Originally Posted by jen b
I have been dragging my 13' Burro
around with an 03 manual transmission Forester with zero problems. It's been back and forth over the rockies a couple of times, but not in extraordinarily hot weather so I can't comment on that sort of performance. I'm going to replace it this spring and am aiming for the 4 cylinder Outback which has plenty of capacity for a 13', plus okay fuel efficiency, and pretty good cargo space like Carol said.
The cargo space is big for us because we're bringing along gear for wildlife photography - a couple of heavy camera bags, a couple of big lens cases, monopods, a tripod, etc.
Jen, now that I have switched tow vehicles to a truck & done a few road trips with it, I can say that without a doubt I still feel strongly that the Outback is great tug for a 13 or 14' trailer. Especially in regards to its flexibility and usable dry and secure storage. Way better than my truck with just a fiberglass tonneau cover on the back.
I am/was hoping to avoiding putting a full sized cap on the truck for a couple of reasons - one visibility/blind spots when parking in city parking lots & aesthetics (a girl thing
) Was actually able to put much larger (higher) items in the rear of the Outback and still keep them covered and protected and locked up than i can in the back of the truck. Even able to fit a couple of large dog crates (Labrador retriever size) in the rear area of the Outback - can't fit even one in the truck unless I put a full cap on it.
With the Outback it was far easier (logistically) to carry as well as put up and take down a couple of bikes or kayaks off the top of it than it is with a truck. I often also carry my golf clubs with me along with a bike or two, so just taking the cover off the box and throwing everything in the the back of the box & leaving it open to the elements is not an option. Still actually haven't figured out how I will carry kayaks on the truck without adding ladder racks or a full cap.
Having towed for 6 years with a 4 cylinder Outback a trailer only a few hundred pounds under its 2800lb tow rating over many miles, I have no problems suggesting it would be a great tow vehicle for a 13' or 14' trailer with brakes
. The only reason I suggest keeping it to a smaller trailer than what its tow cap suggests it can pull is the Outbacks tongue limit of 200lbs. Pulled my trailer through a lot of terrain - including some major wind storms and it did give a very stable tow. Oh and the 19 mpg & sometimes higher while towing was an added bonus I will miss.
If my future held only a 13' or 14' fiberglass trailer I would buy another Outback to pull it with in a heart beat. But I would go for the turbo model this time rather than the base model for the little bit of extra power I occasionally wished for.
Kind of glad a member of my household needed a vehicle change so the Outback with its fairly low milage was kept as their daily drive & is still available to me when I don't want to have to mess around with figuring out how to carry something that doesn't fit easily onto the truck.
Had I not needed to keep the Outback and been able to trade it in I most defiantly would have gone with another SUV with a bit more tow cap to cover my future trailers needs, (actually the Highlander was on my most wanted list) vs a truck. Without the trade in I sadly couldn't get the back yard money tree to grow enough money to cover the extra cost of the SUV over the truck. I did try and find a lightly used Highlander but unfortunately they are extremely rare, people tend to keep them for a long time.
Edit to add: forgot to mention - as far as winter driving goes Although I have a 4x4 truck and have done a few trips on snowy conditions with the back box jammed full of gear & sand bags over the rear axle
, the Outback still wins the prize IMHO for the best to driving in the snow - even with no extra weight
in the rear!