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2010 Forester 2.5X Base Model
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok. I am going to start this of with an introduction:

I am NOT an idiot. I know a thing or two about vehicles. And I am fairly maintenance/modification savvy.

That being said, I AM in a tight spot and am a bit desperate. The military is moving making me move 1600 miles rather last minute. I have two cars, a vespa, and assorted home-goods.

What is the Trailer Hitch Class rating of the OEM hitch for the 2010 Forester? The Factory Manual says the vehicle is capable of 2400 lbs? So...?
> "Class I" is supposed to be rated up to 2,000 lbs
> "Class II: is supposed to be rated up to 3,500 lbs


What are the consequences of say... towing 3500 lbs (a car in an enclosed trailer) off the back of my 2010 Forester 2.5X MT?

Please don't be too vicious with your comments... I just need honest advice, like I said if there was another way for me to pull this off I would not go this route.
 

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Oooh, wow, 3500 lbs. At first, that seems like a bit much to me.
On the other hand, I remember that in some other countries, (Great Britain and Australia I believe), the forester is rated at 1800 kg (~4000 lb).

In my so-far limited towing experience, I towed my new popup travel trailer home from the dealer, about 25 miles. I'd say the trailer probably weighed about 2500 lbs (empty, but with battery, full propane, and a little water). It towed with little problem. I certainly noticed it was back there, and happily stayed in the right lane most of the time, but there was certainly no issue keeping up with traffic. I also had no issue starting from a stop.

But you're talking about a whole 1000 lbs more. And if you're planning on packing the Forester full of stuff, that'll add to the weight. But on the other hand, where you'll comparatively reduce the load is in air resistance (I assume you're talking about towing a car). Cars are much better streamlined than a boxy trailer.

As for the hitch, I can't really comment about its "real" rating. Subaru has a history of downrating their hitches down to the rating of the vehicle itself. However, that being said, it's totally different than any of the aftermarket hitches for the '09-'10, so I don't know if anyone can really know what the real (read: engineering) rating is on the hitch. I opted for the Curt class III, which is rated at 4000 lb. However (assuming you're towing a car again), you might be able to get away with the 3500 lbs on the hitch, simply because you'll have virtually no tongue weight, which normally adds quite a bit of extra stress. In fact, thinking of the design of the OEM hitch, it probably could handle the load without tongue weight pretty darn well.

So, if you're towing a car, with not much extra weight in the car, I'd say you *probably* could do it (not certain), but expect to be slowing down quite a bit on the hills. And just let it slow down. Don't try to keep the speed limit up the hills or you'd probably push the engine too hard.
Now, if you're talking about a 3500 u-haul trailer, that's a different story. I don't think I'd go there. You'd need a tongue weight of ~350-400 lbs minimum for stability against sway, which is way too much load on that hitch (I think), and you'd also have additional aerodynamic drag to contend with.

Honestly, if it were me, I'd see if I could rent a 16 ft U-haul truck, put all the stuff in the truck and the car behind, and see if you can get a friend to drive the other car. Or, borrow a friend's pickup if that option's available.

Good luck and I hope you the best. And thank you for your military service. We all owe our freedoms to people like you who have fought to keep this country free for over 200 years.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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What is the Trailer Hitch Class rating of the OEM hitch for the 2010 Forester? The Factory Manual says the vehicle is capable of 2400 lbs? So...?
> "Class I" is supposed to be rated up to 2,000 lbs
> "Class II: is supposed to be rated up to 3,500 lbs
U-Haul and other towing-oriented websites offer fairly good and consistent descriptions of Class I, -II, and -III hitches.

Subaru's OEM hitch option for the '09 & '10 Forester is rated at 200# tongue weight and 2,400 # trailer weight. IMHO, that would make it a Class I hitch due to the tongue weight limit (always go with the low number). The hitch's receiver is sized for 1-1/4" shanks (draw bars).

Here's a link to a nice forum post on installing the OEM hitch. There are lots of good pics, including one of the drawbar with its weight ratings clearly visible.

