Deciding on new trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-08-2015, 10:26 PM   #1
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Name: Carolyn
Trailer: Scamp 13
Washington
Posts: 71
Deciding on new trailer

Hello... new member, still working on purchasing an RV. I bought a Forester, then realized I want an RV.... found out weight limit is only 1500 lbs. My dealer has offered to trade the car back with minimal penalty for an Outback instead... have to decide in the next couple days.
Meanwhile the guy at Scamp assures me I can use the Scamp 13 ft. with needed options (what I need) and can stay within the weight limit. I have asked for advice on the Scamp FB page and seems like people are suggesting I should go for the Outback.
Any input? I have found the Scamp group fabulous for help and I can tell this group is too.
Any other suggestions for me besides Scamp? I don't want teardrop.... want to be able to stand up... would be claustrophobic!
Thanks for all those with experience.... also..
Would love to hear if some ladies travel on their own and manage to pull trailers, set up, back up, etc.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:48 PM   #2
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carolyn, many ladies travel on their own and manage to "pull trailers, set up, and back up,etc.". Check out rvsueandcrew.net She lives full time in her Casita with her two dogs. 13' Scamp could be pulled by your current vehicle, but I would rather make it easier on you & your tow vehicle by up grading, if I were in your shoes.
Dave & Paula
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:54 PM   #3
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Thanks! I will check that person you mentioned!
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:04 AM   #4
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Carolyn, personally I would go for the TV with a higher tow rating. Towing really close to or at your tow limit can be done, but having an extra margin of capability is really nice and will make your towing experience much more pleasant.
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:32 AM   #5
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Agree. Definitely the Outback, and especially since the dealer is willing to work with you. Many Scamps weigh over 1500 pounds once you load them up. I believe the Outback is limited to 200 pounds tongue weight, so even then you can't go crazy adding stuff.

As to traveling alone, my mother is 89 and has RVed alone since my father passed away 30 years ago. The hardest part will be hitching up without a spotter. Mom opted for a small motorhome to avoid that, but I have hitched up our Scamp many times without help, so it's a minor issue you can learn to deal with. There are products to help, but I've never felt a need to buy any of them.

There's a learning curve to backing up a trailer. It's best to practice in an empty parking lot in broad daylight before you attempt backing into an unfamiliar campsite on a rainy night when you're tired and hungry . Practice backing straight first, then into a parking space on both the left and the right (left is easier, and I always try to do it from that side at campgrounds when I can). With a trailer, learn to look up (tree branches) as well as around.
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:09 PM   #6
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Name: Ruth
Trailer: 2008 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe/'78 Trillium 1300
Arkansas
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We pulled our 17' Casita, under the weight limit of our Toyota 4Runner, just fine until we crept down a hill in the rain one day. The trailer pushed the car right through a red light at the bottom and onto a busy intersection. We had done everything right with trailer and tongue weight, load, speed, ... I think we pulled over and sat in shock for a good 5 mins. Needless to say, that was the end of the 4Runner as our TV. On top of that, when we changed the transmission fluid, it had a slight burned smell and was brown, even with the extra trans. cooler put on.
Thankfully the horn worked like a charm.��
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:20 PM   #7
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Name: Darnelle
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
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I setup, backup, tow, maintain, mod on my own. No big deal. If you think you can or can't, you're right!
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Old 10-10-2015, 01:09 AM   #8
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Name: Fallon
Trailer: Shopping
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1,500lbs will be at the limit for towing most anything at best. I dont like pushing the limits, things wear out or break faster. Having extra margin is a very good thing. My Tacoma will stop our 17' Casita just fine if the trailer brakes fail (or were toast when we bought it as the case may be).

It just takes a bit of practice to wrangle a trailer. Find a good teacher if you can. There are also operation & maintnance considerations, but again, easily handled by somebody willing to research how to do it.

