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I was camping recently, and talked with a couple that had an A-liner trailer pulled with an outback. 2009 I think. I bemoaned feeling limited by the 1500 pound rating on my '16 ForesterXt, and he said the problem is the turbo! I have heard multiple arguments about towing close to/ above the US tow limit, but none included the turbo being a factor!
If I want to tow a 17-1800 lb pop up trailer 300 miles, am I going to blow up the engine due to the turbo? What if I add engine cooling & the other recommended goodies?
Thanks
 

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Towing requires torque, the more the merrier. Turbochargers depending on the design either produces lots of torque or lots of horsepower. But I would agree with the individual's assessment of the turbo is why you have such a low tow rating. The other reason is you are driving with a CVT transmission vs AT or MT, so there are also possible limitations there as well. Plus you have a smaller engine being a 2.0L vs the Outback which has either the 2.5L or 3.0L engine.
 

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True. It also has two manual transmission options, including one for very low gears/ steep grades. Would that change the equation at all?
 

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I bemoaned feeling limited by the 1500 pound rating on my '16 ForesterXt, and he said the problem is the turbo!
The turbo isn't the problem. In Australia XTs are rated to tow 1,800 kg, about 4,000 lb. I believe it is even higher in Europe. So the turbo (and CVT) don't seem to be the limiting factor.

Apparently, the issue is the U.S. uses more conservative criterion for calculating tow limits, probably because of higher speed limits.

I do a lot of towing and decided the 2.5 NA was the better tow option as the turbo would be on boost most of the time greatly reducing mpg.
 

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My transmission has a super-low gear option, which I believe bypasses the CVT. Not sure about the turbo. Guess I could give it a whirl close to home and see how it handles.
 

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I believe you'll be OK - I seen some XT's tow large campers over here.

My transmission has a super-low gear option.
Are you sure you're driving a MY'16 Forester? :wink2: This is usually only available with dual range transmissions.

Do you mean Hill Descent control or SI-Drive?
 

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If you have cvt u dont have another transmission. 😉.

If you want to tow, monitor your cvt temp and get a transmission cooler. Also, do your cvt trans oil replace early if you tow or lives in hot weather and driving short distance. Google cvt and transmission cooler for more info.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, it is a 2016 Forester XT. There is SOOOOOO much controversy here in the US over the tow rating! I've heard every possible reason I CAN"T tow with mine, and several why I shouldn't worry about it.
It has an "X mode", which come to find out is more for very low speed/steep incline situations.
I will be towing mostly flat, except for a pass over the Sierra Nevada (long, slow inclines up, slow descent down).
There is also a manual transmission mode, which I need to loop deeper into.
Thanks!
 

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its just the chassis. For some reason subaru rated it very low in North America.
The 2009-2013 were rated 240 tongue weight, 2400lb trailer
starting in 2014 it magically was reduced.. for both MT and CVT/auto models

Has nothing to do with turbo.
 

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Experience towing with 2017 Turbo

I towed a 1500lb trailer 1200 miles, over 3 days, from sea level over elevations of 6000ft with no problems. We were moving house so the car was fully loaded as well. I set the cruise to 65mph on the 1000 miles of highway and I kept a careful eye on oil and water temperatures (outside temps in mid 20sC). Other than higher than usual oil temperatures during the climbs, which immediately cooled again on the flat, the only signs of stress was the driver monitoring everything :) We didn't get our usual +30mpg, but the consumption was reasonable overall.
Overall I am very impressed with the turbo. Living at 6500 feet, with occasional trips to 12,000, the turbo means overtaking and inclines are never an issue. Hard acceleration can get peaky between on/off boost, but it is far better than the anemic performance a naturally aspirated engine would have at these altitudes. 6000 feet altitude will have a normally aspirated engine 20% down on power. The only good point of that is returning to sea level means a 20% power boost which feels great :)
 

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Good rule of thumb for towing is that any trailer over 1000lbs gets trailer brakes. So with brakes I wouldnt worry about 1800lbs even for 1000 miles, without brakes I would choose secondary roads with lower speed limits and not make it a regular thing to go further than a few hundred miles.

Towing 1800lbs for 300 miles one time will not put additional wear on the turbo or the CVT.

Doing a round trip of 300-600 miles, 5+ different times a year for multiple years with 1800lbs should not add appreciable wear to the turbo, it will increase CVT fluid degradation, and probably wear the brakes more than anything else.

So if you do this regularly plan to have the CVT fluid changed by a dealer every 30k (total miles not towing miles) and budget for brake pads more often than usual.

I towed 600-800lbs of motorcycle and trailer about 6000 miles in the first 30k, and noticed the CVT was smoother and got better mileage after getting the fluid changed, dont skip on that service item when towing regularly
 

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I comes down to Politics. Speed limits are high in the U.S. and we don't have a national towing speed limit, also regulations my differ from one country to the next.

That said, Force = Mass x Acceleration, so if you slow down the towing vehicle you can safely tow a greater weight. <-- Most likely reason a single-spec global vehicle has different tow ratings on three different continents.
 
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