Too low Outback rear suspension? (pic)

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by John Rock, Jun 11, 2018 at 8:43 AM.

  1. John Rock

    John Rock Member

    64
    2
    Apr 16, 2018
    Quebec
    Hi,

    I finally took a first camping trip with my camper. It went very well, in large part thanks to this forum!

    Since I'm limited by my 200# rated tongue weight with my Outback, I added a rear bumper support system to better distribute weight. Before departing, I adjusted my tongue weight to 200# and I estimate the trailer weight to 1950#. The car was probably at 800#.

    Towing went fine, no sway. I took a picture of the setup at our fist stop, and noticed that the rear suspension was *maybe* too compressed. Also, when backing up in my driveway, there's a little depression then little incline, and the foot of my tongue scraped my pavers. Not fun.

    So, I was wondering :

    - Is the suspension too compressed?
    - My car tires are at 30/32 lbs. Should I increase this?
    - To try to prevent the tongue foot from scraping the ground, should I use a hitch curving upwards? I currently have the factory straight style.
    - As a last resort, should I cut down the foot, so it extends less close to the ground?

    Thanks!

    20180609_115831.jpg 20180609_115758.jpg
     
  2. J Starsky

    J Starsky Active Member

    270
    126
    Aug 3, 2017
    Could you fit an air bag inside the rear coils or is it a strut in back? I've had custom coils built by a spring company for a side by side to increase load for equipment - perhaps you might need to have new rear coils put on your struts, say 750lbs+ on those rears? I wouldn't mine a taller hitch if you can keep it as level as possible, but don't try to shift weight to the rear of popup. Perhaps the bikes on the rear of trailer, move the equip box to car? My lame ideas...
     
  3. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

    6,207
    110
    Mar 3, 2006
    TX
    looks fine to me, trip to the scales may be in order.
    You can use some 2x6 pieces on the driveway strategically placed to raise the vehicle rear.
    Dips/changes in slope are always a issue.
     
    Orchid likes this.
  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    8,961
    426
    Jul 19, 2007
    Ontario
    You added a rear bumper support . doesnt mean a thing.. What is the vehicles tow rating and what does the trailer weigh? I'm betting your over weight..


    - YES rear suspension is too compressed, front has raised too much.. you might be lucky and get away using a WDH, depending on trailer tongue design and vehicle..
    - Read tire sidewall should have a psi for max. load, air up closer to this psi.. oh and if your tires are no longer the stock oem ties when new, that door sticker is useless unless you replaced with same make/model of tire.
     
  5. John Rock

    John Rock Member

    64
    2
    Apr 16, 2018
    Quebec
    @J Starsky: these are possibly the original struts (2006) as I've had the car for about 5 years and never changed them. Maybe not as strong as they used to be. I wouldn't change the current back/front load of the PUP, which is currently around 10% hitch weight and "respects" the cars limit tongue weight.

    @rabird: Definitely aim to go to a weighting station soon. My tongue weight measurement was done with my home scale. Car cargo weight was estimated by adding up all things inside and on car. Trailer weight was estimated by adding up dry weight, battery, propane, awning and everything else that goes in it. Can you explain how you would use the 2x6s for the dips? Like a little bridge? Since I need to turn while backing up, my skills barely allow my to park it where I want at the moment, never mind following a precise trajectory! [::)]

    @Snow: sorry this statement wasn't clear. I added a rear support on the pup to be able to better manage the tongue weight of the trailer, like moving the battery at the back. Otherwise, the tongue weight was too heavy for my car. 2006 Outback is 3000# towing limit and 200# hitch weight. My estimated camper weight of 1950# may be off a little, but under 100# margin error I think. Need to take it to the scales to know for sure. Tires: good to know! I have new tires and the Max PSI is around 50... so I guess I need to learn more about what level of pressure I should be putting in those tires!
     
  6. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

    6,207
    110
    Mar 3, 2006
    TX
    You could change to swing up jack. What pressure does Subaru suggest on the door pillar? I'd have no problem using 35 psi even if 32 is recommended.

    Putting something under the vehicle rear wheels raises the ball et al. If it only drags a short distance then some short pieces of wood under the rear tires just before it drags could solve that but it requires stopping and putting them there as you back into the driveway.

    Next trip out fully loaded stop by a cat scale, talk to them first, ("after I get on scale and push the button, wait a minute till I get back in my vehicle"), drive on scales trying to get each axle on a scale. If not you may need to make 2 weighs with and without the trailer to get all 3 separate axle weights. Ya want each loaded axle to be within axle rating etc. Your home scale + trailer axle = total trailer weight.

    The time I weighed my truck the button was so high i stood on some concrete support to reach the intercom button and my weight was not included!

    https://catscale.com/how-to-weigh/
     
    J Starsky likes this.
  7. J Starsky

    J Starsky Active Member

    270
    126
    Aug 3, 2017
    Since you're stock, probably time for struts none the less. If you do them yourself, you can get HD struts from Rockauto.com as complete assemblies and stick them in? Best $120 I spent on my ol' 2001 Buick. Or, new struts and a heavier coil spring would be acceptable driving with or without a trailer. Good luck!
     
