TT for a car enthusiast - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-17-2015, 06:27 PM   #1
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Looking
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TT for a car enthusiast

ChiTrailer wrote:

Hi,
I've been lurking for a week. My fiancée and I are looking to get our first TT.

I want something light that I can tow with my BMW 135. It's rated to 2000 lbs and I understand that anything I get should have a dry weight considerably less. Power isn't a problem. It's 300 hp, 6 cylinder. I do worry about the short wheelbase and generally afraid of what I don't know about towing since I've never towed anything.

Why a compact bimmer when we have a crossover and I could also take my mom's SUV? For me, half the fun of these trips is getting out of Chicago and driving country roads.

We want something that has a full size bed and some cooking appliances. We thought about Little Guys and other tear drops but you can't stand in those. This will be a weekender and for long term living. No shower/bath needed. We plan on a sani potti for late night calls.

So far the Scamp 13 without a bathroom seems to make sense. What else should be be looking at? I'm open to other fiberglass brands as well as hard side popups.

PS would I be crazy to tow a Scamp 13 with the little bimmer?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:47 PM   #2
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You didn't mention what year Series 1 you have, but, in searching on-line, about all I can find as to towing capacity for U.S. versions is a big fat "Do Not Tow", and one mention of 800 to 1200 lbs, without a reference.


I also saw that there are several hitch makers that build aftermarket hitches with 2000 lb capacity, but those capacities are for the hitch itself, not for the vehicle to which it is attached, and they usually carry the warning to "Do Not Exceed the Manufacturers Towing Limits". If that sounds crazy, your are right, it is.


So first I suggest that you look in the owners manual for your vehicle, see what it recommends for towing weight (if any) and post that back to us so we can provide more accurate information.


I'd also suggest getting the specs for the cross-over and the SUV you mentioned, you may need them....


For the most part, sports driving on country roads and towing a travel trailer don't really mix as they are two entirely different activities.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chitrailer View Post
ChiTrailer wrote:

Hi,
I've been lurking for a week. My fiancée and I are looking to get our first TT.

I want something light that I can tow with my BMW 135. It's rated to 2000 lbs and I understand that anything I get should have a dry weight considerably less. Power isn't a problem. It's 300 hp, 6 cylinder. I do worry about the short wheelbase and generally afraid of what I don't know about towing since I've never towed anything.

Why a compact bimmer when we have a crossover and I could also take my mom's SUV? For me, half the fun of these trips is getting out of Chicago and driving country roads.

We want something that has a full size bed and some cooking appliances. We thought about Little Guys and other tear drops but you can't stand in those. This will be a weekender and for long term living. No shower/bath needed. We plan on a sani potti for late night calls.

So far the Scamp 13 without a bathroom seems to make sense. What else should be be looking at? I'm open to other fiberglass brands as well as hard side popups.

PS would I be crazy to tow a Scamp 13 with the little bimmer?

Thanks in advance.
This is not a comment on the suitability of your Bimmer for towing, its just perspective.

My Deluxe Scamp13 front bath weighs less than 2000 pounds.
A Scamp13 standard with package should come in under1400.
A base Scamp13 tongue weight starts at under a hundred pounds.
(mine leaves the driveway at 240).

To answer one of your concerns...
The right Scamp13 certainly fits the bill, no small RV trailer tows better than a Scamp.

My Ford Escape is an excellent match for my trailer...
It has a shorter wheelbase than your car and it is front wheel drive and 157HP and a 9" clutch.

I am researching towing with my V8 Mustang, so I sympathize with your desires.
My first concern, among several, is whether a hitch would have adequate purchase points... both in number and strength.
Next might be spring rates and suspension components.
You have a nice little car there, but your next questions should be directed to the BMW blogs and experts.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:28 PM   #4
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If you really like your BMW, why would you abuse it?
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:43 PM   #5
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Name: Michael
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Thanks. I've asked folks on my BMW forum. A couple people haved replied re the ratings of the aftermarket hitch which is 2000 pounds but I understand that's not necessarily the rating for the vehicle. There are some guys towing small boats and motorcycles around 1000 pounds. That doesn't mean they are right to do so.

There is no published towing capacity or GCVR as far as I know though I'd like to get my hands on a UK manual. The GWVR is about 1000 pounds more than curb weight. (I do understand that curb weight is not the same as loaded weight). I have some thoughts about where this is going but don't want to answer my own question.
PS the Scamp 13 without the bath is shockingly light compared to even the smaller tear drops, popups, etc.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:46 PM   #6
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Name: Michael
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If you really like your BMW, why would you abuse it?
Trying to figure out if towing is abuse.

I'd rather tent camp than not take my car. I love driving country roads. Living in the suburbs of Chicago there are literally no good driving roads within 2 hours.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:08 AM   #7
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Personal stuff usually adds 300 pounds or so for long trips, too. Then there's the question of tying in a brake controller.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:56 AM   #8
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Michael since you've only been lurking for a week you may not know this topic is one that is a HOT button. I'm surprised that there aren't 3 pages yet. I have to agree with Glenn and Bob, enjoy the Beemer for what it is and use a proper tug for towing. On the other hand, the Beemer and 13 should fit on the same rollback on the way back
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chitrailer View Post
ChiTrailer wrote:

Hi,

I want something light that I can tow with my BMW 135. It's rated to 2000 lbs and I understand that anything I get should have a dry weight considerably less. Power isn't a problem. It's 300 hp, 6 cylinder.

