Outback as backroad camp vehicle?

polishammer

Member
Outback does surprisingly well off road. Of course, articulation sucks, almost like a 2x4, but with traction control and good ground clearance you can take it places that would surprise many. Here are few pics of my former Outback 3.6 limited on a local jeep trail.
 

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DaveM

Explorer
Outback does surprisingly well off road. Of course, articulation sucks, almost like a 2x4, but with traction control and good ground clearance you can take it places that would surprise many. Here are few pics of my former Outback 3.6 limited on a local jeep trail.
Thanks. Loving the car so far. Got a Frontrunner Slimline II rack on to make up for the loss of storage inside. Will eadd some Wolf Packs later. Approach angles suck so I'll definitely be adding the 2" lift and slightly larger BFG AT KOs, hopefully in the next month or two. The CVT takes some getting used to, drives fine overall, but a bit slow to take off. Very happy I got the 3.6, I think the 2.5 would have felt underpowered on the freeway, or especially up in the mountains. I watched a lot of footage of Outback off road before pulling the plug on a bigger truck. I think it will go pretty much everyplace I'd need it to.
 

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
Thanks. Loving the car so far. Got a Frontrunner Slimline II rack on to make up for the loss of storage inside. Will eadd some Wolf Packs later. Approach angles suck so I'll definitely be adding the 2" lift and slightly larger BFG AT KOs, hopefully in the next month or two. The CVT takes some getting used to, drives fine overall, but a bit slow to take off. Very happy I got the 3.6, I think the 2.5 would have felt underpowered on the freeway, or especially up in the mountains. I watched a lot of footage of Outback off road before pulling the plug on a bigger truck. I think it will go pretty much everyplace I'd need it to.
Make sure to post up some pics of that Front Runner rack once you have it installed!

I think it sucks that Subaru is doing away with the 3.6. I have a feeling that our 3.6 will be the last Subaru that we buy (new...anyway).
 

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DaveM

Explorer
This bolts directly into the spots for the tie down plates in the roof rack. Just remove the tie downs and the two rack bars and mount up the Slimline. It's a great fit, very well built.
 

brushogger

Explorer
I've had a great deal of off road experience in our 2013 Outback. We drove it approximately 2500 miles off road and put 156000 trouble free miles on it. We got tho shock the people in the Pink Jeep tours out of Sedona on Schnebly Hill road, and the Subie handled it with aplomb. We slept in the back over 150 nights in complete comfort on a foam matress and my wife and I aren't small people. I installed a roof rack, but kept it's load very light. A swiss mil 5 gal water bladder rode up there for a gravity feed supply. The stock tires weren't very durable, but after installing Yokohama Geolanders we had no issues. They worked very well on and off road. I'd recommend king springs if your going to be loading it very heavy. We had it until December of 2018, when my wife hit a large deer in KS that totaled it. It tore the front end up badly and the air bag deployed, but the important thing was my wife came out completely unharmed. We then purchased the 2012 Outback we now have. We're getting ready to start our full time travels in our van, and now have to sell it. When I do get another car it will definitely be a Subaru. Heres a link to a pretty good video on their mud performance
and here's a link to our sale. https://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/2012-subaru-outback.210300/ . I hate to see it go.
 

Battle

Member
I've had five of these things, but none have been any newer than a 2005 (my current car). I have no desire for a newer, CVT equipped Subaru - not my cup of tea.

That said, my 2005 H6 Outback has been an awesome backroads roadtrip/camping car. It handles paved roads better than any SUV, cruises at 80+ mph with ease, is significantly larger inside than my Cherokees and has more cubby space. I have stiffer, aftermarket springs to handle any extra weight plus skid plates to protect the oil pan and rear diff. Continental all terrains to give a little extra grip on gravel roads. It's the perfect state/national park exploration vehicle. If I want to actually offroad, I'll take the Jeeps.

These things do get needy when they get older (mine has 204k miles), but the drivetrains are really stout. At the risk of throwing shade, I do think Subaru's overall build quality has declined in years. I don't think I could ever buy one newer than 2009 except for a 2010-14 3.6R since they still have geared transmissions.

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Buddha.

Lurker
I bought a new ‘17 Forester with the same 2.5 the outback uses along with the six speed trans. It always burned about two quarts of oil between changes.
 

Battle

Member
My sister has one of those (same generation, same trans) and her short block had to be replaced under warranty because of oil consumption.
 
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