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2016 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
We are in the process of buying a new vehicle to flat tow behind our motor home. Have settled on a 2016 2.5i Premium Forester with manual transmission. I just learned that Subaru no longer recommends flat towing Subarus except in emergency situations. A customer service representative from Subaru indicated that there have been no major modifications to the Forester from previous years that caused this change but that the company was just trying to provide some clarification on the subject. Has anyone else been flat towing the Forester? Can anyone provide any insight into this change?

Thanks.
 

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2009 Forester 2.5x 4EAT
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1,076 Posts

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2016 Forester
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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I have read the emergency towing provisions. The new 2016 dingy towing guide put out by Motorhome magazine used a recent post on the Subaru website as their justification for not including the Subarus on their 2016 list of vehicles that could be flat towed.

"What recommendations does Subaru have about towing my vehicle behind a motor home?

Please follow the recommendations outlined in the Owner's Manual if there is a need to tow a Subaru vehicle. The best way to transport your vehicle is a flatbed tow truck with ALL wheels off the ground. Always follow the precautions and recommendations outlined in the Owner's Manual if flat towing with all wheels on the ground is unavoidable in an emergency situation."
 

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2008 XS 4EAT
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9,877 Posts
Definitely members have been towing behind an RV Browse our huge repository of Forester information! - Towing behind an RV

As to specifically the 2016, it'll require sifting through the results. Many ask the question, get some opinions and never return to update their results so feedback may be sparse.
Blame the liability lawyers recommendations, suing is big business. For example, towing a trailer, some manufacturers models in North America have reduced towing capacities than their counterparts elsewhere, some have none in NA where again the same model elsewhere are rated to tow. See what I'm saying? Lawyers & Liability.
 

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2015 Forester I-Premium 6MT
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2,368 Posts
The manual is referring to towing it behind a tow truck

For RV towing a manual is good to go with no restrictions

Additional source.
Remco : The Towing Experts


2016 Subaru Forester ALL AWD H4 2.5L cyl 6-Speed Manual Manual
Notes

Towable as is without speed or distance restrictions. See Owner's Manual for confirmation and procedures.
 

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2016 Forester 2.5 6MT
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I bought my 2016 Foreste manual transmission specifically for towing behind the motorhome. The first question out of my mouth at the dealership was about flat towing. They said no problem, as long as it is a manual transmission.

You're supposed to turn the key to the first position to unlock the steering wheel. If you do that, you can then turn it back off, just DONT remove the key. The steering wheel will not lock until you pull the key out.

Hutch
 

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2016 Forester 2.5i Prem Manual
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I just got my 2016 for the same use as previous posters and was just wondering about the locking steering wheel. I was playing with it in a parking lot while waiting for some shopping to be done and it didn't seem to be locking at all but I had the key in. This could have been an expensive assumption. Now I am wondering about the same situation on my other vehicle that didn't seem to lock. It is a 2014 Ram 1500. Now I have to go back and check that a different way.

Are there any electrical issues if you drive with the key on in the first position? Some vehicles need fuses pulled, etc.

I will need to power the braking device (similar to a Brake Buddy) and do not know yet if the power plug in the console is always hot with the key off. I will be charging the battery from the motor home.
 

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2016 Forester
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Yes, I have read the emergency towing provisions. The new 2016 dingy towing guide put out by Motorhome magazine used a recent post on the Subaru website as their justification for not including the Subarus on their 2016 list of vehicles that could be flat towed.

"What recommendations does Subaru have about towing my vehicle behind a motor home?

Please follow the recommendations outlined in the Owner's Manual if there is a need to tow a Subaru vehicle. The best way to transport your vehicle is a flatbed tow truck with ALL wheels off the ground. Always follow the precautions and recommendations outlined in the Owner's Manual if flat towing with all wheels on the ground is unavoidable in an emergency situation."
The FMCA Dingy guide says that our 2016 Forester's are towable with a manual/standard transmission. The owners manual gives instructions for flat towing and restricts Forester's with the CVT automatic transmission to less than 20 MPH and no more than a distance of 31 miles. No restrictions listed for the manual transmission. I have talked to/read about my internet friends who have towed the manual transmission-Forester's 1000s of miles with no issues.I just finished setting up my 2016 Forester W/manual transmission to flat tow. Larry
 

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2016 FORSTER 2.5 BASE
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5 Posts
I Have been towing my 2016 forester Manual for the past two years without incident. It tows well. I have wired a charge line from my RV to keep forester battery charged, and use a Roadmaster 9000 braking system in the car
 

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Hi, new member here and this is my first post. I currently own a 2017 Outback and am interested in buying a Forester for towing behind a motorhome. I compared the Subaru manuals (online) for the 2015 and 2016 Foresters (with manual tranny, of course), and the only difference noted is to put the key in the ACC position in the 2015 model, and the ON position in the 2016. What are the implications of this difference?

While browsing for sale listings, I’m seeing many more 2016 models vs. 2015, so that would be my preference. Thanks!
 
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