Can You Flat Tow a CJ5 Subaru Outback?

If you’re planning on taking your CJ5 Subaru Outback on an extended road trip, you might be wondering if you can flat tow it. Flat towing, also known as dinghy towing, is when you tow a vehicle behind your RV or other vehicle, with all four wheels on the ground. It’s a popular way to bring a second vehicle along on a trip without having to rent or buy a trailer.

In this article, we’ll explore whether or not you can flat tow a CJ5 Subaru Outback, as well as what flat towing is and how it works, what types of vehicles can be flat towed, and offer detailed instructions, tips, and advice on flat towing.

Key Takeaways

  • Flat towing, also known as dinghy towing, is when you tow a vehicle behind your RV or other vehicle, with all four wheels on the ground.
  • Not all vehicles can be flat towed, as some require all four wheels to be off the ground.
  • The CJ5 Subaru Outback can be flat towed, but there are some important things to keep in mind before you do so.

What Is Flat Towing and How Does It Work?

Flat towing, also known as dinghy towing, is a method of towing a vehicle behind another vehicle, with all four wheels on the ground. This method is popular with RV owners who want to bring a second vehicle along on a trip without having to rent or buy a trailer.

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When flat towing a vehicle, you’ll need a few things:

  • A tow bar: This is the device that connects your towed vehicle to your RV or other towing vehicle.
  • A base plate: This is a custom bracket that attaches to your towed vehicle’s frame and provides a connection point for the tow bar.
  • Safety cables: These cables provide an additional level of security in case the tow bar or base plate fails.
  • Wiring: In most cases, you’ll need to wire your towed vehicle’s lights and brakes to work with your RV or towing vehicle.

Flat towing is only possible with vehicles that can be towed with all four wheels on the ground. Some vehicles require all four wheels to be off the ground, which means they cannot be flat towed.

What Types of Vehicles Can Be Flat Towed?

Not all vehicles can be flat towed. As we mentioned earlier, some vehicles require all four wheels to be off the ground, which means they cannot be flat towed. Vehicles that can be flat towed typically have manual transmissions or specific automatic transmissions that can be put into a "neutral" or "tow" mode.

If you’re unsure whether or not your vehicle can be flat towed, check your owner’s manual or consult with a professional mechanic or RV dealer.

Can You Flat Tow a CJ5 Subaru Outback?

Yes, you can flat tow a CJ5 Subaru Outback. However, there are some important things to keep in mind before you do so.

First, the CJ5 Subaru Outback must have a manual transmission. Automatic transmissions cannot be flat towed, as they require the engine to be running in order to lubricate the transmission.

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Second, you’ll need to install a base plate on your CJ5 Subaru Outback. A base plate is a custom bracket that attaches to your vehicle’s frame and provides a connection point for the tow bar. A professional mechanic or RV dealer can help you install a base plate if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.

Third, you’ll need to use a tow bar that’s rated for the weight of your CJ5 Subaru Outback. Most tow bars are rated for a maximum weight of 5,000 pounds, so if your CJ5 Subaru Outback weighs more than that, you’ll need to use a different towing method.

Fourth, you’ll need to wire your CJ5 Subaru Outback’s lights and brakes to work with your RV or towing vehicle. This is important for safety reasons, as it ensures that other drivers can see your CJ5 Subaru Outback and that you can safely brake and turn while towing.

Finally, before you start towing, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for putting your CJ5 Subaru Outback in neutral and disengaging the parking brake. Failing to do so could result in damage to your vehicle’s transmission.

Tips and Advice for Flat Towing a CJ5 Subaru Outback

Here are some additional tips and advice for flat towing a CJ5 Subaru Outback:

  • Double-check that your CJ5 Subaru Outback is in neutral and that the parking brake is disengaged before you start towing.
  • Make sure that your tow bar is properly attached and that your safety cables are secure.
  • Check your CJ5 Subaru Outback’s tire pressure and make sure that they’re inflated to the recommended level.
  • Consider installing a braking system for your CJ5 Subaru Outback. While not required by law, a braking system can help you stop more safely and quickly while towing.
  • Make sure that your RV or towing vehicle is rated for the weight of your CJ5 Subaru Outback and that you’re not exceeding any weight limits.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you flat tow a Subaru Outback with an automatic transmission?

No, you cannot flat tow a Subaru Outback with an automatic transmission. Automatic transmissions require the engine to be running in order to lubricate the transmission, which is not possible when flat towing.

Do I need a special tow bar to flat tow a CJ5 Subaru Outback?

No, you don’t need a special tow bar to flat tow a CJ5 Subaru Outback. However, you will need a tow bar that’s rated for the weight of your vehicle.

Can I flat tow a CJ5 Subaru Outback with a rental RV?

It depends on the rental RV. Some rental RVs are equipped with the necessary equipment for flat towing, while others are not. Make sure to check with the rental company before you rent an RV.

How fast can I drive while flat towing a CJ5 Subaru Outback?

Most manufacturers recommend that you don’t exceed 65 miles per hour while flat towing a vehicle.

Do I need to stop and start my CJ5 Subaru Outback’s engine while flat towing?

No, you do not need to stop and start your CJ5 Subaru Outback’s engine while flat towing. However, you should check your owner’s manual for any specific instructions regarding towing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you can flat tow a CJ5 Subaru Outback with a manual transmission, as long as you follow the necessary steps and precautions. Remember to install a base plate, use a tow bar that’s rated for the weight of your vehicle, wire your lights and brakes, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for putting your vehicle in neutral and disengaging the parking brake. With these tips and advice, you can safely and confidently flat tow your CJ5 Subaru Outback on your next road trip.

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Billy Covington

With a passion for all things automotive, Billy is our go-to expert on Subaru performance upgrades and modifications. He's been featured in several car magazines and blogs, and his extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys playing guitar and writing music.

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