16' trailer & Saturn Vue - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-26-2008, 01:16 AM   #1
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Hello,

My husband and I are looking at buying our first fiberglass trailer. Our tow vehicle would be a 2006 Saturn Vue V6 fwd with a class II hitch, rated for 3500 lbs.

Scamp's website says you must have a class III hitch, but Casita say's class II is okay -- and these look to be the exact same trailers.

Is it even safe to pull a trailer that large with a Saturn Vue?? Or would a 13' be a better bet??


Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:06 AM   #2
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If it's rated for 3,500 pounds, the engineers that designed the vehicle think that is what it will safely tow. Where it gets sticky is the hitch weight; some 17 trailers can be as high as 400 pounds.
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:53 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft and 1980 Trillium 5500
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Just my 2 cents worth... Dry weight on both trailers is in the 1750-2000 lb range - even fully loaded, they should fall well under the 3500lb limit. Although others may disagree, I would be concerned with the Class II hitch. I always tend to lean to the "more is better" side of things, just gives you some safety margin.

On checking the websites, Scamp says Class III - Casita indicates that Class II is doable but recommends a Class III - potentially you could have 2500-2700 lbs of trailer following you (depending on options and how you load it up) - the extra strength of the larger hitch and mountings might make a big difference in a sticky situation. A hitch upgrade might be money well spent.

My Trill 5500 technically falls in the Class II range, but he is one big puppy. After going over some rough roads (unavoidable in our neck of the woods) and watching it bounce in the rear veiw mirrors, I shudder to think how well a smaller hitch than my Class III would hold up...
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:16 PM   #4
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Name: Karalyn
Trailer: Eggless for now but looking. currently own Amerilite 21 ft
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Quote:
Hello,

My husband and I are looking at buying our first fiberglass trailer. Our tow vehicle would be a 2006 Saturn Vue V6 fwd with a class II hitch, rated for 3500 lbs.

Scamp's website says you must have a class III hitch, but Casita say's class II is okay -- and these look to be the exact same trailers.

Is it even safe to pull a trailer that large with a Saturn Vue?? Or would a 13' be a better bet??


Thanks in advance!
I passed on the vue because of not enough space and having a 16 ft camper. I would rather be safe than sorry. I did have a class 2 hitch set up and a Mercury Villager van. I now have a SUV and it is amazing how much nicer the tow is. I don't even know the trailer is behind me :-)
My advice is to go with a 13 ft camper or get a bigger TV if just thinking about what to get.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:51 PM   #5
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Hello,

My husband and I are looking at buying our first fiberglass trailer. Our tow vehicle would be a 2006 Saturn Vue V6 fwd with a class II hitch, rated for 3500 lbs.

Scamp's website says you must have a class III hitch, but Casita say's class II is okay -- and these look to be the exact same trailers.

Is it even safe to pull a trailer that large with a Saturn Vue?? Or would a 13' be a better bet??


Thanks in advance!
One suggestion is to have the trailer hitch replaced with a Class III hitch - same 3,500 lb rating as your class II but uses a 2" square receiver. It is a simple bolt in job and there are a number of internet sites that have some nice Class III hitches (DrawTite, Reese, etc) for $120 to $150. Frequently the shipping will be free! Installation is reported to be very simple - literally a bolt in job - 30 minutes to install. I just purchased a Class III for my 2008 Vue so I will know in a day or so how simple it is!

Actually you will probably be fine with the Class II but if it bugs you, just have it switched out. Don't forget you will want a brake controller and some form of sway control. Watch the hitch weight a bit - if you start pushing the Vue rating (I think the class III hitch might be better in this regard), you may want to consider a small load equalizing hitch. Best of luck and let us know what you decide to do!

Bob Groh, Kansas City,Missouri
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:20 PM   #6
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Trailer: 28' Bigfoot Silver Cloud
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One suggestion is to have the trailer hitch replaced with a Class III hitch - same 3,500 lb rating as your class II but uses a 2" square receiver. It is a simple bolt in job and there are a number of internet sites that have some nice Class III hitches (DrawTite, Reese, etc) for $120 to $150. Frequently the shipping will be free! Installation is reported to be very simple - literally a bolt in job - 30 minutes to install. I just purchased a Class III for my 2008 Vue so I will know in a day or so how simple it is!

Actually you will probably be fine with the Class II but if it bugs you, just have it switched out. Don't forget you will want a brake controller and some form of sway control. Watch the hitch weight a bit - if you start pushing the Vue rating (I think the class III hitch might be better in this regard), you may want to consider a small load equalizing hitch. Best of luck and let us know what you decide to do!

