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ccchuck

Subaru - CAN or CAN NOT tow?

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On 4/5/2016 at 7:43 AM, FMCANationalOffice said:

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.

I did the initial post on this topic hoping for a definitive answer, and really appreciate the efforts made here to help. But the length of time awaiting a response is in itself suggestive, ( Subaru’s corporate office is researching the matter, really?!) and add in the continuing inability of my dealer to get a straight answer from Subaru,  leaves me with the unhappy decision to move on - the Subaru impressed me, hard to do with a diehard Honda guy (since 1976), but lack of clarity on towing zeroes it for consideration. I do hope for the RV community that the eventual answer from the bean counters at Subaru is "yes" ( and I do feel this whole deal is more 'lawyer' than 'mechanic').

But for now let me hurry to my Honda dealer before Honda changes it's mind about the HR-V.

edit: no blame on the FMCA, they can only report what they receive.

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On 3/22/2016 at 4:55 AM, jleamont said:

Good to know the Perry location has adequate supporting entrances, exits and roadways to support such an event.

If you ever make it to the Hershey RV show, don't expect that. It grid locks the entire area with cars. When you expect it you are mentally prepared.

Try to get to route 30 with all the outlet shops just don't work very well.  I used to live in Delaware up to 7 years ago.  I also hate 41 & 141.   

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3 hours ago, FIVE said:

ccchuck...If you are a Honda guy get a CRV, vintage  2014 or earlier.  They all tow four down.

Well actually I am trying to replace a 1998(!) CRV, manual trans, that has reached the "I'm not sure if .."  point.

Add to that that no one in my family likes an automatic transmission, its gets hairy  :-)

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I purchased a 2016 WRX in October 2015.  Before I purchased this car I sent an email to Subaru corporate asking if I can tow this car behind a MotorHome.  I received a email stating YES as long as it is a manual transmission car.  A few months later I read that if it has a push button start car it can't be towed.  My car had this option installed.  Sent another email to Subaru asking about the push button start and after several back and forth with them they finally stated that Subaru does not recommend flat towing ANY 2016 Subaru.  At this point as a result of the first email they purchased the car back and sent me a check to cover all of my out of pocket cost.  It was a great car and I can't say enough good things about Subaru as they treated me more than fair.

Edited by franktr
clarification

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I just bought a new 2015 Subaru Crosstrek with manual transmission a month ago. I bought it to tow behind my motorhome and only bought it after conformation from Subaru that it was towable 4 wheels down. I am having the baseplate installed next week so we can get on the road with it last of May.  I just saw the notice in FMCA magazine and now I am unsure what to do.  I just wrote Subaru to try and get some more information.  I attempted to attach the email Subaru sent me but I am not sure it worked. I guess I don't really have a question I just find this incredibly frustrating.

RE_ (SR #_1-14174822160) General Inquiries.eml

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Subarus with manual transmissions have been towed four wheels down in neutral for years. Have seen it behind the windshield of an 18 wheeler. I think that it is Subarus's legal  department at work. In the grand scheme of their marketing, tow behinds are a tiny part of their production. Just a few short months ago everything was OK, but now they are not responding. Lawyers!!  I have towed our 2012 Forester for 9000 miles. Others have towed them far longer. Everything on ours is perfect. Tire wear etc.  Would Blue OX make base plates easily obtainable at dealers if there was a liability in doing so.?  I will keep towing ours. If it breaks behind my 7500 pound towbar I will deal with it. Drag it to the side of the road and call a tow company?

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JS/ I remember reading on this website that the Crosstrek has a steering issue when towed 4 down. The ignition should be left in the on position because the steering system is electrically controlled? Meaning you would need a hot wire from the MH to the toad to keep the battery charged. Not needed on our Forester.  Also I have mentioned this before/ I was told by a Subaru sales lady with many years of experience that Subaru Corporate is planning on eliminating manual transmissions on all but the Crosstrek. At this point who knows? 

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ObedB, thanks for responding. I will probably go ahead and fit the car with a base plate and tow it. Just that I thought I had it all ready to go and Subaru threw me a curve. The email I got from Subaru is pretty clear. I'm not sure they get to change there mind, unless they want to buy my car back.

