Question for Scamp 16 owners towing with Subaru - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-18-2014, 01:22 PM   #29
Raz
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Carol, I was not advocating one class over another. Reviewing the aftermarket hitches sold by etrailer, they all attach in the same manner, with carriage bolts via preexisting holes in tubes under the cargo area. The only reason I went with a class 3 hitch was to get the 2" receiver. Thanks for the pictures. As I suspected, the Outback oem hitch mounts to studs as well. Raz
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:34 AM   #30
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I looked at the pictures of the bolt on Subaru and compared it to the Westfalia on my VW Jetta Sportwagen.
While the Westfaila bollts to the same type of attachment for the bumper it also has rails that extend into the two pockets that form the "frame" in the rear. These have cross bolts that sperad the load into the structure that forms the rest of the trunk,
I think that this is a much better solution for transferring the loads form the trailer to the car.
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:26 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Carol, I was not advocating one class over another. Reviewing the aftermarket hitches sold by etrailer, they all attach in the same manner, with carriage bolts via preexisting holes in tubes under the cargo area. The only reason I went with a class 3 hitch was to get the 2" receiver. Thanks for the pictures. As I suspected, the Outback oem hitch mounts to studs as well. Raz
I appreciate that Raz and can see why someone might want to go with a Class III hitch on a car such as a Forester which currently only has a 1500lb tow limit if they also happen to already own a number of 2" ball mounts and other items such as a bike rack that fits a 2" receiver. Could be a cost savings in that situation.

My comments where mostly in regards to comments made by others that indicated a Class III hitch was somehow a safer set up on a Forester. Cant see why it would be. A class II hitch has a rating of 3500lbs and with a 1500lb trailer (which is the current Forester's tow capacity) on it you are not using even close to 50% of the hitch's rated capacity. Even if one was to decide to tow over the vehicles capacity and put a 2600lb 16' Scamp onto it your still have 900lbs or 25% capacity slush fund.

Seems odd to me for some here to suggest to the OP that having a Class II hitch that even with the OP's older Forester with a 2400lb tow capacity and a 200lb tongue weight rating that if not overloaded is somehow not safe. But towing a trailer that from personal experience (as well as others - see Real World Trailer Weights thread) that will be over their Forester's tow weight rating somehow is? Its a bit of a head scratcher to me.

There is of course also the question as to why Subaru dropped the tow rating on the Forester at about the same time the SAE towing standards was suppose to come into effect.... could it be they tested the vehicle (as most vehicle manufactures where doing in preparation for the new standard) and discovered they were overly optimistic as to the Foresters towing capabilities in previous years? If that was the case they were not on their own - we saw in that time frame several trucks by other manufactures get their tow ratings drop as well.

I agree that having more capacity is better in regards to safe towing but in this situation I am confused as to the picking and choosing by some as to what part of towing one wants to play safe on and what part it apparently does not matter on.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:32 PM   #32
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And to further support Carol's suggestion to not Overhitch. (new word?). By installing that Class-III hitch the next owner may not be aware of the vehicles limits and try to tow up to the weight the sticker on the hitch shows as the hitches limit, not the vehicles. Especially on the Subaru's, because of their somewhat unusual specification's, I'd stay on the conservative side, both for myself as well as future users.

The GM sticker on the factory installed hitch on my Blazer creates the same problem. It states 6000/750 for towing/hitch weight limits with a w/d hitch, but the manual clearing states numbers as low as 2000/300 for chassis' with/without certain options.
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:39 PM   #33
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Getting back to the start of the thread, I installed a Class II hitch from eTrailer (Drawtite) on my 08 Forester a couple days ago. As near as I can tell there is no Class 3 hitch for Forester (using the existing bolt holes). The install was quite simple except I think the dealer installing the original Subaru hitch messed up one of the bolt holes a bit. One bolt was a bit difficult to remove and I had to use a 12x1.25 tap to cleanup the threads to get the bolt back in straight. After realizing that there is already a transmission cooling line going through the radiator I will wait to see if an extra transmission cooler is really necessary. Now all I need is my new Scamp.

Sent from my SM-T310 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:16 PM   #34
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For those interested here is a link to the towbars available in europe for the 2008 Forrester. There are several types that could be put to good use.
Link:
Subaru Forester 2008-2013 Towbars

Note the weights are in kilograms not pounds.
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:43 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
For those interested here is a link to the towbars available in europe for the 2008 Forrester. There are several types that could be put to good use.
Link:
Subaru Forester 2008-2013 Towbars

Note the weights are in kilograms not pounds.
Note that in Europe the tow bars they sell for it are not rated any higher the tow vehicles towing specs..... the ones in your link are good for 2000lbs towing weight and 75 "nose" weight which is in NA speak the tongue.

