How suitable is an Element as a tow vehicle? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-03-2006, 10:36 PM   #29
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I have very little faith in what dealers tell me.I looked at a T@B and the dealer told me my little car could pull it.

I told him in words that I can't use here what I thought of him.
He may have been absolutely correct Ches...you probably could have pulled it out of the parking lot, but how about uphill or STOPPING. Yeow!!
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:41 PM   #30
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Come to think of it Ken, you would not even need to go that far. You could wire in the charge line and remove the 4 wire plug, and hardwire it all at the 6 pin if you don't think you'll have a need for a 4.

I wanted to keep mine, thats why it's done that way.

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Old 01-03-2006, 10:41 PM   #31
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I find it hard to beleive my car has a tow rating of 1500#s.On some of the hills around here I have to gear right down
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:20 PM   #32
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I believe what we have here is a consumer decision already made, looking for confirmation rather than advice, and determined to go forward despite the manufacturer's own specifications. If that is the case, there's not much more to be said, except to wish Ken D. good luck and happiness with his T@B.
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Old 01-04-2006, 07:49 PM   #33
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Again thanks for the concern Gina. The dealer put his "wiring guy" into my element and he quickly said..."only need a charge line from the battery and we can take the rest from the wiring that is in place!

So now, since I have had so many people refer to a new 13ft scamp.....who can tell me what they cost (please specify cdn or us dollars) I still like the T@B and think their shape would help in the gas milage question....but the deal is not yet sealed.

Ken D.
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Old 01-04-2006, 07:54 PM   #34
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Honda does not require a trans cooler for the Element and 1,500#. Doesn't even offer one. But a lot of people believe they are must have items. I'm still on the fence on the need and haven't installed. Gina being smart had UHaul install one for about $100 as I recall.
I appreciated your reply Patrick......real world numbers are usefull!! My comment about the transmission coolers were made due to the fact that 6 months of each year the temeratures in my part of the world are bleow freezing. I was led to believe that in those conditions without the trailer attached the tranny cooler could actually be detrimental to the Element!

Ken D
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Old 01-04-2006, 08:00 PM   #35
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I believe what we have here is a consumer decision already made, looking for confirmation rather than advice, and determined to go forward despite the manufacturer's own specifications. If that is the case, there's not much more to be said, except to wish Ken D. good luck and happiness with his T@B.
What can I say Jack?

I came here looking to hear the pro's and the cons of what I was looking at....In that way I have heard much of both sides of the topic. (although the negative always was made assuming the current 2006 specs for T@B weight from their web site. And as I have pointed out I am looking at a 2005 model which has now weighed in at 1400#)
Having seen far more information and opinion to support that this combination will perform well than reasons to run away, I am now at the point of determining a final price that will be asked of the T@B. At this point I am hopefull that a deal will be made!
Thanks for your opinions, I was looking for genuine opinions from people with towing experience, and I think that is what I got.

Ken D.
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Old 01-04-2006, 08:42 PM   #36
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Ken, good to hear the dealer didn't want to rewire!

I think all of us here in the Fiberglass forum would hope you would take the time to check out a 13' fiberglass as we feel they have some advantages over the T@B. I sure the folks over in the T@B forum feel the opposite. So take such comments with due consideration to the source.

The most important point, and one we can all agree on, is the joy of truckin on down the road with a small, light trailer in tow, ready for adventures each day.

Good luck!

Patrick
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:16 PM   #37
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I appreciated your reply Patrick......real world numbers are usefull!! My comment about the transmission coolers were made due to the fact that 6 months of each year the temeratures in my part of the world are bleow freezing. I was led to believe that in those conditions without the trailer attached the tranny cooler could actually be detrimental to the Element!
Ken D
Hi Ken, believe that all Hayden tranny coolers use small and large passages so that if the tranny oil is too stiff, as in a Saskatchewan winter, , that it bypasses most of the cooler thru the larger passages until the oil is warm and the viscosity thin enough to go thru the smaller passages.....this way you always get oil thru the cooler and you can leave the cooler on all year....Benny
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:48 PM   #38
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I have no intention of demeaning the T@B. It looks to be well made and is a nice modern slick looking rig, but I think you should call Scamp or Casita and compare thier 13s. They are the only ones that can quote you an accurate price based on the options you chose.

All the technicalities (Weight, Avg. price etc) are neck and neck if buying new. BUT, the advantages you will see with an Egg, in my opinion, make it a better bang for the buck.

Most notably is floor space. I have a reasonably large open center floor. Enough to sit down and wrestle with two dogs and toss toys, etc.. set up a shower, and NOT bump into anything or anyone doing so.

I can sleep 3, 2 in one bed, and 1 on the sofa. Most 13s have a bunk option over the front sofa, so you could even sleep 2 kids and 2 adults. I sometimes sleep on the sofa if I am not toting K9s. It is pleasant to sit and stretch out on the sofa and read, nap or watch TV without the confinement of the dinette. You can make your dinnette a permanent bed and still have awake time sitting space. Lot's, if not most folks here do just that. A TV tray or folding table make a suitable eating station without disturbing the bed.

I have already mentioned the advantages of electric brakes over surge brakes.

I can stand up in the entire length of the trailer, not just in the front.

You can also have more people in the trailer at one time, and even if it is only two folks, you are not forced to be in close proximity. One of you can be on the sofa on the other at the table or in bed and relaxing independantly.

