You may have noticed that the blue Subaru Outback in our more recent travels is NOT the same blue Subaru Outback that we have always used with the Silver Shadow.

We have always loved our Subaru Outback and found it to be the perfect camping car. It’s sturdy, it’s flexible, it carries a ton and it handles well on all terrains and in all weather. We have been amazed at what we can fit in it–our shih tzu with his car bed, both of our folding bikes and a road bike, our inflatable kayak and oars, our Yeti cooler and all the clothes and gear and food you might need for a couple of weeks on the road can be fit into the back of our Outback. It takes some creative packing, but it all works and doesn’t seem “packed.” And with nothing on racks on top or behind, we keep the gear safe and dry and everything is streamlined and relatively easy to get to.

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For the last couple of years we had been thinking about the idea of upgrading our Subaru and getting a new one with all the mod-cons and a bigger engine. But we held out waiting until Subaru supported CarPlay and iPhone integration in their 2018 models. This spring we finally traded in the old one and got a new Blubaru. It’s not the same blue as the old one, but it’s also not your every day navy blue car. It’s a more subtle medium blue and we’re pretty happy with the combo of this new color and the black leather interior.

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The 2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R has the phone integration we wanted so that we can use our phones for navigation and music and get calls and text messages and listen to our audiobooks all through the center screen. But it also has some great safety features as a result of all the cameras around the car–it can tell you when someone is in your blindspot and it can space you exactly to the car ahead. It sees the lines on the road and gently guides your steering wheel to stay inside them, which takes a little getting used to, but makes driving easier. It will notify you of cross traffic or people in front of or behind the car. And for the purposes of camping, it has a backup camera that makes hitching up the trailer a cinch. Not to mention that the car has keyless entry and will call for help if it thinks anything has happened.

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There are also several little improvements that have made camping easier. The automated liftgate in the back makes it easier to open and shut the back to get to the gear. The motion sensitive lights on the mirrors make it easier to see to get into the car at night. The driver seat settings make it easier to swap drivers mid-trip. The vents on the center console make it easier to keep the dog cool on those hot days. This model has a better hitch and is rated for a heavier load than what we had before.

Not to mention that it has a great sound system and a smooth ride and lots of cupholders. Love may be what makes a Subaru a Subaru, but camping with one is something we love doing.

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