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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took our 30ft trailer, weighing in at 4690 lbs. loaded, that we’ve had at a family members house for them to use to quarantine during COVID. Moved it 11 miles to our in laws where we park it. The sag was absolutely horrible. I think I was pretty much bottomed out, and rear wheels were butterflying... it felt very unstable, and at some points really felt the sway. We used standard hitch, not the WD one, but I swear the WD would’ve made a difference, but I know that’s a no-no on Ascent.

So- would love some airbags or helper springs like SumoSprings. We had ride rite Firestone’s on our last 2 4Runners, FJ, and we have SumoSprings on our Tundra. I know we’d never be able to take a trip as it stands now as it just feels unsafe. Tongue weight is 425, so we are within the 85% roughly of Max tongue, and 90% of weight capacity. Thoughts, advice?
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How did you determine the loaded weight and the tongue weight? My tongue weight on my Apex Nano 187RB fully loaded is usually in the 420 lb. range when pulling and my Ascent does not appear to sag as much as yours.

Also, based on the Ascent's wheelbase, the trailer is much too long.

In the last photo, it does not look like the trailer is setting level, but it could be the camera angle or the angle of the street. If the front of the trailer is "pointing down', the weight on the hitch is increased.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How did you determine the loaded weight and the tongue weight? My tongue weight on my Apex Nano 187RB fully loaded is usually in the 420 lb. range when pulling and my Ascent does not appear to sag as much as yours.

Also, based on the Ascent's wheelbase, the trailer is much too long.

In the last photo, it does not look like the trailer is setting level, but it could be the camera angle or the angle of the street. If the front of the trailer is "pointing down', the weight on the hitch is increased.
Agreed about the down angle. I’ve towed this with my Tundra and 4Runner. 4Runner has same towing capacity as Ascenr. No problems on 4Runner. I know the hitch has a straight receiver on it in this picture as it is lower than my other offroad vehicles, so I didn’t use the drop hitch. Maybe I need to reverse the drop hitch and adjust the receiver higher. That might help some.
Specs on trailer are 22ft, I call it 30ft, as that’s overall with tongue. Tongue weight from factory is 420lbs, I’ve measured loaded weight of trailer a few years ago at 4680lbs and balanced tongue at almost 470lbs.
I used wide angle mode on the last pic, so a little skewed image, but sagging is evident. Maybe it is too big and heavy?
 

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It's likely that the tongue weight is greater than 470 lbs. The sag is evident of that and the rear springs are clearly overloaded.

Airbags might help level it, but they won't help with the stress on the unibody frame. The Ascent is an ultralightweight class tow vehicle, this trailer may simply be too much for it, at least for long distances and highway driving in my opinion.
 

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Agreed about the down angle. I’ve towed this with my Tundra and 4Runner. 4Runner has same towing capacity as Ascenr. No problems on 4Runner. I know the hitch has a straight receiver on it in this picture as it is lower than my other offroad vehicles, so I didn’t use the drop hitch. Maybe I need to reverse the drop hitch and adjust the receiver higher. That might help some.
Specs on trailer are 22ft, I call it 30ft, as that’s overall with tongue. Tongue weight from factory is 420lbs, I’ve measured loaded weight of trailer a few years ago at 4680lbs and balanced tongue at almost 470lbs.
I used wide angle mode on the last pic, so a little skewed image, but sagging is evident. Maybe it is too big and heavy?
determining drop hitch not just about turning the hitch around. measuring is necessary to determine the correct rise.

tongue weight tool determines weight and you can adjust weight distribution.
 

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Is the coach 30ft or bumper to hitch 30ft? It looks like there are some bunk beds at the back?

For a trailer that size I suspect the 4700 lbs is probably the dry weight.

In the past I had a 28ft trailer that was 32ft bumper to hitch. I have since sold it, but dry I want to say was 5500lbs. I had a GMC Yukon 6.2 gas to tow that guy.

For the 5000lbs towing limit of the Ascent you are going to need to be in the 17-21ft range depending on the trailer and its options.

Edit: Never mind ... If I had kept on reading you gave your trailer specs.

