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Trailer Hitch and Towing Accessories Recommendations for 2001 Subaru Outback Wagon

Question:

I have a 2001 Subaru SW outback. I want to be able to pull a 6x8 foot utility trailer, and possibly add a utility shelf in the future. I am leaning toward the Draw-Tite 36284. Should I get the Drawbar 3-1/8inch Rise 36061, or the 5/8inch Rise or 1-1/4inch Drop 36053. Should I get the Hitch Ball with 1-7/8inch Diameter and Short Shank 19256, or the Long Shank 19254? Will I need the Pin and Clip PC2? Will the T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness 118461 or the Hopkins Custom Fit 33855 be a better fit? Will a 80103-1 7/16inch Bolt Leader be handy?

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Expert Reply:

The Draw-Tite # 36284 would be an excellent choice as long as your Outback Wagon isn't a Sport model.

The best ball mount will depend on the coupler height of the trailer you're planning on using. I'll link you to an FAQ article that shows how to determine what rise/drop ball mount you'll need. Measure the distance from the inside top of the receiver tube to the ground. Then jack the trailer up so it's level, and measure the distance from the underside of the coupler to the ground. Subtract the two to get the needed rise or drop. If the coupler height is greater, you'll need a ball mount with a rise. If the height of the inside top of the receiver tube is greater, you'll need a ball mount with a drop.

Given that the average height of a smaller utility trailer would be right around 16 inches, the # 36053 ball mount in the rise position is what's usually called for (it's also specifically mentioned in the instructions that the 36053 is the ball mount recommended by Draw-Tite). If you use the # 36053 ball mount, the # 19258 ball would work fine. You will need a pin and clip, but it's already included with the # 36053.

Either wiring harness would work fine for you, I'd tend to lean toward the Tow Ready # 118461 because of the provided inline fuse, which the Hopkins harness doesn't offer.

I'd highly recommend the # 80103-1 bolt leader, it'll make installation much easier. If you'd like to see install videos for the hitch and the wiring, click the provided links. I've also linked you to a video showing how to use the bolt leader.

expert reply by:
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Mike L

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