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I know there is already a thread regarding the hitch, but I had a more specific question. What does a 5,000# towing capacity really mean? I know that you need to factor in not only the weight of the trailer, but your cargo as well. In the world of towing, 5000 pounds really isn't all that much.

But I don't really know where the numbers start. Can I pull a 20' speed boat with enough gear for a weekend trip? Can I pull a pop-up camper with gear? All the towing I've ever done has been with vehicles that have very high towing capacities. I am just looking for general starting points...at what point are you maxing things out? Is there a point where you actually need to start weighing things?
 

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Good question, the combined weight rating is important too

There is another thread titled Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, I asked a question about the Gross COMBINED Vehicle Weight Rating and haven't found an answer quite yet, not even from a dealership nor from the manufacturer itself. Typically this is listed in the owners manual. Our current tow vehicle has a vehicle weight rating of 6,005 lbs, basically the same as the Ascent and the curb weight are also similar. Our current tow vehicle has a max towing capacity of 3,600 lbs. The Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating is 8,600 lbs, and we're already at the point of weighing cargo including the human-kind of cargo, for both the tow vehicle and the camper we own (dry weight of our camper is right at 3,000 lbs, not a lot of head room for the tow vehicle's pulling power) which is why I'm considering trading my Outback for the Ascent.

I've heard that in this case the Combined rating of the Ascent might be as high as 11,000 pounds, which would be real nice. I found an excel spreadsheet years ago that helped me figure out all of these calculations. It won't let me upload an excel spreadsheet, but I did find it on this webpage: RV Itch - Resources

This combined number should be found in the vehicle's owners manual, and I'm hoping it's available soon.
 

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I know there is already a thread regarding the hitch, but I had a more specific question. What does a 5,000# towing capacity really mean? I know that you need to factor in not only the weight of the trailer, but your cargo as well. In the world of towing, 5000 pounds really isn't all that much.

But I don't really know where the numbers start. Can I pull a 20' speed boat with enough gear for a weekend trip? Can I pull a pop-up camper with gear? All the towing I've ever done has been with vehicles that have very high towing capacities. I am just looking for general starting points...at what point are you maxing things out? Is there a point where you actually need to start weighing things?
I think you are worrying about it too much. Know your trailer weight, estimate your cargo/people in the car and go. If it feels like too much, get your truck. If it feels okay and you're not popping a wheelie, go for it.
 

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There is another thread titled Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, I asked a question about the Gross COMBINED Vehicle Weight Rating and haven't found an answer quite yet, not even from a dealership nor from the manufacturer itself. Typically this is listed in the owners manual. Our current tow vehicle has a vehicle weight rating of 6,005 lbs, basically the same as the Ascent and the curb weight are also similar. Our current tow vehicle has a max towing capacity of 3,600 lbs. The Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating is 8,600 lbs, and we're already at the point of weighing cargo including the human-kind of cargo, for both the tow vehicle and the camper we own (dry weight of our camper is right at 3,000 lbs, not a lot of head room for the tow vehicle's pulling power) which is why I'm considering trading my Outback for the Ascent.

I've heard that in this case the Combined rating of the Ascent might be as high as 11,000 pounds, which would be real nice. I found an excel spreadsheet years ago that helped me figure out all of these calculations. It won't let me upload an excel spreadsheet, but I did find it on this webpage: RV Itch - Resources

This combined number should be found in the vehicle's owners manual, and I'm hoping it's available soon.
3600lbs is low that’s like Highlander, Sienna mini van, Lexus RX type vehicle. A empty trailer that’s 3000lbs is basically too heavy from the get go. For a 3600lb dry trailer at bare minimum just cutting it packed light a 5000lb rated vehicle is going to be ok not fantastic but acceptable. My Sequoia is rated 5600 max even with the nice little V8 I’ll tell you that once your up around 4500lbs it’s getting to the weight range you don’t want to be doing long hauls. 5000lbs you only do it once and either don’t do it again or get a bigger tow rig. The GMC Canyon and GM Colorado are rated 7500lbs and have lots of towing feed back that they do quite well hauling in the 5000-6000 range. Especially the Diesel. The new DIT 2.4 in the Ascent puts down diesel like grunt with gas engine acceleration. It should do nicely up till the 3500-4000lb range. 5000lbs I can’t see that being a long haul weight. But an across town haul to the lake would be ok.
 

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Yeah I agree, 3600 is low, that's the tow capacity for our Pacifica and I don't like pulling our camper with it, which is why I want to know the Combined weight rating for the Ascent. I have an Outback right now and before I trade it for more tow capacity, I also have to consider gas mileage. I have a 45-mile round trip commute every day on small roads in the greater Boston area and I can't see getting a Canyon or the Colorado, or even a Ram as a daily commuting vehicle since we only camp a couple of times each year. 5000 lbs tow capacity sounds fine depending on what the combined rating is for the Ascent, if that combined rating number is 11,000 lbs or so, that gives me plenty of safety margin for the amount of gear we typically take and for the relatively short distance camping trips we like to do around New England. Max weight for the camper we have is only 3750 lbs, if my bride wants a bigger camper, then that's a different story with a bigger tow vehicle. Never ends, LOL. Cheers...
 

