Subaru Outback Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
I've been reading the other threads... yeah, the Quicksilver trailers look awesome, but with 2 kids we'd like something a bit bigger. I might've considered their XLP if the tongue weight wasn't 250lbs dry. That chassis should last decades (WAY longer than the canvas).

I've seen some subaru's towing teardrops online (check the forester & various trailer forums) that are around 2000 lbs... plus they've got more drag and get pushed around by the wind. Personally I wouldn't want to do that, but think the pop-up could work.

If I buy a new trailer, I'll probably keep it longer than our Outback...
1900lbs empty is too much - your not even at your passenger weight - all the other packed stuff - kids bikes - diapers - water - food - etc.

I towed my 21ft 8.5ft wide racing sailboat lots with many different vehicles over the years from our 2001 Legacy GT 2.5 5spd MT - to our 93 Land Cruiser - multiple friends cars - and the 2010 Limited 2.5 with CVT. Empty with a set of sails - basic Coast Guard gear flairs - horn - 2hp 28lb honda outboard and lifejackets the boat weighed 1350lbs the trailer was another 450lbs. So just shy of 1800lbs I towed it with the 2.5 cvt a fair amount. #1 The cooling capacity has always been the final stopping point with the 2.5 not power the 2010 and newer models are far better than the older generation subarus regarding cooling capacity however - you will 100% run out of cooling ability long before you run short on power even with the 2.5.

Running solo no kids - no extra gear just the boat in tow - the 2.5 ranged from 16mpg with a head wind at 60-65mph - to 21mpg with no head wind at 60-65mph flat towing!

Do not plan on doing any sort of long climbing 5+ miles etc in outside temps exceeding 85 degrees with 1900+lbs behind the car. That gets progressively less regarding climbing as the temps get higher even mild rolling hills in 100 degree weather with you pushing 1900+ could find your self at the end of the cooling capacity depending on head winds and your windage etc.

Which is why when I sold the boat which I and the wife raced together since 1998 - my camping rig plans were 1200lbs or less for the camping trailer paired with the Subaru.

If your planning on using the RV lots and over a wide range of seasons and having it for a very long time - I would avoid all the RV "Junk" with plywood floors and press board interiors. The Livinglite 13footer is a fantastic rig! That would be at the top of my list if I were doing off season camping and wanted a hard sided rig with standing head room and bunks for the kids.

If it were just the wife and I a Campinn Tear drop would be hands down my first choice granted no standing head room or kitchen inside etc.

So for now the family RV is a 4x6 utility/tent trailer which is just a tent - with two queen sized beds and empty weight is 890lbs. We put boats or other stuff on the top of the trailer which has a hard top built to haul a ATV - we don't have a ATV. Just a couple of small sailboats. The 2.5 with CVT does about 25-26mpg at 65mph on the flats and gets down into the 21mpg in the hills towing that set up. We can also go ANYWHERE with that trailer given even fully loaded to the max the 2.5 will be capable of hauling over the Rockies in the Summer months etc.

Only reason I would want hard sided RV is for off season camping which case if the Wife and I get into that after the kids are gone - then maybe we get a pickup with a nice hard sided cabover camper and perhaps tow a boat of some type we can do some mini cruising on like San Juan Islands etc.

I think you can get a basic 13ft bunk bed + queen livinglite in the 1500lbs empty range if you keep the fancy options limited and don't fill the water tank. Which is far far better than 1900lbs before you even get started with the kids crap and the wifes pile of must take stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
SubaruOutback.org Member Galleries - subiesailor Gallery

The current rigs - The boat was sold to a friend with the deal that when he is done he sells it back. One of those keep it in the family types of things. Boat was built by one of the most respected Boat builders on the West coast - Ron Moore in the shed in Watsonville CA. Fantastic racing boat and good family cruiser bunks for 4 in a pinch.

As our kids get older I'm going to add a cot bunkbed to our camping kit so the queen sized bed area will then contain two stacked beds and a space for the kids or if a grand parent is tagging along stick the kids on the main floor in the bunk beds and give Grandma her own private queen with privacy curtain. Only time we are in the trailer is when we are changing clothes or sleeping so no need for piles of space.

