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Old 01-01-2017, 12:01 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denece View Post
We have a Forester
2011, 4 cylinder, automatic
We tow a Compact II, which we try to keep as lightly loaded as possible.
We made one trip from California to Denver.
We ended up going 15 mph on the long uphill grades.
It was terrifying being on the freeway and going so slow ( not to mention it is illegal in some states).
Doing secondary roads would have been much better had we known the situation we would put ourselves in.
Our solution?
We now tow with our 4 cylinder Tacoma.

Others may be happy towing with the Forester but we were not.


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When I tow on hills I've often downshifted to 3rd- not so much freeway hills as other roads, though. My feeling with Mom's automatic was that it didn't kick in at lower gears as quickly as you'd want it to for towing. But that may have varied some by model year- hers was 2002, first generation, I think yours as a 2011 was 3rd. Same as mine but mine is a manual so I choose when to go to a lower gear.
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Old 01-01-2017, 01:07 PM   #62
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Oh we downshifted!
The tiny engine is just no match for the Rocky Mountains!
BTW we drove the same route the year before without the trailer and had no issues.
I do not believe Subaru offers a manual transmission at this time.


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Old 01-01-2017, 01:15 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Denece View Post
Oh we downshifted!
The tiny engine is just no match for the Rocky Mountains!
BTW we drove the same route the year before without the trailer and had no issues.
I do not believe Subaru offers a manual transmission at this time.


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They also now limit towing to 1500 lbs. But your year was 2400.

The advantage of a stick is that you can shift down before you slow down- once you slow down on a hill you can't get speed up again very fast. My last trip I had to stop on an uphill due to construction and never did get up to speed again. I didn't have the hill holder problem someone else had with theirs, but I just couldn't get the trailer up to speed after a full uphill stop. Normally before I slow too much I'd downshift. At least in Mom's automatic, it won't shift until you are already slowed.
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Old 01-01-2017, 02:13 PM   #64
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All you have to do to downshift an automatic is stomp on the accelerator. If you do that before you've slowed, it will downshift and maintain speed.
My RAV4 manual says to tow in 4 ( not overdrive ) and not to hard tow in 3 or 2 for an extended period ( no definition ). I leave it in 4 and just stomp on the gas when needed.
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:43 PM   #65
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Re: Denece

Denece, that sounds terrifying! But my tow capacity is 1,000lbs more than yours is.







Quote:
Originally Posted by Denece View Post
We have a Forester
2011, 4 cylinder, automatic
We tow a Compact II, which we try to keep as lightly loaded as possible.
We made one trip from California to Denver.
We ended up going 15 mph on the long uphill grades.
It was terrifying being on the freeway and going so slow ( not to mention it is illegal in some states).
Doing secondary roads would have been much better had we known the situation we would put ourselves in.
Our solution?
We now tow with our 4 cylinder Tacoma.

Others may be happy towing with the Forester but we were not.


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Old 01-01-2017, 03:47 PM   #66
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To John

Thank you! Yes, mine is the 2.5 automatic. Don't know what that means - but am glad it's something positive.

Sorry for not responding to other comments. My spam folder stole your messages.



Quote:
Originally Posted by John A View Post
Seattle Subaru Repair has a good page on the years and symptoms for Subaru headgasket problems. I replaced the headgaskets in our first-gen 2.5 liter Forester at about 175k; that was almost 100k miles ago. We towed a basic Scamp 13 successfully over many years and I wouldn't tow any more than that with a Subaru. I did put in a big transmission cooler, first thing. I wish they still made a 2.5 liter with a traditional automatic/ not CVT.
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:55 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Veggiegirl View Post
Denece, that sounds terrifying! But my tow capacity is 1,000lbs more than yours is.
No, it isn't. Her 2011 has the same as your 2003- 2400 max, 1000 without brakes, 200 lb tongue weight.

