Survey/Question of 13 ft Trailer Owners - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-17-2009, 09:03 AM   #15
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Name: Alan
Trailer: FORMERLY:Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel Deluxe ('The White House')
California
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Pete is absolutely correct - the shorter the distance from the ball to the axel, the more sensitive it is when backing. To prove it, borrow a friend's lawn tractor with a small utility cart behind. Learn to back THAT up and you are golden.

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Maybe better mileage but for sure you will notice how quick it jackknifes when backing up. Really takes some getting used to. Short hitch to wheels I guess. Just go real slow.
My 17 foot is real easy to back up now that I got used to a 13.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:16 AM   #16
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Name: Kevin K
Trailer: 17' Casita
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I had a 1997 S10 pickup with a 4 cyl and 5 speed . I got 20 MPG towing my 13' Scamp.
Now I have a Silverado 1/2 ton 2 wd automatic with a small V8 and I get 16 MPG towing. I never drive faster than 60 MPH.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:57 AM   #17
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Trailer: 13 ft Scamp 1999
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We tow using our 03 Subaru Forester which I think makes a great tug and gets 20mpg while towing our 13' Scamp. Braking is OK without trailer brakes, however adding them would be a nice addition.

Question for those driving Foresters wth automatics: Do you have a transmission cooler?
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:55 AM   #18
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Name: jim
Trailer: Casita 2000 17ft. Liberty
California
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The worst thing about a 13' is there is no comfortable place to sit. The dinette and couch are too high off the floor and there are only vertical backrests.
Backing up with a short trailer is a nightmare too.
I'd sell mine if my driveway was longer.
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:01 PM   #19
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Hi Mark,

No, we have not added a transmission cooler. Perhaps because we have a cooler climate but when I asked the local Subaru dealer about it he was surprised that I would need one. But then, they also never install 7 pin trailer brake systems at their shop so I am guessing they don't know a lot about towing.

I agree that the couch is not super comfortable but we always have the bunks up. You can't really stretch out at the table either but it's comfortable enough for games with the kids on rainy days.
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:13 PM   #20
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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jim,

Do the 16-footers have different/more-comfortable places to sit? With the exception of the one Casita model that has "lounge chairs," don't most of the slightly-larger-but-of-course-we're-not-counting-super-large eggs have similar seating, but maybe just add a bathroom, or a "full time dinette" that would have essentially the same seats?

Or is there another option I don't know about that makes the 13's uniquely uncomfortable?

I have toyed with the idea of sleeping on the front couch and then putting a U-shaped table/desk at the rear, with a comfy swiveling/reclining office type chair in the middle - but that's pretty different. I also thought about putting a similar chair in place of the front couch.

Raya
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:36 PM   #21
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I recently bought a U-Haul 13 which I tow with my 1992 Volvo 940 Turbo Sedan. I love this trailer! It is built solid like a truck. If you can find a U-Haul, buy it, but watch out for rotted floors! It has no bathroom, but came with a porta-potty, which I have not yet used. (I use WAG bags instead and highly recommend them) The previous owner installed a window mount 5000 btu AC in a piece of plywood replacing the port window. This works pretty well although a trailer this size could probably do with a 1000 btu unit even in Florida.

My previous trailer was a Scamp 16 that did have a shower/toilet combination. I like this one much more. It tows more easily of course, the only slight disappointment being the lack of a front window prevents me from using the rear view mirror to see through the trailer as to what is behind me. I have not traveled much with it yet, as my primary purpose in getting it was just to have a job-related place to stay a couple nights per week, but I'm looking forward to some Florida camping this winter.

Caution though... these are not designed for large and heavy people. The dinette is a tight fit getting in and out. I am 5'9" 175 lbs and have no problems, but the former owner told me that several heavier prospective buyers had come to look at it and could not even get into it at all.

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For those owning a 13, and towing it with smaller, less powerful, tow vehicle*, I would be interested in your impressions regarding performance, fuel economy (maybe mpg towing/not towing), and handling for the 13 footers. Please mention what you're using, of course!

Anyone downsizing like I am considering will hopefully chime in w/ comments how they handled the adjustment as well.

