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I'm picking up a new Rpod next week, gross weight 3800#, tongue 315#. The RV dealer is adamant that I install a sway/weight distribution system (Fastway E-2 2 point). They say without it I'll bottom out hitting a bump. I'm really torn because Subaru recommends against WDH system. Does anyone know exactly why not? Will I damage or cause extra wear and tear if I have their hitch installed? I have the Ascent tow package hitch. I'm very confused!
 

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I'm picking up a new Rpod next week, gross weight 3800#, tongue 315#. The RV dealer is adamant that I install a sway/weight distribution system (Fastway E-2 2 point). They say without it I'll bottom out hitting a bump. I'm really torn because Subaru recommends against WDH system. Does anyone know exactly why not? Will I damage or cause extra wear and tear if I have their hitch installed? I have the Ascent tow package hitch. I'm very confused!
Having recently purchased a new travel trailer, I too was told by several RV dealers I should use a WD hitch, but that was because it seems as though that's their standard position on the subject with most/all prospective buyers and their ignorance of the Ascent. BTW, Subaru doesn't recommend not using one, they flatly state not to. The car is designed not to use one, and while others will certainly chime in here, WD hitches are primarily designed for body-on-frame vehicles, which is not a Subaru. The Ascent has electronic sway control, and if you stay within the towing weight parameters of the car you should be fine. You will, of course, need to add a brake controller, and load your trailer correctly. Keep in mind that the 315lb tongue weight does not include a filled propane tank or batteries. And if the RPOD you're buying has an electric jack on the front it doesn't include the weight of that either. For example, my 2019 Jayco 154BH Baja has a "dry" hitch weight of 310lbs, but with a full 30lb propane tank and one battery it weighs in at a measured 368lbs.
 

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I disagree that WDH systems are designed primarily for vehicles that are body on frame because that's just not true, but agree that Subaru says "no WDH permitted" with the Ascent for whatever reason they have determined. I'm personally concerned about this when tongue weights get "up there" because of weight balance between the front and rear axles of the tow vehicle, but I have not driven an Ascent in that situation. Robert and others seem to indicate that things work fine. I have experienced the no-WDH effect on a heavier vehicle (Grand Cherokee) and it was not pleasant without the WDH to re-balance.
 

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You will be fine. I'm towing 4750 lbs with no problems at all.

The active sway control takes care of trailer sway and the rear suspension is very beefy.
 
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I believe the manufacturer does not encourage the use of a WDH on the Ascent because of the way the hitch is mounted. It is not mounted to the outside of the frame rails like most hitches but instead using a flat plate across the back that bolts into the unibody. When using a WDH the hitch and the bars that distribute the weight apply a large amount of twisting action to the hitch mount. That is what actually helps distribute the weight. This would also mean as you drive the weight or force applied to the hitch would change as the load changes. This could mean that the weight on the hitch could rise from 400lbs when parked to upwards of 1000lbs as you move and the hitch works to redistribute the weight. We have towed multiple times our 19ft GEO PRO FBS with no issues. Gas mileage drops to around 10 but I also drive in a manner that is cautious.
 

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Questions for Flycatcher

We have towed multiple times our 19ft GEO PRO FBS with no issues. Gas mileage drops to around 10 but I also drive in a manner that is cautious.
First of all, welcome to the forum and towing threads! :)

I see in post 1, linked below, that you now live in Texas.
https://www.ascentforums.com/forum/6-new-member-introductions/5293-new-subaru-forum.html

I see, in post 3 of that same thread, that you have purchased a Forest River/Rockwood GeoPro G19FBS.
https://www.ascentforums.com/forum/6-new-member-introductions/5293-new-subaru-forum.html

Rockwood GeoPro G19FBS
Rockwood Geo Pro G19FBS | Forest River RV - Manufacturer of Travel Trailers - Fifth Wheels - Tent Campers - Motorhomes
SPECIFICATIONS
Hitch Weight: 413 lb.
UVW 3075 lb.
CCC 838 lb.
Exterior Length: 20' 0"
Exterior Height: 9' 7"
Exterior Width: 88"
Fresh Water: 37 gal.
Gray Water: 30 gal.
Black Water: 30 gal.
Awning Size: 11’

Haylett Auto and RV Supercenter Link:
https://www.haylettautoandrv.com/rv...ler/12856/forest+river+rockwood+geo+pro+19fbs

UVW 3025 lb.

