Total newbie - no trailer history. Looking at small travel trailers - less than 3000 lbs. Dealer talked about an E2 weight distribution hitch but cost is $625. I see them new online for around $300. Is this something that needs to be installed or is it very easy to install that I could do it? Dealer didn't provide much information on it. I know I need one. the TV hitch will run around $325 and brake wiring installation will run about $350. So about $1300 for everything. reasonable?
I have an 2010 Outback 3.6L V6 rated at 3000 lbs towing with a 200 lb hitch weight. Someone said this WD hitch would cut the tongue weight in about half so it would come under my 200lb limit. I am looking at purchasing the Gulf Stream Amerilite 19RBC which documentation states 2740 unloaded weight. I shouldn't be carrying any water and know we need to keep cargo low.
Any help or opinions on the WD hitch, my TV and my choice of TT is appreciated.
I've been RVing and towing trailers for over 30 years, 7 Jaycos as a matter of fact....trust me when I tell you this! We've had 2 pop-ups with 2 children and a big dog..and I can't tell you what a nice camping experience we have had! Ahhhh, the memories!
Don't take offence...such is not my intent! I'm not being rude or callous when I say the following.
First rule is never (NEVER) trust a Salesman! He's a man who sells for a living. He doesn't really care about you OR your family.
As proof, he's already trying to rip you off on the hitch and setup price! You'd also need some nice, big, wide towing mirrors to see around it.
And he didn't tell you that a TT such as the one you are looking at also has a substantial "drag" factor...a tall box being towed behind you complicates towing even more. It's caled the "sail" area...120 square feet of frontal area...because it acts just like a ships sail to catch the wind. It could whip you around in your traffic lane like a big rig in a Tornado!
It is almost exactly like adding even more weight to the tow vehicle.
Before you even leave the dealership, the weight of that trailer will be over 3000 lbs. Does your Outback have the heavy duty tow package..which gives you a oil and transmission cooler? If it did, it would already have the trailer wiring in place under the dash board.
If not, you may need to add that stuff so you won't tear the guts out of your Outback!
Unless it says somewhere on the listed trailer weight sticker (usually inside of a kitchen cupboard door) that it was weighed right after being manufactured WITHOUT propane, Batteries, and all the options...and the weight at that time was 2740 lbs...then it may already be heavier than 3000 lbs now at delivery time.
The UVW does not include any options...propane, batteries, etc. And the hitch weight will be more than 200 lbs...maybe much more.
And a WD hitch merely distributes the tongue weight of the trailer over the front and rear axles of your Outback...it does not make the weight disappear.
You'd be better off with a lower profile RV such as a pop-up. You can buy a deluxe Pop-up with all the bells and whistles for way less than what you are looking at!
The Pop-ups from Palomino, Jayco, StarCraft, Rockwood and several other brands are easy to tow, low profile, tow easily without expensive hitches, have all the ammenites such as heater, Air Conditioning, complete kitchens, showers and potty, TV/DVD, 2 king or queen beds and all the comforts of home.
Your Outback will love you for it! I do care for you and your family and want you to have a lot of fun, safe camping trips!
Best of luck! Glad you asked all the right questions on this forum.
My posts shouldn't be taken for factual data. They are purely fictional, for entertainment purposes and should not be constituted as actually related to scientific, technical, engineering, legal, spiritual or practical advice. Amen.
That TT is way too big for your Suburu. At 2740 dry you'll be looking at 3000lbs before you starting putting food and clothes in. A good gage for tongue weight is 10-15%, with 13% being optimal. that puts you at around 450lbs for tongue weight. Also JMO but I would buy the hitch's online and install it yourself. The Suburus will be fairly easy, and the E2 is not too difficult either. But I really think you should be looking for either a larger tow vehicle or smaller TT. With the Suburu being a unibody built car it won't stand up to the rigors of over 3000lbs of trailer. Also the Gulfstream at 19' is way too long for the short wheel base of your car. Hate to say it but a tent trailer is probably the only alternative.
General rule of thumb is to keep Gross Weight (not unloaded weight) of the trailer, at or below 80% of towing capacity. With 3000 lbs capacity, the trailer should not exceed 2400 lbs (loaded for camping).
You are looking at a trailer that is (unloaded) at 90%. Add a battery, weight distributing hitch, fill the propane tank, throw in a gallon of milk and you could be over weight. Your tongue weight could very well be 450 lbs.
Towing that trailer with your Outback would be an umpleasant and quite likely unsafe experience.
1. Buy, install and setup the hitch yourself.
2. A 19' (prob really about 22') trailer is way too much for your tow rig. I bet it wouldn't even tow at 55 mph without sway or major strain on the drivetrain. I would also suspect you have car tires, rather than truck tires. Car tires have less firm sidewalls, causing poor towing conditions.
I would agree with what everyone else is saying. Subaru is not known for heavier application towing. They have a tow rating for very light duty trailers, utility, jet ski, etc.
On the thread I linked, someone mentions a tear-drop trailer which possibly could be a good fit but as already mentioned, "always" look at the GVWR of the trailer to know if the weight is too much. You may pack light now, but after many trips, the weight will continue to increase as you slowly add small items.
All of the opinions stated on this subject are absolutely correct!! I own a Subaru, and I don't even think a "large" tent camper would tow well.
I agree. (Except for the "80% rule of thumb", that is silly, IMO. I believe you can safely tow up to the listed trailer weight, and even exceed it slightly.)
I have owned an Outback Sedan and an Outback Wagon in the past, and while they were great vehicles, the towing capability isn't that great. I would have never even thought about towing a full size travel trailer with either of my Subies! IIRC, the recommended hitch has a 1 1/4 inch shank! I didn't even bother to install a receiver on either one of mine.
CM1, USN (RET)
2002 Fleetwood Southwind 32V, Ford V10
Toad: 2006 Jeep Rubicon LJ
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Toy: 1977 Dodge W100 CC SWB, 3/4 ton axles & springs
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