Tug Question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-22-2007, 09:59 AM   #1
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I have the chance to buy a VW Rabbit deisel pickup. My question is, would this be enough truck to pulll a 2800lb Quantum fifth wheel camper? I,m not worried about stoping as the trailer has brakes on all four wheels, but think I might be asking to much of a 1.6 L small engine. In an old add I found, there is a picture of a Rabbit pulling a Quantum but wonder if that is realistic. The VW has a 5 speed manule trans.
Any opinions would be welcome. I Know these engins can be equiped with a turbo but that would cost way to much to convert.

Thanks
Ron
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
I have the chance to buy a VW Rabbit deisel pickup. My question is, would this be enough truck to pulll a 2800lb Quantum fifth wheel camper? I,m not worried about stoping as the trailer has brakes on all four wheels, but think I might be asking to much of a 1.6 L small engine. In an old add I found, there is a picture of a Rabbit pulling a Quantum but wonder if that is realistic. The VW has a 5 speed manule trans.
Any opinions would be welcome. I Know these engins can be equiped with a turbo but that would cost way to much to convert.

Thanks
Ron
Hmmmm- - -I think it might be a tad underpowered..... If my memory serves me right , about 60 HP. I flogged one for about a year, and I was always shifting. (and this was empty...) Nice economical vehicle, tho, about 50-55 mpg. But, IMHO, not enuff power. Larry
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Old 03-22-2007, 03:11 PM   #3
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A Rabbit Pickup presumably has the same engine as a Rabbit hatchback of the same year... which I thought would be about 75 hp if it were the gas engine. I'm sure that would not be enough to keep most people happy. Unfortunately, the diesel is even worse - as I recall, they had about 45 hp, as Larry said. No missing zero there, not 450, 45.

Two bigger issues:
  • The drivetrain (engine, transmission, CV joints) probably isn't durable enough to handle the load; there should be a Gross Combined Weight Rating for the truck, which would need to be greater than the Rabbit weight plus Quantum weight, and I doubt it will be.
  • The rear axle is going to be quite heavily loaded; the hitch weight of the Quantaum will need to be less than the remaining payload capacity of the truck, and less than the remaining axle capacity after accounting for passengers and cargo (in the truck).
I think it would be a fascinating rig, and I can imagine a Rabbit Pickup with a light enough trailer, but I expect that the Quantum is just too much. Even if it would work reliably, it would probably get worse fuel economy than a tug with a larger engine not working so hard.

Trivia: As mentioned by Wikipedia, the Rabbit Pickup is still in production in South Africa (VW SA Pickup page), priced at about US$12,000. Their 1.6L diesel apparently put out 44 kW (59 hp) but I don't think the VW Rabbit Pickup here was anywhere near that. The current SA version could handle the hitch weight, but I doubt the drivetrain could take the abuse.
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Old 03-22-2007, 04:27 PM   #4
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Thanks guys
Thats kinda what I thought but just wanted to check just in case I under estamated a VW Rabbit. Sounds to me like it would make a better toad than a tug.
Ron
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:06 PM   #5
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The 1.6 NA diesel was good for 52 hp, the 1.5 was 48 hp IIRC. The turboed 1.6 was about 75 hp, but was never offered in the "Caddy", the name for the Rabbit pickup in countries other than the U.S.

Yeah, I'd skip that as a TV for a 5th wheel.

If you're looking to buy one, check the front strut towers very carefully for rust. The tailgate and taillights are also pretty hard to come by, so if it needs either of those, figure that into the offered price.

I'd really like to see the ad you found, though, if you could post it!
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:35 AM   #6
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I'm not good at this, hope this comes out
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:17 AM   #7
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Ron, I hate to burst your bubble, but that's photo of a circa early 1980s vintage Toyota pickup. It is definitely NOT a Rabbit. The text is hard to read because of pixellation, but I think it says it's the 3/4 ton model Toyota. If that's the case then it's probably circa 1983-85 and had the 22RE at 105hp.



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Old 03-23-2007, 07:15 PM   #8
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Good eye, Roger!
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:33 PM   #9
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Roger, would that be the Toyota trucks that were made into class "C" motor homes around that time? ...Benny
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Old 03-24-2007, 12:38 AM   #10
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Roger, would that be the Toyota trucks that were made into class "C" motor homes around that time? ...Benny
And later, IIRC, though the concept of a "3/4 ton" toyota makes me nervous.


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Old 03-24-2007, 07:21 AM   #11
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Roger, would that be the Toyota trucks that were made into class "C" motor homes around that time? ...Benny
Probably, my parents had one of those gutless wonders....it was absolutely scary to drive in the mountains, VW Bugs zoomed past us going up hills. However, in non-hill country it was a blast to camp in!
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Old 03-24-2007, 08:14 AM   #12
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Roger, would that be the Toyota trucks that were made into class "C" motor homes around that time? ...Benny
Yep... and Matt and Donna both called it right. They were top-heavy and scary!

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Old 03-24-2007, 09:04 AM   #13
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I believe many of them were the subject of a lawsuit relating to failed rear axle bearings due to the fact that the axle was over capacity as they were delivered and before adding any "stuff" to the motorhome.
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Old 03-24-2007, 10:28 AM   #14
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I assume this is the reason the Owner's Manual for my 2002 S-10 Extended Cab pick-up includes a warning 'not to be use for a truck bed mounted camper'.
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