However, I bet you can get a good idea what your car would do if you load it up with about half a ton of stuff and do some driving on some hills.
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:39 PM   #68
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So....there's really nothing

I can pull and go up hills? Coz.....15mph = terrifying!

I thought the older ones could pull more - but maybe 2011 is still 'old'. Hari







Quote:
Originally Posted by John A View Post
Seattle Subaru Repair has a good page on the years and symptoms for Subaru headgasket problems. I replaced the headgaskets in our first-gen 2.5 liter Forester at about 175k; that was almost 100k miles ago. We towed a basic Scamp 13 successfully over many years and I wouldn't tow any more than that with a Subaru. I did put in a big transmission cooler, first thing. I wish they still made a 2.5 liter with a traditional automatic/ not CVT.
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:51 PM   #69
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Models were 1998-2002 (2000 lb max) then 2003-2008? at 2400, then 2009-2013 (2400) and then 2014 on (1500).

But I still think Denece's experience probably isn't average for the car. Or the mountains are steeper in Colorado (likely, too). I think you can pull a lightweight trailer, somewhat heavier with brakes. I wouldn't go all the way to 2400 but if you get one with a dry weight around 1200-1400 (with brakes) you can be judicious about how much you carry.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:32 PM   #70
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And, if you're wrong, and get to the top, there are always those runaway lanes on the way down.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:56 AM   #71
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Glenn

Not our first rodeo. We downshifted early and often
And we ended up doing 15 Mph in second gear more than once.

In Our Humble Opinion the four cylinder Subi is a great car.
It is not a tow vehicle if you have long uphill grades in your travel plans

Again, if we had known how poorly it would perform, we would have taken alternate routes.

My point in commenting is to forewarn others that the small engine is not the best choice for a tow vehicle . Subaru offers a larger engine which i think would make the problem disappear. We chose fuel economy over performance. And that is exactly what we got.


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Old 01-02-2017, 01:14 AM   #72
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Not arguing. Just saying that you don't have to manually downshift. You can leave it in 4 and stomp on the gas, and it will downshift.
I wouldn't tow much more than a tent with a Subaru myself. Did tow a tent-trailer with a Subaru and it was costly in terms of brake jobs. But, that was a long time ago.

My concern is not climbing the hill at 15mph, it's coming down at 120mph.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:32 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veggiegirl View Post
I can pull and go up hills? Coz.....15mph = terrifying!

I thought the older ones could pull more - but maybe 2011 is still 'old'. Hari
A lot of going back and forth with "tow figures" and such here but the only way you're going to really know what your Suby is rated at is to have the dealer run your VIN # for the build stats. Then decide if you need to get a tug with a bit better tow ratings. I don't like hearing of the tail wagging the dog....
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:53 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
A lot of going back and forth with "tow figures" and such here but the only way you're going to really know what your Suby is rated at is to have the dealer run your VIN # for the build stats. Then decide if you need to get a tug with a bit better tow ratings. I don't like hearing of the tail wagging the dog....
Or just look at your owner's manual. Mine has a nice section on towing.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:04 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
Or just look at your owner's manual. Mine has a nice section on towing.
That's true but manuals tend to disappear from the car over time and give you all ratings available. Then it's up to you to figure out if it's really equipped like you think/want. The VIN or window sticker ends the guessing game. I do believe there have been a couple members that had their VINs run and found out their tug was less then what they thought.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:16 PM   #76
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Have to agree with Bobbie that the owner's manual is the place to start. Most are an easy look-up online, so you can read it even before you purchase a vehicle.

If the manual specifies different ratings based on specific options, a VIN look-up can verify whether the required options were installed by the factory on a particular vehicle you own or are considering.

One thing a VIN look-up won't do is spell out all the fine-print towing caveats: the 200 pound tongue weight limit, the brake requirement over 1000 pounds, and the reduced rating for long grades in high ambient temperatures, all of which apply to some Foresters. Or frontal area limits for some other vehicles.

For all those things you need to consult the owner's manual.
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