Originally Posted by jbotto
I'm looking to tow a Rockwood A124 (1900 lbs) with Subaru Outback 2.5. The weight limit for this vehicle is 2700 lbs but my husband is worried about mountain driving with it.
Any thoughts on whether this is a good idea? Also, I need some mirror extensions since the trailer is wider than the car. Any suggestions for this?
Tongue weight on the Forest River A-frame series is generally pretty high - 300+lbs, with 400 pretty close to actual for many owners. Towing my A122 with my Hyundai Entourage minivan required a WDH to stop the rear end sag and restore handling to near stock.
The Entourage has a 3.5L 250HP V-6 with torque to match. A Colorado/Nebraska headwind of 30MPH can force a transmission downshift, and knock the gas mileage from 19MPG towing to 14MPG towing. I find the wind has the greatest effect on fuel mileage, which means dragging even a pop-up has significant air resistance.
My third concern as an A-frame owner is that your camper is nowhere close to 1900lbs. The yellow sticker on my A122 is 2100lbs, and your A124 is heavier. Your actual tow weight is likely to be the full 2700lbs or higher. As I said, the wind resistance is more critical than weight - UNTIL you need to go up a mountain grade at altitude. At 6,000ft you have lost 25% of your available engine power (unless you have a turbocharger), and trailer weight adds to the load going uphill.
Finally, you will need an electric brake controller to be able to stop safely.
Personally, I think you need a bigger tow vehicle with at least a 3.3L V-6 and 3500lb tow rating to feel comfortable towing your A124. But then I live in Colorado, and the mountains, high altitude, and high winds are facts of life.
That said, we love our A-frame, and love camping with it. It stores in the garage, takes 15 minutes to set-up or take down, and tows very nicely behind the Entourage with an Equalizer E-2 600/6000 WDH/anti-sway. My wife feels safe and comfortable doing the driving with this rig. Our previous rig was a Coleman Westlake PUP towed by a 1993 Ford Explorer, no WDH - that was a white knuckle experience most of the time.
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame (actual camping weight 2730 lbs)
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado one weekend at a time
last trip: Waco and Palo Duro State Park, Texas
next trip: Mt Rushmore and Custer State Park, South Dakota