Towing a scamp 13 w/Subaru Outback - Fiberglass RV
Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-25-2018, 06:52 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Name: Alan
Trailer: 2010 Little Joe / 2010 2 Dr Jeep Wrangler
Colorado
Posts: 1,583
Towing a scamp 13 w/Subaru Outback

I recently purchased a 2018 3.5L Outback.... it doesnt have the factory tow hitch... transmission cooler... or heavy duty alternator
Im thinking of purchasing a standard 13 scamp w/ bunk beds
I m curious if others with a similar setup feel it is a good setup etc
Im still researching both the scamp as well as towing limits on the Outback
Thanks
alan H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 06:17 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 10,114
Registry
Subaru offers a 2.5L H4 and a 3.6L H6 in the Outback. Which do you have?

Both are rated for 2700# trailer weight and 200# tongue weight. The tongue weight is the limiting factor, since a basic Scamp 13 with single LP tank, battery, and loaded for camping will typically be close to 200#. That means you can't carry a lot of cargo in the vehicle while towing a Scamp.

Beyond the rather low tongue weight limit, there is also a caveat about pulling long grades in hot weather- no more than 5 miles, or your trailer weight rating is cut in half. It's probably related to the CVT transmission, though they don't give a reason. I guess if you don't want to chop off half your trailer and leave it on the shoulder, you might need to pull over and let the transmission cool on a long grade.

As far as a towing package, they only offer a 1-1/4" hitch and 4-pin wiring, no cooling upgrades. They warn against aftermarket hitches, but I have seen quite a few in use. There have also been recent reports that a traditional brake controller is incompatible with the vehicle's wiring system. Scamp installs a trailer-mounted Autowbrake controller for Outback owners. It is operated using a remote control in the vehicle.

Despite the caveats and set-up issues, quite a few people tow 13'ers with Outbacks. The 3.6L gives better performance, with the CVT being the weak link IMO, but most folks have the 2.5L and seem satisfied, even pleased with their towing experience

I know you wanted first-hand experience, which I do not have. My last Subie was a '93 Legacy wagon, and I only towed a small utility trailer. There seem to be more active Outback owners in the Scamp Travel Trailers Facebook group. You might also pose your question there.
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 06:36 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 4,675
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
...

Both are rated for 2700# trailer weight and 200# tongue weight. The tongue weight is the limiting factor, ...
For conventional ball hitch (no WDH), the commonly stated minimum for tongue weight is 10% of trailer weight, so I fail to see how they can in good conscience publish a tongue weight rating that is 7.4 %. IMHO if tongue weight limit is 200, they should publish a trailer weight limit of 2,000. Also IMHO, you should not exceed 80% of that (2,000 / 200).
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 06:39 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Alan
Trailer: 2010 Little Joe / 2010 2 Dr Jeep Wrangler
Colorado
Posts: 1,583
Thanks Jon
I fat fingered my engine it is the 3.6L
alan H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 06:43 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 10,114
Registry
Boat trailers commonly carry less than 10% tongue weight.

It's no less problematic than manufacturers that build a 5000# tow-rated crossover and make no provision for electric trailer brake wiring.

Boats usually have surge brakes. Maybe that's it...
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 06:59 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 4,675
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
..
It's no less problematic than manufacturers that build a 5000#-rated crossover and make no provision for electric trailer brake wiring.

Boats usually have surge brakes. Maybe that's it...
I would say it is much more problematic. Its relatively easy to add a electric brake controller even with no OEM provisions for one at all. In fact it can be done with only one added wire from the tug battery to the trailer. It is much more difficult, and usually very impractical, to increase rear end strength and tongue weight rating.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 07:55 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 10,114
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by alan H View Post
Thanks Jon
I fat fingered my engine it is the 3.6L
I figured it was something like that. I just couldn't be sure if you had "fat-fingered" the 3 or the 5 as both might be a digit off (pun intended)…
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 08:17 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 10,114
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
...It is much more difficult, and usually very impractical, to increase rear end strength and tongue weight rating.
Seems to me that misses the point. It's not about increasing the rating but about understanding what the rating means. The tongue weight rating limits you to a 2000# travel or cargo trailer, but the trailer weight rating allows for a larger boat trailer.

Imagine the conversations on a boat forum if Subaru slapped an arbitrary 2000# trailer weight rating on next year's models with no mechanical changes.

