Rav 4 hybrid towers? subaru outback? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-22-2019, 10:00 AM   #1
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Rav 4 hybrid towers? subaru outback?

Hi there. I am looking for a new tow vehicle, and am wondering if anyone has had experience towing with the rav 4 hybrid and the outback. I am most curious about the hybrid. I would be towing a 77 surfside, and I weighed it this spring. With my camping stuff in it, it weighed 1540 lbs. The tow rating for the toyota is 1750, which is cutting it pretty close. I am also considering the subaru outback, which should have a generous enough wiggle room at 2700 lbs rating. Thoughts?
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:14 AM   #2
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It's worth checking the range on the electric motor, because once you run out of that, you are running on a small, underpowered gas engine until you can charge.

I have range issues towing my trailer with a V6 gas engine and small gas tank. I generally use 15 litres / 100 kilometres when towing ( that's about 15 mpg US ).
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:17 AM   #3
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This would be the non plug-in version. The plug in is coming in 2020
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:27 AM   #4
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I'd go with internal combustion, especially towing close to maximum.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:53 AM   #5
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Forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean by going with internal combustion?
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:34 AM   #6
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Hybrids

There is often confusion re: what a hybrid car is. In cars powered only by an internal combustion engine, that engine must be sized and adjusted to provide adequate power for cruising as well as the much greater power demands of acceleration. A hybrid dive vehicle uses a smaller (gas) engine, optimized for efficiency, and uses stored electrical energy and an electric motor for acceleration needs. The battery is recharged during deceleration and when the gas engine has extra power available, such as at a stop. The gas engine shuts down and restarts, very smoothly, when more power is required. This results in less fuel needed, especially in stop and go traffic.

We have towed our 2,400 lb. Scamp very successfully for ten years with a Highlander Hybrid, rated for 3,500 lbs. towing.
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:35 AM   #7
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Subaru Outback

Here's what my local subaru dealer posts online for towing capacity:
https://www.wilsonvillesubaru.com/ho...my-subaru-tow/

I pull a 13 ft Scamp Deluxe with bathroom, 2kayaks/gear plus 2 weeks worth camping supplies with my 2002 Outback 3.6 thru Cascade & Rocky Mts...no problem.
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:51 AM   #8
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We towed our 16' Scamp with our 2.5 engine Subaru Outback for a couple years. It worked well, but it was a struggle keeping the weight on the tongue down to 200 lbs. Your camper is much lighter so you shouldn't have that problem. The 2020 Outback raises the tongue weight limit to a much better 270 lbs (or 350 with the turbo).
Our Outback was always a joy to drive either towing, or solo.
Had to quit towing with it because our retirement travels are longer and our former 2500 lb Scamp now weighs 3,000 lbs on trips.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:12 AM   #9
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I'd absolutely choose the Outback.

Far better AWD system and... something to consider... Subaru redesigned the chassis for 2020 to carry more tongue weight. The base 2020 2.5L Outback is rated 2700/270#, perfect for a 13-15' trailer. Also new for 2020 is an upgraded 2.4L turbo engine (from the Ascent), rated 3500/350#, perfect for a 16'er. Stop sweating every pound.

This is a no brainer for me, especially if you live in the snow belt.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:53 AM   #10
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Jon,

Are those numbers for the CVT transmission?
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:15 PM   #11
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Rav 4 hybrid towers? subaru outback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Jon,

Are those numbers for the CVT transmission?
That's the only kind of transmission Subaru offers on their mainstream models now, from the Impreza all the way to the Ascent (rated 5000/500#). It's impossible to tell from the specs whether there are different versions of their "Lineartronic" CVT transmission in different models and engines (2.0L, 2.5L, and 2.4L turbo). Probably are.

Take it leave it, I guess. Lots of Outbacks towing Scamp 13s and few reports of issues.

With one teen on the verge of her license and another a couple of years out we're looking at adding another vehicle to our garage . We love our '06 Honda CR-V (195K) and would like another, but I've been restricting my search to '12-'14. That's the last generation with the bulletproof 2.4L with chain-driven valvetrain and conventional 5-speed automatic. Call me a late adopter.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:03 PM   #12
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I tow a Scamp 13 with the 2014 Outback, six cylinder five speed automatic. The 200 lb tongue limit is the only challenge. I put a metal luggage rack in the receiver on the back of the Scamp to help lighten the load up front. I weighed it at a CAT scale last time out and it came in at just over 1900 lbs. the bathroom scale on my driveway said the tongue weighed over 180 lbs. Kind of an interesting balancing act, both literally and figuratively.

It appears Subaru is getting away from their solid horizontally opposed 6 cylinder engine which is a shame. I doubt that Ill opt for the 4 cylinder with the CVT in the future.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:45 PM   #13
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The whole trailer weighed 1900 lbs, not just the luggage rack.
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:23 PM   #14
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Outback 4 vs 6

We have a 13 Scamp. We began with a 4-cylinder Outback, which worked fine but dig drag in mountain passes or in strong headwinds. We bought an Outback H-6 and it has no problem at all towing the Scamp, even in the high Sierra passes. Yes, it slows down above 9000 but most vehicles do and should.
Our H-6 was the last year without the CVT transmission. Im not sure how a CVT handles towing.
Id absolutely avoid towing with a small hybrid. The gasoline engines that come with smaller hybrids are weak. Id never tow even close to capacity in any vehicle.
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