I am considering a unit with no bathroom or shower (use of flushing porta-potty), and having a couch (sitting and eating) as well as a dinette (permanent bed) such as a Casita Patriot Standard. I want a furnace, fridge, and an air conditioner, and a place to install a small 700watt microwave in addition to a 2-burner stove.

I tend to drive more than I "camp," with enroute nights spent at truck stops, WalMarts, and Rest Areas, and favor boondocking at relatively primative NFs whenever possible.

Bob
*TVs considered:
My current Jeep Wrangler, my Volvo 740 wagon, or perhaps a small 4X4 SUV like a Rav4 or CR-V
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:41 PM   #22
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By the way, if you want a vehicle with a great turning radius, get a Volvo. I have a '92 940 and the small turning radius is amazing. It really helps when backing up.



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Booker -

**The ability to do a uie at the end of a dead end road never gets old!**

Off topic, but THAT is my biggest complaint about my F-150. I need 1/2 a football field (NFL, OR CFL - take your pick) to pull a U-turn. The turning radius SUX!!!

ok - rant off.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:14 PM   #23
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Name: jim
Trailer: Casita 2000 17ft. Liberty
California
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I would buy (if my driveway was longer) a 16' Casita with the 2 captains chairs and side dinette.
I hate dealing with sewer and water stuff but Casitas probably more comfortable. I have had a Scamp for 9 years (13') and wished I could get out of the bad weather manyatime and have a comfy reading spot.

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Old 07-17-2009, 09:38 PM   #24
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
IllAnnoy
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I would buy (if my driveway was longer) a 16' Casita with the 2 captains chairs and side dinette.
I hate dealing with sewer and water stuff but Casitas probably more comfortable. I have had a Scamp for 9 years (13') and wished I could get out of the bad weather manyatime and have a comfy reading spot.
how's this for reading comfort?It's the wraparound conversion on our 13 Scamp. [Eggy-Sue]

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Old 07-18-2009, 06:47 AM   #25
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
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I tend to drive more than I "camp," with enroute nights spent at truck stops, WalMarts, and Rest Areas, and favor boondocking at relatively primative NFs whenever possible.

Bob
*TVs considered:
My current Jeep Wrangler, my Volvo 740 wagon, or perhaps a small 4X4 SUV like a Rav4 or CR-V
Bob, over the years I've owned and towed two Scamp 13's, a UHaul 13, a Trillium 4500, a Scamp 16 CD side-dinette, a Burro 17, a Love Bug II 18', a Bigfoot 17, and a Bigfoot 25. I've towed with an '80 Dodge Omni, a '79 Jeep CJ-7, a '77 Volvo 245, and more recently a '92 Toyotoa 4 cyl 4WD short wheelbase compact truck, a '94 Toyota 6 cyl extended cab 3.0l V64WD Compact Truck, a '97 T100 3.4l extended cab 4WD, an '02 Tundra 3.4l extended cab 4WD, a Y2K Ford Excursion 4WD with a V10, and my current '07 Titan V8 with a 9500 lb tow capacity.

I've combined a variety of these tow vehicles and trailers.

Let me make some overarching generalizations from this experience.

First is that the larger tow vehicles are much more comfortable towing. Second is that the Excursion got essentially the same mileage towing a small trailer as did the Toyota compact trucks with the 4cyl and 6 cyl engines. Naturally, all the 4 cyl vehicles were able to tow were pretty much the 13' trailers, but I was amazed at how poor the gas mileage was with a towed load.

I towed my first Scamp 13 with my CJ-7 for many, many miles. I was young and foolish. Knowing what I know now, I'd NEVER tow anything with a Jeep CJ or YJ... or for that matter tow with anything with a wheelbase of less than about 120 inches. If you're towing with something less than that, trailer brakes are a MUST on any size trailer.

So... my recommendation is to tow with a tow vehicle of adequate size and specifications to tow the rig you want. You may find something that always gets 15mpg, both towing and not, but that is comfortable and has adequate power. If you're towing all the time, why get a small tow vehicle that may get 30 mpg commuting, but only gets 15mpg towing anyway and is inadequate to handle the load, small, has less cargo capacity and less comfortable?

Your mileage may vary.

