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Old 04-03-2021, 07:36 AM   #41
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I just researched the Ascent and why Subaru does not like weight distribution. It isn’t body on frame, weight distribution places too much stress on it. It’s a huge bummer, the Ascent has more useable payload than my F150.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:00 AM   #42
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Hi

Fitting the trailer to the vehicle is a common thing to see people do. It's backwards. Even a SOB is likely to last through multiple tow vehicles. An AS likely will last through a *lot* of TV's.

Going smaller also is generally not a great way to do it. A whole lot of people move up and not many move down size wise. The tendency is to *assume* you can fit in something a bit smaller than you really can.

Target capacity on your TV should be <= 80% of the real max loads. If you enjoy a trip to the CAT scales at the start of every trip, you can go higher. Even though the scales are < 10 minutes away, that takes a lot of fun out of the process.

On an AS, *assume* that the stated dry tongue weight is 20 to 30% less than what you may see when you load the trailer up. Since you are in control of what goes where, there is no way to know exactly what you will see on this or that trip. Also you very much do *not* want to load the trailer "rear end heavy". Sway is your enemy and it goes way up when you do that.

Your TV will have more than just the trailer on it as you head out camping. Take a look at all you will have and compare that to the "payload" rating on the TV. Even with a truck, it's amazingly easy to run out of capacity there. This is the rating most people hit first.

A vehicle that is "in ratings" is not always going to be a pleasant vehicle to drive. White knuckle foot to the floor (brakes or accelerator) driving for 5 hours is no fun. If you have not towed before, "learning by doing" in a max load vehicle ... yikes ....

All that said, will your current vehicle self destruct the instant the AS is hooked to it? Of course not. Will it be permanently damaged by 45 minutes of towing four times a year in an
overload condition .... probably not. Folks get away with that sort of thing most of the time.

One would *guess* that a trailer you order today will not be in your hands for about a year. That would make your current TV 18 months old. If indeed delivery stretches out a bit. That could become 2 years. You should get a good trade in value on the vehicle.

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Old 04-03-2021, 08:19 AM   #43
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No doubt those are good hitches but they weigh about 200 pounds. So the OP would have to get the trailer tongue weight to 300.

This is NOT accurate. The actual delta of TW will likely be +/- 25 lbs from any other hitch. TW is a type 2 lever function. Change the distance from the fulcrum (axles) to where the load is carried and the actual force to be carried changes. Check with those folks who have switched from other hitches to a Propride or Hensley. I realized this while I was looking for a powered dolly to help with parking my trailer. The manufacturer recommended use of an adapter to connect. They specifically suggested mounting it as far aft on the a-frame as possible to get maximum traction on the dolly wheels.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:50 AM   #44
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Simple really...TW is not RW. And neither weight is the amount that WD will have to move when you are loaded and ready to go camping. That's the whole point of the CAT visit.
This is like preaching to an empty Church.

Reference post #42 When Streaming the cart goes before the horse.



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Old 04-03-2021, 09:34 AM   #45
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Placing 600 to 700 lbs on the hitch of a Subaru Ascent will cause the headlights to point to the sky and probably drastically and dangerously alter the vehicles driving characteristics. The usual fix for any vehicle is a weight distribution hitch. That's why Airstream recommends use of a weight distribution hitch with its trailers.

However the Subaru Ascent does not recommend use of a weight distribution hitch, probably because the supplied hitch and weld/bolt points are too flimsy to deal with the forces, maybe resulting with the hitch ripping off the vehicle.

My unsolicited advice is to give up on towing any Airstream with the Subaru (except maybe the Basecamp or Nest). Get a Casita. Its similar to the smaller Airstreams and a good match for the Subaru.
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:43 AM   #46
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Se have set up several Assents. The hitch weight limitation is due to the recommendation not to use weight distribution which is ridiculous. You do have to set the hitch up correctly with the right equipment and then you can nicely tow a 19 or 22'. If you like send me an email and I can send you information on how to dial it in. andy@canamrv.ca

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Old 04-04-2021, 09:12 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by dowee_1223 View Post
PB_NB, the AS dealership called me and recommended the 22FB over the 19cb simply because of the lesser hitch weight. They also said the 16 is probably the best choice,. I see that your towing with a ridgeline. I didnít know the hitch weight on that is 600. How do you like it? I want a bigger trailer, but I may have to downsize to a 16 footer
Hi dowee, the Ridgeline is pretty good towing our 22FB. The V6 power is good but we do slow a bit on some steeper hills but we are not the slowest out there. We are using a WDH and our setup is nice and level now. We bought it for our work so it pulls double duty. I would think long and hard about pulling a heavier trailer with it. I would like a future 23FB Flying Cloud for the extra length and extra axle (more tires on the road) but the spec's say that it is too much trailer for the Ridgeline. Some modifications would be needed or a bigger TV.