Bob Groh, Kansas City,Missouri

Just a note about the "30 minute installation." For our 2003 VW Eurovan, we purchased a DaLan Class III hitch that said "simple bolt-on installation" for this model. After about 3 hours, I finally had everything tightened up and ready to go. Not extremely difficult, but some of the nuts were very hard to reach to tighten. I had to fabricate a special tool to get the last one, since it was hidden inside a frame panel. Yes, I could touch it with my finger, but I couldn't hold it tight enough to turn with just a finger. "Simple installation" always makes me nervous!
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:10 AM   #7
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Thanks for all your great feedback everyone -- but we decided to go with the 13' Scamp. I found a 13' 2004 Scamp for sale on Craig's List in Kansas City that was in excellent condition and absolutely fell in love!!

I feel a lot better about this TV/trailer combo -- especially since we've never towed a trailer before........
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:21 PM   #8
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Just a note about the "30 minute installation." For our 2003 VW Eurovan, we purchased a DaLan Class III hitch that said "simple bolt-on installation" for this model. After about 3 hours, I finally had everything tightened up and ready to go. Not extremely difficult, but some of the nuts were very hard to reach to tighten. I had to fabricate a special tool to get the last one, since it was hidden inside a frame panel. Yes, I could touch it with my finger, but I couldn't hold it tight enough to turn with just a finger. "Simple installation" always makes me nervous!
I share your pain! Sometimes you just don't know what you are getting into. Luckily the Vue has captive nuts pre-installed inside the frame members (I actually checked to make sure!) so the installation should indeed go well. I hope that doesn't fall under the old 'famous last words' bit!

Bob Groh, Kansas City area
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:28 PM   #9
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Update on the hitch installation: Class III Curt hitch on 2008 Saturn Vue XR. Did the install today and it took my son-in-law and myself about 2 hours to complete. One hole in the hitch was just 1/8" off center. Don't know if problem was car or hitch but we zipped over to Home Depot and picked up one of those cone shaped multi-drill bits and opened the hole up the required 1/8" or so. Then we bolted her up in place. Very nice installation other than the hole problem. Hitch is well tucked up inside the rear bumper cover and looks very clean. Nice black powder coating on the hitch. Adding some pictures FYI.

Bob Groh, Kansas City, Missouri
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Hitch_CuttingHole.jpg   Hitch_HoleFinished.jpg  

Hitch_Finished.jpg  
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:00 PM   #10
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Name: Steven
Trailer: 2002 Scamp 16 ft / 2014 Ford Escape
Iowa
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I just noticed your question. Sorry I didn't see it earlier. We do tow a 16' Scamp with a Saturn Vue with the V-6 and are extremely pleased with the way it performs. It has plenty of power and handles the trailer very well. We do have a class III hitch, but had a class II on our former TV which was a Mercury Villager. It worked fine, no problems. The Vue will handle the 13' with ease. You should have no problems.
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:53 PM   #11
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Name: William
Trailer: 2011 Forest River Surveyor
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Good luck, I had a 2005 Saturn Vue and we pulled a 16' Scamp CD. The Saturn overheated too many times, Saturn said it can not pull the 3500 lbs like it said. Now we have a Chevy Trailblazer, which we have been several places last year and this year with the Scamp. The Saturn was wonderful w/o the Scamp behind it. It miss the gas mpg, but I need something that would pull, not stall!
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:53 PM   #12
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Name: Steven
Trailer: 2002 Scamp 16 ft / 2014 Ford Escape
Iowa
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Good luck, I had a 2005 Saturn Vue and we pulled a 16' Scamp CD. The Saturn overheated too many times, Saturn said it can not pull the 3500 lbs like it said. Now we have a Chevy Trailblazer, which we have been several places last year and this year with the Scamp. The Saturn was wonderful w/o the Scamp behind it. It miss the gas mpg, but I need something that would pull, not stall!
Did you have a transmission cooler? We put one on and have had no problems with overheating.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:02 AM   #13
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Trailer: 1991 Casita Spirit Deluxe
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I hope the Saturn Vue is a better tow vehicle than my 2006 Chevy Equinox(I think they are built on the same platform). I have a Class III hitch on it and I have pulled a bass boat with it, but would not even consider hitch'n up the Casita to the 'nox(use a GMC Sierra 1500 for that). The vehicle is well maintained but dropped a valve in the #5 cylinder and threw a rod(was not towing when this happened) and got me to wondering about the durability of these vehicles as tow vehicles. I now have a new engine with 100K warranty, but still wonder if the engine and front wheel drive platform can handle the long term stress of towing. Could be that the stress of pulling weight up boat ramps contributed to my misfortune, just wanted to share my experience with a similar vehicle to the Vue. Hope your Vue provides many miles of trouble free towing.
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:35 AM   #14
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Name: William
Trailer: 2011 Forest River Surveyor
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No transmission cooler on it. I asked Saturn if they would install one for me and they said that it didn't need one. There was not one available for it. I had no choice but to get a bigger TV. I do miss the Saturn, but if it wouldn't pull the Scamp, I needed something that would.
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