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Ascent kinda sucks for anyone with kids as you can't even fit a full size stroller in the thing when all the seats are up.
What kind of stroller are you using that doesn’t fit?
This enormous jogging stroller fits in mine and the back seats aren’t even completely vertical.
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So the trailer I am looking at is a tandem at 3900 dry. The issue is the tongue is 500 dry.

My issue is we need a vehicle that can handle the snow which is the real Sierra cement not snow most people are used to. And the vehicle needs to hold 7 people and be able to tow.

It is hard to be able to find a vehicle like that so sorta stuck with the Subaru. I honestly doubt even if you ran tongue weight at 600 you’d have a problem, but then again I am a financial analyst and not a engineer. The biggest fear I have is tongue weight, I could care less if we were 1k lb over weight in general as that would mean just take it slower and be smart. I just pulled about 4500 the other day with no trailer brakes in the Sierra mountains with no issues whatsoever. I have no clue even what tongue weight was on it.
So. is this your first time towing a large trailer or any trailer For that matter? It could be the electronic format but you’re coming off cavalier about overloading and braking..... you’re getting a lot of valuable advise from the members here with experience. Pulling an overloaded trailer and tow vehicle and being “smart” is a massive contradiction. Hopefully youll head the advise.....
 

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Discussion Starter #23
So. is this your first time towing a large trailer or any trailer For that matter? It could be the electronic format but you’re coming off cavalier about overloading and braking..... you’re getting a lot of valuable advise from the members here with experience. Pulling an overloaded trailer and tow vehicle and being “smart” is a massive contradiction. Hopefully youll head the advise.....
Ive been driving trailers for over 15 years. Normally through the business I was in towing usually 10k on average. Never towed a TT before but have done 5th wheels often with horse trailers. I’ve always towed with a Ford F450, except small loads with other vehicles.
My point is 100lb extra on the tongue is not going to break the hitch off the car, it’s going to reduce inside cargo weight some and throw a bit more weight on the rear axle. If I don’t load cargo in the cab and only have humans in the cab I am not too worried about hitting cargo weight cap. Hitch weight was my main worry, but since it’s a tandem I know I can balance the load and get the tongue down to about 550 loaded.
The trailer I bought was 4K dry. I don’t intend on driving with water weight, so not worried about that aspect. We pack light and we looked at everything we would be carrying with the trailer and we don’t think we would go over 750-1000lb or cargo for a weekend. Sure that puts me at 5k which is the limit, but that’s a set limit because of the class the car is. The trailer is a tandem with 4 brakes plus the car. Even if I was sitting at 5500 there is no reason that wouldn’t be sufficient braking power.

Do I care about little over here and there? No, because we all know car makers do not set limits at the actual limit, usually far from it. As soon as I can ace the Subaru I will be, but since I just put new snow tires on it I am going to get one more winter of tearing it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
What kind of stroller are you using that doesn’t fit?
This enormous jogging stroller fits in mine and the back seats aren’t even completely vertical. View attachment 4705
View attachment 4704
If you consider only fitting a stroller in back and nothing else fitting as it fitting a stroller then you are correct. Now try fitting the other cargo you need for your day trip such as an ice chest, chairs or anything. We go to music in the park often and the car can’t even hold the stuff we need to chill and listen to music. That is why I believe the suburban will be a better fit for my family as it’s like 3x the size of cargo in back.
 

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If you consider only fitting a stroller in back and nothing else fitting as it fitting a stroller then you are correct. Now try fitting the other cargo you need for your day trip such as an ice chest, chairs or anything...That is why I believe the suburban will be a better fit for my family as it’s like 3x the size of cargo in back.
Since this thread is about towing, upgrading to a larger class of vehicle such as a Suburban will solve many of the Ascent’s limitations such as trunk space and towing capacity.
For me and my needs the Ascent is perfect. For others, something bigger sounds suitable.
I’ve put a 100qt cooler in the trunk with several sleeping bags and gone camping with just the Ascent and a rooftop cargo box. Can I do that with a stroller as well? Nope. Will I ever need to decide between the stroller and other gear? Probably. Is the Ascent a good choice for a combination of towing capacity, cargo space, safety and handling for its price? Absolutely.
 

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My point is 100lb extra on the tongue is not going to break the hitch off the car, it’s going to reduce inside cargo weight some and throw a bit more weight on the rear axle.
It's going to result in a potentially unsafe steering and braking scenario, not "breaking the hitch receiver". Other stability issues can also come into play. There are reasons that tongue weight and trailer weight are limited and they are 100% about safety. This is nothing like towing a fifth wheel where the weight is directly over the read axile of the tow vehicle. There's a lever involved and yes, 100 lbs heavy on the tongue is going to seriously affect performance and safety. It will be best to go with a heavier, larger tow vehicle or a less substantial trailer.
 

