Crazy? Tow with Saturns? (Not VUE) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-04-2009, 07:49 PM   #1
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Hello,

My two Saturns are rated to tow 1000 lbs. One has a manual transmission and the other is an automatic. (SL1 is the manual and L300 is Automatic)

I was thinking of buying a 13 foot Burro.

A friend of mine thought if the Burro has good brakes it would work Ok on the manual transmission SL1.

Has anyone towed a 13 foot behind a vehicle rated for 1000 Lbs?

Can anyone tell me if I'm crazy to try this?

Thanks,
--Jeff
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:03 PM   #2
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There are a number of reasons why the manf set a tow capacity on their products. It might be the engine, it might be the transmission, it might be the wheelbase, it might be cooling, it might be suspension, in the case of Saturn it might be the body's capability to handle a hitch on the sheet metal body, it might be the transaxle's gear ratio, etc.

You'd be towing close to double the rating and that's NOT a good thing.

I towed a Coleman Colorado pop-up, 575 dry pounds, about 8,000 miles with an SL1 rated for 1,000 lbs in the middle '90s and had to keep it out of OD, plus push the Power button, most of the time except downhill. Mileage dropped from highway of low 40s to 28 mpg end to end on the three month trip, so from both paper and experience perspectives, I would recommend against it.
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:05 PM   #3
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I think that would be unadvisable.

The reason is, even though some of the trailers were supposed to weigh "995 pounds" from the factory, I'm not sure that was ever true. And even if it was, that was without such "extras" as propane tanks, spare tires, dishes, clothing, refrigerators, water, etc.

I think that even packing light and watching your weight, you'd be up close to 1200# minimum. And percentage-wise, even 1100# would be 10% over your tow rating.

Also, there is a chance that your car's rating expects you to subtract for passengers or cargo in the car itself --- that's not always the case, but bears checking.

The lightest egg I can think of would be a Compact Jr. type, but even there I think you'd be hard-pressed to stay under 1000#, all up.

I can specifically remember one of our members, Gina D., talking about towing a Burro with her Element, rated for 1500#. With trailer brakes she felt it was fine, but... just. I doubt she would have wanted a vehicle with 33% lower tow rating (not to speak for her, but she did have a Burro - she did pack things along that one might leave at home to save weight, but then her Burro also had an unusual aluminum frame, so that was lighter).

I don't mean to rain on your parade, but 1000# seems like it would direct you to a teardrop (the ones that have a bed inside and then a kitchen out back). I don't know their weight, but probably closer to 600# or so?

A teardrop would also have less wind resistance. That would be another factor when towing a "high" egg behind a small car.

Or.... another tow vehicle and an egg
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:24 PM   #4
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Disappointed; yes. But I'm not surprised.

I'll be likely getting rid of the L300 in the next year or so.

Next time I'll buy a car with better towing capacity. When I bought these the idea of a trailer had not even occurred to me.

At least 1500-2000 lbs capacity is better?

Thanks for the replies! I sure appreciate it!

--Jeff
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:55 PM   #5
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I would say 1500# is a realistic minimum, but even there you are going to have to really watch things. 2000# gives you a nice cushion for a 13' egg.

Don't be a stranger here, if you would like to stick around (NOT a wave goodbye)

Raya
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:16 PM   #6
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For the record, my Scamp 13', relatively option-less in terms of appliances and wet tanks, but does have a spare tire on wheel, has the fictional 950 lb dry weight, but actually loaded for the road is more like 1,750 lbs.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:08 AM   #7
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Question

Quote:
Has anyone towed a 13 foot behind a vehicle rated for 1000 Lbs?

Can anyone tell me if I'm crazy to try this?
Ummm... and...


Click image for larger version

Name:	trailer05.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	77.3 KB
ID:	19046

I towed my 1971 Compact Jr. with my 1991 Toyota Camry SE-V6 wagon. [b]Ignorance was bliss.
Oh, at first, all was well, or so I thought. Took a trip from San Diego, CA to Grand Rapids, MI and back... I was lulled by the claims of the Trailer only weighing 900# on paper. To make a long story short, after about a year and a half of doing this, I was returning from a trip with the rig on a Sunday afternoon, and the car's crankshaft bearing seized up on I-405 south near Long Beach.

Wound up donating the car to charity for the tax write-off. Had to go without a car for 6 months. Found out later when I actually put the trailer on a scale that the true weight was over 1400#
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:22 PM   #8
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OK....this is an interesting forum discussion about weight limits for my Nissan X-Trail. They are different from country to country.

http://www.nissanforums.com/x-trail/120827...ing-xtrail.html
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
Ummm... and...


Attachment 19046

I towed my 1971 Compact Jr. with my 1991 Toyota Camry SE-V6 wagon. [b]Ignorance was bliss.
Oh, at first, all was well, or so I thought. Took a trip from San Diego, CA to Grand Rapids, MI and back... I was lulled by the claims of the Trailer only weighing 900# on paper. To make a long story short, after about a year and a half of doing this, I was returning from a trip with the rig on a Sunday afternoon, and the car's crankshaft bearing seized up on I-405 south near Long Beach.

Wound up donating the car to charity for the tax write-off. Had to go without a car for 6 months. Found out later when I actually put the trailer on a scale that the true weight was over 1400#
Your tie was also too short.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by brslk View Post
Your tie was also too short.
The rest of his tie got ripped off by the crankshaft.

Seriously, though... teh extra 500 pounds was probably not responsible for the crankshaft bearing going out. Toyota V6 engines are generally pretty decent, and they use smaller engines in trucks (especially in other parts of the world). I am towing my Scamp with a Toyota 1.8 liter 4-banger. It is rated to tow approx. 1,600 pounds, and I am about 300 pounds below that, loaded.

I suspect either an unrelated issue (just a bad bearing) or something else was going on -- poor oil quality, driving style, etc. Going a few hundred pounds over may stress the hitch and the mounting points, but should not result in engine failure. If the car had never towed a trailer, it would have been chalked up to bad luck... but since a trailer was involved, it gets the blame.

Early FGRVs were designed to be towed by air-cooled VWs and the like. A V6 Camry is kind of overkill in my opinion.
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