2014 Subaru Forester- 1500 lb towing - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-23-2013, 10:32 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Jared J View Post
My drive is 650 miles.

650/55mph (averaged your speed) = 11.8 hours.
650/75mph = 8.7 hours. 3.1 hours difference each way. Obviously, this isn't taking into account gas stops, but everybody has those.

On a round trip, that's 6.2 hours of time I'm losing, and I often have two driving days, and two days of being there. 6.2 lost hours is a big chunk of my visiting time.

Even with your 300, that's 5.45 hours for you, and 4 hours for me. Our two lanes aren't 75, but I won't be on two lanes for more than a few miles, either.
You "averaged" my speed so I presume you did the same with yours...

If 75 will be your average speed while towing your Scamp, I think I'm the only one that will be getting there at all. And I think it matters not how much you air those ST's over their limit to "accommodate" the higher speed...

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Old 02-23-2013, 10:36 AM   #44
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I would not want to pull a 2000 lb trailer with my Forester up mountains. Wind would probably make it more, not less, stable at the higher weight. But I like being able to go uphill fast. I already feel it when I'm pulling the trailer and don't want more weight. However, if I lived where there were no mountains, it would probably be fine.

I don't think being slower makes it more of a hazard as the semis are already crawling, but I agree that it is a problem when you are between the speed of semi and fast cars and pull out to pass the semi. Especially pulling out with a trailer.

I do expect the Outback to have a lower rating when they come out with the new model, but I don't think they are redoing it for 2014. It isn't bigger than the Forester anymore, just fancier now. Hard to tell them apart from the outside.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:56 PM   #45
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Mt. Passes

Bobbie,

We spent 11 months on the road last year, some 23,000 miles. We crossed 7 or so significant passes, 6-8,000 feet. The passes represent a trivial amount of our driving with the run up rarely longer than 5 or 6 miles.

We tow our Scamp 16 with a 9 year old, 4 cylinder Honda without issue.

Personally I think towing 'up mountain passes' issue is over blown. On half the passes crosssed we were virtually the only vehicle. Most of the others were two lane roads. On the two lane roads there were usually semis or large fifth wheels straining to the top. Of course the multilane roads present no problem.



To me the big concern is the 'run down'. Here I concentrate on not going too fast though our Honda and Scamp brake well it is easy to go too fast and often relatively sharp curves appear on the way down that are not a problem on the way up.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:27 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Jared J;364341
[IMG
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/attachments/photobucket/img_364447_0_33436f38393767f246e8ee4f2ad712c9.jpg[/IMG]

The car didn't move, the trailer did a few times when it started pouring rain and hit the 60 some mph gusts.
Thanks Jared that was the photo I was thinking of just didnt recall all the details of what was on it and the set up. The trailer is actually loaded lighter than I recalled.

As mentioned I think the most common cause of travel trailer accidents is sway and the cause of the sway is most often to light of a tongue weight & speed. Based on my experience pulling boats and small light utility trailers as well as my Scamp, I would fully expect a trailer set up such as the one in the photo to have a sway issue not just in the wind but at higher speeds. A wind gust of 60 mph should be expected to toss a trailer of that weight and set up, regardless of the size of the tug I was pulling with. I would suggest that with the trailer of the weight and the Kayak sitting up on its side on the roof acting as a great wind catcher it actually speaks well to tugs ability that it also didn't move under such conditions. When towing with a light tongue weight I personally wouldn't consider going over 55 mph regardless of the tug size or the weather conditions.

re big trucks or semi's doing 55 mph up hill I think you will find that in the Coastal Range, Cascades and Rocky Mountains and parts of California and mid west, it would be a real eye opener to actually see one doing that. I have no problem hauling my trailer with an Outback and keeping it above 45 mph and pass a lot of commercial trucks on the climb as well as big trucks pulling big stickies. Love doing the later as it often results in an interesting glare from the party pulling the sticky.

It is though as has been stated to each to his own in regards to what their speed practises are and how far they wish to push the safety boundaries whether in law or out. Its also each his own in regards to determining the preferred set up & weight distribution of the trailer being pulled. But both factors need to be seriously considered when determining the viability or safety when pulling a trailer of any size of tug regardless of its make and model.

