Last post on Sep 07, 2010 at 4:28 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Towing, Wagon
#132 of 151 2010 Fishing Trip
Jul 19, 2010 (12:37 pm)
My car has now been initiated into the Towing Brotherhood... in style!
The fuel economy was painful for an 1100-mile trip (I estimate 17 mpg based on the computer's typical optimism, but have not entered all the refueling data to determine the exact number), but the car pulled the load (1100 to 1500 # trailer, I - probably conservatively - estimate) respectably well at speeds mostly between 60-65. Add to that another 600# of cargo and three guys, and it was a good load for that little 2.5L engine.
Braking was just fine without trailer brakes, but frequent shifting was required because fifth gear could not handle any sort of incline without losing speed. Shifts down to third gear were rare as it was very happy, on most grades, in fourth. Anything over about a 6-7% grade would require third.
I will say that if my car was an automatic, I would *definitely* put an auxiliary transmission cooler on it to make this trip as I was frequently downshifting and running 3500-4000 RPM on the engine. I cannot really comment on coolant temperature since this goofball car has no gauge, but the high-temp warning light never came on.
All-in-all, it was a fun trip and I look forward to doing it again next year... after I route the wiring harness through the bottom of the spare tire well!
About 2/3 to the fishing site:
Oh, the horror!
Arrival at home:
#133 of 151 Re: 2010 Fishing Trip [xwesx]
Jul 19, 2010 (4:04 pm)
I'm impressed. Making that Forester work for a living.
Is that the car's spare under the front wheel of the 3-wheeler?
#134 of 151 Re: 2010 Fishing Trip [rsholland]
Jul 19, 2010 (4:31 pm)
Yes, it is a full-size from a 2008 Forester. I figured I would much rather have that than the donut in the event I needed it. I also had two spares for the trailer. Happily, I did not need to use any of them.
#135 of 151 Re: 2010 Fishing Trip [xwesx]
Jul 20, 2010 (7:06 am)
As I recall you're from Alaska, correct? How's the Subaru situation up there? Are there a lot of them on the roads? Are there enough dealers? I would assume that winter tires are recommended up there; maybe even year-round, due to the iffy roads?
#136 of 151 Re: 2010 Fishing Trip [rsholland]
Jul 20, 2010 (8:56 am)
Yes, I am in Fairbanks. Subaru is extremely popular up here. If the brand was so popular everywhere in the US, it would rival the big auto makers in annual sales! There are definitely not enough dealers, but you wouldn't hear the dealers say that!
There are three in the state (one in Fairbanks, one in Anchorage, and a third in Juneau), and the best price you will find on an in-state car is MSRP unless you have a personal connection to the store's brass. Actually, the Anchorage store shifted gears at some point in the past three years and went from being a dealer that negotiated between invoice and MSRP to adding a $2,000 dealer markup to the cars! Depending on the time of year, you might be able to negotiate as "low" as MSRP, but it's pretty sad. I would not even consider buying a car here; the only thing the local dealers are good for is warranty work and test drives.
Winter tires are recommended, but certainly not necessary. I have a set for my '10 Forester, but did not use them before that and never had any problems with my '96 Outback. The '07 and '08 Outbacks were somewhat iffy in their all-season rubber, but that was because the RE-92A is such an awful tire. With their rear limited-slip differentials, though, they were quite a bit of fun on those tires! I will say that winter tires make a huge difference in traction on snow/ice, so I personally do recommend them.
I don't see how using winter tires year-round would be helpful at all. If anything, keeping a good set of struts on the car is the ticket to safe summer driving.
#137 of 151 Re: 2010 Fishing Trip [xwesx]
Jul 20, 2010 (8:55 am)
I ran the numbers last night on fuel/distance:
1105.1 miles, 62.9 gallons of fuel, 17.56 mpg average fuel economy, and $217 in fuel (at average price of $3.45 per gallon). My share of the fuel and food came to about $120, so my fish cost me about $1 per pound of meat.
#138 of 151 Re: 2010 Fishing Trip [xwesx]
Jul 20, 2010 (10:43 am)
Incredible. Only 3 Subaru dealers in all of Alaska...
No wonder Joe Spitz (Cars.101 in Seattle) is trying to woo Alaska customers.
#139 of 151 Re: 2010 Fishing Trip [xwesx]
Jul 20, 2010 (12:21 pm)
"... 1500 # trailer... Braking was just fine without trailer brakes..."
The Forester has good brakes and does not need trailer brakes for stopping distance unless you need a panic stop. Trailer brakes are for a completely different problem - jack knifing when braking in a turn.
I towed an unbraked 2000-lb boat with a little Mazda pickup truck for years with no problem. Until one rainy day on a twisty country road I braked to slow down in the middle of a curve, and the unbraked trailer tried to go straight and pushed the back end of the truck around.
#140 of 151 Re: 2010 Fishing Trip [aatherton]
Jul 20, 2010 (12:35 pm)
Yeah, that's one of those lessons chalked up to experience. I did that once in my younger days as well, and it is not hard to do at all.
#141 of 151 Re: Installed the wiring harness on Pappy [xwesx]
Jul 22, 2010 (10:08 am)
And don't laugh ... I have $1000 in free Subaru Bucks to buy a hitch, harness, whatever. It's just that it's my wife's car and I don't think she wants me doing all the dirty work in her nice new ride!