Subaru Power - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-16-2014, 07:10 AM   #1
hos
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Subaru Power

Hello, I have a Subaru Outback that I thought could tow more than 2000 pounds but that is what the manual says.

Are there any small RVs that ya'll have successfully towed with an Outback? I do not plan to travel much, probably move it three times a year around Texas flatlands. No, I will not hold you accountable for any opinions shared.
I will put a transmission cooler on it to help.

Casaitas and t@gs (the little RV from England) are possible so far. But Casaitas are hard to find and the other is too small. I have livestock and will temporarily live in whatever I buy, put it on pastureland.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:24 AM   #2
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Good day Craig. Outbacks have been successful tow vehicle for years and are used all over the world. Get the connection optimal and enjoy your travels.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=image...w=1597&bih=893
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:47 AM   #3
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Craig
Welcome. With an Outback tongue weight (200 lb.) is the main limiting factor. For flatland towing an Outback pulling a Scamp 13 with brakes seems to work out fairly well and you can meet all the car requirements. I pulled a S-13 with front bath, single LP tank and got about 22 mpg. with a 2011 CVT Outback. I have towed a Scamp 16 with the outback but it was a bit much for the car.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:47 AM   #4
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Here we go again...

I would be more concerned for the results to you, your family and any collateral damage/injuries that might be a the result of towing overweight, that's something that you can't dismiss.

All those pretty pictures demonstrate that there may be different specifications for different vehicles in different venues, as well as some owners & hitch builders that rank themselves as smarter than both the manufacturers, and the accident chasing lawyers that are out in the world, just trying to make a buck at your expense.

NOW: Tell us what the manual for YOUR Subaru sez; for both towing and tongue weights, and you will get lots of help.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
Craig
Welcome. With an Outback tongue weight (200 lb.) is the main limiting factor. For flatland towing an Outback pulling a Scamp 13 with brakes seems to work out fairly well and you can meet all the car requirements. I pulled a S-13 with front bath, single LP tank and got about 22 mpg. with a 2011 CVT Outback. I have towed a Scamp 16 with the outback but it was a bit much for the car.
Eddie
Keeping a 13' Scamp w/front bath under 200 lbs tongue weight can be difficult, but is doable for "moves". Mine hit over 300 lbs one time and needed a lot of repacking.

Doesn't the CVT Subaru have either a 1000 lb or a "Do Not Tow" rating. I have a friend in WA with one, and her book clearly sez "Do Not Tow".
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:28 AM   #6
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I have a 2003 outback 2 .5l non turbo/5spand used it as a tow vehicle for my Ventura. My weight on the Ventura was about 1700lbs (with everything on board) and a tongue weight of about 150lbs. The problem is not the weight but the frontal area drag. If you hit a headwind you will run out of power very quickly and the gas mileage is no existant! It was fine for the most part but got scary at times. BTW the ventura has electric brakes so no trouble there.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:40 AM   #7
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I have a 2003 outback 2 .5l non turbo/5spand used it as a tow vehicle for my Ventura. If you hit a headwind you will run out of power very quickly and the gas mileage is no existant!
A good point David. There is a huge advantage to towing a trailer with some aerodynamics going on with it.
I recall a few years ago towing our Airstream with the 150HP Nissan Mini Van. We left a campsite and headed out into a 30MPH head wind. It took us a good minute or so in 2nd gear to get up to 55MPH but once at that speed we could easily maintain. There is no way we could have towed that size and weight of trailer if it had a flat front design.

To Craig... Highly suggest looking for a trailer with some kind of aerodynamic design.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:44 AM   #8
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I thought I saw in Subaru's brochure for a 2013 outback 2700lb pull and 200lb toungue weight ?
the older Forester's 2400lb pull and 200lb toungue weight

The new 2014 will only pull 1500lb????
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:52 AM   #9
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Yes Jenny. The rating/vehicles capabilities are all over the map when it comes to vehicles. It really depends on what model, what country, what type of trailer you are towing (frontal sq ft), optional equipment, aftermarket mods, and don't forget where one tows, and how often one will be towing.

Towing short distances on flat land is different than full timing in the mountains.

Many factors for Craig to consider.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:54 AM   #10
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My 2014 4 cyl cvt outback towed my 1800 pound Oak Scamp 13 nicely, though I would not do it without trailer brakes. Mileage sucked at 15 mpg on a recent cold weather 8000 mile, 65 mph jaunt over the rockies twice and with mountains and headwinds nearly all the time. My dealer, online sources and manual clearly state a 2700 pound tow capacity. Still I am not sure the cvt was the best choice. The transmission seems to have 6 distinct speeds, not continuously variable. Seldom could it hold 6th gear, and 5th gear dropped the mpg by 10. I really wanted a 5.8 gear. I think a 6 cyl's increased torque might have provided better mileage but I am far from expert here.

