2007 Subaru Outback + 13ft Scamp = 22mpg - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-16-2008, 12:54 PM   #1
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Just finished the first trip towing our 13 ft Scamp with a 2007 Subaru Outback. Averaged 22mpg on a mix of interstate and the Catskill mountains in NY. It is a basic Scamp with no bathroom, AC or water heater. Was quite impressed, the Outback handled it well. Only minor complaint was that the rear suspension felt a little soft.
Previous tow vehicle was a 2005 Subaru Forester, the rear suspension was firmer and you could not even tell that the Scamp was behind it. We averaged around 20mpg when towing with the Forester. Upgraded to the Outback to have a bit more comfortable commuter vehicle.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:42 PM   #2
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was that awd? auto or stick? do you know the reputation of those auto trannys? also v6 or 4? i don't know much about subaru but a friend has one he loves and i'm trying to decide on a better gas mileage tow vehicle than my 12mpg e350 van. i recently got an older 13 ft scamp and have been thinking sienna or odyessy but towing i'm told their mpg drops

thanks

jeff
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:21 AM   #3
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Good Day

We also received around the 22 mpg on our trip of a month down thru the southern states, had to get out of the Canadian snow. Tow vehicle for us was a 2002 Acura TL it has an auto manual shifter really help with some braking as well as general towing. It tows our 2004 Trillium very well no complains. 9000 km around the 5500 mile range

Dennis
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:38 AM   #4
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My Subaru outback it is a 5 speed, 4 cyl, AWD vehicle. I have no personal experience with the reliability of their auto trans, but have never heard anything bad. This is my 3rd Subaru, all have been manual transmission
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:57 AM   #5
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Our first camping trip last fall with our 'new to us' egg, we awoke 1 morning to find that a 13' Scamp had appeared overnight at a site behind us. With the excitement of Christmas morning, I waited for the Scamp-ers to awaken so I could rush over and talk to them about their egg! During our breakfast, they emerged - woman, man and the largest Great Dane I've ever seen and they were all in their 13ft egg!

I did let them eat, but while returning from the restroom from my shower, their Great Dane had wandered my way - so that got me talking to the Scamp owner. They were new to Ohio, and had traveled from California towing their egg with a Subaru Outback. Talked about never having a problem on their journey, they got good gas mileage, and their Great Dane rode just fine across the Nation in the Outback!

We get 13-15mpg with our Jeep Liberty 6cyl pulling our 16ft U-Haul. If gas prices are going to continue on the up-climb, I might consider a Subaru and a 13ft'r! I had a Subaru back in 1987. It ran 235,000 miles before my mom totaled it in a car accident. Went out and bought a Subaru Station Wagon in 1992 and loved it too! I wasn't well liked in my G.M. family for my car choices, but after putting 100,000 on that wagon, I caved and bought what the family urged me to get. I've been eyeing that new Forester commercial now for weeks......

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Old 06-19-2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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they emerged - woman, man and the largest Great Dane I've ever seen and they were all in their 13ft egg!

Ah - 13' trailers and Danes - - I too am a Dane Owner and well just picked up my 13' Boler this past week. So I'll let you all know what it's like to camp with a 100lb 10 month puppy...
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:58 PM   #7
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I like the outback and went to look at them. I have revised my thinking when they told me that the towing capacity was only 1000 lbs. My 13 ft Boler when fully loaded for the road would be in the 12-15 cwt catagory and would negate my warranty if anything happened.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:06 PM   #8
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Sure they weren't quoting you kilos?
US specs are 2700# for the flat 4 and 3000# for the 6, with brakes recommended over 1300#.
The factory hitch is the weak link with a 200# tongue limit, but class IIIs are available.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:06 AM   #9
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The 22 MPG might seem a bit high -- but I can recall our 1966 Peugeot 404 station wagon getting 22 - 23 MPG pulling a Compact Jr.

I later sold that car and pulled the same trailer with a 1968 Peugeot 404 sedan. It would only get 18 - 19 MPG. The difference was the axle ratio and a slightly more powerful engine on the sedan. The station wagon spun the engine up a little faster at the same speed.

I believe the main reason for the lower fuel economy figures in recent years is the rise in speeds. Remember when the national speed limit was 45 MPH for less than a year back in the 70's. Then they raised it to 55 MPH for a couple of years. Now just about anything goes!

It was during the 45 - 55 MPH era that my wife & I took leave from our professional jobs and full-timed, touring 44 of the lower 48 states. Our rig was the Peugeot SW and a tent initially. Then we bought the Compact Jr. It seemed like a mansion, at the time.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Sure they weren't quoting you kilos?
US specs are 2700# for the flat 4 and 3000# for the 6, with brakes recommended over 1300#.
The factory hitch is the weak link with a 200# tongue limit, but class IIIs are available.