One thing to note is that the 2019 22FB is one of the lighter trailers that came out that year and newer 22FB's are heavier and wider by 8". in 2020 Airstream added the second battery to the tongue which doesn't help the situation when you are so close to the top end of your TV.

Andy might have some suggestions that can help you beef up the connection of the hitch to the chassis.
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Old 04-04-2021, 09:44 AM   #48
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I have a 2004 4Runner with the 4.7 L V8 (123,678 miles). Towing capacity is 7,000 and hitch capacity is 700. We have a 2006 23' Safari and it travels well behind the 4Runner. I wouldn't want anything smaller to pull it with. The second axle is definitely a plus. I was concerned about the 2 extra tires to buy but it makes a huge difference, there's no sway at all. I've had a couple of people cut me off, swerve into my lane and had to make some quick turns. The 4Runner handled them well and the AS followed along.



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Old 04-04-2021, 10:38 AM   #49
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Don’t assume that all unibody construction is the same. Just like all of these threads you have to choose between following manufacturers specs and the opinions of others. Choose which one you feel will make you and your family feel safe and comfortable regardless of effect on your pocketbook.
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Old 04-04-2021, 10:58 AM   #50
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Trading in the too small tow vehicle for one that's bigger, then safely pulling the trailer you want, may be a good move.
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Old 04-04-2021, 03:18 PM   #51
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As said by some..Live free and modify.😂

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Old 04-04-2021, 03:45 PM   #52
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Ok, I'll do the math here, especially for new to combination vehicle people.
When anyone is worried about a extra battery on tongue weight,
or if their propane tanks are full/ or are aluminum VS steel , or are moving weight behind the axle(s) to reduce tongue weight,etc etc ,their Tow vehicle is WAY TOO SMALL.
Glad to help, for safetys sake.
Theirs, and the motoring public around them.
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Old 04-04-2021, 04:23 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
Placing 600 to 700 lbs on the hitch of a Subaru Ascent will cause the headlights to point to the sky and probably drastically and dangerously alter the vehicles driving characteristics. The usual fix for any vehicle is a weight distribution hitch. That's why Airstream recommends use of a weight distribution hitch with its trailers.

However the Subaru Ascent does not recommend use of a weight distribution hitch, probably because the supplied hitch and weld/bolt points are too flimsy to deal with the forces, maybe resulting with the hitch ripping off the vehicle.
The obvious solution for a flimsy original equipment hitch receiver is to upgrade the receiver.

There are hitch receivers available for the Ascent that are rated for WD, with tongue weight ratings to 750 lbs.

Obviously the vehicle will be limited by axle ratings, but using WD, properly set up, would be the best course of action for the OP. Especially since the hitches available cost around $200 and don't require any vehicle modifications or welding.
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Old 04-04-2021, 04:49 PM   #54
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The obvious solution for a flimsy original equipment hitch receiver is to upgrade the receiver.

There are hitch receivers available for the Ascent that are rated for WD, with tongue weight ratings to 750 lbs.

Obviously the vehicle will be limited by axle ratings, but using WD, properly set up, would be the best course of action for the OP. Especially since the hitches available cost around $200 and don't require any vehicle modifications or welding.
See post #41
What's " available " can be contrary to advice from Subaru engineers, who designed the vehicle.
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Old 04-04-2021, 05:10 PM   #55
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See post #41
What's " available " can be contrary to advice from Subaru engineers, who designed the vehicle.
The key point here is that Subaru engineers in this case appear to have designed and supplied a weak receiver hitch, not suitable for weight distribution equipment. Likely a cost saving measure. It happens.

Fortunately, there are alternatives readily available. From companies that design hitch receivers for a living. The one I looked at was a Curt.

The whole "unibody vehicles aren't suitable for towing" theme is absurd.

