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Well my family and I got ready to take our maiden voyage with our new popup camper today. But I had to scrub the mission just as we were leaving because the rear axle appeared to be sagging very noticeably. Needless to say the kids were not happy with me. I just didnt feel comfortable with the setup if I couldnt explain why. Disclaimer that I have never towed before.

The rear looked to have about 2 inches of clearance and the front looked to have about 5 inches. It looked bad. At least to me. I didnt have the foresight to take a photo because I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. ;) I was expecting a slight dip but not that much. Whats more, when i disconnected the trailer it still appeared to be sagging. Not as extreme, but not level either.

Yesterday I took my camper to a Cat Scale to weight it. I loaded the camper with full water and 90% of all our gear. It was just me, 35 lb of tools, and 40 lb of car seats in the car. nothing else. Below are the specs for my Ascent, the camper, and the weigh results.

Subaru Ascent Limited 7 Passenger
GVWR: 6000 lb
GAWR (Stated with 20" stocks wheels, But I have 18" liquid metal shadows and Michelin Defenders)
F: 3021 lb
R: 3296 lb
Max Cargo: 1158 lb

Forest River Rockwood 2318G
GVWR: 3263 lb
Tongue Weight: 400 (I weighed the tongue with a Sherline scale before I left to Cat Scale)

Cat Scale Weights
Steer Axle: 2400 lb
Drive Axle: 2820 lb
Trailer Axle: 2560 lb
Total Axle: 7780 lb

Before we left for our camping trip I added the following weight...
To the camper: I added 100 lb of more gear to the rear
To the car: 4 more passengers totaling 233 lb, 110 lb of gear in the rear (pillows, cooler)

I feel like that's within tolerable limits for the Ascent. Am I missing something?

Has anyone else experienced this? Or have any helpful knowledge?

Super Moderator
7,107 Posts
The rear will compress a couple of inches at full or near full tongue weight. The Ascent is supposed to carry the bulk of the weight on the rear, so, that's nornal. It's also why the Ascent has a higher GAWR-R rating, even though at the curb weight, it's front weight biased at 54%/46%.

Do remember that the tongue weight comes off your cargo weight. Your Ascent cargo weight is on the sticker on the Driver's side B-Pillar. Subtract your tongue weight to determine the total weight available for passengers and cargo.

We pack most of our stuff in the trailer when we have a full passenger complement onboard the car.

Here's my heaviest tow, at really near trailer GVWR of 4,395 pounds. We have a tandem axle, so, our tongue weight is lower than on a single axle of the same weight.

Regardless, note the rear squat.

Different day, same loading...
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