Anyone towing with a Subaru Forester competitor? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-23-2011, 08:33 PM   #29
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The Outback could be considered a Forester competitor and has a 2700 lb tow rating with brakes. Here's a post I made on the Casita forum;

"Just completed a 450 mile roundtrip with our 2008 Outback. I can't speak for the CVT transmission in the newer Outbacks, but our 4 cyl with the "old fashioned" automatic did a commendable job of hauling our Scamp 16 from GA to AL and back. Our total loaded weight was 2595 lbs; 235 on the tongue and 2360 on the axle. This included a full fresh water tank to help reduce the tongue weight, although I plan to move the battery from the tongue to the rear "Casita style" so I don't have to carry as much fresh water in the future. We kept our speed at 60 MPH or below, and the Subaru took the rolling hills we encountered in stride. The only time we had to drop below 60 was right after a bulgemobile pulled by a Ford Diesel passed us but he lost speed up the hill and dropped back to 55. Seemed ironic that I was pulling with my flat four engine with no problems and the big diesel was belching black smoke trying to keep up speed. I didn't bother trying to pass him on the uphill since I knew he'd regain his speed on the downhill and just pass me again.
My Subaru is outfitted with an extra transmission cooler and a Prodigy brake controller. I had a wide kayak strapped to the crossbars, and although the fuel mileage dropped to 18.5 compared to my normal 28, the Subaru was able to travel 27% further on a gallon of gas than my normal TV, which is a Dodge Dakota Quad Cab, 2WD, with a 4.7 V8. The Dakota normally gets about 14.5 towing.
I doubt if I'll use the Subaru if any steep hills are involved, as I suspect the mileage would suffer a bit more on big hills than it did on the rolling hills. It is a nice feeling to know that it's a very capable backup vehicle in case I ever get rid of the truck and I would be comfortable making it my prime towing vehicle if I had to. I was truly amazed at how well the combination worked."

John
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:01 AM   #30
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WE tow with a smaller vehicle like yours (Honda CRV) and don't find big hills dramatically, head winds are more dramatic. I bet the kayak has a big effect on your mileage.

When we drove a motorhome we found hills were never a factor in mileage because the lower uphill speeds seemed to be balanced by less mileage loss to drag losses, continuous head winds are the real mileage killers or high speeds.

AS to moving the battery, we're using a Casita this winter and I hate the battery under the rear dinette. It makes service unpleasant. I much prefer it on the front where it's easier to check water level.

This winter I've learned weight is secondary to shape and frontal area. Our Casita weighs about 500 #s more than our last trailer of similar size but get's 3 mpg more when towing.

If it were my Casita I'd get rid of one of the metal propane tanks and go to one fiberglass tank to reduce front weight.

Safe travels
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:20 AM   #31
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I'll agree on the headwinds, I drove Fresno to Sacramento once in headwinds and it took an extra 45 minutes, plus was an absolutely miserable drive, and I got about 15 mpg. Hills are not a big issue, but I drive a manual so I just downshift. I wonder if the taller Forester will make a big difference with wind as it will be closer to the height of the trailer- right now the trailer rides higher than the TV and a Campster is not particularly aerodynamic.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:16 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borden View Post
Electric bakes make a big difference as does the Load Equalizing Hitch. Even though 8% tongue works well with a car the boler requires WD to meet and exceed our needs. (Subaru is like a car)
Keep in mind that Subaru's manual states equalizing hitches are not to be used.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:45 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
WE tow with a smaller vehicle like yours (Honda CRV) and don't find big hills dramatically, head winds are more dramatic. I bet the kayak has a big effect on your mileage.

AS to moving the battery, we're using a Casita this winter and I hate the battery under the rear dinette. It makes service unpleasant. I much prefer it on the front where it's easier to check water level.

If it were my Casita I'd get rid of one of the metal propane tanks and go to one fiberglass tank to reduce front weight.

Safe travels
The kayak may not have hurt the mileage much if at all. It probably acts like an air diverter and somewhat splits the air before it hits the front of the Scamp. It's funny, but if I just have my cross bars on, the fuel mileage and wind noise is worse than if I have the kayak attached to them.

When I move the battery I'll use an access door and a slide out carrier to make access easier. Moving the battery to a spot behind the left tire will also help to balance the side to side weight, which right now is a bit heavy on the door side, where the awning, water heater, stove, microwave, sink, and fresh water reside.

I did reduce to one tank on my Scamp to help lower the tongue weight (it had the dual tank option). The reduced tongue weight seems to have smoothed out the ride too. Too heavy a tongue weight can put one heck of a load on the rear of the tow vehicle over bumps like those at bridge connectors. Mine was over 300 lbs before adjustments.

John
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:46 PM   #34
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Most manufacturers give an automatic a higher tow rating than the same vehicle with a stick shift. The clutch is the weak link.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:10 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Herb Sutton View Post
Most manufacturers give an automatic a higher tow rating than the same vehicle with a stick shift. The clutch is the weak link.
Our tow vehicle has a clutch. We prefer manual to automaticss because they're less expensive, easy to repair and nicer to tow behind a motorhome.

I agree that the clutch can be a weak point, particularly when backing up hills and around obstructions, where this is a tendency to slip the clutch and heat the clutch surface. Our clutch has 140,000 miles on it and still seems fine. In normal driving it does not seem to be a problem.

Norm
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:48 PM   #36
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I believe the Forester is rated the same for towing in manual and automatic.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:27 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Herb Sutton View Post
Most manufacturers give an automatic a higher tow rating than the same vehicle with a stick shift. The clutch is the weak link.
Actually it is a lack of confidence in the ability of the driver which spawns the rating discrepancy, not some mechanical insufficiency
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:37 AM   #38
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It's the clutch. More slippage and quicker wear than an auto.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:06 PM   #39
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I remember the days that if you wanted a high tow rating you HAD to buy a stick shift with a granny gear. Automatics seemed to get higher ratings as the manual transmissions started getting lower ratings.
Subaru has the same tow ratings for manual and automatic, but they actually place more restrictions on the automatic when towing up hills above certain temps above 100 degrees.

Check out the article about the plans to make the Subaru Outback 50% larger due to customer demand;
http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2011...grand-outback/

John
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:27 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Radar1 View Post
I
Check out the article about the plans to make the Subaru Outback 50% larger due to customer demand;
http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2011...grand-outback/

John
Thankfull that Subaru would never do that. :-)

Note at the end of the article reads:
"We at Subaru of America hope you have a happy April 1.
The maker did include this footnote:
Not really. Itís an April Foolís joke. We did build one of these cars, but couldnít get it out of the door. The Legal guys make us add this."
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:03 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
Like Rav-4, other types in the same class? I just want to see what else is out there that can still tow.

I'm also interested in knowing if anyone is using a Forester near its 2500 lb max?
We have two Foresters in our household and both take turns towing our 75 boler. I have a 2010 (new design) and my husband has a 2007 XT (turbo, older body style).

I love them both... but after owning the 2010 for almost a year, I must admit I find my husbands car feels a bit small, it isn't nearly as comfortable, and it gets terrible gas mileage. I'm really happy with my new Forester, it's just a lovely car to drive.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:33 AM   #42
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Michelle, I'm surprised you feel yours is roomier. I test-drove a 2011 and it seems less roomy in the driver's seat than my 2000. I have not driven anything later than a 2002 though, and the 2007 is a different body style than either older or newer. The rear seats in the 2011 are much nicer than the 2002 but the front seemed more cramped. (Part of that may be the increased leg room, which is actually a downside for me as I had plenty before, and now have to slide the seat up a bit which does make the driver's space smaller.)
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