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Yes it sounds like the 5k limit would work. Plus you generally have mild temps in that region. I’m left coast where we can literally drive through 50degree foggy coastal range to 117degree Central Valley and then hit steep sierra climbs in the 100’s in a single days drive to a camping location. I learned early on around here we had to halve the towing weight unless it was a winter trip. The most crazy camping trip and might be my most favorite was over Sonora Pass where we saw no joke 23% grades!! At 8600ft. That trip was done in the Sequoia with 5 people and the trailer was around 1600lbs. We actually passed a Subaru OB that pulled over for us two backpackers with packs he was doing about 8mph vs my 10mph! LOL
 

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Can I pull a pop-up camper with gear? All the towing I've ever done has been with vehicles that have very high towing capacities. I am just looking for general starting points...at what point are you maxing things out? Is there a point where you actually need to start weighing things?
Definitely the pop-up, without an issue.

At our ride and drive, we got to pull a 2,600 pound pop-up loaded with about 200 pounds of gear with an Ascent that also had 200 pounds of gear in it (part of their capacity demonstration) and with four adults in the car. Car accelerated fine and had no issues moving it. The torque range on the transmission really makes all the difference in the world.

As for worrying about weight ... if you're regularly pulling a 10,000 pound boat with your F-250 ... don't even TRY to pull it with the Ascent. Use a little common sense. You should know what your boat weighs already, add in the trailer weight, figure gear and how it's packed accordingly - water weighs 8 lb per gallon, gasoline is about 7 lbs per gallon. Figure 200 lbs per person in the vehicle, 250 if they're bigger, 150 if they're smaller. We're not talking rocket science here, just some common sense recreation.

I should be used to this after all these years, but I do think that the normal Subaru customer tends to over-think things sometimes. I've seen people come in and stress out over when I use a tape measure to show them how much room is in the car, whether when I bend the steel tape I use if it's 32 3/16" or 32 5/32" (or 32 1/8"). :nerd:
 

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I think tow ratings in the US are set to meet the most extreme situations of heat, climb and load/stability of the vehicle. And they are not always the same in other parts of the world. For example the Crosstrek is only rated at 1500 lbs in the US, but 3500 in EU and 3000 in Australia (where they recommend the addition of a CVT cooler).

I bought a 2018 Crosstrek last fall, and just recently towed my boat (3500 lbs and 4 people in the car) from our home to our lake cabin where we keep it for the summer. It is only about 70 miles and mostly flat driving. I only have to do this twice a year (in and out). As this was my first tow, I started off very carefully, testing for sway/stability, braking, etc, as I gradually took it up to freeway speed. To my surprise actually, it was rock solid. I swerved it to test for sway, and none. I braked it fairly hard a few times to test for push, but none. The trailer does have excellent brakes, which I think totally neutralizes its pushing force. It cruised very comfortably at 110 km (about 70 mph), using only about 37% throttle (occasionally went over 50% on some inclines) and water temp and oil temp normal (info screen display page). So I was very pleased how well the Crosstrek handled this tow load.

I have towed this same boat/trailer with several other vehicles in the past, including my past 3/4 ton truck with a 12,000 lb tow rating. That truck had more sway, probably because of the high center of gravity and rear leaf spring suspension. I have also towed it with my son's MDX, and it also had more sway (that thing has a very weak suspension). The Crosstrek felt more solid than both of them. I think the new platform chassis (which the Ascent shares) has really made for a more solid feel on the road. They also extended the wheel base of the Crosstrek (longer than the 2018 Forester), so all that probably helps as well.

I think tongue weight makes a big diff too. I think my boat/trailer tongue is only about 200 lbs or less, as I can lift it by hand onto to the ball hitch without too much trouble. I do know that my Crosstrek does not like a lot of weight on the back. Previously, we hauled our solar batteries (about 500 lbs) out to the cabin. That was uncomfortable driving, and I definitely felt some instability, with swerving and sway.

So at 5000 lbs, I don't think we will have too much to worry about with towing on the Ascent. Just be sure you have good trailer brakes, and your tongue weight is not too heavy. Of course, long steep climbs in high heat could also be a concern.
 

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The MDX has been the leader in this 7 passenger crossover category for some time. I have seen this set up tow a nice size airstream. Guessing about 19-20'. The owner, in that case, added a transmission cooler and upgraded the rear suspension. If you google MDX towing you will get results from other forums discussing this. I mention the MDX because it is very similar to this vehicle in both size and towing capacity. There may be some small upgrades to do but I think the ascent will easily be able to tow trailers 20'and under very well. It will really depend on the construction of the trailer and how heavy you load it up. Plus Subaru is known for being a brand that gets you outside while Acura/Honda is not. Once you had a chance to look at the vehicle you will see that Subaru really did their homework and put their stamp on this vehicle.
 

