Best Subaru Outback Trailer Hitch for bike and cargo rack

Published by Bike Scientist on

Selecting a Subaru Outback Trailer Hitch can be confusing because of multiple compatible products in the market. You can either go for the OEM hitch for your Outback and have the perfect fit for $416 or you can buy another hitch at half the price but with a relatively longer installation procedure. 

You will also come across different Class Subaru hitches but are they all suitable for your Outback model? It is important to relate the towing capacity of your Outback and the towing ability of the trailer hitch you go for. So this article is a guide to shortlisting the best Subaru Outback Hitch.

Best Subaru Outback Trailer Hitch Comparison

PRODUCTOEM hitch76227133901213644581
HITCH OPENING2”2”2”1 ¼”2”
GROSS TRAILER WEIGHT3,500 lbs.4,000 lbs.4,000 lbs.3,500 lbs.4,000 lbs.
WEIGHT IN POUNDS30.8 lbs. 35 lbs. ‎34.6 lbs.25 lbs.
DRILLING No NoRequired Required No 
RATING 91%92%88%90%

Subaru Outback factory trailer hitch|Looks the best with extra ground clearance

Subaru has OEM Subaru trailer hitches compatible with Outback. The class 2 hitch is compatible with the latest models of Outback and has a 2” receiver. You can get this hitch if you own a 2020-2022 Subaru Outback. It would fit perfectly on the vehicle and would look great in appearance. Moreover, the installation of OEM trailers is easier and does not require the modification of vehicles. 

This trailer hitch can be used for towing up to 3,500 lbs. but you should adhere to the towing capacity of the Outback model you own. A big advantage of using OEM hitches is the good ground clearance. This would let you tow easily and you can also carry bikes on a bike rack safely. 

The only issue with an OEM Subaru Outback trailer hitch is the high price. It would cost you around $416 but that does not include the hitch ball and ball mount. You would also have to buy a Trailer Hitch Fascia Panel in case you own the Wilderness model and an Adapter Sleeve Kit if you want to install a Thule Aluminum Hitch Rack. 

Subaru Trailer Hitch

CURT 13390|Economical Outback Trailer Hitch

If you are looking for an economical hitch you should go for CURT 13390. This class 3 Subaru trailer hitch can be bought for around $170 which is quite reasonable compared to the OEM hitch. The hitch has a 2” receiver and can be used for the installation of a hitch bike rack or for towing carriers according to the towing capacity of Outback models. 

This class 3 Outback trailer hitch is sturdy and capable of towing 4,000 lbs. at maximum but you should not exceed the towing limit of your vehicle. The rack fits perfectly on Outback 2011-2013 models. It also looks great when installed. You would not feel that it is a separate unit if it is properly secured on the vehicle. 

We like this hitch for its price and even at a low price, it is a heavy-duty product built with high-quality material. The manufacturers have done a great job in designing and constructing this Subaru Outback Trailer Hitch because it has a fine look. It also comes with a hardware kit but the instructions for its installation could be better. 

CURT 13390

Draw-Tite 76227|Easy-to-install Subaru trailer hitch

Some trailer hitches require drilling to form holes that align with the vehicle or to enlarge the pre-existing holes. This might not be easy for everyone because a drill has to be arranged and this might take more time for the installation of the hitch. Draw-Tite 76227 hitch can save you from all these troubles. 

Installation is as simple as removing the bumper, lifting the hitch in place, putting the bumper back, and torque. The instructions that come with this Subaru trailer hitch are very clear and if you are still confused you can check out some videos regarding this hitch to help you set up the towing system. 

We love this product because it does not require drilling and is as easy to install as an OEM hitch but at a lower price. And since installation is easy, you can DIY and save the cost of installation. This Subaru Outback Trailer Hitch has a good ground clearance and to reduce rattling you can use the J Hitch Pin. 

Draw-Tite 76227

CURT 12136 Subaru Outback Trailer Hitch

The CURT 12136 hitch also has high ground clearance. And because of the design of Outback, you would not have to lift the car. However, the hitch is heavy and we recommend that you ask for help, especially while lifting it toward the vehicle.  

This Subaru trailer hitch requires drilling for installation and is not as easy to install as the Draw-Tite hitch. You would have to enlarge the holes in the frame of your Outback and secondly, you would be using fish wires which might take longer to set up. Thus the installation can take longer compared to other hitches. 

Overall, it is a great hitch for Outback 2014-2019 models because of its sturdy structure. If you are looking for a class 2 hitch with a 1 ¼” receiver opening, you should go for this one. Just make sure you wear eye protection while drilling. 

