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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I bought a 2021 Forest River Wolf Pup 17JG this weekend. Picked it up at the dealer on Saturday and headed straight for a campground with our 2 kids and the Golden Retriever.

The trailer is a bunkhouse, queen bed up front kitchenette, one slide out and a bathroom. Dry weight is 3,879. 430lb tongue weight,, 23' long single axle. Loaded up lightly I am guessing the trailer was around 4100 or so. We didn't have any water on board this trip.
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Transport Trailer


I installed the Prodigy P3 brake controller from all my reading I did on here. From what I've read on here before I got the trailer is some of you.may disagree that this trailer weight isn't the safest for the car, but was willing to find out for myself.

We live in the Minneapolis area and our campsite was 110 miles away into Eastern Wisconsin. Eastern Wisconsin has some decent roller hills. The car pulled it just fine. Had no problem getting up to speed to merge into traffic on the highway. Could maintain 70 mph no problem.

My biggest complaint was with the lane departure assist. If it kicked in it would get the trailer swaying. Although after I shut that off it pulled the trailer nice and true. The vehicle pulled the trailer very competently The Ascent is not my first choice for a tow rig, but the trailer wasn't really on our radar when we purchased our 2020 Limited last September. I have my Class A CDL and have lots of trailering experience, I dont claim to be an expert, but felt very safe towing with the Subaru and look forward to more camping trips with the family.
 

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The EyeSight owner's manual says not to use cruise control or the lane-keep function when towing. So you made the right choice to turn it off.

Nice trailer, I hope it serves you well and you and your family have wonderful adventures with it.
 

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I agree that's a good looking trailer. If you haven't done so yet, I suggest you get it accurately weighed, especially the tongue weight. At 430 lbs dry, which is very likely before the propane tank was filled and without a battery, you're probably pushing the 500 lb tongue limit for the Ascent. As has been mentioned here many times by others on similar threads, loading this trailer, both in overall cargo weight and its distribution within the trailer, will be critical. Certain add-ons, such as your powered awning, and maybe even your roof-mounted AC unit, might not be in the unit's dry weight figure from the manufacturer. When shopping for our trailer, different manufacturers were all over the place in how they weighed their units. Best of luck with it.
 

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Nice trailer. I like the floorplan. Weight is reasonable IMO. Safest is no trailer. Safety margin decreases as trailer weight increases. You decide on the tradeoff you're willing to make. One of the biggest factors for nice stable towing is ensuring the tongue weight is right. 10-15% of the actual loaded weight are the limits but I like to shoot for closer to 10%.
 

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Congratulations on your purchase of this Travel trailer. My wife and I are from Minneapolis as well and purchased the same Travel Trailer. We love the the trailer and it did tow well with the Ascent. I added a photo of our set up, and a Cat scale ticket we are using the P3 controller as well
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Tongue weight was the problem we had when shopping, we looked at the Wolf Pup as well, its definitely a good value. It's a shame more of these style trailers arent offered with dual axles, they would tow incredibly well that way. Glad you are happy with it.

If you ever decide to tow with fresh water onboard add some water to the grey and black tanks that will balance the trailer for you. There are some campgrounds here with questionable water quality so we keep some in our tank to use. Saves wondering how much is really in the waste tanks, and hooking up the water supply hose.
 

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Thanks for sharing. I'm in Colorado (but originally from St. Cloud, Minnesota...so there is a connection) and also just took delivery of our 2021 Wolf Pup 16BHS. I installed the Redarc TowPro Elite brake controller in the top row of the driver control area as described here. This forum has been incredible as an Ascent owner and new TT purchaser, in particular this (long) thread.

