Subaru Ascent Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everyone. I’ve been silently listening to y’all since I bought my Ascent a few months ago. Tomorrow, I’m going to look at a 1961 Shasta Astrodome (2,100 lbs dry / 350 hitch), and really want to buy it, BUT...I’m concerned about the clearance because the cab-over design extends over the tongue. I’ve read the pros/cons of hitch extensions, so I’m thinking that a 6- to 8-inch extension may work well without compromising the hitch weight too much. (I read somewhere that extensions can reduce hitch weight by 1/3.)

Does anyone have experience towing with a hitch extension? There are several posts of people using other suvs to tow an Astrodome, and it looks like there’s enough clearance without an extension. However, I’m concerned about the bumps, hard turns, pot holes, etc. and just want to be safe.

A little context:
This would be my very first towing experience with a camper. But I have driven a 15-ft U-Haul while trailering an suv from TN to CA; I’ve also trailered a U-Haul behind an Isuzu Trooper from CO to TN, so I have experience towing.

My concerns:
I plan to “Covid School” online and on the road until this whole crazy passes. So, I’ll have three (3) elementary school kiddos in tow as well. I watched some videos about trailer sway, and, frankly, they terrified me. Basically, it’ll be me and kids during the week, and my husband will join on weekends. Long story short, I’m concerned about sway and other safety issues. I’m very competent and can troubleshoot most situations. However, using a hitch extension ‘seems’ like it would add another layer of danger to this situation, so I’m hoping y’all can provide some guidance before I jump in the deep end.

Sorry for the long post and the short notice. It’s one of those deals where the perfect trailer appeared, and I’m about to take a leap!
4469
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,955 Posts
How tall is it to over the cab-over?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not sure. I’m guessing about 5’10”. I didn’t think to ask the seller, but I saw pictures of normal-sized people standing under the cab-over. I can measure tomorrow when I see it in person.

Also, it looks like it extends the full tongue length.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here’s a picture of an Astrodome being towed by a Dodge Durango. Looks like there’s enough clearance, but several responses to this post indicated that bumps, etc. could cause serious problems.

4470
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
3,854 Posts
In general, extensions compromise the weight handling...not the best thing if you can avoid it. There's a reason that Subaru'e OEM ball mount sits so close to the vehicle.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robert.Mauro

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,115 Posts
Hitch extensions would work against the tow vehicle (Ascent) in that it is adding a lever arm that will add a moment (rotational force) about the rear axle that will be taking weight off the front tires. It will still be putting the same weight load on the hitch of the car and not making it lighter. It will just add an unwanted moment or rotational force. Make it long enough and you can lift the front tires.

Extending the trailer tongue will reduce the force (weight) on the hitch.

FYI. I love the looks of the trailer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone! I decided against the hitch extension. I towed it home without it because it was mostly highway driving with smooth roads. However, there is plenty of clearance, so I won’t need to ad an extension.

The Astrodome is a super light tow. It catches some wind with the cab-over, but the Ascent can handle it easily.
 

Attachments

1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top