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Dingy Towing a 2016 Suburu Forrester

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We have a 2014 Phaeton QBH. Does anyone know if a 2016 Suburu Forrester 2.5i Premium with a 6 speed manual transmission is suitable for dingy towing?

The 2015 Suburu Forrester with manual transmission was listed in the 2015 Guide to Dingy Towing put out by MotorHome Magazine as suitable for dingy towing with these special procedures listed: "Release parking brake and put the transmission in the Neutral position. The ignition switch should be in the ACC position while the vehicle is being towed." (The 2015 Forrester with an automatic transmission was listed an being unsuitable for dingy towing.)

The 2016 Forrester owners manual addresses flat towing but does not distinguish between the two transmission types and suggests the ignition switch be set in the on position?! Please help...

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We tow a 2012 Forester with a five speed manual. Blue Ox base plate and diodes installed by a local dealer. Without the rear monitor you wouldn't know it was back there. I use the first position for accessory. That frees up the steering column. So far no battery problems, but remember to turn the switch off if you stop for the night and don't un hook.

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We are looking at a Subaru CrossTrak to replace our HHR. I asked the dealer to verify what had to be done to safely tow a 2016. The answer from the technicians at Subaru is that the ignition switch needs to be in the "ON" position not "ACC" because the electrical steering system MUST be active for flat towing. This is the same info Jeep Cherokee owners are learning from Fiat Chrysler . Because of the current draw, it looks like an 12VDC charge line from the motorhome to the toad will be a good idea. I see RVI Brake now has a box to charge toad battery from the coach.

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Must not be an issue with our Forester. Have 9000 miles in tow and the tires are wearing perfectly. Perhaps of interest/ I had an experienced Subaru salesperson tell me the manual transmissons are on there way out on all but the Crosstrek. The cvt will be standard I guess.

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I just returned from a trip to a Subaru dealer where I was set to buy a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek. We really wanted this car to tow behind our motorhome. I asked the salesman to check for sure that it was towable and he came back to tell me that it isn't. Every where I look says the car is towable if it is a manual transmission. I'm not sure I believe the guy. Anyone have any experience with something like this?

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I just returned from a trip to a Subaru dealer where I was set to buy a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek. We really wanted this car to tow behind our motorhome. I asked the salesman to check for sure that it was towable and he came back to tell me that it isn't. Every where I look says the car is towable if it is a manual transmission. I'm not sure I believe the guy. Anyone have any experience with something like this?

Welcome to the forum, Read Wolfe10s post above and you can check Remco they make parts for towing. I believe they say it is towable 4 down.

http://www.remcoindustries.com/Towing/Store.php

Bill

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Thanks Bill, I guess I need to find a way to contact Subaru directly to find out. Not sure why it has to be such a pain in the back side to find a car to tow. Seems like the car companies could recognize this as opportunity to sell more cars.

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Reposting this here for those who might not have seen it on another thread:

Family Motor Coaching magazine has published its annual Towables Guide since 1999, and each year, the list of vehicles that can be towed four wheels down behind a motorhome has included various Subaru models that are equipped with a manual transmission. The list is based on information FMC receives from each manufacturer, including Subaru. However, it appears Subaru is rethinking its position on flat towing.

Recently, FMC heard from several FMCA members who were told by Subaru employees that Subarus should not be flat towed behind a motorhome. FMC immediately contacted the company. Subaru’s corporate office is researching the matter and as of April 5 has not provided a definitive answer as to whether the company has changed its policy regarding flat towing. However, when an FMC editor called Subaru customer service, the Subaru representative said the company recommends towing via a flatbed trailer, except in emergency situations.

FMC will continue to seek clarification. When more information becomes available, it will be posted FMCA’s Forums and published in the magazine.

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Quite likely we are dealing with two virtually unrelated issues:

Can a vehicle be towed 4 wheels down-- FROM A MECHANICAL STANDPOINT.

Does the manufacturer deem the extra business gained by endorsing the towing of their vehicle exceed the liability and warranty issues? Said another way, a corporate marketing/legal department issue.

We have seen cases where identical vehicles badged by different manufacturers (Ford Ranger/Mazda PU comes to mind) had different answers to the towability question.

