Aliner and Subaru Outback questions

Discussion in 'A-Frame PopUps' started by Marash, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. Marash

    Marash New Member

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    Apr 1, 2018
    We are total newbies and are considering an Aliner Ranger 12 or Scout for our family. Our tow vehicle is a 2014 2.5i, 4 cylinder with tongue capacity of 200#.

    We like the Ranger 12 for its amenities(shower, water, dormers, etc), but with dual propane tanks and battery, it would put us at approx 230# tongue weight without any other load. Has anybody switched out steel propane tanks for single fiberglass tank? Say 11lbs? We are only looking to take this on 2-4 night trips and are wondering if that amount would be sufficient.

    Regarding brake controller and 7-way, would RV or car service department be better suited to take care of that?

    Thank you all.
     
  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    We towed our Coleman Cheyenne with our Subaru Forester for years. A couple of things. We used a stronger aftermarket 2 inch tube hitch, electric brakes, and could adjust the tongue weight by how we loaded it, used a sway control and our Forster had a 4 speed automatic with transmission cooler. One thing I did to lighten the tongue was 1 propane tank and I moved my 29 group battery to the rear of the camper. Fiberglass tank filled with 20 lbs. of propane doesn't weight that much less.
     
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Waterford, Ct
    Opps almost forgot ...... from southern Connecticut ..... 6ad4135f4a202c41426d6f8c1f8a6abc--welcome-to-group.jpg
     
  4. Marash

    Marash New Member

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    Apr 1, 2018
    Thank you, Raycfe!
     
  5. JoePAz

    JoePAz Active Member

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    Phoenix, Arizona
    I tow my ranger 12 with my Volvo XC70. Dry weight of my model is 1750lbs and 118 tongue. Measured with 2 propane tanks full, battery and full of water ready to tow is 180lbs tongue.

    I am guessing 2000-2100lbs fully loaded. No big deal for my 300hp wagon. I have towed over 10k feet and it was never an issue.
    My Aliner Ranger 12 has front and rear soft dormers and cool cat AC. The cool cat helps move tongue load back is is mounted behind the rear axle.

    I use a Prodigy 90250 RF brake controller.
    https://www.amazon.com/Tekonsha-902...pID=41LJeJDaHoL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

    Mountes to the tongue and just needs constant 12v power to work. No messing with wires in the car. Works great too. I use a stock towing wire harness for the Volvo, but did have rig up a constant 12v source to it since the factory one does not have constant power. That was easy when hooking up harness.
    My 2 propane tanks last me days. I have no idea how many days since after about 30 days camping I had one filled. The other was still full. I use propane for the fridge and water heater. Rarely for the furnace. Nice to have two since if one goes empty still have one full one.
     
  6. Marash

    Marash New Member

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    Apr 1, 2018
    Thanks, @JoePAz. I've come across many of your posts on various threads here and they're very informative. All of your information played a big part in assuring me that the Ranger12 would be possible with our Subaru. Thanks again.
     
  7. JoePAz

    JoePAz Active Member

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    personally I don't think there is enough power in 4 cyl Outback to tow this trailer, but I do think the 3.6 6 cyl will work fine. Then again I did not think the 4 cyl Outback had enough power to drive up and down the hills here in Arizona comfortable without a trailer. Fine for city driving, but that is just me.
     
  8. Marash

    Marash New Member

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    Apr 1, 2018
    Good to know. Since the Scout isn't that much lighter, would you not feel comfortable towing any of the Aliners with the 4 cylinder outback?
     
  9. Marash

    Marash New Member

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    Apr 1, 2018
    @Enigmacamper I'm really curious what you decided. I feel like we are in a very similar situation as you were when deciding on an Aliner.
     
