Tow Vehicle for Bigfoot B17??? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-18-2016, 08:09 AM   #1
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Name: Dave
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Tow Vehicle for Bigfoot B17???

I am looking for a new TV for my new [to me]1984 Bigfoot B17.
Dry weight is listed in the original sales brochure as 1875lbs. so I am probably looking at 2200lbs+ with my stuff in it.
Leaning towards a 6cyl. pickup truck but they are few and far between out here. Wondering about a 6cyl. van as a TV.

Any recommendations from B17 owners???

Thanks in advance, Scouter Dave.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:07 AM   #2
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Name: Rick
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Our 1997 Toyota 4runner pulled the Bigfoot fine and our 2010 Honda Ridgeline even better. No issues in the mountains.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:42 AM   #3
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My totally empty 17' weighs 2300 lbs. Unless you only pack a toothbrush, your weight will approach 3000 lbs. I have used 2 Toyota minivans (2006 & 2011) as tow vehicles with very good results. Tongue weight (loaded) for mine is 340 lbs. Since the early model BF are lighter, a V6 will work fine.

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Old 08-18-2016, 10:56 AM   #4
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My Astro van pulls mine fine and it has a 4.3 V6 .
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:12 AM   #5
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Name: lee
Trailer: 1981 Bigfoot,1971 trailswest campster, 1975 Hunter l, homebuilt teardrop
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Our 1981 Bigfoot 17 weighs in at 2480 on a certified scale fully loaded fV6or a one week trip. We have however been going all electric so have removed gas bottles and batteries. We tow with a 2012 Toyota Rav4 with the 3.5 V6 ( 2012 was the last year you could get the Rav with a V6 ) . We needed air bags to eliminate rear end sag but otherwise tows great including trips over the Cascades and Rockies. Thus I think any of the V6 SUVs would be excellent tow vehicles. Having said that if I were starting with a clean slate I would go with a pickup, Frontier, Tacoma or either one of the GM twins. Lee
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Old 08-18-2016, 12:57 PM   #6
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the brochure...

1875 is probably the bare bones model offered at the beginning...no bathroom, shower, hot water tank etc.....as said before, the earlier models (80s) weighed a little less (than later models) even with those items

the models produced 89-04 (ish)....1500 series... weigh 2450 empty...my 97 weighs in at almost 3500 fully loaded.....the newer still 2500 series (05- ) is heavier still (completely different trailer/molds/insulation)

where, how, how fast and how big are the grades in your usual tow area will have a great deal to do with what makes a good tow vehicle for you....

if you go by tow ratings a good rule of thumb is to take 25% off the tow rating and see if that's close to your loaded trailer weight....plan on towing a lot in the mountains???....make it 40%.....

keep in mind that the question is not if the vehicle CAN tow the load....it's how long the transmission will LAST.......................YMMV
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:49 PM   #7
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Congratulations Dave. It looks like a nice rig. Ginny and I wish you well with it. Maybe we'll see you next year at TTT.

I certainly don't believe in de-rating tow vehicle ratings.

We tow with a V-6 mini van our 2600 lb Scamp 16 without any issue what so ever. The mini van, beyond towing well, provides an amazing volume for people and stuff.

Wishing you well and look forward to seeing you I the spring.

Norm and Ginny

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Old 08-18-2016, 03:20 PM   #8
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Really Norm????

I certainly don't believe in de-rating tow vehicle ratings.

you say you are towing 2600lbs...a Honda mini-van has a tow rating of 3500....that's a 25% discout.....so I'm not surprised it's working well for you...Happy motoring
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Old 08-18-2016, 05:08 PM   #9
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The manufacturer of my tow vehicle "de-rates" the towing capacity…
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There are a number of good reasons to leave a margin between the tow rating of your vehicle and the actually loaded weight of your trailer:
  1. Payload in the tow vehicle (as the chart indicates; note that tongue weight is de-rated even faster than total trailer weight as you add payload)
  2. Performance under extreme conditions (high altitude, steep grades, strong headwinds; Subaru de-rates the towing capacity of its vehicles by 50% under certain high demand conditions)
  3. Frontal area (weight alone does not tell the whole story of the demand towing places on the vehicle, and a Bigfoot has a fairly large profile)
In general, the more of these factors that come into play in your towing situation, the more margin you should leave.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
The manufacturer of my tow vehicle "de-rates" the towing capacity…
That's the equivalent of having a GCWR limit.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Carl V View Post
That's the equivalent of having a GCWR limit.
…and a GVWR and a GAWR for each axle… Judging by the tongue weight limits in the chart, I'd say it's the GAWR of the rear axle that is maxed out first.
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:43 AM   #12
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Name: Dave
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Smile THANKS

Thanks everyone for the good advice and information. I have a list of vehicles and recommendations now and my search for a new TV has been expanded considerably.
My fear was that I would be under pressure in mid October to just buy a vehicle because I would need it in November for my trip. I am now quite confident that this will not be the case.
Scouter Dave.
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:11 PM   #13
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Name: Jacqueline
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We use a 2012 Tacoma as the TV for our 91 B17. It is a 4L V6 and has a 6400lbs towing capacity. We find that it works well for the Bigfoot.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:19 PM   #14
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Trailer: Scamp 16, 1983
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Just throwing in my $.02, I traded a Toyota Highlander in on a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 ecodiesel. It's a full size half-ton truck that gets 25-29 mpg on my daily commute, and recently got 20 mpg towing my 16' scamp from central Maryland to the finger lakes region of New York, over the mountains in pa. I have over 30k miles on it now and it's just over a year old. Absolutely love it! And it's rated to tow about twice the weight of my scamp. Lots of margin! .
Doug Griggs
83 Scamp 16
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