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Loyale Towing Capacity?


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66 replies to this topic

#1 jj421

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:43 AM

Alright guys. I have a question for all of you. My mom and I started a project yesterday/today. We went out and bought ourselves a 16-foot 1966 Kit Companion trailer. We got it for $660, which considering the age and condition, was a pretty good deal.

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Now, it's got a lot of work before we take it out camping anywhere. For example, we're fixing the electrics on it, the dry rot on the inside, making sure the propane/water work fine, etc.

But what I want to ask is, would towing this with my '90 Loyale be remotely possible? Or should I just keep the towing to our Ford Explorer (in the background of the picture)? I've done a lot of searching on here, and it seems like it's possible, but a bad idea.

We are currently unsure of the weight, but the previous owner and the friend that towed it home for us (we don't have a hitch on the Explorer yet) estimated 1700-1800 lbs. For a Loyale, that's a ton of weight, I know. However, this is why I'm possibly considering it: first and foremost, the trailer does have brakes. So if I could wire up the trailer brakes to my car, then I'll have trailer brakes. Second, I would definitely do a rear disk conversion, to get at least a little better stopping power. I'd make sure my pads are new and lines are bled.

I'm more worried about stopping than the actual pulling. I've read that stopping when towing anything 1000+ lbs is pretty sketchy. But I couldn't find if that included rear disks and trailer brakes.

I'd also be concerned about my clutch. Would I be burning up the clutch a lot when starting from a stop, especially in reverse?

So yeah, it's kinda like, would you tow a trailer like this? This heavy? I probably wouldn't drive more than a couple hours with it at one time (most of which would be on the freeway). I know I'd be going SLOW, especially on hills. But would this be at all a good idea?

The thing is, I would get a hitch and whatnot and test it in a parking lot. See if I'm comfortable with it. But, finding a hitch for old Soobs is hard. I hear Uhaul can custom make one. I'd also have to get the wiring sorted out. I think with our Soobs, you can get a 4-pin trailer wiring setup, but this camper has a 7-pin setup. And I'm not sure if I'd have to rig something up for the trailer brakes.

So in your opinion, would it be worth going through all that trouble and risk to pull this trailer, or just leave it to the Explorer?

#2 MilesFox

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:56 AM

People would generally object. Towing with a subaru gl/loyale is not recommended. But yet i have towed whole subarus with subarus (88 gl towing loaded down 87 rx with towbar 300 miles thru chicago rush hour).

To each his own. The one thing i will say is doing so or not is based on the competency and experience of the driver. Having trailer brakes is a plus.

I would not be afraid to to tow this rig with a loyale. The gearing is just right. If the loyale was heavier with heavier hubs and bearings, it would do just good.

I have yet to hear of anyone wiping out while towing with an old subaru.

Your biggest trouble may be finding a hitch rated for more than 15oo lbs. You will want a class 2 receiver hitch for 2500 lbs for this trailer.

You may find yourself doing a lot of 4th gear at 55-65 mph in and out of 5th. Keep the rpms in the 3500 range

Towing with a ford explorer is no better according to u-haul(i worked there for 2 years)

For example, along with the rx on a towbar, i towed an 88 dl wagon behind an 86 brat for 85 miles on interstate highways. I have towed a monte carlo and a ford ranger in-town with a tow dolly behind the 88 gl sedan(fwd at to 4wd 5spd swapped). I have towed an empty auto transport trailer (200 lb) with the same GL. I once had the same gl on a dolly behind a u-haul, with a 4x8 trailer hitched to the gl thru roadblocks in a snow storm.

If you search towig with a subaru on this forum you will see enough posts from me.

Once again, i stress doing so or not based on the experience of the driver more so than the heft of the machinery.

U-haul custom hitches are not custom made, but rather they are the worl'ds retailer outlet for top brands such as curt, valley, and cequent. avoid resse. There may no longer be a hitch available in the nationwide inventory. If you get a part number, it directly cross-references with the manufacturer's part number. Should you have a proper hitch on your car in a rental trailer situation, u-haul would limit you to a 4x8 or 5x8 trailer. not to exceed 2500 lbs including empty weight plus load.

Edited by MilesFox, 22 January 2013 - 01:59 AM.


