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Old 06-22-2011, 12:27 AM   #1
starkruzr
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Default Campers: What weight/size can I safely tow with my Impreza?

Hi guys,

I have an '07 Impreza 2.5i, totally stock, no modifications. I'm interested in getting an RV. Right now my thought is that I should go with a popup for less weight and less wind resistance. What size RV should I be looking at in terms of what my car can handle towing?

Thanks.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:29 AM   #2
hillsboro
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It should tell you that in the owners manual, probably in the back. It will tell you how much you can tow, that will tell you what size trailer you can get.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:41 AM   #3
rkramer
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A small popup will tow fine, but make sure to keep it light! It depends on how far you are going to be towing, but I wouldn't go too far above 1000#. No roof air, and no generator!

(ironically the best mileage I've ever seen with my car for highway use with with a 900# popup behind it. Got 26-27 mpg at 75mph. I normally get around 24 max. No idea why that happened, but it did...)
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:07 PM   #4
Bluefoton
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Pulled 2000lbs without any issues whatsoever except for dismal gas mileage. Roads, freeway, hills, turns. No brakes on the trailer.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:35 PM   #5
starkruzr
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Great info, guys. Thanks. The owner's manual says "your car was not designed to tow things, therefore do not tow things, Subaru is not responsible for blah blah blah." I feel like practical information outweighs those kinds of warnings; Subaru simply doesn't want to deal with people with small cars towing trailers.

I suppose this simply leaves the question of where one obtains a tow hitch for an Impreza/how it's hooked up.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:41 PM   #6
69subaru360
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The Imprea is rated to tow up to 1000 lbs without trailer brakes or 2000 with. That is in the owners manuals. I've got away with 1200 lbs without brakes and it was ok.

Subaru sells a hitch or you can get an aftermarket one like drawtite etc.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:28 AM   #7
Back Road Runner
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I will note that in relation to many of the people here who have modded their cars for sport use, you do end up developing a more competent tow vehicle as a byproduct. By this I reference to a brake upgrade to resist fade, tire upgrade to increase grip and reduce wiggle, suspension upgrade to firm up and better control the chassis, turbo upgrade and tune to generate more torque and hp, and so on.

Like people said, for a stock car there should be information in the owner's manual. The level of safety mostly has to deal with a few things. One is braking performance. Once you get into any serious hills fade can be a very, very dangerous issue. Stock pads are so-so at best. Second would be the ability to control the weight which has do deal with relative suspension stiffness, damping, tire flex, chassis flex, etc. Subarus relative to a variety of other cars is actually surprisingly stable which is nice, but I would be straight up lying if I said there wasn't massive room for improvement. Yet stock to stock versus other vehicles out there, Subarus are nice.

There will be loading limits of the hitch itself depending on what class you get. Subaru is nice in that better ones do bolt right up to the chassis itself, no crappy bumper installs here, just big bolts right to built in rails. I would not exceed the rated specs for the hitch itself as they are only engineered to work up to a certain level. There is a factor of safety there, but it's not healthy to test it out just for the sake of finding mechanical limits.

Bigger trailers that really need brakes usually have brakes. Brake systems are sort of part of the package when it comes to the larger, heavier things, say a 30' boat. It's going to roll on several axles and have its own braking system. I suspect the same for any larger camping trailer of significant size and weight. If it doesn't have one, there probably isn't enough need for one. However, I would certainly upgrade your car's brake pads. Now you don't need anything super fancy. You just need something that resists fade better than stock. Any ceramic pad will do that just fine.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:32 AM   #8
sniper1rfa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69subaru360 View Post
The Imprea is rated to tow up to 1000 lbs without trailer brakes or 2000 with. That is in the owners manuals. I've got away with 1200 lbs without brakes and it was ok.

Subaru sells a hitch or you can get an aftermarket one like drawtite etc.

Only some cars get the "tow rating" through 2007. The wagons have a tow rating, the sedans don't. The '02 wagons might not either.

