Towing nightmare!!!

Discussion in 'The Woodshed' started by Suzicnm, Oct 15, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Suzicnm

    Suzicnm New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2018
    I have wracked my brain around the towing numbers, GVWR, tongue weight, etc etc. And I CANNOT seem to get any straight answers anywhere!
    I have a 2016 Subaru Forester, rated to 1500 lbs towing (US). Which, by the way, is less than it's rated in EVERY SINGLE other country!! Owner's manual states trailer brakes are required for anything over 1000lbs.
    My trailer is about 1300 dry weight ('95 Jayco 1006), and I pack pretty light. The TV will usually have just me, or possibly me + one kid <100lbs.
    Most conventional advice says not to tow this trailer with that vehicle. Everyone says, "get a bigger vehicle".
    When I called my mechanic, he said he hadn't seen any Subarus ruined from towing at their capacity. The company also recently increased the warranty on the tranny to 100K.
    When I called the trailer specialist about putting brakes on, he was amazed I would consider putting brakes on anything under 2500-3000lbs (understanding what my TV was).
    When I look at the new Ascent, which has a 5000lb towing capacity, it has BASICALLY the SAME engine as my Forester.
    So.......given that I want to be safe, and would prefer not to buy another vehicle, do I take my chances? Rent a TV? (which seems nearly impossible, actually, to get something you are allowed to tow with). I camp maybe 8 weekends over the summer, and one longer trip. Most are within 50-70 miles of home (northern CA).
    Soooooo frustrated!!!
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,136
    Likes Received:
    2,051
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Lots to fogure out here. Im sure others will give more tecnical advice. Dont look at other vehicals and there engines, the tow rate is also based on a cooling factor. So the other vehical might have a bigger radiator etc.

    Dry weight is empty, so add on anything extra, awning, fridge, heater, ac , etc. Thats your weight. Only sure way to tell is to weigh it.
    Breakes are needed becasue the tv most likely cant handle stopping the extra weight. Unless your mechanic is knowlagable in that exact tv , he wouldent know that. Thats why the manafature wanted it on there.

    Thats the basics.
     
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Messages:
    14,885
    Likes Received:
    1,266
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Location:
    Waterford, Ct
    We towed 2700 pounds with an 2010 Forester ....but the trailer had brakes, and the forester didn't have the transmission they are now using. I add a larger transmission cooler and never had a transmission temperature issue. This forester had an old fashion 4 speed automatic transmission which was used for years ...tried and true. Your 2016 has CVT automatic transmission which can be big money to repair. Your biggest problems is hills ....... going up them and then down them. My suggestion to you is .... hook it and go for a ride. See how it tows, stay close to home, find some hills. Be careful and you be the judge.
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  4. terry1419

    terry1419 Active Member

    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    80
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2016
    Location:
    Streator, IL
    That doesn't mean that it hasn't happened or that it won't happen to you. Don't listen to one person - your mechanic. Listen to: Everyone says, "get a bigger vehicle".
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  5. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Likes Received:
    836
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Location:
    Elkins WV area
    As stated the dry weight is for a bare bones camper, no propane, no water, no A/C. You say the camper is about 1300lbs. Quit guessing, take it and have it weighted as outfitted to go camping, it's probably going to surprise you.
    I wouldn't want to tow at rated capacity, I try to keep weight at 80% or less.

    Just because the Ascent has basically the same engine.... There are a LOT of factors that make up the tow rating besides the engine.
     
    kitphantom and Sjm9911 like this.
  6. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Active Member

    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    45
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Hook it up and go. You are pulling 560 miles a year perhaps. You don't have to pull @ 70 MPH. Last I understood euro tow limits tend to be reflective of shorter towing distances and lower speeds than we tow at here.

    Looks like you are doing your homework and not loading the TV full AND trying to tow max.

    Do the brakes on the trailer anyways. Can't have enough braking ability.

    Don't need a diesel 1 ton to tow with.
     
