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2010 Outback 2.5i Sport, 6MT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 2010 Outback Sport, 4 cylinder, 6spd manual.

As I'm sure most of you know, the hitch limit is 200lbs and the tow limit is 2700lbs (yes, the H6 is good for 3000lbs here and 4000lbs in Europe, please don't start another debate!).

I'm planning to use electric brakes and the new Torklift Stealth Ecohitch:
Torklift Central Stealth 2" Subaru Outback Trailer Hitch No Drill | Torklift Central

Here's the info on the Jayco 1207:
Floorplans - Jay Series Camping Trailers - Jayco

Unloaded Vehicle Weight (lbs) 1,965
Dry Hitch Weight (lbs) 170
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (lbs) 2,950
Cargo Carrying Capacity (lbs) 985

I know the weight is pushing it, but I don't expect any transmission (with the manual) or chassis issues... it's just the lack of power and potential over-heating. I'll probably pick up an UltraGauge as well.

If it's not happy with high temperatures or hills, I'll take it easy and get a new tow vehicle in a couple of years... but right now I'd like to start camping!

I'll probably buy a new trailer, so I'd like to get the 1207 so it'll last our family.

What do you think? What's your experience with towing a 2000lb pop-up? Anyone towing with the 4 cylinder & MANUAL transmission?

I know some people will suggest a bigger tow vehicle (which will probably get similar mileage with the trailer on), but it'll definitely be driven more without the trailer, so I'd like to remain more economical if I can... but if the H4 seems to struggle, I'll get something else in a couple years.
 

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2010 Outback 2.5i Sport, 6MT
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here's the one I want:


Open floorplan (so you're not climbing over stuff to get to the beds), decent storage, furnace, hot water heater, fridge, stove, 2 tables (could put one down for a bed), plus a King bed to sleep length-wise so we're not climbing over each other. Add a port-a-potti and it should be a great family camper. I don't plan to load it up... there just isn't enough room for 4 people to go tent camping in an outback. This puts the shelter, bedding, lawn chairs and some food behind the car. Hopefully bathing suits and hiking boots will minimize the number of toys required. ;D

I think my outback should tow it, though I probably won't go over the mountains. I'll probably look for a better tow vehicle in the future (a truck to carry bikes etc along).

Tow vehicle aside:
The 2013 Ram gets modest weight reduction, Pentastar V6 and 8spd tranny for 25mpg. That's the new benchmark for trucks.

The next F150 will have even more weight reduction. I wouldn't be surprised if the 5L 'Coyote' gets 25 mpg with an 8spd (The next V6 should be even better, but I'm not sure it'll be offered with the 4x4).

GM seems to have given up on fuel economy in their full-size trucks, but the next Canyon/Colorado will certainly have to do better than 25 mpg if they want to sell it. Their 2.5L ecotec has a bit more power than our subaru (195HP/187#), and could probably get over 30 mpg, but I'd be inclined to go for more power. If they package the 3.6L with an 8spd automatic, it should be closer to 30 mpg (though that powertrain could be costly and might be saved for the cadillacs and big trucks). Maybe they'll go for the 2L turbo with 259HP/260#, which supposedly gets 30mpg in a Malibu on the highway:
Green Car Congress: New power-dense 2.0L GDI turbo with twin-scroll turbocharger and new combustion system offered in 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

The Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier are both due for a make-over, but if they use any of the companies current engines, I can't see the fuel economy being that impressive. It's hard to believe that the Japanese engines are falling behind the American's!
 

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2010 Outback 2.5i Sport, 6MT
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124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here's the one I want:


Open floorplan (so you're not climbing over stuff to get to the beds), decent storage, furnace, hot water heater, fridge, stove, 2 tables (could put one down for a bed), plus a King bed to sleep length-wise so we're not climbing over each other. Add a port-a-potti and it should be a great family camper. I don't plan to load it up... there just isn't enough room for 4 people to go tent camping in an outback. This puts the shelter, bedding, lawn chairs and some food behind the car. Hopefully bathing suits and hiking boots will minimize the number of toys required. ;D

I think my outback should tow it, though I probably won't go over the mountains. I'll probably look for a better tow vehicle in the future (a truck to carry bikes etc along).

Tow vehicle aside:
The 2013 Ram gets modest weight reduction, Pentastar V6 and 8spd tranny for 25mpg. That's the new benchmark for trucks.

The next F150 will have even more weight reduction. I wouldn't be surprised if the 5L 'Coyote' gets 25 mpg with an 8spd (The next V6 should be even better, but I'm not sure it'll be offered with the 4x4).

GM seems to have given up on fuel economy in their full-size trucks, but the next Canyon/Colorado will certainly have to do better than 25 mpg if they want to sell it. Their 2.5L ecotec has a bit more power than our subaru (195HP/187#), and could probably get over 30 mpg, but I'd be inclined to go for more power. If they package the 3.6L with an 8spd automatic, it should be closer to 30 mpg (though that powertrain could be costly and might be saved for the cadillacs and big trucks). Maybe they'll go for the 2L turbo with 259HP/260#, which supposedly gets 30mpg in a Malibu on the highway:
Green Car Congress: New power-dense 2.0L GDI turbo with twin-scroll turbocharger and new combustion system offered in 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

The Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier are both due for a make-over, but if they use any of the companies current engines, I can't see the fuel economy being that impressive. It's hard to believe that the Japanese engines are falling behind the American's!

On edit... Toyota should continue their collaborations with Subaru (ala Scion-FRS/GT86) and throw a turbo-boxer engine in the next Tacoma!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
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).
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Here it was on the maiden voyage in May:


The trailer is 2150lbs empty. In the pic it's was fully loaded with water & 2 propane tanks on the tongue.

You rarely want the RPM to get under 3000 because there's no power, and it does struggle a bit on the hills. It's quite stable. I made the mistake of coming home with a partial water tank and there was some serious sway (tail wagging the dog). I was very happy to have the brake controller.

I've tried to avoid the mountains & serious hills. You can google map your route & plug the url into here:
GPS Visualizer: Assign elevation data to coordinates

I've put over 3000 miles on it this year. The last trip was from Kelowna to Newport Oregon, mostly following the water down to the ocean, but going through Yakima for a stop at Cabellas. It was over 100F at times; the only time it really heated up was sitting in traffic outside Portland. It was 97F and we had the a/c running. I've got an ultra gauge and when I saw the air intake hit 150F, I turned the a/c off. It went up to 185F and the coolant eventually climbed to 214F.

We got 21.4 mpg on that trip (which is better than some tow vehicles, without the trailer!).

I was a bit worried about the soft suspension on the old 2010, but the added weight seems to actually firm it up.

Tow mirrors are a must, you don't see much without them.

Overall, I'm seriously impressed with the Outback as a tow vehicle. I'll keep it for another year or two, then get something with a little more space & power. Eventually I'd like to do some camping in the Rockies and head over the Cascades as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Here's the Deluxe Camp Kitchen we picked up at Cabella's (inside the attached screen room):


We do all of our cooking outside, and also got a portable BBQ from Costco. Plenty of room for a family of 4, and we don't pack all that light either!
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
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...
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I think what I posted last year must have been imp mpg... even so, that's 17.8 mpg US, which is still quite good.
 
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