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2016 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, here is the scenario.

I’d like to tow a 465# Alumna MC10 motorcycle trailer carrying a 475# motorcycle from Orlando Florida to Albuquerque NM in April with my 16 2.5L Forester. I have a Drawtite class 3 hitch and the CVT transmission. I imagine I will have a couple hundred pounds of gear, myself and no other passengers. This will be over the course of three days or so. The trailer does not have brakes and I do not have a transmission cooler. I believe the drive should be relatively flat for the most part. It will be round trip so we are looking at 3600 miles or so.

I should mention I have previously towed 1200 miles round trip to the NC mountains with the same vehicle and motorcycle but with a heavier (800#) rented Uhaul motorcycle trailer and had no issues other than slightly worse gas mileage at or around 55-65 mph.

Is this wise? Should I have a transmission cooler installed? If so, any recommendations?
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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3,065 Posts
So 465+475 puts you under 1,000 Lbs which is fine to be towed with the Forester in other parts of the world legally. (750Kg/1500Lbs is the limit for trailer without brakes in the UK for example)

UK Spec Foresters come with transmission coolers - I think it would be wise to fit one - I couldn't say what is available to you in the US though.

How are your brake pads and rotors looking? I would also be checking all fluid levels before and during the trip for any signs of potential trouble.

Now is it legal for you to be towing that in your region with local, states and any other kind of law/insurance ? No idea.
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i 6MT
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474 Posts
The US spec Foresters do have some sort of weird fluid cooler, but not a traditional transmission cooler. I would make the tow without making any modifications to the car and completely without hesitation.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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4,991 Posts
... UK Spec Foresters come with transmission coolers - I think it would be wise to fit one - I couldn't say what is available to you in the US though...
You have a MY05 2.5XT, which would have the 4EAT automatic transmission.

I expect your car has the same OE "transmission cooler" as mine: the fluid is routed through the bottom of the radiator where it is cooled by the coolant.
I expect the original poster's 2015 2.5 with CVT has the same "cooler".

This is not the same as a true transmission cooler for towing, which routes the fluid through a separate radiator where it is cooled by air.

Such auxilliary coolers are aftermarket.
https://www.subaruforester.org/vbul...ler-merged-thread-5574/index3.html#post433993
https://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f89/write-up-installing-4eat-cooler-merged-thread-5574/

I don't think there is any need for an auxiliary transmission cooler unless towing in excess of the 1500 lb rating + mountains + summer heat.
 
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