Hi first post here. I'm hankering to buy a Sunliner but wonder whether my car is up to it. It is a 2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5litre manual, weighing 1420kg with 225Nm torque. It currently tows a 680kg Cub Spacematic (probably 900kg all up) adequately. But it is only 2m wide and 1.3m high. The Sunliner is the same weight but 2.4m high and a bit wider, so a lot more windage. I dont want to be stuck towing at 80-90kph. The Cub tows better at 110 (on the Newell where legal) than at 100kph as it sits better in the torque curve.
Any opinions or firsthand knowledge? thanks, Michael.
According to the specifications on www.drive.com.au, all the Subaru Forester manual models in 2004 (ie. both the MY04 series and the MY05 series) have a towing capacity of 1400kgs. My own personal opinion is that a car shouldn't tow more than about 75% of its maximum capacity, which would mean in your case an ATM of 1050kgs. There is a typical allowance for the load in a van of 300kgs (water, gas, food, clothing, bedding, etc), and so deducting that from 1050kgs means the tare weight of the van can be 750kgs max.
Once you go to any poptop or full-size van, you are at the mercy of the prevailing weather, and if you strike any headwinds then your speed will drop. I don't have a Sunliner, but the shape of them suggests to me that they would slip through the air a lot better than other square-edged vans.
Currently we have a manual Subaru forester 08 or 09. It's our 4th Subaru & the 1st one we ever towed with. It's rated towing capacity is probably 750kg unbraked & 1400kg braked but as Al says, there are a few more things to think about. However the main thing is about towing in overdrive! DO NOT DO IT!!!!!
Better off to stay in 4th gear & wear the fact you're using more fuel. We tow our 10ft Castle (weighs about 540kg unladden or about 640 laden) in 4th gear but when pulling the Propert ( probably 350kg loaded max) mostly tow in 4th gear but sometimes downhill & on flat freeways go into 5th. I know this sounds over cautious but a new gear box in a Forester could be expensive!
We have experience of this...coming back from Cowra Nats in 2012, the gearbox in our 1 tonne ute collapsed a bearing in the lay shaft & we only just made it home to northern NSW. Luckily it only cost a grand to fix but the gearbox mechanic said theres only 2 cars that can tow in overdrive: Toyota Landcruiser & I can't recall the other, possibly Nissan Patrol.
New Subarus have 2 over drives so more to think about! I'm sure there's more knowledgeable people on this Forum than me but better to find out before you end up sitting on the side of the Newell!
I towed a van for 10,000kms with a 2004 Mazda Tribute 3L, and more recently another van for 2,000kms with a 2004 Toyota Prado GXL. In both cases when I tried to use overdrive, I realised the auto gearbox wanted to keep hunting in and out of overdrive, to the point where it became really annoying. It was ok to use on long down-hill stretches, but as soon as I came across any undulating or curving roads, in and out of overdrive it would go.
Now I don't bother with overdrive at all. The cost of additional petrol is offset by the smoother ride of having better control of the auto transmission in 4th gear, not 5th.
HI telemike. Haven't towed with a Subie , but have towed a Sunliner with an EH holden sedan 179 cu in/ 120 hp.But it was very much 'on the limit' most of the time!
IMO.....your Subaru should tow a Sunliner OK at about 800 kg laden Any sunny owner will tell you that they are the best van one can tow . Largely because of their aerodynamic shape/light weight. Your Subie would tow a Sunliner easier than any other 'full size' van that I can think of. I reckon it would tow fairly comfortably at 90/ 100kph......in 4th, not overdrive!!!!!
Hi All I have towed my caravans with Subaru Outbacks for 14 years. First I had the 2.5 ltr (1999-2003) and up dated to the H6 3.0ltr in 2003. Travelled all over Australia's outback towing the Olympic 'Contessa' with all up travelling via the weighbridge 15000kgs.The H6 has a towing capacity of 1600kgs and ball mass of 160kgs.To this I added a Hayman Reese WDH 550lbs or 250kgs capacity and I defie anyone to have safer or better set. It is extremely in all situations.On one trip alone over 12 months I cover 30 000klms, as some of you would know the 'Outback' has a self levelling rear end, and today it is still in the same condition as when purchased.All up that car has towed my van probably 80-100 000klms. I will stress here that I would not tow this or any other van without a matching WDH, ( calculate by ball mass + weight in back of vehicle, in my case 150 on the ball + 100kgs in back of vehicle =250kgs therefore we rquire 250kgs WDH. Weigh your van ready to travel and make sure you have 10% of weight on the ball (ballmass), and yourvan will tow perfectly with correct tire pressure, and ever tyre has a given pressure for a given weight. Here again the weighbridge will indicate what tyre pressure you require. I have studied this subject over the past 15 years, If you don't believe what I have stated , chech out a Hayman Reese brochure on the subject.Just as matter of interest with my Hr set up on the H6, it put 143kgs extra on the front wheels from static, and 100kgs on the caravans wheels, in summary if I have extra weight on my front wheels I have positive braking/streering and it allows the ABS to function to the fullest. Added to this you will have a better ride because your wheel span is from your front wheels to the caravan wheels, and there is no sign of any bounce whats so ever. There I have said enough, go out and apply this to your set up, and you will never use any alternative. A large number of members on the forum have seen me with this set up. Cheers boblor
Last Edit: Jan 29, 2014 18:59:13 GMT 10 by boblor: I should mention that from 2007or 8 Subaru " Outbacks' can not have WDH fitted to them, soft rear end.
Hi Bob .Great information there. At about what highway speed did the 2.5 ltr tow the 1500kg Contessa? Or did you only tow the Contessa with larger H6 3.0 ltr?.....and if so, at about what comfortable highway speeds? ....and in what gear?
Hi All I tow at a speed to suit the road/terrain conditions which would vary from 80-100klm p/h.,Locked out overdrive. Yes I towed the 'Contessa' with the 2.5 and 3.0 ltr units. As a matter of interest as I am a records person as you all may have gathered by now, I averaged 14,5 ltr. to 100 klms over the 30 000klm. trip with the H6, with overdrive locked out.As a matter of interest for those who maybe considering a Subaru the 2004- 7/8 model have a towing capacity of 1800 and 180 ballmass and you can fit the Hayman Reese WDH. I was issue free the experimental heavy duty towbar used to carry out tests by Hayman Reese, so I have the first towbar. Another item I should mention is that Subaru make it compupsory to fit an oil cooler to the automatic transmission. I only use Automatic transmissions. Cheers boblor
Thanks Bob, exactly the sort of assessment I was after. I did my usual trip on the weekend (400kms return to the beach) and in reality the roads don't allow that much sustained 100kph travel, so that should be OK. it is only my annual trip up the Newell to Qld that sustained 100kph and 110kph cruising is an option. If i can do 100kph there then it should be OK.
Some years ago i met two couples separately towing vans (tare about 1200kgs) who as i recall thought their forester was flat strap at about 80kph. That would be a bit slow, but maybe my recollection was wrong.
Well, I finally got my Sunliner and have towed it a few places with the manual forester., including Canberra Brisbane return and Canberra Coffs Harbour return. It tows well in fourth, surprisingly well. Thirsty at about 15l per 100kms though. It is a bit tight with four of us in there (the wife thought it a stupid idea, but her friends talked her around given how fashionable a vintage van was). The second bed solution involved making up a second bed that sat atop the dinette when the dinette was down. It folds up so that it can be removed, but i can assure you that that will never happen as it is not worth the effort. Sometime i will master PB and post photos.