Wanna tow Scamp 16' with Subaru Forester - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-24-2012, 10:55 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by DavArl View Post
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.

I think if you look at the real world trailer weights posted here you will find your answer. If you go for the 16' you indicated you are after there is little chance of keeping it under the tow weight of a Forester. Keep in mind that the dry weights most manufactures state do not include a battery, propane tank, awning, hot water tank, AC, rock guard etc and in some cases not even the fridge. As indicated my scamp is a 16' side bath model and I pack light and mine when loaded with food, clothing for a trip comes in over 2400lbs - with no water in it. If you go for the scamp with the bathroom in the front you also have little to no chance of keeping your tongue weight within the Forester or Outback tongue limit.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:03 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
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. .
Mike I suspect you are correct - my feeling is that towing will shorten all engines life to some degree. Having towed *lots* with my Subaru for 5 years now - 9000 miles of towing in the past 12 months alone, I have had no problems with the Subaru to report. The service manager at my Subaru dealer tows with his as well and he has no concerns about towing with it providing its within the stated weight limits.

As some have mentioned most Subaru dealers will not install a hitch or a brake controller but the reason for that is not because they don't think that they do not belong on the car as some here seem to suggest. The Subaru's manual very clearly indicates they can be used on the car and in the case of the brake controller the manual states it *must* be used when towing over x so many pounds. The reason most Subaru deals will not install those items is simple because Subaru does not make those items and as a result most of their staff do not know how to install them. Simple as that. They prefer you take it to a company that specializes in installing tow equipment - IMHO this is not a situation that is unique to only Subaru.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:13 PM   #45
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I think if you look at the real world trailer weights posted here you will find your answer. If you go for the 16' you indicated you are after there is little chance of keeping it under the tow weight of a Forester. Keep in mind that the dry weights most manufactures state do not include a battery, propane tank, awning, hot water tank, AC, rock guard etc and in some cases not even the fridge. As indicated my scamp is a 16' side bath model and I pack light and mine when loaded with food, clothing for a trip comes in over 2400lbs - with no water in it. If you go for the scamp with the bathroom in the front you also have little to no chance of keeping your tongue weight within the Forester or Outback tongue limit.
Carol - I'll definitely find out what is and isn't in the dry weight. Curious, what year is your Outback and is it a 4 cylinder? Sounds like your happy with it and I believe the rated tongue weight for your Outback is the same as my Forester (200lbs). Thanks for all your input.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:29 PM   #46
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If I absolutely had to have a bath/shower, I would want a 16'. No bath/shower, a 13'. We prefer to leave the rear dinnette set up as a bed and have a table to eat at. I would suggest before you use the fridge as a decision maker you read up on 3 way fridges. We have the 2193 fridge scamp has in the 13' and like it a lot. They have made it for years, it's simple, and it doesn't require battery power to run on gas. If you boon dock, that's nice. We also carry an ice chest if we are travelling daily. Trying to use the fridge on 12v is iffy at best. Raz
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:23 PM   #47
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Given that you already have your Subaru Forester the issue is not TV but trailer 13 V 16 foot.

Human nature and personality dictate much of what we do, if you started by looking at the 13 foot and now have decided to look at the 16 foot, more is better your personality would suggest that also likely means a little extra should be fine.
The Subaru Forester will tow it may mean extra repair costs I don't know the value of a transmission for the Subaru or other cost of replacement parts.
Your warranty will not cover any of these things should they break.

Would I want to be stranded far from home with a large repair bill, am I OK with that.
My Bigfoot fully loaded comes in at 2800 pounds on the scale I tow with an Astro Van made for towing.
I have no problem keeping up to traffic flow and am not anywhere near the tow maximum which is 5600 pounds.
I'm driving in mountains with steep grades on hot day's and all the gauges engine temp. and tranny temp are within range.

Some personalities are content to pull over and wait for the traffic to go by nothing wrong with that.
I'm retired and in no rush but once moving want to get to where I want to go! Many folks will decide if I can't pull it I'll load the TV up with the extras.

There is no real right answer.

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Old 01-24-2012, 03:34 PM   #48
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Going over on tongue weight could stress the spots where the hitch receiver attaches; a welding shop might be able to beef things up by welding an addition to the receiver and bolting that addition onto the underside. (I did this with my old Mountaineer after a low-speed rear end crash wrecked the rearmost attachment points; when the shop finished fixing it, the receiver was way more stoutly attached than before).

The second factor with too much tongue weight is your rear suspension; you could bend a spring with too much weight. The third factor is handling; having the front end up in the air will impact steering (not sure if WD hitches are ok with Subies, but if so, it could minimize these factors). But if you can stay under the recommended tongue weight, it would be best.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:45 PM   #49
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Norm, Ginny, and Carol: no amount of actual first hand experience will trump a good armchair mechanic!
True words of wisdom.

And an internet expert trumps an armchair mechanic every time....