Thanks in advance.
Hey there Mike, we are on the same page. Our G35 is about the same weight and similar size as your 135 and we luv the way it tows and handles our trailer. Note it required a custom receiver, and towing pro's to set up. We have 112" wheel base, yours is shorter but the superb handling/performance attributes of your car would overshadow that shortcoming.

PS.... Our 03 G35 has 250,000lkm's on it and has had over 200hrs of towing duties. No issues except one wheel bearing needed replacing. Otherwise the car still drives like a new.

PSII... Others on the forum are using Golf's, Honda Elements, Scions, etc to tow glass eggs and the towing reports are favorable.

Good luck with the venture.
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Old 07-18-2015, 07:29 AM   #10
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Yep, you hit on the Hot Topic of the day.

1. Please ignore the temptation to use Europen specifications: a) The vehicles may be substantially different and b) European road rules for towing are very restrictive, with most countries limiting towing speeds to about 80 KMPH, or less than 50 MPH. If we did that in the U.S. we could have higher towing limits but, as long as some areas allow towing at up to 80 MPH manufacturers have to consider that their vehicles may be towing at that speed.

2. Also, please ignore the temptation that is made to "re-engineer" your vehicle to tow anything you want. If you have that thought, as some in Canada apparently have, first check with your insurance agent and your attorney about the risks and liabilities incurred when ignoring manufacturers specifications.


3. Dissimilar vehicle to vehicle comparisons have little value when there are so many other variables that effect towing. For example, about all a G35 with a $2000 hitch towing an Airstream trailer has in common with your Series 1 Bimmer is that both have 4 tires.
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
3. Dissimilar vehicle to vehicle comparisons have little value when there are so many other variables that effect towing. For example, about all a G35 with a $2000 hitch towing an Airstream trailer has in common with your Series 1 Bimmer is that both have 4 tires.
Hi Bob. You are right when you talk about the so many variables that affect towing etc. It is so true.

Just wanted to help you out with your cost estimates. Our custom HD pro receiver for the G35 was a pinch over $500. installed. The other half of the equation is the Reese Dual Cam which came with the trailer at no cost to us. Although a new one is always nice a used Reese DC can be bought on Kijiji for around $100. or less.

For Mike looking at a small egg connection costs should be even lower.

Also for Mike. With your lighter weight vehicle brakes on the trailer are IMHO a must. Makes for a much safer rig. Is you are one of the few who consult with a lawyer etc re your rig he will be glad to know your trailer is set up with brakes.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:34 AM   #12
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For Mike, with a "Do Not Tow" manufacturers towing limit, the cost of connecting his Series-1 Bimmer to a Scamp should be $00.00 USD. Or, with conversion, $00.00 CDN$


The several attorneys I have discussed this issue with don't really give a rat's patootie about trailer brakes. Towing over manufacturer limit is the issue and that leaves the owner open to all kinds of liability issues in the event of even the slightest accident, regardless of fault assignment. The issue can be that the vehicle/trailer should not have even been on the road when the accident occurred.
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:37 AM   #13
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For Mike, with a "Do Not Tow" manufacturers towing limit, the cost of connecting his Series-1 Bimmer to a Scamp should be $00.00 USD. Or, with conversion, $00.00 CDN$


The several attorneys I have discussed this issue with don't really give a rat's patootie about trailer brakes. Towing over manufacturer limit is the issue and that leaves the owner open to all kinds of liability issues in the event of even the slightest accident, regardless of fault assignment. The issue can be that the vehicle/trailer should not have even been on the road when the accident occurred.
Regulation of combination weight limits in my state starts at 6000#.
Larger trucks are are licensed with weight limits above that level.
It sounds like a rat's patootie would make an appropriate retainer for some attorneys free advice.

Would you deny every streetrod or custom built vehicle the opportunity to tow even a tiny fiberglass trailer?
Not counting the racecar, what is the tow capacity of each of the following...
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:59 AM   #14
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I haven't a clue or a care as I believe all of those vehicles were built before manufacturers had printed towing limits and the issue of safe towing automatically became the full liability of the owner.


You can argue safety issues in court but, when there is a printed specification, it's a very different argument, i.e. ignorance of the issue has no standing, it's in the book.


I have a pic of my Dad towing a 12' vacation trailer, in 1954, with a 1951 Pontiac and it has at least 6 red flags by todays standards, ranging from use of a clamp-on bumper hitch to excessive weight on the rear axle, but this is 2015, it's not 1954 any more.


But, for those that yern for those "Good Old Daze", they are re-releasing Back to the Future in October for it's 30th anniversary. Pre-order your limited edition, producers cut, today, I have just heard that it will come wrapped in genuine Flux Capacitor paper. LOL


BTW: It's no ones business what I have to pay for legal advice, Suffice to say that it is accurate, provided to me by members of the California Bar, and will withstand any challenge.
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