A little back story:
We bought this boler
a few months back with the intention of towing it behind my 2011 Subaru Impreza wagon this year and then with a new Subaru Outback next year. The ride height of the boler
was a bit high for my liking, and it had already been changed out once from the original torsion axle
to a leaf spring/drop axle
setup by the previous owner. Unfortunately, the PO hacked their way through the axle
install and the frame has had some pieces cut away to facilitate the axle, which meant that I was not able to go with a torsion axle to drop the ride height back down to a manageable height for cars to tow at or near level.
I chose to go to a friend of mine (a trailer specialist) for the install and on his recommendation we agreed to install a straight axle on top of the leaf springs as opposed to the previous one that was a 6" drop installed under the springs. Once the axle was installed, we were attempting to reinstall the wheels and one of them would not fit over the hub! Not sure what happened, but the wheel was very difficult to remove from the old axle but we discounted that, expecting that it was simply a bit rusted on. As a result, I ended up purchasing 2 new ST175/80R13 tires
and rims from Princess Auto so that I would have a matching set and they would both fit properly on the new axle. Unfortunately, the combination of all of these "upgrades" has resulted in a very high slung boler
. Right now, my tongue measures 21 1/2" from ground to top of ball mount, and the door height is roughly 14".
My car is equipped with a 1 1/4" receiver and a 5" rise ball mount, and the height of the top of the ball is at 17" with very little cargo in the hatch. Once the boler is hooked up, it pitches forward towards the car, and the car's rear suspension compresses a few inches. The end result is quite a mismatch and it does not tow very comfortably at all. Over bumps and waves in the road, the car seems to tug forward and back. There doesn't seem to be any sway from side to side, and I don't think the axle brakes
are causing it either.
My solutions as I see them are:
1. new Flexride axle, adjusted to level the ride height out.
- this would require some frame modifications as far as I can tell, and I would have to beg Standen's to take back the currently mounted straight axle.
2. get Standen's to make me a 6" drop axle (which was what we had initially asked for from them), mount it over the leaf springs, and hope that the ride height becomes more manageable.
3. increase my ride height on the Impreza (taller springs/struts) and look for a stiffer spring rate as well to resist sag under load.
4. resist the urge to smash everything in sight, cut my losses, and buy the Outback now. Outfit to be the tow vehicle, and forget about my experiment.
If anyone has any words of wisdom to pass on, I'm all ears. This has been such a frustrating process, especially because while we were waiting 2 1/2 weeks for the new (wrong) axle to arrive, I put a lot of work into the interior and also purchased new cushion covers and foam to make sure that we would be able to use it this year. If I can't figure out a good solution, you may soon find our boler in the For Sale
section of FGRV.