Back on topic, although tongue weight/sway is a very relevant topic IMHO when discussion towing with the Forester or Outback due to their limited tongue weight of 200 lbs. As I have mentioned here before although I have had a very good (actually better than originally expected) experience in regards to how well my Outback handles my 16' (all be it on the very light side of 16' trailers) I personally would not be surprised or upset if Subaru dropped the tow cap on its Outback to below 2500 lbs in fact I think it would be prudent. As the tongue weight limitation factor in regards to a safe tow and prevention of sway. Have said it a number of times here that if I was starting out from scratch I was looking for a new tug and owned a trailer over 2000 lbs. At the same time though I have no doubt that the Outback would provide a safe and solid and comfortable tow for a 13' Scamp.

Another Subaru offering is the Tribeca with a tow cap of 3500 lbs but again is somewhat limited in regards to maxing out your tow limit due to the 300 lbs tongue limit and it comes with a stock transmission cooler and you can get a complete tow package from the factory. Its a 6 cyl and an AWD so its not known for having outstanding MPG, anymore than Subaru's other smaller AWD offerings are or those of other manufactures AWD's. Rumors are that Subaru may not be offering the Tribeca in the future as they put a new baby brother to the Forester into the line up last year - an XV Crosstrek so they may be going back to focusing on smaller vehicles and getting out of the mid size SUV game which the Tribeca falls into.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:28 PM   #47
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I tow my trailer with a 2010 manual transmission Forester and use a brake controller. I’m always in the mountains and generally don’t have issues, just a matter of knowing what gear to be in. Steepest grades I drove last year were through ice fields parkway between Banff and Jasper (8%-11% grades). There were times I was in second gear, but I never felt like I wouldn’t make it and I was often ‘stuck’ behind slower moving larger vehicles towing larger trailers. I prefer manual transmissions in general but I likely wouldn’t attempt to use a 4 speed automatic Forester for the same job. Personally I think towing is the last thing Subaru cares about, and I likely won’t be buying another to tow anything unless the new Outback does something magical or they introduce a diesel model with a decent tow rating. Unfortunately most of my driving doesn’t involve towing, so safety and AWD for the winter is more important, but I really wish I had more power towing in a head wind.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:44 PM   #48
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Bobbie,

We spent 11 months on the road last year, some 23,000 miles. We crossed 7 or so significant passes, 6-8,000 feet. The passes represent a trivial amount of our driving with the run up rarely longer than 5 or 6 miles.

We tow our Scamp 16 with a 9 year old, 4 cylinder Honda without issue.

Personally I think towing 'up mountain passes' issue is over blown. On half the passes crosssed we were virtually the only vehicle. Most of the others were two lane roads. On the two lane roads there were usually semis or large fifth wheels straining to the top. Of course the multilane roads present no problem.



To me the big concern is the 'run down'. Here I concentrate on not going too fast though our Honda and Scamp brake well it is easy to go too fast and often relatively sharp curves appear on the way down that are not a problem on the way up.
Driving north and south on Interstate 5, there is always traffic through the passes (which are not that high.) Usually there is a slow lane on the way up, but the very slow semis are in that lane. That leaves a rig doing 50 either too fast behind a truck or too slow in the fast lane. That's the issue for me. I can do 50-55 okay pulling a 1000 pound trailer. I don't want to try it with a 2400 lb trailer (the rating for my Subaru- and even after taking off 400 lbs for the car load, 2000 is too much.) Downhills do not bother me but I can downshift if needed and my trailer is light so isn't pushing the car like a bigger one would be.

When I drive from Washington to California, I'm in the mountains from south of Eugene, Oregon, to Redding, CA. That's about 6 hrs minimum pulling a trailer- each way, averaging 50 mph through the mountains. I do this drive at least once, often twice a year.

I think once I'm done commuting to California, I'd be more willing to tow a heavier trailer with my Forester. Driving uphill to a campsite would be okay, no hurry to get there, and more of the time, no big rigs. It's the long stretches of highway driving through mountains that convince me right now.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:50 PM   #49
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I'm headed over this afternoon to a friend's to work on my trailer lights- anyway, his son bought a Crosstrek this past year. I've only glanced at it in the dark so I'm hoping he's around today. Not for towing, though.

