 

Sasquatch SC

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

2,817
Spartanburg, SC, USA
First Name
Trey
Last Name
Hayes
Member #

17253

Very handy to know, thank you. I'm still not sure if I'm in the "tow your home" or "put your home in your rig and its roof" camp.

On one hand, towing lets you take a larger living space and more stuff with you, plus leave it as your basecamp while you venture out in your vehicle. That said, it's poorer off-road: I worry about getting bogged in mud I could otherwise drive through without a trailer in tow.

For a rooftop tent, I've got everything all in one nimble vehicle - no trailer to worry about (and if you cut a hole in the bottom of the rooftop tent, you've got an area to stand up in/access your sleeping space from inside the vehicle). Also, I've already built an entire kitchen, fridge, and storage into my Forester, so a trailer would be somewhat redundant. Plus, I figure I'd do less driving, more biking/walking/kayaking to move around camp.

Always something to think about... :)
The only thing I’d be towing would be my boat - once I get to an area, I usually get a ranger to let me park up my trailer somewhere or I rent a slip at a marina. It really only goes on my Overland trips maybe 20% of the trips.

I don’t use a roof tent. I have gotten so I can store all of my gear efficiently into weatherproof totes that I can stack in the back of my car or I can put them in the roof basket. When I get to where I want to camp, I have a nice hammock tent w/ the bugscreen & rainfly that I run between my roof basket & a nearby tree.

Having a teardrop would be neat, but in the end it would just be an unnecessary hassle. I like traveling light.
 
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Sasquatch SC

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

2,817
Spartanburg, SC, USA
First Name
Trey
Last Name
Hayes
Member #

17253

In one photo it looks like you have orange straps wrapped around the undeployed awning and then in another photo where you have w/ the awning out you have a step ladder w/ an angle grinder sitting on it & what looks to be an extra piece of tubing/pipe/frame laying beside the car. Did you build the awning yourself? If you did, that is seriously good work & I’d like to know the time & cost invested to do something like that.
 

thinkinjose

Rank I

Contributor I

In one photo it looks like you have orange straps wrapped around the undeployed awning and then in another photo where you have w/ the awning out you have a step ladder w/ an angle grinder sitting on it & what looks to be an extra piece of tubing/pipe/frame laying beside the car. Did you build the awning yourself? If you did, that is seriously good work & I’d like to know the time & cost invested to do something like that.
Yes the awning was built using 3/4" electrical conduit and a 8'x6' tarp bolted together I found a DIY video on YouTube

 

Sasquatch SC

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

2,817
Spartanburg, SC, USA
First Name
Trey
Last Name
Hayes
Member #

17253

Yes the awning was built using 3/4" electrical conduit and a 8'x6' tarp bolted together I found a DIY video on YouTube

That is pretty sweet... It does the job and that is what counts. If you are looking at options for storage while you are in motion you should check out bimini top boots that are used on boats. I just replaced one and they are pretty much just a good piece of canvas-like material that wraps all the way around and the two sides zip together. Should keep you from having to worry about flapping straps or your tarp piece catching wind and getting torn up. Here is a 96" one from Overton's.
 
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thinkinjose

Rank I

Contributor I

That is pretty sweet... It does the job and that is what counts. If you are looking at options for storage while you are in motion you should check out bimini top boots that are used on boats. I just replaced one and they are pretty much just a good piece of canvas-like material that wraps all the way around and the two sides zip together. Should keep you from having to worry about flapping straps or your tarp piece catching wind and getting torn up. Here is a 96" one from Overton's.
I'm making a cover with waterproof canvas type material with straps that go around and clip together
 

thinkinjose

Rank I

Contributor I

That is pretty sweet... It does the job and that is what counts. If you are looking at options for storage while you are in motion you should check out bimini top boots that are used on boats. I just replaced one and they are pretty much just a good piece of canvas-like material that wraps all the way around and the two sides zip together. Should keep you from having to worry about flapping straps or your tarp piece catching wind and getting torn up. Here is a 96" one from Overton's.
The awning cover 20190621_234401.jpeg20190621_235057.jpeg20190621_235515.jpeg20190621_235916.jpeg