Towing with a Subaru Forester - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-20-2015, 11:19 PM   #1
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Towing with a Subaru Forester

I am asking on behalf of a friend, is there any trailer that can be safely towed by a Subaru Forester. Please be blunt and truthful in your assessments.
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:18 AM   #2
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Al, what year is the Forester? thnxs
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:56 AM   #3
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With factory limits I believe a Outback can do a 200 # limit tongue weight, 2700 lb trailer. The Forester is #1500 lbs limit which eliminates most FG trailers.
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:42 AM   #4
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The Forester tow limit was reduced from 2400 lbs to 1500 lbs in I believe 2014. I set my 2012 up to tow my 1700 lb Trillium. The lights are easy. The charge line is also strait forward. The brake controller is a hassle.

The 2012 came with a 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic. I have the manual. While the vehicle had adequate power to tow my Trillium, the hill holder clutch made hill starts almost impossible as the brakes will not release until the clutch pedal is completely released. Feathering the clutch with the brakes on leads to premature clutch wear. I live in the mountains. After two outings I went back to my truck. Raz
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:54 AM   #5
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When the new SAE towing standards came into the picture Subaru derated their vehicle tow ratings across their whole line of vehicles . In many cases as RAZ pointed out ,the tow rating dropped around 40%. Without knowing the year of the vehicle , it is impossible to know the tow rating . The one thing that I question with all vehicles is were the vehicle's tow ratings overstated before the new SAE standards or did the new standards lead to them being underrated.
How does a vehicle go from 2400 lbs one year to 1500 Lbs the next year without major changes in the vehicle.? Something does not compute IMHO
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:11 AM   #6
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Based on a 1500/200 lb. tow limit, one could, if careful, tow a bare bones 13' Egg trailer with a Subaru, but they would have to stay completely honest and monitor actual trailer and tongue weights.


Another option for the more adventurous might be one of the earlier (notice that I didn't say "Older") pop-up trailers such as the Hunters & Campsters and a few others that are out there. They seem to come in about 300 lbs lighter than comparable eggs. The ultimate for light weight might be a Eriba Puck, but they are sorta a cult item with VW peeps and aren't all that easy to come by.


Here is a link to some Hunter pics, feel free to browse the others in the library.
Hunter Compact II Photos by advocateone | Photobucket
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:37 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your informative responses. Our friends have a 2012 Forester, according to Motortrends web site it could pull a 3,300 lb. trailer (braked}. This would make sense considering the European rating.
As an aside when we were in the UK. we saw a Smart pulling a small teardrop trailer.
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:42 AM   #8
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A good compromise would be a Teardrop trailer, there are several FG versions on the market that would tow very nicely with the Forester. I towed one with a Honda CRV and it worked out great. The only down side you do not have a toilet and you most likely will be limited to fair weather camping. I also had a screen room that I set up and that made camping more comfortable.
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:56 AM   #9
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Subaru Towing Limits Redux

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not so Big Al View Post
Thank you all for your informative responses. Our friends have a 2012 Forester, according to Motortrends web site it could pull a 3,300 lb. trailer (braked}. This would make sense considering the European rating.
As an aside when we were in the UK. we saw a Smart pulling a small teardrop trailer.
North American vs. European towing specifications are an oft beaten horse.... that have no bearing on what to do in North America. See last sentence...

In a quick search on-line the best I can find for that vehicle is 2400 lbs. , without mention of maximum tongue weight. which is the real Achilles heal of Subaru's, it's often to low to allow for a full 10+% of trailer weight on the hitch as is general practice, especially for newbies.

BUT...whatever some one else prints or sez, it's all about what it states in the owners manual for that particular vehicle.

Soooo.... Look in the owners manual for your friends vehicle and tell us exactly what that indicates.....
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not so Big Al View Post
I am asking on behalf of a friend, is there any trailer that can be safely towed by a Subaru Forester. Please be blunt and truthful in your assessments.
I have been towing a Scamp16 with two Sube Outbacks and now a Forester for a number of years with ease. Sometimes I forget that I have a trailer behind. I don't have the weight of AC or shower though.

The forester is a great car!

Hoboy
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:20 AM   #11
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I have been towing a 13' Scamp with a 2010 Forester and have had no issues. However, I have not towed in the mountains.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:19 PM   #12
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Alan,
We tow a 13' Scamp front bunk with electric brakes with our 2012 Forester with automatic transmission and I can't imagine a better set up for our needs. We are well within the 2012 Forester towing guidelines and are mindful of maintaining the proper tongue weight when packing the trailer. I got everything needed for hitching from etrailer and had no problem installing it. I think Subaru changed transmissions in their new Foresters for better gas mileage and it resulted in lower towing capacities. This is our 4th Subaru and I was disappointed to learn when it is time to replace it, the new ones may not be up to the task.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:39 PM   #13
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Torque

We use either our 2010 Forester w/ automatic or our 2009 Tacoma 4 cylinder manual with our Compact 2. Either are fine, except in mountains where the Forester tires me out because its working so hard, while the Tacoma just grunts along happily.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
When the new SAE towing standards came into the picture Subaru derated their vehicle tow ratings across their whole line of vehicles . In many cases as RAZ pointed out ,the tow rating dropped around 40%. Without knowing the year of the vehicle , it is impossible to know the tow rating . The one thing that I question with all vehicles is were the vehicle's tow ratings overstated before the new SAE standards or did the new standards lead to them being underrated.
How does a vehicle go from 2400 lbs one year to 1500 Lbs the next year without major changes in the vehicle.? Something does not compute IMHO
By the way Steve, in the UK the Forester is rated for 1800 kgs/3960 pounds, and that's with a smaller engine in the UK (2L compared to 2.5L)
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