Roger
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:22 AM   #26
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Name: Janet - Jan - jj
Trailer: U-Haul 13 ft 1985
Ohio
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I presently use a 17ft Casita for my travels, but because I normally go solo now (small trailers are too confining for my wife), I am looking at downsizing to a 13ft unit to allow me to use a smaller tow vehicle for variety (like my Jeep Wrangler) or fuel economy.

For those owning a 13, and towing it with smaller, less powerful, tow vehicle*, I would be interested in your impressions regarding performance, fuel economy (maybe mpg towing/not towing), and handling for the 13 footers. Please mention what you're using, of course!

Anyone downsizing like I am considering will hopefully chime in w/ comments how they handled the adjustment as well.

I am considering a unit with no bathroom or shower (use of flushing porta-potty), and having a couch (sitting and eating) as well as a dinette (permanent bed) such as a Casita Patriot Standard. I want a furnace, fridge, and an air conditioner, and a place to install a small 700watt microwave in addition to a 2-burner stove.

I tend to drive more than I "camp," with enroute nights spent at truck stops, WalMarts, and Rest Areas, and favor boondocking at relatively primative NFs whenever possible.

Bob
*TVs considered:
My current Jeep Wrangler, my Volvo 740 wagon, or perhaps a small 4X4 SUV like a Rav4 or CR-V
I tow a 13' U Haul with an '08 Honda Element, trailer follows along perfectly, only know it is back there going up hills & then no big deal. I get about 22 mpg, observe speed limits, etc. Element tow limit 1500 lbs, H Haul [at] 900. Just made first longer trip, only issue is backing up [at] night as I can't see where i am going! Will get a couple reflectors to put at my "traget". Other than that no problems at all. I am interested in modifying for more comfort, front bench/bunk not real comfortable for either intended use. I kept bunk up for storage. Made bed of dinette, kept it that way, cooked/ate outside plan on modifying to half unmaking bed in a.m. so i can use table in rain. Have no furnace, potty or stove, will install new stove top soon. Have old a/c in 1/2 rear window, thinking of adding top a/c unit & replaceing missing solar unit. Anyone replaced U Haul solar units? Haven't looked into other models as I am at top of my towing limit now. I will usually go somewhere & stay a bit, can always stop along road as well, if need be. Rretire in 33 days - then will be out there more & farther!!! Jan
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:18 PM   #27
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Trailer: Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
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Thanks all for the great comments!

I think I am beginning to think that I am NOT crazy for wanting to downsize, possibly getting a 13ft and keeping the 17 while I make up my mind between them.

One would not think that the difference between 13 and 17 is a big jump (especially when I admit that at one point I owned a 32ft Kit Road Ranger w/ a 14ft slide-out!), but a 17 obviously requires a whole-step-up in tow vehicle to handle the extra 1000-1200 pounds of towed weight, and double-or-more hitch weight of the smaller 13ft trailer.

Right now my main TV is a 1-ton Ford Powerstroke diesel van (that I originally bought for the 10,000# Road Ranger*), which I love for its interior room, and because it gets 18mpg towing my "heavy" 17ft Casita, but it's noisy and not much fun after unhooking to drive solo, plus it won't get me off-road. I also have a Cherokee 4X4, and while a lot of folks use 'em for 17ft Casitas, it seems marginal (but would do the 13 fine), though it rides rough and gets crappy fuel economy even empty (18 or so), and worse towing (14).

The Volvo would make a very reliable, comfortable TV for highway use (long trips where I would take a 13 as a mobile bedroom), and it sounds like even with barely over 100hp, it does the job (though if I could find a mint 745/945 turbo I'd buy it in a heartbeat).

Now, I guess I need to start looking around to see what I can find in a 13ft class. With the economy, maybe some decent buys will pop up.

Please don't stop the comments! I love reading them and have learned a bit from every one I've read here. You guys are GREAT!!

Bob
*One tow of the Road Ranger told me that it was just too much of a hassle to ever tow except for seasonal use!
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:37 PM   #28
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Trailer: Boler American #3104
Florida
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...
(though if I could find a mint 745/945 turbo I'd buy it in a heartbeat).
...
Me too!
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