The come up short by about 600/700lbs tow weight for what the OP wishes to tow.... and about 150lbs short on tongue weight for a Scamp 16'
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:16 PM   #36
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Most original transmission coolers are basically "Intercoolers" and are located in the bottom of the radiator and can only keep transmission temp equal to or slightly below engine temp. When the engine temp goes up is not the time you want your transmission temp to also rise. Most (if not all) auxiliary transmission coolers are external to and in front of the radiator and are air flow exchange coolers.

External transmission coolers are very cheap compared to the cost of a fried transmission.
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:47 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Note that in Europe the tow bars they sell for it are not rated any higher the tow vehicles towing specs..... the ones in your link are good for 2000lbs towing weight and 75 "nose" weight which is in NA speak the tongue.

The come up short by about 600/700lbs tow weight for what the OP wishes to tow.... and about 150lbs short on tongue weight for a Scamp 16'
Please note the weights are in kilograms
The towing weight of 195 KG is 4290 lbs.
The 75 KG tongue weight at 75 Kilograms is 165 lbs.
The westfalia is rated 85 Kilograms or 187 lbs.

The weakest part is the tougue weight and that is determined by the tow vehicke more than the forged towbar.
Of course the car's limitations take precedence over the ratings of the towbar.
If you look at how the Westfalia towbar mounts up into the box sections that form the rear structure of the car you will understand why they are better than those tha bolt into the trunk pan etc.
Compare it to the Curtis and you can judge for yourself which is better.

The reason I bought a Scamp is it generally has a lower tongue weight than the others.

I am also rebuilding my Scamp 16' and I plan to extend the tongue A frame when I do to further lighten the % load and improve stability.

I think that towing with a lighter Euro/Japanese car is the tongue load and not necessarially the towed weight.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:12 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Please note the weights are in kilograms
The towing weight of 195 KG is 4290 lbs.
The 75 KG tongue weight at 75 Kilograms is 165 lbs.
The westfalia is rated 85 Kilograms or 187 lbs.

The weakest part is the tougue weight and that is determined by the tow vehicke more than the forged towbar.
Of course the car's limitations take precedence over the ratings of the towbar.
If you look at how the Westfalia towbar mounts up into the box sections that form the rear structure of the car you will understand why they are better than those tha bolt into the trunk pan etc.
Compare it to the Curtis and you can judge for yourself which is better.

The reason I bought a Scamp is it generally has a lower tongue weight than the others.

I am also rebuilding my Scamp 16' and I plan to extend the tongue A frame when I do to further lighten the % load and improve stability.

I think that towing with a lighter Euro/Japanese car is the tongue load and not necessarially the towed weight.
KG's - LOL did not see kG's listed on the weight listing on the right but being a Canadian I should have known on a UK site it would be.

Still doesnt take away from my point which is in the UK they only make hitches rated to what ever the max is the vehicle it is attached to is rated at.... simple system.

Even with a 165lb tongue weight rating on the hitch set up its still falls short for the lightest of the Scamp 16's which the OP wishes to tow. My scamp appears on the Real World Weight list thread and yes its the one with the lightest of the tongue weights - or at least it was one time it was weighed = 200lb tongue weight. That was an experiment on my part that did not work well for me if I did more than 50 mph! Which is why on the way home the tongue weight was more than that and as it is next year it was weight at the Bandon meet = 240lbs. Which is more in keeping with other Scamp 16's on the list. My inability to achieve a nice solid tow with a tongue weight at 200lbs or less to mach the vehicle I was pulling with that has a higher over all tow capacity than the OP's is the reasons I changed tugs. I know we have one party here who also has an older Side Bath model and who claims it weighs about 200lbs (again due to the their old tug limitations) but there towing style (avoids major highways when possible) may account for why they were able to keep it that low without problems.
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:21 PM   #39
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Doug,

We weigh our tongue at least once a year and it's always been in the 190 to 205 range. We were able to achieve this weight without changing the geometry of the Scamp's frame.

We tow for 7.5 months a year so we have lots of miles on our trailer and tow vehicle. Carol is right in that we generally avoid Interstates however we have driven many 1,000s of miles on Interstates, sometimes they can't be avoided, particularly in the northeast. We keep our speed under 65 mph, the limit of our tires, typically about 62 on interstates.

We have never experienced sway towing our Scamp 16. We do have an anti-sway bar but have towed 1,000's of miles without one without issue. We added it for the unknown emergency situation, cheap insurance in our mind.

I feel, though absolute weight may be important for smaller tow vehicles, placement of weight within the trailer is equally important. In our Scamp 'weighty' items are located over or near the axles with fluff items at the ends of the trailer. We also tend to keep weighty items low in the trailer.

We carry only one battery and one propane tank, both adequate for our 7+ months of travel every year, this our 14th year.

Our trailer's axle weight is about 2400 pounds. In general we have not lightened it in any way. We carry a lot of stuff for our extended travels, including always a 1/2 tank of water. Our traveling grey and black tanks were usually emptied before we hit the road. We do have a home style air conditioner, also low in the trailer and no microwave. Everything else is pretty standard.

