Subaru tow vehicle

Is it safe to use a 1998 Subaru outback wagon to tow a small pop-up type camper? And if so is there anything I should do to the vehicle first?

It all depends on weight of popup camper.

This site is good link for capacity’s>>>

Basically 1000 lbs without trailer brakes and 2000lbs with trailer brakes.

I would make sure your transmission if automatic is serviced beyond the rest of vehicle.

Basically 1000 lbs without trailer brakes and 2000lbs with trailer brakes.

These figures should not refer to the trailer’s actual weight. they should refer to the trailer’s GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), which should be closer to the trailer’s loaded weight. For example, if the trailer weighs 2,000 lbs. empty, it?s GVWR might be 2,300 lbs., and your Subaru with 2,000 lbs. of towing capacity shouldn’t be used to tow it.

The best thing to do is load the trailer and take it to a truck stop with a scale to weigh it. Then you would know for sure whether its loaded weight exceeds the towing capacity listed in your owner’s manual.

just how is the OP going to take the trailer to a truck stop???

put the trailer on a trailer to be towed by a tow truck, the OP’s insurance should cover the tow if it is not too far.

The OP could:

-Ask the RV dealership to weigh the trailer if the OP hasn’t yet purchased it.

-Rent a U-Haul truck with a trailer hitch. They have full-sized pick-up trucks and vans, so the OP probably wouldn’t have to rent a large box truck.

-Rent a tow vehicle from a car rental agency.

-Ask a friend with a truck or truck-based SUV for a favor.

It would be easier to do if the OP had a truck stop guide handy. It can be found at many truck stops or ordered online. This way, the OP would know exactly where the nearest scale is located.

Any other questions?

I have retired friends who towed a 22’ travel trailer all over the mountains in Colorado with a Subaru Legacy Brighton Wagon, 2.5L, non turbo. Seemed odd to me, but the little car did it.

Is it possible? Most likely for short distances. Is it safe? Probably not, especially if you are in the mountains. Is it good for your engine, transmission, differential, or brakes? No. Was your car designed to tow a camper? Not really.

If you decide to do it anyway, check/replace your oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and (being a Subaru) your differential fluid. Learn how to use the transmission (D3, D2, etc.) for engine braking otherwise you may lose your brakes on a long descent.

I find that very hard to believe. When my dad had a 22 ft camper, he towed it with a 1994 dodge dakota 4x4 with a 318 ci engine, and there were times when he almost didn’t have enough muscle to make it up hills, not mountains.

Of course people use honda goldwings to tow stuff that weighs nearly as much as the bike, so anything is possible. I once even saw a goldwing towing a flatbed trailer with a dirtbike (or dual sport) on it.

Over in the UK they tow with all sorts of vehicles we would never think would work. if you decide to do it, be very careful, slowing down will take a LOT longer distance.

Have you looked in your owner’s manual?

Safe? Define safe. It is safer than using a smaller vehicle. It is not as safe as towing with a larger vehicle. It is safest to not tow or not drive at all. There are many shades of gray.

Is it wise to tow with a small wagon? Wise for safety, see above. Wise for vehicle longevity? If you plan a lot of long trips in the mountains, and you want to get there quickly, get a truck. If you are just taking a yearly trip to the beach a hour drive away and you take your time, the wagon is fine. There is a lot of variation in between the two extremes and you have to judge.