Even if it were just the wife and I - this trailer would be a tad bit too much regarding space. We have very good friends with a 34foot pusher RV they purchased NEW - cost twice what their actual house is worth. They spend 6 months out of the year living on it traveling - they just did a 4 week trip in Mexico this summer. The wife and I have stayed in their spare bedroom once - its a bit over the top I could never see us even having a 23foot hard sided RV LOL. 13-16ft hard sided RV possibly or cab over camper on a pickup so we can bring a boat etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
Check out the 13ft with bunk bed set up. Perfect all season RV for the small family wanting to keep their tow vehicles under control regarding whats needed for the rest of the year when your not camping.
CampLite All Aluminum Travel Trailer Overview by LivinLite

The hard sided trailer with the tip out also is a cool feature. I saw the first version of this about a year ago in a camp ground. The trailer was a VRV - or utility trailer for hauling an ATV or motorcycle fully enclosed - with some basic cabinets at the front end - and two tip out beds on the side. They had set up a table in the center and had a huge screen door that pulled down across the open back end of the trailer. The two tip out beds were queen sized. One of the coolest trailer ideas I've seen!

When they packed up and left the camp ground they simply rolled their kids toys and bikes right into the utility box trailer lashed them down - tipped the beds up and left! LOL there were several of us in the campground all thinking we were for sure doing something way wrong after seeing that set up. They were towing it with a Rav4 v6 I think the trailer was 13foot box maybe 16ft end to end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
Hmmm... I was hoping for more reassurance than naysayers. ;D

People throw these things behind mini-vans. Sure some of them have a V6 with a bit more power, but they're often just a 4spd automatic with front wheel drive! I've never done it though, so thanks for your real-world experience.

BC Provincial Parks don't have hydro hookup, so I don't really want a hard-walled trailer (with little windows) that just heats up all day. It would have more drag in-tow and there's also the potential to pack much more stuff! (I grew up with a 21' hardwall trailer, it was a Gypsy Queen with some aluminum framework). Even if I could use a/c at the parks, that just seems wrong. Those Camplites look nice, but they're pricy and rather big as well.

Almost every truck on the market is ready for a redesign... hopefully they'll be a bit more fuel-efficient in a few years. Right now the midsize trucks aren't any better than the full size ones (and they don't have as much power or space). I'm hoping for a better midsize option, but if that doesn't materialize, maybe I'll just go for the next F150 with an aluminum body and a V8. Longer trips over the mountains would be a breeze.
LOL no doubt that was my issue back in 2004-2005 time frame. Our 2.5L Legacy GT was not able to tow our 21ft racing boat to some of the events we like to race at - ie long climb in 100+ degree weather.

At the time the brand new Nissan Frontier was just out and posting mileage that was far better than anything else with 4doors and towing capacity and cooling capacity that would easily do the job. Not to mention Nissan was beat up bad over their horrid crash scores in the early 2000 time frame on all their models so they started redesigning their cars and trucks with some of the best crash scores the Frontier even today with its unchanged dated design is still one of the top contenders for roof strength and crash score safety.

But my issue was with the mileage vs new car cost. A new Frontier was 25K that was Manual 6spd - leather interior 4x4 model which they don't offer now. We were so close to pulling the trigger we were talking numbers with a sales guy. Out of the blue a good friend and car nut who runs his own Gwagon business think Jeep Adventure company only for Gwagon owners. He says to me look why not get an older Land Cruiser they are selling cheaper than 4runners with over 100K and 5yrs newer and are fantastic trucks. Lousy mileage but great trucks and the price is hard to ignore.
We ended up with a cherry single owner all records 1993 Land Cruiser paid $8000 for it in late 2004. 12-13mpg but it went everywhere with zero issues bit pricy on a couple of old car repairs knuckles - inner front axle seals and Valve cover gasket etc. I sold that truck three months ago for $7000! We bought a 2007 Toyota Sequoia - again single owner - all records - 64,000 miles on it mint condition paid 22K for it. We did a big family week long trip two grand parents - two kids - two parents - the dog - canoe and we brought all the food for the week. We burned two full tanks both averaging 18mpg no trailer.

