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Attached Tent Outback Camping


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Bikingdog308

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 12:05 PM

2016 Outback. Just ordered a Napier Sportz Dome tent to fit the back. This requires that the hatch door be left open to get full use. My problem is: How do I get the "door ajar" light on the dash to go out? Also, how do I get the entry lights on the outside mirrors to go out? These do NOT go out while the hatch door is open. (The ignition button light goes out after about 20 minutes) Subaru suggests unhooking the battery but that will require me to re-set codes and info when I re-attach the battery. I know that other campers have had this same situation. HELP! Perhaps a fuse? Thanks....from South Carolina



#2 Rooster2

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 12:27 PM

Suspect tail gate hatch door light is activated with a spring loaded button "push-in switch." When hatch is closed, the switch button is pushed in. Suggest using a piece of tape, or a tooth pick to keep the button switch pushed in, when you want the light to go out, and hatch to be open.



#3 Numbchux

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 02:14 PM

Suspect tail gate hatch door light is activated with a spring loaded button "push-in switch." When hatch is closed, the switch button is pushed in. Suggest using a piece of tape, or a tooth pick to keep the button switch pushed in, when you want the light to go out, and hatch to be open.

 

Unfortunately, the switch is built into the latch, not a separate switch like the side doors. You might be able to use a screwdriver to engage the latch to make it think it's closed, only side effect there would be that you'd have to pull the release handle before closing the hatch.

 

The door ajar light and approach lights are controlled by the body integrated unit. So your options are either reprogram the integrated unit (I'm assuming they did not make an easy provision for this if they are suggesting to disconnect the battery), or fool it into thinking the hatch is closed. Temporary solution as I listed above to just push the latch mechanism closed. More permanent would be to install a switch between the latch and the body unit (I'd probably either do it in the interior panel of the hatch, or in the roof right near where that harness comes in from the gate. There's a light-green wire, and it's just switched to ground (it doesn't say if it's normally-open or normally-closed, so you'd have to do a quick test, and either run the switch to ground, or just use the switch to disconnect the signal from the latch)

 

For what it's worth, there's a chance that either of these fixes would cause more problems if you have a car equipped with a power gate


Edited by Numbchux, 13 July 2016 - 02:15 PM.


#4 Bikingdog308

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 03:46 PM

Thank-you for your speedy replies!

Rooster: the tailgate-hatch door does not have the push-button switch (I wish it was that simple!)

Numbchux: this one has the "power gate". I'll take your suggestions to the dealership and see if I can find a friendly service tech, there! Things used to be simpler and worked fine! I had a 2002 Outback and don't remember all of this "fancy" stuff! The "push button" would have been great! The switch (installed by someone smarter than I am) sounds like a good fix. Manually closing the latch might not be the solution as it looks like...on the bottom of the door next to the lock mechanism...there is a small plastic piece, maybe 5/16 dia....might be a sensor that makes a connection electronically with the mating part on the sill(?)...like the ADT sensors for burglar control at doors and windows....like it completes a circuit(?) I popper the access door to the latch assy....there is a lot going on in there!

Eventually, I will run into somebody that has the same situation and has it figgered out. I CAN'T be the only one out there that wants to utilize the tent attached to the vehicle. Thanks for your help. PLEASE....Ask around to some of your Subbie friends.

Bikingdog308 (Tom)



#5 ferox

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 12:23 PM

If I were doing this, I would probably find the fuse that controls the lights and install a switch from there (as you mentioned in your original post).  It will probably switch off more than the lights you are looking for, but that may or may not be a problem if you're parked and camping.  It's also easily reversible/removable.  You could also just pull the fuse(s), which is a boring solution, but no mods required.



#6 Bikingdog308

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 02:42 PM

I finally am in contact with a really good, knowledgeable and sympathetic service manager. He knows exactly my situation and is willing to get answers! I approached him with the Subaru advertising that touts taking the Outback to THE outback for camping!!!!!

I am hoping that he will tell me about the same as you have generously offered..... He did say that it might shut down more that just the lights....anything is better than disconnecting the battery!

Thanks for your input!



#7 Bikingdog308

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 08:39 AM

One suggestion is to pull the fuse in the engine compartment fuse block that is marked, "SBF No. 3   80 AMP"....any thoughts? Anybody already done this?



