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Old 08-19-2010, 09:54 PM   #31
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Re: Subaru Outback and Escape 15

I think that since all Escapes have brakes, that the brake issues Baglo had will not be the problem for you. Like my utility trailer, he was having to stop all the weight of both the vehicle and trailer with the vehicle brakes, and that can indeed cause brake problems. Properly setup trailer brakes should do all the trailer braking and not put extra wear on your vehicle brakes.

But all the other issues do indeed all come into play. Jeff made excellent points about how nice it is to have extra capacity and not have to constantly worry about it all.

Eric (and Mary who is in no way responsible for anything stupid I post)
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:14 PM   #32
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Re: Subaru Outback and Escape 15

IMHO - It seems like you might need to decide which is the "tail" & which is the "dog" as far as tow vehicle vs trailer. Whichever one is more important to you should be "wagging the tail" and determining the constraints on which the other decision should be made.

Hence, if it's most important to get the right sized trailer for your needs (e.g. big enough for your dogs too) and that ends up being a 13' 15' 17', 19' or 5.0 then that should guide the decision on tow vehicle - for example: your current Subaru Outback (13'/15'), a newer more powerful Subaru Outback (15'/17'), Toyota RAV4 V6/Toyota Highlander V6/Honda Odyssey/Toyota Sienna (17'), Honda Pilot/Toyota 4Runner (19') or Toyota Tacoma/Nissan Frontier (5.0) respectively.

Alternatively, if it's most important to keep your current vehicle, then you should look at options that provide you a reasonable level of comfort that your vehicle can handle it wrt engine power, brake strength, hitch capacity. Thus, a 13' & maybe a 15' in which case I'd still look at upgrading your tow hitch to a class III though so you could use a WDH. btw - I'd also strongly recommend that your tow vehicle has a transmission cooler installed.

It makes sense to try to understand what size/weight range of trailers your current vehicle & other potential tugs can comfortably and safely pull. However, when you reach the limit where you get numerous differing opinions on a whether a tug-toad combo works, that is probably pushing it farther than you should go - especially being a 1st time trailer puller. I wouldn't choose a setup that makes it more stressful driving which runs counter to the purpose of going camping not to mention needlessly overworking your vehicle.

Hope this helps...

Brad & Shay

'09 Escape 19 "Grasshopper"
'14 MB GL350 BlueTEC; '99 Toyota 4Runner V6 4WD
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:41 AM   #33
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Re: Subaru Outback and Escape 15

I'm new to this forum, but I believe I can help answer Medora's question. I read this forum because I hope to acquire an Escape 15 in a year or so.

I have a 2009 Subaru Forester with 2.5L 4-cyl engine and manual transmission, rated at 2400LB tow weight and 200LB tongue weight. I pull a 1975 Beaver stick-built trailer with it. It weighs 2100LB loaded, with hitch weight approaching 300LBs. Prior to this I used my 1999 Subaru Forester, rated 2000LB / 200LB to pull the same trailer. I don't use a WDH or sway control. Obviously I am pushing the limits of my tug. In the six years I've owned the trailer, I've never had a problem with either the tug or trailer. However, I am aware of limitations. It is slow going up hill, a 7% grade slows me to about 50 MPH. The trailer is a 8.5' high by 7.5' wide box, so top speed is about 65 MPH on a level road due to the 'air brake' effect. The trailer does not have brakes and while I've never had a problem, I make sure to keep lots of distance between me and whatever is in front. The Forester brakes seem up to it, when I traded in my 1999 Forester at 135,000 miles it still had the original brakes. I've never experienced even a hint of sway. The tongue weight squats the back of my car about 1.5 inches. I never load anything into the back of my car or the back seat when towing.

In short, I think the Outback will tow an Escape 15 well. The Escape 15 weighs considerably less than my trailer, has better aerodynamics, and has brakes. Go for it! I do recommend a WDH. There are aftermarket WDH available for the Outback which I recommend over the factory hitch which cannot be used as a WDH. I think the Escape 17 would be a bit much for the Outback as it's weight is similar to my trailer, leaving very little reserve for camping supplies. It works OK in rolling hills, but is tedious in mountains. Hope this helps.
Craig Vogel
BattleGround WA
2009 Subaru Forester
1975 Beaver 12' trailer
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:37 PM   #34
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Re: Subaru Outback and Escape 15

Here's how:
"How is that working for you?" - Dr Phil
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:43 PM   #35
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Re: Subaru Outback and Escape 15

The issue is emergency situations. Almost everything will tow a 15' trailer, but will it stop in an emergency? Like a child running out in front of you, or a dog, or a deer? If (and its a big if) your trailer brakes are properly adjusted, and your vehicle is in sound mechanical condition AND you're within the limits established by the manufacturer; you've got a chance. If not, all bets are off.

I personally don't want a dead child on my conscience because I cheaped out on the tow vehicle, or towed too big a trailer.

There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary, and those who don't.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:46 PM   #36
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Re: Subaru Outback and Escape 15

I just noticed earlier on this thread I was asked to comment on towing an Escape trailer with a Subaru.

We have a 2003 Subaru Forester with a rated towing capacity of 2000 pounds. It has a Class II hitch installed by the dealer. The hitch is rated at being able to tow up to 3500 pounds with up to 300 pounds hitch weight. We had a transmission cooler and brake controller installed on the car at a local hitch specialist shop.

At the Oregon Gathering in July we had our Escape 13 trailer weighed. The total trailer weight was 2020 pounds and hitch weight was 240 pounds. The water tank was empty, but we had a fully loaded fridge and cooler on board in addition to all our normal gear.

We have made eight trips this year, including ones with challenging mountain passes, and have been able to manage okay without problems, although we can't climb steep sections very quickly. On the highway we generally drive 55 - 60 miles per hour (90 to 100 km per hour). There have been no stability or overheating issues.

I love our Forester, but it now has almost 240,000 km on it (149,000 miles) and we may need to think of retiring it to "second vehicle" status and getting a new towing vehicle. If so we'll get one with a bit higher towing capacity.
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2003 Subaru Forester
2012 Toyota Highlander V6
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:29 PM   #37
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Re: Subaru Outback and Escape 15

Peace of mind.

I like it.


2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

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