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Will Installing Hitch on 2011 Subaru Outback Increase Vehicle's 200 lb Tongue Weight Capacity

Question:

Dear etrailer, I want to install a Class III hitch receiver on my 2011 Outback 2.5l, CVT strictly for carrying a bike rack, cargo carrier, etc. I will not be towing a trailer. The vehicle owners manual specifies a maximum tongue weight of 200 pounds. I do not know if this means with the Outback factory hitch or any hitch. Will getting a Class III hitch receiver with a maximum tongue weight capacity of 600 pounds allow me to actually carry up to 600 pounds or am I limited to the 200 pounds? If limited to 200 pounds, could I increase the maximum tongue weight capacity with something like air shocks? The reason I ask is that I may eventually want to carry a small 400 pound motorcycle on a hitch-mount motorcycle carrier. Thank you

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Expert Reply:

Since any towing system will be limited by the capacity of the lowest rated component, you'll be limited to the 200 lb tongue weight capacity of the vehicle, even though the Curt # C13410 hitch itself has a 600 lb capacity.

I couldn't speak to why Subaru limits the tongue weight capacity of the vehicle to 200 lbs, in many cases it's because the structure of the vehicle where the hitch attaches cannot withstand more than a limited amount of downward force.

Using rear helper springs or any other modifications wouldn't increase the tongue weight capacity of the vehicle.

To transport a motorcycle, you'll want to use a small trailer like # K2MMT5X7. If you decide to go that route, in addition the hitch, you'll also need a trailer wiring harness like # 118467, a ball mount like # 2923 and a trailer ball like # 19261 for a 1-7/8 inch or # 63845 for a 2 inch ball.

expert reply by:
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Mike L

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