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Old 06-14-2005, 07:21 PM   #1
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Towing with a Subaru Forester

I am planning on buying a Subaru Forester, which has a tow rating of 2400 lbs. Does anyone know if I could tow a Bambi with this? Thanks for any help provided.....
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Old 06-14-2005, 07:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellonewman!
I am planning on buying a Subaru Forester, which has a tow rating of 2400 lbs. Does anyone know if I could tow a Bambi with this? Thanks for any help provided.....
You could probably tow a 1962 or earlier Bambi with a dry weight of 1875 and a length of 16'.

Bill
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Old 06-14-2005, 08:39 PM   #3
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I owned a Forester once. I would never tow with it.
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Old 06-14-2005, 08:55 PM   #4
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Towing with a Subaru Forester

Greetings hellonewman!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellonewman!
I am planning on buying a Subaru Forester, which has a tow rating of 2400 lbs. Does anyone know if I could tow a Bambi with this? Thanks for any help provided.....
A late model 19' Bambi would have a gross weight approaching twice the trailer tow rating on your Forester (late model Bambis typically have a gross weight approaching 4,500 pounds). Even with a Vintage 1961-63 Bambi (empty weight 1,875 pounds) or a Vintage late 1950s Bubble (empty weight 1,750 pounds), your proposed tow vehicle would be marginal at best. Ideally, for the most satisfactory towing experience, there is something of a consensus that trailer gross (loaded weight) should be limited to 80% of the manufacturer's trailer tow rating. The gross weight of a Vintage Bambi will likely be close to 2,675 pounds while the gross weight of a Bubble will likely be close to 2,550 pounds. For information about empty weights of Airstream coaches, see: Airstream Weights and Measures. Something to keep in mind is that the dry weight does not include the weight of any optional equipment/accessories nor does it include the weight of fluids (LP Gas, fresh water) or personal possessions carried in the coach.

Two other issues that may be encountered with your proposed tow vehicle would be whether you could find someone to fabricate and mount a 2" receiver hitch on the vehicle; and you may find that the factory has specific guidelines for frontal area or maximum hitch weight that can pose problems with this towing scenario -- you can almost count on the hitch weight being around 13% and on some coaches may approach 15% of the coach's gross weight (the hitch weight on my Minuet is 550 pounds for a 3,100 gross weight coach).

Good luck with your research!

Kevin
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Old 06-15-2005, 07:40 AM   #5
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Maybe you could tow one of those new TAB trailers made by Airstream. Its light, that's for sure and its still an Airstream.

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Old 06-15-2005, 09:05 AM   #6
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I think the T@B trailers are a good idea. My husband and I looked at them before deciding on our Bambi. I keep recommending them to friends and family who aren't ready for a "Full RV" experience, but want something sturdier than their tent to camp in.

Their website is www.tab-rv.com if you're interested.
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Old 06-15-2005, 09:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellonewman!
I am planning on buying a Subaru Forester, which has a tow rating of 2400 lbs. Does anyone know if I could tow a Bambi with this? Thanks for any help provided.....

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Old 06-15-2005, 10:08 AM   #8
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Maybe you could tow one of those new TAB trailers made by Airstream. Its light, that's for sure and its still an Airstream.

FF
Can T@B owners join WBCCI?

Would they?
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Old 06-15-2005, 10:12 AM   #9
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I'm not sure I I would tow much of anything with a Forester - perhaps a teardrop maybe

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Old 06-15-2005, 11:04 AM   #10
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From time to time I receive pictures submitted to the magazine, and a recent batch included photos of a Subaru Outback towing a vintage Airstream. (They won't be appearing the magazine -- we avoid scanning color prints because of quality problems.)

A lot of Casita owners do tow with Subarus and swear by them. But that's usually the Outback wagon model. It has quite a bit more wheelbase than the Forester.

So there are people who do it, but you won't find any of them posting here, and I have no idea how the configuration performs. The T@B on the other hand is a great match to a Subaru and people who tow them seem to have ALMOST as much fun as Airstreamers!
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Old 06-15-2005, 11:10 AM   #11
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Can T@B owners join WBCCI?

