Newbee Needs help choosing a tow vehicle. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-12-2016, 06:02 PM   #1
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Name: Judith
Trailer: Desiring Scamp
Colorado
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Newbee Needs help choosing a tow vehicle.

Hello,
I have my 13' Scamp on order, which won't be ready until mid September. I ordered the one w/o the bathroom. I currently have a 2013 Ford Escape, which I have since discovered would not be the best to tow because it can only pull 1,500 pounds and once my Scamp is packed it will weigh more than that. Soooo, I am looking for a reasonable solution...Subaru Outback? Kia Sportage? I will need to buy a used car to stay within budget. Any thoughts?? Advice?? I appreciate your input!
Warmly,
TravLyn
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:34 PM   #2
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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I take it you don't have the 2L turbo engine, which comes with a 3500 lb limit. Oh well.

You might look for the earlier-version Toyota Rav4, the one with the spare tire on the rear door. The V6 model has a 3500 lb rating and you'd be very pleased with the 270 HP in the mountains. Highway mpg probably around 25 when not towing. I think they switched to the newest, lower-rated version in 2012 or 2013 (not sure).
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:48 PM   #3
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
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Recommend vehicles built by Toyota because they are the highest rated, longest lasting and most reliable vehicles on the planet.

In order to save some Money consider used..visit a Toyota dealership and look only at "Certified Used Toyota products" these are all low mileage vehicles that will come with an impressive 100,000 mile warranty and other benefits.

The following will tow 5,000 lbs...Highlander, Venzia, 4 Runner, FJ Landcruiser V6 automatic.
older Tacoma V6 pickups(newer Tacoma's can tow 6,500 lbs).
Tacoma with 4 cylinder engines and 4X4 automatic transmissions can tow 3,500.

The RAV4, depending upon engine can tow 3,500(check with Yoyota for details.

There are other models many of which can tow much more.

Bottom line...first determine fully loaded camper weight...add to that occupants and cargo in tow vehicle...add 10%+....then select a tow vehicle that can handle the final weight calculation.

I prefer 4X4 vehicles because when you are boondock camping you never know when you might get stuck with only two wheel drive...better safe than sorry!

With any vehicle if it does not have a transmission cooler add one..they cost very little and can add to the longevity of any vehicle.

Good Luck and Happy Camping!
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Old 03-13-2016, 02:28 PM   #4
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Name: Frederick / Janis
Trailer: Previously Scamp 13 2002,2016. Scamp 16 on order
Michigan
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If the vehicle was ordered/built/purchased with a towing package? That should be in your short list of choices.

You'll get a dozen recommendations about fan favorites for car/trucks. While well meaning, the much more important thing to do first is to assemble a list of 4 finalists in vehicles you like, you can afford and you have test driven.

Remember, you're going to drive this vehicle the other "50 weeks of the year", as the saying goes. This is PRIMARILY a time of gathering vehicle info. Then, do a lot of tire kicking and test driving. Do you like the visibility and comfort? All the normal truck/suv/car buying steps. Check the reliability history of the model(s).

Do not skate on the edge of adequate. It simply isn't worth it.

But again, if the OEM offered the vehicle with a tow package, that means it has actually be well tested to tow and will be set up to tow, not just barely, to get by, but actually has the suspension, frame, brakes, transmission and especially the cooling components that will allow that vehicle to last for a long time. Tow Package of 3000-5000 pounds is more than adequate, BTW for your purpose.

Far too many small SUV, most of those you mentioned, are limited to 200 lbs of tongue weight. This is wholly inadequate. 99% of even 13' Scamps will exceed 200 lbs in the real world. Tongue weight limits are violated all the time in these discussions and it always make me whince.
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Old 03-13-2016, 02:39 PM   #5
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
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Too often emotion and not logic plays a big factor in what vehicle we buy. More thought goes into color and interior appointments and electronic gizmos than engine, torque ft lbs, reliability ratings and suitability for the task at hand.

Ego and status even are factors when a guy buys a work pickup truck.

The final selection more often than not is unsuitable for the task at hand.

Human nature defies logic....in the end most folks buy "Eye Candy" not utility or reliability.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:03 PM   #6
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Name: Frederick / Janis
Trailer: Previously Scamp 13 2002,2016. Scamp 16 on order
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Uplander, good post.

I've also noticed that Scamps and Subarus seem to be the expected combination for some reason. I understand the almost "cult like" loyalty both brands evoke, but this is also some kind of cultural emotionalism that needs to be thought through rationally.

The Subaru is NO DOUBT a fine, fine automobile, but the typically uber low hitch weight ratings defy their popularity as a top tow vehicle. Folks who intend to tow need to look at the whole realm of realiable and more stout TVs carefully as their vehicle choices and not limit themselves to just following the crowd.

There are great TVs out there that still provide excellent economy and reliability as an everyday driver.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:36 PM   #7
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The fact that Subaru has been given a shared level of excellence in the automotive reliability standings with the Toyota brand says a lot about their product. They have come a long way to share the top spot in overall reliability with Toyota!!
Considering what motor vehicles cost I will never understand why people still spend their hard earned money on vehicles that are known by the unbiased testing organizations as being problem prone.
One reading of lists like "Consumer Reports" listing of used vehicles NEVER TO BUY and you will know what not to buy used or new. One issue each year of their testing results lists just about every make and model of car, truck, SUV and van....the good the bad and the ugly. It may not be the bible but is one great guide.....while magazines like "Car and Driver" award advertisers in their magazine with glowing reports..."Consumer Reports" does not accept advertising in order to stay neutral.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:42 PM   #8
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Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
IllAnnoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravLynne View Post
Hello,
I have my 13' Scamp on order, which won't be ready until mid September. I ordered the one w/o the bathroom. I currently have a 2013 Ford Escape, which I have since discovered would not be the best to tow because it can only pull 1,500 pounds and once my Scamp is packed it will weigh more than that. Soooo, I am looking for a reasonable solution...Subaru Outback? Kia Sportage? I will need to buy a used car to stay within budget. Any thoughts?? Advice?? I appreciate your input!
Warmly,
TravLyn
You don't say which engine you have, but I have been towing my Scamp13D front bath with a 2008 Ford Escape 2.3L 4CYL for about eight years now and about 40,000 miles of towing. Mileage has been consistently in the low to mid twenties(with the trailer).
The base engine on the 2013 Escape is a larger displacement version of the same engine with twenty more HP.
The chassis on each vehicle is rated for 3500 pounds properly equipped.
Whether the 2.5L engine is adequate for your driving habits is a subjective judgement.
The 2.3L engine has worked well for me but I do not commonly tow over 60MPH with it nor drag race from a stop, We have crossed mountains all over the U.S. while maintaining good speed.
We use the Escape for everyday driving and never open the hood between service intervals. It uses no oil, and at 70000miles it has had brakes once and an new battery once.
I make no recommendation, but only wish to help you make an informed decision.
Which ever choice you make, consider getting electric brakes for your trailer and equip your TV to accommodate them.

If you do choose to change TVs due to rating, why not consider a 2.0L Ecoboost Escape? It is certainly more than adequate competition for the alternatives which you mentioned.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
Recommend vehicles built by Toyota because they are the highest rated, longest lasting and most reliable vehicles on the planet.
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