CURT 12136

Reese 44581 Subaru trailer hitch

The Reese 44581 is another option for hauling stuff on the back of your Outback. This hitch is easy to install and even if you have little experience it will take an hour or less to install. It does not require drilling into the car frame and the only time taking step is the removal of exhaust. 

Taking off the rubber hangers of the exhaust of this Subaru Outback Trailer Hitch can be tricky. We recommend you use a lubricant or soapy water for easier removal. Once you take off the exhaust, the rest of the procedure is pretty straightforward and quick. Also, it is better and more convenient to use a wiring harness as compared to wire splicing.

Reese 44581

Subaru outback towing capacity

2022 Subaru Outback Towing Capacity

The towing capacity of the 2022 Subaru Outback ranges from 2700 lbs. to 3,500 lbs. Depending on the model you own. The table below shows all the 2022 Outback models along with their towing capacity. 

2022 Subaru Outback Models Towing capacity
Base2,700 lbs.
Premium2,700 lbs.
Onyx Edition2,700 lbs.
Limited2,700 lbs.
Touring2,700 lbs.
Onyx Edition XT3,500 lbs.
Wilderness3,500 lbs.
Limited XT3,500 lbs.
Touring XT3,500 lbs.

2021 Subaru Outback Towing Capacity

The 2021 Subaru Outback models also have towing capacities ranging from 2700 lbs. to 3,500 lbs. This means you should buy a Subaru Outback hitch that allows you to tow this load. 

2015 Subaru Outback Towing Capacity

The four models of the 2015 Outback have a towing capacity of either 2,700 lbs. or 3,000 lbs. The table below shows the towing capacity of each model. 

2015 Subaru Outback Models Towing capacity
2.5i2,700 lbs. 
2.5i Premium2,700 lbs. 
2.5i Limited2,700 lbs. 
3.6R Limited3,000 lbs. 

Towing Capacity Of 2016 Subaru Outback

The towing capacity of the 2016 Subaru Outback ranges from 2,700 to 3,000 lbs. 

How to install a trailer hitch Subaru outback?

Tools required to install a trailer hitch on Outback

You would require the following tools for the installation of a Subaru Outback Trailer Hitch. 

  1. Drill 
  2. Floor Jack
  3. Bolts and nuts 
  4. Socket 
  5. Magnet 

Steps for installing a trailer hitch on Outback

You can follow the steps mentioned below for the installation of a hitch on the Subaru Outback. 

  1. Remove everything that is lining the floor of your trunk and unbolt the muffler. 
  2. Remove the heat shield from under the car. You can lift the car by using a jack but it is not necessary because Outback is higher. 
  3. Enlarge the holes by using a drill and use the jack to lift up the hitch. Align the holes with the bolts. You can use a magnet to guide the wire through the hole. 
  4. Once the hitch is secured in place you can remove the jack. 
  5. Modify the heat shield according to the hitch, lift the muffler to its place, and install the rubber supports again. 

FAQs for trailer hitch Subaru Outback

How much to install trailer hitch Subaru Outback?

It can cost you somewhere around $150 to $500 depending on the difficulty in installation. 

What size trailer hitch for Subaru Outback?

You can use a 1 ¼” or 2” hitch receiver for Subaru Outback. 

How to fix a loose trailer hitch Subaru Outback?

Using a hitch pin is the best way to prevent this. If the trailer is loose, you can check the bolts again and torque. 

What is the cost to install trailer hitch on Subaru Outback?

Some hitches are easy to install while others take longer time and more effort. If you hire a professional to install the hitch on your Outback, you might have to pay between  $150 to $500. 

How long did it take your Subaru Outback trailer hitch to be installed?

Depending on the ease of installation, a Subaru trailer hitch can take an hour or it might take more than 2 hours to install. 

What type of trailer hitch is needed for a Subaru Outback?

You can use a class 2 or class 3 Subaru Outback Trailer Hitch. The towing capacity of Subaru Outback models varies from 2700 lbs. to 3500 lbs. So you can purchase the right hitch accordingly.

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Bike Scientist

S Chaudhry is the founder and the first writer for BikesRacks. He covers almost all the bike reviews after doing a lot of secondary and primary (hands on) research on the products. Apart from that he is the author of a number of how to do articles as well on the website. He is an avid road bike cyclists who is dealing in a lot of areas related to biking. Currently he has gained experience fixing bikes to retailing accessories related to them as well. His eventual goal is to build an authority site on cycling and also become a profession bike fitter.