More Subaru Forester Towing Questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-03-2009, 03:18 PM   #1
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Trailer: Boler
Yukon
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Hi Gang,
I've finally located a 13 foot boler and have to travel from the Yukon Territory into British Columbia to pick it up in April (which is still winter/spring weather). I'll be towing with a 2007 Subaru Forester XT, and was wondering what type of hitch system I should invest in. I've studied the site a little bit, and it sounds like there are some weight distribution systems I should be looking at. Any advice?

Also, I am a little worried about this trip. The bolers does NOT have trailer brakes, and I won't be able to install a new axle with brakes until I return home. It's a 1500 km trip. Is it do-able with caution?

Thanks,

Michelle A
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:52 PM   #2
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Hi Gang,
I've finally located a 13 foot boler and have to travel from the Yukon Territory into British Columbia to pick it up in April (which is still winter/spring weather). I'll be towing with a 2007 Subaru Forester XT, and was wondering what type of hitch system I should invest in. I've studied the site a little bit, and it sounds like there are some weight distribution systems I should be looking at. Any advice?

Also, I am a little worried about this trip. The bolers does NOT have trailer brakes, and I won't be able to install a new axle with brakes until I return home. It's a 1500 km trip. Is it do-able with caution?

Thanks,

Michelle A
Michelle, I think I can probably put most of your fears to rest.We have towed our 13 ft Trillium with our '01 Forester on several trips, before we had a new axle/brakes installed.The car handled the towing without any problems.Be aware of traffic well ahead of your position, so you have time to react and brake. The Forester's brakes are quite capable of handling the extra weight behind you, so long as you do not get caught in a panic stop situation.The Forester manual claims 2000 Lb of trailer towing capacity;adequate for the average Boler GVWR.I believe some compact car manufacturers caution their vehicle owners to have brakes on trailers >1000Lbs
Power is not an issue; the Forester has plenty to play with the Boler.
Whitehorse to BC, towing the Boler,will most likely involve some mountain driving.Here is where trailer brakes would be handy, so as not to o/heat the tow vehicles brakes on the long downhill grades. Again, some cautious driving, and using a lower gear would reduce potential problems.Also, if the Subaru has automatic transmission, it is important that you refrain from driving in o/drive, to reduce potential future trans. problems.
Speaking of transmissions, it would be wise to check with your dealer as to whether the Forester has an auxilary tr. cooler as std equipment. If not,one should be installed.I don't think our '01 has one, and o/heating was never experienced, even tho' our part of nothern Ontario can be very hilly in some areas.BTW, our Forester has a caution light indicating high transmission temps; I've never seen it come on.

Hope this of some help.
Joe
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:57 PM   #3
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Yukon
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Speaking of transmissions, it would be wise to check with your dealer as to whether the Forester has an auxilary tr. cooler as std equipment. If not,one should be installed.I don't think our '01 has one, and o/heating was never experienced, even tho' our part of nothern Ontario can be very hilly in some areas.BTW, our Forester has a caution light indicating high transmission temps; I've never seen it come on.

Hope this of some help.
Joe

Thank you very much for the helpful information Joe! I feel a lot better about the trip. We will certainly be extra cautious on the trip home. We have two Foresters, an older 2001 (mine) and a nice new 2007 XT (husband's). We'll be using the 2007 to tow, and it happens to have a standard transmission. Would this still require a transmission cooler of some sort? I may be in BIG trouble if we damage my husband fancy new Forester... yikes!
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:45 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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If you have a manual transmission there is no need for any sort of transmission cooler. They're for automatic transmissions.

I think you'll find the Boler very agreeable to tow. I tow mine with a 4-cylinder Volvo (114 hp) and it's amazingly docile back there. I picked mine up 1700 miles from home! Granted, there were no mountain ranges, but your manual transmission will be a real asset on the hills.

Raya
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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Hi Michelle,

For a 13' no weight distribution hitch would be necessary. However, get a class 2 hitch installed and you might as well get your brake controller setup at the same time - by default most shops will put on a 4 pin connector and you will want the 7 pin later. I believe that only a class 2 is available but you never know.

I have towed our Trillium both with and without brakes with our 2005 Forester. Unloaded it's not bad at all but once you load it up for camping I personally would rather not be doing a lot of downhill stretches. As mentioned, just give yourself lots of time. The bonus is when you get the brakes you will be amazed at how well they perform. I find our Subaru pretty peppy for pulling the Trillium so your XT Turbo should be able to pull off fast 1/4 times =)

I find that the combination of the Forester with out 13' is great - I have had to do u-turns on a double lane street and it could pull it off no problem. We ended doing a lot of sight seeing in small towns in the kootenays and having such a small rig is a bonus there.

Congratulations!

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Old 04-01-2009, 05:15 PM   #6
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SW Virginia
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I bought a 13' Casita in Dec and towed it about 250 miles through the NC and VA mountains without brakes to get it home ( I've since added a 7 point connection for the brakes) with a 2000 Forester. I was and am amazed how well it tows in our mountains, even without brakes and no overheating, so far with about 1000 miles. I think you'll be fine as long as you are careful.

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Old 04-01-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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No worries; with a little caution, it will all go great. Enjoy your new trailer.
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:02 PM   #8
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Trailer: Boler
Yukon
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Hi Walt,
Did you encounter any icy or snowy road conditions on your trip? That is my biggest concern. We will still encounter winter road conditions in certain sections of our trip. We plan to travel rediculously slow just incase. We can get there in a day, but will probably take two days to get home.

Thanks for the help folks!
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:46 PM   #9
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Hi Michelle,
I had a manual-transmission Subaru and it was just about the perfect tow vehicle. The brakes were good with a trailer of approximately 1000 lb (never towed anything heavier). Plenty of power going uphill with the manual. The only reason I had to trade it is we bought a larger trailer.

A couple thoughts about yours: I believe Subaru recommends a limit of 1000 lb for a trailer without brakes. Check your owner's manual. The other thing is your XT has a turbocharger. They can overheat when you stay in the boost for an extended time, like going up a long hill. Your manual might have something to say about that, also.

Marv
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:14 PM   #10
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In most, maybe all states, brakes are required on trailers over 1000 lb. But as I said, I towed our "new to us" Casita about 250 miles in the mountains without brakes. I was careful never to need to brake suddenly but really it was no problem, even at 60 mph, making sure to leave lots of distance from the vehicle in front of me. Although mine is an automatic, uphill was not a problem except it would tend to downshift so I'd ease off to about 50-55 mph. I felt a lot more comfortable (and legal) once I got the brakes working though.
And no, I did not hit any snow or ice, thankfully, or I'd have taken it a lot slower. We had a very dry winter here.

Walt
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Old 04-04-2009, 07:37 PM   #11
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I'm a pro-brakes guy, but most states don't require brakes until 3,000 lbs or more, according to a 50 States TowingLaws Guide referenced on a recent thread on RV.NET. Someone made the 1000 lb statement, so I went through the guide and did a rough count -- Sorry, but I didn't make note of the guide URL -- Easy to google as there are several.

About four have no law or a stopping spec
About four (only one 1,000) at 1000-1500
Majority at 3,000
About four at 4-5000
One at 10,000.

Note This is a moving target because state laws are subject to change.
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:22 PM   #12
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This may be the one pete was looking at.

http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm

Bill K

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-- Sorry, but I didn't make note of the guide URL
Note This is a moving target because state laws are subject to change.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:18 PM   #13
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Yep, that looks like the same one -- It has the provinces also, but I didn't bother looking them up.
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