Towing a 17' Scamp or Casita - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-05-2013, 11:12 PM   #1
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Towing a 17' Scamp or Casita

Is anyone using a Chrysler Town & Country mini van to tow a 17' Scamp, Casita or something similar? What has been your experience? I have an 06 now and am looking at getting a new T&C. They have increased the horsepower and I will also get one with the towing package that has a load leveler. It looks like I have got a deal on a 17 foot Casita and am wondering how that will handle it as a T.V. It appears to be within the weight range depending on how much "stuff" I add to the two of them to take along on a trip. I will have a weight distribution hitch too. It is rated to handle 3600 lbs. I have an F-150 also to use but would also like to use the van too.
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:43 PM   #2
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Oooops Gene. Scamp doesn't make a 17' trailer. The closest comparison would be the 16' Scamp and the 16' Casita SD or LD. The 17' Casita is much heavier, especially tongue weight. But, I still can't answer you question regarding the Town and Country....

Be sure to check out Frederick's excellent thread:Trailer Weights in the Real World

because no one tows with an empty trailer!
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:52 PM   #3
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Oops is right. I though it did. The empty weight I found for the years I hope to get is 2100 lbs. That leave me with 1500 lbs to work with. That should be plenty of room to work with. I notice newer ones are heavier though.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:57 AM   #4
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I had a Chevy Venture Van with a 3.?? (don't recall) and it was a dog going up a slight incline pulling my 13'deluxe. I got rid of the van and bought a trailblazer instead. Much better, you don't even know it's back there now.

Keep in mind, I know two people that have the newer Chrysler Town & Country vans, and have had nothing but problems with the electrical in them. They say they can't figure out what wrong with them.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Masse View Post
Oops is right. I though it did. The empty weight I found for the years I hope to get is 2100 lbs. That leave me with 1500 lbs to work with. That should be plenty of room to work with. I notice newer ones are heavier though.
Perhaps 2100 pounds, empty and without any accessories or options. Real world weight of a 16' Scamp or 17' Casita with "normal" options and equipment will be much closer to 2400~2800 pounds and could easily be more depending how they're loaded for travel; clothes/food/water/dishes/TV, etc. I towed a 16 Scamp with a Dodge 2500 V-8 (full sized van) with an excellent tow package. I was stunned how much effort it took to tow the Scamp, particularly up hills. I weighed my Scamp at a certified weigh station, it came in a 2575 pounds. The Scamp was well equipped with A/C, stove, fridge, awning, bathroom/shower, TV/DVD. I don't travel with water on board and my wife and I are somewhat minimalists when it comes to what we take with us. So if someone would ask me how much the trailer weighed empty, I'd tell them 2450 pounds. That to me is real world.

Also consider that the tongue weight of the trailer is going to be 10~15% of the gross trailer weight, which could require larger tires, heavier shocks and other related changes to the tow vehicle.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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You might check the "Trailer Weights in the Real World" thread for more realistic weights. I have an Excel version that can be downloaded with a few more trailers added on my Website.

Even if you stay within the overall weight rating, I think you are going to have to watch your tongue weight if you are considering a Casita 17. Many are over the 350 lb limit of the Town & Country.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:12 PM   #7
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You might want to get onto some of the sites related to that vehicle and look for experiences from those that are towing. I had several Chrysler mini-vans as company cars in the past and, noting at least 2 failures, can say that the transaxle wasn't a strong point.

Also keep in mind that towing a 3500 lb. boat may only be 1/2 as difficult as towing a 3500 lb. trailer with it's much larger frontal area.

Look into the detailed towing limits in the owners manual for the vehicle you are interested in using. Some mfgs. temper their towing ability based on actual frontal area. Remember, the specs on the Chrysler site say "Up To 3500 lbs."

Good Luck


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Originally Posted by Gene Masse View Post
Oops is right. I though it did. The empty weight I found for the years I hope to get is 2100 lbs. That leave me with 1500 lbs to work with. That should be plenty of room to work with. I notice newer ones are heavier though.
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