How suitable is an Element as a tow vehicle? - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-06-2006, 05:58 AM   #57
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If race cars are actually designed for stability over aerodynamics, but fans think they are aerodynamic, then they will design cars to look like race cars.
Absolutely right! Just look at all the sedans with airfoils on their trunk lids - for driving on streets and 70mph freeways...

What hasn't been discussed which is a real factor in these choices: aesthetics (or form over function). The 'retro' and 'back to basics' look appeals to a lot of people, and both the Element and the T@B have that look.

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Old 01-06-2006, 12:05 PM   #58
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There was an earlier comparison of tow ratings between Honda's CR-V and Element. I considered the specs for these two models, as well as the Odyssey, when we were shopping. We concluded that the van (Odyssey) offered the best fit to our needs, for very little more cost or fuel consumption, and in the end bought the Toyota equivalent (the Sienna).

The Element specs show a wheelbase of 101.4", while the CR-V specs show a wheelbase of 103.3". While that may seem like a minor detail, it is only one of many little differences in these vehicles (which are based on a common set of mechanical components) which may lead to the tow rating difference.

The CR-V and Element seem, to me, to be two interior and door variations on a theme, so buyers can choose the one better suited to their needs, but neither are particularly suitable for towing. Everyone chooses their compromise - apparently more often in favour of the Element than the CR-V among the members of this forum - and I would only choose the Element if my towing requirements were minimal. If I already had the Element, I would seriously consider the tow rating, and not consider my judgement superior to Honda's - but that's just my choice.

1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
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Old 01-06-2006, 01:56 PM   #59
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Aerodynamocs of the Element (Or blowfish car) aside..

Ken, you have a rig that gets outstanding milage for a rig it's size without towing. There are enough of us on this board, and the EOC that tow, to now say that it has a proven safe and economical track record towing 13 footers and other trailers of similar weight.

All of us report milage from 19-20 MPG. Even if you improve your milage by a couple miles per gallon by getting something that in theory has better aerodynamics, thats only a pitance of a savings. I doubt you will actually improve anything with a T@B tho.
Gina can you elaborate a little....does your element have FWD or AWD? What speed do you normally tow at? you turn off overdrive?

I just ran a test tow of the T@B at 100km/ pulled nice even up hills, but only 15mpg i have AWD and ran with the o/d turned off.

Just so you guys know, I have also been trying to get info on scamp and burro but there are no dealers in this neck of the woods and it looks like one of them would cost me significantly more than the T@B I have been looking at. With currency conversion and almost fully loaded (exception of a/c) in am looking at around US$9500 and can pick it up in town so no delivery charges. The Scamp site does not even show a delivery cost to Canada!!

Ken D.
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:09 PM   #60
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Burro's no longer in business; Scamp sells factory direct - give 'em a call. I think Casita and Outback (by Trillium) also make nice light 13 footers, maybe some others. Most new 13 foot eggs will give you lighter weight, less length, better space, greater durability and lower prices than a new T@B.

If you watch eBay, or search this and other FGRV sites, you can pick up a time-tested, pre-owned, vintage, classic (okay, used) fiberglass egg for anywhere from $2000 to $5,000 - and anything above $3000 should be in good, sound condition. To catch a good egg, you have to be prepared to jump quick and bid fairly, and possibly travel some distance to get one.

I'd second the suggestion someone else made, and contact Brenda Novakovski in Saskatoon, who has several fine rental units you can check out.
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:22 PM   #61
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I have a 2wd EX. auto. I never tow faster than 60. Anything faster is unsafe, in my opinion, and even that is 5 mph over the California limit for autos towing. (Tho I have noticed that I am one of the rare ones that actually follow that law ) So, I go between 55 and 60 for the most part.

I did the limit over The Grapevine and Siskiyous recently, but steeper grades with higher elevation gain over a shorter period of thime, I can do 45 without racking the tranny. On those grades, I kick the OD off, but mostly drive with my ears, so my "style" would rarely kick the OD in anyway. It stays around 3500 rpm. I am in no hurry to do damage.

Nope, Burro is no longer made. They went under in the 90s. For Canada, try Trillium. I think they just brought back the 13 footer, didn't they?

You could go to Backus and pick up your Scamp too. Call them, they are not very internet oriented. (They don't have to be either)

Jacks suggestions are also good ones.
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Old 01-06-2006, 03:27 PM   #62
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For Canada, try Trillium. I think they just brought back the 13 footer, didn't they?
I had called Trillium before finding the T@B...I called them in Calgary (long distance call on my tab) they promised to send me information, took my address etc and told me the price for the outback would be around $14000 canadian. Then they didnt even follow through and send the promised info!!! Great way to run a business!!

Ken D.
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Old 01-07-2006, 09:32 AM   #63
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At this very moment, it's a seller's market. Every one of the four lightweight manufacturers (Bigfoot excepted as #5) is selling units faster than they can manufacture them. Last I heard at Scamp the wait was about five months. I'm sure that changes with demand, but they're all that way. Most of them are "mom and pop" style operations as well with all of the employees fulfilling a number of functions at the factory. They are all first class operations, though, and will take care of you properly if you're just patient. A little persistence probably doesn't hurt either. Both patience and persistence pay off in the FGRV world. And, as Jack says, if you're willing to do "pre-tested" then you can not only save time, you can save big bucks. I bought my '02 Scamp for about $5k less than a new '05, got immediate delivery, and got essentially a new trailer equipped exactly as I would have ordered it anyway. It'd only been out twice in it's life!

If you are willing to do used though, be prepared to jump quickly and be prepared to travel a ways.

Good luck!


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