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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am hoping to purchase a used tent trailer to tow behind my 2004 Forester XT (manual). The one I have in mind weighs approximately 1300 lbs and does not have trailer brakes. While the limit for my model is 2400 lbs I believe Subaru says 1000 lbs is the limit (as listed for 2006 models on the Canadian Subaru website) without trailer brakes. Any comments on this? If brakes are in fact necessary, can I have them installed on an older (1990-ish) tent trailer?

I don't understand why European Foresters of the same year are rated at about 1800 kg? (almost 4000 lbs!)

Other than that, I would need:
- a trailer hitch, any recommendations?
- possibly different engine oil, I currently use Mobil1 5W-30 synthetic

Are the transmission and brakes up to the task?

Thanks,

Corey :-?
 

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CoreyXT said:
I don't understand why European Foresters of the same year are rated at about 1800 kg? (almost 4000 lbs!)
In a word, liability.
South Africa has a 4400 lb limit.

Concerning the weight, if you don't have anyone in the back seats, I'd transfer that available weight to your brakeless towing capacity.

The basic Subaru hitch will meet your requirements.

You will need a trans oil cooler as well. Like this one:
http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=BMM%2D70255&N=400004+4294924500&autoview=sku

Engine oil weight? Depends on the terrain and season.
If you're going to tow it through the desert, I'd use an xW-50.
At the very least I'd use an xW-40.
I use M1 5W-40 truck & suv. I tow a 1k lb work trailer daily.
 

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Boca_Yid said:
In a word, liability.
South Africa has a 4400 lb limit.
That is for a braked trailer. Unbraked is 1650 lb (750kg)
 

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Austrian

Subarus have also 750kg/1650lbs unbraked limit. Braked the standard rating is 1500kgs/3300lbs which can be upgraded (if you don't exceed 100km/h or 66mi while towing) to 1900kgs/4180lbs. What do you want to tow?
 

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Better hitches than Subaru

Get an aftermarket hitch that isn't badged for Subaru. The Subaru hitch is thinner and has a much lower tongue weight and towing capacity than our other aftermarket hitches- Drawtite/Hidden Hitch/Reece/Curt.

Tongue weight is 200 versus 300
Towing capacity is 2000 versus 3500

Don't get a Valley hitch or a Subaru hitch if you can help it.
 

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The Subaru hitch is very well designed and a quality piece that fits. The Subaru hitch doesn't look like a one size fits all piece of work. Use the factory hitch , I do and tow a 1700 lb boat often (level roads) without any drama whatsoever.
 

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I'd be careful with that extra weight on the rear axle. You might hurt the shock absorbers, and the rear shock absorbers are pretty expensive I heard.
 
J

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Your transmission, brakes, and 5W-30 oil will definitely be up to the task. I'd get a Hidden Hitch or Draw-Tite. Much cheaper and just as good as or better than the Subaru hitch. Both are very popular top quality hitches.
 

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vavrath said:
I'd be careful with that extra weight on the rear axle. You might hurt the shock absorbers, and the rear shock absorbers are pretty expensive I heard.
That is only a problem if you exceed the rated tongue weight.

I read, but didn't register the manual trans. Disregard my cooler post.

Your 5W-30 MAY be up to the task if you're towing on level ground in moderate temperatures.
Your manual advises a heavier oil for hot & heavy towing (sorry, that didn't sound right).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks

Thanks everyone for responding.
So I guess that while the Forester is definitely capable of towing 1300 lbs without trailer brakes, there may be a liability/insurance issue as it's over the NA limit. I completely forgot about the tongue weight; will have to check that out. Anyone else have any experience with installing trailer brakes on a tent trailer? I live in British Columbia, Canada and will mainly be driving through the mountains so the extra braking power would give me peace of mind and allow me to load the trailer up a fair bit.
 

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What's the tongue weight limit on the US/CAN Foresters?? On Europeans it's 75kgs, or 165lbs, making the after market hitches with the extra tongue weight limit pretty useless. How much did you really ever tow as trailor weight/dimension with your Forester? Has anybody ever tried towing an Aircraft Trailer (for a Glider)?
 

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The Dawtite/Hidden Hitch/Curt hitches are beefier. Someone who used to work at Hidden Hitch told me (unverified by me) that Valley makes the Subaru hitch. While thay all make decent hitches, Valley's reputation is the lowest in the industry- don't ask me why..I'm just going by the info provided by dealers/distributors who I have called in the past two weeks.

Anyway, while I certainly would not hesitate to use the Subaru hitch, when I have the choice, I go for overkill/overbuilt- it's my nature, I guess. Oh, plus it's way cheaper- $118 shipped from etrailer by using their 10% off code.
 

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Flyer said:
Get an aftermarket hitch that isn't badged for Subaru. The Subaru hitch is thinner and has a much lower tongue weight and towing capacity than our other aftermarket hitches- Drawtite/Hidden Hitch/Reece/Curt.

Tongue weight is 200 versus 300
Towing capacity is 2000 versus 3500

Don't get a Valley hitch or a Subaru hitch if you can help it.
Even though the hitch is rated at those higher numbers, the vehicle still maintains the lower ratings!
 
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