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Definitely the pop-up, without an issue.
I should be used to this after all these years, but I do think that the normal Subaru customer tends to over-think things sometimes. I've seen people come in and stress out over when I use a tape measure to show them how much room is in the car, whether when I bend the steel tape I use if it's 32 3/16" or 32 5/32" (or 32 1/8"). :nerd:
I literally laughed out loud at this. We were just talking about it here at the dealership. Normal buyers are not as analytical as Subaru buyers are! Its crazy, but it speaks volumes for the product Subaru offers. People that look at the fine details generally choose Subaru.
 

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I literally laughed out loud at this. We were just talking about it here at the dealership. Normal buyers are not as analytical as Subaru buyers are! Its crazy, but it speaks volumes for the product Subaru offers. People that look at the fine details generally choose Subaru.
Not to mention the Auto makers who dumb down their vehicle info often loose sales to other products that provide proper technical data on their products.

Many buyers buy with little to zero idea what they have purchased. But many buyers especially those with financial skill and means research their purchases to ensure they are spending money wisely on the product that will perform and meet their needs correctly.

Every car sales staff selling cars priced over $25k are way out of their financial league when discussing 40k cars with customers who can actually afford a vehicle that costs that much or more. Which goes back to my point that dealers need to change their business model. Stop wasting buyers time, stop wasting money on zero value add employees, stop gouging flat fee items like Warranty prices, start doing things customers want. Home delivery of purchased vehicle, online purchase process, quality / skilled vehicle techs paid a fair wage so issues are fixed the first time etc.

Remove the classic finance manager from the dealership, free up funding for better paid shop techs with better skills. Remove the lot staff standing around holding up the building leaning against building walls waiting for walk ons. Set up appointment process for customer focused vehicle show and tell. Have a very polite reception desk staffed by staff that can exit the desk and speak about the vehicles on the show floor and schedule a full on vehicle experience right there without having to return to the desk ie no walking away from the potential customer.
 

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Not to mention the Auto makers who dumb down their vehicle info often loose sales to other products that provide proper technical data on their products.

Many buyers buy with little to zero idea what they have purchased. But many buyers especially those with financial skill and means research their purchases to ensure they are spending money wisely on the product that will perform and meet their needs correctly.

Every car sales staff selling cars priced over $25k are way out of their financial league when discussing 40k cars with customers who can actually afford a vehicle that costs that much or more. Which goes back to my point that dealers need to change their business model. Stop wasting buyers time, stop wasting money on zero value add employees, stop gouging flat fee items like Warranty prices, start doing things customers want. Home delivery of purchased vehicle, online purchase process, quality / skilled vehicle techs paid a fair wage so issues are fixed the first time etc.

Remove the classic finance manager from the dealership, free up funding for better paid shop techs with better skills. Remove the lot staff standing around holding up the building leaning against building walls waiting for walk ons. Set up appointment process for customer focused vehicle show and tell. Have a very polite reception desk staffed by staff that can exit the desk and speak about the vehicles on the show floor and schedule a full on vehicle experience right there without having to return to the desk ie no walking away from the potential customer.
Welcome to Mark Miller Subaru: https://www.markmillersubaru.com/ That is exactly how we operate :)
 

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Every car sales staff selling cars priced over $25k are way out of their financial league when discussing 40k cars with customers who can actually afford a vehicle that costs that much or more.
I think one advantage for us is that we're a trade difference store, not a four-square store. That means I do NOT discuss payments with you at all. But I do end up negotiating the price of the vehicle. And because of how we do business, I typically don't have to do the running back and forth that you're used to seeing, I just have to go see the manager when we're done to get his approval. (Or like the other day, I went back there to see him with a totally done deal that he didn't even know I was doing in the first place.)

That, and for the first couple of years we were open, it was Bob Moore Subaru / Land-Rover. So we sort of got used to dealing with customers who would come in ready and able to buy $100K vehicles. :smile_big:
 

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I think one advantage for us is that we're a trade difference store, not a four-square store. That means I do NOT discuss payments with you at all. But I do end up negotiating the price of the vehicle. And because of how we do business, I typically don't have to do the running back and forth that you're used to seeing, I just have to go see the manager when we're done to get his approval. (Or like the other day, I went back there to see him with a totally done deal that he didn't even know I was doing in the first place.)

That, and for the first couple of years we were open, it was Bob Moore Subaru / Land-Rover. So we sort of got used to dealing with customers who would come in ready and able to buy $100K vehicles. :smile_big:
Yeah oddly in the land of 1.3 million dollar 1800sqft 1960 ranchers and 300-500k yr incomes Teslas are the Honda Accords, Pilots, Outbacks, Suburbans and Mini vans are the preferred vehicles. Range Rovers and Jags are only cool if they are pre 60’s era we have a few that come out on weekends. Course my SLK was parked next to a Ferrari at the Dollar store this morning. Yeah its kinda weird here but its where I live and own property. Any sales staff that tries to talk financing and money looses Credibility faster than Trump in a strip club.
 

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Suubie owners seem to spend weeks to months researching the vehicle and doing comparisons against other brands. It also speaks volumes to the degree of trust that a customer has for Subaru when they will pre-order a car that they have never driven.
That's just part of being a Subaru buyer. I had a woman come in to test drive an Outback with me. She had her notebook and wrote down all sorts of information. 17 months later she came back to purchase one from me.
 
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