#3 jj421

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:48 AM

Thanks for the fast response! I've seen a lot of your posts, haha.

That's why I was/am questioning this. It's not recommended to tow anything (as per the manual), and many people would object, but many people have towed with their Subaru.

I don't have any experience with towing, that's for sure. I've done thousands of hours on truck simulators on my computer, but I don't think it'd come close to real driving. The handling in those simulators are always skewed, the braking distances are never right, and (probably most importantly) a semi truck is much different than a car towing a trailer. Simulators did teach me how to drive and fly [planes], however, haha. :-p

I will say though, I'd be a lot more comfortable towing this with my car than the Explorer. I'd also love to just hook it up to my Loyale and go, versus having to go in my mom's car.

As far as hitches go, I did a search on U-Haul's site. It comes up with a "Sportframe 1 1/4 inch Rec (Powder Coat)" hitch, which is rated up to 2000 lbs. That would probably work, I'd assume. Wish I knew the exact weight of the trailer.

Searches for our Ford Explorer come up with tons of Class III hitches, some Class II. Not to mention there are holes in the frame just ready for a hitch to be bolted on.

I'd also love to know how you've wired up the trailer connector. Do you just have a 4-pin connector? I see there is something on Amazon where I can install the connectors for the trailer brakes. Definitely something I'll need to get.

#4 obk25xt

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:18 AM

It is possible...... Probly not really gonna be at all comfortable tho.. There will be some white knuckles and brow sweats probably... And yes, it will make a noticeable impact on the life of the clutch/brakes/axles.......

BTW, the lifted car in the pics below also has an ej22 in it.... And it was still a slow pull.....

$0.02

Spencer

Posted Image
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Edited by obk25xt, 22 January 2013 - 03:22 AM.


#5 grossgary

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:28 AM

two main concerns:

1. flat or mountains.
2. how often.

if you're towing in flat land it hardly matters, you can pull that thing by hand (if it's loaded/balanced well) in flat land. brakes will be slow but just drive safe. try pulling it up a hill...or steep mountain grade with switch backs and that's a completely different story.

there is no magical line where you *can* and *can't* tow.

how often. if it's one time 4 miles...who cares you can tow way more than that. if you're towing consistently then the risks mount much quicker.

#6 Gloyale

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:55 AM

Take it to a scale, and get a real weight on it.

2000lbs seems low. I'm guessing more like 3000+ by the time you put camping gear in it. Depends on how much moisture the plywood has absorbed:rolleyes:. I've got a 1973 "beaver coach" mobile, so I'm familiar with old RV construction.


I pull trailers people say are too big all the time, and I'm saying "That's gonna be alot of tongue weight"......will kill your springs.

Also, it's alot for the front axles of your poor little Loyale. Tow that on a regular basis, and you will be eating axles for breakfast. Not to mention the clutch.

I tow close to that much with my GL.....But I have Disc brakes, stiffer springs, EJ22, and 4.11 AWD so all 4 do the pulling.

A Legacy would do much better than your Loyale.

Perhaps use the Explorer til you get some AWD and the disc brakes?

#7 jj421

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

I wouldn't be towing it often. I couldn't imagine towing it more than once every few months. And it'd be no more than a couple hours at a time, mostly freeway (which would be mostly flat).

I wish we could take it to a scale, but we have no means of towing it right now. Gonna be at least a week until we can hook it up to the Explorer anyways. Yesterday we ripped apart the paneling inside and the rot/moisture was pretty bad. Gonna let it dry out for a week before we put new paneling on. Definitely gonna be an interesting project. What I really need to know is how the circuit breaker wires up, haha. But I guess that would be for another post elsewhere.

My Loyale has push button 4WD, but I don't think it's smart to drive with that engaged all the time. When/if my EA82 dies, I will do an EJ22 swap, but that might be months/years from now. I've always had plans for rear disks, so I'm gonna do that for sure. Never even thought about stiffer springs, haha.

I think the best option would be to hook it up to the Explorer, drive with it a bit, and see if I'd wanna do all this stuff to my Loyale. And if I do manage to hook it up to my Loyale, take it to a parking lot to test it first before I take it out on the road.

