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2021 Ascent Touring
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My Touring - 7 passenger - shows 1138. The bottom line is that folks need to look at the door jamb (regardless of what car they drive) and be sure that they aren't overloading the vehicle. Legal ramifications are the least of anyone's concerns...chances are you will NEVER get pulled over for being over weight. But, you are risking your vehicle, family, etc. Should you wreck overloaded, the insurance will quickly figure that one out.
Agreed. But I think what @AJG7426 is pointing out is really interesting. Because when you math it up, the payload is essentially Max Passengers x ~165. Since we've all been curious why the 2 seating configurations have different payload ratings, I think we have the answer.

Does it make sense from an engineering perspective? Clearly not. But the lawyers will crush the engineers every day of the week in this setting, so it's kind of irrelevant.
 

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AGREED. If you take the GVWR of 6,000lbs and take away the 1,138 you get 4,862. I believe I've seen our cars are lighter than this...but it is irrelevant as the placard states max payload is 1,138. What's on the door is the magic number. And no, it makes no sense to put a lower rating on a 7 seater. You should technically have that 165lbs of cargo capacity.
 
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2020 Ascent, 2011 WRX, 2009 Outback
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I'm trying to figure out why Robert hasn't given the magic answer for why the 7 seater holds less payload. It's an intriguing question for sure if truly the captain seats are lighter (combined) than the bench.

Would love to see someone weigh one of each vehicle at the dealer to see what the curb weight shows.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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In this case, maximum of 5000lbs for the Limited and Touring.
Only the Base Ascent doesn't support 5000 lbs. The Premium, Limited and Touring all support 5K.
 
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I'm trying to figure out why Robert hasn't given the magic answer for why the 7 seater holds less payload. It's an intriguing question for sure if truly the captain seats are lighter (combined) than the bench.

Would love to see someone weigh one of each vehicle at the dealer to see what the curb weight shows.
I've been told it's the weight differences between the trims. You'll note that the curb weights reflect the difference. I just don't know why (what items) change the weight in that fashion.
 

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That's the thing. On a Limited you can toggle 7 and 8 seat without any other changes, right? If you do, is that where we are the 200lb delta? I could understand maybe 8 seat premium vs 7 seat touring.
 

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That's the thing. On a Limited you can toggle 7 and 8 seat without any other changes, right? If you do, is that where we are the 200lb delta? I could understand maybe 8 seat premium vs 7 seat touring.
I don't think it's the seats...
13669
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Sorry to be radio silent for a bit. Super busy at work.

Maybe a used Class A or Class B RV where everyone can actually "ride in the hotel", as it were, is also an option. Of course, I suspect the used market there is also inflated by historical high demand, too.
Maybe when I win the lottery or retire. :)

For the size, you can't beat a pop-up for sleeping capacity.

Did you have a low side or a high side pop-up? I had a high-side with 2 king beds on either end. Not having to pop up the cabinets/sink saved a lot of time AND gave a lot more room for storage, making it much nicer than our older camper. The fridge was also much larger which helped with food storage.

The Fleetwood I had was 3,800lbs and the Ascent towed it with ease. Yes, you still have to crank it up and pull the ends out, but that wasn't too bad, especially when my son helped (Age 11 at the time).

It also had a bathroom/shower. With the table down it would sleep 9-12 depending how "cozy" you wanted to be!

I bought mine used for $5,000 (great deal) and actually sold it 4 years later for $6,500 :D

Link to pics inside
The high-wall models look nice. We had a low model. The only cabinet to flip up was the sink. Set up time on a high-wall ought to be pretty similar. It did have swing out stabilizer jacks though which I REALLY hated. Thank goodness newer models all come with scissor jacks. We bought it for $3800 like 5 years ago and sold it recently for $4000. I probably could've asked more given how much interest I had. One guy was so pissed he didn't get there before it sold that he did a burnout down my long driveway.

I am one of those folks who added the Eibach springs to my Ascent. First, to help with off-road adventures. Secondly, when i do have 6 or 7 people sitting in the car, it doesn't squat as much as before and "feels" more stable due to a stiffer spring. Does this give me more carrying capacity...HELL NO. I'm just not pounding the bump stops while driving around town with the kids in the car.
Glad to hear the Eibachs are working out for you. That would be on my list also. You're a great resource on towing / loading as you clearly grasp all the requirements. So many good posts in this thread.

As of now, we're pretty set on replacing the Ascent with an Express van. They'll tow / haul everything with payload and HP to spare. It'll be more of a tool than a "driving machine" (to borrow from bmw) but our wants in a vehicle are simple and the Ascent far exceeds them. Now... anyone need a ride to the airport or Marriott? 🤣
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Oh, and I'd love to know more about how and why Subaru sets the payload capacities. That's probably a peak behind the curtain we'll never get though. There's got to be a reason. Any extra capacity they can give ought to be a selling point, right?
 

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Oh, and I'd love to know more about how and why Subaru sets the payload capacities. That's probably a peak behind the curtain we'll never get though. There's got to be a reason. Any extra capacity they can give ought to be a selling point, right?
If you go over 6,000lbs GVWR in many states you have to register as a commercial vehicle, which is much higher tax wise. So that's why the 6,000lb limit.
 