However, you do have a powered jack which is going to add directly to the tongue weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is the coach 30ft or bumper to hitch 30ft? It looks like there are some bunk beds at the back?

For a trailer that size I suspect the 4700 lbs is probably the dry weight.

In the past I had a 28ft trailer that was 32ft bumper to hitch. I have since sold it, but dry I want to say was 5500lbs. I had a GMC Yukon 6.2 gas to tow that guy.

For the 5000lbs towing limit of the Ascent you are going to need to be in the 17-21ft range depending on the trailer and its options.

Edit: Never mind ... If I had kept on reading you gave your trailer specs.

However, you do have a powered jack which is going to add directly to the tongue weight.
Yes, agreed. My tongue is 420lbs as listed from factory. When I weighed it on scale a couple years ago, we were right at 470 on level load. Trailer is labeled as a 22.5 foot, but length is nearly 28 feet with tongue and rear bumper. Dry weight is 4400 lbs, and weighing on scale was 4690lbs and 4880lbs. 4880lbs was when I was loaded with some fluids, it is typically empty form fluids, and I have it packed the same as when weighed in at 4690lbs. I am certain I am under 5000lbs no matter what. Most likely there was too much down force, and I need to raise the hitch. That’s my first check I will need to do. I do wish there were helper springs or airbags for this vehicle, but being unibody, and subframe, I do not see how that will be possible unless I upgrade rear springs.
 

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@itsdchz have you considered overloaded springs?
Rallitek just came out with some for the ascent, they are 30-40% stiffer than OEM, and should reduce the sag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@itsdchz have you considered overloaded springs?
Rallitek just came out with some for the ascent, they are 30-40% stiffer than OEM, and should reduce the sag.
I was looking, but only see some that involve a lift, but didn’t see these, and with only .628”, it should not be a problem, although it may rake the vehicle slightly when no load, this might certainly solve the problem. Thanks!
 

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In the last photo, it does not look like the trailer is setting level, but it could be the camera angle or the angle of the street. If the front of the trailer is "pointing down', the weight on the hitch is increased.
Most likely there was too much down force, and I need to raise the hitch. That’s my first check I will need to do.
Maybe a tiny tiny bit. Being nose down doesn't increase the hitch weight unless you have weight shifting forward (fluids) from riding like that
 

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rallitek said:
Chrome silicon wire can withstand higher and lower temperatures than high-carbon steel wire which makes it an obvious choice for RalliTEK users that make regular mountain trips in the snow and to Mordor.
Lol. Nerd cred.
 

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Look, I'm about to hurt your feelings, but it needs to be said. You are an idiot for pulling a trailer that large with your car. You are destroying your transmission and every other part of your car. You are a danger to yourself and others on the road while towing this thing. Buy a truck
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Look, I'm about to hurt your feelings, but it needs to be said. You are an idiot for pulling a trailer that large with your car. You are destroying your transmission and every other part of your car. You are a danger to yourself and others on the road while towing this thing. Buy a truck
I’m within the weight limits stated by the manufacturer for safety and within the manufactrers recommended tongue weight. The trailer is 22’5” in length and total length is is 26’8”, including tongue and rear bumper (finally found the specs). Calling someone an idiot who you don’t know is rude and insulting. I am not overloading the vehicle. It was most likely due to the Ascent sits lower than my other vehicles.
After much thought, I’ve ordered the weigh safe hitch above that will verify tongue weight. I will most likely use it as a riser to about 4” on the hitch, as the first issue is the angle was most likely a problem. Once I level out the trailer it will be less stress.
I’ve also ordered the Rallitek overload springs for added help and aid for the rear end support.
I appreciate the concern, and for the most part, the willingness to help from most, and ability to refrain from name calling.
 

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Based off the size and length of the trailer - more specifically the distance between the tongue and the rear axles - I would say your 100% over the 500lb tongue limit. Remember the tongue weight should be 10-15% of the trailers Gross trailer weight . You can attain this by shifting interior objects and cargo . Either way I’d say your pushing the limits . Best of luck to you !
FWIW I use a bathroom scale and a jack stand to measure my tongue weight before every trip to make sure I’m loading appropriately . You’d be surprised how quickly that tongue weight will skyrocket .