Would they?
This is a Thor product, not Airstream proper. While it would add some color to rallys, I doubt if they will be allowed into the WBCCI in the forseeable future.
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Old 06-15-2005, 07:54 PM   #12
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Subaru Towing

The Forester is built from the Impreza platform. The Outback and Legacy platform are a bit more robust. I owned a 1997 Outback with a 4 cyl engine that had a 2 inch receiver but a tow rating of only 2,000 lbs. In Europe the same car was allowed 5,000 lbs by Subaru spec. After vacationing in England and seeing small cars tow trailers I can believe they are daring.

We currently own a 1998 Impreza sedan. I would not tow any Bambi with a Forester. It would be a major stretch. Subaru's are great cars but they are not intended for towing.

BTW, we are considering a new Outback but we intend to only haul two 60 lb. kayaks with it.
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Old 06-15-2005, 08:02 PM   #13
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camper for forester

I have a 2003 Forester and have an Aliner camper we use with it - it tows it great. www.aliner.com it's an Aframe hardshell popup, pretty neat. Folds up and down in 20 seconds, and no canvas. The thing that is nice is it is not cramped inside with a low ceiling (it has a peaked ceiling like a tent), so it is pretty pleasant when you are stuck inside due to rain. It's comfortable for sleeping and is easy to tow.

I bought the Aliner last summer , then took my SO camping in it twice and he had to have something fancier and bigger - so off to the rv show - to look at 5th wheels - came home bitten by the airstream bug.

So now we have his and hers rvs, the Aliner and the Airstream - 25' Safari Special Edition.

Even with the Aliner I try to pack light, so as to not overburden the Subaru, mine loaded is about 1400 pounds and my subaru is rated for 2000 lbs.

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Old 06-15-2005, 08:20 PM   #14
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I'm guessing this hesitation to ever use anything less than the biggest thing Detroit has to offer, is because of the unibodies factor since the 70's? Because you look at any older Airstream ad and you see smallish sedans pulling trailers with seemingly good results (though none are shown in the Rockies, per se.) Maybe it's all false advertising on Airstream's part...

So is it just the whole unibody thing that makes us so hesitant? Or are we just so accustomed to having these giant SUVs at our disposal that we think they're our only option? And I include the manufacturer in that "we", because the weight ratings are so low - it seems artifically low in some cases.

Note: I know there have been many threads - some heated - dedicated to this issue, so I apologize for bringing it up again - I've just never gotten an answer I'm satisfied with.
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Old 06-15-2005, 08:38 PM   #15
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Brad,

Don't know for sure, but I think the little blue number in the bottom photo is an early 60's Falcon coupe. Definitely a unibody.
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Old 06-16-2005, 12:00 AM   #16
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...and the top red one is a '63 Chevy II, most likely a unibody with a small V8 or even a straight 6. Misleading as a tow vehicle.

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Old 06-16-2005, 12:02 AM   #17
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The Falcons of that year also had a 6 cyl. engine either a 144 cid or a 160 cid. I bet it was slow going up hills. I towed an empty horse trlr with my 64 Comet w/ a 289 in it. That was too much for the car. Wouldn't do that again. But it was a Brawley, all steel construction.
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Old 06-16-2005, 06:00 AM   #18
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Frankly, IMHO, there is little worse than towing if underpowered. Towing my '67 Caravel with an '01 Land Rover Disco II was miserable yet it was well within the tow rating of the Disco. I dreaded every minute. Just not enough HP.

On the other hand, towing our 22' CCD with the VW V8 Touareg (air suspension) is a wonderful experience.
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Old 06-16-2005, 06:01 AM   #19
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My comments were directed at the Forrester. As for older cars, there would be less reservation depending on the model and features. A lot of the older cars mentioned were built like tanks, but in the Forrester's case, even a good vintage unit which would weigh less is going to have issues. 2400lbs isn't a very robust tow rating.....esp if going through hilly or mountain area...heck it's not even all that great on flatland.... not that the Forrester is a bad vehicle in general for what it's designed to do.
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Old 06-16-2005, 06:53 AM   #20
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A little perspective on era

That Chevy II weighed almost as much as my '95 Dakota did empty. The Chevy II was around 3400 pounds, and the Dakota was 3600. The weight of the tow vehicle matters, as the more mass it has, the less it is going to get pushed around. The Chevy II also had an optional V8, I think it was a 327, more convertibles came with that than the 230 L6, or the 153 L4, both available powerplants for that car. In modern terms, the 327 would be around 5.3 Liters, the 230 would be a 3.8 Liter, the 153 would be a 2.5 Liter.
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