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Old 05-12-2020, 03:20 AM   #1
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THOR #10528
2020 Subaru Crosstrek Toad

We were looking for a car to use as a toad as well as one to drive in the snow as we live in the Sierra Nevada's near Tahoe. We like the Subaru brand but Motorhome magazine did not list them as towable - even the manual shift. My husband thought that was crazy as long as the car was a manual shift, it should be towable. To make a long story shorter, we were in luck at a dealership in Fremont, CA; they were having a factory maintenance seminar. Our sales guy cornered the "expert" and he, along with my husband pulled up the computer drawings of the engine and claimed that yes, we could tow it 4 down as long as the key was in the ignition on A/C and all the electronics in the car were turned off. CAUTION: This process is not for the faint at heart.

90 hours later (and lots of nasty words) - we have a toad that works. Thankfully my husband is a crafty guy. It took 30 hours to install the Blue Ox base plate and tow bar which included holes drilled into the grill of the car (with only 100 miles on it), along with custom brackets to hold some of the other electronics involved in towing. Another 20 hours to install the brake lighting. (Why you ask?) The carpeting and seats; the interior side molding; the tire molding, etc. had to be removed for the wiring. Essentially, he gutted it. And like idiots that only read Motorhome magazine, we thought we needed brake assist. (Not so in good ole California). That cost us a bundle and 45 hours of work, but yes - we have brake assist.

The only lesson we learned in our trial runs is that the autolocking feature comes on at some certain speed, so a 2nd set of keys is necessary. If you like Subaru's and you are very mechanically / engineering minded, you can do it. Just practice those cuss words.
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Old 05-12-2020, 04:34 AM   #2
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So did the "expert" give you assurance in writing that your engine and drivetrain are still covered by Subaru's warranty? After all, Subaru stopped endorsing 4 down towing for all of their vehicles several years ago - even manuals.
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Old 05-12-2020, 01:39 PM   #3
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Subaru still says no flat towing for any of their vehicles regardless of transmission. The so called experts are experts in the field of making money and not in the field of the best interests of the customer.

Subaru recommends trailer towing only for all their vehicles.
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Old 05-12-2020, 02:18 PM   #4
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I hope tht all of your efforts turn out to be well worth it!
(I chickened-out: my Toad will be on a trailer! )
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Old 05-12-2020, 03:01 PM   #5
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I have a 2019 Crosstrek Limited. My owner manual shows towing 4 down; however, right beneath the description of 4 down towing it has the following warning:

For CVT models, the traveling
speed must be limited to less
than 20 mph (32 km/h) and the
traveling distance to less than 31
miles (50 km). For greater speeds
and distances, transport your
vehicle on a flat-bed truck.

'd be real hesitant to tow any Subaru 4 down behind a motorhome. If there is a problem with the transmission I'd be concerned about having voided the warranty.
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Old 05-12-2020, 03:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bevedfelker View Post
I have a 2019 Crosstrek Limited. My owner manual shows towing 4 down; however, right beneath the description of 4 down towing it has the following warning:

For CVT models, the traveling
speed must be limited to less
than 20 mph (32 km/h) and the
traveling distance to less than 31
miles (50 km). For greater speeds
and distances, transport your
vehicle on a flat-bed truck.

'd be real hesitant to tow any Subaru 4 down behind a motorhome. If there is a problem with the transmission I'd be concerned about having voided the warranty.
And that was probably in a section titled something similar to "Emergency Towing" and not in a section titled "Recreational Towing".

