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Towing with a Forester

124

Comments

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Fred- I've had similar problems with the curise control on my 04 XT 5-speed. In my case, it kept disengaging shortly after being set. It first did it probably 2-3 years ago on a road trip but then it didn't do it again until the drive out to Arizona. One day it would work and the next it wouldn't. That was a year and a half ago and it's acted up only one time since. Of course taking it to the dealer when it's working is a good way to waste time and money so I'm really interested to know if the neutral safety switch is the problem.

    -Frank
  • xtopxtop Posts: 29
    Frank: I will post if anything happens. Unfortunately, we are not taking a trip without the trailer so the speeds may not be high enough to trigger the problem.

    Fred
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Had the cruise issue on my legacy this pas week. Found out there is a TSB on the ECU for it IIRC. I will let you know if/when I bring it in and what the final outcome is.

    -mike
  • xtopxtop Posts: 29
    Hey Mike: That would be super! We're shoving off for AZ on Wednesday but I will be able to check your results.
    Fred
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,648
    This is a high-quality unit and looks very good on the vehicle. It took about an hour to install, including the necessary (but minor) modification to the holes in the frame rails. The unit cost me $137.00 delivered and I am very glad I went this route rather than the factory hitch (with 1.25" receiver). Best of all is that I will be able to use all of the trailering equipment I have accumulated for my pickups. :D

    image

    image

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    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • 26cars26cars Posts: 19
    That hitch looks real good; I have the factory one and although it works fine I am not that fond of the way it looks. Plus, it was grossly overpriced.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Looks good, and it sits nearly flush with the bumper, too.

    You may have lost a teeny-tiny bit in terms of departure angle, but no ground clearance at all.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,648
    I considered the factory hitch (I ordered my car, so I considered adding the hitch to the order), but the main stumbling block for me was the cost combined with the fact that it was a class II (1.25" receiver).

    I likely will not tow more than a couple times a year, but I also wanted the hitch to replace the hokey screw-in eye hook for vehicle recovery. I don't know that I would trust the integrity of a class II hitch receiver when using it to pull vehicles out of ditches....
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,648
    Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised by that as well. The hitch is nearly flush with the bumper shell (about 1" short of it), so I do lose a little bit of departure angle, but no ground clearance. However, I doubt there will be many, if any, times that I will lament the lost of angle. And, in the rare instance it is a problem, I might just be happy that I hit the receiver instead of tearing up my bumper shell! :D
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep. I went off roading with a buddy in his Bronco, and he kept slamming the hitch when we hit sharp angles.

    There was no damage at all in the end.
  • 26cars26cars Posts: 19
    Has anyone towed with a 2009/10 Forester, non-turbo, a trailer over 2000 lbs., up to the max rated 2400 lbs.?
    I have the factory hitch and tow a fishing boat that weighs about 900 lbs., thinking about getting a pop-up camper but I am concerned that the Forester may be challenged at the near-max weights. Especially concerned about tounge weight, campers tend to be tounge-heavy and I suspect rear-end sag may be considerable with that kind of load (200+ lbs).
    Also wondering if anyone that tows heavier weights has installed a tranny oil cooler, what brand, and if you installed yourself.

    Any input.advice greatly appreciated!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    We've towed with our 2001 Forester, with no problems. Remember, max towing with your car is 1000 pounds (not 2400) if your trailer doesn't have brakes. Check your owner's manual, as it's stated there.

    Bob
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,648
    If you are pushing the max rated capacity, I would be more concerned with the class-II hitch (1.25") than the car's ability to pull it. Unfortunately, I have not yet pulled with my '10 Forester, but I am not concerned about its ability to do so. If you are expecting the car to hold speed in hills, etc., with that kind of weight, the car may be challenged, but I doubt it will have a problem actually pulling the load. If you are concerned about sagging due to tongue weight, consider a load-leveler or redistribute cargo in the pop-up such that it is more balanced. You can also transfer load to the car (stored cargo in/on the car versus trailer) to help shift the weight balance in favor of the towing vehicle.

    I assume yours has an automatic transmission? If so, I agree that the external transmission cooler is a good idea. I have not installed one on a Subaru or recently, but the transmission lines to the radiator are easily accessible and simple to modify; it is a perfect do-it-yourself job.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My guess is he was driving to Florida, then on to a boat heading towards Guatemala.

