Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Our 4th of July contest is live! Enter HERE for your chance to win a $400 Walmart gift card.
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Outback of the Month Challenge!

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So folks,

I have a gen 2, 2004 2.5l obw cali spec. i'm planning on moving from phoenix az to bozeman MT (GET ME BACK TO MY MOUNTAINS!) this late summer, late july-early august.

i was thinking of buying the hidden hitch for my subi, and renting a uhaul trailer, 5x8' to bring all my things. my bed (box frame and mattress and topper) are my most important items, as well as all my and my girlfriends clothes and such. all my ski gear, kitchen, bathroom, maybe some side tables and a dresser. not going to bring much furniture, all depends on what will fit.


my question is, will my 2.5 be able to pull a 5x8' trailer that far? I've driven from phx to slc a few times, and so I know that i should take the vegas route to avoid the big hills.

i figure if i carefully watch fluids and drive max of 65, i should be okay? just curious if anyone has had any similar drives. i'm a bit worried the engine will bog down with all the xtra weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
Your going at the peak of the summer heat. Cooling capacity in that generation is not very robust. 65mpg with the 5X8 would be your top end in cool temps and flat roads more like 55-60mph being the safe speeds that aren't challenging the cooling system in mild temps.

Keep your weight down!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't recall the exact 5x8 weight but fair guess its 1000lbs which means with the cooling capacity your already close to the limit.

Sell all your junk only take the light stuff! For reference I could tow my 600lb trailer with what was the same car in pretty hot temps and reasonable climbs with no issues. Once I started hitting around 1200lbs every hill had the temp gauge jumping anytime the outside temps were over 85 degrees.

If you can get rid of more stuff go with a smaller trailer or simply cave and rent a truck you'll save your car the potential problems of being cooked.

Either way have the coolant replaced and run synthetic engine oil for the trip that will help keep the car cool and happy. The ideal set up would probably be the little enclosed trailer Uhaul offers they have a smaller profile less wind drag which is a big issue for long trips and hot temps for the OB.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks a lot, that was a perfect answer.

right now, i'm crunching numbers. hitch + trailer would equal about 500. truck would be about 1100 plus 200 to trailer the car, but a huge hitch in MPG.

honestly, i'm thinking of maybe selling the subi and renting a truck. might be the best way
 

·
Registered
2013 OB 3.6R LTD w/Nav & ES (prev 2010 OB 3.6R Ltd)
Joined
·
23 Posts
Suggest you rent a U-haul Truck

We made the trip from West Texas to Florida last year with our 2010 3.6R OB pulling a 5X8 U-haul trailer with a "light load" (suitcases for 3 adults, two bicycles, a full rack of hanging clothing, two large house plants and two dozen oxygen bottles....load was no where near 3,000 lb capacity of the hitch. We barely got 10 MPG and, although we could cruise at speeds between 70 and 80 mph, it was a strain on the engine any time we came to an incline... You have a slightly more vintage vehicle with the 2.5... IMO I would recommend renting a U-Haul truck with a vehicle tow and give your Subie a break...that is, if you intend to continue driving it for the foreseeable future.:cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^thanks again, first hand info is perfect. my subi has been having some issues and I believe the last mechanic to work on it (idle tensioner broke, so valves bent, all that fun) might have missed some things. I know forsure the valve gaps are way off on the one side that the valves got bent, so that alone makes me wonder what else was missed. might be time for a new one, or definitely towing it up there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
We made the trip from West Texas to Florida last year with our 2010 3.6R OB pulling a 5X8 U-haul trailer with a "light load" (suitcases for 3 adults, two bicycles, a full rack of hanging clothing, two large house plants and two dozen oxygen bottles....load was no where near 3,000 lb capacity of the hitch. We barely got 10 MPG and, although we could cruise at speeds between 70 and 80 mph, it was a strain on the engine any time we came to an incline... You have a slightly more vintage vehicle with the 2.5... IMO I would recommend renting a U-Haul truck with a vehicle tow and give your Subie a break...that is, if you intend to continue driving it for the foreseeable future.:cool:
Plant this is a 2004 OB - I have the new Gen4 and tow with it like I did my old subaru.

Trust me when I say the new Gen4 towing and cooling ability is WAY WAY WAY different than the 2004. Not even in the same zip code.

