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Old 09-06-2019, 10:13 AM   #1
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Smile First post - Subaru Ascent and Casita 17

New to posting, yet have read many posts here, and learning! Thank you for your knowledge and kindness! Currently, I have a 4 cylinder Subaru Outback and a 10ft A-Liner, really enjoy this combination, and attend rallies. Also have taken solo trips to Virginia and to Utah. Still doing lots of research, and the combination of Subaru Ascent and Casita 17 appeals to me. Seems like a good level of comfort, safety and simplicity. Does anyone use this rig, and what advice or suggestion does anyone care to share?
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Iris in Florida View Post
New to posting, yet have read many posts here, and learning! Thank you for your knowledge and kindness! Currently, I have a 4 cylinder Subaru Outback and a 10ft A-Liner, really enjoy this combination, and attend rallies. Also have taken solo trips to Virginia and to Utah. Still doing lots of research, and the combination of Subaru Ascent and Casita 17 appeals to me. Seems like a good level of comfort, safety and simplicity. Does anyone use this rig, and what advice or suggestion does anyone care to share?
What is tow rating on your Subaru? You must consider the frontal area on your trailer as well as the weight and hitch weight.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:42 AM   #3
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Ascent tows 5000#, and preliminary reports from owners are positive. 5000# tow rating is plenty for a Casita.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:46 AM   #4
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Hitch weight will be the most crucial aspect of towing with any SUV.
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:09 PM   #5
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Ascent tows 5000#, and preliminary reports from owners are positive. 5000# tow rating is plenty for a Casita.
The 5000# rating is for "properly equipped" models. She doesn't say how hers is equipped. The standard tow rating is 2,000#, you need extra equipment to get to 5,000. 2,000 is not enough for 17 Casita.The devil is in the details.
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:01 PM   #6
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Hi Iris,

Welcome! I think your aspirations of a Casita 17í and a Subaru Ascent is a great combo for you to explore. A properly equipped Ascent rated to tow 5,000 lbs should be a great tug for your future Casita! Keep us posted.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:05 PM   #7
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The 5000# rating is for "properly equipped" models. She doesn't say how hers is equipped. The standard tow rating is 2,000#, you need extra equipment to get to 5,000. 2,000 is not enough for 17 Casita.The devil is in the details.
Thank you for the reminder! The Ascent will definitely be properly equipped, and the Casita will have a sway bar (factory said it's cheap insurance!), and also a brake controller. Meanwhile I am quite happy with my current combination, yet will feel safer, better equipped, and more able to camp more places such as Harvest Hosts. And of course, in the end people regret more what they didn't do than what they did!
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:25 PM   #8
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Good luck with the new rig, I'm sure you'll love it.
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Old 09-07-2019, 06:38 PM   #9
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Good luck with the new rig, I'm sure you'll love it.
Thanks!
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:34 AM   #10
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Hi Iris - Sounds like you are well on your way! I'm sure we will cross paths soon. The rally in Cherokee is too far for shake out for us - we are going to new SP at springs nearby. We are signed up for Florida Egg Rally and S'mores in January as our first rally.
Post pictures when you pick up Casita.
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:10 PM   #11
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Hi Iris - Sounds like you are well on your way! I'm sure we will cross paths soon. The rally in Cherokee is too far for shake out for us - we are going to new SP at springs nearby. We are signed up for Florida Egg Rally and S'mores in January as our first rally.
Post pictures when you pick up Casita.
Hi Sandy, Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park possibly? My very first trip was to Manatee Springs State Park. I love all our State Parks, have camped and kayaked in many, yet have not been to that springs yet since it has become a State Park. So far my 10 ft A-Liner has been close to perfect, and the Casita will be even better! Have to buy another tow vehicle first!
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:40 PM   #12
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Hitch weight will be the most crucial aspect of towing with any SUV.
Excellent point. Usually hitch/tongue weight capacity is 1/10th of towing capacity (e.g. 500# hitch weight capacity for 5000# towing capacity) but not always.
Our Casita LD 17' has a standard tongue weight of 360#, but that must be without propane, because ours (with 35# of propane on board) came in about 400.

You'll also want to be conscious of what you load in the SUV, and make sure you don't exceed rear axle capacity. A weight distributing hitch will help in that regard. We don't use one with our 4Runner/Casita combo, and we are within 100# of rear axle capacity when we're all loaded up for a long trip.

You can gain a bit of that back by loading more in the rear of your trailer, and/or carrying bikes in back. I believe with our Casita, 6# is removed from the tongue weight for every 10# put on the back.
Congratulations on your new rig! and have a wonderful maiden voyage
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:10 PM   #13
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I test drove one and loved it and was seriously considering it. BUT... then I read that if you leave the tailgate up for 4+ hours the battery dies. That's a dealbreaker for me as I often leave it open for the dogs at a dog show or while I'm camping and have things in the back or loading and want to keep the car cool. Apparently it isn't just the light and you can't turn it off.

