Early last winter we had a spirited debate about the merits of towing an Egg with a Subaru Outback. I finally got the time to post complete results of our Feb & March 2015 trip.
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5 4 cyl -- started at 14K miles Jan. 31, to 24k miles on March 29, 2015
: 17'total, 13' box, 2000# empty
We traveled over 10k miles, 8300 miles towing, and 1800 miles driving the car when the Egg was parked.
, stock, is tongue heavy and probably about 2000# stock. So, before the weigh, I bought a new AGM battery
, and moved the battery
location off the tongue to back under the dinette, removed the A/C (50#), put the spare tire under the bed, etc. Then we weighed in at the closest truck scales: 2380# with a tongue of about 220-230#. To get to 200# tw, every little thing went to the rear of the axle
and I removed some items and carried them in the back seat of the car to get down to 2300#. So then, with a max of 900# in the car, we had a 8.7% tongue weight
, which made everything within the Subaru spec.
200# TW & all Subaru specs met--but---as noted in a past post that the best tow was at 220-240#--I fully agree. I've made a hobby(Ha!) of moving things around for the last 2 months to get the best tow and 220-240# is the best. But, get any more than about 250#TW and the rear sags too much and driveability changes. So, we stuck with the Subaru recommended 200# TW for 95% of the trip. At no time did we have more than 2500# in the trailer, and most of the time it was around 2300-2400# which would yield at least an 8.3% tongue weight
. And we were always able to keep the car load weight
including us, and the tongue, below 900# at all times. But we had to travel light
. Traveling light
actually helped us from having too much stuff! We realize now how much STUFF that we don't need(ha!). Any heavy items left were carried in the back seat of the car and hardly anything in the trunk area of the car or front of the trailer. I've been told that the trailer tires
are only rated to 60 or 65 mph, but was unable to find that on the tires
. I had it up to 75mph once with no wind around and it was fine, but 62 mph was a realistic speed that we could travel in almost any weather on the Interstates
Moving the spare from the factory location in the front closet to under the bed really works well. Much better than on the thin bumper or mounted to fiberglass on the rear. We don't take up the bed--so the spare & jack way under the bed in the back worked for us. The underbed storage worked really well for totes of items we needed to have inside the trailer also.
Tanks were almost always nearly dry, just about 2 gallons of RV anti-freeze to start. We used the water system very little on the whole trip. Except for middle of the night needs, we used the campground showers and toilets almost exclusively and had little black/grey water to dump.
is small, but just barely big enough. We carried food like cold cuts, salad, water, drinks, etc.
Interesting that when I first started looking at FGRV's, I initially dismissed the Eggcamper
because of No Propane
. I had even emailed Jim Palmer about adding propane
and he said they did not offer that option, so I politely emailed back a thank-you, but I would be looking at FGRV's with propane--only to reconsider later and buy the used 2012 EggCamper---figuring I could add propane
Well, Jim Palmer was right--many, maybe most, of us don't need propane
. I installed propane
connections for heat and a stove--and NEVER used them for the 2 months we were out this winter! Microwave
& 12 volt fridge
were all that was needed. Of course, we were tourists this winter, staying no more than 4 nights at one place and not boondocking
much, so anyone staying for a week or more at one place and/or boondocking
might really want the propane
for both cooking and heat. We carried the full grille-size propane tank for 85% of the trip and gave it to my daughter in Florida just before we started back. There was 40# of weight gone!--So, 40# of junk we could buy on the way home-ha!
We never even used the electric hotplate once, but we might. A Parkliner
friend told me about his induction cookplate. It's a very accurate & convenient way of hotplate type cooking. Only the pan that's cooking gets hot, not the cookplate itself. It's the size of a hotplate. So, I'm thinking about carrying an induction cookplate instead of the standard hotplate on the next trip.
We really did travel light
and carried, disposable plates, cups, etc, and a few washable plates and utensils, a few repair items, some tools, tiedowns, a solar panel
& controller (which never got installed), 50' hose, extension cord, 28" lightweight TV (easily setup on the sink, stored on the bed during travel) some DVD's and a small player for those areas of no TV reception, a small outside TV antenna (easy to setup), clothes in 2 totes (Eggcamper is wider than we need for the bed, so if you are less than 6' there's an option for storage space at the foot of the bed.
The Eggcamper fits in its own niche--Large enough for a Full or Queen bed that can be left up, a 2 person dinette, and a shower & toilet, kitchen and storage-- and still light
enough to be easily towed by an SUV and Station Wagon type vehicle with a tow limit of at least 2500#. Those were the main reasons we bought the Eggcamper. The bed size was our main consideration--wanted to get a good nights sleep or camping would not be much fun--and our minimum is a couple inches short of a Queen width bed. We looked at the 16' Casita
, (both of which also have a 13' box), but either the bed was too small, or no dinette, or no bathroom, or low interior height. But Eggcamper proves that it all can fit in a 13' long box. I added a 6" extension to the bed, bought a queen size memory foam mattress, then cut it down slightly. It made a very comfortable bed for 2 adults.
We averaged only 16mpg this winter with the 2300-2400# Eggcamper. As pointed out a couple of months ago, the Eggcamper, being higher and wider, is about a 20% larger Egg than Scamp
. The Eggcamper size was very evident when we were at Scamp
Camp and next to all the other Fiberglass campers there. I'm sure that size contributes to the lower mpg.
The Outback has a VERY accurate mpg meter. I've compared it about 20 times to the actual gas usage, and it comes out on or nearly on the money every time. That said, I noticed that if we traveled at about 50-55mph instead of 60-65mph, we would get about 18-21mpg. We noticed that headwind VS. tailwind makes a measureable impact on mpg also.
The Variable CVT Transmission worked great. When traveling at 60-65, the engine rev's hit 3000 when the rig was left in cruise control and we went up a bridge approach on some highways. I like to keep the rev's below 2500 as much as possible. So, in some areas we would not use Cruise. That made things better. Or, we could reduce speed to 50-55 and have No rev problems. Still, it was a surprise that the engine used 1/2 quart of oil on the near-end-of-trip oil change. Thankfully, the car went back to No discernible oil used at the oil change following the trip.
Given that Gas mileage using the Outback averaged only 16-17 mpg, I think that we will mostly tow with a larger vehicle in the future--probably a Chevy Tahoe or Ford F150 which may actually give about the same mpg and have less worries about tongue weight. (And we can carry more junk)But, if you have to tow a similar trailer with a 4 cyl. Outback, I'd recommend it as long as you take it easy.
The best part is that my wife actually really likes the Eggcamper.
Mark & Linda