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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to the world of travel trailers and was wondering realistically what are some good options? It would need to sleep a family of 5 and be towable by the Ascent. What numbers do I need to look at when doing my research? I am obviously showing my lack of knowledge with these questions but everyone needs to start somewhere. Thanks!
 

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I am new to the world of travel trailers and was wondering realistically what are some good options? It would need to sleep a family of 5 and be towable by the Ascent. What numbers do I need to look at when doing my research? I am obviously showing my lack of knowledge with these questions but everyone needs to start somewhere. Thanks!
The heaviest Ascent is 4,602 pounds. The maximum GVWR is 6,000 pounds (all trims). Maximum tongue weight is 500 pounds.

Subaru has released a number of videos of them testing it towing a 4,300 pound Airstream and passengers. That's a 405-410 pound tongue weight on the Touring trim they used, leaving just shy of 1,000 pounds for cargo.

Ideally, a trailer should be 4,000-4,300 pounds or less (80-85% roughly) for the Premium trim levels upwards. The reviews from the people who tested the towing configuration I mentioned above are pretty good.

Here's one of a few videos showing it towing 4,300 pounds pounds, plus a couple passengers:

I'm shooting for 4,000 pounds max (trailer GVWR), maybe a little more.

You'd need to factor in trim levels, cargo, passengers, etc. For instance, the Premium can tow the full 5,000 pounds with more cargo weight available in the Ascent itself because it's 125 pounds lighter than the Touring model.

As an example of the math, with a Touring:
+6,000 pound GVWR
-4,602 pounds "empty" weight
-500 pound tongue weight
--------------------------
898 pounds left for car cargo and passengers

As an example of the math, with a Premium:
+6,000 pound GVWR
-4,477 pounds "empty" weight
-500 pound tongue weight
--------------------------
1,023 pounds left for car cargo and passengers

If you needed more cargo weight, you'd need a lighter trailer than 5000 pounds/500 pound tongue weight.

Remember, that's the loaded trailer (GVWR) weight - not the empty or curb weight.

AND REGARDLESS:
If you're doing regular or long distance towing, I for one never like running at the absolute maximum rating. I'm shooting for 4,000 pounds, because it's 80%. Many people recommend staying at or under 80% or 85% max for a trailer that will be towed long distance or somewhat regularly (a couple weekends a month throughout the year, for instance).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is very helpful information Robert.Mauro. We have pre-ordered the Touring model with captain's chairs. We definitely do not want to max out the weight rating as we will be hauling this through mountains which will probably be taxing enough.
 

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I saw a post on the Ascent forum about a lightweight trailer that was around 2500 lbs....Aluminum and fiberglass construction.....It had a Queen & king size bed I think....so I don’t know how it would work with 3 kids....I think it was the Alto by Safari Condo........Very modern looking....
 

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I saw a post on the Ascent forum about a lightweight trailer that was around 2500 lbs....Aluminum and fiberglass construction.....It had a Queen & king size bed I think....so I don’t know how it would work with 3 kids....I think it was the Alto by Safari Condo........Very modern looking....
Excellent units, made in Canada, priced in Canadian $$.....i’ve been looking at them ...well within weight limitation for towing behind Ascent...but look to pay a minimum of 30,000 US dollars and for some models their production will take nearly a years wait....there are many others at lesser prices but I do like the Altos and they are certainly priced less than Airstreams.
 

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A few questions first.

How active are you guys. Bikes, boats etc gear?
What type of camping do you like multiple locations during a trip no more than a night or two in one location? Or base camp park it for a few days in one location and maybe do day trips to points of interest?

Weather or Northern locations is that a factor?

Keep in mind that 5 is a odd number for what’s considered micro travel trailers. But there are creative options.
 

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For base camp ie staying put in one location for more than a night or two and in non Grizzly Bear locations a tent trailer offers the best space vs weight and cost penalty. Bunk bed cots set up on a large tent trailer bed provides separated sleeping for kids. Two in the bunks one on the bed. Example
https://m.llbean.com/product.html?s...2Q&llbdrd=https://www.google.com/&csp=a#93007

For hard sided it gets really tough unless parents want to sleep in bunk beds and you do a bunk cot / bed combo like above in a family of 4 travel trailer such as


https://www.livinlite.com/products/camplite-travel-trailers/CL16BHB.html

Note this 16footer is right around the max dry / empty weight you want to target lighter would be better. Remember when loaded with water and propane plus gear this trailer tongue weight will reach 500lbs quickly.
 

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My dream trailer idea is a pop top trailer. Think hard sided trailer about 6ft tall when closed. A slide out kitchen ie outdoor kitchen. Rear opening doors to load bikes etc. No bathroom! Small campers and bathrooms just dont work.