On the other hand- it was a dream to drive. Loved that.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DeanCHS1980 View Post
Hi Iris,

Welcome! I think your aspirations of a Casita 17í and a Subaru Ascent is a great combo for you to explore. A properly equipped Ascent rated to tow 5,000 lbs should be a great tug for your future Casita! Keep us posted.

Take care,

Dean
Thank you! Yes, I will keep all my new fellow life adventurers posted.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:35 PM   #15
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I test drove one and loved it and was seriously considering it. BUT... then I read that if you leave the tailgate up for 4+ hours the battery dies. That's a dealbreaker for me as I often leave it open for the dogs at a dog show or while I'm camping and have things in the back or loading and want to keep the car cool. Apparently it isn't just the light and you can't turn it off.

On the other hand- it was a dream to drive. Loved that.
Oh, another wrinkle to consider. Why would the battery die if the tailgate stays open for 4 hours??? Because a light stays on?
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
BUT... then I read that if you leave the tailgate up for 4+ hours the battery drains... Apparently it isn't just the light and you can't turn it off.
Do you have a link? That seems really strange.
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:12 PM   #17
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Oh, another wrinkle to consider. Why would the battery die if the tailgate stays open for 4 hours??? Because a light stays on?

I had a rental Ford Explorer and needed the cargo area light to be out while the engine was running ( for heat ). I was covering a standoff between police and an armed group, so the light was not appreciated.
There was no switch on the light, so I ended up removing the cover and crushing the bulb with my Leatherman ( purchased on expenses ).

The running lights were also on. Finally, an RCMP officer came over and explained that if I pulled the emergency brake, the running lights would go out.

I'm quite sure there was another way to extinguish the cargo light too.
It's probably in the manual.
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I had a rental Ford Explorer and needed the cargo area light to be out while the engine was running ( for heat ). I was covering a standoff between police and an armed group, so the light was not appreciated.
There was no switch on the light, so I ended up removing the cover and crushing the bulb with my Leatherman ( purchased on expenses ).

The running lights were also on. Finally, an RCMP officer came over and explained that if I pulled the emergency brake, the running lights would go out.

I'm quite sure there was another way to extinguish the cargo light too.
It's probably in the manual.
Apparently it is not just the light. Having the tailgate up triggers everything to stay on. A light would not run the battery down in a couple of hours- and there are switches on the lights.

https://www.ascentforums.com/threads...-battery.3425/
https://www.torquenews.com/1084/new-...u-dead-battery
https://robservatory.com/dont-buy-a-...r-tailgate-or/
among other links.

I haven't verified this myself. There are similar complaints about some earlier model Subarus. Not something I had with the Forester but I turn all the interior lights off. (My 2000 did have a poorly designed switch location but they had fixed that in the 2002; not clear if this is fixed in the 2020 Ascent.

There was one other thing I didn't like- the 8 passenger bench seat in the middle does not lie completely flat when folded down.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:45 AM   #19
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First post - Subaru Ascent and Casita 17

Thanks for the links, Bobbie. Thatís sure not something youíd think to check when shopping vehicles. Lights and computers come on and stay on while hatch is open... ??

Iím also bothered that Subaru requires a significant trim upgrade to get the 5000# rating. From the specs, I canít tell what theyíre leaving off on the base trim- cooling upgrades, maybe? Have you heard any chatter about that?

Iím not thrilled about the CVT, either.

A general remark about 3-row crossovers with a Casita 17... This trailer tends to be tongue-heavy, typically 400# or more. With all the space and seatbelts, itís not hard to overload the vehicle, exceeding payload or rear axle weight rating. The latter can adversely affect steering and handling, especially with a FWD-biased chassis. A weight distributing hitch is a way to even out the tongue weight, but most crossovers advise against WDH.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:34 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Thanks for the links, Bobbie. Thatís sure not something youíd think to check when shopping vehicles. Lights and computers come on and stay on while hatch is open... ??

Iím also bothered that Subaru requires a significant trim upgrade to get the 5000# rating. From the specs, I canít tell what theyíre leaving off on the base trim- cooling upgrades, maybe? Have you heard any chatter about that?

Iím not thrilled about the CVT, either.
The CVT in the Ascent is beefed up, that doesn't worry me too much. Though being expensive to replace and as expensive or more to repair is likely. I hadn't paid attention to the lower trims not having it as for the first (and likely only) time in my life I'm not going for the lower trim! (Though I might if I could still get a stick shift.)

My aunt had a Chrysler Pacifica (early 2000s) and if it wasn't driven weekly the battery died. Stuff stayed on even when the car was completely turned off and all lights off. This may be because the Ascent tailgate is powered so when it is open it is on. The 2020 Ascent is out and by all rumors better (that's what I drove, btw) but no idea if they fixed this glitch.
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