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Old 10-10-2015, 04:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth C. View Post
We pulled our 17' Casita, under the weight limit of our Toyota 4Runner, just fine until we crept down a hill in the rain one day. The trailer pushed the car right through a red light at the bottom and onto a busy intersection. We had done everything right with trailer and tongue weight, load, speed, ... I think we pulled over and sat in shock for a good 5 mins. Needless to say, that was the end of the 4Runner as our TV. On top of that, when we changed the transmission fluid, it had a slight burned smell and was brown, even with the extra trans. cooler put on.
Thankfully the horn worked like a charm.��
Ruth, thnxs for sharing your 4 Runner experience.
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:30 AM   #10
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Wow. I thought the 4rummer and the Tacoma were the same chassis? Tacomas and Casitas are very common.

To address Carolyns question, I towed my 13' briefly with a Forester and while it handled it, I didn't care for it. I went back to a pickup. Also salesmen, will say anything to make a sale leaving you to discover reality after they have your money. Be careful there. Raz
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Old 10-10-2015, 05:54 AM   #11
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I have been towing a 13' scamp with a 2010 Forester for the last 5 years. We do not load up the trailer with much stuff; it has a higher tow rating than the newer foresters. With that being said, it tows fine for short trips but I am tired by the end of long days on the road. I strongly suggest you move up to the Outback (or higher!) to reduce driving stress.
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:09 AM   #12
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Trailer: Escape 17B Sold 5/2016
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth C. View Post
We pulled our 17' Casita, under the weight limit of our Toyota 4Runner, just fine until we crept down a hill in the rain one day. The trailer pushed the car right through a red light at the bottom and onto a busy intersection. We had done everything right with trailer and tongue weight, load, speed, ... I think we pulled over and sat in shock for a good 5 mins. Needless to say, that was the end of the 4Runner as our TV. On top of that, when we changed the transmission fluid, it had a slight burned smell and was brown, even with the extra trans. cooler put on.
Thankfully the horn worked like a charm.��
I could be wrong but to me it sounds as though you had 2 problems: Did your Casita have brakes? If so, and set up properly, I don't see it pushing your 4Runner anywhere. Even with an auxiliary tranny cooler pulling steep grades will cause the tranny temperature to go very high if you don't downshift and back off on the accelerator. I feel every TV should have a good tranny temperature gauge, not just an idiot light.
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:57 AM   #13
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth C. View Post
We pulled our 17' Casita, under the weight limit of our Toyota 4Runner, just fine until we crept down a hill in the rain one day. The trailer pushed the car right through a red light at the bottom and onto a busy intersection. We had done everything right with trailer and tongue weight, load, speed, ... I think we pulled over and sat in shock for a good 5 mins. Needless to say, that was the end of the 4Runner as our TV. On top of that, when we changed the transmission fluid, it had a slight burned smell and was brown, even with the extra trans. cooler put on.
Thankfully the horn worked like a charm.��
Hmmmm....
What year was your 4Runner and how was this situation attributed to the TV? Seems like if you have 6 tires on the ground, and brakes that work, it's kinda the same on all TV's.

4Runner fans and owners are wanting to know.....



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Old 10-10-2015, 11:38 AM   #14
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Could water in the drums be a factor? Seems like it could cause the trailer brakes to slip a little and make it feel like the trailer was pushing the truck.

I had rear drums on a minivan I owned, and I used to ride the brakes lightly for a few seconds at a time when descending a grade in wet conditions to keep the surfaces dry. If I didn't, firm application of the brake would produce a second or two where it felt like nothing was happening. Don't know if that's the way it's supposed to work or not. Just my experience.

I do agree that properly adjusted and functioning trailer brakes should stop the trailer without placing any additional demand on the tow vehicle's brakes.
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:53 PM   #15
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Trailer: Scamp 16
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We towed a Casita for a year and never had a braking situation even though we were towing with a 4 cylinder Honda CRV, Generally if I expect to slow down I begin the process well in advance.

Also, as a reminder, when I start up every morning I momentarily activate just the trailer brakes looking to feel a tug on the tow vehicle to test yhe trailer brakes function.
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:38 PM   #16
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Name: Fallon
Trailer: Shopping
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The 4runner use to be based on the Toyota mini-truck platform. Not anymore though, so don't know how close it is to a Tacoma.

