2014 Subaru Forester- 1500 lb towing - Page 7 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-24-2013, 09:21 AM   #85
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Tom,

As well as braking distance at higher speeds being dramatically higher due to the car's higher energy, the simple act of reacting at higher speeds means you've gone further before the brakes are even activated.

Speed of itself, regardless of the vehicle/trailer or driver, adds an additional factor to every driving situation. Personally driving faster means a higher stress level and as I've age my goal is reduced stress.

I will also say I understand the 'hurry up driver' of the young though I sincerely wish my youthful ways had been moderated.

Safe Travels to all.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:57 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
The Planet Subaru thing is interesting- but it is comparing the 2013s, not the 2013 Outback to the 2014 Forester (or both 2014s.) I don't think the Outback has a makeover coming this year as the Forester one was announced months before it actually appeared.

What I like about the Forester is the headroom for tall people, and as they say, the high seat but still very solid feeling cornering. My Mazda MPV was about as high but you felt like you were going to roll on any fast cornering. None of that with the Forester.
Actually ...it's a constellation! Which begs the question...why aren't they all "seven passenger" cars?
BTW... Subaru used to offer something sorta unique to car buyers,...now they are just lost in sky full of rising stars. Still... image CAN be more important than substance (if you could tell the difference or find it in the parking lot).
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:51 AM   #87
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BTW... Subaru used to offer something sorta unique to car buyers,...now they are just lost in sky full of rising stars.
Floyd your correct. I started out in the late 80's with a Subaru station wagon that I had to manually switch over to 4 wheel drive. Then in the early 90's? the Outback came and have had 3 of those now. Big selling feature was the AWD and the fact they had the largest rear cargo area of any other station wagon or mid sized SUV out there - could fit two mountain bikes in the back with the seats down without having to take the wheel off of either or throw several sets of ski's inside the car and still fit a number of adults in the car. But when they decided in 2010 to revamp the Outback body style & turn it into something that looks like every other SUV & they put at CVT transmission in it, so the reasons for choosing it over other small AWD SUV's flew out the window and thus the reason I am looking at other makes for my next vehicle after 24 years of being a very happy repeat Subaru owner. If I am now going to have to buy something that looks like any other AWD SUV then I may as well get one that has bit higher tow and tongue weight cap.

Bobbie wrote: " The Planet Subaru thing is interesting- but it is comparing the 2013s, not the 2013 Outback to the 2014 Forester (or both 2014s.)"

Bobbie thats true and it highlighted the problem with us attempting here to compare the two cars - we and the dealers don't know yet what the 2014 Outback specs will be so doing a side by side comparison is simply spinning wheels. I would't expect big changes though, as they just did a body revamp but its not unrealistic to think they may change out the engine and/or the transmission offerings as they have done that many times over the years without a body style change.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:52 AM   #88
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Meanwhile Subaru sells diesel versions of the Forester and the Outback in other countries, but not here. Towing capacity on those is 5000 pounds.
Our emissions standards are ridiculously stringent and Americans seem to be scared stupid when anyone mentions diesel fuel.

Our government is trying to remove all traces of truly efficient vehicles in an attempt to get more people to drive their "green" technology.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:24 PM   #89
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CVT transmissions

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Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
I have my doubts about CVT Transmissions for towing.
I too would like to see some more reports on the long term durability of the CVT transmissions before I would want to tow with one.
At last years Cherokee rally, Eddie Longest had one of the newer Outbacks with the CVT and was getting low 20's for MPG towing a 13' Scamp. I was pulling our 16' Scamp with an 08 Outback with the 4cyl 4 spd auto and getting about 17 for the trip, which included some steep grades climbing the hills near Cherokee.
There was a 6 cyl Outback, and also a Forester with a turbo.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:15 PM   #90
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Tom,

As well as braking distance at higher speeds being dramatically higher due to the car's higher energy, the simple act of reacting at higher speeds means you've gone further before the brakes are even activated.

