4 Cylinder vehicle towing, power and millage. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-18-2011, 07:48 PM   #1
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Name: carson
Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
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4 Cylinder vehicle towing, power and millage.

We're commuters and both drive 4 cylinder vehicles which is what caused me to fall in love with eggs and finally found one this last weekend in Ft Collins Co.
I'd read plenty about people using they're cars to tow these and figured that the 1000lb scamp 13 would tow home to Alpine, WY fine with my 2.7 liter 2005 Tacoma. We also planned on towing with my wife's 2008 Forester as I have read many use.
I was disappointed when I couldn't hit fifth gear in my Taco and had to go as slow as 45 up many of the long hills, making me nervous on the freeway with people whizzing by at 80! Also, my millage dropped from the usual 27 clear down to 16! A mean headwind was also a factor but I would like to know what kind of results others are getting out of they're 4 cylinder's. Is it going to be absolutely horrible with a Forrester? It never felt very heavy to pull, my truck's rated to 3000+ lbs but the wind resistance killed me at highway speeds. Really don't want to have to sell it for a pop-up, I love this thing!
Thanks for the input everybody.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:03 PM   #2
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I've got a '93 pre Taco yota with the 22re 5 speed, it pulls my 13'er pretty well but it does hurt the mileage somewhat, I didn't check but I know that I used more gas bringing the egg back from Cali than I did going to go get it. As far as not getting to fifth gear, I've not had that problem, But I do know the Wy, winds will ruin any kind of fuel mileage.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by carsonjk View Post
We're commuters and both drive 4 cylinder vehicles which is what caused me to fall in love with eggs and finally found one this last weekend in Ft Collins Co.
I'd read plenty about people using they're cars to tow these and figured that the 1000lb scamp 13 would tow home to Alpine, WY fine with my 2.7 liter 2005 Tacoma. We also planned on towing with my wife's 2008 Forester as I have read many use.
I was disappointed when I couldn't hit fifth gear in my Taco and had to go as slow as 45 up many of the long hills, making me nervous on the freeway with people whizzing by at 80! Also, my millage dropped from the usual 27 clear down to 16! A mean headwind was also a factor but I would like to know what kind of results others are getting out of they're 4 cylinder's. Is it going to be absolutely horrible with a Forrester? It never felt very heavy to pull, my truck's rated to 3000+ lbs but the wind resistance killed me at highway speeds. Really don't want to have to sell it for a pop-up, I love this thing!
Thanks for the input everybody.
Carsonjk,
I've towed with a 4 cylinder, 2.4L 2004 Honda CRV for the last four years and have looped the USA and parts of Canada. We presently tow a Scamp 16 but have also towed a Casita 16 and a Sunline 15.5.

We get 23 mpg towing and 28-30 mpg not towing. We generally stay off the Interstates because we enjoy the trip and rarely cover more than 150 miles a day. When we have to drive on the Interstates we drive at 60 and stay to the right. Since we're from the northeast people speed on truly congested roads greater than anything imaginable in WY. We simply stay to the right and let them pass.

We do have to down shift to fourth occasionally and have had a few instances where we've dropped to third, mostly in out of the way places. We spend most of our time in 5th gear.

Really towing a trailer is not much different than driving an 18 wheeler. Speedy cars deal with them as well. I will say I am way faster than the 18 wheelers up hill.

As to head winds, even in our 385 hp Motorhome our mileage drops dramatically from 7.5 mpg to 6 mpg. I'm sure it's the same with any tow vehicle. Speed and headwinds, really the same thing, kill mileage.

I assume you know that trailer tires are only rated to 65 mph so if you're being legal, you're always going to have people passing you.

Our primary reason for towing with our Honda is because like you we owned it when we decided to go from a motorhome to a trailer. We made the swap when we decided we wanted to drive the 1000 mile dirt road in Labrador. Since than we've been into little trailers.

Safe Travels,

Norm
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
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Last weekend I got 29mpg in my 03 Forester (not towing anything) driving from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, 320ish miles and including going up and over the Allegheny mountains. Rainy conditions meant speed was around 65 mph average.

On the return trip I had my 13' Burro, and got 22mph. Certainly slowed a bit up the longer climbs, but these aren't Rocky-Mountain-sized mountains. I kept it between 55 and 62 or 63 most of the time, slower depending on conditions.

Sounds like the wind really killed you. I'll be hauling the Burro out to Nevada next month via Nebraska and Wyoming so I guess I'll find out how that's going to affect my mpg.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:20 PM   #5
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I have a Toyota, too... but it's a little smaller than your Tacoma. Mine is a Scion xD. It has a 128hp 1.8 liter four. It tows my 13' Scamp pretty well. 5th gear all the time, unless I'm going up a long hill. There's a little planning involved... you need to downshift before you start losing speed. You'll learn to anticipate it.

