Towing vehicle - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-03-2007, 10:17 PM   #1
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We have been looking at Casitas and Scamps, but are concerned that we will also have to buy a vehicle to tow it. We would be interested in a SUV, but not a truck. What advice is there out there? We like the Honda CRV, but have been told it will not do the job. Or a Toyota Highlander??

Any advice would be appreciated. We like the the 17' Casita or the 16'.

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Old 04-03-2007, 11:06 PM   #2
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 ft
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My 17 Casita weighs just under 3500 pounds loaded, ready to go camping. Your Toyota Sienna is rated for 3500 lbs max.

The general thinking is you should have about 15% margin, so your Toyota Sienna is probably NOT heavy duty enough.

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Old 04-04-2007, 05:17 AM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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Welcome to FiberglassRV Ann

I don't own a Casita NOR a Sienna, but click on this topic, it speaks to the trailers folks are towing with a Sienna:
Negotiating the price on our new Toyota Sienna.

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:39 AM   #4
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Trailer: 2001 Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette
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We have been looking at Casitas and Scamps, but are concerned that we will also have to buy a vehicle to tow it. We would be interested in a SUV, but not a truck. What advice is there out there? We like the Honda CRV, but have been told it will not do the job. Or a Toyota Highlander??

Any advice would be appreciated. We like the the 17' Casita or the 16'.
I have a Astro van and used to pull a 2000 lb pop up and it pulled it just fine even at 70 mph, never a problem. I later got a toyota Sienna and tried pulling the same trailer. It pulled it just fine but there was alot of sway in the trailer (constant tail wagging) starting at 55 mph that got worse at higher speeds. I stopped pulling it as it did not feel safe with the Sienna. At the time I thought it was because the Sienna was front weel drive and the Astro was rear weel drive. I have since found out that you can put a weight distribution hitch and or a sway control device on the hitch, and I belive that would have taken care of the problem. Also I have found that a 16 scamp SD fully loaded (without the delux wood interior) weighs about 2000 lbs. with a hitch tounge weight of about 230 lbs. And a Casita 17 SD fully loaded is way over 3000 lbs and a tounge of 400lbs +. Also the Scamp 16 SD is only 3" less on the inside lenght then the Casita 17 SD. Much of the weight info here was gathered from this site,Scamp salesman, and a Casita 17 friend owner. Hope this helps. I also have a 2003 CRV, a 2007 Rav 4 and a suzuki XL7. For info on those cars email me direct. Chuck
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Old 04-04-2007, 07:01 AM   #5
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Name: William
Trailer: 1999 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe ('Inn EggsIsle')
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We have an older (than us) couple we camp with that tow a 16' Casita LD with a Highlander and they love it. I've driven it and its a great combo. You mention the Honda CRV, which to my mind would be a tow for a 13'er only same with the RAV4. The marginal (?) tow vehicles that I would be interested in would be the Sienna or the Odyssey and when I see folks towing with them I make an effort to talk with them and ask them how its working out. Basically its the same answer, they are very satisfied except you can't push it in the mountains and they accept that. I am a Toyota freak because of their dependability but like the looks of the Odyessy which after researching has had some Tranny problems according to the ody site and Edmonds,BUT, I've never run into anyone that owns an Ody thats had problems, sooo.
We tow with a Tundra and the gas mileage is terrible while not towing let alone with the trailer on back and I'm thinking of going to something smaller. We tow about 20- 25% of the time but then again you can buy a lot of gas for the difference in what my truck is worth and what I'd pay for a new vehicle

I've seen a couple of times on these site about younger folks w/kids asking if their minivans will tow a 17'er and I think at that point its a whole different ball game. I would think that it would be toooo easy to overload it with a whole family going, more people, extra clothes, toys, food etc) adds a lot of weight. Us retired folk don't need all the stuff (at least most of us)
Love being Inneggsile
heading sloowly up the eastcoast to our next 2 month (Aug and Sept) camp hosting gig at Camden Hills State Park in Maine
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:48 AM   #6
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Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
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I have a Jeep Liberty. It has a rating of 5k lbs when equipped correctly.

I chose it for the same reasons you wanted a CRV. It is a small SUV that drives mostly like a car for daily use.

The above and beyond is the power. Being a lifetime Honda owner, this is a departure for me, and I need to get over the stigma, but, as others have mentioned, if you want to tow bigger, you have to make some compromises.

I would have gone straight for a Ridgeline as a preference, but they were out of my comfort zone for pricing.

The Jeep milage.. er, I hope you don't have a long commute. I average, without towing 19-22 and 16 or less with the 17 footer in tow.