Here is my model:
Hitch Weight: 377 lb.
GVWR: 3877 lb.
UVW 3097 lb.
CCC 780 lb

Question to this group, and @jrod13 and @Patollo who are also running Wolf Pups:
  1. Did you change your hitch drop or are you using the stock hitch drop drop that came with the tow kit? Or, did you change to a shorter drop?
  2. See pics attached, empty trailer and Ascent w/ level: Ascent has rear sag, trailer leans forward. Ground is level. Should I get a adjustable height hitch?
  3. Would stiffer rear suspension springs help with the sag? Has anyone put on new springs?
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm running just a 2" drop hitch that I got from the parts store. That looks to be more than 2" worth of drop. My trailer being heavier seems to sit more level than yours, so I'd consider getting a different hitch setup for yours. An already prepped one from the store should be $50 or under I believe.

My .02cents on the matter.
 

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Thanks for sharing. I'm in Colorado (but originally from St. Cloud, Minnesota...so there is a connection) and also just took delivery of our 2021 Wolf Pup 16BHS. I installed the Redarc TowPro Elite brake controller in the top row of the driver control area as described here. This forum has been incredible as an Ascent owner and new TT purchaser, in particular this (long) thread.

Here is my model:
Hitch Weight: 377 lb.
GVWR: 3877 lb.
UVW 3097 lb.
CCC 780 lb

Question to this group, and @jrod13 and @Patollo who are also running Wolf Pups:
  1. Did you change your hitch drop or are you using the stock hitch drop drop that came with the tow kit? Or, did you change to a shorter drop?
  2. See pics attached, empty trailer and Ascent w/ level: Ascent has rear sag, trailer leans forward. Ground is level. Should I get a adjustable height hitch?
  3. Would stiffer rear suspension springs help with the sag? Has anyone put on new springs?
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Get an adjustable drop hitch and use it to level the trailer, not the Ascent. The Ascent is supposed to squat a little bit. As much as a couple of inches at full load, because the weight is supposed to be rear loaded.

I use this hitch on a heavier trailer. Works great.

Curt 45900 Adjustable Channel Mount: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SMGAJ6/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apap_jwOdDbODI29ma

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Tongue weight was the problem we had when shopping, we looked at the Wolf Pup as well, its definitely a good value. It's a shame more of these style trailers arent offered with dual axles, they would tow incredibly well that way...
Absolutely, I agree. Dual axles are the way to go for safety and better towability. They track better, are less prone to sway, are sturdier, and if a tire blows out, you are not stranded on the side of the road. Whatever trailer I choose will definitely have dual axles. But they're hard to find for the Ascent because most brands use only single axles in the Ascent's trailer weight class.

There are exceptions. If anyone is looking for a dual-axle trailer for the Ascent, be sure to check out the Winnebago Micro Minnie series. With multiple models and many floor plans, you may find one you like. Most of the Micro Minnies use dual-axles yet still remain within the Ascent's towing capacities. They accomplish this by using a specially designed chassis, aluminum framing, and other low weight but high-quality materials.

From my year-long research into travel trailers, these appear to be very well designed and exceptionally well made, yet unlike other premium brands such as Airstream and Lance, they are reasonably priced. They may not have all the upscale features as these brands, but you'll save $10-20K or more on similar sized models, and their weights are better. Additionally, the Micro Minnies are fully equipped as sold. They come with features listed only as additional cost options on other brands. In fact, the only option they list is a $245 upgrade for the air conditioner, everything else you get is included.

From what I can see, these are the ideal travel trailers for the Ascent concerning towability, safety, weight, quality, and price.
 

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and if a tire blows out, you are not stranded on the side of the road.
As a matter of fact, unless a tread is thumping around, one barely feels it, and can easily, safely, get to the side of the road to change tires.

