New- Subaru Forester-What Can it Pull? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-21-2016, 02:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
Weren't the older Subarus noted for head gasket failures. A coworker had it happen twice while towing a small pop-up camper. I think his was about a 2006 Outback
Yes. But once repaired they can run on and on. Not sure if the 2003s were affected but 98-02 was. My daughter is still driving my 2000.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:11 PM   #16
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Teardrops may be a good alternative

For towing with an older Forester, a teardrop might be a good alternative to a 13' egg. A 13' egg is going to come uncomfortably close to the Forester's limits.

Something like the Little Guy Teardrops would work well. Under 1000 lbs which would give the Forester plenty of reserve capacity for going up hills. etc.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:56 PM   #17
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We ad an 01 Forester and it was a great vehicle. We did not tow anything with it and never had a mechanical problem of any type. It had 100,000 miles on it when we sold it. It was a great vehicle. A recall was issued for leaky head gaskets. The issue was coolant leaking EXTERNALY from the gasket. The ones that had a leak problem needed a new head gasket, but there was no internal damage since the leaks were all outside. The Subaru recall required adding an additive to the cooling system to prevent leaks and we never had a problem. If I still had this vehicle, I would not b worried about head gasket leaks.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
We ad an 01 Forester and it was a great vehicle. We did not tow anything with it and never had a mechanical problem of any type. It had 100,000 miles on it when we sold it. It was a great vehicle. A recall was issued for leaky head gaskets. The issue was coolant leaking EXTERNALY from the gasket. The ones that had a leak problem needed a new head gasket, but there was no internal damage since the leaks were all outside. The Subaru recall required adding an additive to the cooling system to prevent leaks and we never had a problem. If I still had this vehicle, I would not b worried about head gasket leaks.
The head gasket problem hit about 180,000 miles on my 2000. A little earlier on Mom's 02.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:32 PM   #19
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Thanks Everyone - yeah, I'm kinda screwed

Hi! Ugh, so....it's a manual 2003 with only 80K miles on it. I did research last night on Subaru Websites, and people were saying that without potentially ruining the transmission the tow capacity is 1500lbs. Ugh!!! I don't know if there's a difference depending on what year it is, but Foresters are apparently less powerful than the Outbacks. So my trailer dream may be shot.

The Compact sold before I could get to it. I'm looking at tiny, tiny teardrops (claustrophobic), and even the Taxa Tiger Moth? Some websites say the TM is 900lbs, others say it's 1500lbs. I don't feel safe getting anything that's close to 1500lbs because I'll be afraid to overload it.

I could sell the car, yes - but a 2003 Forester isn't worth much to anyone else. To me it is because I know the history and bc it only has 80K miles. I've dreamed of wanderlusting for So long...and now can't find anything to wander in! It's just my dog and I.....and our tent I guess. I live 10 miles from the wild and windy Sonoma Coast, prime glamping ground. How cruel!!!

Harriet, Monkey, without a trailer
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:35 PM   #20
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Hmmm. I did *something* expensive at 60K miles, and I think it was related to a head gasket. Whatever it was, it is supposedly fixed and I haven't had any problems.....let me knock on wood....with it. Except for copious amounts of spilled coffee and dog hair of course.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:50 PM   #21
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The new ones are rated at 1500. Yours is 2400. Don't listen to anyone who says you can't tow a small trailer. Just aim to stay under about 1500 dry weight (the lower the better). I agree with you- no point trading in a great car with only 80,000 miles on it. People will tell you a lot of stuff but not very many of them have towed for 8 years with a Subaru Forester as I have.

One thing you should try to do (but maybe can't for a few months) is go visit a fiberglass RV rally somewhere and see what's out there. Find out if the older trailers tend to have enough allergens to bother you (they don't bother me but I'm probably not as sensitive- though I can guarantee obvious mildew or mold would bother me.). You might look at the Winter rally coming up in California but don't know how many rigs will be there.

A Campster would be a great choice for weight. Some of the Compacts are light enough, too. Do you have a place to store it indoors? (Garage?) Teardrops are nice but I really like being able to stand up inside the trailer.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:22 PM   #22
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Really?!?! It's better that it's older?!? Excuse me while I dance a little!!! Yes, I'll try to go to a rally nearby. There's one in June in Tahoe. Oh, fyi, I put a post On Sacramento RV's re: the Campster that was on there. The guy didn't take the ad down; it had expired. So I'm crossing my fingers it comes on again after the holidays or ??. Do you have something that alerts you if Any Craigslist anywhere has posts for Campsters, Burros, etc? Thank you!!! Do you live on one of the islands off Seattle? I saw something about a ferry, so....
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:38 PM   #23
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You need to do your own homework. Don't just accept the posts that reinforce what you want to do.
Some would say you need a Ford F350 dually to tow a 13' Scamp and others would say you can tow it with a Honda Fit.
To start, talk with a Subaru dealer. Get them to run your VIN and they can tell you what your tow limit and tongue limit is for the exact vehicle you own. That VIN will tell you how your vehicle is equipped. It will tell you if you need to add a transmission fluid cooler or other equipment to achieve the tow rating you require.
This, and other forums are useful for learning what you might need, but it's still up to you to confirm the information you've received.
My 2008 RAV4 Sport V6 has heavy duty alternator, a larger radiator and transmission fluid cooler and is rated to tow 3,500 lbs / 350 lbs tongue weight. The same vehicle is now rated to tow 1,500 lbs and the V6 isn't available. The alternator, etc. was standard equipment in Canada and optional in the U.S.

Good luck.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:54 PM   #24
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Ohhhhh nooooo. Ugh. Common sense. Okay. You're right. I should use it. I'll do homework. I Just inherited money so all of a sudden I may actually be able to get whatever trailer I want - which is an easy dream to run with.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:58 PM   #25
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Do you know why the v6 was discontinued? And all the things that made it a vehicle that could tow a decent trailer?
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Old 12-22-2016, 12:09 AM   #26
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I think it was a market decision.
Toyota needs to achieve CAFE target ( Corporate Average Fuel Economy ). They can sell more Tundra pick ups with poorer fuel economy if they sell a bunch of RAVs with better fuel economy.
There are not a lot of buyers looking to tow a small trailer so no point building a vehicle for them.
And, as for the V6, a friend who managed Toyota, Honda and Ford dealerships told me that the acceleration of the RAV V6 on test drives scared a lot of customers, and they opted for the four cylinder.
It goes like stink.
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Old 12-22-2016, 12:16 AM   #27
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Hmmm. There are so many Tiny, tiny trailer options out in just the last few years though; there's a huge market. Oh well.... VW just came out with a new Westfalia, and it's called The California. And it would sell like mad - but they're Not releasing it in the US. So strange.
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Old 12-22-2016, 12:22 AM   #28
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VW is trying to rebuild trust after defrauding consumers about their diesel emissions. You can't buy a diesel VW either. Sales have plummeted and owners are waiting for VW to buy back vehicles and pay compensation as agreed in court settlements.
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