#8 MilesFox

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

Get plenty of practice. The scariest situation is when the trailer tarts to sway, and builds momentum exponentially. To recover from this is a delicate balance of accelerating to straighten out, and braking to bring the speed down, and some deft steering.

Sway can be avoided if the load is balanced correctly, knowing the handling of such a load, and feeling it come on before it gets out of control.

As brave as i am with towing, i'm not gonna lie and tell you that i wrapped a 2x12 around a lincoln town car at 45 mph at the on-ramp. The trailer was rear heavy. I have had 5x8 and 4x8 come un-coupled on be on city streets. I was lucky each time, and i chalk it all up as experience to know what NOT to do in the future. I have done donuts with trailers and drifted auto transports thru roundabouts. Accidents happen when you are not trying to be brave.

#9 ivantruckman

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:03 PM

wow I wouldn't tow that big of a trailer in the mountains .

#10 rdweninger

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:59 PM

You will be surprised when you weigh that trailer. I wouldn't pull that much weight with my GL and risk excessive wear and/or damage to vehicle, trailer and life.
The cool part about camping with a Subaru is getting out and away from the rat-race and people. If it were me, I would re-direct the money towards a good tent and sleeping cot and find a place where nobody else could get to.
Less cost and less maintenance.
Try Miller's Peak area, East on 90, North to Teanaway Valley and keep going until the road ends.
Have fun camping out!

#11 MilesFox

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:09 PM

What kind of pigtail harness does this trailer have? I would recommend going with the modern 7-way connector that has provisions for the trailer brake, 12v, and reverse lights(if you desire them) The one at u-haul has a 7 way with a 4 way built in.(u-haul #20137) You will want to wire that in with a 3 way module that splits the turn and brake into one wire (part # 13486)

The trailer i would imagine has an old school metal pigtail. It is a good idea to replace that with a modern 7 way that will plug right into modern vehicles that have a 7-way from the factory (ford, GMC)

Going with a receiver style hitch on the car gives you the option to accessorize such as cargo platform, bike racks, even a bbq grill

oh, here is an idea: On one of my cars i have modified a ford f-250 hitch with 2" receiver to mount to my 88 dl wagon which goes between the frame and the bumper itself. You will have to remove the bumper and drill holes in the frame rail to drop in the carriage bolts, and also slot out the holes on a hitch. Drop 2 carriage bolts thru the bumper as well. this will be stronger than the part you listed that just bolts up in place of the tow loops. Plus a 2" receiver is more versatile with accessories. I used a ford hitch as it was the one that fit most closely when i had a whole inventory of hitches to size up. Good luck!

Edited by MilesFox, 22 January 2013 - 04:12 PM.


#12 TomRhere

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:03 PM

https://www.google.c...iw=1140&bih=562

Link to various trailer- tow vehicle wiring diagrams.

To use the electric brakes on that trailer, you will need to install a control unit in the tow vehicle.
Unit is plumbed into the tow vehicles Primary brake system, and applies a varied voltage to the trailer brakes.
A bias can be set between the tow vehicle and the trailer to aide in braking. Usually thru a sliding switch.

Biggest thing with towing a trailer of any size is, Can you control the trailer, or is it controlling you?

I've moved a 32' dual axle camper around the yard here with my '82 BRAT. Don't think I'd ever attempt to go down the road with it back there....

#13 turbosubarubrat

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:13 PM

i would say it depends on how much you like your car and how long you want it to last. i have seen some interesting loads with subies a guy hauling 2 tons of wood with a 2nd gen brat 1 ton in the bed another on a trailer in the dalles, a 1st gen brat hauling a 16ft aluminum boat with 2 motors+gas in newburg, also saw a gl wagon much like yours but lifted and it was hauling rump roast at about 65 going through the passes to tilamook with probably a 16ft trailer.

my dad leaves the hauling to are 83 gmc dual extra cab which has a 454 in it with a 4 speed manual trany with 4 speed transfer case which makes us set with all are hauling needs. it hauls are 36 or 32 ft trailer with no problems.

#14 jj421

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:24 PM

Right, I forgot about trailer sway and weight balancing. Definitely something I'll have to remember when we load it up and go somewhere. I need to look it up again, but I remember reading somewhere that weight directly over the axle(s) is the best spot. Any recommendations?

