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Open Roads Forum  >  Folding Trailers

 > towing with Subaru Forester

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Kavoom

Kansas

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Posted: 01/21/06 07:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

I have a manual 2004 and tow a 1350 dry weight (1,800 loaded) Flagstaff 176 with 179 lb rated tongue weight. It does great. GET THE BRAKES! It is true that the Aussies, Brits and New Zealanders have rated it the best tow vehicle over the last three years. The Down under ones actually have a low range on their manual trannys and the load leveling shocks come standard down under. They won't sell this little beast in North America.

It is thought that Subaru minimizes the towing capability in the U.S. because they are afraid of how sue happy Americans are. It is true that unlike American vehicles, the tow rating is "pure" and what you read you can tow without subtracting what's in the Forester from the total.

You said you have the load leveling shocks? They only come on the LL Beans (unless you retrofit which you can do on any Forester) which only have automatic trannys is my understanding in the U.S.??? And the automatic is "limited" to a 2,000 lb tow rating vs the manual which is 2,400. I believe they are somewhat underrated in the U.S. but... You note that Subaru puts the tow struts on a vehicle that has the lowest tow rating (automatic) and that Subaru class I hitch is a joke but show once again how they are minimizing the towing capabilities in the U.S.

Caddywompus is probably pushing the envelope on his weights and might want to consider that load leveling retrofit at least. If you have the automatic tranny you need a cooler for it is what I hear. I stay under the stated weights to be safe and am conservative (scared poopless actually). My 1,800 lbs loaded 180 lb tongue weight drops my back with the 115 lb DG and 65 lb dog cooler and 50 lbs of etc by about an inch on regular struts. My regularly aspirated engine will kick booty and has in the mountains. The Manual trannys are long geared and will go. I did 79 mph across Nebraska and S. Dakota all day long in fifth having to remind myself it was back there. I came East out of the Tetons which is not flat and passed TT's. If the airco wasn't on it I could see over it in the rear view mirror...

You can ONLY do a class II hitch on the Subaru period. I have a hidden hitch. Works great.

Subaru ought to pay me...

mike4947

N. Syracuse, NY

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Posted: 01/21/06 08:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rgpoland wrote:

How can they get by with a 6% tongue weight? I thought that would cause extreme trailer sway.


Like I said the European trailers are designed with extreme weigh bias to the rear of the trailer like our boat trailers are here. Boat trailers commonly run 6% tongue weight.
But it does make for some extreme floor plans in those furrin' trailers..LOL


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rgpoland

norman, ok

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Posted: 01/22/06 11:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fyi to KAVOOM. Subaru increased the rating on the 2006 Forester to 2400 lbs for the auto. Yes, I do have the LLBean, but haven't had any experience yet with the self leveling suspension. A 2400 lb. trailer with a 200 lb tongue weight does seem like a lot to tow with this vehicle, but I know its done in Europe.

Kavoom

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Posted: 01/22/06 06:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

>>fyi to KAVOOM. Subaru increased the rating on the 2006 Forester to 2400 lbs for the auto.<< Must be the extra 8 horsepower. The tranny hasn't changed.

Thank you very much for the info...very much. My DG is just about to get an 06 either Champagne Gold or Steel Gray auto tranny and I will pay for her Class II hitch... I'm tired of puttin all the miles on mine...(around 6K last year)I hear the load leveling struts are nice but hardly noticable unless you tow. I am very conservative but I'll tell you after towing mine, with the load leveling shocks and a 200 lb tongue weight, I would put a tranny cooler on (but only if you had mountains in mind) and wouldn't hesitate to pull 2,400 lbs.

That would be about my conservative limit, but, I'd do it in a minute. Mine was well within its limits at all times with no sway at all, ever. In fact it was better with the trailer in winds than without. On two lane roads at 70 with semis going by it was like a rock, amazing. Oh and don't forget the brakes.

RV ANGEL 3

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Posted: 01/22/06 06:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WOW...a lot of info. I like to look at things a little with a little more simplicity. Be careful with weights and lengths on any RV (rarely very accurate) they all measure differently. Also, if you have to go to such a severe extent customizing your hitch...doesn't it point to the obvious (just because the numbers say it can, doesn't mean you should). The older tents are heavy...you will need trailer brakes or you will get pushed off the road by your own trailer. By the way, if your trailer ever starts to sway speed up! It may be the oposite of what you want, but you will get the momentum where it belogs (which is in the dog and not the tail)Also, there are a lot of newer pop ups that aren't 17' long and weigh much less with more room and better amentities. Good luck!

PopUpTom

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Posted: 01/23/06 01:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the trailer starts to sway, push the little lever on the brake controller. Keep the speed down to avoid a re-occurance until you can address the problem.


2001 V6 Highlander, 2002 Coleman Sun Valley, Single Bar WD, Tranny Temp Gage, Prodigy Brake Control (update 2010: we've moved outside of Memphis, the PUP has a new home, and we're pondering (2014: still pondering) a larger TV and a hardside)


terpster

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Posted: 01/26/06 07:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rgpoland
Am I safe in assuming you got your Forester at Big Red? If so, how was it working with that dealer? I'm thinking of replacing my gas hog Dodge Dakota with the Forester.

John


2005 Fleetwood Taos
2004 Dodge Dakota Quad-Cab
Tekonsha Prodigy
Retired USAF 94


Kavoom

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Posted: 01/27/06 05:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Terpster,

My DG hasn't bought yet. I am seeing prices ranging from 19,000 (Fitzmall, Chicago papers for X automatics). The best I can do in Kansas is right at 21K. Let me know what you find if you are serious. Check Edmunds if you are looking.

JimQPublic2

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Posted: 01/27/06 02:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I tow with an '04 Forester XT/auto. The trailer weighs about 2400 pounds loaded and has about 300 pounds tongue weight. I had a custom (welded on) class III hitch made. I use a Reese single bar weight distribution hitch, friction sway control, and Prodigy brake controller. Towing, the Forester is more stable than any big SUV I've driven is NOT towing. (I've only driven a few SUV's though).

I added a stacked plate transmission cooler. The only issue I have is the engine cooling system can't keep up on long hills. Plenty of power to go 60+ uphill in the summer but I have to keep it down to 40 or so for long hills where there's more than about 2000 feet of climb. (Not an issue in OK of course)

The '06 non-turbo engine should be great for towing. They improved the low end torque quite a bit over older models. Actually our '96 Outback with the 130 HP 2.2 engine is fine for towing too.

Try to keep the tongue weight under 200 pounds. Otherwise find a hitch shop with experience doing custom hitches for unibody vehicles. You could buy the Australian bolt-on Class III hitch from Hayman-Reese, but it would have to be modified to clear the US spec rear bumper beam. You would probably pay at least $500 for the 50mm aussie hitch once you got it to OK, list is $375(converted to US$). My custom hitch was $400 but I do wish it wasn't welded on.


Jim
2002 Chalet Arrowhead
2004 Subaru Forester XT
Long Beach, California


rgpoland

norman, ok

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Posted: 01/27/06 05:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JimQPublic2. What's the brand and model of your transmission cooler? The Subaru dealer's part department told me that Subaru does not make a trans. cooler for the Forester. I am concerned that I will void my warranty if I add anything after market. I know that doesn't make sense since it should help protect the vehicle, but I don' have a lot of trust in big corporations.

I am also concerned about trailer sway. My trailer weight is 2140 lb. loaded with a 190 lb. tongue weight, just under 9%. I towed the same trailer with the same setup with Toyota T100 pickup and I never had trailer sway.

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