Towing with a Subaru Forrester X

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 15:57
ThreadID: 66603 Views:8574 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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Can anybody help me regarding towing with a Subaru Forrester X. We are looking at a couple of pop top campers (Jayco Eagle or Swan, Coromal Magnum 420) but are not sure if our car is suitable. These campers range from 760 to 830kg tare weight. Has anyone had any experience towing anything around this size with a Forrester X.
Thank You
Dan
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Reply By: On Patrol & TONI - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 16:10

Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 16:10
Doer
I towed with a 2.5 Outback with ease. The Subaru Forester or Outback are good tow cars but keep in mind the 70kg draw bar weight, meaning you need to be sure the trailer is well balanced.
They were mentioned by NRMA as an exellent tow vehicle for Trailers & Caravans up to 1.5tonne. And the all wheel drive is perfect in the dust.
Go for it.
Cheers Colin.
AnswerID: 352752

Reply By: Sigmund - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 17:03

Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 17:03
Depends on your tow bar for one thing.

The 50 mm unit can take a ball weight of around 130 kg and will tow 720 kg unbraked and 1400 kg braked.

I'm towing a CT of about 750 kg loaded and the car runs pretty well. Fuel consumption goes up by about 12% and for modest uphill slopes at 100 kph she needs changing down from 5th to 4th and revs a little noisily at just under 4000.

For 2 people allow 200 - 300 kg for food, water and gear to get an idea of gross mass. I wouldn't like to be towing that much; the Foz would be straining.
AnswerID: 352770

Follow Up By: Doer - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 17:43

Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 17:43
Thanks Sigmund,
The information on the manual must be for a factory towbar. I was told it was not just a matter of changing the capacity of the towbar but that i would also have to fit weight distribution bars as well. Do you know if this is correct.
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FollowupID: 620919

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 20:38

Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 20:38
The factory makes, or used to make, 2 bars: 40 x 40, and 50 x 50. The smaller one is for garden trailers and the like and at a pinch will cope with a small CT.

The tongue on mine has the ball limit you mention on a sticker but it's wrong.

I can't comment on whether stabilisers would help, but would still say towing a tonne or more for any distance would be hard work for you and the vehicle. And if you approach a 130 kg ball loading you'll really feel the nose in the air and would prob end up getting stiffer springs and upgraded shocks.
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FollowupID: 620957

Reply By: Doer - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 17:18

Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 17:18
Thanks Colin,
This is our problem. The Subaru manual says that the Forrester has a limit of 75kgs of static vertical load on the coupling. The Jayco dealer says that the Eagle has a load of 110kgs on the coupling and the Coromal Magnum is similar. I would have thought they are relatively small caravans, leaving us not much more room to down size for our family of four. Is there some way to compensate or engineer it so it could with stand the extra vertical load.

Does anyone know?

Cheers
Dan
AnswerID: 352774

Follow Up By: paulnsw - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 17:43

Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 17:43
no there is nothing you can do with an engineer to uprate the unit. Out of all the vehicles I have had to tow home with caravans or campers for owner recovery the Subaru would be among the worst tow vehicles had to tow with. To date delivered two Subaru's home one with small caravan and other with camper and both dogs. I classed them as frightening to drive over 90km/h
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FollowupID: 620918

Reply By: Member - Cram (Newcastle NSW) - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 19:03

Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 19:03
I know some one with a forester that tows an allterrain on road camper. To ensure easy towing they upgraded the springs etc and use the weight distribution bars.
AnswerID: 352785

Follow Up By: Doer - Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 08:30

Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 08:30
Thanks Cram,
I would like to look at getting the suby raised. Now i have a legitimate reason to upgrade.
Cheers
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FollowupID: 621044

Reply By: DesF - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 20:09

Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 20:09
HI. I dont think it should be a problem as I had a 1989 "L" model Subaru wagon with the 1.8 motor and I used to tow my 1994 12ft Jayco Eagle with it , had to be patient when overtaking but as far as handling it was good, it had electric brakes fitted.
It weighs 735kgs empty, have since upgraded to Pajero.
Always wanted a forrester but they were still holding their price to well.
Cheers Des.
AnswerID: 352795

Follow Up By: Doer - Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 08:28

Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 08:28
Nice one Des
Thank you for your help. This is my first time on the forum and i am now realising how valuable it is going to be for us.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 621043

Reply By: Fiona & Paul - Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 06:04

Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 06:04
G'day Doer I have been off air for a week and just came across this one. Fiona and I (members) have a Forester X and tow a magnum Rally XC 340 - full off-roader (see picture in members) - weight unladen 980kg - we have a toolbox added to the rear end with chain saw & tools, probably 80kgs. Electric brakes.

So when on the road with water and extra petrol we would be close to 1300kg - got Haymen Reese tow bar fitted to give a towball weight of 180kg with weight distribution hitch.

The Subaru does fine and I've done practical petrol consumption tests at various speeds, traffic and weather conditions. Worst mpg was 5.7km per litre when pushing to do extra kms (120+km) on good open road, lots of stop starts and heavy traffic are no good at all. The best I've got on good road, tailwind and non-stop stuff is about 8.4km per litre.

If I stop on an uphill slope I struggle to get away, I do have the manual with the Hi-Low range option which is OK for us and does a good job.

Hope this helps as we did lots and lots of looking before we bought. Had a lighter off-road camper trailer in the beginning (700kg unladen), we are just about to do the 100,000 service and so far have same plugs, same brake pads but have replaced the rear nearside wheel bearings twice (under warranty), they now have the problem fixed though, ours is a 2005 model.

Hope this helps and we are always around somewhere.
Paul H
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AnswerID: 352855

Follow Up By: Doer - Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 08:25

Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 08:25
That is great news,
We do have some friends who towed a Windsor Rapid with a Subaru Outback. They did 14000 km with two adults and two children plus all gear. I just wanted to make sure, i don't want to be exposing my family to any risk. Thank you so much.
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FollowupID: 621042

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