2013 Subaru Forester...afraid of towing something too big!

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by TRA, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. TRA

    TRA New Member

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    My wife and I just bought a 2013 Subaru Forester which has a towing capacity of 2,400lbs. We are selling our Livin' Lite 6.0 camper today, and we are looking at small (8ft box) popups. We found a Palomino 280LTD which has a UVW of 1,400lbs and a GVWR of 2,245lbs. It's just me, my daughter, and my wife that will be in the vehicle when towing and we don't really pack heavily.

    Here are my questions...

    -Are we going to be beating the crap out of our vehicle towing this?
    -Subaru says we need trailer brakes for trailers over 1,000lbs. I agree just for the sake of wear on my vehicle. Thoughts?
    -Any suggestions of campers we should be looking at?
     
  2. daveman

    daveman Member

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    I think with the addition of trailer brakes (having towed both ways...with and without....never again will I tow without brakes), and keeping the load light, you'd be fine....keep the speeds reasonable :)
     
  3. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    Brakes? yes


    Near the limit? If you bring everything you have... LOL


    Tranny cooler? mandatory


    [2C]
     
  4. TRA

    TRA New Member

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    Thank you for the responses!
     
  5. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Absolutely get trailer brakes. Absolutely get a transmission cooler.

    Will you beat the crap out of the vehicle? I'd say there would be a possibility if you were operating that close to max all of the time but for a few trips a year you are probably fine. One other thing to check: does the Forester have a max tongue weight? Figure loaded trailer tongue weight at 10-15% of loaded trailer weight.

    Finally, be aware that things like the propane cylinder, battery, awning, etc., are not part of a trailer's dry weight. They are considered options and count against cargo capacity.
     
  6. Wakita46

    Wakita46 Active Member

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    I have a 2013 Subaru Outback which has a 2500 lb towing limit and a 200 lb tongue weight limit. I am buying an Aliner Scout that will be 1580 pounds without my stuff in it. However, it will not have black or grey water tanks or propane tanks. I think it will do fine so I think you will do fine. I would worry more about the trailer tires.
    When you look at the Subaru's owner's manual closely, there are further limits to weight if you are going up a long grade and the air temperatures are high. I just plan on taking it easy if I run into those conditions.
     
  7. TRA

    TRA New Member

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    I'm told that the Palomino 8CLS that we are buying would need the axle replaced to put brakes on it. The dry weight is 1300lbs and the only "extras" are an A/C, a grill, a propane tank, and a battery box. The tongue weight is 122lb.

    The place I'm buying it from said that they'd gladly take my money for the new axle and brakes, but they don't feel that if we are only taking a handful of trips per year that it warrants the cost. All of our trips are within 4 hours drive max.

    We'll see how it behaves on our drive home this weekend.
     
  8. Manper

    Manper New Member

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    there is no shortage of really cool small trailers; the teardrop is a perfect example. Most enthusiasts will at least tell you that when choosing a trailer go 15% less than the maximum trailer weight allowable to be towed. This is to account for the weight and your ease on going over mountain passes. Subaru may have "solid" engines but they don't have much torque when it comes to towing so always be mindful.

    In reading below/above there is no shortage of great ideas. Trailer brake controls is a MUST!! no doubt about that!! The fan is a good idea as well as you want your engine to remain cool when towing.

    Happy Trails
     
  9. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

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    I would make sure you are able to return the trailer with full refund if you don't like how it behaves without the brakes. There are a lot of popups out there that come standard with electric brakes.

    I have an 08 Outback with a 02 Taos (same weight as the Palomino 8CLS) that came standard with brakes. I unplug the control just to see what it was like with out brakes and there is no way I would tow it unless the brakes were working.

    Loaded you are going to be close to 2k lbs, over half the weight of your Forester.
     
  10. TRA

    TRA New Member

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    Thank you. We went from a teardrop to a Livin' Lite to the 8CLS. The teardrop turned out to be heavier than the 8CLS, and we were towing it with a Grand Am. [:(O] It was custom built and we were told it was only about 700lbs, but one day I decided to weigh the tongue and it was well over 200lbs!

    Scary stuff. We pick it up on Saturday, and we'll see how it goes on the way home.
     
  11. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Just a general note. Compared to a PUP, teardrops tend to have heavier tongue weights relative to their total weight because it is customary to set the axle rather far toward the rear -- generally about 2/3 of the way back. This is done to increase towing stability.
     