While the numbers appear "mismatched" on a travel trailer forum, if they represent the real capabilities of the vehicle, there is nothing dishonest about publishing them.
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 08:40 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,679
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
For conventional ball hitch (no WDH), the commonly stated minimum for tongue weight is 10% of trailer weight, so I fail to see how they can in good conscience publish a tongue weight rating that is 7.4 %. IMHO if tongue weight limit is 200, they should publish a trailer weight limit of 2,000. Also IMHO, you should not exceed 80% of that (2,000 / 200).
Lots of fun and games on towing capacity. My truck for example has a towing weight limit of 9,800 pounds, but I exceed the payload limit at 5,000 pound trailer.

Most buyers just focus on tow rating to their detriment.

As for tongue weight, I use 13% as a target.
thrifty bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 09:38 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Name: Jane
Trailer: 1975 Trillium 1300
Ontario
Posts: 4
I have a 2018 Subaru Outback 3.6 which is rated to 3,500 lbs. I tow a 1975 Trillium (with trailer brakes). It pulls very well on the flat but I noticed the engine working harder with a resulting drop in speed on the large hills driving from eastern Quebec down through New Brunswick this summer.

I bought a hitch and 7 pin electrical harness from Hitch City in Toronto with a brake controller hard wired into the car because the Subaru hitch and flat 4 harness did not accommodate the trailer brakes.
Jane Greaves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 10:42 AM   #11
Member
 
Name: Scott
Trailer: Scamp
Ohio
Posts: 45
Towing with a Outback

We purchased a 2016 Outback 2.5 and towed a 13 foot deluxe front bathroom Scamp for 2 years. I added a aftermarket hitch 7 pin controller and breaking unit under dash. It worked fine but I wished I had the 6 cylinder you purchased. Really could have used more power especially in the hillls of Sothern Ohio. Since upgraded this year to more powerful TV and I do not even feel the Scamp at all behind my SUV.


Scott
sal6342 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 11:06 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Name: Gib
Trailer: Scamp Shopper
Minnesota
Posts: 11
Towing with a Subaru Outback

Hello - we now have a T@B 320S which is just a bit heavier than a Scamp 13. We towed for a year using a 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i 4 cylinder. Overall it did fine although mountains and long highway hauls were a challenge. I think that the 3.6 6-cylinder should do better. We had no troubles with the CVT transmission - Subaru has done an excellent job pre-programming "gears" and the transmission always shifted appropriately and you can use the paddles to downshift on long hills if needed. The 200 lb tongue weight restriction was a slight drawback. While we kept our tongue at about 200 lbs, at times it felt like the tail was wagging the dog. You will need to subtract your tongue weight from the overall GVWR. We were still able to carry ample gear in the back but we tried not to overpack. We have now upgraded our TV to a Kia Sorento with a 5,000 lb tow rating and are very happy. Nonetheless, I think if you pack judiciously, drive conservatively, and keep your tongue weight down you should do just fine with the Subaru Outback 3.6.
agibsonw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 11:22 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
M Scott's Avatar
 
Name: Marilyn
Trailer: 13 ft 2005 Scamp Deluxe; 2002 Subaru V6 Outback
Oregon
Posts: 274
Alan, I have been towing a 13 Scamp deluxe w. bathroom with a 2002 Subaru Outback 3.6 for several years, plus kayaks on top. U-Haul installed a 7-pin, electric brake system. tows beautifully. Only experienced rising temp in car once on steep washboard/pothole gravel mtn climb in low gear...but turned off air conditioning, no problem.
Generally, I add water to trailer tank after I'm at destination if traveling in mountains, and keep heavy gear/canned goods/extra gallons H2O in vehicle, not trailer.

If you like mountain travel, unpaved roads, suggest you get a trailer that has a high lift axle. My 2005 Scamp is not a high lift so I have to go over speed bumps, road dips, potholes very carefully/slowly or I'll knock off my mixing valve under the trailer or lose a drain cap.
M Scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2018, 02:39 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: Tony
Trailer: Scamp
Ohio
Posts: 156
New guy here. Waiting on my scamp 13. My wife’s 2014 outback 3.6 is itching to pull something. I reread the manual after scanning this thread. It has an interesting note: “For vehicles with trailer brakes, the trailer tongue load exceeds 200 lbs (90 kg) when calculated at 8% of the maximum total trailer weight. Even in this case, the maximum value is 200 lbs (90 kg).” I guess I only get to tow the 3000 lbs max trailer weight if my trailer has 2 axels. Another interesting observation is the GVW. I can’t find it. The manual refers me to the certification label at the drivers door. It doesn’t have a GVW but it does say the weight of occupants and cargo must not exceed 900 lbs. All this info tells me that My wife and I can pull a 2000 lb trailer with 200 lbs on the hitch and carry 300 lbs of stuff in the car. (I’m alloting 400 lbs spread across the 2 front seats.) The Small Scamp hits the sweet spot for the Outback. The medium Scamp seems too big.
Tony D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2018, 06:03 PM   #15
Member
 