I'm with you on the trucks all needing major remakes and improvements on mileage etc.
Today the only truck that has made a decent gain in mileage would be the Ford F150 with the new direct injection duel turbo V6 however the price tag is huge for that truck and your seeing about a 15% bump in mileage over the much cheaper lower tech engine. Again not really enough to justify the cost especially if you can simply buy a clean used one at a big discount.

Ford and GM both have completely new ground up trucks 4dr models sold in other markets which return fantastic mileage and would offer 5000lb towing capacity when needed. I don't see these trucks making it to North America till our fuel prices go up more. Given the cost of the smaller truck is going to be just as much as the F150 which case get the larger truck with more power and space mentality will still be in effect for North America.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
For the 2010 and newer models - I've read about a few heavy towing folks going through various versions and locations for AT coolers to find a solution that provides better cooling for the AT over the stock set up - I have not heard of anyone reporting back about swapping out the stock radiator yet.

The tricky part with changing the cooling systems is knowing your base line capacity in stock form then running enough checks on the new set up to know if your actually seeing any improvement or possibly even less cooling capacity. The space the radiator has vs the air flow frontal surface vs amount of fluid its cooling all make the process of trying to add cooling ability pretty challenging actually. It's not really just swapping out whats there for a different radiator - its checking to see if all the other factors added coolant - space - air flow etc are all working in such away that your actually seeing additional cooling capacity over the stock set up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
I found the cooling limits many times with my 2001 2.5 MT 5spd - Subaru made improvements to the exhaust porting in 03 to help address the heat build up. By 09 subaru had increased the exhaust porting more - and started using more high tech engine parts treating which helped improve the heat durability however the wedge body design still had huge limitations to the cooling surface area of the radiator.

The Gen 4 is far better but!!!! It still has cooling built for a car not a truck. The CVT and the AT have very clear heat vs trailer load limitations regarding cooling ability 1350lbs and 1500lbs. The MT your cooling limitation is simply the engine. Good news is even though we don't have a gauge we do have a series of lights that will indicate hot running vs MUST stop now temps. If you tow heavy loads in hot temps make sure you know your dash indicators so you know when running the heater full blast and backing off is the best approach vs pulling over ASAP and trying to cool things down as fast as possible.

I tow in some seriously nasty places 110 degrees going from about 800ft above sea level to 8000ft in less than 30 miles. My Land Cruiser could only run at 35-45mph max hauling our 1700lb boat with 4 people running the AC any harder and the huge cooling system started to see a temp spike. On the flip side the F250 diesel chipped did the trip with two of us same boat doing 75mph on cruise control till we realized we were hauling ass! and need to slow it up a bit.

The 2001 2.5 hauled a 600lb racing sailboat up that same run several years packed with two people a 75lb dog and a weeks worth of food and camping gear - no AC - running at 35-40mph with a very very slight indication of hotter than normal running temps. The same car no trailer just two guys and two duffel bags could do that climb with the pedal mashed down nearly red lined at 45mph thats how steep the climb is. Absolutely NO WAY would the new Gen 4 2.5 tow the 1700lb boat up that climb without over heating! This is not the Rockies its just outside of Fresno CA headed to Huntington Lake in CA. Heck the year I rode my motorcycle up there even the bike had a severe case of altitude sickness.

I hauled about 1400lbs over the I5 Grapevine in Febuary outside temps were in the low 40's the Gen 4 2.5 hauled the 1400lbs easily at 65mph through the Vine with zero issues again cooling being the major issue not power. I could have easily pushed the car to 70mph if needed. Go through there in August when the temps are pushing 100+ No WAY would the 2.5 done 65mph through there with 1400lbs behind it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
Yes to do camping with 4 you need ability to haul the associated gear. When we had our boat we packed the gear in the boat. When we sold the boat we needed a trailer to haul the gear given your correct if you have spent a few years collecting various camping gear and are beyond the basic small tent or two, ice box and sleeping bags - and like to have bikes - chairs - a bin of kitchen stuff - bin of food - + ice box - kids toys and even hauling in your potable water you will run short of space with the OB by its self to haul it.

With the trailer I pack our own fire wood given we have the space to do that, obviously the kids toys the wagon has been a big hit and sees lots of use in the campground by all the kids LOL - we took it the first time as a last minute just toss it on now its almost a must have.