    imageSee more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com

    The good news is this was clearly a long distance haul, and we're talking well over 3000 lbs. The RAV4 was loaded to the gills with gear. Probably 4000 lbs!
  • 26cars26cars Posts: 19
    Thanks for the input all; I picked up a used Coleman pop-up Friday, dry weight about 1350 lbs. The Forester pulls it easily, was also pleased with the lack of rear end sag (only about 1.5") with a toungue weight of about 175 lbs. Camper does not have brakes so I will probably add electrics at some time, though it stops fine around the "flatlands" of Mass., but up in the hilly North brakes would be useful. Also going to add a tranny cooler as added insurance.
    Can't wait to start camping in more comfort than a tent!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds cool, take some pics when you get the chance.
  • 26cars26cars Posts: 19
    edited April 2010
    Here's a pic of the 1992 Coleman Pioneer attached to the Forester. Camper is mint, picked up for $1600
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,648
    Looks great, and at a nice price!
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's about 4 nights at the Loews Miami. Friggin overpriced *#&^%#> :mad:
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,648
    edited June 2010
    It took all of maybe ten minutes. I purchased the T-One connector from e-Trailer for $39.99. I was hoping that the '10 would have a rubber pop-out through which to run the connector discreetly to the exterior like the one on AJ's '98 Forester. While there are a few openings in the body's sheet metal that have rubber caps, none were made to seal wiring through them nor did any seem large enough to accommodate the over-sized flat-4 connector. As such, I just coiled mine up and left it under the floor of the cargo bay. I figure I can snake it out and through the door opening when I need it.

    What are other solutions for the '09+ trailer wiring? I would like to have mine permanently on the exterior of the car, but so far have not snooped around for a possible space to route it without drilling a hole.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    I installed U-Haul class III hitch (took aoox. 30 minutes) on my 2010 Forester XT and bought plug-in module from e-Trailer as well. You can have the flat plug outside. All you have to do is cut 4 wires that lead to the flat plug (close to the black module that is inside the car) and then run wire through any of the holes in the spare tire well to the hitch.
    Then, re-connect each individaul color coded wire coming from the flat plug to the same color coded wire coming out of the module with elec. connectors (available at any auto parts store) and cramping tool. Piece of cake!
    If you are concerned about water leaks, you can seal these wires with "liquid metal" putty (available at any auto parts store). When cured, the putty makes the seal water proof.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,648
    edited July 2010
    Thanks. I briefly considered that, but since I only had two connectors available to splice the wires at the time I figured I would hold off to see if anyone else had come up with a simpler solution.

    The class-3 is the definitely the way to go. I picked up a Curt round-bar hitch (which looks very nice on the car) for about $130. I use it frequently in combination with a cargo carrier ($100).

    What are you planning to tow with your XT? Yours is the first I know about that has a trailer hitch, so I'm wondering how well you find it performs when doing so. I have not pulled a trailer yet with mine (an X Premium, not XT) but will do so for the first time in about two weeks.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    edited July 2010
    Mainly bike carrier (Yakima) but it's good to have that hitch ready, just in case.
    I also have a Yakima Skybox that I transfered from my 2009 VW Tdi Wagon that I traded in for the Forester XT (got sick and tired of low ground clearance and instant bottoming out VW with Class I hitch).
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,648
    That should never happen with your XT. I put a "generous" load on my Forester a few weeks ago, using both the cargo basket on top and the cargo tray on the back. It probably deflected the suspension about 4" dead load, but the car did not ever bottom out (even on our Alaska roads!) and even handled okay with the lift on the front end. I want to get a front-mount receiver for it in order to balance the load better when using the cargo tray on trips like this, but I have to get one custom-built as they are not (so far as I can find) commercially available for our vehicle.

    image
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    Wouldn't it be easier to rent a U-Haul box and tow it? That PIX looks just plain unsafe!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,648
    Haha, unsafe. I have hauled some incredibly unwieldy loads, but that certainly was not one of them. ;)
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Wes,

    I installed a class-3 hitch on my 2004 XT right after I got it. I leave the wiring harness in the spare tire well when not in use. I've pulled a 5x8 Uhaul trailer several times around town and once across the country (AZ to VA). Other than taking the expected hit to the mpg, I've never encoutered any problems.

    -Frank
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,648
    Thanks, Frank! I will be pulling a trailer (dual-position ATV/snowmobile with maybe 1000# load) next week for my annual dipnet trip, so I shall see how it works with the wiring coming through the back door. I have quite a few things to do to prepare, so if I permanently route the wiring to the exterior, it will not be until after this trip.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    edited July 2010
    By the way, 2010 Forester has 3 large holes in the spare tire well (covered with rubber plugs) that allow flat trailer elec. plug easily go through to the outside.
    All you have to do is slice the plug, run flat color coded 4- wire through and put the plug back and tape it with duct tape.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    My 2008 has a flat rubber grommet in the spare tire well, but it is too small to allow the flat plug to pass through a cut, nor would I want to cut it. It would not be possible to seal the cut grommet with the harness passing through it, wiggling and being tugged on all the time. Neither duct tape nor silicone would be permanent seal for this application.

    Nor would I want the harness stored externally by wrapping it around the hitch, or the plug dangling in the dust and spray under the bumper.

    I like the aftermarket kits that store the flat harness and the plug in the clean dry tire well, compared to the OEM harness with its pre-sealed rubber grommet and external round cable.
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