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2009 Subaru Forester. the dealer and VIN said "LL Bean Edition" but it doesnt show that badge.
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Discussion Starter #1
We have a '09 Forester LL Bean edition and have had to get a mobility scooter and carrier for my wife. The carrier comes out of the hitch (Uhaul class III 2 inch) and is folded vertically when the scooter is off the carrier and flat when on the carrier. (Please see attached photos). I was talking to a support rep at the retailer and she mentioned that we might want to check the tongue weight on a Forester. The carrier itself weights 75 pounds and the scooter weights 244 for a total of 319 pounds weight on the hitch. I have no idea if this is too much weight for the car and/or the hitch. Any advice and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Captain Quack.
 

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2001 Forester
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1,476 Posts
What's your owner manual say about trailer tongue weight? If manual states 250 lbs, you're over the limit as an example.

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2009 Subaru Forester. the dealer and VIN said "LL Bean Edition" but it doesnt show that badge.
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I looked there in the first place and got contradictory information between what the manual said (200 pounds) and what the dealer service department said (550 pounds) and what's left of the tag on the hitch says (400 pounds). If it's 200 we are way over weight. 400 is ok. 550 would be best.

Captain Quack.
 

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2001 Forester
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Tag on hitch means nothing, it just means it physically can support that much weight, but your vehicle is rated to only support 200 lbs, therefore you would be over the limit. 550 lbs from the dealer service department means they know nothing.
 

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2016 Foz CVT
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1,043 Posts
The manual is authoritative, irrespective of what the hitch allows. Checking the 2009 manual, it is, in fact, 200 pounds.

Also note that dynamic weight using a rack that hangs off the hitch is much greater than dynamic weight using a properly loaded trailer. Going over bumps, the rack acts as a lever an all dynamic weight is borne by the hitch. Whereas most dynamic load with a trailer is borne on it's axle.

You're way over. Sorry.
 

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2009 Subaru Forester. the dealer and VIN said "LL Bean Edition" but it doesnt show that badge.
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
From what I can tell from the manual that might be a class 2 hitch instead of the class 3 that's on there. It's hard to tell from the manual. More and more it sounds like we're pretty screwed here. Have to figure out a replacement vehicle. Darn. We love our Forester. Thanks for all your advice.
 

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2011 Forester 5 Speed Manual
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1,551 Posts
my 2011 came with an OEM 1 1/4" hitch. I was excited until I learned it could only carry 2 bikes cuz it was a class I. when I changed vehicles I got a 1 1/4" class II hitch installed by U-Haul. now I can carry 4 bikes. are you sure you have a class III hitch? who installed it?

do you own all that gear now? have you tried it out? what happens? I'd be more concerned with the tail end of the car sagging & something bumping going over speed bumps or steep parking lot entrance ramps. IMO the Foresters have a soft rear suspension, sensitive to over loading
 

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2020 Touring as of 8/28/2020!
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351 Posts
now I can carry 4 bikes.
Are you over the tongue weight with your set-up? Even if you aren't, 4 bikes on a Class II is pushing the limits of the hitch itself. The suspension isn't the issue. It's the dynamic force on the frame.
 

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2011 Forester 5 Speed Manual
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Are you over the tongue weight with your set-up? Even if you aren't, 4 bikes on a Class II is pushing the limits of the hitch itself. The suspension isn't the issue. It's the dynamic force on the frame.
no bikes + rack is till well under 200 lbs. but you raise a good point & I use stability straps. 2 or 3 depending on the rack & # of bikes. I brought up the suspension cuz I had an issue one year with vacation gear, including camping gear & 4 bikes. it was too much for the 2011 Forester. I mean I got it done but it didn't look right. I had to use 2 racks to get the 4 bikes mounted. 1 on the back bumper for 2 plus the hitch rack for the last 2.

my 2014 Jeep Cherokee w/ AD1 suspension remains mostly level with the same gear loaded. the class II hitch handles the weight just fine & the stability straps add a level of confidence. nothing is swinging, bouncing, swaying, jiggling, rattling, etc

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2011 Forester 5 Speed Manual
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1,551 Posts
here's the Forester a bit over loaded ;-)

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here's how I did it w/ 2 racks

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here's the forester w 4 bikes on 1 rack - it made weird sounds over the speed bumps at our condo

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I miss the Forester but I'm happy with the Cherokee

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I really did like the Forester. I only got rid of it because I was on my 4th engine in 3 years due to oil consumption

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the Forester has more interior storage space but it can't handle the weight of 4 vacationing adults
 

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2019 Forester Premium Lineartronic® CVT
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295 Posts
@Rumrunner
My 2019 looked like that on the last trip we took. I just had to replace the tires because of the wear pattern it caused on the rear. I will be much more careful with loading on the next trip!
 

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2011 Forester 5 Speed Manual
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@Rumrunner
My 2019 looked like that on the last trip we took. I just had to replace the tires because of the wear pattern it caused on the rear. I will be much more careful with loading on the next trip!
oh interesting! how many miles did you drive? & did you monitor your air pressure? I'm not proud of that trip. But it was only 200 miles to our campground, I took it easy, tires were in good condition, I'm a bit OCD about tires. made sure they weren't underinflated, & we stopped a cpl times so I could check the pressure & bleed off a tiny bit. Summer travel on hot roads with a heavy load can really make your pressure rise. I don't recall us doing that with the Forester a 2nd time. I mean, we drove home that way, but not a 2nd trip that way. Camping gear adds a lot of weight. It's more expensive to stay in a motel, but it's easier on the car. I've done a bunch of college moves for my kids, loading up the roof rack & even a hitch mounted cargo carrier. But the stuff wasn't bad & we often used a 2nd car. For several years my daughter had several plastic drawers with clothing, that fit perfectly on the cargo carrier. They were bulky but not heavy. That Subaru (branded) roof basket works just fine on the Jeep

when she was still in just a dorm I could pick her up with just 1 car. once she got into an apartment, with furniture/bed & other bigger stuff, we needed 2 cars. I kinda miss those days, just for the drives!

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