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Old 01-16-2022, 08:52 AM   #1
Zso
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Towing Subaru Forester

I had bought a 2018 Subaru Forester manual 6 speed trans back in 2018. Before I had purchased it, I checked with Subaru corporate to see why Subaru does not recommend towing the manual transmission all wheels down. While the 2016 manual transmission was allowed to be toad.

They sent me an email stating the 2018 Subaru will damage the transmission if toad. It sounded like a standard liability issue.

My warranty still has another 1 year on the power/trans. However, i thinking to tow it anyway.

My question is. Does anyone know the difference from transmission types from 2016 vs 2018?

Any help would be appreciated
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Old 01-16-2022, 06:07 PM   #2
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Wild guess, it's a full time all wheel drive car and you are going to toast the transfer case or something else that will ruin your day.
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Old 01-22-2022, 12:34 AM   #3
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From everything I've been told, there should be no significant mechanical difference between a 2016 and 2018 Forester. 2018 was the last year for the manual transmission on a Forester and you're correct, 2016 was the last year Subaru gave blanket approval for flat towing their manual transmission vehicles.

I do believe it's a CYA for the liability issues as well. I have known two others who have towed 2018 Subarus ...one a Forester and one a Crosstrek.

I think there are several on this forum who have or are currently a towing a 2018 Forester so you might contact them by PM if they don't chime in on this thread. One is "Krikati" ...go HERE or HERE for two of his/her recent posts that mentions towing a 2018 Forester.

Both Roadmaster and BlueOx have base plates available for a 2018 Forester:

Blue Ox base plate for 2018 Subaru Forester

Roadmaster base plate for 2018 Subaru Forester


etrailer has a short video on the 2018 Forester pertaining to the base plate and tow bar from Roadmaster:

etrailer - 2018 Subaru Forester Base Plate for Tow Bar
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Old 01-23-2022, 08:36 AM   #4
Zso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theroc View Post
From everything I've been told, there should be no significant mechanical difference between a 2016 and 2018 Forester. 2018 was the last year for the manual transmission on a Forester and you're correct, 2016 was the last year Subaru gave blanket approval for flat towing their manual transmission vehicles.

I do believe it's a CYA for the liability issues as well. I have known two others who have towed 2018 Subarus ...one a Forester and one a Crosstrek.

I think there are several on this forum who have or are currently a towing a 2018 Forester so you might contact them by PM if they don't chime in on this thread. One is "Krikati" ...go HERE or HERE for two of his/her recent posts that mentions towing a 2018 Forester.

Both Roadmaster and BlueOx have base plates available for a 2018 Forester:

Blue Ox base plate for 2018 Subaru Forester

Roadmaster base plate for 2018 Subaru Forester


etrailer has a short video on the 2018 Forester pertaining to the base plate and tow bar from Roadmaster:

etrailer - 2018 Subaru Forester Base Plate for Tow Bar
Thank you for your detailed post. Appreciate it
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Old 01-23-2022, 08:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Iceclimber View Post
Wild guess, it's a full time all wheel drive car and you are going to toast the transfer case or something else that will ruin your day.

Yup wild guess.


No transfer case in Subaru-- it is full time 4 wheel drive.
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zso View Post
Thank you for your detailed post. Appreciate it
Sure, absolutely. I made one small error but shouldn't affect the 2018. When thinking back on it, I believe it was model year 2015 that was the last year Subaru gave their blanket approval for flat towing (manual transmission only).

Even though there should not be any significant mechanical difference in the drivetrain, you might want to pay attention to other aspects so it still might be worth corresponding with somebody who does flat-tow a 2018 Subaru model. I've towed several early to mid 2000 Subarus and they were very simple to use as a toad. However, it was before push-button-start and electric parking brakes, etc.
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Old 01-23-2022, 04:49 PM   #7
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Sure, absolutely. I made one small error but shouldn't affect the 2018. When thinking back on it, I believe it was model year 2015 that was the last year Subaru gave their blanket approval for flat towing (manual transmission only).
Yup, this is correct. I tow a 2015 Forester, Premium, manual with no issue whatsoever. I like that my owner's manual supports towing it, but I really see no reason why the same chassis, used through MY 2018, should not have the same support and performance.
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Old 01-24-2022, 07:06 AM   #8
Zso
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Originally Posted by ptronus31 View Post
Yup, this is correct. I tow a 2015 Forester, Premium, manual with no issue whatsoever. I like that my owner's manual supports towing it, but I really see no reason why the same chassis, used through MY 2018, should not have the same support and performance.
What is your towing equipment setup?
Presently considering Roadmaster equipment.
RM Nighthawk tow bar. RM 676
RM Invisibrake RM 8700
RM Base plate 52923-5
RM 152 wiring kit.
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Old 01-24-2022, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zso View Post
What is your towing equipment setup?
Presently considering Roadmaster equipment.
RM Nighthawk tow bar. RM 676
RM Invisibrake RM 8700
RM Base plate 52923-5
RM 152 wiring kit.
My setup:

Roadmaster: baseplate w/removable arms, Falcon all-terrain bar, battery charge line & LED bulb and socket kits.

Demco: Stay-IN-Play braking system with coach monitor.

I chose the braking system because it is proportional, not just on/off like many systems.
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Old 01-25-2022, 08:16 AM   #10
Zso
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Originally Posted by ptronus31 View Post
My setup:

Roadmaster: baseplate w/removable arms, Falcon all-terrain bar, battery charge line & LED bulb and socket kits.

Demco: Stay-IN-Play braking system with coach monitor.

I chose the braking system because it is proportional, not just on/off like many systems.
Thank you for the reply.
How is the Stay-in-play braking system working for you?
Did you install the system yourself?
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Old 01-25-2022, 09:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Zso View Post
Thank you for the reply.
How is the Stay-in-play braking system working for you?
Did you install the system yourself?
I think the Stay-in-Play is a great system and I love its proportional nature. Step on the coach brakes lightly, the toad brakes lightly. Heavy coach braking brings heavy toad braking.

I installed it all myself. Probably a 20-30 hour job, but I did not clock it. I did it over 3-4 weeks and the car was drivable between work sessions except for the baseplate. I did that on a weekend and it took most of a day.

The Roadmaster stuff is top notch - very well designed, beefy materials and fits to the car very well.
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