Subaru 2015 Outback 4 cyl. TV - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-11-2015, 11:33 AM   #1
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Subaru 2015 Outback 4 cyl. TV

Looking to buy a 16' Scamp. I have a 2015 Subaru Outback 4 cyl. towing vehicle. It says that it can tow 2400 lbs. safely. Anyone out there know if that will be a problem?
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:04 PM   #2
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Check out post #297 here:
Trailer Weights in the Real World

These are all trailers loaded and set up for camping, as weighed at various gatherings. I think you find you are cutting it close with the Subaru.

Also, ALL of the 16 ft Scamps are well over the Subaru's 200 lb maximum tongue weight.

Personally I don't like to max out specs and and always try to leave myself a 20% leeway. In your case 2400 lb, that would be a bit over 1900 lbs. Also, I am sure that Subaru's 2400 lb limit is based on the TT being equipped with trailer brakes.

I am currently towing a Little Joe, which scales out at 1760 lbs loaded and ready to roll, with a 2014 Outback 2.5i CVT. It's a great combination.

The 2014s had a tow limit of 2700 lbs with trailer brakes. The change in 2015 may be due to using the new SAE tow rating test, which is pretty stiff, but I'm not sure.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:28 PM   #3
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I towed my 16 foot Scamp with a 4 cyl Saturn Vue and now tow a 13 with a 4 cyl Outback. Seemed fine to me for the 3 years I towed the 16, though it wouldn't win any drag races. Both Vue and Outback have a larger tow capacity when equiped with the six cylinder engine, so if you have trailer brakes I don't see that you are incurring any additional risk since they are basisally the same vehicle with nearly the exact same curb weight. Handling should be the same, just less acceleration. I am a fan of stopping quickly so I wouldn't be without brakes. Jack rabbit starts hold less allure since I left my teens. And of course it depends on how many anvils you carry in the back of the Subaru. With just two passengers and a couple of lawn chairs we are pretty low in rear end weight.

The two hundred pound hitch limit is a problem however. My 13 runs about 210 pounds in tongue weight. I moved the Scamp's battery to the rear and have only one propane bottle to help. The 4 bolt hitch attachment to the Outback's unibody frame probably isn't strong enough for much more tongue weight. I also worry about the durability of the CVT, though the Saturn had one too and gave no trouble. The front bath in my Scamp may contribute to the heavy tongue. I'm not sure about other configurations. Norm had success pulling his 16 with a 4 cyl for a couple hundred thousand miles. I did make one 400 mile trip with a bike on the back and noticed no difference in towing behavior (Great). Will try 2 bikes in the future and expect the same. The heavy bike carrier and one bike likely took my tongue weight well below 200 pounds. No sway at all with or without the bike.

Others will no doubt chip in with cautions and suggest monster V8 powered trucks as TV. Depends on how risk adverse you are though its pretty difficult to calculate real risk. I am at about 40,000 miles of 4 cyl towing and never felt at risk. BTW the Outback's 4 cyl is more powerful than the Vue's. That said if the Outback 6cyl wasn't $7k more than the 4 I might suffer its crappy non-towing mpg. Towing mpg might be the same or even better. Currently, I get 33 highway mpg non-towing and 19-21 towing. Two thirds of our miles are non-towing so the 33 is nice.

Cheers, john
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:31 PM   #4
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We tow our 2011 Scamp, 13', with our 2008 Subaru Legacy sedan. This photo was taken at a winery near Lodi, California.
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Lodi Wine Tasting July 2015 050.jpg  
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:40 PM   #5
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I have a 2014 Outback 2.5 cvt and a Trillium of 1700 dry and 2220 full. I wouldn't go over. You should consider the 3.6.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:47 PM   #6
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There is no way you will keep a 16' Scamp under 2400 lbs and, even if you could, the 200 lb. hitch limit is way to low for that trailer weight.

There s a member on this list that I sure will chime in about what happened to their Subaru when they ignored the factory limits.

And some will chime in with what they did and (they think) they got away with ignoring Mfg. specifications. But, especially in this case, successfully doing the wrong thing doesn't make it any closer to right. That Subaru is a great vehicle, it's just time to look for a smaller trailer, and watch that tongue weight.


BTW: A 13' Scamp with front bath won't work either....

Good Luck Hunting
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Linck View Post
Also you don't have many mountains in Louisiana.
So, on what do your base your assumption that I only camp in Louisiana?

For the sake of the OP, who is in California, I have never taken my rig to the Rockies, but plan to. Thus far my travels have been primarily in the Appalachians.

By the way John, I was concerned about the CVT on the Subaru and did quite a bit of research on them. They are actually used on a lot of late model heavy equipment. They have actually been in development for some time(My former employer was involved in some of this research in Europe). The principle is the same as used on ATVs, but torque and engine speed are computer controlled, and they use a linked steel v-belt.

The big difference I feel in towing is that on longer and/or steeper grades you don't get those jerky down shifts you do with an automatic, only a gradual increase in engine RPM. In the Subaru the engine stays comfortably within the torque range.

On the Little Joe I am using a solar charged group 24 marine deep cycle battery and have opted for an 11 lb propane tank to keep tongue weight down to about 189 lb.
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:00 PM   #8
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So, on what do your base your assumption that I only camp in Louisiana?

