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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
edited to add option 3

Hi Everyone,

I've been reading as much as I can lately regarding the towing of the Ascent, and these forums have been great! I have a 2021 Touring with the OEM Hitch installed. Due to this forum, I know NOT to use any WDH/Sway devices - so I'm happy I checked before purchasing one with a new Travel Trailer. I'm new to both Towing and TT, and just trying to soak in as much information as I can.

I've been looking at two different models and I just wanted to get some advice to make sure which one would be better suited for the Ascent to tow. They both fall within the specs, but I'm just worried about the dry hitch weight on the 2nd option. I would like to stay within 80-85% of the specs just to have wiggle room. Also, I would not load anywhere near the max of option #1.

Option #1
Shasta 18BH
Hitch Weight:: 350 lb.
GVWR:: 5050 lb.
UVW: 3229 lb.
CCC: 1821 lb.
Exterior Length: 22' 6"
Exterior Height: 10' 6"
Exterior Width: 8'

Option #2
Escape E191BHK
Hitch Weight: 430
GVWR: 4,245
UVW : 3,350
CCC : 895
Exterior Length: 22'1"
Exterior Height: 10'
Exterior Width: 7.5'

Option #3
FSX 179DBK
Hitch weight: 465 (measured with full tank and battery)
GVWR: 4865
UVW: 3219
CCC: 1648
Length: 22'6"
Height: 10'2"
Width: 7.5'

As a note, I do not plan on filling any tanks before towing. I plan to only stay where there are full hookups available.

Also, I saw the Weigh Safe Tow Ball - Is this a good product? I want to make sure I watch my tongue weight and know if I need to move anything in the travel trailer.

As far as Brake Controllers go - any recommended brands/models to use? The dealer said about purchasing one, but didn't say which ones they carry - but if there are certain ones that are better, I'll see if they have it, or I'll buy it on my own.

Thank you in advance for your help!
 

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2020 Ascent Touring
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Congratulation on the new Ascent.

The Weighsafe is not very accurate in the range of 500#s or less as reported elsewhere in this forum. Better to learn how to use the bathroom scale method for at home use and CAT scales for the big picture. Also keep in mind how many passengers and cargo will go inside the vehicle as this affects the total weight and rear sag.

The second trailer would easily exceed tongue weight if you add 2 propane tanks and batteries to the tongue and how the trailer locates it's cargo compartments. One thing it has going for it is narrower width which reduces wind resistance and many tow-ers find they don't need extension mirrors with the market trailers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Congratulation on the new Ascent.

The Weighsafe is not very accurate in the range of 500#s or less as reported elsewhere in this forum. Better to learn how to use the bathroom scale method for at home use and CAT scales for the big picture. Also keep in mind how many passengers and cargo will go inside the vehicle as this affects the total weight and rear sag.

The second trailer would easily exceed tongue weight if you add 2 propane tanks and batteries to the tongue and how the trailer locates it's cargo compartments. One thing it has going for it is narrower width which reduces wind resistance and many tow-ers find they don't need extension mirrors with the market trailers.
thank you for your response. I know I saw another brand of hitch weight that was reported not very accurate, so I wasn't sure if the Weighsafe was any better. I'll have to do the bathroom scale method, as a CAT scale is a good 30 minutes from me and would rather not chance it if the weights aren't right.
As far as passengers, it would be 2 adults and 2 small kids, and I'd rather keep the cargo in the trailer

for both trailers, I would probably only do 1 propane tank. Unfortunately, both trailers have their cargo areas toward the front. I should be OK to move some cargo to the back of the trailer (store on bunks/in bathroom) if I need to lighten the hitch weight, right?

my biggest concern with pulling a trailer is to have it sway when driving on the highway, so I want to make sure I have the weight distributed correctly. I also like the narrower width of the 2nd one to minimize wind resistance.

the first trailer should be available in late April, the second won't be available until June. If I pass on the Shasta to wait for the KZ and find out it really won't work, then who knows when I'll be able to get a trailer, and I'll have a very unhappy wife, lol.
Thank you again for your reply.
 

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2021 Ascent Limited. 2005 Forester.
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I don't have much to say about either trailer option but I did install a trailer brake controller recently.

I went with the Redarc Tow-Pro elite V3 (third generation). https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Brake-Controller/Redarc/RED44FR.html

It doesn't have an ugly box hanging off my dash to hit my knees on. You can adjust it on the fly easily with the control knob. Very easy to activate manually as well. When not in use it doesn't even light up. Installs relatively easily in one of the blank switches to the left of the steering wheel. The only hole you drill is in the blank switch which could be easily replaced for a few dollars if needed.

This thread has a ton of info on the install if you choose that one.
 

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I use the Redarc as well and it has performed very well. The ring around the knob lights up blue when the trailer is connected and red when brakes are applied. Adjustment is super simple too.

Tekonsha also makes some good reliable controllers used by more than a few members here as well.

I wouldn’t discount any trailer solely based on specs unless you know they are reliable. Tongue weight is not consistently measured by manufacturers, some provide "as delivered" weights others use "as built" without accessories. My advice would be to get it weighed at least once to ensure you aren't over capacity and to understand how much weight you can put and where.

