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Old 02-24-2015, 09:28 AM   #1
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Wanted, Escape 15 or 17?

Good morning, all. Judi and I have been looking for an RV for quite awhile. We have had a 1973 Trillium for about 7 years and it has been great...towed it for some time with a Toyota Matrix. Now, in our 60's we are looking for a bit more comfort and convenience. Unaware of the Escape, we have been looking at Scamp, but, reading some of the posts on this site, I think the Escape is the way to go. I need a bit of advice...we will be towing with a 2010 Subaru Forester with a capacity of 2500 pounds. Does this seem adequate for a 17 foot? What about a used 15 foot? We want to have a toilet and sink or shower, and, if possible a separate dinette and bed. What I am looking for is some advice, and, if anyone could point me toward a good used unit, that would be great, too.
Regards to all...Bruce
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:21 AM   #2
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I pulled a 17b with a Toyota rated to 5000# and struggled going up hills and in headwinds. Not sure it would be a good idea with your rig, but a 15 should work.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:34 AM   #3
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I don't think the Forester ( nor Outback ) can handle the tongue weight of the 17 or even the 15. Subaru capacity is 200 lbs and 17 tongue weighs about 320 lbs. The 15 tongue is well over 200 lbs too, I believe.
Need to get a Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander or similar.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:49 AM   #4
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Agreed, you will need to upgrade your tow vehicle, which is good because we all know that fiberglass trailers can last a very long time....
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmcleish View Post
...we will be towing with a 2010 Subaru Forester with a capacity of 2500 pounds. Does this seem adequate for a 17 foot?
As the 17 Foot Escape specifications show, the trailer with a bathroom weighs 2170 pounds... and that's
  • dry (nothing in the tanks),
  • empty (none of your stuff), and
  • base (no optional equipment).
By the time you add any options and your stuff, you would likely be at least at the 2500 pound level, and probably higher.

What your trailer weighs when loaded depends on your choices, and you can carry as little as you want, but for some examples of where other people have ended up, I suggest checking out Weight spreadsheet, which is a listing of weighing results from a member of another forum, maintained in this downloadable form by Jon, as described in the topic Trailer Weights in the Real World. The lightest example of a 17B in that list is 2660 pounds (and they go up to 3340 pounds).

Another concern is that 2500 pound capacity is probably calculated with only a driver in the car. The owner's manual should explain this, but it is likely that with passengers and cargo in the car, there will be even less available for the trailer. I also noticed in one of their manuals that Subaru substantially reduces the rating of their automatic models if pulling up a significant grade in high temperatures (apparently due to automatic transmission fluid overheating), but that would only be a concern if heading out west in hot conditions (there are no long grades in Ontario ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmcleish View Post
What about a used 15 foot? We want to have a toilet and sink or shower, and, if possible a separate dinette and bed.
This could be an example of where the weight difference between a 17' and 15' really does matter, but in that size I think you're choosing between the bathroom and the second bed/dinette, not getting both - but that's from memory, as the 15' floorplans are no longer posted by ETI. There's only so much space available.

Even the one 15B in that "real world" list weighed 2630 pounds when loaded.

As gbaglo mentioned, both models will likely have too much tongue weight for the Subaru (also shown in the listing of example trailers) under any reasonable loading condition.

I notice that nobody is suggesting that you get anything other than an Escape trailer... just that a more capable tug is needed.
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:34 PM   #6
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Maybe you could get Escape to make you a custom 13er.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:03 PM   #7
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A Forester and a 17 is not a good mix. Brian spelled it out quite adequately.

"Some" 15's might be OK, but alot depends on how they're equipped, AND the Forester's GCWR. If it's just the driver, again, might be OK, but as Glenn mentioned, tongue weight should be measured to see if it works.

I'd upgrade your tow. Look for 3500lbs minimum towing capacity, and don't forget the Gross Combined Weight Ratio.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escape While You Can View Post
Maybe you could get Escape to make you a custom 13er.
Bruce can clarify, but I think judging from this sampling of the original post that a 13' Escape would not provide the desired change from the current trailer:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmcleish View Post
We have had a 1973 Trillium for about 7 years and it has been great... Now, in our 60's we are looking for a bit more comfort and convenience.
...
We want to have a toilet and sink or shower, and, if possible a separate dinette and bed.
For those not familiar with them, the 13' Trillium is the original design which the 13' Escape emulates; although an Escape has significant improvements in details of construction, the space and functionality is the same.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:36 PM   #9
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In case the Forester's manual is not readily available, Subaru offers it online: Owner’s Manuals - Vehicle Maintenance - Subaru Canada
For the 2010 Forester, trailer towing is in section 8-17, which starts on page 269. It makes no mention of Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), so the hitch weight limit and the rear axle load limit (GAWR) will likely be the biggest restrictions (as well as, of course, the 2500 pound trailer limit).
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:18 PM   #10
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Just looked it up. Curb Weight is 3360, GVWR is 4480, and by the way, the towing capacity is 2400, not 2500. You'd need a trailer weight under 2400 lbs loaded, and a tongue weight generally no more than 10% of that. Plus, no more than around 800 lbs cargo to include all passengers. Not a good choice for an Escape (but maybe a used 13?). The numbers don't work.
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