Wanna tow Scamp 16' with Subaru Forester - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-21-2012, 02:58 PM   #1
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Wanna tow Scamp 16' with Subaru Forester

Hello. I'm new to RVing. Haven't done it yet. My wife and I hope to travel a fair amount in retirement and are looking at the Scamp 13' and 16'. We like the idea of the 16' deluxe because it has a 54" bed versus the 44" bed on the standard 13' and 16' models. However, our 2010 Forester is rated to tow 2400lbs. I understand the deluxe 16' dry GVW is about 2,300lbs. Would I be pushing the Forester too much particularily on upgrades? Would like to hear from those towing RVs with a Subaru Forester.

Looking forward to seeing you all on the trail!!

Thanks.

Dave
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:25 PM   #2
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Hi,
I tow a 13' Scamp with an '09 Forester X2.5. Scamp has brakes and a bathroom/shower. Fully loaded weighs 1840#. Tows like a dream. I think a 16' may be a bit more than a Forester could handle. Especially in mountains or high temps. You could do it, but I feel it would lessen the life span of the Forrester. Just my opinion.
If I were to step up to a 16' camper, I'd buy a Toyota Rav4 with a V6 engine. They are rated to tow 3500#, whereas the Forester is only rated to tow 2400#. When I bought the Forester, I was looking for a vehicle that could tow a 13' Scamp, good gas mileage, and price. The Forester came in 1st, Rav4 2nd. The only thing about the Rav4 that I don't like, but could live with is the rear door opening from the side, rather than a lift up. I would be super if Honda would beef up the CR-V to tow at least 2400# rather than the paultry 1500 it is rated at now.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:27 PM   #3
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If you are careful about your tongue weight and load very lightly, it can be done.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:30 PM   #4
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I looked at the tow rating in an older Rav 4 and it said anything over 600 pounds needed trailer brakes. Just saying.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:36 PM   #5
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Thanks Alice and Mike.

Scamp says the standard 16' Scamp with the options I want would weigh in at 1950lbs. If I were careful in how much I loaded it down it sounds like this would be reasonable. I really would like to get the space the 16' with layout 6 offers.

Alice - However I'd then have a 44" bed with a small side bed. Do you sleep two folks in the 44" bed in your 13' and if so how comfortable size wise is it?

Thanks.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg H View Post
I looked at the tow rating in an older Rav 4 and it said anything over 600 pounds needed trailer brakes. Just saying.
I'm shopping TV's as well and the RAV4 is on the list. That sounds like some important information that I haven't come across before. Can you reference it?

Cheers,
Mark
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by WildBirder View Post
I'm shopping TV's as well and the RAV4 is on the list. That sounds like some important information that I haven't come across before. Can you reference it?

Cheers,
Mark
Sorry Mark, It was a Rav 4 that I was driving for the auto auction and I was just looking through the owners manual and there it was under towing. I too am sorta looking around for a good small suv to tow my egg and I have just randomly been looking through the owners manuals. The newer Rav 4's are bigger and I would think that they would have a higher tow rating.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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The Subie's tongue weight limit is 200 lbs and that will be the determining factor. Get yourself a Sherline scale Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale - 2,000-lb Capacity Sherline Tools 5780
and load it carefully.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:31 PM   #9
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Another view, Honda CRV

We tow our Scamp 16 with a 2004 Honda CRV and have towed it or similar trailers for 4 years with our Honda, We averaged between 20 and 23 mpg depending on what trailer and what route.

The Honda has never had a drive train repair in over 150,000 miles. It has a 4 cylinder gas engine. Our heavily modified 1991 Scamp 16 weighs 2400 pounds; 200 of the 2400 lbs are on the ball of the Honda. We only use a anti-sway bar because we own one. We do not use a weight distribution hitch. There has never been a tendency for the trailer to sway. We have made one loop of the USA, crossing the Rockies twice and one cross Newfoundland, Labrador, Quebec trip. This year we are making an 11,000 mile loop of the USA.

The manual for our Honda says we can tow 1500 lbs. The European version of the Honda CRV allows 1500 pounds if you have no trailer brakes. With trailer brakes they allow the Honda CRV to tow 3300 lbs. Our Scamp of course has trailer brakes.tow

We based the Honda's ability to tow on the European ratings.

The Forester in Europe is rated much higher than it is in the USA. Why is beyond me. The following link shows European ratings.

Towing Capacity Subaru,

I know many on the site are opposed to the use of European ratings, primarily fearing legal action, while others are looking for more pulling power (generally speed). I look for economy and reliability. The Honda has been both. As well when we travel for every towing mile we have one exploring mile and we want those exploring miles to be comfortable and even more economical.

Outside of the fact that we have had outstanding reliability with the Honda CRV, I also like the Suburau Outback, used by many and the Rav4.

Slowly drifting west on our loop.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:21 PM   #10
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Jim - Thanks for your advice. The 2010 Forester manual claims a maximum tongue weight of 250lbs. So if the tongue weight is critical in your mind, it sounds like I can go forward with the deluxe Scamp 16' so long as tongue weight is below 250lbs.

Ginny & Norm - Sounds like your Honda is a marvelous auto. I'm surprised that it's rated for only 1500lbs yet you have been towing 2400lbs all over and across the Rockies without trouble!!

