Subaru Outback, Subaru Forest, Mazda CX5 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-20-2016   #1
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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Subaru Outback, Subaru Forest, Mazda CX5

Anyone have any of these and tow a light raft trailer.

Looking to replace the car. We have a fish craft raft trailer:
FishCraft
and have a big truck to pull it with a big load.

Wondering if a a subaru outback, forester, or mazda cx 5 could pull this trailer just fine with a 14' raft and light gear. Anyone towing a raft trailer with any of these 3 rigs?

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Old 02-20-2016   #2
 
River City, Oregon
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Use to own a 6 cyl Subaru Outback wagon. I pulled a lightweight trailer with it. Harbour Fright trailer with a wood platform on top. It was my beginner raft trailer I eventually replaced. No sure how much your trailer weighs. But the outback pulled a light trailer with a 14' raft and minimal gear no problem. Most heavy stuff, like the cooler ended up in the back of the Subaru. The main disadvantage was the lack of cargo space inside the car, unless you were only traveling with 2 people. But I also didn't have a drybox at the time so that worked out for our family of 4 on multi day trips. So for a light load and a 14 ft raft on a light trailer it worked well. No way I would try to do 2 boats, mostly because of the lack of storage space. I will also say that I prefer not to travel with my raft fully rigged on my trailer. So that's where I'm coming from. Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2016   #3
 
denver, Colorado
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I have a light raft and trailer and my subaru outback 2014 handles it just fine. I forget how much tow weight they are rated at, but its quite a bit. I am sure the forester and mazda in question would work for you too.

Personal opinion from personal experience; most cars can tow a light trailer, raft and gear just fine over long distances and long time periods.

I would just get an automatic transmission, clutches go quick towing trailers and going down boat ramps.
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Old 02-21-2016   #4
 
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Denver, Colorado
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If I was trying to buy a mid-sized estate (nice name for a station wagon) or crossover vehicle, I'd buy a diesel. Better mileage and much better torque for towing.

If I was looking at a new vehicle, I'd get the ford transit connect or that new mercedes work van. I believe you cannot beat the versatility of these vans (2500lbs of carrying capacity), the interiors are nice (if you get one with carpet, and back seats), and both the diesel and that ford eco boost engine are great.
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Old 02-21-2016   #5
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
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I had a Tribeca with the flat 6- it didn't have enough torque for towing over our high passes in Colorado. I got sick of ending up in the breakdown lane with my hazards on- foot to the carpet and creeping along. It was a great vehicle, but not for towing at altitude.

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Old 02-21-2016   #6
 
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Denver, Colorado
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The tribeca is a fatty at 4500lbs, plus it's gear ratio is all top end. If your towing in high elevation up steep slopes buy a damn truck like an American, or at least something with a real tow package (in most cars it's not just a hitch but several little tweaks and improvements).

Subies are notoriously under powered, I like them but I wouldn't buy one with the intention to tow anything...ever
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Old 02-21-2016   #7
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
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I towed a flats boat all around the state of Florida with it and it did fine. Altitude was the deal breaker.

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Old 02-21-2016   #8
 
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Look at Edmonds or other sites with car data and compare horsepower, torque, and towing capacity. Guys who know more about the practical applications of different torques can chime in with better info. But I've been doing the same lately and can tell you that I'm pretty sure that, of those 3, the Mazda is the most underpowered. Also, test drove one with my mother in law when she was car shopping and I'd rather have a Subaru. My buddy tows his hog island drift boat with a 2006 outback.

K2's comment about buying a damn truck is valid - floated the Blue below Green Mtn last summer with another buddy who backed his trailer down from the parking area to the top of that crazy steep put-in, then slowly rolled right back up and outta there. Probably cut 20-30 minutes off our prep time. I was immediately envious of his 4x4 F150 - I could NEVER do that with our Honda Element.

Let us know what you decide on...
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Old 02-21-2016   #9
 
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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A lot of smart people on the Buzz with engineering backgrounds know this stuff like the back of their hands. I don't. This was helpful for a guy with an LAS background: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/differ...horsepower.htm
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Old 02-21-2016   #10
 
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Belgrade, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shappattack View Post
Anyone have any of these and tow a light raft trailer.

Looking to replace the car. We have a fish craft raft trailer:
FishCraft
and have a big truck to pull it with a big load.

Wondering if a a subaru outback, forester, or mazda cx 5 could pull this trailer just fine with a 14' raft and light gear. Anyone towing a raft trailer with any of these 3 rigs?
Shapp, I know you have a truck when you need one, I actually read the whole post. I have pulled our raft with my dad's outback several times and it was ok. We also used to pull our 14' john boat with 25 hp outboard and wood floors (similar weight to day rig raft and your trailer) all over Oregon when I lived there. Tthat was back in the early 90's so not an outback (until 1996 I think) but certainly less power then modern Outbacks.

Since then that's all my dad has ever owned and pulled the same boat. I think he's owned 4 outbacks; all of them, including his 2010, have pulled that boat and the latter has pulled it here in Montana up to some mountain lakes. It's not ideal but it will get the job done. I'm not sure about the forester, but you should be able to compare that on paper with the info you've gotten on outbacks. I have no clue what a cx 5 even looks like and I think I'm happy about that, but who knows maybe I'm missing something.
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