My car averages 35 MPG... and up to 40 MPG if I baby it. EPA highway mileage is rated at 33 MPG. I get about 24 MPG towing the Scamp.

I probably wouldn't tackle the Rockies with this setup, but I have driven through the hills of western MD and PA just fine.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:48 PM   #6
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I had an 05 5 sp Tacoma and never had a problem towing a 13 Scamp at and sometimes over speed limits. You have to remember 5th gear is almost an overdrive.
I injured my left knee so now I have an 07 A/T Taco.
Last Sept., with the A/T, I took a 4000 mile trip from Cent. Ca. up through Teton and Yellowstone NP. towing my 16' SD Scamp with a bath.
The only time I ever was really slowed way down was on a 7 or 8 mile very steep climb up to Teton Pass. Some of the other long grades I did get down to 45 mph.
I averaged 22 mpg on the 4000 mile trip. Most of the trip was at a minimum of 5000' elevation so 22 mpg made me very happy.
Three years ago I took a trip through the Rockies in Colorado with my 13 footer and never had a problem. Some of the passeswere over 10,000'.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:49 AM   #7
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On average I get about 22 mpg while towing a 16' with my Outback and thats on a combo of side roads, highways and mountains. On one trip in the Cascades I hit a real serious head wind - was actually having to use the gas pedal to keep my speed on a very steep hill - the car indicated at one point that I was only getting 6 mpg! Had never seen that before and thankfully I have not hit those kinds of winds again either.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:51 AM   #8
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We drive at 80km / 50mph and head winds do have an effect
over 55mph and milage drops fast other wise pulls great
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:56 AM   #9
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Name: carson
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Is your AT a 4 cyl? I dread the day that I have to go over Teton pass as its inevitable. I will be thrilled if I can ever get that kind of millage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry J View Post
I had an 05 5 sp Tacoma and never had a problem towing a 13 Scamp at and sometimes over speed limits. You have to remember 5th gear is almost an overdrive.
I injured my left knee so now I have an 07 A/T Taco.
Last Sept., with the A/T, I took a 4000 mile trip from Cent. Ca. up through Teton and Yellowstone NP. towing my 16' SD Scamp with a bath.
The only time I ever was really slowed way down was on a 7 or 8 mile very steep climb up to Teton Pass. Some of the other long grades I did get down to 45 mph.
I averaged 22 mpg on the 4000 mile trip. Most of the trip was at a minimum of 5000' elevation so 22 mpg made me very happy.
Three years ago I took a trip through the Rockies in Colorado with my 13 footer and never had a problem. Some of the passeswere over 10,000'.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:26 AM   #10
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Thanks to everybody for the helpful responses. Sounds like I should be fine since several of you are towing 16 footers with similar vehicles. And for the Scion XB, I'd love to see that thing on the road some day, sweet combo! I will go ahead and order the tow kit for the wife's Forester. Guess we will just take'r easy and avoid freeway's, I'm happy if we can cruise at 60. Can't wait to start logging some of those 20+ mpg trips!
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:53 PM   #11
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our chrysler voyager is 4cyl and mileage suffers when towing by a few.....never tackled a mountain with it really but I can imagine it wouldn't like it alot.................now my ranchero....laughs at the camper
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carsonjk View Post
Thanks to everybody for the helpful responses. Sounds like I should be fine since several of you are towing 16 footers with similar vehicles. And for the Scion XB, I'd love to see that thing on the road some day, sweet combo! I will go ahead and order the tow kit for the wife's Forester. Guess we will just take'r easy and avoid freeway's, I'm happy if we can cruise at 60. Can't wait to start logging some of those 20+ mpg trips!
There are some states you cannot cruise at 60!

Ford Agrees to Expand F-150 Recall by 1 Million Vehicles

(see post #12)

We usually go the posted truck speed. Someone has to, the trucks sure don't!!
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:57 PM   #13
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I could go way off topic here but I won't, stop picking on the big trucks, you like to eat don't you? " load em like boxcars, drive em like airplanes".
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:15 PM   #14
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I could go way off topic here but I won't, stop picking on the big trucks, you like to eat don't you? " load em like boxcars, drive em like airplanes".
RVing has made me more respectful of semi drivers, recognizing that they are some times driving in the midst of a 'swarm of bees'. Vehicles darting in front of them without consideration for the difficulty of controling those trucks.

Since we've started RVing we are extra responsive to their needs, flashing our lights to signal them, pulling over on two lane roads to let them pass, making room to let them in line. After driving a Motorhome I recognize some of their issues and try to support their jobs, afterall I'm retired and they are working.

Norm
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