Hitch help! - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-14-2007, 08:57 PM   #29
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I did a little research myself and found a site that sold hitches for the '05 Subaru Forester, they say that it will handle 300lbs Tounge weight.... the link is below... Hope it helps!

I am excited for you!

Have FUN!

Trailer Hitch

YOu're really sweet. I already have a hitch receiver on my car that is a class 2 (1.25 inch receiver). The current receiver on teh car is a Subaru part and is rated for the full 350/3500lbs that is standard for class 2 hitches. I need a weight distributing hitch for a class 2 receiver, that has a connector to fit a 1.25in receiver.

It was so kind of you to try to help.
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:57 PM   #30
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Laura,
For what it's worth, the Forester is not truck-based with a frame. When it was introduced in 1998, it was based on the Impreza sedan. I had a 1999 model, the tow limits then were 2000/200.

Also, don't forget the higher limits on the receiver don't change the limits for the car. I recall that the ballmount for my Forester was stamped 3000.

Marv
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:31 PM   #31
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Here're my thoughts on this:

1. All this rating stuf is a chain with links and the weakest link sets the strength. If all the components are rated for 5,000# except one rated for 1,000#, the limit is 1,000#. Generally, one wants all the hitch stuf to be stronger than the vehicle itself. Clearly, the accessory hitch in the Subaru PDF is rated higher than the vehicle's tow capacity, as is normal

Conversely, if the hitch receiver says it can handle 300# TW, that does NOT mean the vehicle can handle that much... I had a hitch ball and receiver hitch both rated for 5,000# on a truck rated to tow only 2,000#; bottom line is 2,000#.

2. A hitch extender's leverage would likely be offset by a properly adjusted WDH with regard to the weight stuf, but the extender would still contribute to sway effect on the TV. In this case, however, I would expect that the extender would fail under the WDH's stresses. ETrailer's 6" extender has this note "Load Rating GVW 1750 lbs. Tongue 175 lbs. The limiting factor is the capacity of your hitch. Using a 1-1/4" extender will reduce your hitch's overall capacity by 50%".

Other hitch accessories may also decrease receiver capacity, like a ball mount with a drop.

Clearly, without a WDH, a hitch extender increases the ability of the trailer to increase the sway effect on the TV at the rear, while it allows the TW to have increased effect on lifting the front axle/suspension, both of which will negatively affect control and handling -- Just not a good thing to increase the rear overhang.

3. Some of us seem to be taking the tongue weight of any particular trailer to be fixed, but that's not so -- TW is adjustable as anyone who has put a lot of weight on the back bumper of the trailer can attest.

4. IMHO, vehicle specs for seemingly similar vehicles in other countries should be regarded as a safety factor, not an increase over the US/CA specs -- YMMV! Folks may just be convincing each other that the reasons are lawsuits and not mechanical -- What do the vehicle manufacturers have to say about the vehicles being identical or the limits being paper? I surely wouldn't want to find myself discussing the issue in court.

5. I wouldn't hesitate to pull a Scamp 13' with a Forester, but I wouldn't pull a 16'.
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:37 PM   #32
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My Forester is a 2000, so I am not sure that the comparison is good, but it is rated to tow 2500 with brakes, 1000 without. I would NOT want to be towing twice what I am towing now (about 900-1000.)

It isn't the downhills, it is the ups.

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Old 09-16-2007, 01:56 PM   #33
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Laura - while I'm pretty much a total novice at this, I posted a similar question while deciding what size trailer to buy, and based on the responses, I downsized from a 17' to a 16'. You can find that thread here Tongue weight & trailer size, from a couple of weeks ago. I found that the folks here seem really knowledgable and was content to take their advice. Safety is paramount!!
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:13 PM   #34
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I got all wrapped up in the theoretical discussion about the hitch extender (A bad idea, IMHO, except in vehicles with exceptionally long wheelbases like longbed pickup truck with extended cab) without stopping to think about why it's needed. There are common Class II ball mounts from ETrailer that have 1 1/4" on one end and can take a 3/4" shank ball in either 1 7/8" or 2" size.

1 1/4" Ball Mounts

3/4" Shank Hitch Balls
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:49 PM   #35
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I got all wrapped up in the theoretical discussion about the hitch extender (A bad idea, IMHO, except in vehicles with exceptionally long wheelbases like longbed pickup truck with extended cab) without stopping to think about why it's needed. There are common Class II ball mounts from ETrailer that have 1 1/4" on one end and can take a 3/4" shank ball in either 1 7/8" or 2" size.

