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Subaru Forester limited trim, 2019 dark grey
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m looking at the (painfully limited) selection of “standy” (you can stand up in them) camper trailers that the forester can tow. There’s a lot to like about some A liner models, I’d like a larger option but they are roughly 1600- 1700 lbs dry.

So... has anyone modified or considered trying to get them comfortably under the weight limit? I’ve seen suggestions in other camper sites about pulling out heavy wood furniture and replacing with folding cots/ chairs etc.

I like that it not only affords you a lighter weight (saving on gas) but potentially gives you more space inside and the option to reconfigure to your liking. I don’t need a heavy fridge if I just keep a yeti in the car, and I can use a camp stove instead of the heavier microwave, stove and oven.

The potential for this is exciting, but how much weight can realistically be eliminated. Would you do this mod after buying or custom order from the plant? Would the sacrifices have unexpected consequences (ie. Changing/ shifting the weight inside the trailer might make it more likely to fishtail if not loaded right, etc.)

Please feel free to explain it to my like I’m 5, this is very new and still just a dream for me.

I’m a travel nurse and love the idea of being able to bring my home with me, while still keeping my forester and not having to upgrade to a... pickup truck (gasp!) lol

thanks in advance! I love being on this site and am always learning new tips and ideas from you guys! There’s always more to discover and appreciate about the forester!
 

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2001 Forester L Automatic
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290 Posts
Is being able to stand up a requirement? Tear drop trailers might be an option to save on weight... But not give you that extra room you might want/need for extended trips.
 

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2020 Forester, Crystal While Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather
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132 Posts
@‘19 forester girl There was thread around about small trailers that were within the Forester's towing limit. Search for it, please. (I will post the link if I find it.)

Maybe there is a model there fits your needs. There is also a trailer called Sylvan Sport or something which is a lightweight fold-up model that has standup room. There are some options in trailers, but most of them cost more than a roof-top tent.
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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1,024 Posts
When you said travel nurse, bringing your home with you, and room to stand, I immediately thought of a converted high top camper van. Surprisingly easy driving, not terrible on the gas. My son and I converted a Mercedes Sprinter 3+ years ago and it’s turned out to be a very comfortable and versatile vehicle. Solar, diesel heater, cook top, bed etc.

Probably not what you were thinking of.
 

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2020 Forester, Crystal While Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather
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132 Posts

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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2,088 Posts
Trailers are expensive and buying one to "gut" in the interest of weight reduction is not gonna work too well... If you are traveling for any length of time, you are going to carry food, water, and "stuff" with you in the trailer so a better goal is starting with something truly light.

As for standing up in a trailer, the frontal area of a trailer is also a towing issue for long trips with a Forester.

I appreciate your work and your enthusiasm, but a Forester is just not a good vehicle to tow big stuff with. I have a friend who bought a Forester despite wanting to tow a jet ski, and then he found a great deal on TWO jet skis and a trailer, close to 2000 lbs, and of course bought them. This is the wrong order in which to do things. He's negotiating with his wife to use her larger SUV when he needs to pull the jet skis but he should have bought an Outback or Ascent, preferably with the 2.4 engine.

I owned big vans for 30 years with the first two of them being pop-top Turtle Top campers and those were relatively convenient dual-duty vehicles in which I could easily stand up. Later vans were passenger conversions without pop tops. In 2016, with my wife and me both retired, I finally downsized to a new Grand Caravan and find that to be a nice all-round driver, and I could sleep in it especially if I were by myself. Alternatively, the Grand Caravan can pull 3500 lbs, and they are pretty darn cheap used (rental fleets are dumping lots of them, but do get an extended warranty).

Pickup trucks are good for pulling stuff, but I'd suggest a van or minivan over a pickup and (sadly) over a Forester for your purposes; you might well be able to outfit that for sleeping. With a trailer, you have to leave it somewhere when staying at your destination.
 

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2008 XT Sport 5-speed
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439 Posts
Look into Livin Lite campers...They aren't made anymore, but they were completely built out of aluminum. Even their 10' (doesn't sound big but it was good size camper once the beds were folded out, etc.) pop up camper came in under 1000lbs. They made several smaller campers as well, some even made to be towed by a motorcycle that only weigh a few hundred pounds.

This is their 6':
549543
 

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Subaru Forester limited trim, 2019 dark grey
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks in advance!
I know there are other posts about tiny campers on here (very helpful) but in terms of a frame campers, it looks like the only ones that come in under the 1500lb tow limit are:
A liner (scout lite and ranger 10)
Chalet LTW

these both come in with a little weight to spare but other online forums have stated that people would be ‘scared’ to tow an 1100lb camper with a ‘weak’ forester. Of course I don’t want to damage the engine or crack the frame, but if you’re diligent about keeping your weight down under the GCWR,it should be feasible correct?

MOST IMPORTANTLY- HAS ANYONE ON HERE DONE IT (successfully lol). Or is any Aframe just out of the question?

please and thank you!
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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2,088 Posts
The HC1 looks like it's gonna be over $40k with a toilet and A/C, and I don't see it offering any trailer brakes, which are required to pull 1000 lbs or more with a Forester. With the added equipment in it, I still think it will be hard to keep it under 1500 lbs, and the frontal area looks significant. Isn't there a point where it gets silly to spend twice as much on a tiny trailer than a used Forester is worth? It's like custom building a carbon fiber dog sled so that you can pull it with your team of miniature poodles.

You'd be further ahead financially trading the Forester for an Outback or Ascent and buying a slightly heavier trailer for half the price. Alternatively, you could buy a van and spend some money converting it to a camper for well under $40k.
 

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2020 Touring as of 8/28/2020!
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508 Posts
If you're planning on doing the travel nurse gig for awhile maybe consider investing in a camper van and tow the Forester behind. They can be expensive but cheaper than a mortgage on an unused house and you might be able to find a reasonably priced used one.

After browsing through the camper vans for sale the traveling lifestyle is looking very appealing.
 

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2018 Forester Manual
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464 Posts
I have an old Coleman Columbia popup camper. It weighs 950 pounds empty. A frames are always a bit heavier.
 

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2020 Forester, Convenience, CVT
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21 Posts
We ordered a 13' Scamp trailer last year, and love it! it is less then 1500lbs dry, and towed no problem with our 2018 Forester 5M, and now even better with our 2020 Forester CVT. Check out their web site. Dated concept but extremely good quality. We had to import to Canada, but well worth the effort.
DSC_0490.JPG
 

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2020 Forester, Convenience, CVT
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Came in at approx $20k US, with shower, toilet, a/c, awning, furnace, stove, fridge, sink, hot water heater, almost queen size bed, dual propane tanks, electric brakes with wireless controller, and more. Way better than any teardrop we looked at. www.scamptrailers.com
 

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2019 Forester Sport
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7 Posts
I’ve read that AUS versions have a higher towing capacity due to looser restrictions and the additional of a stock transmission cooler. Supposedly those can be added fairly easily and can help offer some peace of mind while towing. Adding a transmission temp readout would also help monitor while you’re on the road.
 

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2018 Forester Manual
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464 Posts
Scamps are awesome! I have been browsing for a used one but they get sold pretty much immediately.
 
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