Based on your inputs I think I'm becoming a little bit more comfortable towing 2300+lbs with my Forester.

Thanks for your input!!!!

I will have electric brakes and a sway bar installed. Do you think a transmission cooler in this case is over kill???
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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Transmission cooler

Our Honda CRV has a manual transmission. Unfortunately it is no longer available on the CRV. I imagine if I had an automatic I would get a transmission cooler.

On our CRV we have a mark on the temperature dial and it always stays on the spot once its warmed up.

There are a number of Suburau owners on the site, Possibly they'll chime in about the need for a transmission cooler.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:35 PM   #12
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I personally think even without towing a auxiliary transmission cooler for a automatic transmission isnt overkill, heat is the #1 killer of transmissions
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:56 PM   #13
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We tow a 13' Scamp Deluxe (which also has a 54" bed) behind our 2007 Forester XT, tows like a dream. We decided to go with the 13' over the 16' mainly so that we didn't ever have to worry about overloading it. I'm sure that a 16' would be doable in a 2010, but I think you'll definitely have to be cautious about weight distribution and overloading.
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Alice - However I'd then have a 44" bed with a small side bed. Do you sleep two folks in the 44" bed in your 13' and if so how comfortable size wise is it?
No, it is just myself in the 44" bed. I think it would be very snug with two. But, that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm glad someone also brought up the tongue weight, that is important also.
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:18 AM   #15
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The Forester in Europe is rated much higher than it is in the USA. Why is beyond me. The following link shows European ratings.
What those ratings don't show is the European hitch weight limits which are either 75kg/165lb or 80kg/176lb for Foresters, shown here.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:29 AM   #16
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Tongue Weight

I'm one who minimizes tongue weight. I recently weighed mine and it was under 200 pounds, I believe 192. The Honda drops about a 1/2" at the center of the rear wheel well when connected.

We have a single Propane tank and one battery at this time. I have considered reducing this further by going to a fiberglass propane tank because I like the ability to see the propane level. We are entering our 3rd month without filling the propane tank and typically cook twice a day. Of course we are in the south and have not used the propane furnace.

We do have a little rearward weight. I do carry a half tank of water at all times and I generally drive with empty black and gray tanks. We do have a rear bumper box that probably has 20-30 pounds in it.

For perspective, we are traveling 11 months this year and have a full trailer though we do not carry anything loose in the trailer like coolers, plastic bins, chairs or grills..

If you look under modifications/preparing a Scamp 16 you'll see the mods we've made.

Last year we towed a Casita 16. It's tongue weigth was about 20% more at 240 pounds as well the trailer was about 400 pounds heavier at 2800 lbs versus the Scamps 2400 pounds. We towed the Casita about 3-4000 miles last year and it towed about the same as the Scamp. Never any sway with either the Scamp or Casita.

My son presently tows the Casita 16 with a Suburau Outback.

I do raise the tire pressure in the Honda CRv. I believe they suggest 26 pouns all around. I raise the rear cold pressure to 39 pounds and the fronts to 32 pounds.

I should also say that we never tow over 60 mph.

Hope this provides some information.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:53 AM   #17
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More European Forester examples

TowCar.info - Subaru Forester as Towcar

This will provide more information on the Forester. It uses a little different aapproach to evaluation and has a number of user reviews.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:54 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ajn81 View Post
We tow a 13' Scamp Deluxe (which also has a 54" bed) behind our 2007 Forester XT, tows like a dream. We decided to go with the 13' over the 16' mainly so that we didn't ever have to worry about overloading it. I'm sure that a 16' would be doable in a 2010, but I think you'll definitely have to be cautious about weight distribution and overloading.
Austin & Alice - I like the 13' deluxe for the 54" bed also but like the larger refrigerator and space in the 16'. The deluxe 16' also has a 54" bed but weighs in at 2,300lbs and I'm a bit nervous about that with my Forester. So i'm leaning towards the 16' with layout 6 at 1,950lbs which has the 44" bed and a side bed. Now my wife and I can fight over the beds!! Guess who'll win that discussion. What are the upsides and the downsides to your 13's? Thanks.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:33 AM   #19
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I have factory trailer weigh scale tickets from Scamp for a (2009) 16 ft, standard and a 16 ft deluxe both were equipped with side dinette, 4.6 cu ft refrigerator , awning ,AC , furnace ,bath , roof fan, battery and one propane tank (empty) The 16 ft Standard =1960 lbs. Deluxe =2240 lbs . My 16 ft Standard weighs a little over 2400 lbs when loaded. I agree with Norm about the tongue weight ,I have lifted my trailer tongue and moved it over when my tow vehicle wasn't aligned quite right
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:28 AM   #20
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When I was shopping for a new tug and test drove an Outback, I found out that Subaru only had a 4 contact point electrical towing outlet and a small hitch and did not offer transmission coolers. Their specs also said 200 lbs tongue weight, whether it was 2400 for the Forrester or 3000 for the Outback. I really liked the CVT Transmission but for some reason I left the dealership with the feeling that they really did not want you to tow with it. I found my Jeep Liberty with a lot greater towing capacity for the same price.
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