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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

New to Subaru’s and new to towing so looking for a little guidance. Just brought a 2020 Ascent and trying to wrap my head around everything.
The ascent I bought didn’t have a tow package and I decided to go with a local hitch company that said they can install a hitch that will fit and has a tow capacity of 5000lbs and a tongue weight of 750lbs.
I know the Subaru’s hitch has a max tongue weight of 500lbs.
Since my hitch is rate at 750 Does that mean I could safely take my tongue weight passed 500lbs safely? Or is the car also rated for 500lbs regardless of what the hitch is rated for?

I was looking at getting an Intech Sol Horizon trailer that has dry weight of 3,300lbs and a dry tongue weight of around 500lbs. So just want to make sure I understand everything.
Appreciate the help!
 

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It is the car’s rating that limits it to a tongue weight of 500 pounds and it’s overall towing capacity to 5,000 lbs unless you have the base model Ascent and then the ratings are much lower. The front end of the Ascent will also get rather light with more than 500 lbs on the tongue and make it rather dicey to steer. Please don’t exceed the car’s rating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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When looking at any towing specifications always keep in mind that the lesser applicable specification always applies. For example, a trailer might be able to handle 6000 lbs total weight but the Ascent is rated for only 5000 lbs. In this case, the 5000 lb limit is the maximum you can load the trailer.

The same is true for the trailer hitch you're looking at. The Ascents 500 lb tongue weight cannot be exceeded no matter what the aftermarket hitch is rated for.
 

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Hitch Classes are standardized. The OEM Subaru hitch is a class III but cannot be used at the full class spec because the vehicles has lower limits. See the classes in the chart here Types of Trailer Hitches and Hitch Classes - Towing 101

When you buy your ball mount you'll also need class III.

If the trailer you're looking at already has a true 500# tongue weight dry, you should look at other options. There's tons of good info in this sites towing section.

Also, read up on the WDH topic and be prepared for the RV dealers to push you to buy something that the Ascent should not use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I appreciate all the responses I am glad I found this forum. I think I got a handle on it now. Couple more follow up questions.

I think I found a trailer that I might be able to pull, I'am looking at a Little Guy Max trailer. Explore the Little Guy Max
Dry Weight: 3010 lbs.
Dry Tongue Weight: 330 lbs.
GVWR: 4,200 lbs.

Per the Ascent user manual I need to keep the tongue weight around 8-11% of the trailer weight. Assuming I max this trailer out to GVWR and get the load balanced right, 11% of 4,200 lbs = 462 lbs.

Is my logic right here?

Just to note I don't plan on maxing out the weight, buddy of mine said I should try to get my trailer weight at least a 1000lbs under my max tow capacity as a rule of thumb.

Does that sound about right?

Do I also need to add my hitch and ball weight to the tongue weight calculations?


I plan on taking this cross country and will be going through the mountains. New to all of this so trying to make sure I don't get my self in a dangerous situation.

Thanks again!
 

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Retop,

You'll find another Ascent forum member, user name paces, with a Little Guy Max on this page.


These numbers look good.
Dry Weight: 3010 lb.
Dry Tongue Weight: 330 lb.
GVWR: 4,200 lbs.

There will be some who will disagree, but your buddy's idea of a maximum of about 4000 lb. for towing works pretty good here. If there are only two of you, I'd doubt you'd be anywhere close to your trailer maximum.

MY personal maximum is 80% of the stated maximum towing capacity, but you'll find me somewhat out on a limb with this, as many members here are pulling close to the Ascent's maximum rated towing capacity. Check out the weights for the tandem axle trailers and some of the large single axles travel trailers on that same Web page. I am ultra conservative, and I admit it.

The hitch and ball weight are part of the car's payload weight, not the trailer's payload weight.
 

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If you are only towing a few times a year or a month you should be fine. If you plan on towing full-time as a business endeavor thats another can of worms. My trailer is around 4400-4500 lbs when we go camping and we don't have any problems with it. But that is a leisure trip at moderate speeds. Our longest trip has been 2.5 hours one way, and no real issues with going or stopping.
 

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I would keep it at least 10%. If you were willing to tow up to 4000# then 500# tongue would put you at 12.5% . That sounds much safer to me than 8% due to loss of control that can happen with too light tongue weights.
 

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I appreciate all the responses I am glad I found this forum. I think I got a handle on it now. Couple more follow up questions.

I think I found a trailer that I might be able to pull, I'am looking at a Little Guy Max trailer. Explore the Little Guy Max
Dry Weight: 3010 lbs.
Dry Tongue Weight: 330 lbs.
GVWR: 4,200 lbs.

Per the Ascent user manual I need to keep the tongue weight around 8-11% of the trailer weight. Assuming I max this trailer out to GVWR and get the load balanced right, 11% of 4,200 lbs = 462 lbs.

Is my logic right here?

Just to note I don't plan on maxing out the weight, buddy of mine said I should try to get my trailer weight at least a 1000lbs under my max tow capacity as a rule of thumb.

Does that sound about right?

Do I also need to add my hitch and ball weight to the tongue weight calculations?


I plan on taking this cross country and will be going through the mountains. New to all of this so trying to make sure I don't get my self in a dangerous situation.

Thanks again!
Yes your logic is correct. I was in the same boat as you last year when I was new to towing. Lot's to learn. It's interesting though, you might have the opposite problem (too low tongue weight) of what most have (too high tongue weight.) I have it too. I'm under 500, but barely, with my trailer weighting around 4000lbs (with empty watertanks). It's a bit of an oddity that Subaru recommends 8-11% where most all 'official' recommendations say between 10-15%.

As far as specs that trailer looks great for the Ascent! I don't think it's crystal clear, but my understanding is that most MFGs dry tongue weight include empty! propane tanks, but not the battery. Where is the battery by the way on that trailer? Your tongue weight might increase with loading the trailer, but could also decrease if too much stuff goes in the back and especially since that trailer has that big storage compartment in the back as well as a hitch receiver for a bike rack or luggage rack. It will definitely increase by filling the propane and especially if the battery goes on in the front, but yeah make sure you have enough tongue weight (watertank is another big thing to play with to achieve a good safe tongue weight). And best way to really find out is taking your loaded trailer to the cat scale
 
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