Sleeping arrangements would be bunk up top under the pop top and tip out bunk off the side. Leaving an open floor. For 5 add disco cot bunk bed which can fold into a couch when bed isn’t needed. This setup gives maximum space and secure stowage for bikes, boats toys etc. fast setup. Better Grizzly bear camping options ie hard side sleeping leave tip out closed and parents setup a bed on the floor etc. Typical camping tipout bed 99% of the time.

I’d be tempted to challenge Intech trailer builders to build a custom version of one of their MaxFlyer RV trailers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A few questions first.

How active are you guys. Bikes, boats etc gear?
What type of camping do you like multiple locations during a trip no more than a night or two in one location? Or base camp park it for a few days in one location and maybe do day trips to points of interest?

Weather or Northern locations is that a factor?

Keep in mind that 5 is a odd number for what’s considered micro travel trailers. But there are creative options.
We not do much by way of toy hauling. Mostly just hiking.

We would be using it primarily as a base camp but there will be multiple location trips too.

We live in Colorado so many trips will be into the mountains but not necessarily way off the beaten path. We have been half heartedly looking for about a year so I know that sleeping 5 is hard. The good news is that we aren't looking for huge and luxurious. We literally want it for a place to sleep and has a toilet for middle of the night needs. The bad news is my husband is 6'4" and many ultra lights we have seen have an interior height of 6'4".
 

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We not do much by way of toy hauling. Mostly just hiking.

We would be using it primarily as a base camp but there will be multiple location trips too.

We live in Colorado so many trips will be into the mountains but not necessarily way off the beaten path. We have been half heartedly looking for about a year so I know that sleeping 5 is hard. The good news is that we aren't looking for huge and luxurious. We literally want it for a place to sleep and has a toilet for middle of the night needs. The bad news is my husband is 6'4" and many ultra lights we have seen have an interior height of 6'4".
SMALL but a good and well respected brand:
6'6" interior, and fully loaded is WELL within the 80-85% max I'd do:
https://www.lancecamper.com/travel-trailers/1575/

They have smaller ultralights that are lighter as well. Also, NOT getting a slide-out drops a LOT of weight.


These are also 6'6" interior (and they have shorter length ones as well):

This 22 foot monstrosity is easily within the tow rating of the Ascent - it's only 3700 pounds fully loaded - that's the advantage of skipping a slide out
https://www.jayco.com/products/travel-trailers/2018-jay-feather-7/19bh/

Here's a heavier smaller one with slide that's still in the "safe range":
https://www.jayco.com/products/travel-trailers/2018-jay-feather-7/16xrb/



ON THE SMALLER AND MORE AERODYNAMIC SIDE:
ALL of these (multiple listed on one page) are easily towable and VERY light
https://www.jayco.com/products/travel-trailers/2018-hummingbird/floorplans-and-prices/

ON THE VERY BIG SIZE:
This one hits the absolute maximum of what I would even consider (87% of the Ascent's rating):
https://www.jayco.com/products/travel-trailers/2018-jay-feather-7/17xfd/

This is towable, but I wouldn't go this high, even though it's in the rated range:
https://www.jayco.com/products/travel-trailers/2018-jay-feather-7/19xud/


There are a ton more options available for big sized travel trailers (and obviously small ones) than I think most people realize, but, it took some digging for me to figure out which models. Alas, I started my search a year ago, when I helped my friend choose his travel trailer, and an appropriately configured F150 King Cab to tow it. So, I had a head start since I concurrently looked at ones for the Ascent.


There are two other ultralight brands that I know of that are really ultralights (and well respected) besides Jayco. If you're interested, I can dig up the ones I saved from there that I know will work with the Ascent. They include a 25 footer that sleeps 6 or 8 and smaller ones with pop outs (though, I'd look at the Jaycos above for smaller and aerodynamic).

Honestly, for what comes with the weight, I'd LOVE an Airstream, but the replacement for the few year old discontinued one in the Subaru commercial is the Airstream Sport 22B, is a tiny bit heavier (not really an issue) but costs a lot, as anyone would expect of an Airstream ($48K to $60K)
 

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If your set on having a bathroom and space for 5 and serious about tge RV thing I would honestly skip the Ascent and just get a F150. My neighbor has 5 people to haul. Mom drives a mini van daily Dad drives a F150. They use the F150 for Ski trips roof box on the roof. They haul 4 dirt bikes to the moto park on the weekends. The F150 would easily fit the family and let you move up to the 21ft travel trailers that have the room ypur looking for. The Ascent just wont have the load capability for a trailer with the space you want. I know Lance campers are really poorly built I wouldn’t recommend a Lance trailer. Livin lite trailers are decent build quality for the money.
 