  8. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    2,523
    128
    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    Struts with air bags are available for the Subi.... but come with a price tag.
    I also are betting you are over weight
     
  9. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    12,404
    290
    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    Sagging butt is a common problem. I would replace the rear struts, use KYBs and add spacers to upper strut mounts. There is a company, King I think that does make a stronger spring. I have not found a strut with air bags for Subarus.
     
  10. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    2,523
    128
    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    Couple of companies do have struts with air bags...but be prepared to pay up to 3 grand for the complete kits.
     
  11. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

    297
    105
    Sep 5, 2015
    Syracuse, NY
    What is the payload rating on the Subie? From what I can google, it looks like the payload capacity is about 900 lbs. Add the weight of all the people, all the things in the car (including the bikes on top) and the weight of the trailer tongue and you will likely be over. It shows in the amount of wheel sag. A wdh may shift some of the weight to the front wheels, but it may still be overloaded. If it’s a little over, I wouldn’t worry as long as you feel you have control when towing. New rear struts/springs may help. How does it stop? Does it feel like you have control?
     
  12. John Rock

    John Rock Member

    64
    2
    Apr 16, 2018
    Quebec
    Tire pressure: the forums I've read seem to indicated that the recommended PSI of the car should be kept, so 32 front and 30 back. I can't find any info suggesting anything else. Even on the Continental website. I have TrueContact tires.

    Suspension: no way I'm spending thousands of dollars on a 2006 car just to raise it. For me, that would be crossing the line of putting too much money on an old car. A few hundred dollars, sure!

    Weight: what would be the "over" weight? My trailer tongue was 200#. Then I had the car cargo: family with 2 kids, bikes on the roof and mostly clothes and a cooler mostly empty in the back. A full load for sure, but is that "over" weight?
     
  13. John Rock

    John Rock Member

    64
    2
    Apr 16, 2018
    Quebec
    By my calculations, I had 800# excluding my own weight, but including the 200# tongue weight, as I think the driver is excluded from these calculations.

    The car handled good to me, but you could feel a vibration when the foot was on the gas. It's also doing this without any cargo/trailer. Might be the plugs since I already replaced the driveshaft.
     
  14. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

    297
    105
    Sep 5, 2015
    Syracuse, NY
    I usually air up my tires 3-4 psi when towing.

    Yeah not worth putting a lot of money into an old car. Airbags are probably the cheapest route.

    If payload capacity is 900 lbs, then you are “overweight” if the combined weight of people, things and tongue weight exceeds 900 lbs. Again, if a little over, I wouldn’t worry. However, if you’re 2-300 lbs over, then it could be an issue.

    The biggest factor is if you have control when towing and stopping.
     
  15. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

    297
    105
    Sep 5, 2015
    Syracuse, NY
    Just to give you some perspective, I tow a 4500 lbs HTT with my Toyota Tundra. The tundra has 9000 lb tow limit, 900 lb tongue capacity, but only 1350 lb payload. So I have all sorts of room in all the numbers except payload. I am close to the limit. I use a wdh which shifts weight to the front wheels and some weight shifts to the rear of the HTT. With my setup, it tows very well and I have complete control. I tried towing with my suv, a Dodge Durango, that has a 6000 lb tow limit (capable on paper). But it had way less control of the camper. Control is the crucial factor.
     
    WVhillbilly likes this.
  16. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    2,523
    128
    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    You can guess about weight, but the only way you will know for sure is to have it weighted.
     
  17. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Active Member

    543
    117
    Jul 30, 2014
    Kentucky
    The payload capacity for your TV will be on a sticker in the drivers door. It will say something like “passengers and cargo cannot exceed X lbs”.

    As an example, here are the stickers I snapped of my Prius before heading to work this morning. The big white sticker is generic for all Prii of that year, then the small yellow sticker reduced that base amount for my trim level and options.

    612D8DC8-05C9-4A12-B965-D3E0DEDFF1AB.jpeg 8E3B532A-0661-46AB-9E51-EBDC38744013.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018 at 7:25 AM
  18. John Rock

    John Rock Member

    64
    2
    Apr 16, 2018
    Quebec
    Just to clarify, I didn't guess but weighted everything that went in the car and in the camper. Of course, this isn't as precise as weighing everything at once after packing.
     
  19. silverfz

    silverfz Member

    620
    16
    Aug 8, 2013
    Airbags in the rear. I have a tundra and i use them too even with HD shocks. Its not you cross the rating as its designed to run good with people. You are at the top level of operation so it sags. If the shock are set for this condition all normal rides will be bumpy. Airbag will improve drive ability, driver fatigue and most importantly hold the lines in an emergency condition.
     
  20. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

    283
    87
    Aug 22, 2015
    California
    1.Move the bikes to the camper roof
    2.Pump the rear tires of the TV to MAX sidewall pressure
    3.Pump the camper tires to MAX sidewall pressure
    4.Go to CAT scale

    Adam
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018 at 4:41 PM
    WVhillbilly likes this.

Share This Page