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Old 08-31-2014, 08:02 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Toots
Trailer: In the market ready to buy
North Carolina
Posts: 5
Hi everyone.

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be on here. My husband Shankha and I are campers from way back. We used to have a pop up when we lived in California, it helped with the cool nights. We live in NC now and we are looking for a scamp to deal with cool AND summer rain (not an issue in CA).

We pack extremely light, as we used to do quite a bit of backpacking so we dig that. Now that we are older, we want an interior bathroom. I think our Suby could handle a 16" scamp if no liquids were loaded and we didn't get the deluxe with the heavy wood doors.

Here are our stats:
Tow vehicle
Subaru Outback 2011 2.5i.
OEM trailer hitch (200 lb rated tongue weight)

Car load capacity of 900
GVWR 4585
Curb weight 3386
Tow rating of 2700.

What do you experts think?

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Old 08-31-2014, 09:01 AM   #2
Senior Member
Bob Miller's Avatar
Trailer: Class A Motorhome
Posts: 7,912
Ahhh the Subaru Towing Quandry. It has higher towing capacity than the hitch can carry.

The bottom line is that you need to have about 10% of your trailers weight on the hitch, limiting you to about a 2000 lb trailer. For the most part this means many, but not all, of the 13' can be towed with your TV. Take a look in the General Chat forum in the post on "Trailer Weights in the real world". Notice that many of the 13's get tongue heavy very quickly, especially if they have a front bathroom.

This is an oft asked question and there isn't really anything that will fix the problem. So, just pretend that you towing capacity is closer to 2000 lbs and you should do fine.

BTW: I think that rating is only valid with trailer brakes installed. Not al of the 13's will have brakes, but they can be installed on some, but again, not on all.

Sorry that you had to leave the Golden State, What's that condition they have out there? Humidity?

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Old 08-31-2014, 10:34 AM   #3
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 2010 Scamp 16
Posts: 3,744
Bob wisely left you to do a site search (use the Google option from the drop down) on Subaru towing a 16 ft. It is a somewhat contentious issue. Read that post on trailer weights in the real world to get an idea of what the trailers really weigh. Doors are a really small part of the weight. Larger fridge probably makes more difference.

The reason it is contentious is the tow capacity is out of proportion to the hitch weight capacity. This means one can not follow "best practice" of hitch weight to trailer weight. Hitch weight of 10% is a reflection of the trailer weight being properly balanced. Controversy comes in because people have successfully towed 16 ft. Scamps using a Subaru. Hard to say it won't work when people have done it for 10's of thousands of miles.

You need to be aware that the only way it can be done safely is with a thorough understanding of the mechanics of towing. You are pushing some limits, and shaving others below ideal. Puts it all on you to make it work, and places some restrictions on what you can do.

Briefly, too much weight behind the axle and trailer sways like a hula dancer at highway speeds 10% tongue weight indicates enough weight in front of the axle. But the tow vehicle has to be able to have the total weight on the frame of passengers, cargo, and hitch weight under a certain (GVWR) so right off the bat you have to give up cargo in the Subaru.

You will be speed limited, cargo limited (in trailer and car) and will be pushing the vehicle (expect additional repair costs if you tow often) and will have to be precise in loading, equipment selection, set up and maintenance will need to be exact.

Rather than have yet another roaring debate about the subject do that site search for towing with Subaru, read the pro and con arguments. Then read the information that supports the arguments. You might want to send a Private Message to Carol H who has a great deal of experience towing a Scamp 16 with a Subaru. She knows how, and what it takes and has since upgraded her tow vehicle. She is in a good position to give you the benefit of real world experience.
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:46 AM   #4
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 2010 Scamp 16
Posts: 3,744
Since you come from backpacking you might want to consider use of a porta pottie rather than a bathroom. Less weight, and less space given up than an actual bathroom.

People with front couch scamp 13's will store potti in the cupboard under the couch. Slide it out for use or put in one of those phone booth sized outside tents. There are a number of options for washing up that don't involve the space and weight of a water heater in the camper. I would say porta potti beats squatting with ones back against a tree any day.

It should be said that having a complete bathroom is nice and for some people really enhances their camping experience. But then they might have a bigger tow vehicle too.
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