If your doing short trips - not doing any long climbs or lots of high speed hot temp stuff and really pay attention to what your packing and have trailer brakes you can make the larger heavier trailer work for a while but you will know after a couple of trips that the ability to haul it and all your stuff and the kids is going to be pretty limited regarding where you see the car willing to go LOL.

The quicksilver 10's can be found for a good price lightly used if you keep your eye out for them and they offer the layout you listed above at considerable lower weight which case you wouldn't need to get a bigger tow vehicle the Ob would do just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
One issue with the quicksilver is that it doesn't have a hardtop when it is down. They say to remove the canvas for winter storage... then what do you do, tarp it? The trailer could easily fit in my garage, but I just don't want to do that!

Moreover, the only Quicksilver with a 3 way fridge is the XLP, which has a tongue weight of 250lbs... which just won't work. (An electric fridge is no good when there's no electricity).
Even my 28ft 8000lb empty sailboat does not have an electric fridge LOL. A block of ice lasts us 4-7 days depending on how hot it is.

I understand why you would want these things but having done lots of camping and cruising on the boat I have yet to find a good reason why I need them. If I were living on my boat an electric fridge would be very very nice but for the occasional weekend stay - or week long or two week long trip an ice block or two is far far less hassle and costly.

Given your trying to find an option that works with a very limited towing capacity you do need to give a few things up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
AS for the the quicksilver for winter storage you simply lay a couple of 1x1's over it and toss a tarp on it so you get air flow and keep it dry etc. The Hard top pop top tent trailers actually have some of the highest number of consumer complaints about the tops leaking - not raising correctly etc etc etc. Also the tops on those trailers are very very light weight and do not tolerate much abuse to start with.

Everything is a compromise with RV's - cars - boats etc what you might think is better will have a whole other set of issues that might for you not be a better option.

I operate on the # of days being used vs cost. Our boat we use year around and spend upwards of one to two nights a month on - and take sailing 2-3 times a month.
Camping we generally do 3-4 trips a summer ranging from a quick weekend to a 3-5 day trip.

Everyone knows people who own boats that are never used outside of maybe 4th of July fireworks or the RV that only gets used once or twice a year. A big factor with the use is also the ease of use of the boat or RV etc. That includes where you need to store it - how long it takes you to go get it - clean it- pack it etc - how much of an effort it is to actually haul it to your destination etc.

All things you need to consider for the RV trailer or boat etc. We use our little utility/tent trailer a bunch simply because it takes me 5 minutes to hook it up - its clean given it sits in the garage. I have a 12ft sailboat racked on it which we run over to the local lake and will toss in the water and go sailing for an hour or two then go home etc. The trailer is so easy to haul the wife and I on a Thursday night snagged grandma to watch the kids Friday and Saturday - we hooked the trailer to the car Friday evening after work and drove to Napa set up the trailer and spent Saturday wine tasting.

Next week I pull the tent off the trailer and I'm running a bunch of stuff to the dump given my fatherinlaw is having major work done on his new to him condo and we have a few things collected from our rental property that we need to dump. The # of days being used cost factor for our RV trailer is really high! ha ha

Really ask your self how much you plan on using it - and what you really need. When you have an expensive toy sitting in the side yard 7months out of the year not being used you start to question why you spent so much money on it not to mention having to replace the tires and do the bearings on it almost every summer. The Electric fridges and battery systems need also need to be used to keep them up so if your parking the trailer for 4-6 months during the winter that stuff will have a very short life. I get about 5-6yrs out of our two Group 31 deep cycle batteries on the boat- that is with a very high tech battery management / charger plugged into a dock power when the boat is not being used. We just replaced the charger this month $230 for a 15amp charger. The previous one was 7yrs old and a 10amp charger I'm pretty sure the old charger failing was a major cause of our house batteries needing to be replaced this time also. I'm VERY VERY happy we do not have a fridge to deal with LOL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
Derek Nice set up. For sure avoid the hot temps and long climb combo with the Subaru it simply doesn't have the cooling capacity to handle the climb. Sitting in traffic baking in Portland is no different with or without the trailer. LOL

We hit Cabellas for the first time just west of Reno on highway 80. Shortly after we were told about a place that makes Cabellas look like Grandpas Garage
Locations Map | Scheels

Keep the Ob going next 3-4yrs we are going to see some interesting options surface. Ford's new Designs are all world market cars the new Ranger 3.2L diesel 5cylinder would be the cats meow for a small but very capable adventure rig. Of course its sold everywhere but the US right now given it would gut the F150 profits.