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Ive been driving trailers for over 15 years. Normally through the business I was in towing usually 10k on average. Never towed a TT before but have done 5th wheels often with horse trailers. I’ve always towed with a Ford F450, except small loads with other vehicles.
My point is 100lb extra on the tongue is not going to break the hitch off the car, it’s going to reduce inside cargo weight some and throw a bit more weight on the rear axle. If I don’t load cargo in the cab and only have humans in the cab I am not too worried about hitting cargo weight cap. Hitch weight was my main worry, but since it’s a tandem I know I can balance the load and get the tongue down to about 550 loaded.
The trailer I bought was 4K dry. I don’t intend on driving with water weight, so not worried about that aspect. We pack light and we looked at everything we would be carrying with the trailer and we don’t think we would go over 750-1000lb or cargo for a weekend. Sure that puts me at 5k which is the limit, but that’s a set limit because of the class the car is. The trailer is a tandem with 4 brakes plus the car. Even if I was sitting at 5500 there is no reason that wouldn’t be sufficient braking power.

Do I care about little over here and there? No, because we all know car makers do not set limits at the actual limit, usually far from it. As soon as I can ace the Subaru I will be, but since I just put new snow tires on it I am going to get one more winter of tearing it up.
Ok..... 2 follow up points...the ascent is not a 450 or a 250 for that matter so towing...it’s a page get vehicle and dynamics are different...... the hitch specifications are for static loads not necessarily dynamic loads.... the hitch may be under rated...... nonetheless, happy trailering...
 

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My point is 100lb extra on the tongue is not going to break the hitch off the car, it’s going to reduce inside cargo weight some and throw a bit more weight on the rear axle. If I don’t load cargo in the cab and only have humans in the cab I am not too worried about hitting cargo weight cap. Hitch weight was my main worry, but since it’s a tandem I know I can balance the load and get the tongue down to about 550 loaded.
Besides how it will negatively affect handling, in exceeding the tongue weight, you may find you've broken the law in various states. You definitely open yourself up to civil liability issues in all 50 states and DC, in the event of an accident. And, because "Unsafe operation" laws can be cited in virtually every state, including ones that do not address tongue weight overloading, it opens the door to other more serious charges, in the event of serious impact to life or property (including felonies in what otherwise would have been dismissed as "accident").

As much as I love seeing people driving Subies, if you're looking at 550 pound tongue weight, then, I suggest another vehicle, for your safety, for proper vehicle handling, for civil and criminal liability reasons and for the safety of others on the road.
 

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It's going to result in a potentially unsafe steering and braking scenario, not "breaking the hitch receiver". Other stability issues can also come into play. There are reasons that tongue weight and trailer weight are limited and they are 100% about safety. This is nothing like towing a fifth wheel where the weight is directly over the read axile of the tow vehicle. There's a lever involved and yes, 100 lbs heavy on the tongue is going to seriously affect performance and safety. It will be best to go with a heavier, larger tow vehicle or a less substantial trailer.
This is what too much tongue weight looks like on the Ascent.


The rear end is heavily squatted. The front wheels are almost off the ground, so very little steering grip.

I took the pic, then went and moved my Mustang further back so it was properly balanced. This is 4,530 pounds total weight.

I did once tow a Dodge Nitro home for a friend. Yes, that is 6,000lbs total. No I did not exceed 45mph and I made sure the tongue weight was correct and it was only for 8 miles. I would not recommend doing it for any length of time or at speed.
 

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If you consider only fitting a stroller in back and nothing else fitting as it fitting a stroller then you are correct. Now try fitting the other cargo you need for your day trip such as an ice chest, chairs or anything. We go to music in the park often and the car can’t even hold the stuff we need to chill and listen to music. That is why I believe the suburban will be a better fit for my family as it’s like 3x the size of cargo in back.
You say that your vehicle needs to fit 7 people and all of their cargo for long trips... You own the wrong vehicle, period, not even adding the complications of towing.

We love our Ascent, but it fits 4-5 people, and all cargo necessary for a long trip.

It fits 7-8 people to go get ice cream..
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I found myself a gem in the middle of the desert. $500 for the truck and 200 miles of towing later she got home! 83k original miles as it was always a farm truck.

Starting elevation 4200ft and going as high as 7400ft with multiple grades and the Subaru did just fine. I was a bit heavy on the tongue but I had no choice as I had no way to get the weight back.

Trailer is 2200lb, truck is 2700 not counting the box and the tank of gas. Car did excellent and averaged 14 mpg over the 200 miles loaded.

Is the Subaru ideal for towing? No. Will it get the job done? Seems so.
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I found myself a gem in the middle of the desert. $500 for the truck and 200 miles of towing later she got home! 83k original miles as it was always a farm truck.