Name: Jenny
Trailer: 2010 Scamp 16 with front bath
Tennessee
Posts: 46
I traded in a 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid for a used 2012 Outback specifically to tow my new-to-me Scamp 13. I had UHaul install a 2" hitch receiver and a 7-pin connector with brake controller. I had absolutely no problems towing at all, but HATED the 2012 Outback. I am a tech person so going from the Ford, with all of the For Sync technology, to the "luddite" Outback 2012 was hard for me. When the Outback added all of the new tech in 2015, including Eyesight, I traded in my 2012 for the 2015. I went back to UHaul and had another hitch receiver and 7-pin connector with brake controller installed.

I towed with the Outback for three years without any problem whatsoever. I just made sure to pack the Scamp in such a way as to keep the tongue weight down. On the few times towing felt difficult, usually within the first 10 minutes of a trip, I'd pull over and reshuffle the contents to make the weight/load correct for towing. No problem.

I sold my Scamp 13 earlier this year and bought a Scamp 16 with front bath. I entertained the idea of towing with my Outback but decided against it. I almost purchased a Subaru Ascent but went with a used 2008 Tundra instead, only because I live on 8 acres of land and the truck will be used for other things besides towing.

I will caution that if your Scamp 13 doesn't have trailer brakes, then you CANNOT tow with an Outback. It's only rated for 1,000 lbs if whatever you are towing doesn't have brakes.

Good luck to you!
Jenny
ScamperGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2018, 06:17 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 4,675
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony D View Post
.... All this info tells me that My wife and I can pull a 2000 lb trailer with 200 lbs on the hitch and carry 300 lbs of stuff in the car. (I’m alloting 400 lbs spread across the 2 front seats.) The Small Scamp hits the sweet spot for the Outback. ...
Sounds more like the small Scamp hits the upper limit spot for the Outback. Sooner or later, towing at the rated limits is not fun. The sweet spot would be closer to 1,500 lbs for the trailer IMHO.. the average in the database (excluding one low outlier) is 1,772 and two of them are knocking on the door of 2,000 lbs.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 02:24 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Name: Tony
Trailer: Scamp
Ohio
Posts: 156
Getting more than is needed?

I respectfully defer to those with more experience to give advice.

With that said, the Owners Manual for the Subaru Outback with the 6 cylinder says that it can tow a Scamp 13 and carry a respectable amount of cargo while doing so. Im planning to use the Subaru to do this task and I believe that Id be acting responsibly if I chose to do so. I guess buying a rig with excess towing capacity should be considered.
Tony D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 03:49 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,632
I think the issue with Subaru is the low maximum tongue weight. Outback may be rated to tow 2,700 lbs, but the tongue max is 200 lbs ( last I read ). It should be 10-15 per cent of tow rating, which would be about 300 llbs.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 03:54 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
ShelbyM's Avatar
 
Name: Shelby
Trailer: Casita SD
Tennessee
Posts: 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony D View Post
I respectfully defer to those with more experience to give advice.

With that said, the Owners Manual for the Subaru Outback with the 6 cylinder says that it can tow a Scamp 13 and carry a respectable amount of cargo while doing so. Im planning to use the Subaru to do this task and I believe that Id be acting responsibly if I chose to do so. I guess buying a rig with excess towing capacity should be considered.
If it's within spec and you like the vehicle, may as well try it. You should be able to pretty quickly judge if you have a comfortable combo.
ShelbyM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 06:13 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Name: Tony
Trailer: Scamp
Ohio
Posts: 156
Thanks Shelby and good advice. Know the specs but learn from your actions. Ill keep an open mind. I have 9 months to wring my hands over it. Our Scamp should be ready in Aug.
Tony D is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
scamp


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
towing with Subaru Outback Peter B Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 45 09-30-2015 07:44 PM
Towing with a 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback Sedan? JackieGS Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 7 09-10-2013 04:37 PM
Subaru Outback Towing a 16' Scamp? Parker Buckley Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 51 11-04-2011 10:04 AM
Towing with a Subaru Outback james cronn Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 0 04-16-2009 03:13 PM
Towing Casita Freedom Deluxe With Subaru Outback james cronn Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 18 04-13-2009 08:24 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.