Dodge Ram 1500 3.2L V6 diesel will be interesting to see probably show up end of this year or early next year but their engine production capability is nearly zero so they will be about as rare as seeing Zebras in Washington State.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
If I was buying now, I'd go for a 2014 Durango with the V6 and AWD. Same mileage as the H6 Outback (18/25), but it's a bit bigger and will tow 6200lbs. (Or save some money on a used one, taking a 6 spd with slightly lower mpg).

Now that the Forester is practically the size of the Outback (and the Tribeca is on it's last legs), maybe we'll see a bigger/stronger Outback? I definitely wouldn't buy another first year model though...
Assuming the new 3.2L V6 diesel is well done by 2015 all the large Chrysler products will probably offer a model with the small diesel v6 including the Durango.

Subaru lost its shirt trying to go larger the company is puny regarding resources and size compared to pretty much any other auto maker if they were to ever offer a larger heavier vehicle it would be a resourced Toyota product which case why bother?

Next three years we will start seeing the big three bring light diesel vehicles. Ford already has a really really nice small diesel global product line up they could have them on the lot tomorrow. GM knows this hence the Cruz testing the waters and talk about doing a new midsized truck to cut into Toyota's dominated midsize market no doubt with smaller diesel options for that midsized pickup in the very near future.

The only company that is going to be hurting is Toyota given it has spent billions on Hybrid hype it will go into its death throws before it EVER brings its highly respected diesels to the US Market. LOL Toyota today is in trouble - it lacks design appeal and its no longer really viewed as the over the top stand alone quality standard. Toyota needs to do some pretty bold things in the next 5yrs or it will be viewed as having tired dated and quite boring designs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
Update: The Subaru burned a litre of oil on that trip last summer. I didn't really think anything of it at the time, but it has continued to burn oil. My dealer has done a consumption report, but says that it's not unusual (about a litre every 4000 km).

I think the major issue with the Subaru is the lack of cooling capacity. If I did it again, I'd definitely upgrade the radiator. Instead, I've upgraded the tow vehicle to give the Subaru a rest...



I did go for a Durango, but the RT with a hemi. :D

I just did basically the same trip, over 2000 km (1200 miles) and through some hills around Yakima. I took it easy on the way down and got 14.5 l/100km (16.2 mpg US), but coming back I didn't show any mercy for the hills and got 14.7l/100km (16 mpg US).

I don't know if I converted last years mileage to US from Imperial, but it's not really a fair comparison anyway because I avoided all the hills with the Subie. This year I tackled the hills with ease, but consumed A LOT of gas going up! It was barely broken in and it did consume 0.25 L of oil (still on the factory dino oil).

At the base of the Columbia River Gorge on HWY97 it was 41C (106F). The engine oil reached 124C (255F), but the rad temp never reached the white halfway mark and the tranny never went over 96C (205F). The cooling capacity is impressive! I thought I'd be putting a lower thermostat in it and reprogramming the fans, but now I'm not sure.

A V6 would've done the job with better fuel economy, but I do love the RT and I really wouldn't want the ride any softer.

PS - I can't believe the Outback only gets a CVT now, I think that's a serious step backwards. Lot's of subie fans enjoy camping and the outdoors, and I bet that many of them will turn to Jeeps (the new Cherokee?). They should offer at least one model that's more capable... but I guess Nissan has ruined the Pathfinder as well.
Thats pretty good mileage actually. Even my 2010 2.5 cvt was typically doing 16mpg with the 1800lb 21ft boat with any sort of road related load be it wind or climbs. The 07 4.7L v8 Sequoia typically will return 16-17 with that type of trailer load but with lots of cooling and hill climb power compared to the Subaru.

Nothing beats lots of good cooling capacity vs hot west coast climbs.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top