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Old 07-29-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
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bit overweight

Anything I can do to help make it easier towing overweight?

Taking a new TT out of its maiden voyage this coming weekend; I'm a bit nervous because other than the 30 min trip home from the dealer, I haven't had the chance to get it out on the open road.

I've towed a PU for years, and utility trailers with ATV and furniture, so I'm not exactly new to towing, just new to towing a 21', 2700lb TT.

The TV is a boxer-4 engine with awd, rated 2700lbs and the TT sticker was 2740 from the factory. I removed the spare tire and bracket to cut some weight.

The dealer put on a wdh as a curiosity. That should be put me under the tongue weight for the axles. With the wet weight of the TV and the TT attached, weíll still near at the max gross weight for the vehicle.

I know when I leave; Iíll be running a little overweight. By a little, I mean 100 lbs or so. We take the bare minimum. Weíre going two hour and half hours away (160 miles). Flat and level driving. I drive like a grandpa, slow and steady, and let everyone else go around. Keep a good 20 to 30 feet of stopping space in front of me. I have a wife alarm for that. J

I took the car to U-Haul and had it inspected, and they said he wouldnít recommend long drives, but it should be ok, for short distances. It has an AT transmission temp gauge, and as long as that gauge is fine, I should be too.

All that said, I realize there are some that are shaking their heads right now. What Iím looking for is some advice, other than donít do it, to help me out on the trip; anything that I can do to either upgrade the TV, or driving advice that I may be missing.

The worst thing I hate is I canít see behind me, but Iím not ready to spend $1000 on a rear camera and my son refused to be tied to the back bumper with his cell phone camera.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
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As a minimum, an auxiliary transmission cooler (assuming you have an automatic) and strap-on towing mirrors.

It worries me that you said nothing about trailer brakes. Do you have a good trailer brake controller, and have you checked out the trailer braking? I hope you're not setting out with no trailer brakes.

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Old 07-29-2013, 11:23 AM   #3
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I'm with the don't do it crowd.
If you purchased a trailer based on it's ; dry weight sized to your TV max TTC numbers; your in for a shock. If you're traveling with family and stuff I think you will be closer to 1,000 lbs. over weight.
Have your trailer brake controller mounted where you can access it in a hurry for manual assist and make sure the trailer brakes are adjusted and working 100%. Get some mirror extensions, you need to see what's behind you.
JMHO. If your DW is a nervous passenger, by the end of the weekend she will not be speaking to you.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:30 AM   #4
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Is the trailer 2700lb GVWR or just empty weight?

On your TV, the trans temp gauge is a dummy light, and will show you it's hot once it's too late. 20-30ft is not enough stopping distance with a trailer.
I would also take the spare tire.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:33 AM   #5
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I'm assuming you're towing this with a Subaru Legacy or outback with a tow rating of 2700lbs? Subaru's are not the best tow vehicles, and i personally wouldn't tow anything without a 20% margin below the max rating. The fact that you're at or overloaded has me concerned.

Even if you have the turbo engine to pull the load, you still don't have a very good chassis, brakes, and the super soft suspension to control the load. Also, i'd be concerned of the longevity of your vehicle being overloaded. I'm not doubting subaru, i own an impreza and tow my motorcycle around with it, but that's only about 600lbs total in an open trailer. I can't imagine 2700lbs in a car with a huge sail behind you.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:06 PM   #6
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The trailer brakes work great at about 80. And mirrors are a must too. I believe it has a tranny cooler. It has a smaller thinner radiator in front the main one. UVW was 2740 with filled pane. GVW of the TT was 3700. I did all the math, and Iím not a 1000 lbs over on anything. I wouldnít move it out of the driveway if that was the issue. My wife is good being the co-polite. She actually thinks Iím over reacting about pulling it. Said I did the same with the PU until after the first trip. Also realize there extra wear and tear on the car (tires, brakes, tranny fluid), but I donít go out more than one or twice a season, and never very far. Never get the time. And the tranny light is, from what I read, very functional. Other Subaru owner was hill climbing and the tranny shut down because he was getting carried away. It is programmed to protect itself.
There are suspension upgrade kits. Heavy sway bars, and firmer bushing. I didnít think about that. It takes away from the Ďcarí feeling, and gives it a sport feel. The car isnít geared for speed, but power. Itís actually fun to play with in the snow and mud with upgraded tires. It's not a truck, not by a long shot, but I also didn't spend 40 large on it either.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:36 PM   #7
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The trailer brakes work great at about 80. I hope you don't mean you're pulling it 80mph. That'd be terrible if those little ST trailer tires let go.
UVW was 2740 with filled pane. GVW of the TT was 3700. [COLOR="red"]So that means you are overloaded without even loading up the trailer with anything at all.
I replied in red.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:49 PM   #8
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80%. 40lb over minus spare tire plus bed clothes and plastic dishes, etc. Our cabinets are empty for the most part. Food we get when we where we're going. Only thing to add is a bag with clothes and shower stuff. Im a bit of a weight miser. When i buy camping stuff its light or it doesn't go. I have a spreadsheet but not updated. I'm a little OCD. If i said i was 300 over on towing, itd be on the very top.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:57 PM   #9
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Transmission cooler

