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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, my wife and I are looking in to buy a Subaru Ascent, but we are not convinced yet if this car can tow the trailer we want to purchase with it. We are looking to buy a "Little Guy Max", it has a dry weight of 3,140 lbs.; a tongue weight of 330 lbs.; overall length 21' and a GVWR of 3,800 lbs. The dealer is telling us it is no problem towing this trailer, my gut has questions. The Ascent has a max towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. and a tongue weight of 500 lbs. I'm not looking for gas mileage, I'm looking to see if the car can handle the trailer with no or little difficulties. I hope somebody has some good input on this threat because I love Subaru, we have two Outbacks 2016 and 2018, I know they are not up to this task. Thank you in advance for any information.
 

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I traded in a 2018 GMC Canyon (7,000lb towing limit) and a 2017 Outback and replaced them both with the Ascent. As you see from my data logging thread it had no problem at all carrying a very similar camper up the mountain grades here in AZ. Given that camper I think you'd be really happy. Just throw in a Tekonsha P3 brake controller (easy install) and you're all set!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Kevin, who can install the Tekonsha P3 controller? Is it something Subaru can do or maybe U-Hall and how much does it cost?
 

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The way Subaru has it set up it's pretty darn simple. I threaded the Tekonsha harness down under the steering column. Then you crimp like color wire to like color wire (you can buy a crimping pack at Home Depot, Lowes, auto stores for about $12 or so). Then you plug the harness into your Tekonsha and plug the other end into the plug just behind the panel to the left of the drivers feet.

Then my Tekonsha rests on the shelf just to the left of the steering wheel. I screwed my bracket into the dash with 2 screws, but others have used double sided tape to hold it in place.

There are a couple threads describing the installation with pictures. I think we've all done it ourselves.
 
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Hi, my wife and I are looking in to buy a Subaru Ascent, but we are not convinced yet if this car can tow the trailer we want to purchase with it. We are looking to buy a "Little Guy Max", it has a dry weight of 3,140 lbs.; a tongue weight of 330 lbs.; overall length 21' and a GVWR of 3,800 lbs. The dealer is telling us it is no problem towing this trailer, my gut has questions. The Ascent has a max towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. and a tongue weight of 500 lbs. I'm not looking for gas mileage, I'm looking to see if the car can handle the trailer with no or little difficulties. I hope somebody has some good input on this threat because I love Subaru, we have two Outbacks 2016 and 2018, I know they are not up to this task. Thank you in advance for any information.
I do not think you should be at all concerned. After loading up, I doubt you will exceed more than 3500-3600 lbs. weight on the camper. The camper is aerodynamic, light, and looks quite nice.. Go for it..
 

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I'm the guy who towed the Heartland Edge. What you want to tow will be a breeze for the Ascent. And, like Kevin said, wiring the Tekonsha is ridiculously easy (I also highly recommend it for the Ascent - it's far better than the other brake controller we run in the Ford F150).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Robert, I'm following and watching your videos, You have a lot of awesome information, your post made it so much easier for me to decide to go with the Ascent, I will keep you updated on my adventures with my new car and trailer, thanks again. I will look forward to hearing from ya'll in the near future.
 

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Hi, my wife and I are looking in to buy a Subaru Ascent, but we are not convinced yet if this car can tow the trailer we want to purchase with it. We are looking to buy a "Little Guy Max", it has a dry weight of 3,140 lbs.; a tongue weight of 330 lbs.; overall length 21' and a GVWR of 3,800 lbs. The dealer is telling us it is no problem towing this trailer, my gut has questions. The Ascent has a max towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. and a tongue weight of 500 lbs. I'm not looking for gas mileage, I'm looking to see if the car can handle the trailer with no or little difficulties. I hope somebody has some good input on this threat because I love Subaru, we have two Outbacks 2016 and 2018, I know they are not up to this task. Thank you in advance for any information.
Let me if you do this! My wife and I are about doing the same combo, upgrading my 2018 Outback for an Ascent so we can tow up to 5000 lbs.
 

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mrcochise3720 and Dragonface,

I looked up the travel trailer that you are looking at.


I see that that specs for that unit are 3,140 lb. dry and 21’ long. The GVWR is listed as 3,950 lb. It is supposedly delivered to the dealer with a tongue weight of 330 lb.

My Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB, with the Summit package, has somewhat similar specifications. It has a dry weight, noted on the trailer, as 3,100 lb. The non-Summit package version has a noted delivered tongue weight of 316 lb., but the Summit package adds a fiberglass front cap with a windshield, so I don’t know the dry tongue weight, but it had to be in the area of 350 lb. or more. I’m really thinking more. The GVWR, noted on the placard on the trailer, is 3,800 lb.

When I pulled the trailer home from Haylett RV, in Coldwater, MI, 103 miles, it most likely weighed at least 3,200 lb. The single propane tank was filled and that added about 20 lb. The single battery was about 40 lb. There was 6 gallons of water in the water heater, or about 50 lb., and I would guess, at least one gallon of water in the water lines, about 8.34 lb. I also had a few items in the trailer that I had purchased at Haylett.

The pull home was mostly on a two lane US highway, US-12. There was about 7 or 8 miles of freeway driving on US-23. The final part of the drive was on typical Ann Arbor area and Detroit area two-lane suburban roads.

The drive went well, and I felt confident pulling the trailer, even though there was quite a heavy wind that day. I ended up returning home during our rush hour, but I still felt comfortable with the trailer behind me in the somewhat heavy traffic.

While traveling on the freeway, at mostly 55 mph, I didn’t notice a lot of bow wave affect from the passing semi-trucks.

We’ve only had the trailer out once since then. It was to a local county run campground. The campground is located about 30 miles from my house. The drive was typical metro area suburban roads, not at rush hour. There was no problem keeping up with traffic, but none of the roads had speed limits over 55 mph. Some of that short trip was on a two lane, divided highway, not freeway, where I was again passed by trucks going faster than 55 mph, and I didn’t really notice any bow wave affect. It was an easy, flatland pull there and back.

The trailer weighed 3,685 lb. on the day we left and had a tongue weight of 421 lb. I know because I weigh everything. My wife and I were in the Ascent along with my 5-year-old granddaughter in her car seat, her bike and a few other of her items. Gotta take the Barbies and stuff to play with in the water. :)

My Apex Nano 187RB is 6” wider than the Little Guy Max and 8” taller, so I really think that the Little Guy Max should be a very good match for the Ascent, based on my limited experience to date.

I recently added the topic “Review of Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB pulled by the Ascent” to the Ascent forum.


You’ll find a link to a YouTube video about my trailer and the Ascent in that thread.

You’ll also find a link, in that thread, to all of the items that I added to the trailer and their weights, as well as the items that we took on that first camping trip and their weights.

Hope this helps some with your decisions,
Ken
 

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The weight won't be an issue, our trailer is much heavier and the ascent handles it with ease. It will really come down to how comfortable and confident you are in pulling it. One thing I would suggest is finding a tandem axle trailer around the same size and weight so you can do a test pull of each you may find the tandem pulls better and has more stability, but again it is all about your comfort level. Everyone is different in that regard. Good luck!
 
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