New Pop Up Camper Tow Help!

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Beatlepants, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Beatlepants

    Beatlepants New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    I own a 2011 Outback 2.5i with CVT transmission. I just bought a 1993 Coleman Sequoia Pop up camper. All the research I did before hand showed the camper coming it at 1525 GVW and after I bought it and got it home (with the assistance of my brother-in-law's Armada) the sticker on the side shows 1810 dry weight!! So I'm a little nervous here. We haven't filled it with a bunch of crazy suppies, but I'm assuming I'll hit around 2,500 once I get myself, wife, kids etc in the car with the camper attached. That being said, I live in St. Louis, Missouri and it's not crazy hilly. Do you think I will have any problems towing this new camper around? The hitch goes on the Subie next Monday and the camper does not come with brakes on it. Do you think I'll be okay here or should I make other arrangements to get this camper around. I plan on camping locally most of the time, longest trip will most likely be 100 miles away tops. (No major hill or elevation climbs) Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    Noob!
     
  2. bearman512

    bearman512 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,229
    Likes Received:
    78
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    I would have done a visual befor the purchase. Remember that the internet is always right. [LOL] [LOL] [LOL]
    Did you ask the question here during your research?
    Let me know if you tow through New Mexico so I can stay clear. [:D]
    You will need brakes as the camper loaded will be 2/3rd the weight of the car hills or not it won't be safe if you have to stop in a hurry.
    Sorry for sounding abrasive but I would be very concerned if I where you.
    Maybe some other Outback folks will chime in.
     
  3. CamperMike

    CamperMike Active Member

    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    45
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    You want brakes for sure with that combination. You will need to add brakes to the camper, and a brake controller to the car. I would say that it can get a bit hilly southwest of St. Louis, and that area is great for camping! I am positive that the owner's manual for your car will specify that brakes are required for any trailer over 1000 or 1500 lbs. I recently went for a trip out there(near Potosi, MO) and was glad to have the brakes on my popup. I was uncomfortable towing my popup in any remotely hilly area until I got the trailer brakes, but now with them it is much better.
     
  4. AeroPilot

    AeroPilot New Member

    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Search for a CAT Scale in your area. Go and tow the camper over there and weigh it so you know the real weight.

    Find the subie forums that you can get some research for your vehicle and get others towing experiences.

    I'd also vote to have brakes put on,... Safety is priority.



    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
     
  5. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    64
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Location:
    Shell Rock Landing, Hubert NC
    If the camper is 2500lbs then I would say that you are asking for troubles trying to pull it with that car. If you attempt it PLEASE have electric brakes and a brake controller installed
     
  6. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,802
    Likes Received:
    1,525
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
    Can a 2.5 CVT anything tow more then a couple hundred pounds ???
     
  7. jrclocks

    jrclocks Member

    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Internet says 2700 lbs with brakes, but that's the internet.

    Check with Subaru, but I'd says trailer brakes, trans. cooler, etc. are a must and I'd pack light.

    I live in St. Louis as well and I'd only drive east with your rig.

    JR
     
  8. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

    Messages:
    3,544
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    Where my camper is parked now.
    Check your manual. This came from the CarTalk site as being in the warranty in the Subaru manual.

     
  9. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

    Messages:
    14,279
    Likes Received:
    41
    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    My DW has a Subaru Legacy wagon and I wouldn't pull much more than a very light utility trailer with it. If you (OP) do this, definitely get brakes. Lack of hills doesn't matter. You need to reduce stopping distance.
     
  10. j_shoe99

    j_shoe99 Member

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    I have the exact same car as you. 2010 Outback, with the 2.5i CVT tranny. My pup is rated at ~1500# dry. I'm assuming it's closer to 2,000#, as i've never weighed it.

    My car is rated for 3,000# towing capacity.

    [​IMG]

    I was fine towing the camper, fully loaded. I live in flat Wisconsin, and never really travel farther than 2hrs from home.

    Yes, the car is a tad underpowered when accelerating, and going uphill, but it works no problem. Highway speeds tend to be a tad slower as well.

    I try to "plan" my stops well ahead of time, and manually downshift as well to try and save some brakes. I do think an emergency stop would be quite the experience, and I don't want to be in that situation.

    That said...this past Fall my wife was in the market for a new car, so we opted to upgrade her Saturn Vue to a new Toyota 4Runner. I wanted a larger vehicle and something that could tow the pup easier. I'm glad I no longer have to tow with my Outback. [;)]

    [​IMG]

    One thing I strongly disliked about the Outback and towing, was that I could not see over the pup, or around it to the back. Tow mirrors likely would have helped that problem a tad.

