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I have a question for the forum.

From what I understand, the maximum tongue weight is 200lbs....So if I (215lb) stood on my hitch, I would be exceeding the tongue weight limit by 15lbs? Is that right?

Also, how much can we tow with a class III hitch? Like a lot of folks, I got the curt class III hitch and was told that I can tow a boat no sweat (the forester is towing a big fiberglass boat in the 2010 brochure) so I just wanna make sure that I can.

Thanks for the info people.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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So if I (215lb) stood on my hitch, I would be exceeding the tongue weight limit by 15lbs? Is that right?
That's technically correct. Here's a link to a related discussion.

Also, how much can we tow with a class III hitch?
The Curt Class III hitch is rated for a 4,000 lb trailer with a 400 lb tongue weight.

However, Subaru's official tow limits for your AT-equipped car (in the U.S., anyway) are 1,000 lbs for a trailer w/out brakes or towing up long grades in high ambient temperature, or 2,400 lbs for a trailer with brakes.

Looks like they're essentially the same in Canada.

In this case, the car's lower towing specs set the limit, not the hitch. The combined weight of the car, passengers, gear, and the trailer tongue must also conform to GVWR and GAWR specs.

The U.S. 2010 Forester owner manual contains a fair amount of detailed info about towing on pages 8-15 through -24. Don't know about the Canadian version.

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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I said it before and I say it again. the tow limits in the US are very low compared to the rest of the world it seems. However the tongue weight is about the same. The limit for my old s-turbo over here is close to 4000 lbs for a trailer with brakes. (1800kg)
 

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...the tow limits in the US are very low compared to the rest of the world it seems.
That may be so. I’ve done a fair amount of recreational towing over the past 10+ years, and I’ve given this issue a bit of hopefully rational thought.

Without taking sides, allow me to offer the following hypothesis: The U.S. in general, and the continental U.S. in particular, presents an unusually harsh set of conditions for recreational towing due to its unique combination of location, climate, geography, speed limits, and perhaps other factors, such as the frontal area of our rather large RV's. Accordingly, U.S. tow limits may seem to be on the “low” side.

The U.S. is a large and diverse land mass covering 3.8 million miles^2, or 10 million km^2. The continental U.S. (not including Alaska or Hawaii) spans four time zones. Temperatures range from a July average high of 115 F (~46 C) in Death Valley, CA, to a January average low of -8 F (-22 C) in International Falls, MN, and perhaps worse elsewhere.

Elevations in California range from -282 ft (-86 m) in Death Valley to 14,494 ft (4,418 m) atop Mt. Whitney. And these two points are only 80 miles (~130 km) apart. :icon_eek: California alone (~164K miles^2; ~424K km^2) is larger than Norway (~149K miles^2; ~385K km^2).

For better or for worse, I decided to evaluate conditions in Nebraska, a centrally located state, in considering this issue:

  • The I-80 interstate highway (motorway) through Nebraska generally parallels 41 degrees north latitude, roughly the same as Madrid, Spain, and Rome, Italy. In comparison, Frankfurt, Germany, is at ~50 degrees north latitude; Dublin, Ireland, is at ~53 degrees north latitude; and Oslo, in southern Norway, is at ~60 degrees north latitude.
  • I-80 across Nebraska is 455 miles (733 km) in length.
  • The interstate speed limit in Nebraska is 75 mph (121 km/h).
  • Average July daily high temperature in North Platte, Nebraska is 88 F (~31 C), and the record high temperature is 108 F (~42 C).
  • The eastern side of Nebraska is ~900 ft (~275 m) above sea level, and the western side is >5,000 feet (>1,500 m) above sea level.
So, it’s possible to drive 455 miles (733 km) -- roughly the distance from London, England, across France to Bern, Switzerland -- west across Nebraska, which lies south of most of Europe, at 75 mph (121 kph) in 6 hours in 88 F (~31 C) or higher temperature while climbing >4,000 feet (~1,200 m) along the way, all while running the air conditioning in the tow vehicle.

These are demanding towing conditions, and there are more of them in the U.S.:

Subaru’s U.S. tow limits, as well as those from other auto manufacturers, may see low, but my experience and analysis indicates there’s probably good reason.