I have found it easy to tell when the front end is too light and or the rear of the ascent is too heavy, along with the inaccurate weighsafe hitch. The resolution on the scale is terrible, but it is helpful. The important thing to remember is hydraulic scales accuracy are base on a nominal oil temperature, too hot and it will read high, too cold and it will read low. Otherwise, it is a very nicely made hitch, I wouldn’t dismiss it outright. Its good enough I can tell when my tongue is too light, and that has been my biggest concern in towing our trailer.
 

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We purchased a KZ Escape E191BH (no exterior kitchen) at the beginning of the month. Our hitch weight with battery and propane tank is 400lbs. According to KZ, their posted hitch weights include the battery and full propane tank. Although we only brought it home from the dealer (~75 miles) and to/from/to the storage lot, we did not have any towing issues. BTW, we're at 7200' elevation!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We purchased a KZ Escape E191BH (no exterior kitchen) at the beginning of the month. Our hitch weight with battery and propane tank is 400lbs. According to KZ, their posted hitch weights include the battery and full propane tank. Although we only brought it home from the dealer (~75 miles) and to/from/to the storage lot, we did not have any towing issues. BTW, we're at 7200' elevation!!
thank you for the information. We really like the KZ escape, but the only local dealer can't get one until at least the end of June. So that may pull it out of the options.

We did just find a wildwood fsx 178dbk that we really like as well. The tongue weight is a little higher, but I did confirm with the company that included the full tank and battery.

we will be looking to make a decision soon before the ones available to us are gone. Thank you all again for the information
 

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We purchased a KZ Escape E191BH (no exterior kitchen) at the beginning of the month. Our hitch weight with battery and propane tank is 400lbs. According to KZ, their posted hitch weights include the battery and full propane tank. Although we only brought it home from the dealer (~75 miles) and to/from/to the storage lot, we did not have any towing issues. BTW, we're at 7200' elevation!!
How are you liking it so far? I'm on the hunt for a KZ Sportsmen Classic 180RBT for the low weight and lots of sleeping space. Does build quality seem good?
 

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How are you liking it so far? I'm on the hunt for a KZ Sportsmen Classic 180RBT for the low weight and lots of sleeping space. Does build quality seem good?
Well, we bought it at the beginning of March then proceeded to get 3 feet of snow, then another 10 inches of snow, which led us to cancel our maiden trip with the TT. It's actually snowing again as I type this! We've only had it at our house for a few days to do some upgrades but it seems like it'll be great!! 😆
 

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Well, we bought it at the beginning of March then proceeded to get 3 feet of snow, then another 10 inches of snow, which led us to cancel our maiden trip with the TT. It's actually snowing again as I type this! We've only had it at our house for a few days to do some upgrades but it seems like it'll be great!! 😆
Thanks. Happy camping!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, my wife and I went through and reviewed them again, and we are really leaning towards the FSX. It gives us more room in the bunks (dbl) for the kids, and has a couple other items such as the couch and Murphy bed, and the outdoor fridge/prep area.

I know I'll just have to watch what I put where, but I was going to do that with whatever TT we went with anyway

we did look for some rentals, but in our area, they are pretty scarce.

also, I think I'm going to go with the Redarc brake controller since it gets good reviews and looks nice.

Thank you all again!
 

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Well, my wife and I went through and reviewed them again, and we are really leaning towards the FSX. It gives us more room in the bunks (dbl) for the kids, and has a couple other items such as the couch and Murphy bed, and the outdoor fridge/prep area.

I know I'll just have to watch what I put where, but I was going to do that with whatever TT we went with anyway

we did look for some rentals, but in our area, they are pretty scarce.

also, I think I'm going to go with the Redarc brake controller since it gets good reviews and looks nice.

Thank you all again!
I dont think Forest River weighs them with full propane and batteries. So that hitch weight will be over 500. We have a Geo Pro 19BH and it says the dry hitch is 411. With 2 full propane tanks, a 42 pound battery and 53 pounds in the pass through (and nothing else really in the trailer) our hitch weight is exactly 500 pounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I dont think Forest River weighs them with full propane and batteries. So that hitch weight will be over 500. We have a Geo Pro 19BH and it says the dry hitch is 411. With 2 full propane tanks, a 42 pound battery and 53 pounds in the pass through (and nothing else really in the trailer) our hitch weight is exactly 500 pounds.
I did double check with the company and they said it is calculated with a full propane tank and battery weight.
 

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I have a Snoozy II that I tow with my Ascent. 2500lbs, 250lbs tongue. Well within the Subaru Ascent specs. Just recently did a trip north of Santa Barbara and the Ascent towed perfectly. I knew it was back there, but wasn’t an issue. Snoozy2.com.
 

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I went with the Redarc Tow-Pro elite V3 (third generation). https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Brake-Controller/Redarc/RED44FR.html

This thread has a ton of info on the install if you choose that one.
Thank you for sharing your preference and your links. Both helpful. I'm still shopping and value all owner's experiences, but like you, I want to maintain the sleek appearance.

While comparing the Redarc with the Tekonsha, I found the following link that explains time delayed vs proportional and compares several brands, including these two.
 
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