Haylett Video:
Video at:

NICE :)

We wanted a north/south bed orientation, that is why we are still considering the GeoPro G19FD.

In the trailer hitch install thread, post 7, you noted, “I did the hitch install about a month ago and it was easy and straight forward. I did take some pictures but I have to find them.”
https://www.ascentforums.com/forum/155-diy-how/6835-trailer-hitch-install.html

What hitch/receiver did you go with?

What brake controller are you using?

What ball mount, the part of the hitching gear that goes into the receiver, are you using? Subaru OEM supplied by Subaru or something else?

In the Towing weight distribution thread, post 5, you noted, “We have towed multiple times our 19ft GEO PRO FBS with no issues. Gas mileage drops to around 10 but I also drive in a manner that is cautious.”
https://www.ascentforums.com/forum/127-towing/7253-towing-weight-distribution.html

How far have your towing trips been?

What type of roads and grades did your trips involve?

Thanks for your time,
Ken

My Thoughts and Research On Towing with the 2019 Ascent
Thoughts on Towing

Trailer Research
Trailer Research
 

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Thanks for the welcome!
We wanted a north/south bed orientation, that is why we are still considering the GeoPro G19FD.


We choose the FBS because it came with the couch instead of the dinette. It also had a oven and not just the stovetop.

What hitch/receiver did you go with?


We went with a hitch in the identical configuration as the OEM. Its produced by Draw-Tite.

What brake controller are you using?


We are using the Tekonsha Prodigy RF Brake Controller. There really is no wiring per say. It plugs inline with your trailer lights. When you apply your brakes, it reads that the brake lights are on and activates the brakes. This happens seamlessly. You have an RF controller that plugs into the cigarette lighter that allows you to adjust sensitivity. Then when you are not towing you just put the controller in the glove box. You could also easily move it from tow vehicle to tow vehicle. It is a little more expensive than other units but the pro's outweigh the expense in my book.

What ball mount, the part of the hitching gear that goes into the receiver, are you using? Subaru OEM supplied by Subaru or something else?


We are using a Reese 2" ball hitch with a Reese anti-sway control bar.

How far have your towing trips been?


We have been on 3 trips of around 150 miles so about 450 miles total. We will be taking it on another 300 mile trip this weekend.

What type of roads and grades did your trips involve?


We have towed on all kinds of surfaces. 75% 4 lane highway, 10% in town, 15% hilly backroads. The Ascent performed well in all types. We can tow at the 75mph speed limit but I feel much better at 60-65mph. Gas mileage is better in that range too.


Hope I answered everything!


 

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Thank you for the quick and informative comeback. :)

What ball mount, the part of the hitching gear that goes into the receiver, are you using? Subaru OEM supplied by Subaru or something else?


We are using a Reese 2" ball hitch with a Reese anti-sway control bar.
Thanks for the links to the hitch receiver and brake controller.

One more request;
How about links to the ball mount and anti-sway control bar?

Added comment:

I am not sure what you meant by Reese 2" ball hitch.

The reason that I am confused is because I had received information that the Rockwood GeoPro G19FD coupler took a 2-5/16" ball. I think you can see my confusion. Then again, I'm not too sure that my source, a salesman at Haylett, had too much on the ball (pun intended). I've actually dumped him at this point.
 

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The square hole in the in the middle of the hitch measures 2" by 2" so it is commonly referred to as a 2" hitch. The square 2" inch receiver hole is what commonly defines a class III hitch. The hitch on the Ascents that can only tow 2000lbs has a 1-1/4" square receiver hole. The ball itself is most likely 2-5/16" as there is a couple differing size balls. When we hook up the trailer tomorrow to head out, I will take some more detailed pictures. This setup would run you around $500-$600 for everything if you shop a little.
 

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As a follow up to the discussion these are the pictures I took during installation of the rear hitch. The process is straight forward just plan on breaking at least one of those pesky push button connectors. The Draw-Tite hitch is easily 3 times the weight of the crash bar you are replacing so no worries on crash structure being weakened by the hitch. The only thing that wasn't clear to me was there was a little metal tab you can see in the fourth picture that needed to be bent inwards to allow the hitch to mount flush.




