Wanna tow Scamp 16' with Subaru Forester - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-23-2012, 10:10 AM   #29
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Here is the link to a #50 post thread discussing towing with a Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback Towing a 16' Scamp? under towing, to which I'm moving this thread also
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:26 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
the shifting of weight is another and various owners tow with a Subaru without issues and some have issues. I feel it is a marginal vehicle for towing, a grey area vehicle. I'd rather have too much in reserve and not need it than to not have it. But that is my opinion, some people do not look at things the same way, again highly individual thoughts are what make these forums interesting.
LOL your right it is a personal opinion but as a person who has actually towed with a Subaru for a number of years over thousands of miles and up into the 9000' elevation and down again more than once. I can say with complete confidence that Subaru's are not a marginal vehicle for towing" and they are not a "grey area" vehicle - providing what is being towed behind it is within its stated tow and tongue limits. No arm chair speculation on my part as to whether or not my Outback can in fact stop in a not so good real life situation while towing a fully loaded 16' - as it has had to prove it to me on more than one hairy situation.

I also have no doubt that those who have never towed with one would be very surprised at just how well they actually do tow. I have had more than one fellow egg camper towing the same trailer as mine with a really big truck follow me up some really big hills and tell me after that they though they were going to have to pass me on some of the hills we went over and that they where very surprised when that didnt happen.

If kept within the stated Subaru limits they are a very safe and solid tow.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:38 AM   #31
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My WONDERFUL Subaru service staff of 16 years...

...says, "don't DO IT"! The 4 cyl. engine will decline and die much earlier than it needs to, if you tow a 16 foot EGGIE. (by the way, a loaded EGGIE picks up weight way faster than you'd ever think it would).

I mistakenly was sold a 16' Scamp, in pristine condition and at an incredible price ,by an RV dealer. They'd taken it in as a trade, and it was the micro baby on their lot. They'd never had one that small and for some reason thought it was a 13' (measured the body only, without adding the tongue). I unknowingly bought it and towed it from Portland to the coast with my 4cyl Subaru Outback, (over the 1,600 mountain range and definitely felt it dragging at 30 miles per hour, heading up the incline!!!!).
When I finally figured out it was a 16' (another interesting short story!), I went and talked in depth with my Subaru staff. Although they said I could keep it and tow it, it would definitely shorten the life of my car. My Subaru is not cheap and certainly not worth shortening the life of for a roomier trailer!
Needless to say, I promptly sold it and bought a tiny old 13' Scamp.

Now, if you have a 6 cyl Subaru, it's a whole different story!
Good luck on making your decision.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:13 AM   #32
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Engine Life

I have never owned a Suburau however I have towed for four years with our 7 year old 2004 Honda CRV and now have 150,000 miles on our 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine. We have made a loop of the USA crossing the Rockies twice, driven across Newfoundland, Labrador (mostly gravel) and Quebec where 10% gravel grades were everyday and even a couple of 18% grades thrown in for good measure. I have seen no evidence of engine life being reduced with our Honda.

Our Honda now had near 160,000 miles on it. The only engine service it has ever received is one set of spark plugs, oil changes and air filter changes, still the same clutch. It does not burn oil and the temperature gauge never goes off it's normal position. We averaged 22 mpg towing so far on this trip, a little lower than last years 23 mpg.

We've been at a COE park at Lake Seminole for 5 days, spending a fair amount of time exploring the area and have averaged 27 mpg not towing.

Our tow vehicle goal is to replace it at 250,000 miles probably with another Honda.

We never drive over 60 mph when towing and usually drive 60 mph only on Interstates. We drive in the mid to high 50's on non-interstates. It's true that on occasion we have had to down shift to 3rd on long hills but that's not an issue for me, that's the purpose of the transmisson.

If I'm holding up traffic on two lane roads like 101 in coastal Oregon where people want to drive faster than me, I simply pull over and let people pass. I have stopped wanting to race the world.

Sometimes it's hard to recognize how powerful some of the four cylinder engines really are. Today's Honda CRV produces 180 horsepower, way more than adequate to tow a Scamp 16.

A happy 4 cylinder, Honda CRV owner
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:32 AM   #33
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I'm really more confused than ever. I hear a 4cyl Honda can do it. I hear a Rav 4 4cyl strained with a 16'. I suspect it depends on individual loaded weight of trailer and tongue weight. Outback doesn't help since i will be keeping my Forester.

My situation:

- 2010 Forester 2.5 automatic 170hp w transmission cooler and brake control and sway bar. Forester rated for 2400lbs trailer with 200lbs tongue weight although my Master Hitch guy said the tongue weight can go to 300lbs.
- 16' Scamp at 1950lbs dry weight - would never load over 2400lbs

Should I go for it or play it safe with a 13'? I value your opinions. Thanks.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:12 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by DavArl View Post
I'm really more confused than ever. I hear a 4cyl Honda can do it. I hear a Rav 4 4cyl strained with a 16'. I suspect it depends on individual loaded weight of trailer and tongue weight. Outback doesn't help since i will be keeping my Forester.

My situation:

- 2010 Forester 2.5 automatic 170hp w transmission cooler and brake control and sway bar. Forester rated for 2400lbs trailer with 200lbs tongue weight although my Master Hitch guy said the tongue weight can go to 300lbs.
- 16' Scamp at 1950lbs dry weight - would never load over 2400lbs

Should I go for it or play it safe with a 13'? I value your opinions. Thanks.
From what I've seen, the average loaded Scamp16 is in the mid twenties ...2300-2600#
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:55 PM   #35
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Get your self a Sherline tongue weight scale here Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale - 2,000-lb Capacity Sherline Tools 5780
and get the trailer weighed empty and loaded. Then and only then you can make an informed decision.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:02 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by DavArl View Post
I'm really more confused than ever. I hear a 4cyl Honda can do it. I hear a Rav 4 4cyl strained with a 16'. I suspect it depends on individual loaded weight of trailer and tongue weight. Outback doesn't help since i will be keeping my Forester.