For the sake of the OP, who is in California, I have never taken my rig to the Rockies, but plan to. Thus far my travels have been primarily in the Appalachians.
Sorry, my mistake. I thought the OP was from La. Senior moment. I corrected my first post.

We never towed our 16 over the Rockies. Have towed the 13 over 4 times, plus a bunch of lesser mountains.

BTW My 2015 Outback manual claims a 2700 pound tow capacity. I don't think my 2014, 13 foot Scamp reaches 2000 pounds. It rolled out of Backus at 1648 pounds (scaled including tongue), in Oak with frig, water heater, furnace and front bath, no AC.

When my niece and nephew bought a 16 foot Scamp I encouraged them to check out the Honda Odyssey. They did and bought one. They first wanted an Outback. But they have two kids and lots more gear and bikes than we do so that tipped the balance for me. They are very pleased with both, though the whole mini-van image was hard for them.

John
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:08 PM   #9
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Darn it John, do I have to correct my post now????
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gilda View Post
We tow our 2011 Scamp, 13', with our 2008 Subaru Legacy sedan. This photo was taken at a winery near Lodi, California.
Luv the white on white Gilda. Bet it tows nice. I can't tell by the pic but are using a weight distributing hitch or just on the ball?
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:29 PM   #11
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Darn it John, do I have to correct my post now????
No worries Clif. There are lots of errors in grammar, punctuation and plain old errors of fact in many of my posts. Beware.

John
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:42 PM   #12
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We tow "on the ball", have brakes, have no toilet or shower, keep extra weight in the trailer to the minimum, except for a little "glamping" (see photos)
Attached Thumbnails
Lodi Wine Tasting July 2015 067.jpg   Lodi Wine Tasting July 2015 069.jpg  

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Old 08-11-2015, 04:06 PM   #13
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Scamp 16 DX floorplan A, large frig., A/C, range top, one full LP tank and a 24 series battery. No toilet, W/H or furnace. With a full tank of fresh water. The tongue weight is 175 lb. all stock and no mods. as it came from the factory. .
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
There is no way you will keep a 16' Scamp under 2400 lbs and, even if you could, the 200 lb. hitch limit is way to low for that trailer weight.

There s a member on this list that I sure will chime in about what happened to their Subaru when they ignored the factory limits.

And some will chime in with what they did and (they think) they got away with ignoring Mfg. specifications. But, especially in this case, successfully doing the wrong thing doesn't make it any closer to right. That Subaru is a great vehicle, it's just time to look for a smaller trailer, and watch that tongue weight.


BTW: A 13' Scamp with front bath won't work either....

Good Luck Hunting
Joyce, I'm the arch enemy. I'm the guy that drove his 2004 Honda CRV all over North America crossing the Rockies numerous times, driving 1000 mile dirt roads with a ton of 10% grades and an 18% grade, I've made numerous loops of the USA, and got 21 mpg, same clutch and no driveline failures in 250,000 miles. Our 2004 Honda CRV was as good as it gets. I loved the mileage but more than that I loved its reliability. Honda was well aware of our travels and never said a word. Of course no endorsement by them but they provided an absolutely great and reliable car. Did we slow down on the monster hills, did we down shift? Of course but we made every hill and often faster then big trucks towing other trailers. We're retired we're in no race and mountain passes are rare in the overall scheme of things.


We have a 1991 Scamp 16 floor plan 4 with side bath. WE travel almost 8 months a year. Our Scamp is 'tricked out' more than any other Scamp 16 I've seen. We have storage on the rear bumper, we have storage under the floor of our Scamp. WE have little storage places all over the Scamp. You can see our Scamp at this site:

Preparing a 1991 Scamp 16

We did some small things to make our Scamp easier and safer to tow. Keeping weight low and centered near or over the axle is one.

Our trailer weighs 2400 lbs, the tongue weight is 200 lbs. We have only one battery and one propane tank, our solar panel is light, we carry a lot but not a lot of heavy stuff, for example our outside chairs are aluminum, we don't carry screen houses, or extra coolers, everything in our trailer is fixed, nothing loose.

We usually have an anti sway bar, we consider it cheap insurance, we've never had sway without it.

Now I've only driven Subarus, never towed with them. My son towed his Caita 16 with one without any issues.

Yes, our 4 cylinder successfully towed 3 different trailers, all around the same size, all over the place. We're retired, not race car drivers. We do take our time, generally we avoid interstates except in the Northeast where the population density is so high you have to drive them. We limit ourselves to 62 on Interstates and generally 55 on non-interstates.

We do a number of little things to make towing safer. If you want to know drop me a line some day.

One nice aspect of a small, efficient tow vehicle is that when traveling you only tow about half the time, the rest of the time you may be driving about...I prefer than time to be in a comfortable, fuel efficient vehicle.

In our case our CRV was our only vehicle. When we're not traveling for 4 months, we don't want that vehicle to be a huge truck. We're old and seek comfort, safety, efficiency and reliability.

After 10 year we traded our Honda CRV in and bought a Honda Odyssey. Ginny said we were old enough now to drive an automatic...

The topic of my towing with a 4 cylinder, of not having a 300 lb tongue weight is a contentious topic on this web site. Get ready.

I am happy to have a private conversation about our tow vehicles, trailer, or travels. Send me a PM. I'm happy to share information and will provide my email address and phone number happily. We get a lot of visitors to look at our Scamp and setup.

Safe Travels...Owning and traveling in an RV is a blast, not to disparage any other joyous passtime...
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