RV (caravan) towing conditions can be more favorable in other countries. For example, my understanding is that the maximum speed limit Norway's only motorway is 100 kph (62 mph), and the national maximum speed limit otherwise 80 kph (50 mph). Combined with generally shorter towing distances and a cooler climate, these conditions are not nearly as stressful on a tow vehicle and the driver.

My first tow vehicle was a 1986 Chevrolet Suburban with a 350 cid (5.7 L) V8. Its tow manual included two sets of limits: one for long distances in any weather at interstate speed limits, and the other for short distances in cool weather at no more than 45 mph (72 kph). I don’t remember the details, but I do remember the latter set of limits were MUCH higher than the former.

Now, where did I leave my beer? :icon_wink:
Jim / crewzer
 

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Crewzer, well done!

Not sure about the SH's, but everyone recommends getting a tranny cooler if towing with an older Forester automatic.

I've towed a plenty with my '03 XS 5 speed. The trick? Take it slow and easy or you will overheat. I almost have a few times going over the passes here towing more than I should.
 

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Dang Crewzer. You ruined my whole thing here. lol
Well. When you put it like that I can only agree with you :biggrin:
 

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Thanks, Gents, and I hope the dissertation is useful.

I did forget something in the example: When you're towing west across Nebraska (long, high speed, hot, uphill), it's usually into a head wind. :icon_eek:

I also found this old Honda Towing Guide to be of interest. Note the different Pilot & MDX limits for towing trailers vs. towing boats. A boat presents less drag, I presume.

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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I would agree with your assessment. It's just too difficult to predict the conditions people will be able to safely tow in here in the states with so many varying conditions and climates. Thus, it leads to a lot of vehicles with lower listed tow limits, and sometimes not rated at all.

My previous ride was a 2005 Scion xB, which was based on the Toyota Echo's frame and engine. Abroad, the Echo was rated for 1500lb towing. In the states it was just plain not rated. Being the cautious driver I am, I had no problems putting a hitch on it to tow my 575lb (dry) 1985 Coleman Colorado soft top tent trailer. I had that rig all over the mountains here in Washington, and even took it with us to Glacier NP last year, all the way up into Kintla Lake (now THAT is a drive!). I never had any issues.

The trick is knowing the limits, and knowing how to take it easy. That can be a very difficult concept for American drivers to handle. For example, the drive into the east side of Glacier has some very long, demanding hills. It definitely put my xB through it's paces hauling the tent trailer. The key was to understand that although the speed limit was 70, it would've been unwise to try and max out the engine to keep up with that speed. I let the car find it's own sweet spot around 55mph and just kept it nice and steady.

So, generally speaking, you have to take manufacturer tow limits (or non-existant ratings!) with a grain of salt. Think of them more like guidelines. Think about your driving style and your route. Take it easy, and haul safe.
 

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Yup, a little like Continental Europe :raspberry:, but I suspect from your posts that you've not been on the French/Swiss/Austrian/Italian alpine roads :icon_question:

Not my Forester I admit :-
Albulapass1.jpg Albulapass2.jpg
 

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From what I understand, the maximum tongue weight is 200lbs....So if I (215lb) stood on my hitch, I would be exceeding the tongue weight limit by 15lbs? Is that right?
I don't think it's that simple. The 200 lb rating is based on the fact that the tongue weight should be 10% of the load to keep the trailer from fish-tailing.

This rating then takes into account sudden acceleration and deceleration forces placed on the hitch while towing.

You could stand on that hitch with a baloney sandwich in each hand jumping up and down while whistling Dixie all day long...and you couldn't hurt it.
 

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Yup, a little like Continental Europe :raspberry:, but I suspect from your posts that you've not been on the French/Swiss/Austrian/Italian alpine roads :icon_question:

Not my Forester I admit :-
View attachment 30000 View attachment 30001
I've not towed in Europe. But, I have done Glacier National Park (Montana), the Togwatee Pass in NW Wyoming, and many other grades, parks, and passes in the U.S. Rocky Mountains, in my truck carrying / towing a 6,000 lb. load. I've also had our Forester up to Togwatee, and, except for some kayaks on a small trailer, I wouldn't dream of towing anything larger with it up there.

(That's U.S. mpg's in the display, BTW, not Imperial :icon_wink:)

Regards,
Jim / crewzer:icon_wink:
 

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