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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Subaru Ascent towing 4,400 pounds

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jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 08/19/20 08:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The cart before the horse theory, I guess. My soon to be SIL bought a new Subaru Ascent. Then he went out and bought a 4,400 lbs non-slide trailer. My first though was "A four banger towing a trailer?" Well, the specs say it can. He did. I asked how it felt. He said it was light on the front end. Okay....I got a WD hitch sitting in the garage toy can have. A few days later, he gets back to me. WD cannot be used on this uni-body car. Wutcha gonna do now? Hmmm....Maybe that 1999 F250 7.3 diesel truck you have sitting in the driveway can tow it? Better safe than sorry. He just didn't want his 2 precious labs to be uncomfortable in the back of the truck. Forget about the safety of my 2 10 year old grand twins.

Mickeyfan0805

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Posted: 08/19/20 08:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yep, the truck would be much better. Unfortunately, I don't think the specs work in the way he might think it does. The Ascent, per their website, caps out at 5,000 pounds tow capacity. If that 4,400 is GVWR, he's probably right at the limit of the ascent once loaded. If that 4,400 is dry, however, he's likely overloaded by a good 10-20%. Start talk about hitch ratings and payload and I'll bet you start finding other ratings that are out of line as well.

You're dead on - cart before the horse. Sadly, not a new or unusual tale that we hear on these board.

mleekamp

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Posted: 08/19/20 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wife drives an Outback and it's a great car...but not designed for towing. Sure, ours says 2700lbs towing capacity, but no way would I do it. Four of us, suitcases, roof top carrier with beach stuff (and dirty laundry on way home) and you can FEEL the weight. Ours says no WDH as well.

Then again, we don't tow with it...it's a grocery getter and people mover.


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A1ARealtorRick

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Posted: 08/19/20 08:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd buy a slightly lighter trailer before I'd give up using the Ascent. It's a great SUV, 277 lbs. ft. of torque, and a perfect daily driver when you're not towing (which will be the vast majority of the time).

Just my opinion.


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Lwiddis

near Jawbone Canyon, CA

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Posted: 08/19/20 09:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We all have learn. Your SIL is no different. Pay a call on the RV salesman...”Why, son, your Subaru Ascent can pull anything on this lot!”


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APT

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Posted: 08/19/20 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would probably use the WDH anyway.Maybe target 50% front axle weight restored vs. 100%. It seems lower risk to damage the receiver than running down the highway @65mph with a light front end.


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jdc1

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Posted: 08/19/20 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The SIL says he's going to hook it up and try pulling a long grade before he gives up on it. That, hopefully, dissuades him from using that toy as a tow vehicle. Then there's the 2-80 pound dogs, the twins, and 2 adults in a 21' trailer for a month thing they'll be dealing with. This all started because of Covid. They decided to take the opportunity to travel, with the twins being home schooled for the foreseeable future, for a month. They were tent camping before they ended up in my 5th wheel on weekend.
Yes, I offered the use of my truck and trailer. They were worried about the dogs tearing stuff up...LOL. And, yes, I offered to babysit HIS dogs. I think he might have worried the dogs wouldn't want to go home when they returned (their yard is 20'X 50'....Mine's a half acre, with wildlife galore).
Well, we'll see what happens soon.

qtla9111

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Posted: 08/19/20 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Low profile folding hard-sided; Chalet, Aliner, Trailmanor, etc. I regret selling my Trailmanor. It was 33ft long when it was opened, 26ft closed. My 98 Pathfinder pulled it beautifully and got 16 mpg. Dry - 3500lbs.


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BurbMan

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Posted: 08/19/20 09:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A1ARealtorRick wrote:

I'd buy a slightly lighter trailer before I'd give up using the Ascent. It's a great SUV, 277 lbs. ft. of torque, and a perfect daily driver when you're not towing (which will be the vast majority of the time).

Just my opinion.


No need, he can just borrow Dad's F-250 when he takes the trailer out [emoticon]


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rexlion

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Posted: 08/19/20 10:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can't see how he could be within the vehicle-specified 500 lbs hitch weight limit with that TT. Not only is it going to be light on the steering, it will also be at risk of tearing the receiver off the car. Ask him how he'd feel if his TT rips away and careens into oncoming traffic at 60 mph. Subaru saying to not use WD could indicate that the sheet metal where the receiver is mounted can't take the strain, so what will overloading the receiver do?

And trying to load more stuff in the rear of the TT to compensate will only make the handling squirrely, risking sway.

He's got about 700 lbs of humans plus dogs in there, plus the hitch weight, plus who knows what else... the rear suspension will be hard pressed, as will the rear tires.

Offer to take that TT to the scale and weigh it for him, maybe?


Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. --Benjamin Franklin
photo: Yosemite Valley view from Taft Point


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