Same hitch for everything though.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:43 AM   #9
K4z00
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http://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitc...cleid=20029016

I have that on my '02 wagon and have brought a ~1250 pound pop up from Passaic County, NJ through Clearfield County, PA, and even as far up as Boston without too much of a problem.

If you get stopped by police though, with something that heavy, you might need a towing permit depending where you are.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:41 AM   #10
rkramer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Back Road Runner View Post
However, I would certainly upgrade your car's brake pads. Now you don't need anything super fancy. You just need something that resists fade better than stock. Any ceramic pad will do that just fine.
Unless you are towing in mountain conditions, stock brakes work fine and are more than capable of stopping the car with trailer. The problem is that you don't have much weight to work with. A 2000# trailer will slide a subaru through an intersection if you hit the brakes hard. The car simply doesn't have the mass to keep tires stuck on the pavement like a full size 1/2 truck would, and upgrading brakes won't change that. (now try a 3000#+ trailer, which I have pulled with my wrx. Touching the brakes just a little too hard causes instant wheel lockup!)

Turbo (non-diesel) engines also make very poor tow rigs for long distances. Too much heat, wear, and a huge hit in MPG's running in open loop all the time. Given the choice of towing with a NA 2.5 subaru or a 2.0 turbo, I'd easily pick the 2.5. (just watch for trans temps if its an auto, easy to kill an auto trans with heat with a small displacement engine that causes it to shift constantly)

All that said, I've towed A LOT with my wrx, including 500 mile road trips with a 2000# boat behind, but it takes a lot of concentration, skill, and experience to do it safely.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:42 AM   #11
rkramer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sniper1rfa View Post
Only some cars get the "tow rating" through 2007. The wagons have a tow rating, the sedans don't. The '02 wagons might not either.
02 and 03 sedans absolutely HAD tow ratings, 1000# w/o brakes, 2000# with. Early wagons (02-05 maybe) even came equipped with a trailer lighting connector.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:25 AM   #12
Bluefoton
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2000 rating for my 03 OBS, I have to check the manual to see if they even mention brakes. I doubt it though. Just use common sense, which as usual is bloody absent from any official documents. Some idiot crashed a car with a trialer, or SOA is afraid of liability issues, and nowadays they decreased / eliminated the tow rating on newer models. Based on my experience, I had NO issues with 2k lbs and stock brakes. You just don't drive like an asshat.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:51 PM   #13
sniper1rfa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkramer View Post
02 and 03 sedans absolutely HAD tow ratings, 1000# w/o brakes, 2000# with. Early wagons (02-05 maybe) even came equipped with a trailer lighting connector.

Didn't know early sedans had a rating. It's seemingly pretty random amongst the 02-07 generation. My manual (07 wagon) doesn't mention trailer brakes IIRC, and does have a lighting connector. I'm pretty sure '02 WRX (maybe 2.0L turbo models?) wagons do not have the connector or tow rating, but the '02 NA wagons do. Later WRX wagons have it, sedans don't.

It's a crapshoot. I'd tow with any of them.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:11 PM   #14
DC2Denver07Stock
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Default Towing 1600 Miles | DC to Denver U-Haul Cargo Trailer

Trailer: Towing a U-Haul 4x8 Cargo trailer without brakes
Car: Subaru Impreza 07 2.5i (4door) (Car is Under 60K Miles)
Miles: 1600 Miles to Destination (DC to DENVER)
Towing Capacity: Towing capacity 2000lbs with trailer brakes

So far I have heard that Its recommended to tow 1000Ibs trailer weight which is 1/2 the towing capacity if the trailer has no brakes. (I am going to stretch this a little and tow 1400 Ibs total trailer wt. The empty weight of the trailer is 850Ibs. I have read that installing a transmission cooler in my Subaru 2007 sedan 2.5i will help and so I am going for it.
Most probably buying the transmission cooler from IPT (Import Performance Transmission, NJ) and Going to get the installation done at Mach V Motor Sports in Sterling, VA and get a towing hitch installed from U-Haul and buy a factory harness for trailer lights.

-Recommendations?
-Any word of advice will be highly appreciated.
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