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Old 10-14-2011, 12:57 AM   #1
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Hi

Hey, new here. What a great site! Lots of good info.

I'm still trying to figure out what trailer, 13' or 16', etc. I have a few really noob type questions:

What is "dry camping"?

Can a Subaru Forester 4cyl really pull a 16' fiberglass trailer? It is rated to pull 2200 #'s...in the US. And what's with different ratings for different countries? Do the laws of physics change?

Sorry for this question, but...since these trailers are small...do you smell the lavatory, if you have one? Or is it better to not have one and use whatever facility is handy, like one would when tent camping? I've tent camped a bit and wonder if I really need to deal with a built in lavatory....

Anyway, HI!
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:27 AM   #2
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Suburau

The Suburau Forest is rated for 2400 pounds and the Outback is rated for 2700 pounds. The Outback seems to be a very popular Scamp tow vehicle.

As to the Scamp Bathroom and odor, I have never had a problem with odor. The toilet 'water seals' like a home toilet but with a different technology.

There are definite advantages to one's own toilet during the middle of the night. People who chose not to get the toilet often end up with a Porta potti.
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:33 AM   #3
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Hi Leonard, welcome to FiberglassRV

Dry camping... is boondocking. You wouldn't be hooked up to power/water or sewer. You need to be self-contained by hauling water in tanks, have tanks for sewage and sink water, but need to generate your own power either through solar, big batteries, etc. Some can boondock for a couple of days, some only boondock.
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:42 AM   #4
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Don't discount the advantage of having a toilet behind your tow vehicle when an "emergency" hits you on the road a LONG way from a gas station or other facility. Our bacon has been saved countless times over the years. Both of us. Never had any odor issues in any of our various RVs.
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:21 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies!

I'm looking over everyone's trailer profile, seeing who's pulling what with what tow vehicle. If a Honda CRV can pull a 16' Scamp...maybe our 2010 Forrester can pull one, too. Although....sometimes with a Subaru, they seem to be barely able to pull themselves up a hill. :-0

I do have a '93 Ford Ranger, 4L V6, manual 4x4. It is kind of long in the tooth, a bit rough, but would probably be a better tow vehicle. It just isn't as comfortable as the new Subaru. Plus, we have a dog screen in the Subaru, and our dog likes her little spot in the back. She hates the pick-up.

About the lavatory...thanks for the re-assurances of no odor. The question came up in conversation with my wife, who was wondering about being so close to one, seeing as the fiberglass trailers are so small.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:08 PM   #6
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If the pot starts to stink it needs to be emptied! Simple solution I think.
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:35 AM   #7
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We pull our 13'boler fully loaded with our 2006 Subaru Forrester with no problems at all. It's been east and west. Electric brakes a must though.
We use a Lug-a-loo and even that doesn't leave an odor in the boler. We usually keep the vest open a bit and one window cracked even winter camping but that's because we find with a fiberglass camper the air can get stale overnight.
good luck.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:07 PM   #8
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Without a doubt the Subaru can handle a 13. A 16 does not create significantly more wind resistance than a 13 so it will tow pretty much the same. The thing to watch is tongue weight; you don't want to load too heavy on the front of the trailer and exceed your hitch's tongue weight rating. A 16 has more in front of the axle so more attention must be paid to it than to a 13. One can always check tongue weight with a dial-type bathroom scale (most go to 300 lbs or so). Have you seen this thread yet?... Trailer Weights in the Real World

It's best if you can get inside at least one of each length and see how it feels to you. Sit in it a while and think about where you would put your stuff, how would the ergonomics compare, etc.

Personally, a bathroom in the trailer is always high on our list. For me it's the convenience; for my wife it's often necessity due to a surgically shortened colon. If you folks have never wished you had one along with you, you probably are so used to the alternatives that you won't miss it. That does open up more flexibility when shopping, as few 13s have them, and those that do have them lose the extra seating in front. It takes a 16 to have a fulltime bed, a fulltime sitting place, and a bathroom all together.

Toilet smell is not a problem though. When the toilet is flushed and it's been several days since it was emptied, the chemicals may by then be overtaxed enough that you'll smell it for a brief time (but a fan will pull that air out in seconds and the seal prevents further odor intrusion)... but of course like has already been said, you don't have to wait that long to drop by the dump station and empty that tank.
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post
Thanks for the quick replies!
(...)
About the lavatory...thanks for the re-assurances of no odor. The question came up in conversation with my wife, who was wondering about being so close to one, seeing as the fiberglass trailers are so small.
Odor is manageable as long as you empty the tank regularly, use the recommended amount of chemical deodorant and have no leak into your system. I preload the tank with a bit of concentrated deodorant and add diluted deodorant to the flush water tank. If weather is very hot, you may need to increase the dose and empty more often.
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:57 PM   #10
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Ok...so a 4 cyl 2.5L Forester can probably pull a 16 foot fg trailer, but I have to keep in mind the tongue weight. Thanks!

