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Old 10-24-2020, 12:26 PM   #1
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Anyone flat towing an H2 with a Forester?

We have a 2017 Forester 2861DS on the E-450 chassis with the V-10 engine and I have been searching everywhere for someone who flat tows their H2 behind a Forester (or similar) and more importantly if it is even possible to do so safely, especially around the mountainous roads where we live. I would appreciate the knowledge of anyone who does it and loves it, who tried it but didn't like it at all, or if you think I am just out of my mind which is why I haven't found anyone doing it.

I know the H2 can be successfully towed 4-down per the manual and by seeing and reading posts of others doing it with their class A's happily, but I also know that it is pushing the limits of the 7,500 tow capacity and 22,000 lb. GCWR of the Forester. I also don't want to be "that guy" doing 35 on the freeway uphill on the freeway.

I know it would be better to bite the bullet and just trade for a wrangler, but I bought my H2 new in 2005 and it is just about to turn 46,000 miles. I know how well it has been taken care of and buying new is just not within the budget at this time. Also, the trade in value is not great and I don't like buying other peoples problems. I would much rather invest in the proper (10,000 lb.) tow package but not if I am going to be miserable.

Any experience or suggestions would be very welcome. Thank you in advance for your advice!
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:21 AM   #2
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it seems you have answered most of your questions as to reasons for not getting a different toad. My advice is to invest in a very good heavy duty hitch system that is designed for the weight and along with that a heavy duty tow bar. I towed a full sized pickup for years with not problems.
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:53 AM   #3
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Two important numbers were not mentioned in your post. How much does the H2 weigh? How much does your Forester weigh when it is loaded for travel?

Late model Foresters have a 7500 pound rated hitch, but earlier ones, I believe, had a 5000 pound rated hitch. What hitch does your 2017 Forester have?

The V10 should have adequate power to run the full GCWR. Being limited in uphill speed shouldn’t be your worry, it is handling and braking safely that is important.
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:00 PM   #4
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Thank you for your replies, your feedback is much appreciated! I would agree that handling and safety are way more important than uphill driving speed!

Here are the specs from the Forester manual:
Dry Weight 12,300
lbs.Payload Capacity 2,200
lbs.Towing Capacity 7,500 lbs.
GVWR 14,500 lbs.
GCWR 22,000 lbs.
Hitch Weight 500 lbs.

I verified that I have the 7,500 lb. rated hitch. The curb weight of the H2 is 6,600 lbs. which should be pretty close to the actual tow weight with no passengers or gear. I have never weighed the H2 or our rig loaded so a trip to the scale will be next on the list for peace of mind. We tend to stay at FHU parks so we rarely travel with anything in the holding tanks. Passengers and cargo would be roughly 1,200 lbs. so I am guessing that we would still be close to 21,000 lbs. GCWR with fuel. Not over the limit, but close enough for me to question the practicality and as mentioned the safety.

I would invest in the best base plate and tow bar available (Blue Ox Apollo?), and I would prefer the Invisibrake supplemental braking system, but I am open to suggestions for the best gear which is another reason I was hoping to find someone actually doing this successfully before I drop $5K on the equipment and installation to be unsafe or unhappy. I hope I am just over thinking this!

Thank you again for your replies!
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Old 10-25-2020, 04:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NvLivin View Post
Thank you for your replies, your feedback is much appreciated! I would agree that handling and safety are way more important than uphill driving speed!

Here are the specs from the Forester manual:
Dry Weight 12,300
lbs.Payload Capacity 2,200
lbs.Towing Capacity 7,500 lbs.
GVWR 14,500 lbs.
GCWR 22,000 lbs.
Hitch Weight 500 lbs.

I verified that I have the 7,500 lb. rated hitch. The curb weight of the H2 is 6,600 lbs. which should be pretty close to the actual tow weight with no passengers or gear. I have never weighed the H2 or our rig loaded so a trip to the scale will be next on the list for peace of mind. We tend to stay at FHU parks so we rarely travel with anything in the holding tanks. Passengers and cargo would be roughly 1,200 lbs. so I am guessing that we would still be close to 21,000 lbs. GCWR with fuel. Not over the limit, but close enough for me to question the practicality and as mentioned the safety.

I would invest in the best base plate and tow bar available (Blue Ox Apollo?), and I would prefer the Invisibrake supplemental braking system, but I am open to suggestions for the best gear which is another reason I was hoping to find someone actually doing this successfully before I drop $5K on the equipment and installation to be unsafe or unhappy. I hope I am just over thinking this!

Thank you again for your replies!
The way the numbers look, you should be fine. But, you probably already realize that. Youíll just need to be mindful of the amount of cargo you take along, and drive with care.

Hopefully youíll get some feedback from someone who has actually done what you propose to do. Good luck!
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NvLivin View Post
Thank you for your replies, your feedback is much appreciated! I would agree that handling and safety are way more important than uphill driving speed!

Here are the specs from the Forester manual:
Dry Weight 12,300
lbs.Payload Capacity 2,200
lbs.Towing Capacity 7,500 lbs.
GVWR 14,500 lbs.
GCWR 22,000 lbs.
Hitch Weight 500 lbs.

I verified that I have the 7,500 lb. rated hitch. The curb weight of the H2 is 6,600 lbs. which should be pretty close to the actual tow weight with no passengers or gear. I have never weighed the H2 or our rig loaded so a trip to the scale will be next on the list for peace of mind. We tend to stay at FHU parks so we rarely travel with anything in the holding tanks. Passengers and cargo would be roughly 1,200 lbs. so I am guessing that we would still be close to 21,000 lbs. GCWR with fuel. Not over the limit, but close enough for me to question the practicality and as mentioned the safety.

I would invest in the best base plate and tow bar available (Blue Ox Apollo?), and I would prefer the Invisibrake supplemental braking system, but I am open to suggestions for the best gear which is another reason I was hoping to find someone actually doing this successfully before I drop $5K on the equipment and installation to be unsafe or unhappy. I hope I am just over thinking this!

Thank you again for your replies!
Until you get your vehicles on a CAT scale the numbers are meaningless. And where did the 500 pound number for a hitch come from? My 8,000 pound capacity hitch with braking system is 72 pounds.
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emm-dee View Post
Until you get your vehicles on a CAT scale the numbers are meaningless. And where did the 500 pound number for a hitch come from? My 8,000 pound capacity hitch with braking system is 72 pounds.
Sorry, not worded well but that is the rated tongue weight from the manual.
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NvLivin View Post
Sorry, not worded well but that is the rated tongue weight from the manual.
That certainly explains it.

As far as weights I really donít think youíll have a problem. But, since the E450 has really pitiful performance unloaded you are going to be a rolling roadblock pulling a Hummer up the slightest hill. Iím lucky to get 55 mph pulling a 4,300 pound Wrangler up a 6% grade. It used to be less than 45 before adding a tune to the engine.
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Old 10-26-2020, 06:19 PM   #9
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Thank you emm-dee for your input! We can't get 20 miles out of our town in any direction without a pretty serious grade, usually I-80 over Donner Pass. It sounds like the H2 is just not practical behind my rig judging from your experience with the Wrangler. I also don't want to do any damage to the Forester as I hope to have it a long time.

I would still be happy to hear from anyone towing an H2 with a gas V-10 though! Thanks again!
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