Back to the towing drawing board - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-07-2019, 06:28 AM   #1
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Name: Cyndi
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Back to the towing drawing board

Hi. So my tow vehicle has died and I'm not optimistic regarding it's future. So I'm starting to look at new potential vehicles. New to me anyway. I haven't used the Boler in years but part of me still wants to maintain the ability to tow. I saw a pic of someone on here towing with a Toyota Matrix which is one of my desired vehicle options. Is it crazy to go with a matrix? I'm thinking of a Toyota Matrix, Sienna, or a Mazda 5. Realistically I may never tow the bowler again but I don't want to let it go because I put so much work into it and it's so damn cute. Also part of me thinks well maybe I'll use it again. Also, is it worth saving the tow package off my vehicle if it has to go to the scrap yard? It's been on there for 12 years. Thanks
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:37 AM   #2
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Back to the towing drawing board

Budget? Number of people (esp. when towing)?

Iíd recommend a vehicle with a minimum 2000# tow rating for pulling a 13í molded trailer. I think that rules out the Matrix at 1500#, though yes, Iím aware some do it anyway. The Mazda 5 at 2000# makes the cut. The Sienna is rated 2000# without tow package and 3500# with (depends on year). Ford Transit Connect is another good small minivan choice, rated 2000#. Mazda CX-5 (2000# with the larger 2.5L engine) is another possibility.

Tough choice, since you have a lot more inexpensive, economical vehicle choices if you let go of the towing requirement.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:15 AM   #3
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Name: Cyndi
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Thanks. yespecially tough decision. Budget is on the lower end bc I don't finance. I guess I will focus on Mazda 5 although I didn't think of transit connect. I like those and have already thought about camperizing one. funny that's my requirement in a vehicle : that I can sleep/camp in it. I really don't use the bolero anymore bc by myself I want to be locked in a unit that's self contained for safety. maybe time to sell it
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:28 AM   #4
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We tow our boler with a 2004 Sienna. Last trip towing was in May out to the Island.
it has almost 400,000K on it and still performs flawlessly.
Great mileage, tons a room, will be looking for another one after this one.
Fred
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by cyndi H View Post
Thanks. yespecially tough decision. Budget is on the lower end bc I don't finance. I guess I will focus on Mazda 5 although I didn't think of transit connect. I like those and have already thought about camperizing one. funny that's my requirement in a vehicle : that I can sleep/camp in it. I really don't use the bolero anymore bc by myself I want to be locked in a unit that's self contained for safety. maybe time to sell it
If you haven't towed it in years then it probably needs a lot of work such as new tires, axle maybe, etc. If you haven't used it in years it is likely you will never use it again for the reasons you stated that you don't use it. I'd sell it and get a self contained unit of some kind. The more your trailer sits the less it is worth since it is getting older and deteriorating. We have a Casita and a motorhome. I like the motorhome for the safety also. We use the trailer mainly for going fishing and staying in campgrounds.
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:13 PM   #6
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it's still maintained while sitting although I did take the battery out. It's under cover as well although it definitely needs a good wax and polish. It's always tended to get chalky though.
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:30 PM   #7
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Thanks. yespecially tough decision. Budget is on the lower end bc I don't finance.
I don't finance either. One way around it is to get used, and with Toyotas and Hondas, a good one with high mileage CAN be a bargain. These cars can last several hundreds of thousands of miles.

Another possibility is a Subaru Outback. I have a friend that bought one with 325,000 miles on it. Obviously, it was priced super cheap. I think he paid $750 or less for it. He now has 362,000 miles on it. Do I recommend buying a car with 325,000 miles on it? No. But a really reliable car that has been well maintained, 150,000 miles is nothing (and the price is so much lower).

My rule of thumb is if I can get 75% of the useful life out of a car for 25% of its original price, its a deal. My last purchase, I got my truck with 95% of its useful life left, at 45% of its original price (truck only had 12,000 miles on it, I have since put another 120,000 miles on it). Deal!

People avoid high mileage cars, finding a good one is key, But you can save a ton of money that way.