The lowest rated link in the chain sets the tow limit. In order for the car's 2,400# tow limit to stand, all tow-related hardware (car, hitch, shank, tow ball) must be individually rated for 2,400# or more. IOW, the lowest rated item sets the limit.

What are the consequences of say... towing 3500 lbs off the back of my 2010 Forester 2.5X MT?
Not at all a good idea, IMHO. If you do decide to use your Forester as a tow vehicle, then you may also want to consider a full-size spare tire.

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f137/info-towing-w-forester-spare-tire-63564/#post703788
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/full-size-spare-09-forester-52279/

Best of luck, and thank you for your service. To where are you moving, and when?

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2009 2.5 Touring
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16 Posts
Heavy weight towing

It all depends on how far you must be towing it, how fast (are you going to takes the highway?) and how hilly the roads are and does your trailer has its own brakes cause moving 3500 lbs is something, but having to stop it (in possible urgency situation) is another thing!

I have a pop-up trailer which must be around 2000 lbs when filled (maybe even more) and I burned my clutch on the first week I pulled with it (maybe I'm not the best manual driver, but) so I can tell you that just pulling 2000 lbs from a stop was already hard on the clutch... Now I changed to another forester with an automatic and it is not a problem anymore :woohoo:

Final point, if the destination is near and not too fast and without too much tongue weight, you may be able to do it... otherwise you should consider others option if you like your Forester.

Good luck!
 

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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,039 Posts
IMO:
Class 2 a must
With that weight I would limit it to a short trip over FLAT terrain. Electric brakes as well.


On a side note: not good that you had to write your post in such a manner to keep the wolves off. Perhaps, we should all realize that people post for help NOT abuse.

As a member, sorry you had to write it that way but I understand why.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X Base Model
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303 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I don't know what my best route is to avoid windy roads, between Norfolk, VA and San Antonio, TX, but I am going to take that into consideration.

I WILL have electric brakes on the trailer... I am a little too chicken to even think about risking something like no brakes. In addition, I am planning on swapping the fluid in my Fozzie to Ate Super Blue, just to be on the safe side.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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The Forester can pull that much no problem, the big issue though is the trailer will weigh more than your car and you will be very prone to trailer sway and stopping will be a big issue.

Personally I'd only tow that much for a few miles. No where I'd do it from VA to TX. Your just asking for an accident. Cruising 60 on the freeway and hit some strong cross winds and that trailer will move your car right off the road.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X Base Model
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Discussion Starter #8
That is a good, point I never considered that Trailer Weight vs Fozzie Weight Issue...

This is looking more and more like a bad idea.

And Thanks everybody for the input. You all are the experts!

And I am looking potentially at getting the DrawTite 3500 lb hitch to replace my OEM one, it looks a little beefier, despite that I like how the OEM one looks.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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When I picked up the lumber for my deck, I forgot to factor in how heavy composite decking is, and I probably had 3500lbs + in my trailer (rated for 6k). My XT had no issues moving that heavy of a load, even up the huge hill toward my house, but when I got above 20mph the trailer sway pushed my car around so much I thought I was going to crash. I ended up driving the 6 miles home at 15mph. It wasn't fun at all.
 

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I see it more clear now that it's a trailer you're wanting to pull.

As others and I have stated before, I would not pull a trailer of that much weight.
You are going to have a problem of either too much tongue weight, or sway issues.
You'll need at least 350 lb (10%) to keep the sway down, and 350 lb is just too much tongue weight without some sort of weight distribution, IMO (not an option with rented trailers, AFAIK). Keep in mind that 350 lb will apply about 500 lb on the rear axle and release about 150 lb from the front axle. I've had 500-600 lbs of bark dusk in the back before, centered over the rear axle, and it was REALLY loaded.

You mention replacing the hitch with the Draw-Tite. For the money it costs for a new hitch, you might be able to rent a U-haul truck and a tow dolly for your other car to tow behind the truck (assuming it's not AWD).
 

