Need Help Finding SUV to Pull My Casita - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-03-2007, 12:13 PM   #29
Frederick L. Simson's Avatar
Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
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"SUV", "minivan", and now "crossover" are all just marketing labels for station wagons
I recently read that next year, Chrysler will be the only US domestic manufacturer of a "Minivan".
Just like the "station Wagons" they replaced, Minivans are no longer "hip" or profitable...

Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:42 AM   #30
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Trailer: 2011 Escape 5.0
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I think Roger H and Joe Z hit the bullseye in their above comments. You'll need to do a bit of research and make a few phone calls. Phone calls are free.

Apropos of my comments about rear end weight earlier, I don't think all hitch receivers are born equal. I had mine installed at U-Haul, got a fair price and good service. But I think the hitch is heavier than most, made of large diameter tube steel compared to some others I've seen. DrawTite comes to mind. That's just a visual comparison, mind you. But when you're hanging 150-250lb off your back end, even a 10lb savings is worth investigating, I say. And I've got a bent nose wheel to prove it. (Note: Bigfoots are a little nose heavy compared to Casitas unless you modify your Casita's tongue, as many people do. Even a Li'l Bigfoot)

More than once I thought I should have looked around a bit more, but as a neophyte I went with a known quantity. I don't regret that part of the decision a bit. But Brian makes a good point. U-Haul isn't special -- but they are corporate and that gives a complaint a little extra weight, because if you don't get satisfaction you can go over the head of the guy behind the counter. All in all, it really depends on the person doing the work. Look around until you find somebody that you feel comfortable with and whose words match your research. In a very real sense, this is a decision that has the potential to make or break your trailering experience for a long time, so feel good about it and make sure you get what you ask for.

The other thing I've heard ugly stories about is the installation of the brake controller and the cable back to the 7-pin connector. I've talked to a couple of people whose cables were installed visibly by so-called legitimate dealers. Visibly as in: running the inside length of the van. on top of the carpeting. You shouldn't be able to see it, and if the dealer suggests he can't hide it, find another one because he's not telling the truth. This all may seem incredibly obvious, but sometimes (call me a cynic if you like) people take advantage of newbies. Fortunately for you, there is Fiberglass RV!

Good luck!

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Old 11-04-2007, 04:23 PM   #31
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Just for the record, Ford does handle their own trailer hitches (that may depend on the dealer and what they can do locally) because I have seen one on the floor of the local Ford Store when I was looking around for one for my Ranger. The Ford one did not appear to me to be any different than the after-market receiver I ultimately purchased.

I would recommend getting a Weight Distributing Hitch (WDH) rather than getting air springs (I've had both). All the air springs essentially do is lift the rear end higher above the rear axle, making the body level again but not transferring any weight of significance to the front end. They do improve handling by dampening rear end sway to some extent.

OTOH, the WDH does transfer weight from the rear end to the front end and to the trailer axle.
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:40 PM   #32
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Trailer: Eggless for now but looking. currently own Amerilite 21 ft
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OK, sounds like if having a mini van I need WDH for safety. I will have to think about that for next summer if keeping mini van. I then need to check out some Gen motors SUV to see what theirs look like without that third seat, and the middle seat folded. (my mini van middle seats are stored in garage and 3rd seat folded like a pancake squished smack against the front seats..)
I think I will be searching on line getting ideas for months. There is a LOT to learn.

Those of you that have 16 ft campers with front bath, can you tell me WHY you chose the TV that you now use to pull the camper? In other words, what was your deciding point in the car/truck or mini van you chose to pull with?
Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

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Old 11-05-2007, 05:41 AM   #33
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Trailer: 2003 Casita 16' SD
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When I first bought my 16' Casita I had a Ford Explorer with the V6 engine. I shortly thereafter went to an east coast rally in Tennesee. Rolling hills. I felt the Explorer was underpowered. I shortly thereafter went to the longer wheelbase 4 door model and the V8 engine. I felt the whole assembly was more stable (longer wheel base, a little heavier) and I felt the engine was better suited to the task.

There was less drop in mileage towing with the V-8, but the baseline was lower. I like my "stuff" so I travel well equipped and really liked the Explorer. Moving my sailing gear back and forth from the sail boat in the spring and fall required one fewer trip which was another plus to the 4 door Explorer over the 2 door.

I now tow with a F150 with a V8 engine but that's because I also sometimes bring my ATV in the bed of the truck with me camping so my current tow doesn't apply to your situation.

In the interests of fair disclosure I will mention I work for the blue oval (tire and wheel engineer for trucks).
Quando omni flunkus, moritati
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:45 AM   #34
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Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
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I towed my 16' and 17' trailers with a 4WD Toyota pickup; either the original Compact Trucks, a T100, or now, a Tundra all with either the 3.0L V6 or more favorably in the last couple of trucks the 3.4L V6. The 3.0L V6 was not a stellar performer, by the way. I used a pickup because I haul tools and yard and construction "stuff" when I towed the small trailers.

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Old 11-05-2007, 08:02 AM   #35
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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my mini van middle seats are stored in garage and 3rd seat folded like a pancake squished smack against the front seats..
Modern minivans (meaning not the obsolete GM design) don't really do that anymore. The third row seat folds into a well in the floor, and sometimes even the second row does as well, so a big space is cleared in the back (and maybe the middle) without hauling seats out or leaving them behind. Maybe looking at new minivans is an option to an SUV?

In my Sienna the third row folds into a well, and the second row seats fold (just the seatback), tumble forward, or remove. We normally remove the second row and fold the third row, leaving lots of room but allowing one side of the third row to be popped up (with some rearranging of cargo!) if required to give someone a ride at some point along the trip.

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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