Hauling a Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-16-2003, 10:56 PM   #1
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Hauling a Scamp

We have a '01 16ft. Scamp. We've been hauling it with a '99 Dodge Grand Caravan but it seems very sluggish on hills. What would be the best vehicle to haul it with?
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Old 01-16-2003, 11:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Patricia Romero
'99 Dodge Grand Caravan
What engine do you have in your Caravan.

My feeling is that 200+ horse power does a good job.
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Old 01-17-2003, 11:30 AM   #3
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Actually, you don't need nearly that much horsepower. It's more a question of torque. In the early 80's, there wasn't a v-8 engine made that turned out over 160 HP, but folks were pulling 30' Airstreams all over the country with their Suburbans. My parents have a '89 S-10 with the 160HP 4.3L V-6, towing a 3500lb dry Shadowcruiser 5th wheel (they figure it's 4,000 lbs as towed), and they have been everywhere, and have had no trouble of any sort, even crossing the Rockies, over the last 13 years. My co-worker has a Chevy van with a 305 V-8 (about 135HP), towing a late 60's trailer that weighs over 4000lbs. He slows down on hills, but has pulled it from Indiana to the Rockies, Grand Canyon and back. I have a '91 GMC Jimmy with the 190HP 4.3L V-6, and I tow anything I hitch up to. I can easily pull over 5000lbs, and only have to work hard in the hills if it has a lot of wind resistance. I have never been unable to maintain speed, if I'm willing to stick my foot into the engine compartment.

The Chrysler V-6 is very smooth and revs willingly, but has very little torque. The two biggest issues towing with any Chrysler minivan (I speak from experience here) is NEVER tow in overdrive, and NEVER tow without a transmission cooler. The Chrysler minivan is a wonderful vehicle, but the transmission is horrible. Don't trash yours!
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Old 01-17-2003, 01:43 PM   #4
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tork

Paul, that was very interesting, and I even understood most of it, but I couldn't find anything about torque after you mentioned it in the first part. I know my little Escape has 201 horses, but not enough weight to pull much so where do I look for tork if I even have one. :o
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Old 01-17-2003, 02:43 PM   #5
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Just guessing

JJ, As an example, this 2003 model of Escape has the following:

Horsepower RPM 201@5900
Torque RPM 196@4700
Towing Capacity 3,500 lbs
City Mileage 19 mpg
Highway Mileage 25 mpg

This particular site didn't have the transaxle ratio on it. All of this info should be in your dealer book
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Old 01-17-2003, 02:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Suz
Horsepower RPM 201@5900 *
Torque RPM 196@4700
Suz, you hit the nail on the head for me. Do people drive around running an engine at [b]5,000 RPM. WOW, that is screeming. You’re scaring Michael.
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Old 01-17-2003, 02:51 PM   #7
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Ah Paul

>>'91 GMC Jimmy with the 190HP 4.3L V-6, and I tow anything

Ah, Paul ... do you have the full size '91 GMC Jimmy? If so, the base engine was the 5.7 V8. I know this for a fact, since I owned a '91 fullsize Blazer.

And, if you own the '91 S-15 Jimmy (baby blazer) with a V-6, then I sincerely have to question your comment that you can "tow anything."

You may be able to get a 5,000 pound trailer rolling, but there is no way a baby-Blazer S-15 Jimmy can control the sway of a 5,000 pound trailer or safely bring a 5,000 pound trailer to a stop.

You'd soon fall into the ol' "tail wagging the dog" scenerio

You'd certainly be within your limits towing a 13 or 16 foot fiberglass wonder ... but anything bigger would be pressing your luck (as well as the luck of those who happened to be on the road with you at the same time!).
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Old 01-17-2003, 03:03 PM   #8
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good torque

Hey, thanks Suz. so is 196 torque good?
I know I get whiplash if I floor it, but I don't know when torque kicks in or not. I know this is a dangerous topic, because I got stomped on once about what I can and cannot pull, but they never mentiond torque that I remember. and no that wasn't here.
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Old 01-17-2003, 03:12 PM   #9
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Jana - this is where the discussion gets harder to understand. Sorry. Horsepower is a measurement of the ability to move a certain amount of weight a certain distance in a certain amount of time. Torque is a measurement of rotational force -- for instance, if a wheel is spinning, how hard is it to stop it? A bicycle wheel will be much easier to stop than a truck wheel. Torque is developed by the mass of the piston as it moves, the length of the piston stroke (sorry if I'm losing you) and the mass of the flywheel/crankshaft. That is engine torque. Then, the transmission gearing and rear-axle gear ratios regulate what you get as "torque at the wheel".