 

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You will be fine. I'm towing 4750 lbs with no problems at all.

The active sway control takes care of trailer sway and the rear suspension is very beefy.
That's pretty impressive. Right up to the tow rating.

In mountains?

Is that an RV with a published rating, or your own load on a trailer? Just curious if it's an RV.

What's your mileage?
 

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That's pretty impressive. Right up to the tow rating.

In mountains?

Is that an RV with a published rating, or your own load on a trailer? Just curious if it's an RV.

What's your mileage?

Most of the time when towing the Mustang (3030 lbs) on my BigTex trailer (1500lbs) I'm in the smaller hills in the Phoenix valley. I did do a trip to CA and had larger grades to go up and down with no problem.


When I tow my 3,500 lb pop up into the mountains near Flagstaff, it was easy to accelerate up the 8% grade when I needed to pass a very slow semi.


I'm very happy with the towing so far. About 1,500 of my 17,000 miles are towing.
 
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I am new to this forum and glad that I stumbled on some great information. My RV dealer put an equalizer hitch with anti sway and weight distribution on my vehicle, as it seems others have had installed here. It DOES state in the manual on page 395, first column, third bullet point that you cannot use WD hitch on this vehicle! I checked and the techie that I deal with who has gone out on anti sway test runs with the Subaru factory confirmed it. Now my travel trailer at 3200lbs unloadedand a tongue weight <500lbs drops the rear of my Ascent 2” which the hitch guys tell me is in that grey area. Some here said the rear suspension can handle it. My question to Subaru is that my headlights might be affected and is there any way to beef up the rear just for towing and there really isn’t a solution that anyone can come up with. I’m new at this so I want to do things right. Thanks all for all your comments
 

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I am new to this forum and glad that I stumbled on some great information. My RV dealer put an equalizer hitch with anti sway and weight distribution on my vehicle, as it seems others have had installed here. It DOES state in the manual on page 395, first column, third bullet point that you cannot use WD hitch on this vehicle! I checked and the techie that I deal with who has gone out on anti sway test runs with the Subaru factory confirmed it. Now my travel trailer at 3200lbs unloadedand a tongue weight <500lbs drops the rear of my Ascent 2” which the hitch guys tell me is in that grey area. Some here said the rear suspension can handle it. My question to Subaru is that my headlights might be affected and is there any way to beef up the rear just for towing and there really isn’t a solution that anyone can come up with. I’m new at this so I want to do things right. Thanks all for all your comments
When we tow this, we're between 4,000 and its GVWR of 4,395 pounds. No suspension beefing up necessary. Also, if you have the LED steering responsive headlights, they will auto level when you start the car.

2595
 

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Unfortunately I do not, and Subaru are not sure that they can be retrofitted to the premium model. Still looking in to it or I will have to plan my trip a bit better and tow during daylight hours, which is 90% of the time anyway. You have given me a little more piece of mind though. Thank you!
 

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I am new to this forum and glad that I stumbled on some great information. My RV dealer put an equalizer hitch with anti sway and weight distribution on my vehicle, as it seems others have had installed here. It DOES state in the manual on page 395, first column, third bullet point that you cannot use WD hitch on this vehicle! I checked and the techie that I deal with who has gone out on anti sway test runs with the Subaru factory confirmed it. Now my travel trailer at 3200lbs unloadedand a tongue weight <500lbs drops the rear of my Ascent 2” which the hitch guys tell me is in that grey area. Some here said the rear suspension can handle it. My question to Subaru is that my headlights might be affected and is there any way to beef up the rear just for towing and there really isn’t a solution that anyone can come up with. I’m new at this so I want to do things right. Thanks all for all your comments
Did I understand you to say you allowed the RV dealer to install a weight distribution hitch on your Ascent?
 

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Did I understand you to say you allowed the RV dealer to install a weight distribution hitch on your Ascent?
He did...before he knew it was forbidden. It sounds like he subsequently removed it and is asking about the the drop in the rear of his vehicle with the tongue weight at maximum. To that I say...shift a little weight in that trailer to get a better balance.
 
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