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Towing a travel trailer with a 2000 Legacy

towing 2000 Legacy travel trailer

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10 replies to this topic

#1 harterwhite

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:41 AM

We hope to travel across country from Virginia to Oregon in the fall.  We would like to be able to use our Legacy to carry some stuff, including bikes and to have a travel trailer of some sort to make camping easy.

Is it realistic to think we can haul all this?



#2 987687

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:31 PM

How much weight are you thinking about towing? They're rated to tow about 2000 lbs, but if you're pulling that much on the highway with other stuff in the car, it's going to be completely anemic. I've done a bunch of trips pulling between 1000 lbs to 1500 lbs and it goes just fine. 

I did a trip about 150 miles on the highway towing almost 3000 lbs and it was fine, just a bit hairy braking hard and sloooow.

 

Make sure you load your trailer well to keep appropriate tongue weight, and you should be fine.



#3 grossgary

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:47 PM

it'll be easy in flatland, how many mountains do you plan to drive through?   it can definitely do it, just depends if yo'ure up for the additional effort and care to make it happen.

 

keep the weight down and you should be fine, how much gear/weight are you talking?


Edited by grossgary, 18 March 2014 - 01:47 PM.


#4 gbhrps

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:38 PM

harterwhite,

 

I towed a 17 foot fiberglass runabout with an inboard/outboard 4 cylinder motor. Combined with the trailer it may have come close to 3000lbs, but that is a guess. It may have been slightly more. I only towed it 20 miles  from storage to the river back of my house, and it is absolutely flat land for 150 miles in any direction. I would not consider towing that heavy for any distance beyond what I've described.

 

The 04 Subie was an automatic and I locked the tranny in 3rd gear.

 

If you have a manual tranny, check to see if you are not to use 5th gear when towing. Some cars state such in their owner's manual.



#5 tirod

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:41 AM

A utility trailer no bigger than 5x8 lightly loaded would probably be the biggest I would go. I regularly use mine in that capacity, it's rated up to 1,000 pounds, but has hauled quite a bit more. 

 

The major issue is that puts your brakes at the upper limit of their capacity, and you have little extra to handle sudden stops, etc. Just the same as a 80,000 semi on the highway - it's not going to haul you down very quickly at all. You have to be a lot more defensive in driving, stay out of dense traffic or be in the way. You have to react to things happening 2-3X further down the road. 

 

Other than that, the mechanics of installing and using a hitch isn't rocket science, I'm using the 1 1/4" factory stock hitch and wiring that came on the 99. It's the same trailer I used behind a 4.0 Cherokee that had almost the same hp and much worse brakes, I considered the Forester an upgrade with all discs. 

 

Balance the load on the trailer and keep at least 150 pounds on the tongue to ensure proper handling. Having the trailer actually neutral or pulling up on the hitch is extremely dangerous if it starts oscillating at speed. It will quickly increase to the point all control is lost and you will have an interesting time watching the world go by your windshield. Keep weight on the tongue. If the car starts nosing left and right you need to reduce speed immediately and if necessary, pull over. Get more load on the hitch and it should go away. 



#6 987687

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 10:59 AM

The biggest issue with towing a trailer close to the weight of the car or heavier is not having trailer brakes. Forget about it being slow, etc. If the trailer is a good portion the weight of the car, you have a good chance of jack knifing in slippery conditions, especially if you're turning when you brake.

 

Also, hook up the damn chains AND make sure they're the right length.... I was helping my sister move out of an apartment. I was towing about 3000lbs of trailer behind my GL of all cars. It went fine for about 200 miles, then about half a mile from my destination at 1am I hit a bump and the tongue on the trailer failed and let go. It set off the balance of everything and I jack knifed the rig off the road.... 4lo saved the day there, but be wicked careful.



#7 jp98

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 02:17 PM

It comes down to the fact that some vehicles were designed to tow travel trailers, even the tent type and some vehicles weren't.  Just about any camping trailer except for ones that are designed to just sleep in are going to max out your vehicle, not to mention the extra weight thay you will have in your vehicle with clothes, food, bikes, and what ever else you place in it. 

 

Bite the bullet and just plan on sleeping in a tent and don't worry about towing a trailer unless is is something that is designed for light loads.  You'll be a lot happier without the worry. 



#8 harterwhite

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 05:10 PM

Wow, thanks for all the information and advice.

We will be loaded with gear, but will be mostly on minimally hilly southern highways and taking our time.

Even so, with our research and your comments, we were tending in the "bite the bullet" direction until we found a website for sylvansportgo travel tent trailer.  It is only 840 lb and was reviewed by someone who used it with a mini-cooper.

Are we crazy to be pushing our 2000 Legacy with 200,000 miles to do something like this?  The above trailer is spendy but the lightweight seemed good and made us think it might work afterall.



#9 987687

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 06:29 AM

I don't trust an ej25 going to the grocery store, but that's just me. 850lbs isn't bad, if your driveline is in good condition, you should be fine.

 

If you have an automatic, use 3rd gear going up hills to avoid lugging the engine and trans and overheating it. Also, if it's an auto do a few fluid drain/fills and probably install a transmission cooler.



#10 harterwhite

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 09:57 AM

What is an ej25?



#11 987687

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 10:07 AM

The engine in the outback.







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