Need TV advice for í76 Trillium 1300 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-12-2020, 10:27 AM   #1
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Name: Maia
Trailer: Trillium
Washington
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Need TV advice for í76 Trillium 1300

Hi all,
Iíve read tons of articles and threads about tow vehicles and tow capacities, have spoken to Subaru dealership, used car guy, and a mechanic and Iím just getting more confused. Most Iíve talked to arenít familiar with requirements for towing a small trailer and also may have biases due the business they are in. So Iíve been wading through this sites forum, spreadsheets and doing online searches for info.

Itís recently come to my attention that my Subaru Legacy í12 is not rated to tow anything and that I need to have the electric brakes hooked up on my trailer and car. SoÖ Iím now in the market for a vehicle that can safely tow my trailer (bare bones, doesnít have a fridge) and also serve as a daily vehicle for my daughter and I.

Iíve been looking at used Subaru Outbacks because I like Subaru but am getting confused as to whether they are good tow vehicles or not.

Can anyone, who is knowledgable about these things, recommend a vehicle for me that meets these criteria?
used- not looking to buy new
safely pull the trailer without a lot of concern for keeping it empty/lightweight
not uncomfortable or overly load on highway
decent gas mileage
decent prices

I appreciate any help with navigating this maze!
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Old 07-13-2020, 12:31 PM   #2
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Scamp
Florida
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Google the year, make, and model 'towing capaticy. of the vehicle under consideration.

If you are not mechanically and elictrically capable, have a proper hitch and wiriing installed. MUST have electonic trailer brakes installed on anything smaller than a full sized pickup. The weigh of even a small trailer will greatly extend stopping distnces. Have the trailer brakes properly set up. Etrailer.com has great advice and good prices. Trailer brakes will also give you better avoidance capability in an emergency.
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Old 07-13-2020, 01:19 PM   #3
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Name: Becky
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The Subaru tow capacity changes with the year of the vehicle. I was towing my 4500 with a 2007 Forester which had a tow capacity of 2000lbs. Easy pulling. This last October when I wanted to get a new Subaru, I was saddened to find that the more recent ones could only pull 1500. Crazy. Then the new cars came out and I could get a Subaru to pull 2400 lbs... but I didn't feel it was worth upgrading to a new vehicle for only 400 lbs. So I looked at the new 2020 Outback...TURBO which can pull 3500 lbs. Easy peasy pull! That is what I bought. You don't want a new vehicle, so just look at the year of the Subaru to see what the tow capacity is. They changed the forester probably around 2009 to the lesser lbs. You could always go for the 7 passenger 3 seat which can pull 5500, but for me, that was too much car.
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Old 07-13-2020, 01:22 PM   #4
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You need to consider the maximum tongue weight as well as the max tow capacity.

Subaru is notorious for having low max tongue weight.
Tongue weight should be 10-15% of the trailer weight.
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:26 PM   #5
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Name: Maia
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Thank you for all the replies. Itís helpful to have knowledgable people here!
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Old 07-15-2020, 11:48 PM   #6
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Need TV advice for í76 Trillium 1300

Expect a loaded-for-camping Trillium 1300 to weigh 1500-1800# with a tongue weight of 160-200#. A tow rating of 2000/200# (trailer/tongue) is the minimum required.

Most recent (pre-2020) Outbacks are rated 2700/200#, which will work well.as long as you donít carry too much in the way of extra people or gear in the vehicle. Outbacks with the CVT transmission come with a caveat about towing long grades in high temperatures.

If you plan frequent towing in the mountains or extra passengers and/or gear, you may find one of many 3500/350# rated mid-sized crossovers to be a better choice (including the new 2020 Outback turbo).
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:53 AM   #7
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Expect a loaded-for-camping Trillium 1300 to weigh 1500-1800# with a tongue weight of 160-200#. A tow rating of 2000/200# (trailer/tongue) is the minimum required.

Most recent (pre-2020) Outbacks are rated 2700/200#, which will work nicely as long as you don’t carry too much in the way of extra people or gear in the vehicle.

If you plan frequent towing in the mountains or extra passengers and/or gear, you may find one of many 3500/350# rated mid-sized crossovers to be a better choice.
Jon nailed it. And if your location "Washington" = Washington State, then I would look for the latter: 3,500 pound rating. Having lived, camped, and towed for 13 years in WA State, my favorite camping was in the Cascade Mtns, near Chinook Pass. My second favorite was a variety of central to eastern WA locations, to escape the wet weather in western WA. Places like Lincoln Rock State Park for example.

You will be pulling multiple mountain grades, and one of the toughest in WA State in my experience was the Vantage Grade on I-90, west bound, coming out of the Columbia River gorge, in desert heat, up a long grade. My first "properly sized" TV crested that grade at 29MPH, with smoke rolling out under the hood...... Its about 11 miles as I recall. Not super steep, but LONG and HOT (in the summer).

People in flatter areas can assert they have no problems with almost anything. But the mountains and the heat are great equalizers. And going up a freeway grade at 29MPH is not safe, and a hinderance for other vehicles!


Important: many car tow ratings vary by year and how it is equipped for the same model. For example, some RAV 4s have a 1500 pound rating, others have a 3500 pound rating. Sellers will rarely to never know the tow rating of their vehicle, and if they give you a number, it could be wrong. So it is up to you to do the research of the rating.
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