  10. JoePAz

    JoePAz Active Member

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    Phoenix, Arizona
    Not for my driving. Most of my towing is on 65mph or 75mph speed limt freeway starting at 1800ft going over multiple 5000 to 8000ft mtn passes. When I was looking at car (before even a trailer came in my mind) I looked at 2.5 Outback and 3.6. The 2.5 was ok for arouind town, but I knew it would suck a climbing hills fully loaded with camping gear. Adding a trailer makes it no better. So for me I would say no. Now if you never go over 60mph and never tow up hills you are probably fine.
     
  11. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Santa Clarita, California
    You cannot afford to guess the max weight of the Ailiner. Find out and please IGNORE the dry weight - absolutely meaningless info. No 4 cyclinder TV could tow max weights over 2000 lbs without damaging transmission and engine. Just try to get a TV with a tow package that comes with it which WILL give you a peace of mind and save money in the long run.

    a Ford Explorer without tow package would only tow anything below 2000 LBS and no matter if a hitch, coolers, are added it is still limited to tow under 2000 LBS.
     
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  12. JoePAz

    JoePAz Active Member

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    Phoenix, Arizona
    Dry weight is a meaningful starting point. Dry weight is what Aliner measured the weight of my trailer without propane battery, water. If I add the weight of those items and my gear I can figure the actual weight. It is an approximation, but gets you close. If your are limited to 2000lbs towing then you are right at the limit.

    As for a 4 cylinder not being able to two that is crap. Lots of powerfull 4 cylinders these days and there is no reason to believe you will damage engine and transmission if you are in the weight limits. Your comments on Ford Explorer are strange. Factory tow package is just a hitch and factory wiring. It may include an extra cooler and/or revised transmission software, but that is all. The factory tow package does not do anything you can't do in the aftermarket. It just often easier and clearer for the factory install.
     
    Fbird likes this.
  13. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Also wanted to mention that some vehicle manufacturers only considered 1 driver and a full tank of gas in the tow rating, so you may need to account for passengers and gear in your numbers. Double check your manual to verify. My very first car towed a popup that was at her limit and sadly her transmission didnt even last to see her 100,000 mark. The mechanic said it was towing that killed her early, then again it was a Ford that gave us problems from day 1. We dont know for sure if it was towing or not but we were a lot more careful to keep play in our numbers on my next car.
     
  14. Marash

    Marash New Member

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    Apr 1, 2018
    Our cargo:
    2 adults: 300#
    2 dogs: 100#
    2 small children: 200#
    ----
    Trailer: ~1700# dry (with propane and battery)
    ----
    Total: 2300#

    In theory, this means we have approximately 400# left for gear? (and that would put us right at the limit of our car [2700lbs capacity]) I come from a backpacking background so I cannot imagine it being a problem staying under 400# of gear even considering 4 people, but maybe I'm being a bit naive.

    I'm assuming when towing this amount of weight, it'd be wise to be on relatively flat terrain and to pay attention to transmission. Is transmission cooler advised? We would certainly have trailer breaks.

    We are in the Sacramento area and are assuming we would have to stay out of the Sierras with this setup, but that we could frequent the Central and North coast areas.
     
  15. jackquontee

    jackquontee Member

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  16. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Santa Clarita, California
    The dry weight is NOT for us but for manufacturers so this information is meaningless. I noticed that people who buy popup for first time looked at the dry weight and ended up disappointed for relying on meaningless information. But the GVWR is for us and this is very important information. Best way to do an accurate weight, go to a large weight scale and weight the tongue weight, whole popup and both TV & popup.

    Feel free to check information on Ford Explorers without tow package - the tow limit would be 2,000 Lbs. why? The tow package includes sway control, thicker radiator, engine/Tranny cooler, suspension control, wiring, hitch and tow button which enables Explorers to tow up to 5,000lbs. When my previous Explorer (which I admittedly abused) did not have tow package, I towed 3500 lbs popup which damaged the transmission. I even added transmission cooler, hitch, brake controller and Trebren suspension but the regular radiator could not handle the heavy towing, so couldn't the transmission. That was why when my old Explorer was about to die, I started searching for the right TV so I came up with 2014 Explorer with Tow Package - I added P2 brake controller which helps with less stressful braking.