..........

Right. I should have said stopping distance, which is the sum of reaction distance and braking distance. In any case the important point is that it is not linear, it rises dramatically with increased speed.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:17 PM   #91
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One other big difference between the two is that the Forester was/is built on the same platform as the Impreza. So I suspect they may have more than a few build components that are going to be different. In particular the suspension.

Planet Subaru has a bit of an explanation of the differences as things now stand.
Interesting web page, and a little less marketing-oriented than most dealer material. As expected, it says nothing about platform components, such as structure and suspension.

I stopped at a Subaru dealer this morning, and looked at the vehicles outside (they're not open Sunday). There were no 2014 Foresters, but lots of 2013 - I assume the new ones are not in yet. All Subarus present (which means every current model) use the same rear suspension design - essentially, Subaru is a one-platform company, which is certainly efficient and helps explain the similarity in size of all models. Any difference in capacity is due to structure differences and suspension details (such as spring stiffness), which underlines the importance of those details; for hitch capacity, this would also include wheelbase and rear overhang distance.

By the way, for the techie types... the Subaru rear suspension is a nicely sophisticated multi-link design featuring an upper A-arm, forward and rearward lateral links (the rearward serving as spring link as well), and a trailing link.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:02 PM   #92
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I don't understand the "stopping distance" worry. If trailer brakes work, it should be no different than driving without the trailer. Do you normally not drive speed limit, even without a trailer?
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:16 PM   #93
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Funny how any discussion of tow vehicles goes on and on and on.

I agree on the seven passenger- why not offer that as an option? I suspect the whole passenger/cargo compartment is pretty safe in a Subaru.

Personally I'd like the opposite- a two-passenger with extended cargo area. Or at least a back seat that folds complete filling the open space. I rarely carry two passengers and almost always carry crates.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:31 PM   #94
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Bobbie,

I think the tow vehicle discussion goes on and on because at least in North America there are few economical choices for small trailers. This is more impacting to those who travel a lot. Until there is a solution or no solution the hunt will go on.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:34 PM   #95
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I don't understand the "stopping distance" worry. If trailer brakes work, it should be no different than driving without the trailer. Do you normally not drive speed limit, even without a trailer?
Well lets just say if you miss judge the mark the ramifications of such are far greater with a trailer attached to the tug than just missing or in this case hitting the mark with just the tug on its own. One of the reasons why many states have speed restrictions on vehicles towing. For example in California as well as a number of other states you have to travel much slower by law when towing regardless of what everyone else is allowed to do.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:59 PM   #96
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Note to Moderators: This braking topic has nothing to do with the 2014 Forester, so perhaps the related posts could go into their own thread?

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... I encourage a close look at the following report regarding then-new Federal mandates for braking distance minimums on semitruck/trailer combinations...
That's an interesting report by Bendix (not a government agency) about tractor-trailer truck brakes in general and the more stringent standards specifically. Bendix is a huge player in this field, and communicates information well; although the report has no relevance to the 2014 Forester, I recommend this as reading for those who have an interest in this subject.

By the way, I assume that "semitruck/trailer combinations" was intended to mean "tractor/semi-trailer" combinations; the "semi" thing is a that a semi-trailer is a trailer which is only about half supported on its own wheels, with the rest of the load carried on the truck's (tractor's) wheels.

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The trucks pulling the trailers had no problem with the minimums when not towing, but despite many thousands of dollars invested, the trucking industry was unable to perfect the technology required to build brakes for the trailers that would succeed in bringing the whole combination to a stop in the required minimum distance.
The article is not about minimum capabilities (actually maximum braking distance), but rather about the change in those requirements.

