MPG: Egg vs Conventional hard sided TT and Hi-Lo types - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-25-2007, 12:29 PM   #1
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Hello,

Managed to stumble on this web site around 5:30 Am today. Have been here ever since. It is now about 1:30 PM. Great site and lots of good information.

When our 3 boys were young we put a lot of miles on our 78 Chevy Van towing Campers of 26-30 feet in length. The boys are all moved out and we sold the campers, truck, and "stuff" years ago!

I'm retired now and my wife is not far from it. We both miss the campgrounds. Seriously thinking about getting back to them. We don't miss the hassels of a heavy, long trailer. We don't plan to be full time. Mostly just 1-3 nights at a time.

The fiberglass types are rare here in the Atlanta area. Therefore we know virtually nothing about them. I've learned a lot today, but haven't seen anything about real world towing MPG with one.

So here are a couple of questions that some of you can hopefully help with, Please.

Have you towed a larger camper and now an "Egg"? Is there much of a MPG difference?

How about sway and general handling.

Do you use a weight distributing hitch or sway control?

What tow vehicle are you using and what is the towing MPG?

What size is your fiberglass trailer?

How much does the fiberglass trailer lower your milesge vs not towing?

Any and all answers will be most appreciated. We are starting from scratch. Would rather do it with help!

Thanks,
Kip
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:56 PM   #2
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Hi Kip! Welcome!

Looks like you're destined to be a Fiberglass RV addict

I can't help you out much with your questions as I've only ever had fiberglass. I'm sure some other's will have info for you.

I tow a 17' Bigfoot with an 05 Nissan Frontier CC 4x4. I don't need a WDH with this set up. The trailer tows very well, no sway. The mileage is another story. The truck gets about 18 MPG in the summer normally, and on our first trip with the Bigfoot through the Rockies it got close to 14.5 MPG towing.
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:24 PM   #3
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Have you towed a larger camper and now an "Egg"?
-- I can compare two campers that I have used with the same tow vehicle -- a 1973 Starcraft 180 at 2380 lbs as configured, and a 1987 Scamp 13 Dlx at about 1800 lbs, towed with a 1991 GMC S15 Jimmy 4x4 (4.3L V6).

Is there much of a MPG difference?
-- We, on average, got nearly 50% better mileage with the Scamp than with the Starcraft -- roughly 6 mpg improvement. I attribute this partly to weight, but mostly to frontal area and aerodynamics.

How about sway and general handling.
-- The Starcraft had to be loaded carefully to keep the tongue weight high enough for stability. We got a good scare one time on a Chicago expressway, when somebody cut us off suddenly, and the trailer started dancing. Most of the storage space, unfortunately, was in the rear. We spent the first 20 miles or so of each trip moving things around inside untill it "felt" right. I moved the a/c and spare tire to the front, and that helped immensely. The Scamp never once exhibited even the slightest hint of a desire to sway.

Do you use a weight distributing hitch or sway control?
-- No. Tongue weight was well within the limits for my vehicle. While I would have appreciated a sway control that time in Chicago, my general belief is that if you need a sway control, you need to either redistribute the weight, or buy a heavier vehicle. Buy a sway control because you want one, not because you need one. It should only come into play in extreme cases, not during routine towing. As a side note, even a very light trailer can sway behind a very heavy tow vehicle. But, the best bet is to fix the towing dynamics rather that trying to control the sway. Then, add a sway control if you want, just for the extra insurance.

What tow vehicle are you using and what is the towing MPG?
-- 1991 GMC S15 Jimmy, 4.3L 4x4 Automatic. Towing the Starcraft we averaged no better than 14 mpg, with worst tank just over 12, and best tank just over 16. Towing the Scamp, we averaged between 20 and 21, worst tank being about 16, best tank 23.5.

What size is your fiberglass trailer?
-- 13 foot Scamp with custom oak interior and bathroom.

How much does the fiberglass trailer lower your milesge vs not towing?
-- The Jimmy gets a consistent 24-25 on the highway. By the way, all figures mentioned here are US, not Imperial.
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Old 08-25-2007, 03:47 PM   #4
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Don't think that Scamps won't sway; all trailers sway to some extent or another, but the difference is what we can do about it. If loaded incorrectly or set up incorrectly, even a 13' can sway (I had my 1,700# Scamp 13' yank my 4,000+# Dodge half-ton all over a wet, banked gravel road one time), but it's just less likely to be an accident than a larger trailer, in part maybe because the tow vehicles tend to weigh more, relatively, than the tow. It might also be that the shorter trailers are easier to get into the correct balance zone.

No question about it, the rounded corners of most of the fiberglass trailers made a towing difference. A friend of mine moved from an 18' boxy trailer to a 25' Avion and found his mileage got better because the Avion was more aerodynamic.
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Old 08-26-2007, 12:15 PM   #5
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Pete -- thanks for pointing that out. My particular Scamp never showed any tendency towards sway, even with water in the tanks, but that is because of the particular configuration of my Scamp -- it was heavier than many, and the weight was biased to the front, so it was less succeptible to loading issues.

However, I think that a standard front-goucho Scamp is more likely to sway if loaded improperly, as there is very little weight in the front, and a lighter over-all weight, so what you put in it and where you put it will have a larger impact on the overall weight distribution.

However, the short overhang behind the axle gives the small eggs a natural advantage as compared to most of what is on the market.
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Old 08-26-2007, 03:20 PM   #6
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heres my example, if it helps:

I have a tug that gets cruddy mileage anyway.. but..