Tongue weight was 230, which I told myself was OK since there were no rear seat passengers and little cargo in back. Certainly towed like a dream. Just hoped for better mileage. Then again the mid eastern folks and oil companies need the money, right?

We wanted a Forrester but its lower tow capacity nixed it. I towed a Scamp 16 (2000 pounds) for 3 years with a similar vehicle, a 4 cal cvt Saturn Vue and always achieved 18-20 mpg. No mountains but still I thought the Outback would do as well with a lighter trailer. Not to be. I will let you know how warm weather, flat lands trips go.

John
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by hos View Post
Hello, I have a Subaru Outback that I thought could tow more than 2000 pounds but that is what the manual says.

What year is your Outback?

If its an older one it does not have the same towing capacity as the newer ones. I believe it was about 2005 when the car underwent some design changes that they upped the towing capacity to 2800lb or 3000lbs depending on which engine was in it.

I pulled with one of the later models for a number of years and as has been suggested a 13' trailer works the best with the later group even with the higher total towing spec. They are limited to a 200lb tongue weight spec making it impossible to achieve safe balanced tow with a larger trailer than a 13'
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:20 AM   #12
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As mentioned, tow ratings for the same vehicle can be all over the place and sales brochures will, invariable show the best numbers.

As an example, tow ratings for myChevy Blazer range from 2000 lbs to 5700 lbs, with the same driveline & body.

Always consult the owners manual for the specific vehicle for accurate ratings.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
Yes Jenny. The rating/vehicles capabilities are all over the map when it comes to vehicles. It really depends on what model, what country, what type of trailer you are towing (frontal sq ft), optional equipment, aftermarket mods, and don't forget where one, and how often one will be towing.

.
Also what country the car was built in. Different manufacturing facilities in different countries use different components & parts. So although the cars in Europe may look the same as one built in the USA its a good bet it is not the same car. We in NA like a softer smoother ride so it pretty common for the rear suspension to be a little different, which will impact the tow rating.

Also the towing speeds in each country the car is sold also impact its towing specification rating. For example in a better part of Europe one can not tow over 50 or 55MPH - thats not the case here in NA.

As to why did Subaru down graded the Forester? - well they did change the design of it a little so perhaps they changed out some of its components as well.

If may also be a good bet that that Subaru is now testing to the SAE J2807 which is a test to determine if the vehicle can tow safely what the manufacture says it can.

A few years ago all the manufactures agreed by this model year that their vehicles would all be tested to determine their towing capacity using the SAE J2807. In anticipation of that new test standard a number of cars and trucks have had their towing capacity spec down graded over the past few years. At the last minute one of the big manufactures back out of the test agreement so a couple of the other big guys pulled out as well but its still in the works.

At least one of the big manufactures is now bragging about using the test in their ads. Its a good bet that they are all (including Subaru) quietly in the back ground testing based on the SAE standard as their hand has now been forced into doing the test.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:08 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by John Linck View Post
My 2014 4 cyl cvt outback towed my 1800 pound Oak Scamp 13 nicely, though I would not do it without trailer brakes. Mileage sucked at 15 mpg on a recent cold weather 8000 mile, 65 mph jaunt over the rockies twice and with mountains and headwinds nearly all the time. My dealer, online sources and manual clearly state a 2700 pound tow capacity. Still I am not sure the cvt was the best choice. The transmission seems to have 6 distinct speeds, not continuously variable. Seldom could it hold 6th gear, and 5th gear dropped the mpg by 10. I really wanted a 5.8 gear. I think a 6 cyl's increased torque might have provided better mileage but I am far from expert here.

Tongue weight was 230, which I told myself was OK since there were no rear seat passengers and little cargo in back. Certainly towed like a dream. Just hoped for better mileage. Then again the mid eastern folks and oil companies need the money, right?

We wanted a Forrester but its lower tow capacity nixed it. I towed a Scamp 16 (2000 pounds) for 3 years with a similar vehicle, a 4 cal cvt Saturn Vue and always achieved 18-20 mpg. No mountains but still I thought the Outback would do as well with a lighter trailer. Not to be. I will let you know how warm weather, flat lands trips go.

John
John I can't comment on the CVT issues as my Outback did not have one. But I can tell you that winds will change the MPG for all of us regardless of what we are pulling with. With my Outback it was normal for a MPG of about 19 mpg while towing in the summer .... but on one winter trip it dropped to 7-8 mpg for a couple of hundred miles due to a very strong head wind. I actually stopped as I thought something was wrong with the car.... that was until I got out of the car and realized just how strong the wind was.

Had a similar situation with my new larger tow vehicle last month while heading to the Northern Oregon meet with strong winds on the I5 - I saw a big drop in average mpg. Did much better mpg wise on the return trip with little to no wind.
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