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Old 11-06-2014, 07:26   #1
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Towing a Boat with a Car

Guys I appreciate your feedback on this.

I have an 18ft boat + Trailer, I want to know if it is okay to pull them with a subaru legacy. It has a 2.5L 4 cyl engine, All wheel drive.

Anyone has done it with a similar car or knows someone who has?

Thanks & Cheers to all

IO85
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:33   #2
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

How much does the trailer & boat weigh ?
How much does the manufacturer say the auto can tow , should be written on the door post .
More important , can your auto brake the load ?
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:40   #3
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

the car can tow 1200 KGS as per the manual. The boat + trailer might hit 1300 KGS. Its kind of flat where I live, the only steepness is on the slipway.

Thanks!
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:47   #4
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

Towing capacities assume long distances in the mountains at highway speed. Realize these numbers have to stand up in court with the grieving Widow and babies attending.
Personally I've never had any issue pulling weights far beyond manufacturers limits, but I go slower and make sure I never exceed a speed that I can safely stop. Sometimes this means avoiding high traffic times and areas.
Use your brain, drive like your towing a heavy load and you'll be fine. Avoid use of 4wd drive especially on dry pavement and when turning. If you use it to pull the boat out of the water ensure your wheels are pointed straight ahead


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Old 12-06-2014, 22:53   #5
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

Modern Subarus (at least since the late 90s) are full-time AWD, they aren't a 4X4 pickup were you do have to pay attention to such issues... I've pulled a 19ft sailboat rated at 1350lbs dry weight (I have no idea what the trailer weighs, or how accurate the boat weight is) with my 1998 2.5L Subaru Forrester. It's a little slow over the mountains, just take your time.
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Old 13-06-2014, 16:13   #6
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

Quote:
Originally Posted by IO85 View Post
Guys I appreciate your feedback on this.

I have an 18ft boat + Trailer, I want to know if it is okay to pull them with a subaru legacy. It has a 2.5L 4 cyl engine, All wheel drive.

Anyone has done it with a similar car or knows someone who has?

Thanks & Cheers to all

IO85
I'd have no problem doing it with your rig. Subarus are notorious for head gaskets giving out and engine overheating and warping the head. Keep an eye on your cooling water usage and water pump.

kind regards,
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Old 13-06-2014, 16:31   #7
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

Actually, I would not recommend it.

Two reasons:

1. Mechanical strain on the car would be significant. Add to the headgasket and head problems (which I did not know about) would be my concerns that it would not be good for the transmission, which I have seen problems with. (Hey, sounds like I am saying the Subie is a bad car, it's not, I recommended your very car to both of my parents, and both agreed and drive what you are driving, but any car, if strained, will give problems.)

2. The towed weight in relation to the towing vehicle will make for a miserable and tiring drive, not to mention the safety problems if something goes wrong at speed. I always TRIED to keep a 1:1.5 towing to vehicle weight. Not always practical, but certainly safer.

No chance you can borrow an old 4 x 4 for the trip? Even the old ones make for much nicer towing vehicles if you don't mind the fuel bill and are not in a rush. I towed our Austral 20 (2 tons including trailer) with an old Range Rover for a while. Underpowered to buggery, but very undemanding on the driver and vehicle. I towed it later with a Ford Falcon, HEAPS of power, barely noticed the load, but the car only weighed 1.8 tons, and it was a very nail-biting affair at highway speed.

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Old 13-06-2014, 17:08   #8
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

How far are you going? How often will you be towing? I tow my boat once a year - 10 miles each way. If that is what you are talking about, the long term strain on your car is minimal in your "flat" area. If you are towing it 20 miles each weekend for summer, still not a major problem.

If you are towing longer distances, your tranny could be a problem. Automatic transmissions overheat - there is no gauge to tell you this, except for the smell of burnt ATF - then it's too late. You could put a tranny cooler on it - that may minimize the damage. If you have a temp gauge, watch it like a hawk. Any high temps will cook the head/gasket.

Everything in moderation.
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Old 13-06-2014, 17:35   #9
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

Might be better to tow the car with the boat. Can Subarus water ski?

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Old 13-06-2014, 19:23   #10
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

I tow my 21 foot sailboat with a 1992 auto Commodore and rated to tow over 2000 kgs. Pulls up the steep ramps like butter. Must be auto. Don't drive over loaded. Get into an accident and you may get the blame even if the other driver was a phycho alcoholic on speed.
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Old 13-06-2014, 20:26   #11
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

Heat, caused by excessive loading, kills automatic transmissions! You can have a transmission cooler installed for very little money when compared to the cost of rebuilding a transmission. While you are at it, ask about installing a transmission temperature gauge, as well. Most modern pick ups with towing packages have both. George
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Old 13-06-2014, 20:31   #12
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

IO85 doesn't state his location, but here in Oz most of the Subies of that vintage are manual. Less of a problem for cooling, but of course then the clutch will get a pounding.

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Old 14-06-2014, 03:36   #13
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
IO85 doesn't state his location, but here in Oz most of the Subies of that vintage are manual. Less of a problem for cooling, but of course then the clutch will get a pounding.

Matt
OP is prolly US based otherwise he would saying "Liberty" and not "Legacy" .

However you point is valid and FWIW, the Liberty / Legacy manual range do not have bullet proof clutches; rather the opposite .
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Old 14-06-2014, 05:17   #14
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

Based in Dubai, almost all roads are flat. the car is 2.5 Legacy Automatic trans
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Old 14-06-2014, 05:19   #15
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Re: Towing a boat with a car

actually the towing average is about 15-20 miles per month. I will check on installing a trans coole
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