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2009 & Jamboree Motorhome
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347 Posts
I have been towing for over 50 years.. A good rule of thumb is keep the load about half to 2/3 the weight of the tow car.. Once you pass that general area things start to get a bit tricky.. Short, low speed hauls work.. But at highway speeds towing some thing that has near the weight of the tow vehicle will tighten your pucker string real fast.. One reason they do tow more in some countrys is the highway speeds are down from here, where we tow at 70 +..

Snowdance

Flickr: snowdance38's Photostream
 

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2009 Forester
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Another option is to rent a U-Haul truck, put one car in the box of the truck with your other stuff and tow the other car behind. My brother did this once. Just have to get some wood for a ramp. Don't tell U-Haul that you are going to do this because its probably against their rules.
 

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2010 Forester XT
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75 Posts
The Forester can pull that much no problem, the big issue though is the trailer will weigh more than your car and you will be very prone to trailer sway and stopping will be a big issue.

Personally I'd only tow that much for a few miles. No where I'd do it from VA to TX. Your just asking for an accident. Cruising 60 on the freeway and hit some strong cross winds and that trailer will move your car right off the road.
This. People focus too much on vehicle power.

I'm not saying you can't do this, but a 3500 lb trailer will PUSH HARD on stops and anytime the momentum of the trailer is headed a different direction than the car. It is a scary feeling to hit the brakes and feel the trailer push the weight off your back tires.
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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The roads and speed limits are all different over there but as someone said and I can confirm it. We got almost 4000lbs towing limit on the 2.0l turbo SF model and I belive it's uprated to 4400 on newer models. So after those regulations your 2.5l should be able to pull 3500lbs.
That said, tongue weight is important to remember when you load the trailer. Trailer brakes is a must.
Oh ye, braking with a heavy trailer takes more time then with just the car. So keep your distances from the car in front of you
 

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04 Forester 5MT
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From everyone's response, it looks like it can be done but you have to take your time and know you are running a risk. The good thing is from Newport News, to TX, it's all down hill. :) (Hampton native)
 

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Installed a custom hitch on my 09 Forester. This involved removing the rear bumper and adding frame supports to reinforce the hitch attachment points (similar to factory Jobey). Don't know what the rated capacity is but it is much more substantial than some of the aftermarket hitches out there. In my opinion the rear chassis is not substantial enough to support a class II hitch with intentions of pulling 3500lbs.
 

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We are in a similar pickle. Need to move. Have three cars and there are two of us. Our MGB gets to ride on the trailer behind the 26' UHaul. Our RAV4 is being shipped via open carrier. Our 04 Forester 2.5L may need to tow the smallest UHaul cargo trailer (4'x7'). Specs on trailer are:

•Volume: up to 142 cu. ft.
•Max load: 1,650 lbs.
•Gross vehicle weight: 2,500 lbs. max
•Empty weight: 850 lbs.

Car can tow 2400 lbs, but the trailer has no brakes. So recommended to only tow 1000lbs. Clearly we need to load more than 150 lbs in the trailer. Our plan is to fill it with light, bulky stuff.

Any sage advice?
 

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2010 2.5 XT Limited
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342 Posts
We are in a similar pickle. Need to move. Have three cars and there are two of us. Our MGB gets to ride on the trailer behind the 26' UHaul. Our RAV4 is being shipped via open carrier. Our 04 Forester 2.5L may need to tow the smallest UHaul cargo trailer (4'x7'). Specs on trailer are:

•Volume: up to 142 cu. ft.
•Max load: 1,650 lbs.
•Gross vehicle weight: 2,500 lbs. max
•Empty weight: 850 lbs.

Car can tow 2400 lbs, but the trailer has no brakes. So recommended to only tow 1000lbs. Clearly we need to load more than 150 lbs in the trailer. Our plan is to fill it with light, bulky stuff.

Any sage advice?
It looks alright to me. I don't have a 04' but I have a 10' XT. I had towed from Chicago to Iowa couple of time with some furniture on a U-haul 5X8 with no problem what so ever, but I was driving 55mph and easy on the gas pedal.
 
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