The only real advantage to the T@B I can see is instant gratification. If you have to have it NOW, A Scamp or Casita will not do as they are by order only. And you have to pay shipping or travel to get it youself.

The Eggs have a proven longevity with little repair. That is easy to see from reading this board. Some are close to 30 years old and still going strong. That is directly related to the molded construction. T@Bs are small stickies with a unique shape. They are too new to tell if they will develope stickie like issues, but I bet some will show up within a few years.
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Old 01-05-2006, 06:28 AM   #39
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There are, in my humble view, several advantages of the molded trailers vs. stick builts like the T@b, and several more over the teardrop design. Science figured out eons ago that the teardrop shape is the most efficient at cutting through the air; however, presuming that gas mileage of the combination tow rig will be lower with a teardrop-shaped trailer won't be accurate. Your fuel economy depends on the aerodynamics of the entire moving mass and each combination is significantly different. My Scamp 16' has very little effect on gas mileage behind my Tundra. My Burro caused a 5mpg drop behind my '94 Toyota compact truck, and I suspect that was mostly aerodynamics. My mileage improved by a mpg when I put the new axle under the Burro... apparently the slipstream under the truck/trailer combination was causing drag... the only real way to know what real-world results you're going to have will be to try it out. It's interesting to compare your results with others towing similar and then different trailers with similar tow vehicles. I get 17 mpg towing my Scamp 16' custom Deluxe with the Tundra, and I only got about 19 mpg yesterday on a 600 mile round trip without the trailer.

The advantages of molded trailers vs. stickies come in a variety of flavors; the first being longevity. As a result of not having skin fastened to a frame, there are no fasteners to work lose. Leaks don't cause the body frame to rot (cause there IS no frame... the molded fiberglass is self-supporting), and leaks that DO develop are primarily from anticipated places (through-hull openings). With regular attention to the sealants used in those locations (like every 10-15 years or so) a fiberglass trailer won't develop leaks. Stickies have a design life of about 10 years, and it's rare to see ones older than 10 years that are still useable. The earliest molded fiberglass trailers we've seen have been from the mid-60's and they're still going strong. Last is the resale value. Some of the early Scamps and Bolers are still selling for close to their original sales price, and newer molded trailers tend not to depreciate at nearly the same rate as stickies (the T@b included). I'm not wealthy, but wealth preservation is important to me. I don't want to lose more money to depreciation than I have to when I buy stuff.

The last thing that the FGRVs offer over the T@b is room. I've investigated T@b quite thoroughly as well as they are, frankly, cute! The design itself, however, is limiting. You lose a third of your total interior volume to the swept rear and rounded front. As I said earlier, the design is presumed to be a gas-saver, but I don't think room for mileage is a good trade-off, and the mileage claim may be spurious anyway. Further, Gina just reported 20mpg pulling her Burro in some super-adverse condtions and I doubt that you'll better that significantly pulling the T@b with an Element under ideal conditions.

Good luck with your decision!

Roger
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Old 01-05-2006, 04:23 PM   #40
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When we bought our new scamp last April we paid around $8,000 US to have it made the way we want. Since we wanted to keep the weight down we did not get the refrigerator, air conditioning or awning. We did get the front and rear cabinets (wouldn't want to be without them), extra outlet, fantastic fan, 27 battery (weighs a bit more and we really don't need it), and vinyl instead of carpet. We also did not get the ice box or the water tank in the back as we only carry one or two gallons of water. I prefer the large door where the ice box would be with the additional shelves we put in I have lots of storage. Where the water tank would be is also lots of extra storage.

A useless option for us was the city water hookup. We will probably never, ever use that. After pull 12,500 miles since April we have never been hooked up to electricity much less water!

I took a year to decide what we wanted. Attended a T@B rally and then a Scamp Camp. I still like the T@B, but we are very happy we got the Scamp for many of the reasons Roger mentioned.

We met up with T@B friends on the road and in a parking lot in the rain the four of us got in the Scamp to visit for a few minutes. They keep their bed down all the time so not even two people can stand and move at the same time. Fred and I have room in our little 13.

We are short. I can see where a tall person would like the original T@B floor plan so they can sleep with their feet hanging out. We removed the front top bunk and I sleep on the bottom front bunk. Fred sleeps in the rear.

Hope this helps you. Leon Peiffer on the T@B thread can also tell you how he feels about the two units. He would probably like to private mail you with his ideas. It is after all a T@B web site.

Nancy in MN
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Old 01-05-2006, 04:51 PM   #41
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Ken, I forgot to mention that we also got the screen door and electric brakes. We did not get the furnace. We find turning on the burners in the morning to heat water works well. I carry along a Mr. Buddy (never used, and will probably not be taken again) and an electric cube. My thoughts are if we hit cooler weather maybe we will be looking for electric site.

So much depends on how you want to use a unit. You mentioned the tent attachment. If you want to set up for several days in one spot then that would be a nice addition, as would the awning on a Scamp. But those things add dollars and weight.

If I had your decission to make I would looki into a 5 lb propane tank (unless you go for the gas/elect heavy fridg.

Good luck with your search.

MN Nancy
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Old 01-05-2006, 06:02 PM   #42
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Has not the tear drop shape been disproven as the optimum shape for the least air resistance?....Is the wedge shape, point at front and a square back, not the best aerodynamic shape?....kinda the opposite of the T&B unit.....maybe I was dreaming but hope someone comes on to confirm this....no, not that I was dreaming! ...Benny
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