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Old 04-04-2007, 12:41 PM   #7
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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The basic trailer weight rating of the Toyota Sienna (any vintage) is 3500 lb, which is enough for just about anything other than Bigfoot models over 18'. Many owners (including myself) of current-generation Siennas (2004 and newer) report satisfaction towing trailers up to (and sometimes over) 3000 lb, in combination with significant passenger and cargo loads.

The 3500 lb limit requires a "towing package" (basically just an enlarged transmission oil cooler in most years), but that is included as standard in all Canadian Siennas and almost all US units.

As with any other vehicle, that basic rating by itself is not enough. Every vehicle has a limit of the total of the tow vehicle, trailer, and all cargo, called the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). In the current Sienna, this is about 8700 lb, and allows the combination of a trailer with a loaded weight of 3000 lb plus the entire regular payload (over 1000 pounds) of passengers and cargo, if distributed properly between front and rear van axles. We have towed our Boler with the rig very close to this limit, in the Rocky Mountains, with no concerns for performance.

The most limiting aspects of this vehicle will be tongue weight capacity and traction. The tongue weight limit is 350 lb if not using a weight-distributing hitch; and over 500 lb with the WD system. I do not use a WD system, and have a loaded tongue weight around 300 lb. The Casita 17' has an unusually front-heavy configuration, and is thus not a great match for the Sienna, but it has been done.

The reason for the traction limitation is that with any front-drive vehicle when a lot of load is added to the back, the load on the front wheels to provide drive traction decreases. I don't think this is much of a concern, as I have just as much load on my front wheels as a typical rear-drive minivan (the classic Chev Astro, for instance) would have on its rears with the same trailer... but an AWD Sienna is available if you really want it, and a WD system alleviates this effect.

I find that the Sienna's rear suspension is more suited to trailer and heavy cargo loads with air bags added inside the rear coil springs. This is an easy and common addition.

The current Highlander has the same drivetrain as a 2004-2006 Sienna, and the same basic trailer weight rating. This vehicle has a shorter wheelbase (less desirable for towing) and a completely different rear suspension; I do not know its hitch weight limits, but some of our Sienna experience would be applicable to it.

The Honda Pilot is very similar in size and configuration to the Highlander, and might be a reasonable option.
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:53 PM   #8
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Name: Anne
Trailer: Escape 17 ft 2006 / 2005 Honda Pilot
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Another option for trailer might be the Escape (of course, I'm biased) - dry weight on mine is 1900 pounds - fully loaded with water, fuel and gear is probably still less than 2500. Less weight may give you more options for the tow vehicle.

I tow my Escape with a Honda Pilot and it does really well - I think it's rated for 3500 pounds (the sales folks say 4500 but I think you really have to get it beefed-up for that - more than just the normal tow package).
Anne H and Fay Wray, the cat | Portland, OR
en Plein Air (2016 19' Escape; 2016 Honda Pilot )
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:15 PM   #9
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While I am looking at upgrading from a Scamp 13 to a Scamp 16 or Casita 17. I was hauling my Scamp with a Ford Ranger. I was not comfortable towing long distances > 100 miles with the Ranger. Just not enough power in the 3L v6 with only 146 HP. Went and did some research and ended up with a GMC Envoy (or Chevy Trailblazer.) The GMC has a standard 7-pin round trailer hookup, trailer hitch 2 inch tubing built in. The 265 HP inline 6 is plenty of towing capacity up to 5000lbs. I love to drive it and it is comfortable.
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Old 04-05-2007, 07:51 AM   #10
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: 2007 Casita Liberty (Sold 2011)/ Honda Odyssey
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I have a Jeep Liberty. Being a lifetime Honda owner, this is a departure for me, and I need to get over the stigma,
Good luck with that! We all have these life-challenges to deal with from time to time!
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Old 04-07-2007, 09:33 PM   #11
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Trailer: 1978 Boler 17 ft
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We just returned from a 3000 km with a 1998 Sienna towing a 1978 Boler weighing about 2700 lbs., plus assorted necessities and toys. We had no problem pulling through the Smokey Mountains of the Virginias. Now, that's a test!
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:00 PM   #12
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We have been looking at Casitas and Scamps, but are concerned that we will also have to buy a vehicle to tow it. We would be interested in a SUV, but not a truck. What advice is there out there? We like the Honda CRV, but have been told it will not do the job. Or a Toyota Highlander??

Any advice would be appreciated. We like the the 17' Casita or the 16'.

Have a look at the vehicles towing acpacity. The CRV only has a 1500lb towing capacity whereas the Toyota Rav 4, the Mitsubishi Outlander ect have a 3500 lb towing capacity. Basically, a v6 will pull more than a 4 cylinder... from my experience the 4 cylinders usually have a capacity of 1500 lbs.

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