Heat is the biggest issue with the 2004 the cooling system just is not very robust. Doing that trip that time of year even without a trailer they could easily find a point where they spike the temp if they are driving the car too hard. Heck I use to spike the temp in my old car just hauling three people with a roof box up I10 out of LA on a hot day doing 70mph. No trailer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
^thanks again, first hand info is perfect. my subi has been having some issues and I believe the last mechanic to work on it (idle tensioner broke, so valves bent, all that fun) might have missed some things. I know forsure the valve gaps are way off on the one side that the valves got bent, so that alone makes me wonder what else was missed. might be time for a new one, or definitely towing it up there.
Well the subaru might actually command a better sale price up there vs in AZ. So might be worth holding it till you get it up north :)

I would even say doing that trip with just the car packed would have you sweating some hot temps and cooling issues let alone hauling a trailer. You could sell it and pick up a Nissan Frontier or Tacoma 4dr or maybe an older 4runner or Pathfinder and have much better experience. They just have a far far more robust cooling system and better power and gearing to haul a trailer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well the subaru might actually command a better sale price up there vs in AZ. So might be worth holding it till you get it up north :)

I would even say doing that trip with just the car packed would have you sweating some hot temps and cooling issues let alone hauling a trailer. You could sell it and pick up a Nissan Frontier or Tacoma 4dr or maybe an older 4runner or Pathfinder and have much better experience. They just have a far far more robust cooling system and better power and gearing to haul a trailer.


yea, felt that subaru value first hand when my last subi was totalled here in PHX. I was initially quoted 4500 totaled price, then told her it was registered in NY and my check bumped to 6700...



i've been looking up tacomas, mostly because they are "reliable". What i've come to realize is that to be a reliable car, it needs constant and precise maintenance. i'm also looking to keep with either AWD, 4wd, or 4x4, because i will be skiing almost every day, and i love driving in the snow, hence the multiple subaru purchases.


any other ideas, tacomas, t100s, 4runners (after 95 seem popular and strong) in 4wd or 4x4?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
The basics the Toyota's are pretty bullet proof and as you pointed as long as they had proper fluid care and use there isn't much to worry about. Toyota takes a pretty conservative approach to engines and transmissions as a result they tend to be pretty bullet proof. Avoid the old 90's 3L V6 after that the V6 is a pretty awesome engine regarding durability. Nissan is pretty good too but they tend to be a little less quality on small stuff - wheel bearings - that sort of thing which you never hear about with the toyotas.

4runners are pretty awesome machines I had one replaced it with a Subaru my only issue with the 4runner is the poor handling the wrong driver can put one on its lid pretty easy.
 

·
Registered
2001 OBW AWP
Joined
·
87 Posts
I have 4 trailers that I have pulled with our subbie.
1... 8x10 tilting flatdeck
2... 5x8 enclosed with back ramp
3... 4x8 big tex with ramp
4... Kamparoo

Number one and two are too heavy for long trips, but I use them for short trips locally.
#3 use all the time best trailer I own, weighs about 500lbs and will carry 1000lbs payload.
#4 It is in a league of its own sorry to say not sold in the USA anymore. Made in Australia
and sold in Canada, perfect for the subaru. I think half the miles on our subie are pulling a trailer. 245,000 km on her now.

If you pull a trailer don't use an enclosed and keep total weight to a 1500# max you will have no trouble at all.
U-haul trailers are built very heavy, too heavy for the subaru. Stick with a "lite" trailer and don't over load it. You will be fine
 

·
Banned
2007 Outback XT Ltd
Joined
·
847 Posts
I wouldn't attempt that trip with all your stuff behind that OB even in the cool season. There are too many serious changes in elevation, even if you detour via NV Hwy 93.

If I were in your shoes, I would sell the OB down there, sell off the cheap or really heavy stuff, ship my most valuable stuff, then fly to Bozeman. Look for a good used AWD or 4wd vehicle when you get settled.

Your cheap stuff is easy to replace, the heavy stuff is too expensive to ship.

You can always rent a low end RC ("rental [email protected]") car for a week or two at minimal expense while you look for a replacement vehicle. You already know that a real body on frame 4wd will work better than an OB on those rough, rocky MT forest and ranch roads....... so I would focus on that platform. I personally would shop for a low miles five year old Tacoma or 4Runner - old enough to be a reasonable price, new enough to not be worn out. Or maybe a full sized RAM diesel pickup, pre-emission.

Good luck. I love Montana - and the Bozeman area is simply stunning. The Gallatin Valley between Bozeman and Yellowstone has to be one of the prettiest in the country

If you do decide to take all your stuff, get an estimate from these guys - they offer a 7' x 7' x 8' POD that would be a perfect size for your stuff.. . ..... http://www.pods.com/long-distance-moving/portable-container-size.aspx

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
I may not be a an appropriate voice of reason, but I'll offer my experiences. When I was younger and dumber, I used my 1999 Forester with 132,000 miles to tow a 4x4 truck (that I got for free) from central Colorado to the border or Tennessee/North Carolina. It was July and both vehicles were loaded with hundreds of pounds of gear, tools, equipment, etc. I suspect the total weight was around 9000 pounds. The Forester did have an accessory transmission cooler and some other modifications, but otherwise pretty standard. Not the brightest thing I've ever done. Not actually legal. Not recommended for anybody in the USA to copy.

I kept the speed down, stopped relatively frequently to let things cool down, and rarely used "drive". That Forester towed well and ran well for over 100,000 miles after that feat.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top