1 1/4" Ball Mounts

3/4" Shank Hitch Balls

Maybe I didn't see what you are trying to point to...but none of those links show me a WDH that would fit a 1.25 in (class 2) hitch receiver. Neither does anything I saw give me an adjustable ball mount for a 1.25 (class 2) receiver.

What am I missing?
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:58 PM   #36
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I think the consensus is that the hitch extender is a bad idea. It might be ok for certain purposes, but may be risky to use with a WDH.

Here's a different idea...

What if we took the class 2 hitch into a fabrication/welding shop and had them remove the 1.25 in receiver and put a 2" receiver on it?

Clearly this does not create a class 3 hitch, but the car is limited to 200lb tongue, so it's the limiting factor. Having a 2" receiver would allow me to used the mini WDH made by Reese. It's rated for 350/3500 lbs. That's overkill, but that shouldn't matter....should it?
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:19 PM   #37
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[quote]

A weight distributing hitch would be a good solution, as my car (2005 Subaru Forester) has plenty of towing capacity for the trailer weight (2000lbs). Tongue weight is the only limitation.


I would do a lot of research before I tried to pull a 16 Ft trailer with a Subaru Forester. The TV wheel base is very short relative to the distance between the hitch connection and the trailer wheels and the loaded trailer weight (not the manufacturer's empty weight) relative to the tow vehicle (~3200 lbs)is relativly large. Unless you like white knuckle driving, I believe you are asking for some lateral stablity problems with this combination of tow vehicle and trailer. You might want to consider a 13 ft trailer loaded to 1500 lbs for a Forester as a possibility.
Personally, I wouldn't pull anything bigger than a utility trailer at 1000 lbs with a Forester.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:17 AM   #38
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I think the consensus is that the hitch extender is a bad idea. It might be ok for certain purposes, but may be risky to use with a WDH.
This seems like a sensible conclusion to me.

Now for the next idea...

Quote:
What if we took the class 2 hitch into a fabrication/welding shop and had them remove the 1.25 in receiver and put a 2" receiver on it?

Clearly this does not create a class 3 hitch, but the car is limited to 200lb tongue, so it's the limiting factor. Having a 2" receiver would allow me to used the mini WDH made by Reese. It's rated for 350/3500 lbs. That's overkill, but that shouldn't matter....should it?
The welding shop would then be fabricating a hitch receiver. That may be okay - Reese sells the receiver boxes just for the purpose of having other people build hitches around them.

But would the structure be suitable for WD use, a mode for which is was not intended? I actually think it would be, because a properly used WD system would mean less stress on the most highly loaded frame connection points... but I'm not sure who would be willing to take responsibility.

Perhaps more importantly, although the Forester's structure should also get some relief from the WD system, if Subaru says not to use one, then they must have a reason.

One reason is that WD systems do not move any mass, or any weight - they just force the trailer and tug front axles to carry more load, instead of the tug rear axle. If rear axle load is the only reason for the hitch weight limit, then the WD system would more clearly be a solution.

My Toyota Sienna as a 3500 lb towing capacity, and allows WD systems (in fact, it is allowed higher hitch weight if WD is used); Chester's Toyota RAV-4 has the same towing capacity, but does not allow WD use. I have looked at how my hitch attaches to the Sienna structure, and the mounting points which appear to be available for a hitch in the RAV-4, and I suspect that might be at least part of the difference - the one which does not allow WD (RAV-4) has closer-spaced and less substantial looking mounting points. I think Toyota (and similarly perhaps Subaru) is concerned that inappropriate WD system use will cause damaging stresses.

Also, the RAV-4 is shorter than the Sienna: while that means it would benefit more from WD use (to fix the higher load transfer due to short wheelbase), it also means that the RAV-4 is less capable of controlling a large trailer mass. Perhaps Toyota - and again Subaru - just don't want a trailer with too much tongue weight (which means too much mass for the tug to control), no matter what the axle loads might be.

Wouldn't it be nice is Subaru could explain their thinking?
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:30 AM   #39
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But would the structure be suitable for WD use, a mode for which is was not intended? I actually think it would be, because a properly used WD system would mean less stress on the most highly loaded frame connection points... but I'm not sure who would be willing to take responsibility.