Personally, if the Boler has been sitting for several years without use, I would sell it.
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:41 PM   #8
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Based on what youíve said, turning a used Transit Connect cargo van into a small camper seems like a winner. Clean up the Boler, sell it, and you have $7-10KCAD for the conversion.
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Budget? Number of people (esp. when towing)?

Iíd recommend a vehicle with a minimum 2000# tow rating for pulling a 13í molded trailer. I think that rules out the Matrix at 1500#, though yes, Iím aware some do it anyway. The Mazda 5 at 2000# makes the cut. The Sienna is rated 2000# without tow package and 3500# with (depends on year). Ford Transit Connect is another good small minivan choice, rated 2000#. Mazda CX-5 (2000# with the larger 2.5L engine) is another possibility.

Tough choice, since you have a lot more inexpensive, economical vehicle choices if you let go of the towing requirement.
Yes. I would like to keep the option of towing though b/c I may take the Boler out again. I enjoy rallys. Other than that I cant be bothered
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:03 PM   #10
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Yes. I do love the Boler though and I've put SO much work into it. The only thing it really needs now is the scamp door window trim. I didn't buy it b/c it only came in a 35ft roll and I only need a foot. I like the look of the transit connects although i didnt see a tow capacity for them. Funny, there's one here already camperized . . . But every time I go in my Boler I look at it and am smitten. It would feel like giving away my dog to me. But youre right i dont use it that often.
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:08 PM   #11
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Hi Cyndi,

Have you checked out. . .

https://girlcamper.com/

Wish you the best with your decision.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:17 PM   #12
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Since you have not used the Boler in years (your words) SELL IT!!!

To worry about a new to you purchased vehicle being able to tow a trailer you have not used in years might be viewed by others as foolish yet make perfect "Cents" to you!

Use the trailer money you receive from the SALE of your Boler trailer to buy yourself a much nicer car that you will USE & ENJOY EVERYDAY!
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:30 PM   #13
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Name: Denise
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Feel your pain!

Cyndi, I feel your pain! Iím trying to bring myself to put my 1974 Trillium (my Escape Pod) up for sale, but after 11 years of so many great camping trips, and putting so much time, $ and elbow grease into getting it just the way I want it, itís heartbreaking to part with it! But a growing family (3 dogs, LOL!), and retirement (planning to do longer trips) means I just need a little more room, floor space in particular. The Escape Pod is such an old friend... even though selling it will go a long way towards offsetting the cost of the newer unit, Iím torn

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Old 09-08-2019, 06:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by cyndi H View Post
I like the look of the transit connects although i didnt see a tow capacity for them. Funny, there's one here already camperized . . . But every time I go in my Boler I look at it and am smitten. It would feel like giving away my dog to me. But youre right i dont use it that often.
You have to be careful with the Transit Connects. The first generation (2009-2012) has a smaller engine and no tow rating as far as I can tell. The second generation (2013-current) with the 2.5L engine is the one you want for towing the Boler. If you let go of the trailer, obviously that doesnít matter.

Conventional minivans like the Sienna can also be converted for camping. Check to see if seats can be easily removed or folded into the floor. For me stand-up headroom is important. Some minivans can be modified with a pop-up VW Westfalia-style top. Not cheap, but youíd have some money from the trailer if you go that way.

As to the trailer, I canít help you with that decision. Letting go is hard. Definitely if itís been 5 years or more, itís time to acknowledge that a season of life has passed. If it's been 3-5 years, maybe.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:51 AM   #15
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I remember Norm raving about the roominess and fuel economy of his Honda Odyssey minivan, and saying it was big enough that he and Ginny could sleep in it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:59 PM   #16
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When it comes to selecting a tug I take the dry weight of my trailer as well as the tongue weight and double them to determine the necessary capacity of my tug. This usually gives me sufficient capacity but not a lot extra. Most people don't realize how much weight they are actually carrying/towing.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:48 AM   #17
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MPG