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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.
Maybe because it's only North America that uses brake controllers for towing - I think everyone else uses surge brakes.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:27 PM   #50
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So, I guess if you tow in Europe with a Outback you will be ok, in the US with different requirements, you are "UP" the creek, so to speak. A play on another thread here.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:41 PM   #51
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But they are not prewired for a brake controller that is required if you wish to tow anything over 1000 lbs. Go figure. Raz
Neither was my Dodge Dakota V8 that is rated to tow over 6000 lbs.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:07 PM   #52
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Dave, I tow a 16 Scamp side dinette with my 08 Subaru Outback (4 cyl auto trans). I had the Outback and a Dodge Dakota V8 before I got the Scamp, back when I had a 1700 GVWR pop-up. I bought the Outback mainly so I would have a fairly economical car that could also be used to tow the pop-up.
After I got the Scamp I had initially intended to only tow it with the Dakota, but after weighing the Scamp I found it was lighter than my Outback's tow rating, so I decided to test drive the Scamp with the Outback. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Subaru handled the Scamp, and I actually feel more comfortable using the Subaru as the TV (The Subaru rides and handles better).
There are a few things you need to consider if you want a 16 Scamp though. First, your Forester tow limit at 2400 is 300 lbs less than my 2700 limit. I had to remove the 2nd propane tank on mine to get the tongue weight down. I weighed the Scamp with everything that I would possibly take on a trip; extra water hoses, electric cord extensions, tools, full fresh and hot water tanks, and the total weight came up to 2600 lbs. In order to keep your weight down you will need to limit your options and also limit what you carry. My Scamp is the side dinette, with heater, hot water, awning, large fridge, shower and toilet, convection oven, A/C, and "cozy" bed.
Second, I added a transmission cooler and electric brake controller; the brakes are required over 1000 lbs per Subaru.
Right now I mainly use the Outback for trips that are local (within 2 states of GA). If I go on long trips (over 1,000 mile radius) I take the Dakota since I tend to take more "stuff" with us, since the Dakota holds more.
If I was buying a new Scamp, and had a Forester, I would think the 13 would be a happier match than the 16, but the 16 can be done if you can keep the weight down and aren't in a hurry (I keep mine at 60 MPH or less).
Subaru specifies a thicker engine oil if you tow, so that should help protect the bearings I would think, although at a minimal effect on fuel economy.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:28 PM   #53
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John - Thanks for the info. Most helpful!!

Here's a little chart I put together to help me compare RVs I'm looking at. The models listed all have AC, toilet/shower and some miscellaneous things depending on vendor. For instance, some have an awning some don't. Thought I'd share for those looking at different manufacturers. Pricing is approximate based on what I read and what vendors told me based on the options I chose so take them with a grain of salt. Are there any manufacturers I should be considering that make models similar to these??

Scamp 13' DeluxeScamp 13'Casita 13' DeluxeScamp 16' Layout 6 Scamp 16' Deluxe Layout 6Casita 16' DeluxeParkLiner 15' Overall Height7'6"7'6"7'8"7'10"7'10"7'8"8'3"Interior Height6'3"6'3"5'10"6'3"6'3"5'106'4"Dry Weight1600140018801950230021852100Tongue Weight245255220Tire13"13"15'13"13"15"14"Refrigerat or1.9 cu ft1.9 cu ft1.9 cu ft4.6 cu ft4.6 cu ft1.9 cu ft1.7 cu ftBed54x7644x7646x7644x76 small bed54x76 small bed46x76 small bedsQueen small bedPower Cord25' 30AMP25' 30 AMP25' 30AMP25' 30AMP25' 30AMP25' 30AMP35AMPFresh Water12 gal12 gal16 gal12 gal12 gal16 gal12Black Water9 gal9 gal15 gal9 gal9 gal15 gal3.5 galGrey Water26 gal26 gal13 gal26 gal26 gal13 gal21Price$16,000 $12,995 $14,275 $16,275 $18,500 $15,168 $16,700
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:41 PM   #54
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Sorry about previous post. Here's PDF of model comparison table.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf RV Model Specs.pdf (135.2 KB, 41 views)
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:58 PM   #55
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Have you thought about the used market ?
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:58 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by DavArl View Post
Carol - I'll definitely find out what is and isn't in the dry weight. Curious, what year is your Outback and is it a 4 cylinder? Sounds like your happy with it and I believe the rated tongue weight for your Outback is the same as my Forester (200lbs). Thanks for all your input.
Its an 07 and it is a 4 cylinder. I am happy with it - its actually my 3rd Subaru and despite what some may saw in regards to wear and tear of towing it is the only one that I have towed with and its the only one of the 3 that has never had any problems what so ever to report.....

I will be the first to admit that yes there are times that it would be nice to have more power but that's probable 5% or less of the total towing time - it has a sport mode that it can be put into to help it out on the really long hills that works fine. I like to think that having a car that I can find parking for in the city, does really well in the snow (I'm a skier), has a large rear cargo area and gets between 19 -20 mpg while towing is a good trade off for the few times I would like more power. Most of the time I have to watch my speed as its easy to forget your towing. The only real down side to the Subaru is the need to *really* watch the tongue weight and as a result what you stow in and where things are stowed in the trailer. The later also means you are very limited in so far as what trailers you can tow with it. The low tongue rating would be the one and only reason I might consider a different car when the time comes to replace this one - although I have been looking around and have so far not found any that come close to meeting all my needs as well.
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