    1380ken and Sjm9911 like this.
  7. brwarrior

    brwarrior Active Member

    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    67
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Location:
    Clovis, CA
    Trailer coaches and camp trailers (tent trailers) require brakes at 1,500 lbs GVW. (CA Veh Code § 26303 (2017)). Yet any other trailer with electric or hydraulic brakes on require them at 3,000 lbs GVW.

    A lot of vehicles that are available in other countries have a lower tow rating (if one at all) in the US. Maybe our weight weighs more here. But I'm going to just blame it on the lawyers. Anyways... Tow ratings are not just an engine, transmission or whatever. It's the whole package. Go look at tow ratings on pickup trucks. Could be 5,000 to 12,000+ on a half ton truck and you can't tell from casually looking at it. There might be clues, but you never know. Whatever is the weak link in the chain is where it stops. There is an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) test that manufacturer's can certify to. Maybe it just can't pass the performance (up a particular highway in AZ) test at higher weight. I used to drive a '91 GMC Sonoma that required brakes at 1,500 lbs.

    You might be able to rent a pickup you can tow with.
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  8. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,136
    Likes Received:
    2,051
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Lol, tow at 70 mph! I wish. My tires are rated at 73 mph. I dont go above 65 if i can help it!
     
  9. DanLee

    DanLee Member

    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    35
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Location:
    Virginia
    We've been towing our 1991 Coleman Columbia (990 lbs dry, 1150 wet) with Foresters (2008 and 2011) for years. Our popup has no brakes and our owner's manuals also say 1500 lb towing limit. I would just go ahead and tow, but carefully. Limit your speed to 65 on the freeway, slow down early, brake early, and keep an eye on what's happening way ahead of you.
     
  10. AlohaPup

    AlohaPup New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2016
    Location:
    HI>CA>CO>TX
    BINGO!...we have a winner!
     
    WVhillbilly likes this.
  11. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,652
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2017
    Location:
    Maplewood, MN
    Come on people!

    I don't mean to dis any of the previous posters that say "just do it and drive careful". IMHO, this isn't sound advice and you are in a very bad spot if you choose to tow your 1300 lb pup with a Forester.

    If you are rated for 1500 lbs and your pup is already at 1300 lb, then you are most likely already overloaded. That 1300 lbs does not include one single camping supply. It doesn't include a battery, propane or water. It does not include your sleeping bags, clothes, chairs, food or any of your other supplies.

    My in-laws once had a motor-home that was rated to pull 10,000 lbs, so they used it to tow a 10,000 lb trailer. It didn't happen right away, it didn't happen in a year, but a couple of years into pulling their trailer at the max, welds broke and bolts popped. It pulled the frame of the motor home apart. You may just be a smaller version. Maybe not.

    Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. There are a hundred reasons why you should not tow to your vehicles max, or even closes to the max. The least of these is your vehicle wear and tear.

    A small vehicle towing a maxed out trailer is a finely balanced missile going down the road whether you are travelling at 65 mph or 25 mph. It does not take much for that missile to become unbalanced and lose control. If something went wrong, you would be lucky if you didn't kill someone, let alone you and your one kid <100 lbs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  12. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,114
    Likes Received:
    572
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Location:
    Houghton, MI
    Its more simple then some making it out to be. Just stay below your vehicles tow capacity and the further the better in our book. And "just drive carefully" does not make up for it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  13. emoney

    emoney Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    880
    Likes Received:
    449
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    You run the risk of losing that 100k warranty should you choose to not add the trailer brakes. End of the day, what some stranger on the internet says probably won’t hold much weight, but I’ll still say it. If the pup has a dry weight of 1300 lbs, I’m guessing it might even be 1327lbs. If it’s even 1302lbs then you need to recognize what you’re doing; trying to convince yourself it’s “ok”. Propane tank full weighs 35lbs? Popup awning is close to 40lbs. Gallon of milk is 7lbs. Sorry for the overkill but quickly you can see whatever was left under max is gone. If your gut instincts in the very beginning said “it won’t work”, then it won’t. Everything else has been an exercise of justification. And, ftr, I’m always the one that says “oh, go ahead, you’ll be fine”.
     