    Summary: the outback should do fine towing your pup. Just take it slow. Pack light. And don't do any "emergency stopping". Will larger vehicles tow better, yes. Trailer brakes and brake controller would help too.(I have neither)
     
  11. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

    Messages:
    4,125
    Likes Received:
    20
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    I own a 2011 Forester. The dealership service guy is really pushing me to install a hitch on my Scoobie to pull my camper, and he INSISTS it can be done with a WDH and the proper hitch and a tranny cooler. I told him, 'thanks, but NO THANKS'.

    The BOOK even says to keep it under 2400# and with a 12 foot box, there's no way I'm going to entertain this dude by even trying it. Remember, Subarus being what they are, if you WERE to break something, I'm pretty sure they'd be challenging your warranty, if any is left.

    Good luck!
    [:D]
     
  12. Blue2

    Blue2 I teach them how to light fires, safely.

    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    My 2009 forester towed my 8 foot coleman Taos ok. It taxed the brakes a bit and the camper was about 1200 lbs fully loaded. Also the dealership installed hitch is only a level 1 where they removed the bumper to install where the bumper was. Needless to say I wasn't happy with my dealer when I found out they did that and I demanded my bumper back. ( it hangs in my garage on the wall. Power wise yeah it could tow heavier... But I could tow with my bicycle... Doesn't mean the gears will last long or it's appropriate to. I would ask your dealer if he is willing to cover all issues completely while you own the vehicle and get it in writing, as well as if your car insurance has issues if you get in an accident if he will pay the difference to get everything fixed.
     
  13. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

    Messages:
    4,125
    Likes Received:
    20
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Ya, right? He'd find an equally creative way to explain how *I* screwed something up. [LOL] [LOL] [LOL]

    Check out this Subaru site...MUCHO information!! http://www.subaruoutback.org/

    [:D]
     
  14. kpic

    kpic New Member

    Messages:
    785
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Subaru states 2700 pounds. It does not say if you need to add a transmission cooler to tow 2700#.
    http://dbrochure.subaru.com/brochures/subaru.outback.2011.2/pdf/subaru.outback.2011.pdf

    Really a nice brochure with great pictures. [:D] [:D]

    That 2700# means everything so as others advised weigh it.

    Brakes aid your ability to stop, they do not affect towing capacity. They merely make it easier and safer to slow down or stop.

    Towing capacities can vary. In America where towing capacities are advertising babble, my Volvo can tow 3,300 pounds. In Europe the rating (a required legal rating) is 1800 kg or 3968 pounds. There is no difference in the vehicles, so go figure. Personally, I would stay under 3000#.

    If your vehicle has a turbo, do not hit boost or passing gear.
     
  15. Beatlepants

    Beatlepants New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Update!

    Okay, thanks for all the feed back. I took all the advise and I'm getting electronic brakes on the pop up and a brake controller on the car. Hopefully this helps out with the stopping and handling. I do have a weight station near me so I'll be stopping there too. I've looked into a transmission oil cooler but I cannot find one for my car, Subaru doesn't even offer it. I guess I'll have to keep looking on that. Push comes to shove maybe next year I'll get the 3.6R which is a 6 cylinder Outback. Thanks for the help!
     
  16. steved

    steved New Member

    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    As for the cooler...make sure you research it a lot before installing. I want to remember there is a reason there isn't a kit available for the Subaru CVT (high volume or high pressure keeps nagging me as the reason)?
     
  17. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

    Messages:
    1,363
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Beatlepants,
    I am glad you made it over here. (from subaruoutback.org) and that you are install brakes. They make the world of difference. If you are going to install them your self, check out etrailer for both parts and for installation videos.

    Blue2,
    Your OEM forester hitch is FAR superior attachment points then the after market hitches. Yes it does replace your original bumper beam but it is designed to be the replacement. If you had an aftermarket hitch the impact wold be transmitted directly to the frame rails. Many OEMs use a similar beam replacement method for the hitch installation (Ford, Chevy, Toyota, ect)
     
  18. Up the Mountain

    Up the Mountain Member

    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
  19. Beatlepants

    Beatlepants New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Thanks for the tips on etrailer. I got them installing the hitch and electronic brake controller, but I have a local friend who runs a very large truck and RV repair shop putting on the trailer brakes. He knows more about it and will do a real quality job.
     
  20. Beatlepants

    Beatlepants New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    What do they mean exactly "hard towing"?
     

Share This Page