My situation:

- 2010 Forester 2.5 automatic 170hp w transmission cooler and brake control and sway bar. Forester rated for 2400lbs trailer with 200lbs tongue weight although my Master Hitch guy said the tongue weight can go to 300lbs.
- 16' Scamp at 1950lbs dry weight - would never load over 2400lbs

Should I go for it or play it safe with a 13'? I value your opinions. Thanks.
It's true that any engine works harder and the lubricant is pushed thinner when towing. Enough to shorten the engine's life? Probably. How much? I don't know, maybe you'll lose 5% on the far end or something. On the other hand, maybe your engine has some latent weakness in a part that will show up much sooner because it's working harder; but I think that's a "long shot" event. And much the same can be said about the transmission, etc, etc.

The mechanics who said "don't tow with a Subaru" may or may not know anything about towing, depending on who taught them and what experiences they've had or heard about. I wonder whether they are saying that because they can't imagine anyone towing a trailer with less than a full-size truck? A "big truck" mindset seems much more likely than, say, knowledge of some limiting factor of Subarus that the manufacturer disregards in setting their tow limits (fat chance!). One can know Subies well and still not know towing.

Dave, it comes down to your own comfort zone. Some will say aye and some will say nay. All you can do is consider the opinions and then do what seems best for you. If you think you'll be fine and you strongly prefer the 16, go for it. If you are filled with fear that you'll ruin something, that fear will keep you from enjoying your travels, so don't.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:08 PM   #37
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Norm, Ginny, and Carol: no amount of actual first hand experience will trump a good armchair mechanic!

I used to tow my Scamp with a 128 horsepower, 2,600 pound Scion xD that was rated to tow ZERO pounds/1,600 pounds (US/Euro). Now that I have upgraded to a Subaru Outback with 179 horsepower, 3,500 pound curb weight, and a 2,700 pound/3,960 pound weight rating, I still hear just as many people telling me how I can't tow the Scamp.

As far as engine wear... With my Scion, I sent oil samples for lab testing periodically, and even at 12,000 miles, the oil showed less than average wear and was still good to go. I settled on a 10,000 mile OCI for convenience. I towed at LEAST once a week, and approximately 20% of the miles on that car included a trailer in tow.

I always use e best fluids I can find -- engine oil, transmission fluid, differential oil, brake fluid, etc.

Subarus are DESIGNED to tow. They are prewired for trailer lights. They offer a factory hitch, although I prefer a 2" Curt hitch for mine. They have a chapter in the manual dedicated to towing. This is not an afterthought.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:35 AM   #38
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Subarus are DESIGNED to tow. They are prewired for trailer lights. They offer a factory hitch, although I prefer a 2" Curt hitch for mine. They have a chapter in the manual dedicated to towing. This is not an afterthought.

But they are not prewired for a brake controller that is required if you wish to tow anything over 1000 lbs. Go figure. Raz
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:10 AM   #39
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I'm towing a 13-foot Burro with my 4 cylinder 03 Forester and have been pleased with how it's been going. Towing has included a good number of miles back and forth over the mountains in Wyoming and Utah as well as the mini-mountains of Pennsylvania.

When I replace this car in a couple of years I'll get a 4 cylinder Outback, but I might go to a 6 cylinder if I got a heavier trailer.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:17 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by mcbrew View Post
Norm, Ginny, and Carol: no amount of actual first hand experience will trump a good armchair mechanic!

I used to tow my Scamp with a 128 horsepower, 2,600 pound Scion xD that was rated to tow ZERO pounds/1,600 pounds (US/Euro). Now that I have upgraded to a Subaru Outback with 179 horsepower, 3,500 pound curb weight, and a 2,700 pound/3,960 pound weight rating, I still hear just as many people telling me how I can't tow the Scamp.

As far as engine wear... With my Scion, I sent oil samples for lab testing periodically, and even at 12,000 miles, the oil showed less than average wear and was still good to go. I settled on a 10,000 mile OCI for convenience. I towed at LEAST once a week, and approximately 20% of the miles on that car included a trailer in tow.

I always use e best fluids I can find -- engine oil, transmission fluid, differential oil, brake fluid, etc.

Subarus are DESIGNED to tow. They are prewired for trailer lights. They offer a factory hitch, although I prefer a 2" Curt hitch for mine. They have a chapter in the manual dedicated to towing. This is not an afterthought.
Mike & Jesse & Norm & Ginny - Thanks for your input. I can see there is no definitive answer but feel more comfortable with a 16' if I'm prudent on loading. I'm planning on transmission cooler and brake control and sway bar. I plan on strictly adhering to 2400lb trailer limit for Forester. The tongue weight the Subaru Forester manual quotes is 200lbs. I suspect if I tow 2300lbs the tongue weight might go over 200 a bit. What are the risks with this? Thanks.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:20 AM   #41
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Other than possible warranty issues, probably none. To be sure get a Sherline scale mentioned above. Also my Subaru dealer would not install a brake controller, so get that in writing before making your deal.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:48 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
But they are not prewired for a brake controller that is required if you wish to tow anything over 1000 lbs. Go figure. Raz
No they are not but neither are a great many of the other recommended tows out there. Its also not a big deal to wire it for one either - had mine installed and wired in my carport in less than an hour and a half.
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