    Snow and BikeNFish like this.
  14. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,114
    Likes Received:
    572
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Location:
    Houghton, MI
    I'd guess our 800lb camper normally has an extra 300lbs of accessories in it. What should we leaver home?? :)

     
  15. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    4,633
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    I'm with the advise to weigh your current camper as if you are ready to go. I bet you are going to be very surprised how much it actually l weighs. We made a mistake at towing at limit with our Ford Taurus wagon way back when. Our camper was only 1300 dry as well. Well fully loaded for camping I was at 1500 the tow limit for the Taurus at the time. Well less than 100k miles on the car and both the engine and transmission died. We didn't have many problems towing with the vehicle except we couldn't go on any larger hills. But apparently damage was being done all because we were towing at weight limit.
     
  16. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

    Messages:
    1,024
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa
    We recently got back from a two week trip to Germany. We were amazed at the standard towing set up we saw every day over there. Everyone tows a single axle 16 to 20 foot travel trailer that had to weigh at least 2500 lbs with a small hatchback similar to the OPs. We were amazed.
     
  17. alabasterjar

    alabasterjar Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    17
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Location:
    NE Indiana
    This x2. I would normally be in the "equip your TV (brakes, bags, tranny cooler), take it easy & camp" group, but I don't have a whole lot of confidence in the cvt reliability when pulling a camper...Through hills/foothills/mountains. I have a 2008 Ford escape with a cvt. I've had no problems with it, but I have not towed anything with it. The way it sings in some uphills without a load makes me think it is not up to task with a load. YMMV.

    Short trips (an hour give or take) makes a definitive answer more difficult. Equip your TV (see above), limit your load and keep the speed down (55-ish); you may be fine. But you may not. What would it cost for a new cvt? $3k? $5k? $7k? It may be worth buying a 15 yo Jeep Grand Cherokee or 1500 Chevy Silverado for the same money and saving your (relatively) new vehicle warranty. Or, you might be able to tow a bigger load, a short distance, a few times a year without a problem...
    Good luck to you!
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  18. seldomseen380

    seldomseen380 Active Member

    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    140
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Location:
    Canton, Georgia
    I would NOT Tow Anything with a vehicle that has a CVT Transmission. They are the auto industry garbage...
     
    WVhillbilly likes this.
  19. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,984
    Likes Received:
    447
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Location:
    Mass
    If Subaru is extending the transmission warranty to 100,000 miles then you should be all set. Just either kill the tranny before 100,000 miles or sell the car. I don't see how Subaru would know whether or not your trailer had brakes when replacing the transmission under warranty. Don't have the camper hooked up when you bring it in to get fixed.
     
    Arlyn Aronson likes this.
  20. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,965
    Likes Received:
    919
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
    You have received lots of good info, lots of ok info and lots of really bad info. In the end only you can decide what risks you want to take .

    First, you live in the U.S, meens Lawyers are everywhere.. from the car manufacture to the family of the deceased in any potential accident and everyone in between, including posts on internet sites.. The tow rating has been determined by the manufacture based on many things, one of which is Lawyers, this is why the vehicles ratings are lower then else where in the World. So if the manufactures says brakes for weights over 1000lbs.. Add the brakes, cause 1) manufacture will deny warranty coverage cause you didnt follow their recommendation .. 2) Insurance Company will void coverage cause you didnt follow mfg. recommendations.

    As for the actual weight of your trailer, cant stress this enough, dry weight means nothing.. Either use the trailers GVWR or get it weighed loaded as it would be for a typical camping trip..

    As for the Sooby... If it has a CVT, you might want to reconsider using it for towing. Add a transmission cooler and follow the manufactures recommendations ..

    Despite what some say.. Not all vehicles can or should be towing but most, if the owner follows the manufactures ratings and recommendations can be competent at doing the job.
     
    gatorbait and alabasterjar like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.