  12. TRA

    TRA New Member

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    So I'm confused on some numbers. The curb weight of my car is 3,300lbs, the GVW of my car is 4480lbs, and the towing capacity is 2,400lbs max. Does this mean that I can load my vehicle with 1180lbs of stuff and still be able to tow up to 2400lbs (with brakes)?
     
  13. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Active Member

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    You need to know the GCWR to know whether you are 3300 + 2400 (5700lb) or 4480 + 2400 (6880lb). Some tow ratings assume your vehicle is empty and free of cargo. If you are loaded to 4480 on a 5700lb rating you can only tow 1220 lb...
     
  14. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    Nope you need to allow for the tongue weight, it become part of the GVW when attached. You'd also need to make sure the rear (& front) axle is not overloaded. Check your manual.
     
  15. JungleJim

    JungleJim New Member

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    Subaru tow ratings are unique like Toyota. The tow rating is with the vehicle fully loaded (unlike almost all other tow ratings).

    You're lucky you got a 2013, because Subaru lowered the Forester to 1500 lbs here in the U.S for 2014. (yet raised it 37% in Canada!).
    I think they want the U.S. to buy more Outbacks.
     
  16. Rodger D.

    Rodger D. New Member

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    Sir

    Going back to The Trailer Brakes Part. This is a Safety Law in many locations/ places. Not complying
    means their ( aka the other guy ) or your or both insurance companies will fight ya all the way to court
    if anything happens.

    Stop at a local U-Haul Trailer Rental Place and speak with them about your Subaru Towing Questions.
    This is their business and all answers are Court Room Legal Tested.
     
  17. Jflyboym

    Jflyboym Member

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    That's a. For point about Uhaul. They would be a great source for info. I would make sure to but a pup with brakes so you don't have to bother with installing them. A brake controller is not too bad to install if you are handy. I put one on my TV and it was pretty straightforward. I also put new brakes on my TV all around, and really went through them with a fine toothed comb. Luckilly, it has a tranny cooler. I was concerned about towing even though my pup isn't too heavy (2800GVWR) but I have kids with me, the truck is older, and it is irresponsible to make sure things are not safe. I spent a lot of time making sure all the lights worked, I did ALOT of maintenance on my truck as well. I'm not worried about the safety stuff now. I can focus on FUN!
     
  18. j_shoe99

    j_shoe99 Member

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    You should be fine towing that small of a camper. I was in the similar situation last Summer. Similar car and similar camper.

    My TV was a 2010 Subaru Outback w/4cyl engine. 3,000# Towing Capacity. My PUP has a sticker weight of just under 1,500#.

    [​IMG]

    I did not have a tranny cooler, nor trailer brakes.

    The only thing I would say is you must adjust your driving style when towing with it. Plan your stops well ahead of time, and I used my "manual downshift" plenty as well.

    Now to the downside. I really did not enjoy towing with the Outback, especially fully loaded up, like in above photo. I felt the car was being overworked. Plan on highway speeds closer to 55mph instead of 70mph. Expect huge MPG drop too.

    I think our 'American towing recommendations' are on the highly conservative side. I keep hearing references made toward Europeans who can pretty much tow anything, as long as the TV has 4 tires. (Ie: Your car will tow it no problem, but it might be slow going, and white knuckled.)

    I ended up buying a new Toyota 4Runner this past Fall that will be the new TV from here on out. I added rear coil spring air bags last weekend, so now I just need the rain/snow to quit!
     
  19. Checkered24

    Checkered24 Member

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    The amount of equipment and supplies you typically take would play heavily into your calculations here. As would the amount of extras you are getting in the new Palomino (and how close the on-the-road weight of it will be to the GVWR).

    Knowing the full stats for your Forester may help. GVWR, GCWR, etc.

    I think you will have plenty of power in your Forester for it. With trailer brakes, I suspect you will be fine with stopping power too. What I would be concerned with, regarding the weight ratings, is the level of wear on your Forester. I tend to prefer having some cushion in the published ratings, even if there is already a margin of error built into those ratings.

    PS, I would go with trailer brakes! They make life so much easier, and safer out on the road!
     
  20. paddykern

    paddykern Member

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    Tow with a Forester XT and a Outback Sport (Impreza).
    Have a Coleman Santa Fe 1900 dry.
    Both Subaru's are 5 speed and have over 100,000 miles.

    Never had a problem. The turbo tows like the trailer is not even there.
    The non-turbo works well but you will not be passing anyone.

    The ultimate test of the Forester was last year's trip to the southwest from Michigan. Came back through the mountains in Colorado with no issues.
     

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