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Subaru Outback Road Trip Preparation

Subaru Outback Road Trip

You’re probably looking forward to your Subaru Outback road trip. After all, taking a Subaru outdoors on an adventure is just natural. That’s why a Subaru Outback is a great choice for road trips. Whether you’ve trusted an older generation Outback for over a decade or are looking at a new Subaru Outback for sale to take you on a lifetime of adventures, partaking in a Subaru Outback road trip is a time-honored tradition.

Keep Your Outback as Happy as It Makes You

Naturally, you’re going to be putting many miles on your car during a road trip. You’re also going to end up far from home and your trusted mechanic. So, to get your Outback ready, you’ll want to take care of several maintenance items. Here are some essential ones to do before you leave on an epic Subaru road trip adventure:

Inspect your air conditioning system

While not crucial, you’ll thank yourself later if you do find any A/C issues. Would you be comfortable driving throughout a summer day without A/C to keep things cool? Probably not, so test to see if your A/C is running strong and inspect to see if the system is leaking. If there are any issues, take it to a trusted mechanic.

Check and change your fluids

Every car requires several critical fluids to operate. The first of these is oil, and an engine can’t run without it. Check when your next oil change is, and if the planned miles for the road trip take you over the mileage mark, get it done before you leave. The second fluid to take care of is coolant. Driving for long periods can cause an engine to become too hot, and coolant is there to cool it off. If the trip will take you over the planned coolant flush mileage, get it done before hitting the road.

The third is brake fluid. If pressing the pedal feels spongy or has a longer travel than normal, air bubbles are trapped in the lines. This can reduce braking response, so get it taken care of, and make sure to get the system flushed before your road trip if the scheduled interval is coming up soon.

You’ll also want to take care of your power steering and transmission fluid. Less responsive steering can indicate problems with the power steering fluid or system. So make sure to check the fluid level and either flush the fluid or get any necessary repairs done. The same goes for your transmission fluid. Flush it at the recommended mileage — or before.

Lastly, you’ll want to top up your windshield washer fluid and bring an extra jug. A lengthy road trip can get your windshield filthy. Trust us; being without washer fluid when your windshield is caked in dirt and bugs is not a fun experience.

Inspect your tires

The first thing you’ll want to do here is to check tread depth. Do the classic “penny test” to determine if the tires are still good. While holding a penny, aim Abraham Lincoln’s head face down towards the tire, then stick it into the tread groove. If you can see anything past the top of his head, then you need new tires.

You’ll also want to check for bulges and damage, and also make sure the tires are topped up with air. Check the recommended pressure in your owner’s manual, and using a pressure gauge, determine if any air is needed. Most gas stations will have air pumps to use, so periodically check your pressure and top up as you stop for gas along the way.

Inspect and/or replace your brake pads

Your brake pads help bring you to a stop. Designed to gradually wear down, pads do have scheduled change intervals. But, if you hear a screeching or squealing noise coming from your brakes, the pads may have already worn down. So get them changed. Stopping a car is just as, if not more, important as accelerating.

Packing Your Outback

So you’ve gotten all the maintenance out of the way; time for the fun part! No, we’re not leaving yet because, first, we need to go over what to pack to make your Subaru Outback road trip run smoothly:

Clean your interior

Well, this one isn’t always fun. Regardless, with a Subaru Outback long road trip, a lot of time is spent inside the car, and you’ll thank yourself for making it a clean space to be in.

Buy storage bins

Like previously mentioned, your Outback will become your home on a long road trip. Would you want to sort through a mountain of mess just to find a piece of clothing? Probably not. So buy some large and small storage bins to sort your belongings by category and label them. If you’re using your Subaru for camping, being able to find what you need quickly can be a true life-saver.

Pack the essentials

The full extent of what to pack is up to you and the activities you have planned. But, here are just a few essential items you’ll want to bring with you to make your Subaru Outback road trip run smoothly:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • Sealable trash bag
  • Jugs of water
  • Non-perishable food
  • USB charging cables and power bank
  • Flashlight and/or headlamp
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen

This is just an overview of how to prepare for your Subaru Outback road trip, and there are many more aspects to consider for serious adventures. When you check out our Subaru lease deals and find yourself behind the wheel of a Subaru Outback, you’ll find yourself learning the ropes as you go on more and more adventures with your faithful companion.


Is the Subaru Outback a good road trip car?

Yes! Your Subaru Outback road trip will be a great one with a comfortable, spacious, and feature-packed interior. If you’re looking for a more adventurous trip, too, then you’ll find that the Subaru Outback can tackle off-road trails while providing all the comfort you could ask for.

Can a Subaru Outback go off-road?

Absolutely. Since its introduction to today, the Subaru Outback has been a stand-out model for combining all-wheel-drive off-road capabilities and ruggedness with comfortable, everyday wagon characteristics. Seriously tough obstacles like boulder-filled hills that custom 4x4s tackle will be out of the question. But, when it comes to most of the harsh terrain you’ll encounter off-road, the Subaru Outback will reliably get you through.

Is a Subaru Outback big enough to sleep in?

Yes! A 2022 Subaru Outback offers you 75.7 cubic feet of cargo room total with its rear seats folded down. That’s enough to lay an air mattress down. Even if you have a previous generation of Outback, like one you can find in our certified pre-owned Subaru inventory, the spacious wagon can be slept in the same way without much issue. So grab a sleeping bag, and get ready for a cozy sleep in the back of your Outback.

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