** make sure the bathroom scale can handle the weight before attempting . My trailer is much smaller and the scale can handle 400lb before cutting off .
 

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Based off the size and length of the trailer - more specifically the distance between the tongue and the rear axles - I would say your 100% over the 500lb tongue limit. Remember the tongue weight should be 10-15% of the trailers Gross trailer weight . You can attain this by shifting interior objects and cargo . Either way I’d say your pushing the limits . Best of luck to you !
FWIW I use a bathroom scale and a jack stand to measure my tongue weight before every trip to make sure I’m loading appropriately . You’d be surprised how quickly that tongue weight will skyrocket .


** make sure the bathroom scale can handle the weight before attempting . My trailer is much smaller and the scale can handle 400lb before cutting off .
You can use bathroom scales with a lower limit if you place the coupler in the middle of a 2x4 or 2x6, support one end over the scale and lift at the opposite end. The scale will read 1/2 the tongue weight. You can adjust the fulcrum point if you have to ie 1/3 the length of the lumber between coupler and scale will show 1/3 the tongue weight.
 

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You can use bathroom scales with a lower limit if you place the coupler in the middle of a 2x4 or 2x6, support one end over the scale and lift at the opposite end. The scale will read 1/2 the tongue weight. You can adjust the fulcrum point if you have to ie 1/3 the length of the lumber between coupler and scale will show 1/3 the tongue weight.
Okay, I had to Google this.

Who knew.

Great tip!!! 100 likes. (y)

Here is a site that describes the process with pictures:

.
 

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I also feel that most likely the tongue weight is far in excess of the specification, especially with the "dry" tongue weight of the naked trailer that high. Robert has posted photos of the relatively heavy rig he's pulled and the back of the Ascent, while depressed a little, wasn't slammed like you're experiencing.
 

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So I am a new Subaru owner, but have a lot of history pulling trailers. Here are a couple of thoughts from someone who isn't a Subaru homer in the box.

1. You are overweight.. I don't care what the scales say, your tongue weight appears to be significantly heavier than the weight you claim.

2. Just because a vehicle is "rated" to pull something does not mean that it is a good idea. If you get into a crosswind with that trailer, it's going to crack the whip and at that point, you are just along for the ride, and unfortunately, you might hurt others along the way.

3. Being nose down at the tongue does not increase tongue weight unless there are dynamic loads involved, as mentioned. If you aren't sure what that means, please google it.

4. I'm hoping you have good electric brakes....that's all I'll say. If you had to make an emergency stop, what is your confidence level in maintaining control?

5. If it doesn't look right, it probably isn't. Have you ever been driving and seen a vehicle/trailer combo and thought "that just doesn't look right or safe"? Well, in this case, that's your rig.

6. Keep in mind, your tongue weight subtracts from your payload. I have no clue what the payload capacity is on an Ascent because I don't plan to tow with it (full size SUV for that) but lets assume for discussion only it's 1,000lbs. When you hook up a trailer with 470lbs of tongue weight, you reduce your payload by 470, so now you have 530lbs for passengers and cargo. So, take that 530, subtract the weight of the passengers, and that's the weight you can safely put in the car when towing. Let's say 2 adults averaging 150lbs and 2 kids, averaging 75lbs. That's 450lbs. You can now safely put 80lbs of gear in the car and be within specs. It adds up very quickly and is often overlooked, forgotten, or not understood.

7. There is a widely accepted "rule of thumb" when it comes to towing.

General rule of thumb: For the first 110" of wheelbase, this allows you 20' of trailer. For each additional 4" of wheelbase, this gets you 1' more of trailer.

The wheelbase of an Ascent is 113.8, or 114. That' gets you 20ft + 4 feet. You stated that you are at 30ft overall. That's 20% longer than what is considered a "safe" length for a vehicle of this size. Electronics can only help so much but they can never re-write the laws of physics.

I would not call someone an idiot on a forum, but I would strongly suggest that you are not making a good decision here. Out of curiosity, what did you tow with before?
 
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