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2021 Ascent Limited
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We got our Ascent in the spring of 2021, and managed to get a Jayco X19Z hybrid at the same time. That's a good combination and fits your requirements.
Unfortunately, Jayco has discontinued the hybrids line. Apparently, the big rigs are more profitable for them.
If you can find a decent used X19Z, that would work.
 

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For clarification, the ALTO line of travel trailers are manufactured by Safari Condo (the company name). New units can only be purchased in Canada and imported to USA. There are no US dealers. There are many US customers and used trailers appear for sale occasionally, but you'd better be ready jump on it. Most of them sell immediately. I own a 17 foot fixed roof (model F1743) ALTO and tow it with my 2019 Ascent Limited. My ALTO (with many options) weighs just 1,933 lbs. empty. Gross weight: 2,700 lbs. Handles very well. The 21' models (F2114 or A2124) have a gross weight of 3,500 lbs. and 3,700 lbs. respectively. with empty weights of approx. 2,500 lbs. depending on options. They will sleep 4 with dining for 4. The 24' ALTO is likely too large for the Ascent, but it is technically below the Ascent's 5,000 lb. tow weight rating at 4,500 lbs. GVWR. For ref.: Alto F2114 Travel Trailers | Safari Condo
 

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2021 Ascent Limited 2020 Outback Onyx 2022 NOBO 19.5 TT
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We have a NOBO 19.5, which will not work for you, but you could look at the 19.8. I think you are pushing it for sure, but maybe you “could” keep within specs if you travel very light. As others have said, be sure you do not use weight distribution hitch or anti sway. Here is a link for the 19.8 and a picture of our setup. Note, our NOBO is 3800 UVW, and we travel very light with two Golden Retrievers that are 150 lbs between the two of them. We get 11 mpg when towing, and we drive very gingerly with maximum speed of 60, usually closer to 55. The Ascent handles it reasonably well, but I feel like it is at the limit.

 

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2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2010 Subaru Legacy GT limited
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We have a 2016 jayco jayfeather 7 22bhm it has double bunks and a reasonably sized dinette with a Murphy queen bed up front. Give it a look, it's small for four but not a small as some others you are looking at. We have a 5yr old and 9 yr old, but the bunks are big enough for adults to occupy. Also, the dual axles make towing a breeze, you just have to pack with enough weight on the tongue to keep it stable.
A link to my search and what we ended up with.

 

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There is a rare R-pod model with a rear pop out queen and two front bunks. Your Ascent could handle it fine. I will post details soon when I’m on my computer
The model I'm thinking of is the iPod 176T. You would need to look for a used one. They discontinued the model in 2021. It can sleep 6....4 without using the dinette. RPods are very high quality and are well within the Ascent's capacity.
 

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2020 Ascent Limited
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Is that the correct model #? A Google search found zero.

We got our Ascent in the spring of 2021, and managed to get a Jayco X19Z hybrid at the same time. That's a good combination and fits your requirements.
Unfortunately, Jayco has discontinued the hybrids line. Apparently, the big rigs are more profitable for them.
If you can find a decent used X19Z, that would work.
 

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2021 Ascent Touring Blue, 2006 Baja Turbo
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We have 21 Ascent with the factory tow package, redarc brake controller and took a scale with us on our search for a trailer. One thing to check is with batterie(s), propane, fresh water and gear what is the loaded on the road weight for tongue and trailer, manufacturers and dealers want to sell trailers so they often don’t include some of these
items in their stats.
We ended up with a 22FB Bambi from Airstream, it’s lighter than most and tows very well behind the Ascent, no need for a weight distribution hitch even in 50+ mph winds which we found across the Midwest last spring. Fuel mileage varies from 16 in most of the country dropping to 14 in the northwest due to all the mountains, 57 was our optimum speed for mileage, also we burn premium and really notice the difference.
We don’t have kids traveling with us and the second bed is cozy, so no teenagers. We pack light to keep under the 5K and do have solar and extra batteries which we moved back by the axle to control tongue weight. We have taken 3 month trips and have over 11k towing with no problems, even gravel roads across the country getting to some cool camp spots the Ascent does fine if you drive sensible. So far at 30k the car is doing fine with no issues mechanically though we have lots of rattles from our unpaved roads at home.
 

