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Power for towing is fine. Handling is twitchy, not so good.

I am 75% through a trip from Pennsylvania to Yellowstone and Grand Teton, writing from KCMO. I am towing a Bullet Crossfire 1700BH with a 2021 Ascent Limited. At the start I used a tongue weight scale from etrailer.com to verify I had about 450 - 475# on the tongue with the trailer level. Weight on a CAT Scale was 2280# on the front axle, 3160# on the rear axle, and 4460# on the trailer's single axle.

The good:
- The Ascent handles the pull just fine. The biggest challenge so far was Teton Pass (elev. 8431 ft.), a climb of 2194 feet from Jackson, WY (elev. 6237 ft.) up a 10% grade. The Ascent pulled that climb without trouble, not even showing any increase in engine temp, even accelerating from my lunch stop part way up.

The bad:
- Trailer sway has been a real problem, at times quite frightening. The first day was had very heavy rain and gale force winds across eastern Ohio. Several times the sway got so violent that the whole Eyesight system shut off. I am grateful to the other drivers around me that kept away or I would have had a wreck. After that experience, I measured tongue height again with the trailer connected to the Ascent. Using the factory 4" drop tow bar, the tongue was almost 6" below horizontal. I replaced the Subaru tow bar with a Reese 2" rise bar, so I was within 1/2" of horizontal. That has helped a lot, but has not solved the sway problem. It still requires great care and gentle steering inputs. Sudden steering inputs will trigger severe sway episodes and eyesight shut down.

- The lane centering feature can be very helpful, but it can be dangerous at times. On curves it will sometimes cause the Ascent to cross the inside edge of the lane, triggering a lane departure warning, and potentially colliding with the vehicle in the next lane, or the barrier in a construction zone. When this happens, the steering input to correct can trigger a sway episode.

In summary, I know I am running heavy on this long trip, but I am within specs for both the Ascent and the trailer. Replacing the tow bar to level my trailer has helped, but not enough. I am hoping for the sort of good experiences Robert and others here have reported, but that is not my experience. At least not yet. Maybe folks here will have some tips for me.

Larry
 

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2020 Ascent Touring
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According to the Eyesight owners manual for the '20 model year, most of the Eyesight features are supposed to be turned off when towing. The '20 doesn't have Lane Centering, but I'm sure the '21 owners manual adds Lane Centering to the list of "do not use while towing". From the '20 manual:
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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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FYI, the OEM ball mount from Subaru is a 6" drop and puts the ball at about 19" unloaded. So it makes sense that you may not have been level if your trailer requires a much higher ball height natively.

Are you "sure" that your "actual" loaded tongue weight was as high as you mention or not way beyond that? What you describe makes it sound like you were lighter than that for some reason, given the sway you describe.
 

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2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2010 Subaru Legacy GT limited
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We have a lot of sway when our tongue weight is too low. One thing of note is vehicle wash, when being overtaken, is very evident no matter how we load. Also, I believe your trailer is 8 ft wide if memory serves, that will be a factor as well. I would suggest maxing out tongue weight no matter how much the loaded trailer weight, that has made a big improvement for me. The vehicle wash though is just something you have to anticipate and live with.
 

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I've haven't yet done any significant towing with the Ascent but with previous similar vehicles I pretty religiously kept to 10-15% tongue weight. The further forward the center of gravity of the trailer, the more stable it is and the greater the tongue load. A higher tongue load will make the trailer more stable, but will push left and right more on the rear end of the vehicle increasing the tendency for over-steer. It's a balance. Perturbations from gusty crosswinds and wakes from larger vehicles will have an effect, but what's important is how well they damp out.
 

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Having the tongue well below horizontal can create its own set of issues. If you measured tongue weight with the trailer level and then hitched the tongue well below level then your tongue weight was higher than what you measured and may have been well above the 500 lbs. Keep in mind as well once the tongue is above level it will reduce the tongue weight as measured when level. 1/2" below level sounds about right as it's better to be slightly below than above.
 

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Also by the specs the base trailer is overloaded by about 230 lbs. 3597 lbs +1103 lbs = 4700 verse 4460 +475 = 4935 lbs . If you have any options added over the base model they increase the dry (shipped) weight and decrease the load carrying capacity. Also check your tire pressure to make sure you have them pressured to carry the load. When calculating min tire pressure for the load I assume a 60/40 split between the two tires and use 60% of total load as the load and then check the tire manufacturer's load/pressure chart. You could be over loading the tire as well.
 

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For what it's worth, I've towed a 12 ft UHaul double axle trailer behind my 2019 Ascent several times from Maryland to S Carolina 600 miles each way on flat interstate highway. Using my OEM hitch and 2" ball, I did not perform any tongue weight calculations or adjust tire pressures, etc. With the trailer fully loaded up with household items from floor to ceiling, the tow was always effortless and without any issues at speeds up to 65 - 70 mph. Hardly knew I was towing at all, except for the decreased gas mileage. There was some sway with the unloaded trailer, but no real problem.
 

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- The lane centering feature can be very helpful, but it can be dangerous at times. On curves it will sometimes cause the Ascent to cross the inside edge of the lane, triggering a lane departure warning, and potentially colliding with the vehicle in the next lane, or the barrier in a construction zone. When this happens, the steering input to correct can trigger a sway episode.
The lane keep assist/lane centering should NOT be used when towing. When I forget and leave it on, it induces sway and fights with the built in sway control that the Ascent has. Make sure it's always off and most of your sway problems should go away!

After over 5,000 miles of towing, most of that with a tongue weight near the limit I haven't had any sway problems.
 

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The lane keep assist/lane centering should NOT be used when towing. When I forget and leave it on, it induces sway and fights with the built in sway control that the Ascent has. Make sure it's always off and most of your sway problems should go away!

After over 5,000 miles of towing, most of that with a tongue weight near the limit I haven't had any sway problems.
Some of the loads I haul:

 
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Some of the loads I haul:

I once mistakenly activated the lane assist button at a rest stop while idling and getting a backpack from behind the seat when I was towing a 3500 # camper, and seriously thought the whole car’s control system was malfunctioning because of the truly bizarre handling and strange alerts (keep hands on wheel) that were popping up. I literally couldn’t keep the car stable in the lane, and was looking for a place to pull over to call a tow truck until I noticed the icon on the dash. Given how clearly dangerous it is to have lane assist active when towing, I just don’t know why Subaru didn’t set it up to be automatically deactivated when the brake controller/trailer brakes are connected through the car’s braking system. It seems like that would have been an easy enough thing to do and could prevent some accidents.
 

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I just don’t know why Subaru didn’t set it up to be automatically deactivated when the brake controller/trailer brakes are connected through the car’s braking system. I
Or at least a soft button on the screen for Towing Mode. Which could adjust several beneficial settings with one-touch. A Car Wash button would be nice too.
 
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