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 > 2021 Outback & Mini Max

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RinconRick

Tucson

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Posted: 09/20/21 05:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi to all, new member and (hopefully) soon to be new camper owner.

I don't actually own a camper yet, doing research and coming up with some conflicting advice for what I can/can't tow. Needing some help as I'm brand new to all of this and a little confused.

We bought the 2021 Subaru Outback version that is rated by the company to tow 3,500 pounds. The Tongue weight max is 350 pounds.. Based on those numbers, we've been looking at what we could potentially buy that our Outback could pull.

We zeroed in on the Little Guy Mini Max, GVWR of 2,900 pounds and tongue weight 280 pounds. To make sure I'm not making a mistake, I've asked other users...by and large they've said I shouldn't attempt to haul the mini max with the Outback.

But then I'm told by those that do that they've had no problems at all.

Looking for experienced advice on this. Thank you all in advance!

Rick

Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 09/20/21 05:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Include in your base numbers payload max for the SUV. Everything in the Outback plus tongue, hitch and weight distribution pounds counts against your payload. Remember “why, big fella, you can tow anything on this lot with that SUV” isn’t true. 280 pounds of tongue weight is too low for a 2900 pound TT IMO. 13 to 15% is better. Number one defense against sway. Back to payload but this time for the trailer. What is it?

* This post was edited 09/20/21 05:56pm by Lwiddis *


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 09/20/21 07:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

the tongue weight quote is for an EMPTY trailer. put propane in the tank(s) stuff in the trailer, and a battery or 2 on the tongue and you will be over the 350 lbs. Trailer tongue weight is usually closer to 15% of the trailer weight at a minimum.

As an example our outback trailer had a quoted empty tongue weight which I verified when we bought the trailer of about 750lbs. I figured once the trailer was loaded up and batteries on the tongue and propane in the tanks and the water tank filled I'd be around 1400lbs. I was low. depending on what we have loaded into the trailer tongue weight varies from 1400 to 1550 lbs. near double the true empty weight.

On a 3000 lb LOADED (not empty shipping weight) trailer expect 500lbs on the tongue. One big issue is that trailer mfg design for about 15% tongue weight and vehicle mfg design for a 10% tongue weight. See the problem?

Also if the empty weight of the trailer is 2900lbs, my guess is once you put your stuff in the trailer even with an empty fresh water tank you will be over the 3500lbs.

And the tow rating usually assumes you have NOTHING else loaded into the car, no passengers, no luggage, just you and a full tank of gas.

So, personally I think you will be over the tongue weight and trailer weight by the time your done.

we have friends that pull trailers with an outback, but the trailers they have are much lighter, small "pop up" tent trailers, no frontal area, low overall weight. And it works out well for them.


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RinconRick

Tucson

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Posted: 09/20/21 07:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you ktmrfs...appreciate the information, lots to digest!

The empty weight of the camper I'm interested in (the Mini Max) is actually 1,991 pounds. 2,900 is the gross weight allowed (sorry if I didn't get that right). Does this change anything in your mind, or should I still figure out a way to downsize?

Thanks very much again.

MFL

Midwest

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Posted: 09/20/21 08:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Welcome to the forum Rick!

Using the GVWR of the little trailer (2,900) is a good start.

If you load that trailer to the max, and figure 12% tongue weight, you would just fit the 350 lb max available. IMO 10% tongue wt is absolute minimum, but more than 12% not necessary.

I don't know the dimensions of the Little Guy trailer, but your Subaru manual should give a trailer towing frontal area allowed. A flat bed trailer weighing 3,500 would tow much easier than an 8x8 frontal travel trailer weighing 2,900.

Towing long distance, or just more close to home? Towing flat country, or up/down in the mts?

Being a new vehicle, will help, but over time, may take it's toll. If you give it a try, and you feel you don't have enough tow vehicle, can you afford to take the hit, and trade for a different new vehicle?

Those are my thoughts, but only you can decide.

Good luck,

Jerry





RinconRick

Tucson

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Posted: 09/20/21 08:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jerry, thanks so much for the reply.

The Mini Max is 17 feet long...we're in AZ, so it would be mountainous at times. Also thinking about long hauls eventually.

Good info, all around. Thanks for this.

Rick

MFL

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Posted: 09/20/21 08:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mountain towing, long hauls, I'd not recommend using the Subaru, even though the numbers do just fit, with a full load. It may be hard to find an even smaller trailer, that you'd be comfortable in, doing longer trips. Most first time owners trade up to a larger trailer, in just a few years.

A half ton Ford, with an EcoBoost engine would be a great TV for you. Lots of power when needed for towing, and good mileage when not. It would give the option of a much larger trailer, now, or later.

Jerry

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 09/20/21 10:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some good points albeit a little conservative in the precautions imo, with one exception.
The CVT. Idk about your particular model, but generally cvt transmissions don’t do good under continuous high loads. That would be my only reservation.
Otherwise, it’s rated for it and 260 hp and a fairly aerodynamic 3klb trailer sounds like a decent match. Not great but decent.
Does it have a hitch and lights already? I’d suggest finding a similar size trailer and give it a rip. Go pull a good grade with it. Friends family neighbors? Someone around you has to have a single axle cargo trailer or even utility trailer with a sxs or something.
That will give you a good feel for how well it would handle the trailer. Not long term wear n tear but a good initial impression.


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carringb

Corvallis, OR

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Posted: 09/21/21 05:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Subaru is not SAE J2807 compliant, so there's no testing to ensure it can pull long or steep grades or in hot weather. The CVT is susceptible to going into "protect" mode once it starts slipping the drive-belt. I would no way consider pulling a camper trailer any sort of long distance with it, especially in hot weather.


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deltabravo

Spokane, WA

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Posted: 09/21/21 06:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been reading a lot about towing smaller TTs with Subarus on a different RV forum. The general consensus is this: CVT equipped vehicle is horrible for towing a big square box.


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