I agree Subaru does not care about towing. I think they should- a lot of people who buy their cars tow at the least a fishing boat.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:01 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
I do expect the Outback to have a lower rating when they come out with the new model, but I don't think they are redoing it for 2014. It isn't bigger than the Forester anymore, just fancier now. Hard to tell them apart from the outside.
I agree Bobbie they are making them hard to tell apart and personally not happy that they moved away from the Outback looking like a station wagon and more like an SUV. Also not sure I like the fact that so many of the manufactures are starting to make what were their smaller cars bigger on the outside either. In regards to the Forester and Outback being the same sizes although they look very much the same there are some subtle differences some of which I suspect is why they have different tow ratings. One is the Outback is about 8" longer and as such has about a 6" longer wheel base and is slightly wider and a bit more power engine wise & different options regarding the transmission type. Although the Outback out weighs the Forester but the Forester has actually become the taller of the two of late.... a bit strange.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:07 PM   #51
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The fact that the Outback outweighs the Forester may have at least something to do with the difference in ratings.

By some standards, a (starting) "tow capacity" can be arrived at as a percentage-of-vehicle-weight number.

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Old 02-23-2013, 02:09 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
I'm headed over this afternoon to a friend's to work on my trailer lights- anyway, his son bought a Crosstrek this past year. I've only glanced at it in the dark so I'm hoping he's around today. Not for towing, though. .
I hope he lets you take it for a spin - I took one while my car was being serviced for a spin just for fun - the salesmen wasn't busy. Lets just say the term "under powered" came to mind. They will be the first to say they didnt build it to tow much of anything either & I assure you that you wouldn't want to tow anything with it. Suspect they are just attempting to get into the low mpg market and in order to do that with an AWD they need to go small and light.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:14 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
The fact that the Outback outweighs the Forester may have at least something to do with the difference in ratings.

By some standards, a (starting) "tow capacity" can be arrived at as a percentage-of-vehicle-weight number.

Francesca
Very true but depending on the model of Outback the weight difference isnt much only a couple of hundred pounds, so I am inclined to think that the difference in tow cap may be impacted a bit more by the difference in wheel base & power vs the weight difference .
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:30 PM   #54
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The Crosstrek owner lives up in the foothills so he must like how it goes uphill. He had a pickup before. He's probably not going to be around since it is Saturday.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:34 PM   #55
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I'm with you. The journey is all part of the experience.

Plus braking distance goes up with the square of velocity, unless this law has been recently revised.
If trailer brakes are working properly, there should be no difference from driving the tow vehicle without the trailer.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:38 PM   #56
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Jared, it seems that you have never driven where there are mountain grades. Join us on the Coquihalla sometime... where the two-lane-each way freeway gains an extra lane on the uphills, which is filled with "semis" (tractor-trailer rigs) grinding up with the hazard flashers at half of that 55 mph speed. It's not just the Coquihalla, of course... mountain highways everywhere have trucks slowed down substantially by grades, and I'm stuck behind them waiting in any of my vehicles (including the Sienna towing the Boler, and my motohome) if there isn't a passing lane available.

On the flat sections of the same highways, the big trucks are just as fast as other traffic; on the descents they are often faster. That's not what Norm was talking about.

The general limit for tractor-trailer rigs in North America is roughly 40 tons. The grade on many mountain highways is 6% or more. To pull 40,000 kg up a 6% slope at 55 mph even with no rolling resistance, no aerodynamic drag, and no inefficiency of any kind is 579 kW (775 hp). Since no production truck has that much power, and just overcoming drag on flat ground takes a much of the power they do have, these trucks are simply physically incapable maintaining 55 miles per hour while climbing significant mountain grades. Even more lightly loaded, 55 mph (90 km/h) is unrealistic for many highway grades.
We don't have that kind of grades where I go, and most are starting at 75mph. Yes, they lose speed, but at most, down to 65.

I've been around those grades when Iived in Denver. There were many vehicles without a trailer not doing any better than the trucks, although I think altitude and turbos played into that big time.
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