Perhaps more importantly, although the Forester's structure should also get some relief from the WD system, if Subaru says not to use one, then they must have a reason.
I'm not sure that's the case, Brian. I'm not an engineer (although I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night... ) but as I understand the concept, it doesn't mean less stress on the most loaded frame connection points; it means stress leverage applied in different directions. Unibodies are designed and reinforced with specific force vectors in mind. In the case of a trailer hitch assembly, it would be designed to carry load in a downward vector. The sheetmetal around the hitch points may not be designed to handle load in an UP vector which is what a WDH does. There's no way to guess about this, you'd have to contact Subaru engineering to see what loads those hitch attachment points were designed to withstand. If it's NOT designed to take the stresses of a WDH, the hitch will likely tear out under stress. They don't advertise that it will. It's a Class II receiver. There are no Class II WDHs. I'd have to suggest that a WDH probably isn't a good idea for the Forester.

As an illustration, if you take a piece of 8.5"x11" paper, and you fold it eight time into an accordian shape, an then you set it on a table in an arc, you can actually place quite a bit of weight on the top before it crushes. You can also fold it in the middle quite easily. The folds give reinforcement to it for forces in a vertical downward vector, but do nothing to reinforce it from being folded in half. Corrugated cardboard works on the same principal. It is quite strong, in a vertical vector, but deforms easily along it's breadth. Unibody sheetmetal is identical in application.


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The box is empty except for packing materials, but still weighs about a pound.

I had to take my E450 heavy one-ton ladder-chassis-based motorhome to a frame shop. Although the hitch on it was designed to tow 5,000 lbs, the frame wasn't designed to accommodate a WDH. The van has a tow capacity of 10,000 lbs and a GCVWR of 20,000 lbs. Born Free added frame rails to support their motorhome portion, and designed it (according to the factory) to tow 5,000 lbs with a 500 lb tongue weight, but it wasn't engineered to handle the stresses of a WDH. Some $1200 in frame modifications later, I can now tow the Bigfoot 25RQ with it using a WDH.

Roger

on edit: photos added
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:10 AM   #40
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I believe that all a WDH does is stiffen the connection between the Tow Vehicle and the trailer. I agree with Roger, if the frame or unibody is not designed to handle the extra stresses in all direction some thing's gonna give and probably won't be pretty. If you look really hard you'll see there is no such thing as WHD for a class 2 hitch. Also there's not a Class 2.5 hitch made for Subaru. Gotta be a reason.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:23 AM   #41
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Also there's not a Class 2.5 hitch made for Subaru. Gotta be a reason.

People keep saying this, and it make sense, but it sparks my curiosity. Subarus are selected year after year by the UK and aussies as the number one RV TV. Even Edmunds.com put it on their top ten list. Plus, Subies are rated for twice the total weight and tongue over there, yet they are coming off the SAME assembly lines as ours. Strange.

I finally found a thread on this on RV.net (and some company statements) to explain it.

1) Subaru confirms that the body, drive train, tranny and most everything else are essentially the same in the US as the UK/Aussie versions.

2) Subaru states that the decision to half the tongue and tow weight are for "regulatory" purposes to meet locality specific enginering standards, not because of any substantial engineering differences.

3) Gas mileage and vehicle size are MUCH more critical to UK and Aussies RVers than speed. They don't buy many big SUVs over there as they aren't practical for daily use.

4) UK and Aussies are more comfortable with a slightly higher risk than US drivers. (Just look at the autobahn stats, if you don't agree.) Plus, they tend to drive slower and on back roads when towing.

5) There is a small but vocal contingent of US Subie owners who slap custom class 3 hitches on them and swear thier little subies could pull a tank. There is a substantial continguent verifing that Forresters and Outbacks are pulling tongue loads of up to 250-300 lbs without problems.


My theory on why the UK and Aussies are rating their subie tow capacity so much higher is that it's about the five star safety rating and sales. Subarus are famous for those five star crash test ratings. Betcha they would lose a star or two if they supported the higher tow weights, messing with thier US sales strategy.

I'm wondering if I'm worried about something that could be trivial.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:41 AM   #42
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4) UK and Aussies are more comfortable with a slightly higher risk than US drivers. (Just look at the autobahn stats, if you don't agree.) Plus, they tend to drive slower and on back roads when towing.

5) There is a small but vocal contingent of US Subie owners who slap custom class 3 hitches on them and swear thier little subies could pull a tank. There is a substantial continguent verifing that Forresters and Outbacks are pulling tongue loads of up to 250-300 lbs without problems.
My theory on why the UK and Aussies are rating their subie tow capacity so much higher is that it's about the five star safety rating and sales. Subarus are famous for those five star crash test ratings. Betcha they would lose a star or two if they supported the higher tow weights, messing with thier US sales strategy.

I'm wondering if I'm worried about something that could be trivial.
I need to stop reading this thread. Maybe I'm kind of weird, but I keep getting this strange image popping into my head. The image looks something like this.
Please don't take offense.
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