Starting elevation 4200ft and going as high as 7400ft with multiple grades and the Subaru did just fine. I was a bit heavy on the tongue but I had no choice as I had no way to get the weight back.

Trailer is 2200lb, truck is 2700 not counting the box and the tank of gas. Car did excellent and averaged 14 mpg over the 200 miles loaded.

Is the Subaru ideal for towing? No. Will it get the job done? Seems so.
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On occasion, I would tow my track car with my 1968 VW Beetle. If I put the 69 Camaro on the trailer frontwards, the VW front wheels would come right off the ground. I just backed the Camaro onto the trailer and towed fine. At least as fine as 54 hp would allow.
 

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I’ve towed our fifth wheel over 13k mi now in the past 2.5 yrs with our F450 in all sorts of conditions except snow. I can tell you that I’ve seen countless travel trailers being towed poorly. I can see the excess rear end droop of the tow vehicle. I see these vehicles driving 70+ mph and wandering all over the lane and oftentimes into the adjacent lane. Wind can be a major issue. I’ve seen trailers and their tow vehicle being blown halfway over into the next lane. More commonly I see this happen as these overloaded folks blow by a semi truck and that compression wave hits them.

My point is, towing flat on a sunny day is something easily done. Towing in less than ideal conditions can totally change the game and it will expose any weakness in your tow vehicle. Going up an 8 mi long 8% grade? How about coming down that same grade on the other side? How are your brakes going to perform if your vehicle is at max payload or actually overloaded?

Think a Suburban is the solution? Guess again. If you just get a bigger trailer and load it up so the Suburban is max payload, you’ve still got the same problems. The same is true of any tow vehicle even my F450.

The answer is to stay well away from the max limit of the tow vehicle. Leave yourself a margin of safety. If you want to tow often and tow heavy, then a diesel pickup with the correct gearing and equipment options is the ideal tow vehicle. A fifth wheel will always tow better than a travel trailer because the pin weight is directly over the rear axle. That’s why every one of those semi trucks towing 100k lbs uses a fifth wheel hitch and not a travel trailer type hitch.

Have fun but be safe!
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I’ve towed our fifth wheel over 13k mi now in the past 2.5 yrs with our F450 in all sorts of conditions except snow. I can tell you that I’ve seen countless travel trailers being towed poorly. I can see the excess rear end droop of the tow vehicle. I see these vehicles driving 70+ mph and wandering all over the lane and oftentimes into the adjacent lane. Wind can be a major issue. I’ve seen trailers and their tow vehicle being blown halfway over into the next lane. More commonly I see this happen as these overloaded folks blow by a semi truck and that compression wave hits them.

My point is, towing flat on a sunny day is something easily done. Towing in less than ideal conditions can totally change the game and it will expose any weakness in your tow vehicle. Going up an 8 mi long 8% grade? How about coming down that same grade on the other side? How are your brakes going to perform if your vehicle is at max payload or actually overloaded?

Think a Suburban is the solution? Guess again. If you just get a bigger trailer and load it up so the Suburban is max payload, you’ve still got the same problems. The same is true of any tow vehicle even my F450.

The answer is to stay well away from the max limit of the tow vehicle. Leave yourself a margin of safety. If you want to tow often and tow heavy, then a diesel pickup with the correct gearing and equipment options is the ideal tow vehicle. A fifth wheel will always tow better than a travel trailer because the pin weight is directly over the rear axle. That’s why every one of those semi trucks towing 100k lbs uses a fifth wheel hitch and not a travel trailer type hitch.

Have fun but be safe!
Yeah I know what you mean for sure. In the past week we have made the 400 mile round trip twice, and 395 is known for the speeders. I had a guy blow past me passing in a straight with a TT and once he got past the semi I was trailing his trailer blew over the entire lane and I could see the rear of his TV. I took the Washoe valley slow go because of the winds but for the most part I carried 60 the entire trip. Wasn’t in a big hurry, just happy I got my toy. I can tell you for sure even with this heavy tongue the car had no problems stopping and climbed the Carson Pass on Hwy 50 which goes from 4800 to 6400 elevation in a short distance without even struggling and still had power if I needed.
 

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If you consider only fitting a stroller in back and nothing else fitting as it fitting a stroller then you are correct. Now try fitting the other cargo you need for your day trip such as an ice chest, chairs or anything. We go to music in the park often and the car can’t even hold the stuff we need to chill and listen to music. That is why I believe the suburban will be a better fit for my family as it’s like 3x the size of cargo in back.
At this point, I'm unsure if you want to hear this but we use a cargo hitch carrier to increase the carrying capacity. We often carry canopy, cooler, and chairs for outdoor activities. Not the best, but the most feasible method I know w/o having to buy a full-size SUV that I don't need in vast majority of cases.

The aluminum one can be found at Harbor Freight for about $50.
 
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