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2008 Forester
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So my wife and I are thinking about giving up our apartment life (our lack-of-ability-to-buy-a-house life) and roaming in an RV for a while. We definitely don't want to give up the Forester, so we figure we'll tow it. Actually, I feel the same way about my bike, but that's not an option.

Anyway, what do you guys think about putting a bracket on the front of the Foz and towing it with 4 wheels on the ground? If that's a terrible idea, we'd have pull a 16' trailer.

I'm thinking it comes down to whether we want to put the wear on the car or the RV. But maybe the trailer would be easier on the RV than 4 wheels on the ground would be on the Forester.

Any thoughts?..About this or RV life in general?
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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30,105 Posts
It's possible if you have a manual... not so much with the 4EAT (would require disconnection of the driveshaft).
 

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2004 Forester XT STi'd
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2,118 Posts
5MT is not a problem.

Blue Ox makes a really nice unit, had one on my parents Jeep and I'm installing one this weekend on their 10' Forester.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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From Subaru's website: https://www.subaru.com/my-subaru/my-account/car-care-tips.html

AWD Subaru vehicles with manual transmissions can be towed with all four wheels on the ground and the transmission in neutral. STI vehicles with 6 Speed Manual Transmissions can also be towed with all four wheels on the ground and the transmission in neutral. In addition, STI vehicles with 6 Speed Manual Transmissions require that the Driver's Control Center Differential (DCCD) is set in manual mode and the DCCD control dial set to the furthest rearward position.

Please refer to your owner's manual for additional important information on towing vehicles with all four wheels on the ground.

Towing Your Subaru
Subaru of America, Inc. recently changed its policy regarding towing of Subaru vehicles. The guidelines below apply to 1990 or later Legacy (and Outback) models, 1993 or later Impreza (and Outback) models and 1992 or later SVX models and all Forester models. (If your Subaru doesn't fit into any of these categories, please refer to your Owner's Manual.)

Manual Transmission Models
All-Wheel Drive vehicles can be towed with all four wheels on the ground in neutral or with all four wheels off the ground on a trailer with the transmission in gear. Never attempt towing with only two wheels on the ground or two wheels on a dolly. Front-Wheel Drive vehicles can be towed with all four wheels on the ground in neutral or with the two front wheels off the ground.

Automatic Transmission Models
All-Wheel Drive vehicles cannot be towed with any wheels on the ground. The vehicle can only be towed on a trailer with all four wheels off the ground and the transmission in park.
Front-Wheel Drive vehicles can be towed with front wheels off the ground or all four wheels off the ground and transmission in park.
 

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2008 Forester
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
So, clearly I shouldn't do it. But I really wonder why that would be. Is it bad to roll the car in Neutral? Because I do that sometimes, only for a few feet, like if I've backed up too close to a wall to open the tailgate.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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So, clearly I shouldn't do it. But I really wonder why that would be. Is it bad to roll the car in Neutral? Because I do that sometimes, only for a few feet, like if I've backed up too close to a wall to open the tailgate.
You can roll the car in Drive, Reverse or Neutral with no harm. It won't roll in Park because of the parking pawl.
As you tow the car in Neutral, clutch packs, viscous couplings, transmission, torque converter and maybe even the engine are turned or tried to be turned by the driveshaft, which is turned by the wheels. There is no separation of transmission from engine as provided by a clutch. There is resistance in the transmission which makes wear and heat. The longer and faster the tow, the worse the effect.
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring CVT
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383 Posts
So, clearly I shouldn't do it. But I really wonder why that would be. Is it bad to roll the car in Neutral? Because I do that sometimes, only for a few feet, like if I've backed up too close to a wall to open the tailgate.
It's not bad to roll the car a few feet in Neutral, but never more than a few feet or at high speed. It will overheat the fluid in the trans and destroy the viscous clutches.
 

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2011 forester manual
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6 Posts
More info on how 4 wheel down towing

I have a 2011 that I just installed a blue ox face plate on and am working to install the light wiring and brake system. I'm looking for feedback on running the wiring for the braking system (using diodes?), whether the key has to be on while towing and whether the mileage registers??





5MT is not a problem.

Blue Ox makes a really nice unit, had one on my parents Jeep and I'm installing one this weekend on their 10' Forester.
 

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Sorry Steve I have no clue what you talking about?

Picture link explaining what it is... maybe I can help?
 

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2002 Forester S Turbo Manual
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797 Posts
TBH I would always want a trailer. Thing is, if you're towing the car with an A frame like that then you're relying on the front wheels to steer in sympathy. This is fine until you have to reverse...

You will also need to tow the car with the keys in the ignition to stop the steering lock from kicking in.
 

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2009 Subaru
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6 Posts
Towing with Manual Transmission

I have an 09 Forester, I have towed it approximately 10,000 miles behind my RV. You must put the car in neutral, parking brake off, DUH, key in ignition turned to first notch, so steering wheel will turn freely, then go for it. I have a supplemental braking system. Roadmaster Even Brake, which provides braking on the car when brakes are applied to the RV. Actually required in most states and Canada, though many people don't do it. The Even Brake doesn't connect to the car's brake or electric system, except for 12 volt power and attached, with included bracket, to the brake pedal. Definitely work, the system will more than pay for it self when the jerk on the cellphone cuts you off.
Roadmaster makes good stuff and they will talk to you if you have questions. It was easy to install the tow brackets, great instructions, took less than the 3 hours the instructions said it would take.
I didn't want to cut into the electric system for lights. I just ran wires from the front of the car under it, to the rear. I have a plug at the rear of the car just like a trailer plug. I mounted Walmart trailer lights to a bar which plugs into my trailer hitch. There are several different models of wireless tow lights. Just plug a transmitter into the RV and put the magnetic lights on the rear of the car, and your off. Just Google "wireless tow lights" you'll find plenty.
The Forester is a great towed vehicle. PS the RV 2006 Winnebago View is for sale.
 

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