I've seen the threads in this forum and posts about trailer weights, and the links to other sites discussing the Euro-ratings of tow vehicles, etc. I can say this much, this forum site is absolutely the best I've found for information on this subject, by far! I'm still trying to figure out why the Euro folks can pull so much more with the same vehicles; their gas must be better because they pay so much for it?

My limited experience with the lavatory smell comes from renting house boats on Lake Shasta with a large group. Everything is fine until...until it's not! Then the hurried trip to the pump out station to start over. I guess like everything else, paying attention, taking care and being pro-active is the cure. It is good to hear that it is managed by normal folks on a routine basis (something I can't say about the group I was renting houseboats with!)
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:03 PM   #11
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We had the same experience with a houseboat many years ago. I think it actually used a recirculating system for the flush water so we either had a very strong chemical smell or a worse "natural" smell. We too were worried about the smell until we rented a trailer for a few days and found that a modern trailer has no problem with toilet smell. As said previously, a little water in the bowl makes for a good tight seal.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
the Outback is rated for 2700 pounds. The Outback seems to be a very popular Scamp tow vehicle.
Actually it depends on which Outback model some are rated at 3000 lbs.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:34 PM   #13
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Suburau 3000

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Actually it depends on which Outback model some are rated at 3000 lbs.
What additions to an Outback make it capable of 3000 pounds?
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post
Ok...so a 4 cyl 2.5L Forester can probably pull a 16 foot fg trailer, but I have to keep in mind the tongue weight. Thanks!
IMHO I would not be to sure about that. Its not rated to tow the weight of a 16'. Hard to keep a loaded 16' under 2400lbs. I havent seen anyone towing a 16' with a Forester (although someone might be) but many are towing 13' & 14' with the Forester. Some of us do tow older model 16' Scamps with the Outback without a problem but we need to watch the tongue weight carefully. The Outback can not tow many of the other 16' trailers out there as most are a lot heavier in the tongue than an older Scamp.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
What additions to an Outback make it capable of 3000 pounds?
Bigger engine in different models. 2.5 is a 4 cyl and the 3.6 is a 6 cyl
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:30 PM   #16
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Bigger engine in different models. 2.5 is a 4 cyl and the 3.6 is a 6 cyl
Carol,

So, do you have the 3.6 liter in your Outback? Or the 2.5 liter? How's it towing your Scamp 16?

I'm actually thinking of trading in my second vehicle for an Outback...but at this time it is only it is thought. I know my 4 liter Ranger will pull a 16 ft FG...it just isn't as comfortable.
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:05 AM   #17
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Towing with a 2010 Forester

LeonardS

We are towing a 13' trailer with a 2003 Forester which has only 2000 lb. towing capacity and the actual loaded towing weight of our trailer is also 2000 lb. as measured at the Oregon Gathering. Your 2010 Forester has 2400 lb. towing capacity as Carol says, not enough to handle a 16' trailer.

If you want to keep your Forester and tow with it the simplest solution is to get a 13' trailer and live with a porta potti. We use a Thetford 135 which has its own storage area under one of the front seats. We have not encountered any odour problem as long as we empty it and add chemicals every few days. While you may be able to get a 13' trailer with a toilet you lose the front seat / dinette which was more important to us than having a toilet.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_v...5603/lightbox/

If it is more important to you to have a larger trailer, then you should decide what trailer you want first then get a vehicle capable of towing it.

It is really a personal choice.
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:23 AM   #18
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Hi: LeonardS...Call Tammy at Escape Trailers as they just built a great looking 13'er for forum member reeves99 and he is towing it with a Hundai Santa fe. Great looking combo too!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:47 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post
Carol,

So, do you have the 3.6 liter in your Outback? Or the 2.5 liter? How's it towing your Scamp 16?

I'm actually thinking of trading in my second vehicle for an Outback...but at this time it is only it is thought. I know my 4 liter Ranger will pull a 16 ft FG...it just isn't as comfortable.
I have been tow my 16' side bath with a 2.5 liter for four years and it is fine towing it but I really need to watch how I load the trailer and the tongue weight. I have an older Scamp with no AC so its possible to keep the tongue weight down close to Subarus specs and still have a solid stow. Fully loaded with 3 weeks worth of camping gear & clothing and food but without any water the trailer comes in on average about 2550 lbs. I normally dont carry anything for the trailer in the car other than the cooler so when I say loaded thats everything - bq, hoses, propane firepit, tool kit, leveling blocks, extention cords, chairs, tables etc.

I would not buy an Outback if I know I was going to own a 16' trailer - due to the tongue weight issue and many of the newer 13' & 14' would also be over its tongue weight limit. My Subaru was only a few weeks old when the trailer followed me home so it did not make sence to sell such a new car. Subaru does not support the use of weight distribution hitches so you are very limited as to what trailers you can tow safely with the Outback.
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