I would say the weight estimate is probably about right. It's basically sheet metal, 2" of insulation, and thin wood paneling, with a wood frame. Of course, I don't know the weight of everything else inside. :rolleyes: But there isn't much. The refrigerator is old-school; powered by ice. So no lines to it or whatever (for example).

The trailer does have a 7-pin connector on it. I guess someone installed one some time in its life. I will probably trace down the wire for the reverse lights and install some (as it doesn't have any currently).

I was at O'Reilly today and saw the kit to install a 7-pin & 4-pin combo. We'll probably do that on the Explorer.

I will open a thread tonight on the build of this trailer tonight in the off-topic section. That way I can get advice/help on repairing the trailer. Anybody with experience with old RVs/trailers, like you Gloyale, I would love your help. :) The point of this thread is to see if I can or can't tow it. I don't think I'll try towing this, but I can see myself towing some 600 lb utility trailer or something in the future. Although, I will say that the trailer looks pretty good behind the Loyale, especially since the angle on the front of the trailer is nearly the same as the rear of the hatch. :D

#15 tractor pole

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:24 PM

this is how I tow...:grin:
Posted Image

I would have no problem towing under 1000lbs properly loaded with my wagon... however you have to consider that since the manufacturer has not set any limits and basically advises against it your insurance could possibly deny a claim if you are at fault in an accident that was towing induced (either improperly loaded, brake failure, etc...). So be careful even if you don't have full coverage the insurance company might try to deny your liability claim for exceeding mfg GVWR. I am not at all an insurance law expert, just my .02

#16 WoodsWagon

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:22 PM

I'll start off by saying it isn't a good idea, especially if the only times you plan on towing are freeway travel.

I've towed a lot of stuff that was too heavy or rickety and have nearly gotten in a horrific accident due to trailer sway. Since that "learning moment" I'm very serious about not towing over 1k without electric trailer brakes. Trailer brakes make a huge difference and you can apply them separately from the tow vehicles brakes to straighten out the trailer if it starts to sway.

The camper has two big problems when it comes to towing it with a subaru. One, it's heavy, and will be even heavier when you load it up with camping gear and water/fuel. Two, it's a massive parachute. The point of pop-up campers is to lower the aerodynamic drag so a smaller vehicle can tow them without straining at highway speeds. You will have the engine screaming to hold 65mph with that behind you, and if you come into any head winds or cross winds things will get slow or scary fast.

If you were going to cruise back roads maxing out at 55mph and had good working electric trailer brakes, I'd say it would work. But if you intend to do mostly freeway travel you're going to be a road hazard.

#17 MilesFox

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:34 PM

Right, I forgot about trailer sway and weight balancing. Definitely something I'll have to remember when we load it up and go somewhere. I need to look it up again, but I remember reading somewhere that weight directly over the axle(s) is the best spot. Any recommendations?




I was at O'Reilly today and saw the kit to install a 7-pin & 4-pin combo. We'll probably do that on the Explorer.

:D


For the explorer there is a kit that plugs into the car's original harnesses.

The weight on the axles is ideal as far as all the lad capacity goes, but keep 60% of the weight over the front.

Consider the load in the car. If you are packing along luggage and supplies in the back, and don't have passengers, put the seats down and move it forward of the rear axle to center the weight more over the front wheels, as this is all of your steering and braking.

#18 MR_Loyale

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:26 AM

No no no. I live in Wa, know you have many mountainous hills. You get going down Snoqualmie Pass with that behind a Loyale and you are likely to be a statistic at the end. The manual says not to tow. I love my Loyale but would never tow with it.

Can it be done? Sure. A guy can move a trailer with his teeth too. Doesn't make it safe.

Please don't do this. You are too young to die stupidly like that.

Just my opinion, feel free to flame away folks. I'd rather take the flames than read about this kid smashing up on I-5.

#19 l75eya

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:05 AM

I personally would be very intimidated on a highway with that thing attached to the back of my car. If I were you, I'd clean the trailer up and flip it, and try and find yourself one of those pop-up campers. That would be a bit more ideal for your purposes I think.