    Please trust the auto manufacturer handbook, limitations and the specifications.
     
  17. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Northern Virginia
    A thing to note about dry weight. In some units the dry weight does not include any options in addition to the propane and battery. For example on my popup it does not include the AC, furnace, fridge, and I believe front trunk. So I'm not sure if it's the same with an Aliner on whether it included the dormers or not. The dry weight is usually what ever the camper weighed immediately getting off the production line. For some units that don't have the extras you just need to add the weight of propane and battery, but for others we have to add a lot more. RV deals try to push the dry weight as the true weight, but if you were to weigh the unit as you take ownership if it, you will find it actually weighs more than you think. Just my two cents.
     
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  18. JoePAz

    JoePAz Active Member

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    Phoenix, Arizona
    No Cargo is cargo on the trailer. people in the car impact load in the car and do not add to trailer weight. So you can't add 1700+ 600 and have it mean anything.

    1700+water, propane, battery, food in the trailer, silverware, sleeping gear in the trailer, bags and other stuff in the trailer = as loaded trailer weight. That will be what you are towing.

    Tow Vehicle capacity is what the Mfg states and often they state it with driver only. How much is reduced when the car is loaded is a complex question and is a good reason it not great to tow a trailer at your tow limit.
     
  19. JoePAz

    JoePAz Active Member

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    Phoenix, Arizona
    [​IMG]
    Aliner hand wrote the dry weight for my unit on my ranger 12. They have drive side weight, curb side weight, tongue weight 118lbs and total weight 1753lbs. This not a "published weight" from a brochure. Those I don't trust. Every new Aliner I have seen has this unique tag on them. My dry and tongue was difference from other Ranger 12s because my AC option put it behind the rear wheel. Thus increasing total weight some, but lowering tongue weight. Other Ranger 12, 10, classic, LXE etc have different numbers for different option sets. This a thread about Aliners so it applies in this context. I can't say how it applies to other Mfg.

    Yes this true, but you can't do that before you buy so it is subjective anyway. GVWR is important, but even then you can still overload your trailer and be way over.

    If you allow any auto transmission to tow when the torque converter is open it will generate heat and fry it. Tow with it locked and you are fine. You just need to know when it locked and when it is open. Sounds to me like even with cooler you ran too much with torque converter not locked and over heated the transmission. The "Tow button" on the transmission changes the programming to keep in a gear longer and such preventing you from going up too high of gear then having transmission find an intermediate ratio where the torque converter is slipping to get you the torque you need. Thank can be solved by either software or human interaction to see and feel this and shift manually or adjust throttle pressure to get the transmission to lock in the proper gear.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  20. Wakita46

    Wakita46 Active Member

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    Mar 15, 2013
    I bought a 2013 Aliner Scout which was about 1200 lbs and loaded another 400 lbs for long trips. In 2014, I towed it with a 2013 Subaru Outback from Massachusetts to Oklahoma and back. It had to work hard in the West Virginia mountains but was able to climb them. Reading the Subaru manual more closely, I found out that the Outback was rated for a 2700 pound towing capacity under normal conditions but, if it was hot and you were going uphill for a ways, the towing capacity dropped to 1500 pounds, which was less than my loaded Aliner. I was particularly concerned about over heating the CVT transmission and I was not able to get the dealer or a transmission place to add a transmission cooler. I didn’t want to be stranded at the side of the road with a cooked transmission so in 2015 I bit the bullet and moved up to a Toyota Highlander with 5,000 pound towing capacity. I was planning on towing the Aliner throughout the western mountains for multiple months. The Highlander has worked well - I have now been to 19 National Parks and 47 states with my Aliner (hoffsalinertravels.net).
    Bottom line - check you Subaru manual about towing.
     
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