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If your set on having a bathroom and space for 5 and serious about tge RV thing I would honestly skip the Ascent and just get a F150. My neighbor has 5 people to haul. Mom drives a mini van daily Dad drives a F150. They use the F150 for Ski trips roof box on the roof. They haul 4 dirt bikes to the moto park on the weekends. The F150 would easily fit the family and let you move up to the 21ft travel trailers that have the room ypur looking for. The Ascent just wont have the load capability for a trailer with the space you want. I know Lance campers are really poorly built I wouldn’t recommend a Lance trailer. Livin lite trailers are decent build quality for the money.
What's wrong with this ridiculously light 22 foot 3,700 pounds (GVWR) travel trailer?
https://www.jayco.com/products/travel-trailers/2018-jay-feather-7/19bh/

(asking for myself)
 

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They took a much heavier Airstream through the mountains in Oregon numerous times for demos and filming and then still used it as a test car.
 

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They took a much heavier Airstream through the mountains in Oregon numerous times for demos and filming and then still used it as a test car.
Umm no flat parking lot at sea level for the parking lot towing test drive LOL. Given I’ve traveled OR central, coastal and Eastern I have lots of family there its not Colorado or even the CA Sierras. I’ve even towed there. Theres a reason people get their highest mileage averages on Oregon slow roads low speed limits and other than the CA/OR pass its umm a very easy place to drag a heavy trailer. Not to mention very mild temps in most cases.
 

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First, I'm sorry, but I am really confused on your towing recommendation. You're recommending a line of trailers that, other than the 11 footer, is a LOT heavier than the ones I recommend, and then saying the one I am looking at is too heavy. (4,400 pounds plus vs 3,700 pounds)

https://www.livinlite.com/products/camplite-travel-trailers/CL14DBS.html

Umm no flat parking lot at sea level for the parking lot towing test drive LOL.
Sorry, you missed their video. That's not where Subaru did their driving for the commercials and testing. That's where Subaru allowed dealers to test.

Given I’ve traveled OR central, coastal and Eastern I have lots of family there its not Colorado or even the CA Sierras. I’ve even towed there. Theres a reason people get their highest mileage averages on Oregon slow roads low speed limits and other than the CA/OR pass its umm a very easy place to drag a heavy trailer. Not to mention very mild temps in most cases.
Still leaves me confused as to why you're recommending a trailer series that (other than the tiny 11 footer) is 700 pounds or more heavier than the mid-weight one I am looking at.


Here's the vid you missed of them towing a 4,300 pound Airstream up windy mountain roads, with 6 people, a dog and gear in the Ascent.
 

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I am new to the world of travel trailers and was wondering realistically what are some good options? It would need to sleep a family of 5 and be towable by the Ascent. What numbers do I need to look at when doing my research? I am obviously showing my lack of knowledge with these questions but everyone needs to start somewhere. Thanks!
I have towed cargo trailers with Chevy Suburan's 1500 for a long time. I bought the Ascent Limited to replace the Suburan. I have towed the 16 ft dual axle trailer in the picture with the Ascent multiple times. It tows it well. The trailer is typically weighs in at about 3K lbs, with a tongue weight of about 300lbs. My mileage is about 9 to 10 miles to the gallon vs 24-25 mpg with out the trailer. However, the Ascent struggles with the trailer, not sure I would want to take a long trip with it. Seems to do OK for my short trips. Hope this helps.
IMG_2549.JPG
 

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Struggles or sounds a lot louder? When I tow, I hear that "Subie Growl" that's normally heavily muted in our Ascents, but it doesn't ever struggle. Just towed again last week, and it was still a breeze. Sure, the car is slower when towing (as all are), but towed as well as the ancient 'burban my friend just got rid of (better gas mileage, only slightly slower that the weirdly geared massive V8 Big Block). It was an older 'burban, and it recently died, so, there's that.

If you can feel you're towing, that's normal. If you can hear that "Subie Growl" now, that's normal (and that's not it struggling).

If it's actually struggling, I'd have it checked out.


1355

Just shy of the 4,395 pound GVWR, with all tanks full (potable, grey and black), and two propane tanks and the batteries and gear.

I have towed cargo trailers with Chevy Suburan's 1500 for a long time. I bought the Ascent Limited to replace the Suburan. I have towed the 16 ft dual axle trailer in the picture with the Ascent multiple times. It tows it well. The trailer is typically weighs in at about 3K lbs, with a tongue weight of about 300lbs. My mileage is about 9 to 10 miles to the gallon vs 24-25 mpg with out the trailer. However, the Ascent struggles with the trailer, not sure I would want to take a long trip with it. Seems to do OK for my short trips. Hope this helps. View attachment 1354
 
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