The whole CVT transmission issue took a lot of vehicles out of the flat towing realm. For years the Honda CRV was one of the most popular vehicles for flat towing, then they started using the CVT transmission.
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:53 PM   #7
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We just purchased our 1 st motor home in Jan. 20 , Windsport 27 B , we recently decided we needed to replace a car , so we researched towable vehicles and found most required a lot of special changes to match up to the M/H. But we found a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limiited which had the 4X4 Quadra Trac transmission. We haven't done the hitch conversion yet due to the pandemic, but we have found that the Jeep doesn't need any transmission conversions, just towing hardware and a braking system. Hoping it works out.
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:21 PM   #8
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Had a friend a couple years ago bought a new Chevy Canyon pick-up that the salesperson assured him it was flat towable, Camping World installed the tow bar & related equipment with no mention of towability, in 35 miles of towing the transmission burnt up with auto dealer service manager telling him it wasn't covered by warranty as it wasn't flat towable & CW equipped the new truck at no charge. After much heated conversations with CW & the truck dealer it was made right with a truck that was flat towable.
Moral of this is DO NOT take ANY salespersons word, either vehicle or RV, about the towability of anything, whether a toad or a truck towing a trailer, they don't care if you can, most don't have a clue whether you can or can't or how to determine if you can.
So hopefully you got that experts assurance in writing just in case.
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:34 PM   #9
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https://www.thorforums.com/forums/at...1&d=1589312041

Yup! They'll sell you anything that they can talk you into...
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Old 05-12-2020, 08:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryjnsn@gmail.com View Post
We just purchased our 1 st motor home in Jan. 20 , Windsport 27 B , we recently decided we needed to replace a car , so we researched towable vehicles and found most required a lot of special changes to match up to the M/H. But we found a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limiited which had the 4X4 Quadra Trac transmission. We haven't done the hitch conversion yet due to the pandemic, but we have found that the Jeep doesn't need any transmission conversions, just towing hardware and a braking system. Hoping it works out.
Hardest part on the Jeep is deciding on the hardware and who does the install. Been towing our 2019 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk for a couple of trips. We have a RoadMaster setup with Sterling towbar, baseplate, and Invisibrake. Getting ready to. hookup and tow for a long weekend. Campgrounds are opening.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:04 PM   #11
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We bought a 2018 Chevy Equinox that a dealer assured me could be flat towed. Ha ha. It can’t. These people don’t know what they are talking about, different makes and models can change everything. I thought it was the right make/model! Luckily we did not spend any money on the hook ups and we kept the car for home use. We ended up with a 2013 manual Jeep Wrangler that we tow four down. Holds our bikes and kayaks. Easy to hook up and tow.

Do not trust anyone but the actual manual with the car.
Good luck.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robynb0119 View Post
We bought a 2018 Chevy Equinox that a dealer assured me could be flat towed. Ha ha. It canít. These people donít know what they are talking about, different makes and models can change everything. I thought it was the right make/model! Luckily we did not spend any money on the hook ups and we kept the car for home use. We ended up with a 2013 manual Jeep Wrangler that we tow four down. Holds our bikes and kayaks. Easy to hook up and tow.

Do not trust anyone but the actual manual with the car.
Good luck.
So it wasn't a 1.5 L Gas or 1.6 L Diesel? They can be dinghy towed.

Quote:
Dinghy Towing
Front-wheel-drive (1.5 L Gas FWD/
1.6 L Diesel) and all-wheel-drive
(1.6 L Diesel only) vehicles may be
dinghy towed from the front.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:45 PM   #13
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We tow our 2018 Subaru Forester six speed manual and have no issues the past two years.
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:10 AM   #14
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What???

[I usually don't comment on these forums, but there's so much misinformation in the original post, I cannot help myself.
1. Subaru has not approved flat towing ANY of its vehicles for several years.
2. It is not necessary to "gut" the interior to install the rear lights on the toad. My professional installer ran the wires underneath the car and zip-tied them in place. No problems in 4 years and 25,000 miles towing.
3. Any towed vehicle in California that weighs more than 1500 lbs requires a brake assist.
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:57 AM   #15
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Towing a Subaru

We tow our 2017Subaru Forester six speed manual and have no issues the past two years The dealer has no problems doing warranty work.
They replaced a faulty engine. Leave key in ignition and turn to off position.
Steering does not lock up and run down battery
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