towing weight - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-09-2003, 10:56 AM   #1
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towing weight

Hi Everyone,

I am a new enthusiast of fiberglass trailers. I must have one. I think this is a little funny as I have never been in one. My question: Can I haul a 16 ft (Casita for example) with a four cylinder 4x4 toyota pickup? I know the weight is in acceptable limits but as lightweight is the thing is the thirteen footer noticeably more fun to pull and/or significantly more economical gas wise? Thank you for the benefit of your experience.

Maggie O.
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Old 02-09-2003, 12:02 PM   #2
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tow limits

My gut feeling is that a 16 footer is a bit much for a 4 cylinder - but you can find your tow limit in your owner's manual. Also consider checking the Trailer Life www site at:

http://www.trailerlife.com/towratings/tr_index.cfm

Note: These ratings will assume you've added everything possible to help yourself. At the MINIMUM one should add a transmission cooler to an automatic.

Mike
Watters
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Old 02-09-2003, 01:12 PM   #3
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towing weight

hello again,

The Toyota has a max tow rating of 3500. I know the 16 ft casita is between 2000 and 2500. So it is possible, but is it fun? Is anyone towing a 16 ft with a small truck? Thanks,

Maggie O.
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Old 02-09-2003, 01:18 PM   #4
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Hi Maggi
I tow my 17 foot Boler with a GMC sonoma.RV weight about 3300lbs loaded and truck rated for 5000lbs with proper set up as Mike Watters said.Hope this helps abit.Also welcome to forum.:wave
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Old 02-09-2003, 01:35 PM   #5
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tow ratings

We should also probably make note that 'realistic' tow ratings should depend on where you're expecting to go with it.

If you are planning on driving through mountain passes (Rockies, Sierras, Cascades etc) most of the time - it's probably best to view the advertised ratings VERY conservatively. However - if ya live in the midwest and don't plan on doing many 1000 mile days - a more liberal view of the ratings might work.

Personally - we are pulling a 900 lb, 13' Boler with a Dodge Ram 1500. Kinda overkill, but I like that it tows effortlessly. Well - I mostly like that our family can ride in extreme comfort while on the road. The Boler actually could be parked on top of the van and we'd still be fine... :) Towing - at that point - was an afterthought.

I WAS however, irritated by the RV salesmen who took one look at the van and started trying to sell us on the idea of getting some 5000lb behemouth.

mkw
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Old 02-09-2003, 01:38 PM   #6
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Tow weights

Maggie, just be sure to remember that the tow weights you're talking about are usually dry without options, supplies, or anything else.

Ches, your Sonoma is a V6, not a four....correct?

Judging from your comment: ...is it fun?, I think you might want to consider a smaller trailer than a 16' Casita or a larger tow vehicle. Hopefully we'll hear from somebody that tows a 16' with a four cylinder (or has in the past).

Definetly want to have the right combination, because you will have a blast if you do! So much so, that sometimes you just want to giggle! (okay, guys, so you don't giggle...how 'bout guffaw?)
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Old 02-09-2003, 01:40 PM   #7
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Suz
V6 but truck is small.Also My boler I think is heavier than a 16 ft Casita.I never really have worried about towing but STOPPING and CONTROL.
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Old 02-09-2003, 06:15 PM   #8
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My dad has a Ford fiesta replacement. That's what ever they made in that size when they quit making the fiesta. I don't remember exactly what it's called, but it's a 4 cylinder. he pulled his 13ft Casita with it for a while but said it was hurting his transmission. I don't know any more then that. and I don't know the kind of terrain he drove.
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Old 02-09-2003, 06:16 PM   #9
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Maggie, we towed a 16 ft. Casita with a Ford Ranger V6 (auto transmission, 2 wheel drive). It was okay, but just so. We were always keenly aware of the weight of our gear (and how/where we stowed it), and had some trouble with engine running hot while travelling across the Texas panhandle in July (trying to tow and run the Ranger's AC = bad idea, for us, twice). That vehicle's tow rating is 3500 lbs., too. We had lots of fun with that TT, except I hated going over railroad crossings, as it always seemed we were going to lose something... That's not a Toyota, of course. But it also was a 6 cyl., not a 4.