Or just use the Explorer. That shouldn't really have any issues, though I'd imagine it could still be a little hairy going down a lengthy hill with it. Keep overdrive off.

#20 jj421

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:35 AM

Yeah, it seems like the general consensus is that it wouldn't be safe nor smart to tow this with my Loyale. That's what I figured. Just wanted to get your guys' opinions on it. I'm just gonna keep the towing to the Explorer. I wish it was a manual transmission, but oh well. Keep the overdrive off and hope the transmission keeps up.

For the explorer there is a kit that plugs into the car's original harnesses.


At O'Reilly, I did see that it plugged straight in. However, it was for an '02 and newer Explorer, whereas the one we have is a '99. Gonna have to check online a bit more, as well as I will have to pick up a brake controller too.

#21 Gloyale

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

The manual says not to tow. I love my Loyale but would never tow with it.


Early GL manuals say this. However, later ones, and
Loyales (same car) had a trailer hitch available from the dealer???

Obviously they can tow some. I've even towed 1500 lbs long distances in mine with no probs.....not scary.

Beyond that I would want trailer brakes.

I garauntee that camper weights more than 2k lbs.

#22 92LoyaleH4

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

Where does one find a hitch for a loyale....and how do you (did) you put one one....THANKS!!!:headbang:

#23 BEECHBM69

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:34 PM

Yeah, it seems like the general consensus is that it wouldn't be safe nor smart to tow this with my Loyale. That's what I figured. Just wanted to get your guys' opinions on it.


I'm glad I read all the way to the end to find you came to this conclusion. I had a trailer very similar to this one (73 model, 15ft,) and the construction techniques used back in the day made it deceptively heavy. Mine came in around 2500 on the scale. I towed it with a Ford Bronco, and it was unstable at best, and sometimes downright scary. Young and dumb, I had to scare the hell out of myself a few times before I bought something more suited to towing.

A heavy, single axle trailer, with a light, short wheel base tow vehicle is a recipe for disaster.

Dan

#24 jj421

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:44 AM

Early GL manuals say this. However, later ones, and
Loyales (same car) had a trailer hitch available from the dealer???


My manual specifically states that towing is not recommended. Maybe post 1990 Loyale & GL & GL-10 models say otherwise, but mine says no to towing.

Where does one find a hitch for a loyale....and how do you (did) you put one one....THANKS!!!:headbang:


I see that you can get one from U-Haul. On RockAuto, they had one for sale that wasn't the receiver style, but just bolted on in the middle. However, it was gone last I checked on there. And then, you can always modify a receiver from another vehicle.

I believe, depending on the hitch, you take off your tow recovery hooks and bolt the hitch on there. Some you must drill into the bottom of the smuggler's compartment in the rear of the wagon, as well as drilling into the steel part of the bumper (saw that on the U-Haul installation guide).

I'm glad I read all the way to the end to find you came to this conclusion. I had a trailer very similar to this one (73 model, 15ft,) and the construction techniques used back in the day made it deceptively heavy. Mine came in around 2500 on the scale. I towed it with a Ford Bronco, and it was unstable at best, and sometimes downright scary. Young and dumb, I had to scare the hell out of myself a few times before I bought something more suited to towing.

A heavy, single axle trailer, with a light, short wheel base tow vehicle is a recipe for disaster.

Dan


When I first saw the pictures of this trailer in the Craigslist ad, I thought, "A 16 foot, single axle trailer. Must not weigh a ton (literally and figuratively). Maybe I'll be able to tow it with my car.) Then, once I saw the trailer in person, I thought, "Wow, this might be too heavy. I'll see what everyone thinks on the USMB." And now I'm thinking, "There isn't a way to tow this on my car safely. It can be done, but the risk is not worth spending all that money in my car (for the rear disks, tow hitch, etc.)."

As I've stated before, I might end up towing a small, light weight utility trailer at some point.

#25 kyreeves

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:37 AM

We had a similar trailer - 63 shasta. It weighed well over 2000lbs and we don't haul alot of extra stuff in the trailer. We pulled ours with a 3.7 V6 Jeep Liberty. I would not pull it with less than that.

We sold that trailer and purchased a teardop which weighs about 700 lbs. We will be towing it with our 2010 Forester soon.




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