The article contains nothing about trailer brakes, or about braking trucks which are not towing. It is about changes in federal requirements for braking tractor-trailer rigs without trailer brakes, as described in this quote from the article:
Quote:
Under FMVSS No. 121, stopping distance requirements varied according to vehicle type.
Most truck tractors were required to stop within 355 feet when tested at 60 mph while pulling an unbraked control trailer in the loaded-to-GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) condition. Unloaded, truck tractors were required to stop within 335 feet.
In other words, this is all about stopping tractor-trailer rigs without using any trailer brakes at all.
What about not meeting the target? Again, from the report:
Quote:
Concerning technical advances, NHTSA determined that a 30 percent reduction currently is not feasible for a small percentage estimated at approximately 1 percent of severe-service tractors in the loaded condition, specifically three-axle tractors over 70,000 lbs. GVWR and tractors with four or more axles and GVWR exceeding 85,000 lbs. Even with air disc brakes on all wheels, testing demonstrated that these vehicles were unable to meet the 30 percent stopping distance reduction. As a result, the agency implemented a 13 percent reduction for these vehicles.
The trucks which were unable to meet the desired 30% reduction were the heaviest ones, not the ones with trailers... in this testing, they all have trailers, and none of the trailers have brakes.

I'm sure Bendix would be happy if they had only invested many thousands of dollars in development (rather than many millions), but this article is not about technical development to meet the new requirements at all - it is about applying technology which has long been available. In some respects trucks are where cars were half a century ago: drum brakes are the standard, and disc brakes are just starting to be used. What can be done and what is being done are very different things. Recreational trailers are in a similar state to the big trucks: most have brakes that would be familiar to a mechanic of generations ago, although much better is available.

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I leave it to others to divine the reason for the Feds' reduction in the minimum stopping distance requirement in the case of commercial trailers.
It's quite explicit: it is not feasible with existing available braking products to get the heaviest trucks to improve their no-trailer-brake stopping distances by the desired amount.

This does get back to Norm's point about varying standards (although he was talking about hill climbing): big trucks are not expected to brake as well as our small recreational rigs.

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But for myself, and for purposes of this discussion, the fact that the trucking industry had such difficulty with the standard suggests that there is very much more to stopping a towed combination than the simple addition of an electric-braked axle.
Although this report doesn't deal at all with the difficulty of combining tractor and trailer brakes, there is indeed more to stopping the combination than just adding brakes... just as there is more to stopping a motor vehicle alone than installing brakes on each of the wheels.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:13 PM   #97
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... you have up to 80k pounds being stopped by four brakes...
Well, it's normally six brakes on the tractor (front axle plus tandem drive axles), but I agree that stopping a loaded rig with just tug brakes is not like stopping a rig of any size with trailer brakes.

The tractor+semitrailer rig without trailer brakes is not as bad as a tractor plus conventional trailer without trailer brakes, because much (about half) of the trailer weight is on the tractor's drive axles, adding traction to those truck tires.

In our world, a pickup truck with lots of braking capacity towing one of our trailers hitched over the truck axle has a definite advantage (over a conventional rig) in braking without trailer brakes.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:48 PM   #98
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Bobbie,

I think the tow vehicle discussion goes on and on because at least in North America there are few economical choices for small trailers. This is more impacting to those who travel a lot. Until there is a solution or no solution the hunt will go on.
Very true... Those who've noticed my recent posts know I'm in the middle of looking for a new tow vehicle. I haven't quite finished my search/research, but as far as I can see right now there are no good alternatives. Every single one of them has one serious problem or another. Maybe it's crappy fuel economy (Tacoma and Frontier), or a first model year with problems (e.g. 2013 Escape), or just too expensive (Highlander, Pathfinder), or too excessively big (F-150 & other full-sized trucks).

The company I'm currently most annoyed with is Nissan. They've introduced what looks to be a great new vehicle in the Pathfinder (though larger than we need, not too large). But they've taken something basic (roof rails) and put it in a higher option package. So if I want roof racks, I have to spend money on crap I don't like. And then there's the Murano. A better fit for us than the Pathfinder (it's smaller), but for no obvious reason it's more expensive. They're playing games with prices and options...
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