Hopefully someone can hit closer to home for you.
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Old 02-09-2003, 08:19 PM   #10
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towing weight

I love this website. Thanks everbody for the response. I think it will be a thirteen foot for us. I just saw that 16 ft. casita on ebay and started dreaming of a kingsize bed. I'm also in love with that little bigfoot. I called to see if it's still available but no response. Just as well. I'm not sure I could get to Washington to get it. But it is very nice. Thanks again.
Maggie O.
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Old 02-09-2003, 10:10 PM   #11
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I tow a 13 foot Burro with a Toyota Tacoma pickup, it has a V-6 engine and has the factory tow package. The Burro is about 1000 lbs. The extra drag is quite noticable especially when bucking a strong headwind. Towing it with a 4 banger would probably be OK but for me I think I would find it not fun. :sad
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:26 AM   #12
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There is something else for a person to think of when towing, other than my vehicle is rated for x number of pounds - the safety of yourself, your family and others on the road. One trip down a steep mountain road with too much trailer is enough to make many people believers. It is pretty scarey to realize that the trailer is pushing the tow vehicle down the hill!

A thing i discovered, that surprised me, when doing some exploring online while we were trying to decide which RV type would be best for us: many people driving around with slide-in campers on their trucks are seriously over loaded. I found that there were any number on the RV bulletin boards who knew they were over loaded but felt they were okay because nothing had happened in x-number of trips. Well, i started thinking i sure wouldn't want them driving in the next lane on a very windy highway or on my tail on a mountain road and i certainly didn't want to be one of that crowd. If you take out your truck manual read the sections about loading and hauling and then figure out how to run the numbers yourself it can be amazing! I was shocked when i ran the numbers for my F250 - big hefty diesel - or so i thought. I now realize this truck is better built for towing than carrying a big camper while pulling a horse trailer. The little light camper i have on there has me barely within my weight limits.

I have pulled our 17' Casita with our F150 (we are a multiple truck family, don't even own a regular car :)) and i know there is something back there even though it isn't as though i am towing a horse trailer containing live animals. Would the rest of you concur, that most likely every vehicle manual has some sort of tow rating figures but that doesn't mean you can really do any serious, long term towing with the vehicle?

As has been mentioned above, the other considerations are what you are doing to your tow vehicle - transmission, brakes, etc. Most of the driving we do here is hills of some sort and often very steep grades. Just my opinion, but i would be pretty nervous hauling with a 4 cylinder, period. But that is probably because i always have to have an extra margin of towing power, safety, etc. to feel comfortable out on the road - even when Terry is with me to help handle the unexpected but even more so when i am alone. Does that mean that nothing will ever happen? Not too realistic, but i do know i have done my best to make sure that i am not overloaded or underpowered and i always try to be a safe and courteous driver so i feel pretty confident when i am out there alone. I have only done it the other way once or twice and believe me the stress is not worth it, takes all of the fun out of it!



Roberta
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:41 AM   #13
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Margin of Safety

I could not agree more with Roberta's post. When we were shopping around - it quickly became clear that EVERYBODY had a motivation to overstate the hauling capacity of the vehicle. The car/truck/van maker wants you to think you're buying a real powerhouse. The RV maker/dealer makes more profit on larger trailers so they want to sell you the biggest thing they've got... NOBODY has an interest in being realistic or even downplaying your towing capacity. I knew that whatever we ended up getting - I'd have my whole family in that van with me. That motivated me to want the largest margin of safety as possible.

So - perhaps that's how we should be looking at tow ratings. Don't just make sure number x is smaller than number y, or what percent of capacity the trailer is. Flip it on its head. WHAT IS YOUR MARGIN OF SAFETY? In other words - what percentage of your capacity is NOT being used? The greater the unused capacity - the greater the margin of safety. After all - the greater the unused capacity - the more of that power that will be available under emergency or harsh circumstances.

The whole American "bigger = better" mentality has gone totally nuts. I don't need a camper with more square footage than my first apartment. I don't need a motorcycle with a stronger engine than my commuter car (Geo Metro). They suck the fun out of the experience real fast.

mkw
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Old 02-10-2003, 01:24 PM   #14
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Toyota

We towed our Patriot deluxe with a 4 cylinder Toyota Tacoma standard cab with HD shocks and air Air lifts. Yes it would pull it but it wasn't very much fun. A struggle on hills. The 16 footer is three or four hundred pounds heavier.

Now have a V8 Tundra. Going someplace is now enjoyable.:) :)
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