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  1. #1
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    Default Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    First, I am new to the boards here. Nice to meet you all!

    I have a Subaru Forrester 2.5x (146 Hp). It can tow 2,000# (or at least, so the book says) provided the trailer has brakes on it.
    I am looking at many boats in the 16'-19' range, and most of them fall under 2,000#.

    Do you think my Forrester would be able to tow, or should I look for a better light truck first before I look for a boat?

  2. #2
    Commander Tyme2fish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    I asked that same question about a year ago. Most said not to tow with a Forrester
    I've never made a mistake in my life. I thought I did once, but I was wrong.

  3. #3
    Petty Officer 1st Class mrfixitman40's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    are you including the engine and gear with the 2000 estimate I would think if you could manage to stay around 1500 total weight you would be ok but probably wouldn't want to go to far . also watch the hills you might find out the 146 hp isn't what you expected. just my $.02 worth find something a little bigger and stronger.
    1963 Starcraft Holiday 18' 1964 evinrude 75 hp

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    Thanks for the input everyone.
    I might ahve to accept the fact that I wont be able to transport my boat as much as I like until I can afford a truck.

    I plan on pulling the boat between the Indian River Inlet and Baltimore, MD, if that makes a difference in opinion.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    My brother had a 06 Toyota Tacoma with the 4 cylinder 5 speed. His boat weighed about 2200# fully loaed with the trailer included. Even though his Tacoma was rated for 3500# the truck really did not do well pulling the boat. To get it out of the water he was forced to place it into 4wd low just to get it up a mild incline. My V-6 Tacoma pulls my roughly 3200# without a problem, although the V-6 with tow package is rated for 6500#. Try to only go to 50-60% of the vehicles towing capacity to enjoy trouble free towing. My brother saved money by buying the 4 cylinder 5 speed Tacoma until he had to trade in his less than one year old truck on an 08 Trailblazer. By trying to save money he paid 5 grand to extra.
    1996 Crestliner 2160 Phantom, 1996 Evinrude 130 HP

  6. #6
    Moderator JB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    I wouldn't want to tow anything over about 1500lb (fully loaded and ready to launch) with a 2.5 Forester.

  7. #7
    Lieutenant Commander drewmitch44's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    Hey campo your near me i live around bowers beach and go to lewis verry oftenly. I use my dad's truck as my tow vehicle. I cant afford a truck or suv so im pretty screwed. Usually he takes me and healps me and my wife launch and sometimes comes along but not often. Where do you like to fish at. The inlet should be getting some good blue crab soon if not already. Wealcome to iboats and nice to know someone on here close by. My email is Drewmitch44@comcast.net if you want to talk bay fishing. You just found the best forum there is. Good luck.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    The wife has a Subaru Baha with the same towing rating. I do tow my utility trailer with it. It's rated up to 2000 lbs, but I never come even close to that with the Baha (try to stay around 1000 lbs or less). Just to be on the safe side I installed ceramic brake pads, a transmission and oil cooler. It works well, but I still use the 8 cylinder to tow the boat with.

    Chuck

  9. #9
    Petty Officer 3rd Class AltheaToldMe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    I know this post is old, but it's the thread that drew me to iBoats. I plan on weighing my rig this weekend to find out the actual tow weight. I own a 98 forester and I plan on getting a hitch on it. I'm sure I will tow the boat around providing that weight is below 2000#. I will post here with actual numbers and towing results. It will be a while to get her under weigh, but I will post boat weight numbers soon.

    My forester is bone stock with the exception of performance brake rotors and pads.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    We have a Subaru Legacy Wagon GT with a 2.5L engine, I am sure it is similar to the Forester, just the Forester has a but more ground clearance.

    We pull have been pulling a 2000lb popup trailer all over Ontario and Northeastern US for several years, without any issues.

    Of course I have added electric brakes to the trailer, and installed a transmission cooler on the Legacy, prior to pulling the maximum loading as recommeded by Subaru.

    The real question is not whether it can tow the boat, it is, can you stop in a hurry when needed. I have applied the brakes independently on our popup (via the brake controller) and can stop both the car and the trailer with just the trailer brakes! I don't do this normally just to check they are operating OK prior to each trip.

    If you are going to put brakes on the trailer and launch only from concrete ramps I think you may be OK.

    Please let me know what you decided as we are considering getting a small runabout as well, about 1500lb for the whole kit. I would not even consider it if the Subaru did not have all wheel drive, it would be too scary on the ramp.

    We are not about to buy a truck and pump $$$ into the tank for the 99% of the time we are not using it to pull the boat.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    I have a 2003 subaru forester and I tow my 14 foot boat which I'd say is close to 1000 pounds with boat fully rigged, trailer, and gear. The subaru tows it with ease and there's no problem launching and pulling the boat out of water. I even get 20 mpg on average on highway speeds (about 5 mpg less than normal). Being all wheel drive, it has good torque for its size. I've even towed the boat on a 6 hour road trip one way this summer. Now, having said that, I wouldn't tow anything over 1000 pounds without brakes. 2000 pounds might be a bit heavy for the subaru for longer trips and highway speeds, even with a trailer with brakes. The engine would be working pretty hard. I agree with some of the above posts, I would guess it can tow safely and reasonably about 1500 lbs.

  12. #12
    Fleet Admiral Mark42's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    Don't forget that most vehicles tow rating is for the driver in an empty vehicle. For every pound that is added to the tow vehicle, the tow capacity drops by 1. IE you include your 200lbs friend and 300lbs of camping gear, and the 2000lbs tow capacity just dropped to 1500lbs.

    Be careful not to overload, and drive at or below the posted speed limits.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    I pull this rig, see pic, with a 99 Suzuki Grand Vitara with a 2.5L V6. It's at the top of its towing capacity. Be safe when you tow anything with any vehicle, respect its limits. My Zuke is no speed demon with the boat behind, so I drive very conservatively when traffic is light.
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  14. #14
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    suggest aluminum boat.
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    Please, NO PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems. they will not be answered.
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  15. #15
    Petty Officer 1st Class Dante04SRT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    There's a Subaru commercial for the new Forester where it shows a 1st gen Forester towing a 70's looking Green bowrider. Looks like a small one, maybe 15'..... but.....
    WAITIN' FOR SUMMER!

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  16. #16
    Chief Petty Officer timdan94's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subaru Forrester....Will it tow a boat.

    I have an 08 legacy that I tow a 15 fiberglass runabout with 85 outboard and I have no problems. the boat is 650lbs, motor 250, trailer?, plus gear and I haven't had any problems with towing I have the 5 speed and it tows nicely. I have towed uhaul trailers that I figure with stuff inside and trailer was close to 2000lbs or a little over without any problems.

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