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I spent months looking, talking, e-mailing Subaru, etc. etc. before we bought our 2017 Forester with the manual. NOTHING in the official owners manual says you can't flat tow their car behind a RV. I take that as "Gospel" as any car manufacturer's owners manual is the "Bible" (you get my drift  here, court cases, warranty, legal battles, etc.). Three different Subaru dealerships didn't have a clue.  Spoke with three other 2017 Subaru owners who are all in agreement that we are all going to tow the wheels off these cars and just enjoy them, as they are the safest cars out there. Subaru's are no longer on the FMCA web page for Dingy Towing. Will give you yearly updates, but expect NO problems. Have also heard the rumor that Subaru is going to NOT offer manual transmissions, except in the Crosstrek. Reason, manual's get lower gas mileage, and that drags down your companies over all EPA results and ratings.  Not a good thing when your ratings should be going up. Have owned three Foresters, all with over 200,000/250,00 miles on them! Love the car, only 3,200 pounds and lots of room inside for people,dogs, stuff, etc.

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I tow a 2016 Forester with a manual transmission.  I also tow it with the ignition switch off and key left in the ignition which means the steering lock is unlocked (Does not lock until you pull the key out).  I have made many trips with my longest trip being to the east coast and back from Iowa with absolutely no problems at all.  I hear all the stories about it cannot be done, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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We recently bought a 2017 Subaru Forester and I just finished wiring it for towing but have yet to do it since I am waiting for the Brake Buddy to arrive. I have a related question along this thread: do you need to remove any fuses before connecting the Forester to the RV? If the key is in the 'accessory' or 'on' position, the tail lights come on and the stop light comes on when the brakes are actuated. So I'm wondering if there are 12V signals coming to the diodes from both the RV and the car itself, will that cause a problem?

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tietbohl1.  Welcome to the Forum!

Suggest you disconnect the ground from car battery or get a disconnect installed.  That would prevent battery from running down during tow.

Carl

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Disconnecting the ground cable would indeed cut off the power to prevent battery drain.:D The down side of that is that it would also kill the power required for the Buddy Brake he is installing making the brake useless.:o If he disconnects the ground cable he will need to run power wire and a ground wire  from the coach to the toad that will connect to a power outlet for the Buddy Brake.^_^ A brake power line from the coach to the toad should be fused on both ends for safety.

 

Herman

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Thanks for the feedback! I'll look into the battery disconnect concept and using the 12V line from the RV as I need power for the Brake Buddy. In the immediate time frame, I am going to remove the two fuses (#8 and #14) that power the tail and brake lights. That should get me started.

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While a 12 VDC feed line from the coach is a great idea, it is NOT sufficient to directly power the Brake Buddy with no battery in the toad as a "storage device".

The purpose of the feed line is to keep the toad battery charged.  The short term, high amp draw of the Brake Buddy would cause an unacceptable voltage drop were it to be powered directly from long wires with connectors from the coach.

While a little more complex to initially install, if a vehicle calls for a battery disconnect while being towed (I have NOT researched your particular vehicle), you could:

Install a battery disconnect on the positive side of the toad battery.  It will have an IN and OUT lug/connection.  On the IN side would be the toad battery AND the wire to power the Brake Buddy.  On the OUT side would be the toad electrical system (which you removed from the positive battery terminal).

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Thanks for the additional info! My vehicle does not require a battery disconnect as far as I've been able to find, but the manual says that the key needs to be in the 'on' position. As others have said, the key is needed to unlock the steering wheel and not for powering anything other than in my case providing the 12V for the Brake Buddy. My question was mainly concerned with a simple way to remove the toad 12V to the tail and stop lights. I'm now thinking for removing the two fuses and adding an on/off switch to each with an in-line fuse to make it quick to do in the future.

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Well, I originally purchased an Insibrake at the recommendation of a sales advisor. But once I received it and looked at what it would take to install into my particular car, it became clear that I wasn't going to be able to do it. And, the manufacturer did not have any installers on their list within 50 miles of my house. A friend at work has a Brake Buddy and he recommended it instead - it doesn't need to hook into the toad's brake vacuum booster line and has a wireless transmitter to the RV. I looked at the installation steps on-line and decided that it was a better choice for me.

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No question, the Invisibrake takes a lot more to install-- ONE TIME ONLY.  Once installed, there is nothing to move or set up.  We are on our second toad with the Invisibrake and like not having to haul a box around and set it up each time we want to tow or use the toad.

And, many vehicles do not have room under the hood for an M&G or other "under hood" alternative.

No question, there is no one ideal toad brake-- that is why some companies offer a number of different choices.  If we changed toads every year or so, the Invisibrake would not even be in consideration.

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