Our 4 cylinder 2004 CRV handled the trailer well and was totally reliable with over 225,000 miles when we traded it in on a Honda Odyssey. If we could have purchased another CRV with a manual transmission we would have bought one.

I am not experienced with Subaru products, Carol is. My recollection is that she did have some reliability issues with her last Subaru, she can better address that. I will say I did have a transmission cooler added to the Odyssey for its automatic. The cooler is bigger than the CRV's total radiator, very impressive.

Glad to answer any specific questions about our heavily modified Scamp or our small tow vehicle experiences.

Safe Travels.
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:30 PM   #40
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A week or so ago I towed my new 16' side bath Scamp from Cool, TX. to Mobile, AL.
I set the balance up before I left at 165 lbs. The tow car was a 2009 VW TDI sportwagen wirh DSG transmission. I did have a small instability on the interstate when passed by a car hauler trailer rig, but at the next stop I checked the trailer tire air and added a little more. Since the tires were not cold I added a little more then the recommended 30 psi.
From there on there was no other problem.
The next morning I set the air pressure and drove on to Austin from Lampassas.
From Austin to mobile on backraods and the interstate from Baytown at speed with absolutely no problem. This was the nicest towing rig I have experienced in 45 or so years,
Of course the VW is a pretty good handling car.
The VW lists 165 lbs as tongue weight and as a coincidence the rear of the car sagged 1 inch and the suggested towin package springs raise the rear end that same 1 inch,
Now then here is a secret - The toe car and trailer need ot be rigged so that they are level to keep the roll coupling favorable between the two.
The key to stability is a low polar moment of inertia in the trailer and a center of gravity slightly ahead of the axle.
The weight on the tow bar is a function of the lever arm formed from the axle to the hitch and the ratio of the length of the tongue to the location of the gc.
The longer tongue length reduces the load on the tongue without moving the CG rearward. It also makes the trailer more stable.
Studied from the main study made in 1979 indicated the lengthening the tongue as little as on foot made measurable improvement.
Of course youe experience may vary adn noone should tow woth a rig they are not comfortable wit.
Remember the secrets are keep the weight low and concentrated near the axle, Keep the center of gravity ahead of the axle and the load on the tongue reflects the location of the gc.
If the trailer is unstable it is likely that the mass is concentrated in the rear even though it is offset by weight towards the front. The balance point may be the same, but the polar moment is definitely not.
This means that if any oscillation is started the magnitude is greater and more difficult to damp. The only damping is provided by the hitch coupled to the rear of the car.
If the side walls of the trailer tires are not stiff enough they add roll component to the yaw as well making the overall conditions worse.
The combination of the VW, Scamp with 165 lbs on the hitch, and the weight distributed correctly and concentrated near the axle. The VW has a negative camber in the rear suspension and is IRS. It handles well with or without the trailer.
Within ratings for the UK version VW (same as US, but VW USA won't rate the car for towing at all). 3300 lbs braked and 165 lbs hitch weight.
It tows great and got 25 MPG for the tow at highway speeds.In Tezas at 100 F. (into a head wind).

Best regards,
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Old 09-26-2014, 09:07 PM   #41
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JD,

When we towed light we kept the trailer tires at max pressure, 50 psi and the tow vehicle rear tires at 39 psi, fronts at 36 psi, looking for stiff sidewalls in both cases.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:18 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by DougOlson View Post
I am looking at getting a Scamp 16' standard to tow with my 2008 Subaru Forester, rated at 2400# trailer GVW (200# tongue) with the Subaru installed Class I hitch (2000# rating). Since the dry weight of Scamp 16 is somewhat below the Class I ratings but most people find towing weights closer to the 2400# limit on my Forester, I was just wondering if people have replaced the Subaru Class I hitch with a Class II hitch (3500# rating). Comments and thoughts welcome. Thanks.
Doug; In my view your Forester should NOT be towing a trailer over 1,500# all up, regardless of the hitch rating. I have over 300,000 km of towing experience in the last 6 years as I pull new RVs from the factories to the dealerships. I have towed across Canada and to Texas and California. The trailers have ranged from 40' gooseneck to 15' travel trailer and from 1,500# to over 15,000#.

My commercial tow vehicles have always been Dodge Cummins diesel pickups but we also own a 2006 Outback wagon 2.5. We just returned from a 2,500 km trip from Vancouver Island to Waterton Lakes Park, Alberta and we towed a 1,700 # tent trailer that we rented for the trip. We carried little or no fresh water and not too much gear so the all-up weight should have been around the 2,000# mark.

The Subaru did OK but it was clear to me that this was a marginal load. The mountain passes were attained in 2 gear with the engine labouring and this was in moderate fall weather. Handling was OK but the tent trailer was more noticeable than a 30' travel trailer behind my Dodge 3500. If I were ever buy a trailer to tow with my Subaru, it will be no more than 1,000# empty and I will be keeping the water and gear to a minimum. This is just my opinion but it is based on many hindreds of thousands of kms of towing and my experience towing with a Subaru. Best of luck in whatever you decide!
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