#8 winginit

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 07:47 PM

2016 Outback. Just ordered a Napier Sportz Dome tent to fit the back. This requires that the hatch door be left open to get full use. My problem is: How do I get the "door ajar" light on the dash to go out? Also, how do I get the entry lights on the outside mirrors to go out? These do NOT go out while the hatch door is open. (The ignition button light goes out after about 20 minutes) Subaru suggests unhooking the battery but that will require me to re-set codes and info when I re-attach the battery. I know that other campers have had this same situation. HELP! Perhaps a fuse? Thanks....from South Carolina

i  dont know,   But gees if they sell a tent designed to have a open door you would think they would have a switch to turn that stuff off.



#9 Bikingdog308

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 11:09 AM

Winginit....my thoughts exactly. I called both Subaru and Napier about the situation and since they don't work together it is not either's distinct problem! I think that Subaru is missing the boat on this situation b/c they advertise the Outback and being comfortable in the "outback". How best to enjoy the Outback......open the hatch and have lunch, a snooze OR attach a tent and spent the night...or several days WITH THE HATCH OPEN....! A simple switch would certainly make things easier. Plus...they could easily start making a similar tent and really capture more of the market!  There are a lot of things that Subaru could offer to appease us! Slide out eating table with a couple of legs, the tent, a sunshade, etc....all requiring the hatch door to stay open for extended periods of time. Thanks for your reply. Subaru in SC



#10 carfreak85

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 12:37 PM

Pull the trim panel from the rear hatch door.  Find the wire that signals the hatch is closed, likely it will run right up to the latch.  Clip it and run it to ground.  Go have a beer...


Edited by carfreak85, 20 July 2016 - 12:38 PM.


#11 Bikingdog308

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 04:50 PM

Carfreak85...thanks for your help. My Outback has the power lift and close door....does that present a problem with cutting that wire?



#12 Numbchux

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 07:30 AM

Carfreak85...thanks for your help. My Outback has the power lift and close door....does that present a problem with cutting that wire?

 

Only one way to find out. All those signal wires go into the integrated unit, and without knowing how that unit is programmed, it's impossible to predict how it would react.

 

It's only one wire, I'd pop the corner of the headliner down, and wire a switch in there for sure and see what happens. If the power gate system goes haywire...remove the switch and pull a fuse.



#13 Bikingdog308

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 05:51 PM

I wish that Subaru supplied a detailed fuse chart that a novice could figure out.....! Something like: "Fuse "xxx" controls the locking system on the rear hatch door....disabling this fuse will make the computer think that the door is locked." Wishful thinking....right?



#14 carfreak85

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 09:28 AM

Right.  I'm almost positive there is a passage in the owner's manual that will say something to the effect of, "Don't you dare add on any electrical accessories or tamper with our exquisitely executed electrical engineering."

 

Every manufacturer creates schematics for their electrical systems, but they don't necessarily want to share that information if they don't have to, so they bury it in an expensive service manual.



#15 Bikingdog308

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 10:20 AM

Yes...I was warned by a dealership service manager that anything I did...installing a switch, pulling a fuse, etc. would cancel my warranty for that particular item and anything that it would affect...since I just turned 1200 miles....I was a bit reluctant to do anything but cautiously put gas in it! LOL! My thought is to pull that referenced fuse and get to a large campground...scope it out with hope of seeing another Outback with the tent attached and ask 'em how they resolved the light problems. 

By the way....forum readers.....lissen up....this "Napier Sportz Dome" tent is great...good quality materials and construction. 8.5' x 8.5' floor, 6.5' height inside, plenty of ventilation...check out their site online.



#16 SandySpringsBob

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 10:15 PM

My service consultant at Classic Subaru came up with the solution. No mods required. Just open the liftgate and use a small rod, like a Phillips-head screwdriver, to close the latch as if it had been closed by the metal ring. The vehicle thinks the liftgate is closed and uses very little power. Only the security warning flashes on the panel with the doors closed.

To lower the lift gate, use the unlock and open button on the front panel or on the remote key. The gate seems a little confused about its position and only lowers a few degrees each time the button is pushed, but it gradually lowers and locks itself on the normal metal ring. Thereafter it operates normally.

I do like my Napier Sports Cove 61000 on my Outback.




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