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Discussion Starter #1
i have a friend looking into cars to tow his tear drop trailer he asked me what i would recomend. i know that he will be happy with a subaru, and doesn't want to get a brand new one. any advice? OB, Legacy, forrester?
 

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2018 3.6 Outback Limited, 2013 2.5 Legacy Premium
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Hope you can convince him! They're awesome and I miss mine tremendously as I sit in a foreign country for 7 more months... but I digress..

If he's gonna haul a teardrop, not sure what the weight is but at least they're small, so definitely in the realm of possibility for a Subbie. I've got an '11 Outback and since it's got the most room and capability for camping which is what I do and love, it would be my recommend. Although the Forester is just as capable, it is a little smaller and despite not knowing what kind of family or pets or the amount of gear being hauled, may not provide as much room.

As for the Legacy, I've had an 09 and loved it, but not nearly enough room for all my stuff, and I've always loved having a hatch for camping (cooking off the backend, drive in movies, etc...). I was just about to mention the new Crosstrek, but you did say NOT NEW, so I'll digress again.

Hope this helps!
 

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2010 OBW limited 2.5 CVT
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With his plans to tow, he should look for a legacy or OB with the 6 cylinder. From what I have seen, most teardrops are hopelessly overbuilt and heavy for the size. Many are around 2500# empty. He will like the extra tow capacity and power (especially if any cast iron cookware is in his standard camping equipment.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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plan on putting in fresh struts and maybe a heavier anti sway bar.

he'll definitely appreciate the H6, especially at highway speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
he is building the teardrop from scratch and is planning on it running about 1100lbs. but i agree the h6 is probably going to be advantageous. any particularly year range i should point him toward? is the general consensus to stay away from forresters?
 

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Home build light weight tear drop? 2.5 would be perfectly fine. Start hitting 1500lbs+ and cooling becomes an issue with both the older 2.5s and the H6.

We hauled trailers with our 2001 2.5 for 11yrs power was never an issue. Cooling was. The new 2010 2.5 cvt has proven to be even better and much better on cooling capacity.

2003 model year they enlarged the exhaust ports which helped with the heat issue. The 2.5 saw minor tweaks all along that improved the cooling and heat issues. I would say 2007 - 2009s were the best on cooling before the 2010 redesign. However some of the worst climbs we did in very hot temps 110 degrees we were hauling closer to 1300 lbs running the heater and holding temps level at 2900- 3000 rpm on the old 2001. Move to the larger trailer ie boat 1700lbs and 80+ temps it was strictly a solo no passengers or added gear haul with heat running on any hill. Fast forward to the new 2010 same boat 3 adults + camping gear and dog in 90 degree temps with AC on not so much as a hint of cooling system being pushed hard.

By the way H6 owners have reported similar experiences the pre 2010 models with the wedge design just have a limited frontal surface for heat dissipation.
 

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Keep it light 1000 1100lbs run synthetic oil have 100% healthy car and cooling system and the 2.5 will do a nice job. But knowing that cooling limits on hot days could easily be found before you find the limits on power is important.
 

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Home built tear drops run anywhere from 500lbs and up.

The king of tear drops the Campinn 560 is only 1300lbs pending options and is a work of art.

All the big rv makers make rvs none of them make tear drops.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So OB all the way? I know I'm on an OB forum, but is the best for stuff like this?
 

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By the way my 2001 2.5 5spd mt was a legacy gt limited. The outback is nothing but a legacy wagon dressed up to look tough. LoL back in the day Subaru actually listed the same towing capacities for both. Today they play the game of only listing towing capacity for their more expensive model. Same game with the Impreza vs VX or the older Impreza outback and forester.
 

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2007 Outback XT Ltd
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Well, I will throw this out since you didn't tell us:

Where does he want to tow that trailer? If it is just on groomed roads (paved or gravel) then an Outback would be fine. If he wants to venture onto rougher forest roads and loose surfaces like some of the remote 10,000 foot passes in Colorado, he should be looking for a taller vehicle like a small SUV with a low range. The small approach and departure angles of the OB are real handicaps.

If he is regularly going to visit high altitude places (over a mile up) or travel steep mountain grades, he definitely needs the bigger engine. Flat towing at sea level is easy for just about any car. The high mountains are where things get rough....

I am in a minority here, but I would choose a body on frame truck any day over an OB for towing ... even with a dinky teardrop trailer or my 750 pound (loaded) utility trailer. The LAST things I want to worry about when on a PRECIOUS vacation is if my engine will overheat going up Wolf Creek Pass, or if I can get across that deep washout leading into that pristine creek-side campsite, or if that pointy rock is going to rip off my rear bumper or smash my tranny pan, or if I will get bogged down in sand or mud and have no way to extricate the car (no suitable winch or jacking points). Cars are just too worrisome when you are miles from any help. They are such a handicap that they really dampen the enjoyment you can get from being outdoors.

IMHO of course;) The rest of the members here can flame away.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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Well, I will throw this out since you didn't tell us:

Where does he want to tow that trailer? If it is just on groomed roads (paved or gravel) then an Outback would be fine. If he wants to venture onto rougher forest roads and loose surfaces like some of the remote 10,000 foot passes in Colorado, he should be looking for a taller vehicle like a small SUV with a low range. The small approach and departure angles of the OB are real handicaps.

If he is regularly going to visit high altitude places (over a mile up) or travel steep mountain grades, he definitely needs the bigger engine. Flat towing a sea level is easy for just about any car. The high mountains are where things get rough....

I am in a minority here, but I would choose a body on frame truck any day over an OB for towing ... even with a dinky teardrop trailer or my 750 pound (loaded) utility trailer. The LASTi things I want to worry about when on a PRECIOUS vacation is if my engine will overheat going up Wolf Creek Pass, or if I can get across that deep washout leading into that pristine creek-side campsite, or if that pointy rock is going to rip off my rear bumper or smash my tranny pan, or if I will get bogged down in sand or mud and have no way to extricate the car (no suitable winch or jacking points). Cars are just too worrisome when you are miles from any help. They are such a handicap that they really dampen the enjoyment you can get from being outdoors.

IMHO of course;) The rest of the members here can flame away.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
4dr Frontier or Tacoma with light pop top 4x4 camper is a great alternative if rough back country camping is in the cards. Get the artic package on the pop top and you'll be cosy.
 
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