In the case of Chrysler minivans, the V-6 engine is typically a 3.0 or 3.3L engine. This is pretty small for a V-6. Front drive has a lower mass drive train than rear wheel drive. Put those two together, and you have fairly low torque output, even though the engine has plenty of horsepower. Think of this as a bicycle wheel.

My Jimmy has a 4.3L engine, which has a much higher mass and longer stroke, so even though I have "only" 190 HP, the engine has "grunt". Couple that with a beefy transmissin and a low-ratio rear axle, and a lot of torque makes it to the wheels. Think of this as a car wheel.

Back in World War II, the military used a truck called a Dodge Power Wagon. It had a 6-cylinder engine, but the pistons were about the size of coffee cans, and the piston stroke was about as long as your arm. This engine only had 100 or so horsepower, but it had bottomless torque. Combined with the gearing they had, the torque that got to the wheels was unbelievable. I have pulled 90' oak trees up out of ravines with one of these. Think of this as a semi-truck wheel.

Hope that clarifies a little?! Maybe not...
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Old 01-17-2003, 03:12 PM   #10
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Buttercup

JJ - you pulled Buttercup quite a distance to get her home, didn't you? No problems, right? Welp, my guess is that you've got all you need and a good balance on size for the Surfside . ;)

I'm sure that I'll get corrected if I'm wrong, but I feel like that the length of the tow vehicle in relation to the trailer length, the trans ratio, and the towing weight is what's important. You got those three, then the rest seems to work out.
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Old 01-17-2003, 03:25 PM   #11
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Charlie -- I have the S-15 Jimmy. Properly equipped (which it is), it is rated to tow 5500lbs from the factory. Class V load equalizing hitch, transmission cooler and trailer brakes. I have towed over 10,000lbs, but don't recommend it. Fully up to the 5500lb rating, it is stable and safe, assuming the trailer itself is also properly set up, which I wouldn't assume without checking. I've towed 850lb utility trailers that are scary to handle, and I've towed several thousand pound construction trailers that are stable as can be.

Now, I want to say that I do not recommend towing this heavy a load for everyone. PLEASE -- respect your own limitations and experience. I have been towing all sorts of things for many years, professionally and recreationally, while many people tow recreationally a few times a year. Also, know and respect the capacities and condition of your trailer and tow vehicle! Also take into consideration traffic, weather and road conditions. An out-of control trailer can cause a lot of injury and damage very quickly!
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Old 01-17-2003, 03:30 PM   #12
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getting to the power

Oh, I know I'm Okay on what everywith my combo, Suz. I was just wondering when or what a torque was. seems like it's always coming up, but I was getting it mixed up with horspower.

I think I got lost somewhere in that last explanation, Paul. But the very last paragraph made since. why I would understand that one and not the rest, who knows. So when my brother got his Chev pickup, with the large engine, stuck and he couldn't get it out in 4 wheel drive, --- the engine was horsen, but the wheels weren't torquen. right?
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Old 01-17-2003, 03:31 PM   #13
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One other comment about safe towing -- How you load your trailer is as important as how heavy it is. I have, on occasion, been unsatisfied with how my trailer is towing, pulled off, and moved a 1/2 gallon of water from a front cabinet to a rear cabinet, and had that make all the difference in the world. Single axle trailers, which most fiberglass units are, are particularly susceptable to this type of loading problem. Hence the "tail wagging the dog" issue Charlie mentioned. A well loaded trailer, properly set up, should track straight and true, and even under an all-wheel-lockup panic stop, no side-sway or jackknifing should occur.
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Old 01-20-2003, 07:48 AM   #14
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short answer....

to original question......the BEST vehicle for a 16?? IMO any half ton pickup with a small V8. Any truck with a bigger V6 (like mine) will get you by. If you go minivan than you will need WDH, etc......

debate if you like-V8's the best, case closed.
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