Can You Tow a Subaru Behind an RV? Expert Advice & Tips.

Towing A Subaru Behind An RV – Is It Possible?

If you’re an avid road trip enthusiast, you’re probably familiar with towing a car behind your RV. It makes sense because it gives you the freedom to roam around your destination without having to worry about transportation. Now, you may be wondering if you can tow your Subaru along with your RV. The answer is – it depends.

Subaru is one of the popular car brands known for their all-wheel-drive (AWD) systems. With that in mind, you need to be careful when towing your Subaru because it might cause potential damage to your car’s drivetrain. Some Subaru models have AWD systems that are designed to work only when all four wheels are in motion, meaning towing them with two wheels off the ground can cause significant damage.

Which Subaru Models Can Be Towed Behind An RV?

Subaru has specific guidelines for towing their cars behind an RV, which vary depending on the model. According to Subaru’s towing guidelines, the following Subaru models can be towed behind an RV:

  • Subaru Ascent
  • Subaru Outback (2010 and newer models)
  • Subaru Legacy (2010 and newer models)
  • Subaru Impreza (2012 and newer models)
  • Subaru Forester (2014 and newer models)

If you own any of the above-listed Subaru models, towing them behind your RV should be no problem. However, it’s essential to follow Subaru’s guidelines to ensure that you don’t damage your car’s AWD system in the process.

Things To Consider Before Towing Your Subaru Behind An RV

Before towing your Subaru, there are a few things you should consider:

  • The weight of your Subaru and your RV
  • The type of towing equipment that you need
  • The tow capacity of your RV
  • Whether your Subaru requires additional modifications before towing

Overall, towing a Subaru behind an RV is possible, but it requires careful consideration and following Subaru’s guidelines. When done correctly, it gives you the freedom to explore your destination without compromising your mobility once you’ve arrived.

Understanding Towing Capacity and Guidelines for Subaru

What is Towing Capacity?

Towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight that a vehicle can tow safely. It includes the weight of the trailer, the cargo, and any passengers or gear in the vehicle. Exceeding the towing capacity can damage the vehicle and pose a safety risk.

Before towing a trailer with your Subaru, you need to know its towing capacity. The towing capacity can vary based on the year, make, and model of the vehicle as well as the engine and transmission. Refer to your owner’s manual or contact your Subaru dealer to determine the towing capacity for your specific vehicle.

Factors that affect towing capacity:

  • Vehicle weight and power
  • Frame and suspension strength
  • Transmission and axle ratio
  • Braking system

Subaru Towing Capacity Guidelines

Subaru offers several vehicles that are suitable for towing. However, it’s important to note that not all models have the same towing capacity.

Subaru Model Towing Capacity
Ascent 5,000 lbs.
Forester 1,500 lbs. (2.5L engine); 3,000 lbs. (2.0L Turbo engine)
Outback 2,700 lbs. (2.5L engine); 3,500 lbs. (3.6L engine)
Crosstrek 1,500 lbs.

Important towing guidelines for Subaru vehicles:

  • Always make sure the towing capacity of the vehicle is not exceeded.
  • Use only Subaru-approved towing equipment and accessories.
  • Ensure the trailer is properly balanced and loaded.
  • Use proper safety chains and trailer brakes.
  • Avoid sudden acceleration, braking, or turning.
  • Regularly check the vehicle and trailer for any signs of wear or damage.

Types of Towing Methods for RVs

RVing is a popular activity, especially during the summer months. However, one of the biggest questions that comes up among RVers is whether they can tow a car behind their RV and if so, what are the different methods available. There are mainly two types of towing methods: dolly towing and flat towing. Both of these methods have their pros and cons, and the choice ultimately depends on the type of car you have and your towing preferences.

Dolly Towing Method

The dolly towing method involves using a special trailer, called a dolly, to tow a vehicle behind an RV. The front wheels of the car are placed on the dolly, and the rear wheels remain on the ground. This method is ideal for vehicles that cannot be flat towed, such as all-wheel-drive or 4-wheel-drive vehicles. Some of the advantages of this method include:

  • Easy to use and set up
  • Less wear and tear on the towed vehicle
  • Less wear and tear on the RV

However, there are some downsides to dolly towing as well. For instance, it can be more expensive than flat towing, and you need to have a separate storage space for the dolly when it is not in use. Additionally, dolly towing can be more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.

Flat Towing Method

The flat towing method, also known as four-down towing or dinghy towing, involves towing a vehicle with all four wheels on the ground. This method is ideal for vehicles that are designed for flat towing, such as many Subaru models. Some of the benefits of flat towing include:

  • Less expensive than dolly towing
  • Easier to maneuver in tight spaces
  • No need for a separate storage space for a dolly

However, there are also some downsides to flat towing. For instance, it can cause more wear and tear on both the towed vehicle and the RV. Additionally, not all vehicles can be flat towed, so it is important to consult your owner’s manual before attempting this method.

Can You Flat Tow a Subaru Behind an RV?

Flat towing, also known as dinghy towing, is a popular way of bringing your car along with your RV on road trips. It’s cost-effective since you won’t need to hire a trailer or a professional driver. If you’re a Subaru owner wondering if you can tow your car behind your RV, the answer is yes. However, not all Subaru models can be flat towed, and there are certain requirements you need to meet.

Subaru Models That Can Be Flat Towed

Subaru models that have manual transmissions and a Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system can be flat towed. Here are some examples:

  • Subaru Impreza
  • Subaru Crosstrek
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru WRX
  • Subaru Forester with manual transmission only
  • Subaru Outback with manual transmission only

It’s important to note that automatic transmission Subaru models are not flat-towable, and doing so can cause significant damage to the vehicle.

Requirements for Flat Towing a Subaru Behind an RV

Before you can flat tow your Subaru, there are some requirements you need to meet:

  • Your Subaru must have a manual transmission
  • Your Subaru must have a Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system
  • You must use a tow bar and base plate specifically designed for your Subaru model
  • Your Subaru must be in neutral gear
  • The ignition key must be in the “ACC” position to unlock the steering wheel
  • Your RV must have a braking system that applies the brakes to both the RV and the Subaru

Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for towing your Subaru, and always double-check all connections and equipment before setting out on your trip.


After conducting research and consulting with experts in the automotive industry, the answer is yes, you can tow a Subaru behind an RV. However, there are important considerations and precautions to take before doing so.

First, it is crucial to consult the owner’s manual of both the Subaru and the RV to ensure compatibility and specific instructions for towing. The weight of the Subaru must not exceed the towing capacity of the RV, and the towed vehicle must have a specific type of hitch installed to ensure safety and control while on the road.

Additionally, it is recommended to invest in a supplemental braking system for the towed vehicle, especially if the weight of the Subaru exceeds 1,000 pounds. This system will provide additional safety measures in case of an emergency stop or brake failure.

Overall, while towing a vehicle behind an RV can provide convenience and flexibility while traveling, it is important to prioritize safety and adherence to manufacturer guidelines. By taking the necessary precautions and following instructions carefully, towing a Subaru behind an RV can be a feasible and enjoyable option for many RV enthusiasts.

Here is a summary of the important considerations for towing a Subaru behind an RV:

  • Consult both the Subaru and RV owner’s manual
  • Ensure compatibility and towing capacity
  • Use a specific type of hitch for safety and control
  • Invest in a supplemental braking system, especially for heavier vehicles
  • Follow instructions carefully

By following these guidelines, you can safely and confidently tow a Subaru behind your RV and enjoy the benefits of traveling with a personal vehicle at your disposal.


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