I wondered about the battery issue, the email says to turn the key to the accessory setting and put it in neutral and I should be good to go. I will research that before we hit the road. Thanks again Jsc

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I guess that silence we hear is Subaru's way of telling us how important RV towing is to them, or, for that matter, how important we in the RV community are to them. I am disappointed, not only that Subarus apparently suddenly became untowable, but even more so at the lack, or so it seems, of a response.

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8 hours ago, ccchuck said:

I guess that silence we hear is Subaru's way of telling us how important RV towing is to them, or, for that matter, how important we in the RV community are to them. I am disappointed, not only that Subarus apparently suddenly became untowable, but even more so at the lack, or so it seems, of a response.

Same with Honda.  They went from one of the most popular toads in the country to can't be towed four down with the '15 model and it's new transmission.  I called and complained and sent them a snail mail letter...to which they sent me a number to call.  I called, but I don't think the guy on the other end grasped what I was trying to tell him.  It seems they are trying to squeeze out another mpg to meet the gubmint's requirements.

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We need a new toad vehicle and were negotiation with Subaru for a 2016 Forester, manual transmission.  Just to be sure, we called Subaru and they said that NO you can't tow it four down.  In fact all four wheels need to be off the ground.

Has anyone heard anything different?

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I tow a 1986 Subaru BRAT, which is a fun little truck.   By default, the caster setting is too low and the steering locks on moderate turns.  This is a known problem with early Subaru models. I aim to diddle with the caster, but, in the mean time, I put a pair of heavy black bungies between the sides of the steering wheel and eye-bolts on the floor and the steering moves as I turn but the bungies pull it back straight.  

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hollybob,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum,

Yes, the early Subarus front geometry was not conducive to flat towing. Wanted to tow a 1987 Subaru SW, but advice from everyone was to not do it.  Sold it and got a vehicle deemed towable 4 wheels down.

But, these early Subarus are really unrelated to the newer generation.

 

 

 


 

 

 

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Subaru of America (SOA) has responded to Family Motor Coaching magazine's request that the company clarify its position on flat-towing Subaru vehicles behind motorhomes. 

"Moving forward, SOA cannot recommend dinghy towing.  Our cars should be flat-bedded."

No further explanation was provided.

Based on this information, Subaru vehicles will NOT be included in Family Motor Coaching's 2017 Towables Guide, which will publish in January 2017. We have asked whether the recommendation also applies to vehicles from previous years. The response: "Right now, FHI (Subaru's parent company) is saying no dinghy towing, but we are still trying to get a clear explanation.  So based on our current position, I must recommend towing all our cars on a flatbed."

 

 

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Okay, I've thought about the Subaru as a tow vehicle but I've towed a Honda Oddesy 2006 for many miles behind our Motorhome. With 195000 miles on the odometer and four sets of tires, it's been a good car like the two Honda CRV's we've used. I know they aren't supposed to be towed four wheels down.

And when asked why, Honda stated they hadn't tested this vehicle. Vehicle manufacturing folks apparently don't care about their products rolling behind a Motorhome, especially where corporate lives in a different country where they don't see any benefit to their bottom line and probably never observed a 40' motorhome much less a towed vehicle behind it. I thought about taking this vehicle over to Lincoln AL where Oddesy vans are assembled and have a placard on the van "Unofficial test vehicle" with mileage towed behind a Motorhome ??

Follow the same direction for CRVs for towing. Of course now CRVs have CVT transmission and they say you can't tow, but go over to Ford and you can tow their CVT vehicles. Yes it doesn't make sense to me either!!!

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We ordered a 2017 Forester, manual,  (they take 3 months to show up!! - two other friends have also had to wait 3 months). I got an "official"  Subaru letter (after two weeks) that answered 3 of my 4, very specific questions. Pretty vague, typical, call center type of a response. Anyway, there is NOTHING, in the Subaru owners manual that says you can't flat tow this car, or it will void the warranty. That's as good as gold for me ( or any small claims court action that might follow-- if you get my drift). We are going to tow our Subaru UNTIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF !!!

We are thinking Subaru wants to discontinue the manual cars as they do get less gas mileage than their CVT cars. And being a car manufacture, they are under government pressure to increase that mileage each year, so the manuals drag that mileage down, which doesn't help. We think Subaru of America is using that approach. Enjoy your Subaru, we have owned 3 Forester's up here in North Idaho, all with 200,000 miles, or more !!!   

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