I'm hoping for either some support, or for someone with experience to knock some sense into me. Am I crazy for trailering a 13 foot camper with a 2005 Legacy 2.5i, which is rated to tow 2700 pounds? It will be a 2 month cross country trip that has prolonged stays in VT and Colorado. The power is 168 HP SAE @ 5,600 rpm; 166 ft lb @ 4,000 rpm , 28mpg highway, and a 3200 curb weight, but with me at 170 pounds and 230 pounds of gear, my 3700 vehicle will weigh quite a bit more than the 1400 pound trailer.
I have not purchased this vehicle yet, and I really want a manual. But I will get an auto w/a tranny cooler if it is much smarter financially. Because I am scared that I could roast my clutch. To avoid this, I would do my absolute best to never start on an incline.
Question 1: Should I definitely get a automatic, or do you think the manual is fine?
I am also scared that is overly dangerous, since with my gear in it, I think the setup will weigh about 1400 pounds wet. I plan on upgrading the brakes for sure, and the suspension if people feel that it is recommended. I can also purchase some chains if I get caught in a storm. I will be avoiding any inclement weather whenever possible.
Question 2: Should I upgrade the rear suspension to something stiffer (which usually means an inch lower or so)
I found a 13 foot Uhaul in my area for $3800 asking price. My priorities would be to have heat, a refridgerator, and hopefully a shower (it does not have one but I'm pretty handy and would like to install one). For the majority of the time, I could run an extension cord to the camper, or use a friends bathroom. But I'd like to make trips to Jackson Hole and other attractions and have a self sustained camper for a few days when I need it.
Any thoughts or suggestions? It would be greatly appreciated to hear any advice or criticism.