A couple of interesting and important things (regarding that) which people getting tandem axle trailers must be aware of:
  1. Be aware of your axle rating. Having two axles does not mean that you can safely drive with one or two missing wheels.
  2. Be aware of your tire ratings. Some tandem axle trailers come with tires that are not suitable for carrying half the weight.
  3. Be aware that it is illegal to drive on a flat tire. As soon as you know, you need to pull over. Conversely, if the axles and remaining tires have a sufficient load rating to carry the trailer with one less wheel, it is not illegal in various states to drive with a missing wheel. If the load ratings are not suitable, it's illegal in all states.
  4. Load ratings aside, one needs to be sure the trailer design allows for driving with a removed wheel. Often, it will require tying the axle to the frame or tying the suspension in a compressed position so the axle/hub/drum/etc isn't scraping on the street. As you can guess, that'd be illegal too.
I had the sad opportunity to need to research all of that just recently.
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As a matter of fact, unless a tread is thumping around, one barely feels it, and can easily, safely, get to the side of the road to change tires.

A couple of interesting and important things (regarding that) which people getting tandem axle trailers must be aware of:
  1. Be aware of your axle rating. Having two axles does not mean that you can safely drive with one or two missing wheels.
  2. Be aware of your tire ratings. Some tandem axle trailers come with tires that are not suitable for carrying half the weight.
  3. Be aware that it is illegal to drive on a flat tire. As soon as you know, you need to pull over. Conversely, if the axles and remaining tires have a sufficient load rating to carry the trailer with one less wheel, it is not illegal in various states to drive with a missing wheel. If the load ratings are not suitable, it's illegal in all states.
  4. Load ratings aside, one needs to be sure the trailer design allows for driving with a removed wheel. Often, it will require tying the axle to the frame or tying the suspension in a compressed position so the axle/hub/drum/etc isn't scraping on the street. As you can guess, that'd be illegal too.
I had the sad opportunity to need to research all of that just recently.
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All true.

But it's obvious to see the safety advantages over having a blowout with a single axle trailer, especially at highway speeds.
 

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All true.

But it's obvious to see the safety advantages over having a blowout with a single axle trailer, especially at highway speeds.
Absolutely. As I said, we barely felt it. And, in the end, when no one could get us a tire, and they determined we wouldn't fit on the flatbed under the bridge, we had to pull the tire and drive on three tires to the tire shop (where we camped out until morning).

We'd have been stuck on the highway until morning, and then driving back and forth with rim and ripped up tire all morning if we didn't have a tandem. And that's assuming we didn't have trailer and rim damage from the blowout.





 

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Absolutely. As I said, we barely felt it. And, in the end, when no one could get us a tire, and they determined we wouldn't fit on the flatbed under the bridge, we had to pull the tire and drive on three tires to the tire shop (where we camped out until morning).

We'd have been stuck on the highway until morning, and then driving back and forth with rim and ripped up tire all morning if we didn't have a tandem. And that's assuming we didn't have trailer and rim damage from the blowout.





Wow, glad you got through it. You did the right thing, you don't ever want to be stranded on the highway all night.

To clarify what I wrote earlier, what I meant was dual-axles gives you some "limping" capabilities to get to the nearest safe location to deal with the blowout (as you did) whereas, with a single axle trailer, you're stranded right where you are and may need to change a tire or be stuck on the side of a busy highway. Of course, no one should ever simply drive a dual-axle trailer as normal with a blowout and shouldn't try, but limping to a safer location sure can help.

I once had a major tire blowout on my Forester on a six-lane highway coming out of Washington DC. I ran over a piece of metal that sliced the sidewall and the tire almost instantly lost all its pressure. This was on a section of the highway with no shoulders. I had to change the tire right in the rightmost driving lane with cars swerving steadily around me at over 50 mpg. It was a horrible experience, I could hear brakes screeching and horns blowing at me as I was working on the car. Definitely life-threatening, but other than to abandon the car I had no choice. I tried to call for help but no one ever arrived and I couldn't walk anywhere. If I could have only limped the car another mile or two down the highway, there was a breakdown lane, but I was stuck right where I was. That was one of the worst driving experiences of my life, so now I'll do anything to prevent that which is why, for my purposes, I'll only get a dual-axle travel trailer. Travel trailers are notorious for tire blowouts.
 
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