Wanna tow Scamp 16' with Subaru Forester - Page 9 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-20-2012, 06:20 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by mcbrew View Post
Carol, the current 4 cylinder Outback and Forester do have the same size engine in the US market -- 2.5 liter.

The odd thing is that in Europe, the Forester gets a smaller engine (2.0) but is rated to tow MORE than the 2.5 liter Outback. But here in the US, they give the Forester a bigger engine and downgrade it's tow rating lower than the Outback. Go figure.
For what it's worth the Forester and the Outback engines are no longer the same. The Outback has the old EJ engine while the Forester has the next generation FB engine. The major difference is a timing chain instead of a belt, separate cooling for the block and the head (I read to deal with the head gasket issues ) and a little more torque.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:15 AM   #114
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2010 Forrester specs

Just to clarify, my 2010 Forrester is a 2.5l engine with 170hp and weighs just over 3300lbs.

2010 Forrester ratings:

6600lbs total rated carrying weight. This is TV and trailer combined
2400lbs trailer
200lbs tongue

With these specs, if I get a 16' FG RV under 2000lbs, I can load an additional 1300lbs + 3300lbs + 2000lbs = 6600lbs so long as I watch tongue weight, axle ratings and 2400lbs trailer limit. Based on Norm and Ginny's real world experience towing 2400lbs with tongue weight of 200lbs with a 2004 Honda CRV I'm comfortable.

Curious to hear how many of you out there think this is reasonable????

By the way, I realize that 1300ibs includes me/wife, water, battery, propane, etc.

Thanks for the spirited discussion!
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:18 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Carol H
Jesse I am sorry about the error in name but not for what you have read into my tone. Joking aside, it is IMHO very irresponsible for people to suggest to other people that they do something when they know its not legal in the county they live & don't disclose it. In this case not only are you suggesting the use of an illegal hitch but you are encouraging the original poster to tow a trailer that is not only going to be well over the vehicles tow cap but based on the plan they are wanting its a really good bet it will be well over the tongue limit as well, and last but not least its going to be towed by vehicle that is going to really struggle power wise with the trailer he is wanting. They have a 2010 Forester - which does not have the same engine as the Outback. None of which IMHO equals safe towing practices no matter how you want to spin it.

SPEED will have a big impact on a vehicles ability to safely stop with a trailer in tow - the speeds they tow at in Europe are not as fast as they are in NA which is in part (some might argue a *big* part) of why the difference in tow ratings, not just the difference in the vehicles construction. No matter what hitch you put on the vehicle its not going to change that fact.

You may want to sit down and talk to accident investigator as to what they will and will not look at in the event you have accident while towing a trailer and you seriously hurt or kill someone. I personally have no doubt that they will start with the basics: your tow cap, your trailer weight and your hitching set up. If your found at fault I also have no doubt that the courts will not look favorable on you if its found that not only did you know the trailer was over weight but you went so far as to put an illegal hitch on it in order to tow with it anyways.

As I said that just MHO & I would suggest you obtain your own legal advise on it.
I am not suggesting that someone do something illegal or unsafe. Just pointing our that the US ratings probably have a pretty big safety factor. Yes, people in Europe don't usually tow as far from home and generally drive slower than we do when towing. From spending time in Europe, I will even say that most of them drive a lot smarter than we do.

I am not interested in talking to an accident investigator. I have dealt with the US legal system enough to know that they don't need hard evidence to pin something on you. I also know that I practice safe towing. I have towed campers since I was 16 and have had zero safety issues. I know what I am comfortable with and what I am not. Some things are legal and still unsafe. For instance, there is no law regarding tongue weight. In many states, there are no laws regulating what you can and can't tow with a given vehicle. I am well within US specs for towing with my current TV, and also in compliance with the law.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:08 PM   #116
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IMHO buying too much trailer is asking for trouble. Its not the going uphill, with the engine straining, It's the downhill with the trailer pushing you, trying to race you to the bottom. Yes, you'll have brakes, at least at the top of the hill. But have you ever seen those "runaway truck" exits? Trust me, you do not want to have to use one.
Match your tug and your tow. You'll be happier in the long run.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:36 PM   #117
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Plus the fact that if there were any future issues involving legalities, the internet is forever and these posts will come back to say "you were told/informed not to....." or whatever. The mere fact that someone participated in a discussion could be basis for being informed. It seems that recent court decisions have no logical reasons.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:44 PM   #118
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I guess I tend to be conservative. For a 16 ft. camper, or even a 13 ft. camper with a bathroom and the extra weight it brings, I would want a more substantial tow vehicle. Raz

Let me add that the Forester is on our short list for next tow vehicle.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:57 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by SilverGhost View Post
Not illegal because of the hitch, but because of what they replace. The US mandated 5mph bumper is removed on most cars to install the euro hitch. Considering how well that thing works in most cars at reducing impact damage, I's say its no loss. But that is IMO.

Jason
Actually Jason from what I have seen and read some of the Euro hitches are also missing connection points for chains - in that situation the hitch itself is also not legal.
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:11 PM   #120
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Actually Jason from what I have seen and read some of the Euro hitches are also missing connection points for chains - in that situation the hitch itself is also not legal.
They come in several flavors. There is the receiver type (swan neck for it's resemblance to the bird), the bolt on ball mount (not really meant to be changed very often), and the permanent ball hitch. Most often the chain hooks are not obvious, but are there. Or on the cheaper ones it is part of the kit that someone left off.