In this case, it comes from people taking a phrase out of the Subaru owner's manual, which refers only to the OE receiver, and thinking that that somehow applies to the entire vehicle. Subaru isn't going to comment on equipment that they don't supply. Even if their engineers wanted to, the lawyers wouldn't let them.

I have been towing with unibody vehicles since 1986 (and my parents were using one in the late sixties). Unibodies are generally stronger, handle better, and are lighter. All good things, especially when towing.
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Old 04-04-2021, 05:23 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by jcl View Post
The key point here is that Subaru engineers in this case appear to have designed and supplied a weak receiver hitch, not suitable for weight distribution equipment. Likely a cost saving measure. It happens.

Fortunately, there are alternatives readily available. From companies that design hitch receivers for a living. The one I looked at was a Curt.

The whole "unibody vehicles aren't suitable for towing" theme is absurd.

In this case, it comes from people taking a phrase out of the Subaru owner's manual, which refers only to the OE receiver, and thinking that that somehow applies to the entire vehicle. Subaru isn't going to comment on equipment that they don't supply. Even if their engineers wanted to, the lawyers wouldn't let them.

I have been towing with unibody vehicles since 1986 (and my parents were using one in the late sixties). Unibodies are generally stronger, handle better, and are lighter. All good things, especially when towing.
See my post #52.This is a vehicle with a maximum tongue weight of #500.
Operation at or in excess of Max load limits, is not a good idea.This is a safety issue.Not withstanding, the OP is a brand new combination vehicle operator.
I will continue to use this analogy.
Towing with too small of a tow vehicle, is like going bear hunting with a slingshot.The hunting trip goes just fine, until you hit the bear...
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Old 04-04-2021, 05:48 PM   #57
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See my post #52.This is a vehicle with a maximum tongue weight of #500. Operation at or in excess of Max load limits, is not a good idea. This is a safety issue.
I saw it, thanks.

There is no recommendation to operate in excess of published limits. The tire and axle weights are important, and impact safety.

Changing the hitch receiver for a stronger one that allows WD equipment is a safety improvement. Especially for a person new to towing.

The stock receiver doesn't appear to allow WD. Understandable. Fortunately, there are better and safer options, specific to this vehicle, designed by companies such as Curt that have been doing this for many years. And those receivers are rated for 750 lbs tongue weight, when using WD. They don't recommend a higher tow rating.

The "unibody" argument is a red herring. Don't use the stock hitch for WD equipment. Use one that is rated for WD equipment.

There is no recommendation being made to tow a heavier trailer, just to allow proper set up of one that is within the 5000 lbs tow rating recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. It is about safe set up, using WD. People here towing travel trailers should understand that.

Surprised nobody is talking about the elephant in the room, namely the CVT. That is the design choice that would cause me to not exceed 5000 lbs, not knowing the specific transmission. But 5000 lbs should be fine, given the manufacturer's testing. Adding WD to the set up will just make it safer.
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:26 PM   #58
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Ok, I'll do the math here, especially for new to combination vehicle people.
When anyone is worried about a extra battery on tongue weight,
or if their propane tanks are full/ or are aluminum VS steel , or are moving weight behind the axle(s) to reduce tongue weight,etc etc ,their Tow vehicle is WAY TOO SMALL.
Glad to help, for safetys sake.
Theirs, and the motoring public around them.
I canít say I agree with too many of your posts but I think you tend to enjoy that!
This one is spot on.
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Old 04-04-2021, 07:15 PM   #59
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The assent factory hitch receiver handles 650 pounds of hitch weight with weight distribution. We use Eaz-Lift Elite hitches on them with a custom shank to reduce overhang.

The 500 pounds is the weight carrying recommendation but that would be a very bad idea.
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:36 AM   #60
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Well 650 lbs is certainly better, but still may not be enough for his trailer with is 525lb empty tongue weight spec as calculated by Airstream which we all agree is likely quite low.

My 27FB is said by Airstream to weigh 770lbs at tongue with full tanks and otherwise empty from factory. Maybe so, but ready for camping its about 200 lbs over that. Add in another 70lbs for the WD hitch and my tow vehicle hitch is carrying over 1,000 lbs of dead weight. Fortunately its rated for 1,250 lbs.

The OP is in a dilemma. A brand new SUV and a recent eye for a trailer that's pushing the towing and loading boundaries. We haven't even yet talked of how many people and stuff is planned to be put into the SUV while towing.
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