Quote:
Originally Posted by ken90004 View Post
The trailer brakes work great at about 80. And mirrors are a must too. I believe it has a tranny cooler. It has a smaller thinner radiator in front the main one. UVW was 2740 with filled pane. GVW of the TT was 3700. I did all the math, and Iím not a 1000 lbs over on anything. I wouldnít move it out of the driveway if that was the issue. My wife is good being the co-polite. She actually thinks Iím over reacting about pulling it. Said I did the same with the PU until after the first trip. Also realize there extra wear and tear on the car (tires, brakes, tranny fluid), but I donít go out more than one or twice a season, and never very far. Never get the time. And the tranny light is, from what I read, very functional. Other Subaru owner was hill climbing and the tranny shut down because he was getting carried away. It is programmed to protect itself.
There are suspension upgrade kits. Heavy sway bars, and firmer bushing. I didnít think about that. It takes away from the Ďcarí feeling, and gives it a sport feel. The car isnít geared for speed, but power. Itís actually fun to play with in the snow and mud with upgraded tires. It's not a truck, not by a long shot, but I also didn't spend 40 large on it either.
The smaller thinner radiator in front of the large radiator is for the AC.
Subaru does not come with a extra transmission cooler
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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The number you need to be concerned about is the GVWR and the front and rear axles weights of your Subaru. They will on the inside door sticker. Stay under those when fully loaded, get a properly setup wdh, sway control, and brake controller then keep an eye on your temp gauges. Im not familiar with Subaru as a tv but I can tell you some tow ratings set by the manufacture are b.s Some vehicles are over rated and some are under rated. I tow a 4200lbs tt with a Chrysler minivan just fine.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:20 PM   #11
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Come back to this thread next year after you do a couple of trips with your TT.

We can give you advice on whether to rebuild or replace your transmission.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:29 PM   #12
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That's a good point. Some car manufactors will tell you too much as a sales gimmick to sell the car, while others will under estimate it, so as to not have warranty issues. I'll tell you Subaru puts high prioty on customer satisifaction.

part of it really just knowing your vehicle.

I had one trip were we got flooded out. Had a stream running through our site. We left early and I took the wood we bought. The back end was sagging and every bump came with a clunk. I almost stopped and tossed out the wood, but we made it anyways. I know we aren't this bad.

But the point is taken about the 'sail'. I am dealing with a lot more exposed area, and even if I take it slow and easy, the semis will be blow me off the road.

I realize I need a better TV, and it's in the future, but if we can get by this summer, then we can show up to the car lot with 50% down payment. If I can upgrade my suspension, and get by for two seasons, then we can pay cash for a nearly new one.

If this doesn't go good, it maybe camp driveway the rest of the season.

Thanks everyone for the replies.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Come back to this thread next year after you do a couple of trips with your TT.

We can give you advice on whether to rebuild or replace your transmission.
You owned a suby that transmissions were weak? Was it a newer model or older?

I'd honestly be surprised if couple hundred pounds towed over a couple hundred miles would really toast my transmission.

Maybe if it was a late model that hadn't been services at a dealership. Or IF I was trying to get up Look-Out mtn with it.

Given the variables I presented, my enemey will be wind resistance, and keeping a good solid connection with the road.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken90004 View Post
Given the variables I presented, my enemey will be wind resistance, and keeping a good solid connection with the road.
Wind resistance, along with grades, loads the drivetrain. I'm a relative newbie at towing - I've only been towing RVs since 1992 - but that's the reason I recommended the auxiliary transmission cooler. You can't have too much cooling capacity (engine coolant, engine oil, transmission fluid or final drive fluids) when towing. You'll see what I mean when you hit that first long grade fighting a decent headwind and watch the coolant temps head for the red.

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