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I'm moving closer to getting a new travel trailer. Something to camp and vacation with the whole family, 2 adults + 4 young kids. A hybrid expandable camper seems about perfect. Sleeping space for everyone without being too large or fancy. The model I like in particular for cost and weight is the KZ Sportsmen Classic 180RBT. UVW: 3290 lbs. HW: 390 lbs.

I've learned a lot about towing while hanging out here. Probably due to a lack of thoroughly reading the manual, I just learned that HW of the trailer is subtracted from the payload of the vehicle. I just assumed previously that staying under the 5000 lb towing limit and 500 lb tongue weight limit by the recommended 20% and then not severly loading it otherwise would be sufficient. I'd better do some math before making a purchase though.

Referring to the door jamb sticker, max payload for my model is 1158 lbs.

Payload1158Payload1158
- Adults360- Adults360
- Kids(now)280- Kids(later)560
- Hitch50- Hitch50
- Roof box100- Roof box100
- Cargo50- Cargo50
- Tongue Weight390- Tongue Weight390
= Payload remaining-72= Payload remaining-352

At the current time and setup we'll be over weight by 72 lbs. We could probably mitigate that by losing the roof box and loading that stuff into the camper. We'd be right at the bleeding edge of the payload limit.
The kids are young and small though, 70 lbs each on avg. They continue to grow and will probably add 300 lbs in time. That puts us 350 lbs over or 250 lbs over sans roof box.

Crap...

It seems like our Ascent's days are numbered and we'll be going larger soon. Full size SUVs like Expeditions and Suburbans give us major sticker shock. They would work for us but are only incrementally better than the Ascent and easily $20k more. I'm leaning towards a full size 12 passenger van. All the power we'd ever need from a big V8 and payload / towing capacity to spare. They're big, inefficient, and not fun to drive though. It's a weird balance between what is good for daily trips around town and what's needed for traveling / hauling. Ideally we could have two vehicles but we'd have to get very used for that to work out and then reliability is a big unknown.

I'm just lamenting I suppose. If you have a magic solution I'd love to hear it. Otherwise this is a PSA to check ALL the capacities before committing to a trailer.
Hello,
What do you all think of this? 1500 lbs dry weight! Sleeps 6! Slices and dices? If as-advertised, I think this could work great.
 

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Hello,
What do you all think of this? 1500 lbs dry weight! Sleeps 6! Slices and dices? If as-advertised, I think this could work great.
Interesting...but that "invest now" button is, um...disconcerting...
 
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With as much uncertainty and certain change you have ahead of you I would say to plan your trips and rent a camper/trailer. Most owners deliver and set them up all you do is show up with your stuff. No maintenance, insurance, towing hassles...and if you need bigger then rent a bigger one.
 

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I've been watching it for a while now. I may end up making my own trailer one day, since that one doesn't seem to be moving to release (at least not for that model). I hope that changes.
 

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What bugs me on the Touring is that 6000 - 4603 SHOULD be 1397lbs...not 1138lbs...but there must be something else we are missing!!!!!!
Payload also does not account for wet weights (gas, fluids, etc) but are included in GVWR. Not sure if they are included in base weights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
From the manual:

Curb weight
The weight of a motor vehicle with standard equipment including the maximum capacity of fuel, oil and coolant, and if so equipped, air conditioning and additional weight optional engine.

The GVWR equals Curb Weight (actual weight of your vehicle – including standard equipment, fluids, emergency tools and spare tire assembly) plus the vehicle capacity weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Well, we did it. Traded in the Ascent for a lightly used Express van. 2015 3500 12-passenger, regular 135" wheelbase (not-extended) with the 6.0L v8.

Relevant numbers to the discussion:
3402 lbs payload
9600 GVWR
6198 curb
9700 max towing weight
400 TW (weight carrying) / 1000 TW (weight distributing)

We're sad to see the Ascent go but think this will be a really good fit for us. The interior is of course really spacious and the seats are very comfy. The overall length is the same as a Suburban. It's nice sitting up high to get a broader perspective on traffic. It lumbers down the road and we feel bumps we were otherwise unaware of. It's really not bad though. Accidentally speeding is not really an issue like with the Ascent since it was so quiet. You KNOW when you're going fast.

This was a personal vehicle which is kind of rare because most of them are fleet / rentals being sold off. We saw a 2019 with more miles that was beat to hell and $10k more... and they were undervaluing our trade by $5k... and adding ridiculous fees. The last owners of this one had ugly camo seat covers on every row. The dealer took them off and there was practically factory fresh upholstery underneath. Kind of like finding original hardwood floors in an old house. :) They put on 4 new tires and a new windshield too as it was cracked.

We settled on $20,600 sale price (about 50% of new) and $29,500 for the trade-in. So minus a couple trivial fees, we'll still get a good amount back. There's no extra ad-valorem tax due to the trade value and they delivered it to us from TX Carvana style.

I have a few goodies from the Ascent I'll put in the classifieds. Now to get the trailer brake controller installed and go camper shopping. :)

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