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Towing Subaru behing RV


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11 replies to this topic

#1 oldude

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 10:54 AM

I might want to tow one of my Subbies (83 Sta. Wag Auto or 85 Brat 4Sp, 4WD) from Northeast to California. Wanted to tow behing an RV.

Now I thought I remembered that it was recommended or necessary to disconnect drive shaft, but obviously this was a long time ago and with rear wheel drive car.

So what will I need to do with either of these front wheel drive vehicles.

Not that it might matter, but I still haven't decided which one to take. 83 Wagon only has 60K and just had it inspected. Replaced all 4 tires, both front brakes (calipers, rotors, pads) and exhaust from Cat back. Near mint interior. 30 mpg but Automatic and slowest pickup of anything I've ever owned except my lawn tractor. And not by much.

Brat supposedly had engine rebuild less than 50K ago, but not a reliable source for that info. Previous owner lady was a bit cuckcoo. Needs CV axles replaced. One ticks when turning and boot busted. Not a problem. Problably some brake work, too, as it has sat for a bit. But still strong running and I like the 4Spd, 4WD part of it. And while not exactly going to the wilderness in CA, the property is a bit secluded, dirt roads, and even tho it has a cab on it now, I might take it off to make carrying some building materials easier. Bought land, hoping to build my own house.

Sorry about the long-winded life story. So what do I need to do to tow?

Such a great site for Subbie info. Feels like family, but smarter. Thanks:burnout:

#2 nipper

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 11:16 AM

The automatic you need to disconnect the driveshaft (in this case a cv axle).

The manual is ideal. It is not full time AWD, so its easy. It doesnt need a pump to run to keep it cool and lubricated (like an auto does). Jusat hook it up, out on a set of tail lights, and off you go.

nipper

#3 Skip

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 11:19 AM

I vote for the Brat
put it in nuetral "four down" and you are good to go.

I toad(sic) my 5 speed Imp as a dingy for thousands of
miles behind my motorcoach.


Note: "Toad" in RV parlance is the name for the towed car or
dingy as I call'em


#4 monstaru

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 01:47 PM

the neutral skip speaks of is the transfer case.there is an "in between " spot that is between fwd and low while moving the 4wd lever.been a long time since i had a spd,so i can't remember exactly where the positioning is, but easy enough:just fiddle with it when you feel like starting the brat up and you'll find it.cheers, brian

#5 lostinthe202

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 02:27 PM

I 2nd Nipper and 3rd Skip, take the brat for their reasons and 'cause IMO the brat is much cooler... and not an auto...

Will-

#6 edrach

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 06:22 PM

The brat makes more sense for where you're going and the fact you might be hauling stuff with it. I'd certainly consider replacing both axles before you go and making sure everything works. No sense having a problem with it "out in the boonies." And I'm not sure either axle will last being towed cross country.

#7 worknwood

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 12:20 AM

Brat...Brat...Brat. I live in Plumas Co. northeastern CA. which is full of fun areas to see in a 4WD Brat. Plus there is no towing issue. Just get a good reliable tow bar. I have RV'ed a lot, and though I haven't pulled a toad, I have heard some real horror stories with tow bars the issue.
BTW click the site below and you can check out some of the winter condition in the area::eek:

www.dot.ca.gov/dist2/travelmap.htm

Welcome to beautiful Northeastern CA.:clap:

#8 Hondasucks

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 12:55 AM

+1 for the brat

And one B in Suby, Subby (rhymes with "hubby", like short for husband) is short for submissive, i.e., whips and chains :lol: lol sorry :-P

As for the slushbox being slow, those ARE very easy to convert to a manual tranny :grin:

#9 Gloyale

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 12:08 PM

the neutral skip speaks of is the transfer case.there is an "in between " spot that is between fwd and low while moving the 4wd lever.been a long time since i had a spd,so i can't remember exactly where the positioning is, but easy enough:just fiddle with it when you feel like starting the brat up and you'll find it.cheers, brian



THAT"S NOT NUETRAL!!!!! There is specific Literature and I think Even a sticker on the shifter that says "DO NOT LEAVE THE LEVER BETWEEN 2wd +4wd"

If you leave the lever there, it is one bounce or bump away from CONNECTING the rear driveline to the front. Excactly the oppostite of what you'd want. Leaving it in 2wd is the best way to ensure the rear gets to freewheel.

Just put the GEAR shifter neutral and leave it in 2wd

#10 worknwood

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 01:18 AM

Brat...Brat...Brat. I live in Plumas Co. northeastern CA. which is full of fun areas to see in a 4WD Brat. Plus there is no towing issue. Just get a good reliable tow bar. I have RV'ed a lot, and though I haven't pulled a toad, I have heard some real horror stories with tow bars the issue.
BTW click the site below and you can check out some of the winter condition in the area::eek:

www.dot.ca.gov/dist2/travelmap.htm

Welcome to beautiful Northeastern CA.:clap:


oops! My bad, You wrote "Northeast to California" and I read Northeast California. Where your are headed may make the Wagon a better choice. A typical Californian will put 20k/yr.+ on a car. It's a big state and if you are going to travel the highways the wagon might be more practical. You can prolly carry more materials using the top rack and back or the wagon than you can in the Brat. The state has congested metro areas to vast wilderness, burning "Death Valley" deserts to Alpine Mts. Etc. And weather from one extreme to the other. Where you end up here could be more important than the towing issues.

#11 subsnjeeps

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:28 PM

I tow my 85 brat all the time! Even wired seperate two-way bulb sockets in the rear tail lights to a plug in front. That isolates it from the brats wireing. Leave the key in the first position so the front wheels can turn when towing. So light you will forget it is hooked up!



#12 MilesFox

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 12:20 AM

 Do not flat tow an automatic as it will burn up the trans. This should only be done if the engine is running! Otherwise, 2 up is fine, just leave it in FWD. IT is not necessary to remove the driveshaft. Only tow the Automatic if you have a 2 up dolly.

 

Otherwise, the 4spd brat is safe to flat tow. Just leave it in FWD and neutral. OR you can dolly it, depending on your towing equipment. 

 

the all 4 down or all 4 up rule only applies to full time 4wd and and AWD manual trans. Otherwise, a 'full time' or AWD 4spd automatic should be towed all 4 up, or 2 up and the driveshaft removed.

 

(I know this is an old post resurrected from the dead, but what the heck, it adds to discussion since the SEARCH function will dig it up.)






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