My 2009 Tacoma is rated to pull 6,500lbs. I've pulled close to or over that. Brakes, suspension & power were all tapped out. I got a beater F250 for hauling my tractor after that. The Taco pulls a 3,500lbs 17' Casita like a champ without even needing a WDH or sway control (even fine when the Casita brakes were shot). Its definitely a lot safer & easier towing something way under the limit than pushing the limit.

What is the tow ratings of the current 4runners?

I adjust my brake controllers to brake the trailer a little heavy. It will help in panic sway situations a hair & its cheaper & easier to replace trailer brakes than tug brakes.

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Old 10-10-2015, 08:25 PM   #17
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Trailer: 2014 Casita SD 17FT
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I tow my 17ft casita with my 2000 4runner 3.4L v6/auto trans. or with my 2004 tacoma 3.4L v6/manual trans. with no issues. I upgraded both trucks with the larger front toyota tundra brakes (HUGE improvement over stock) and i keep the rear drum brakes properly adjusted and of course i have electric brakes on the casita. Even in the mountains never a braking issue. My toyota trucks is the reason i bought a casita, didn't want to upgrade to a full size v8 truck.
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Old 10-10-2015, 08:38 PM   #18
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Trailer: 2001 13 ft Scamp / 1993 Jeep Cherokee
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Originally Posted by Carolyn N. View Post
Hello... new member, still working on purchasing an RV. I bought a Forester, then realized I want an RV.... found out weight limit is only 1500 lbs. My dealer has offered to trade the car back with minimal penalty for an Outback instead... have to decide in the next couple days.
Meanwhile the guy at Scamp assures me I can use the Scamp 13 ft. with needed options (what I need) and can stay within the weight limit. I have asked for advice on the Scamp FB page and seems like people are suggesting I should go for the Outback.
Any input? I have found the Scamp group fabulous for help and I can tell this group is too.
Any other suggestions for me besides Scamp? I don't want teardrop.... want to be able to stand up... would be claustrophobic!
Thanks for all those with experience.... also..
Would love to hear if some ladies travel on their own and manage to pull trailers, set up, back up, etc.
If you are buying new, the 13 Scamp would probably be the lightest weight. 13 Casita's are heavier. You could go with maybe something like a Lil Joe, I believe they are lighter weight.

If the Outback has a higher towing rating.....that's what I'd go for. It's amazing how fast the weight of your personal stuff, kitchen items and food will add up. You don't want to be on the brink for a variety of reasons.

As far as traveling on your own....go for it. You'll be surprised how quick you learn how to backup a trailer, just go slow. Setting up at a campsite is not all that hard. 1st level the trailer side to side using boards, fancy leveling blocks or whatever, by running one tire up on them. 2nd level the trailer front to back with the jack. 3rd hook the water hose up. 4th pull out the electric cord and plug it in. Basically that's it.

Now if you travel like Lily, my dog, and I....then I setup a fenced yard for Lily, put down the fake grass mat, crank out the awning, put up the satellite dish, pull out the chair and chaise, mount the outside table, take the bike off the back and I think that's it, we ready to chill. Now I don't do that all the time just when we are staying put for a few days.

Any way, you'll do just fine and love it.
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:03 PM   #19
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Name: Richard
Trailer: Casita
North Carolina
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Forester towing capacity

i just saw your post about towing with a Forester. fyi, in 2014 the normal auto transmission previously used in Foresters was replaced with a CVT (constant velocity transmission) which reduced the Forester's towing capacity from the previous 2400 lbs to 1400 lbs. i have a 2013 Forester, but i don't tow anything but a small boat with it, i'm not sure that i would want to use it to tow an enclosed camper.
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:05 PM   #20
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Name: Carolyn
Trailer: Scamp 13
Washington
Posts: 71
Thank you...I was able to trade back the Forester and now have an Outback and my Scamp has been ordered!
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