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2021 Ascent Touring Blue, 2006 Baja Turbo
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We have 21 Ascent with the factory tow package, redarc brake controller and took a scale with us on our search for a trailer. One thing to check is with batterie(s), propane, fresh water and gear what is the loaded on the road weight for tongue and trailer, manufacturers and dealers want to sell trailers so they often don’t include some of these
items in their stats.
We ended up with a 22FB Bambi from Airstream, it’s lighter than most and tows very well behind the Ascent, no need for a weight distribution hitch even in 50+ mph winds which we found across the Midwest last spring. Fuel mileage varies from 16 in most of the country dropping to 14 in the northwest due to all the mountains, 57 was our optimum speed for mileage, also we burn premium and really notice the difference.
We don’t have kids traveling with us and the second bed is cozy, so no teenagers. We pack light to keep under the 5K and do have solar and extra batteries which we moved back by the axle to control tongue weight. We have taken 3 month trips and have over 11k towing with no problems, even gravel roads across the country getting to some cool camp spots the Ascent does fine if you drive sensible. So far at 30k the car is doing fine with no issues mechanically though we have lots of rattles from our unpaved roads at home.
 

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Long post, skip to the last paragraph if you just want the bottom line.

There are very few travel trailers in the Ascent's weight range that can comfortably sleep a family of four, especially when the kids are teen-sized and teen-attituded. You may find a few that would be ok for short trips such as weekends, but they'll be quite a compromise from what I think you may have in mind.

I don't know what your travel plans are, but RVs that can fairly comfortably sleep four adult-sized people for longer than a few days start in the 4000-5000 lb Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) range, and even then, they'll be quite a compromise. For 2 adults and 2 teens, what you're probably looking for is 6000 lb GVWR on up, realistically in the 8000 lb GVWR range for decent longer-term comfort. Believe it or not, an 8000 lb GVWR travel trailer will actually appear tiny when you get to a typical RV park where most of the RVs will be massive fifth wheels and Motor Homes. I speak from experience. My 8100 lb GVWR 32'10" Jayco 27RB was one of the smallest RVs there.

View attachment 18987

So, you can imagine the realistic size of a 4000 lb GVWR travel trailer.

Travel trailers are a lot heavier than most people new to RVs first think, especially when loaded with cargo. You have to carefully take into account both the trailer's Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), i.e. the weight of the travel trailer and all of its cargo, and the loaded tongue weight, the actual weight of the tongue on a trailer loaded with cargo. The Ascent has a maximum 5000 lb towing capacity, therefore the GVW of the travel trailer and all cargo should not be more than around 80% of this or ~4,000 lbs allowing for a safety factor. For a family of four, allow around 1000 lbs for cargo. That leaves you with a travel trailer weighing around 3000 lbs empty. That's a very tiny travel trailer for four people. Even if you could find a suitable one in this weight range, it cannot have a loaded tongue weight exceeding around 80% of the Ascent's 500 lb tongue weight limit or around 400 lbs. That's going to be hard to do for a travel trailer that can comfortably sleep four adult-sized people. Not impossible, but hard. And there will be considerable comfort compromises.

You also have to consider the weight of four adult-sized passengers inside the car and how it will affect the GVW of the Ascent itself, especially when you add the ~400 lb tongue weight to the total. This will depend on the trim level of your Ascent, but you don't have a lot to work with. See this thread to calculate your Ascent's maximum cargo weight.

I went through all of this with my Ascent and I only had to account for myself, not four people. I ultimately decided that I needed a larger tow vehicle and purchased a RAM 1500. Even that proved to be challenging to handle a travel trailer in the weight range I required. If anyone is really serious about RVing with a family of four for more than just a few days at a time, you're looking at a heavy-duty truck such as a RAM 2500, or a Ford F250. Then your RV options are wide open. Believe it or not, many larger RVs do not cost that much more than smaller, lighter ones. This is because the materials used to make RVs light enough to be pulled by smaller tow vehicles cost considerably more.

Again, I don't know all of your specific requirements and travel plans, so I'm speaking in general. In any case, please don't ever try to push the Ascent beyond its towing capacity to meet your needs. This can put your family in danger. Also, please keep in mind that the Ascent doesn't have the common ability to use a Weight Distributing Hitch (WDH), which can often save the day on other tow vehicles when it comes to weight limits. Never use a WDH on the Ascent. You're stuck with the 500 lb tongue limit, there's no getting around that.

The bottom line is that the Ascent is a light-duty tow vehicle. It can only tow the lightest ranges of travel trailers, don't let anyone tell you differently. This weight range is not typically suited to longer travels for four adult-sized people. If you're only traveling for a few days up to a week or so, you might be able to find something suitable, but you likely won't be very comfortable for longer trips unless you and your family can tolerate very tight quarters and close living for longer periods of time.

If you have any other questions, please post here or PM me. I'll try to help.
Totally agree. We had a F150 Ford towing our 23 foot trailer around it was much slower to stop so you needed to keep a longer safety distance. I would recommend no more than a pop up hard sided sleeps 4 trailer and invest in a separate screened canopy for dining and stay where there are bathroom and shower facilities. The Ascent is not a towing vehicle other than a Lightweight utility trailer or camper.
 
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