MPG - When thinking about a newer tow vehicle I keep thinking about MPG. My personal preference is getting another midsize truck with extra cab. With any vehicle 4x4 is important to me because I do go down the roads less traveled or I don't allow weather to stop be from going somewhere. I am considering a full-sized tuck with a smaller engine. A 1/2ton or 3/4ton is way bigger than I would want. Bottom line is there a tow vehicle that can get 20MPG+ or am I wishing upon a star?
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:56 AM   #18
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Over the last 2 1/2 years I've lost both of my nonagenarian parents (I was their primary care giver) and had complete knee replacement surgery on my right knee. Through it all, my 1982 Burro (13') has set quietly in the driveway, having been on a total of less than 10 weekend trips. About the time all of this began I replaced my trusty but very tired 1993 4WD Blazer S with V-6 with a 2005 Honda CRV (4 cyl, AWD, AT.) Bad decision! Each time I hook up for even a short trip (4 hours or less) I hold my breath and cross my fingers. I won't go into all of my mechanical misadventures but let me say that too little power and weight is too little power and weight! I know others will tell me about their great results with their Hondas and bless their hearts... MY Honda isn't up to the task! Prior to the Honda, my Burro had cooperatively followed along behind the Blazer and a 2000 Chevy Astro (Also V-6 AWD) and other than reduced fuel consumption, I hardly knew it was there.

Now that some health and stability is coming back to my life I am on the hunt for another T/V, and it will have have a V-6, full, rail-type frame, and factory tow package or I'll probably keep looking. I'm not in any hurry this time to resume my trailering adventures, so I will shop carefully and get what I really need for "the long haul." JMHO based on my personal experience, and of course YMMV.

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Old 09-14-2019, 11:07 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by stevebell View Post
MPG - When thinking about a newer tow vehicle I keep thinking about MPG. My personal preference is getting another midsize truck with extra cab. With any vehicle 4x4 is important to me because I do go down the roads less traveled or I don't allow weather to stop be from going somewhere. I am considering a full-sized tuck with a smaller engine. A 1/2ton or 3/4ton is way bigger than I would want. Bottom line is there a tow vehicle that can get 20MPG+ or am I wishing upon a star?
While towing? Yes you are wishing. The smaller stuff tends to get slammed MPG wise when towing. When not towing, sure. The Ford eco-boost line tends to get great mileage for a truck. And there are diesel options out there too.

How many miles a year do you drive? Say it’s 10,000 miles a year. The difference between 15mpg and 20mpg is less than $400 in gas per year, or about $1/day.

If you go diesel, depending where you live it can be 75 cents more per gallon.

Once you hook up to a trailer, my full sized F-150 with a 5.4L V8 does as well as my friends ecoboost. And when towing my little Trillium mileage is higher than when I am not towing (I tend to slow down some).

Toyota’s are great but the Tacoma and Tundra both get mediocre mileage. Ford has bet the entire company on trucks and SUVs.

And FWIW, the small trucks have gotten so big you don’t save much size wise. Perhaps the Frontier is a little smaller.

If you want to camp AND get great mileage, then a Prius with a tent can’t be beat!
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Old 09-14-2019, 01:54 PM   #20
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Hi. So my tow vehicle has died and I'm not optimistic regarding it's future. So I'm starting to look at new potential vehicles. New to me anyway. I haven't used the Boler in years but part of me still wants to maintain the ability to tow. I saw a pic of someone on here towing with a Toyota Matrix which is one of my desired vehicle options. Is it crazy to go with a matrix? I'm thinking of a Toyota Matrix, Sienna, or a Mazda 5. Realistically I may never tow the bowler again but I don't want to let it go because I put so much work into it and it's so damn cute. Also part of me thinks well maybe I'll use it again. Also, is it worth saving the tow package off my vehicle if it has to go to the scrap yard? It's been on there for 12 years. Thanks
An article in the recent Trailer Life Magazine said to buy a tv that will tow the trailer fully loaded, the tv fully loaded with gear and passengers and anything else it will be carry like bikes etc. Weigh it all and add 20% for safe measures. Make sure the vehicle axles, transmission, rear end, etc will handle it all. Then when hooking up to it make sure the rear end does not sag. The trailer should be totally level when towing. If the rear end sags you have an unsafe condition. If the trailer is high in front it is also an unsafe condition. Just because you can hook up to a tv and it will pull it with the engine doesn't make it safe.
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