Can you see the chain hooks on this model?

Jason
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:57 PM   #121
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Run away truck exits are for those that have lost their brakes.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:02 PM   #122
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Dave,

Our 2400 pounds includes the tongue weight. The tongue weight is not in addition to the tongue weight. The Honda's hp to lb weight is nearly identical to what many larger vehicles tow. We have absolutely no trouble towing our Scamp.

Everyone has a 'war story' about the legal system. If there is no logic involved as so many claim, then it doesn't matter what one does. No logic is no logic regardless. Of course one can always be sued.

It may be probaly why we do not race around the country, we drive at 60 or below. If a crazy or working person is on our tail, we just pull over and let them pass.

Be smart and you'll be safe.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:39 PM   #123
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If you are confident that you can keep the tongue weight to 200 or less, I say go for it.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:00 AM   #124
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I was looking for a link that would talk about some of the abbreviations and terms involved with towing and found this: Determining Vehicle Towing Capacity & Trailer Weight | Hitch Info I have noticed that the amount allowed to be towed listed in the owner's manual allows for quite a bite of cargo/people in our van which I came to realize why some sources were saying that it had a towing capacity of 7,000 lbs when the owner's manual was listing about 5500 lbs. We towed about 4500 lbs loaded with ease. We did the computations a long time ago so I don't remember all the particulars. You just have to be really careful to watch all the numbers. The trailer has a GVWR that you should not exceed despite what your tow vehicle can pull. From the experiences that we have seen, if you towing more than you should, you'll be replacing expensive parts on your tow vehicle to the point that buying something appropriate to tow your trailer with which will seem like a real savings in the end. The happiest people I saw rving were those felt safe when towing. I was not aware of the high hitch weights of the fiberglass trailers until just this last month and I have found it troubling only in the respect of what it means as far as a tow vehicle.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:55 PM   #125
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Hitch dilemmas

Now you tell me, Carol H, that I'm doing it all wrong. I've been towing a Scamp 16 all over Colorado for years with a 2004 Forester XS. And today I had a Euro hitch installed on its replacement tow car, an Audi allroad.

With the Forester, I've never felt in danger. I'd estimate we've done 5,000 miles, including Berthoud Pass, Wolf Creek Pass and the Eisenhower tunnel. On the eastbound side of Rabbit Ears Pass, we dropped to second gear and 35 mph, but the others were climbed in 3rd at a respectable 40-50 mph. The emergency truck ramps never beckoned us. Engine braking and air resistance was usually enough to leave little brake use required. Sway was never experienced, and passing semis only pulled us an inch or so sideways. The Forester seems to handle sidewinds no worse with the trailer-- maybe better, since the car itself is such a tall box. I've seen no unusual wear. The head gaskets were leaking at the time of the 100K miles timing belt job, but that's a common Subaru weakness.

I'd call the Forester safe enough for a lightweight Scamp like mine (200 lbs loaded, with a scale receipt to prove it). It's just not a very comfortable one. Your 2010 may have solved my car's issues: terrible wind noise, and a sagging rear end. Older Foresters has MacPherson strut rear suspensions that don't accept air bags, air shocks or other assists. With a 180-200 lb tongue weight, our car's headlights are pointing at the treetops. It looks dangerous, even if it isn't. I'd suggest you research whether your car's suspension can be reinforced to stay level.

It takes planning and self-control to keep a 16-footer so light. Doing it over I'd have gotten a lighter 13" so I could carry more iron pots, spare water, etc. Instead, I've gotten a heftier, much more powerful tow car -- and just put a Euro-spec hitch on it. Is it legal? It does take safety chains, unlike many Euro hitches. They had to remove my bumper shocks to install the 2-inch steel box sections that mount internally to the car, but I'd dare anyone to explain to me how that could cause an accident. After an accident, I doubt it would be noticed.

My other choice for the Audiwas a Class 1 Curt hitch, recommended by local hitch specialty shops. It was legal for 2,000/200 lbs., but not nearly as robust as the Euro-style hitch. The Curt bolts to the Audi's spare tire well, which is a like a large steel drum, unreinforced sheet metal. My mechanics didn't trust it, and I didn't either (for a fuller account, see my current thread on the Audi allroad).

Good luck to the OP here. You've heard lots of advice, some of it conflicting. There will always be someone arguing for bigger safety margins. Some folks won't tow over half the rated load. (Some folks won't drive to the corner Starbucks in less than a a three-ton vehicle, and seeing the way they drive around there in the morning, maybe that's wise.) I say that if you can keep your trailer light -- empty, essentially -- give the 16" a try. If you can beef up your Forester's rear end, that's even better.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:33 AM   #126
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People need to ask questions and receive answers. That's one of the reasons they join FiberglassRV. And decisions are then made based on choices. What one person does (and uses successfully) doesn't necessarily mean another person will have the exact/same success. Different driving skill sets, different loads inside the trailer, even how it's packed, roads a person drives, how much pressure used on the fuel peddle (speed) and whether or not a trailer has brakes. Decisions, decisions, decisions. The one thing that's certain. You make your decision... you live with it and any liability, not someone else, not someone else's checkbook.

Stay safe everyone!
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