Can you explain what you mean about the class IIIs being available? (new to towing here). I'm considering an Outback, should I get the factory installed hitch or put an aftermarket hitch on it? Thanks for your suggestion- will be towing a 13' Scamp with bathroom
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:58 AM   #11
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The 22 MPG might seem a bit high -- but I can recall our 1966 Peugeot 404 station wagon getting 22 - 23 MPG pulling a Compact Jr.
On a trip to the Rockies a couple of weeks back, my wife and I got an average of 21 MPG towing our 13-foot Trillium with a '99 Subaru Imprezza Outback Sport. This was mostly highway driving but a lot of it was uphill too. You *can* get decent mileage towing with the same methods that work when you're not towing. That is, accelerate gently, coast up to stops, and keep your speed down. It's really just a matter of developing good driving habits.

Gary
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:58 AM   #12
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Can you explain what you mean about the class IIIs being available? (new to towing here). I'm considering an Outback, should I get the factory installed hitch or put an aftermarket hitch on it? Thanks for your suggestion- will be towing a 13' Scamp with bathroom
Hi Paul,
There are many more knowledgeable folks on this site, but I'll share my experience.
We bought our 2005 Outback with the factory hitch - I believe its a class II with a 1 1/4" receiver. It is rated for 2000# towing and 200# tongue weight.
We towed a 5' x 10' teardrop weighing ~ 1100# loaded for a trip. This was well below the 2700# listed in the manual and once we had the wiring configured by the teardrop manufacturer it worked great. BTW- We averaged 20.9 mpg over 3 years towing.

When we bought our 16' Scamp, I used the Outback to tow it home.
I was I bit concerned about the tongue weight, but I could lift the front of the Scamp, so I didn't think it was too much over 200#.
I stopped at the scale on the way home and the weight of the unloaded trailer was 1960# with 220# of that on the tongue.

To use the Outback for a TV I was going to have to install a Class III hitch with a 2"" receiver (there are many more 2" ballmount options).
The class III hitches available for the Outback are rated 3500# towing and 350# on the hitch. These numbers are, of course, in excess of what the Outback is rated for, but I have a highway scale available and would be careful to watch my weights.

In the end, before I changed the hitch on the Outback, I found a screaming deal on a 2006 Chevy Trailblazer with lots of tow capacity & we kept both our subies for daily driving.

So....after all that - If I were going to buy a new Outback to tow with, I would find a good RV mechanic to install the hitch, 7 pin wiring and brake controller. Subaru only offers the lighter hitch (for more $$$) and you'd still need to have the wiring and controller done.
Hope this helps
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:41 PM   #13
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So....after all that - If I were going to buy a new Outback to tow with, I would find a good RV mechanic to install the hitch, 7 pin wiring and brake controller. Subaru only offers the lighter hitch (for more $$$) and you'd still need to have the wiring and controller done.
Hope this helps
My experience may be relevant to the discussion. We bought a used 2005 Outback LL Bean (six cylinder) to tow our 13' Scamp. We had the factory hitch installed at the dealer, along with their four-wire harnesss. I took on the project of installing a brake controller and 12V line for powering the trailer, getting overything over to a standard 7-wire hookup. I'm happy with the result, but I would not want to pay someone else to do it! Fuel burn on three outings has been about 18 MPG, which has been in the hilly parts of southern Ohio and two trips to/through the Smokies. I cruise pretty much at or slightly below the speed limit, whatever that happens to be. If I were doing it over again for towing a 13' Scamp, I think I'd do the same. I think the six-cyl engine burns a little more fuel for day-to-day use, but we can run middle octane fuel in it, at least when not towing. (non-turbo). If I knew we were going for a 16 or 17 footer, I think I'd go for a little larger tow vehicle. I bet the Subaru could tow it okay, but I wouldn't be in favor of getting so close to the tow limits. If you do end up with an Outback, I'll be happy to provide details of the wiring project. Actually, I think I've already posted some of it on here somewhere. Good luck!

Parker
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
My experience may be relevant to the discussion. We bought a used 2005 Outback LL Bean (six cylinder) to tow our 13' Scamp. We had the factory hitch installed at the dealer, along with their four-wire harnesss. If you do end up with an Outback, I'll be happy to provide details of the wiring project. Actually, I think I've already posted some of it on here somewhere. Good luck!

Parker
Thanks for all the input, I'm leaning more and more towards the 4 cyl 5 sp manual Outback.
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