Generically....with an 06 Jeep Liberty that normally gets 18-19 mpg, I get 13 towing a LOADED 3k lb egg. Tow rating on the Jeep is 5k. It's an auto V6 with a 3.7l.

With my auto Honda Element, towing a LOADED 1400 lb Burro, I got 18-19 TOWING. It was a 2.4l 4 banger with a rating of 1500 lbs. I am no auto expert, but initially, logic would say that the Element was working harder as it was closer to it's capacity, and a less powerful set up, rather than the Jeep, which was at 60% of it's capacity and has more "poop"... tho real world proof says my logic is flawed. There are so many variables in rig vs. tug vs. non towing mpg.. blah blah. All have an effect.. and I haven't a clue how it works..

but, hopefully, my #s start you getting an idea..

I went from smaller to bigger. No sway or wdh on the first, sway and wdh on this one.

It's a 17 foot wide body Burro. I have sway on this one, thus the control.

I have never towed anything bigger that I owned. Can't help you there.
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Old 08-26-2007, 07:48 PM   #7
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I sure do appreciate the replies.

I can see where it would not take much for us to become "Egg Junkies"!

Been trying to find some rallies close to Atlanta but not much luck. Everything is days away. Same with dealers!

Definitely want to get something light weight that is easy to back and park and tow.

Any more thoughts and ideas are welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks,
Kip
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Old 08-26-2007, 07:52 PM   #8
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Does anyone have a URL or attachment that would show the 7 pin connector that is on the tow vehicle. I need to know what the various pins do.

Thanks,
Kip
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Old 08-26-2007, 10:25 PM   #9
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http://marksrv.com/wiring.htm

Maybe this is what you are looking for. Glad you are thinking of joining the group.

Nancy in MN
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
http://marksrv.com/wiring.htm

Maybe this is what you are looking for. Glad you are thinking of joining the group.

Nancy in MN

This is [b]exactly what is needed.
Thank You!

Kip
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:46 AM   #11
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Can't compare for you but here's our numbers.

16ft Scamp (1983 model)
electric brakes
no propane
shower/toilet/rear dinette

Towed by our 2004 Chevy Colorado 2800cc 4 cyl 5 speed manual trans. 3.43 rear gear.
regular hitch no sway bars or load equalizers
We have a fiberglass cap over the bed that serves as storage. (probably adds 200lbs to our load)

Fully loaded (but empty tanks)

front axle 2200lbs
rear axle 2640lbs
trailer axle 2120lbs
Gross Weight 6960lbs

We're pushing the limits of the truck but we're pushing the drive train limits not the chassis or brakes. The same truck with a V-6 can tow up to 5500lbs. We're under the door sticker weights but the owners manual says 2000lb towing capacity so we're 120 over that. I don't have the tongue weight but I can shove the tongue around some so I doubt that it's even 200lbs. I probably should move the spare from the rear of the trailer to the front.

We have a slight sway issue sometimes when trucks pass us but it's not every time and it's not severe. The truck is sufficiently heavier than the trailer that the trailer doesn't move it much. Heavier tongue weight would likely help that.

Normally our truck gets 20 mpg around town and about 27 mpg on the highway but that varies depending on speed. If I was able to burn a tank off at 55mph on cruise control without the A/C running, we'd probably get the mileage up near 30mpg.

Towing, our mileage varies from 16mpg to 20 mpg again depending on speed. At 55mph we get 20mpg at 65mph we get 16. On flat interstate highway we can set the cruise in 5th gear. On hills we need to get 4th gear occasionally but seldom need to get 3rd. On mountain roads where the speed limit is 30 or something we're often down to 2nd gear.

If I was buy a new rig, I think I would buy a Toyota Tacoma, V-6 automatic, probably 4wd and crew cab and then fit a new 5th wheel fiberglass camper, maybe an Escape or Bigfoot but the Scamp is ok too. I like our cap shell for storage but a crew cab truck would give me almost the same thing. I like the idea of leaving the bed made up and having the dinette too.
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:04 PM   #12
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Trailer: 17 ft Burro Widebody / 2007 Explorer Sport Trac
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Kip, and welcome to a fellow FGRV addict. I can't tell you much about our egg since we've only had it for a while, but I can tell you we did about 20 MPG behind our Ranger (4.0 litre, 4WD extended cab) when we were travelling the I-5 from Eugene back to Canada, about 10 to 15 per cent less than empty. But that's a pretty level highway. I've also towed a tent trailer (with a Ford Topaz and with a mini-van) and a 26-foot fifth wheel with an F250. I can't give you MPG on the stickie other than to say it was brutal but we found the whole rig just way too big for us. The Burro and the small truck are a much better fit for us, comfort-wise.
We tow with a regular Class III hitch and had no problems, but I still think I will upgrade to an Equalizer hitch for my own piece of mind.
Whatever you pick, enjoy it. And it will be hard to find a website where people are as attached to their trailers as this one.
cheers
Ian
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Old 08-27-2007, 01:19 PM   #13
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Kip,

If you are interested in joining the Scamp Yahoo group you can find several rig data information listings under the Database section. Click on Database and then click on mpg. Our Honda Odyssey and 13 foot lighter weight Scamp gets an average of 17 mpg. Ours is listed there. Lots of varieties of tow vehicles and trailer sizes.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scampers/
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:29 PM   #14
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I suggest that you call Casita. They will give you a list of Casita owners in your area that you can contact to see their rigs. It's a good system and it works. Good luck!
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