Honda Accord - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-09-2006, 10:51 PM   #1
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I've got a Honda Accord that has a tow rating of 1000#. I see the scamp 13' is only 950. Does that mean that I can tow it with my car? Or am I just kidding myself?
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Old 12-09-2006, 10:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Does that mean that I can tow it with my car? Or am I just kidding myself?
What you can do and what you can do safely are two different topics. There is no safety buffer in the numbers quoted. That's presuming that you can find a Scamp or similar that weighs 950 pounds. 950 is a stripped circa 1970s model. The newer the trailer the heavier the trailer. DO NOT GO BY MFCTR SPECS. Weigh it if you want to know how much it weighs. Mfctr sepcs don't take into consideration things like tires, food in the cupboards, towels, pillows, clothing and so forth.

Yes you can probably tow a 13ft Scamp. That Scamp will proably weigh more than 950 pounds. If you are in a serious accident, the HP will weigh it and determine if you exceeded safety standards and if you do you might possibly (dependiong on where the incident happens) void any insurance coverage you have.
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Old 12-09-2006, 11:05 PM   #3
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I'm sure a Scamp owner will speak up soon; however, IMHO the simple answer is no. The weight quoted is "dry weight" and does not include anything but the frame, shell, and suspension. After you add weight for furniture, heater, frig, air conditioner, propane, brakes, etc. the real weight is more like 1300-1400 pounds. And that does not include any supplies for camping. Sorry. Tom Trostel
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Old 12-09-2006, 11:05 PM   #4
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Hi, guess that first off, that weight is the dry weight of the Scamp....or at least totally empty.......i.e. my 13' Boler is 1454 lbs. when scaled, loaded for travel......not sure exactly, but was advertised as about 930-950 lbs dry.......also how much weight besides yourself do you expect to carry in your Accord? ....you should have a rating somewhere for Total Gross Combined Vehicle Weight.....car+trailer .......that total weight could be a problem.......you can tow what you want, I suppose, but would possibly be illegal and could put you in a bind if you every had an accident...especially a fatal...sure others will chime in with advice for you also......good luck...Benny
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Old 12-10-2006, 01:07 PM   #5
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The Scamp 13' is the same design as the Boler 1300, and that 950 pound value is near the lowest listed weight for the Boler, of 870 pounds. Specifications for other years show much higher weights, which illustrates that there is lots of variation due to changing equipment and construction details.

There have been quite a few discussions of specified versus actual trailer weight in this forum and others, and I think they're worth searching for.

A brief list of reasons why that "950 pound" trailer is almost certain to be over 1000 lb by the time it is going down the road:
  • actual weight is usually higher than the specified ideal (for instance, my Boler 1700 is about 200 lb over spec)
  • optional equipment is usually not included in the spec (as Benita mentioned), although in some years Boler listed different weights for each model, accounting for the equipment differences; the two Boler 1300 versions in 1979 were specified in the owners' manual at 1232 lb and 1312 lb wet (including water and propane)
  • the specified weight of 950 lb is probably "dry", which means that it does not include water and propane; in most cases it doesn't even include the weight of the empty propane tank, or the battery
The trailer weight does not include cargo (meaning anything you carry in it); the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or Gross Trailer Weight Rating is the most the trailer is allowed to weigh in use, including cargo; in some cases that is a better indication of the tow vehicle capacity required.

As Benny mentioned, there are several limits of the tow vehicle which apply:
  • trailer weight rating (the only value most people look at)
  • Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) - the total of car, trailer, stuff in the car, and stuff in the trailer; even if the trailer is within the trailer limit, you may not be able to carry much in the car without violating this limit
  • Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) for each axle (front and rear) - the maximum load carried by each axle; trailers will often put too much load on the rear axle of the car, even if within the other limits. "Weight Distributing" hitch systems attempt to "fix" this, but you're unlikely to find one suitable for use with a compact car.
  • hitch weight limit - the maximum which the car manufacturer says can be carried on the hitch
  • tire load limits - each tire will have a maximum load, dependent on pressure; usually the axle rating will account for this so the owner doesn't need to worry about it except to be careful when buying replacement tires
In addition to the limits set by the manufacturer, there are legal limits, usually related to brakes. A Scamp 13' is usually too light to hit the basic maximum weight for a trailer without brakes, but in some jurisdictions the limit is also given as a fraction of the tow vehicle weight, which means even a relatively small trailer might legally need brakes with a small enough tow car.

In the end, I'm sure an Accord can tow a light Scamp 13', but it should not, and probably cannot legally, and should not be expected to do so safely or reliably.
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Old 12-10-2006, 01:27 PM   #6
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When I was young, foolish, and invincible (in 1980), I towed a '78 Scamp 13' with an '80 Dodge Omni. I was fat, dumb, and happy and successfully towed it all over SoCal, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, and Mt. Palomar. The Omni didn't have a tow rating, and there weren't even hitches made for it. I found a hitch guy who built one for the car (they still did that then...) There wasn't anyone around who told me I shouldn't do it, and I just flat didn't know any better. Later I towed a couple of trailers with Jeeps!

Today, I look back and think how incredibly foolish I really was and how fortunate I was that all of the things that could have gone wrong didn't.

You can probably tow a "sleeping tent trailer" designed for a motorcycle with your Accord, or you can find the trailer you want, and then buy something you like that's competent to tow it (the preferred method, actually. You'll end up keeping both of them a lot longer that way...)

Roger
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Old 12-10-2006, 05:52 PM   #7
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Googling "Dodge Omni Towing" most of the articles have something to do with towing the Omni somwhere (like a junk yard or a mechanic) rather than the Omni playing mule . . .

Quote:
When I was young, foolish, and invincible (in 1980), I towed a '78 Scamp 13' with an '80 Dodge Omni. I was fat, dumb, and happy and successfully towed it all over SoCal, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, and Mt. Palomar. The Omni didn't have a tow rating, and there weren't even hitches made for it. I found a hitch guy who built one for the car (they still did that then...) There wasn't anyone around who told me I shouldn't do it, and I just flat didn't know any better. Later I towed a couple of trailers with Jeeps!

Today, I look back and think how incredibly foolish I really was and how fortunate I was that all of the things that could have gone wrong didn't.

You can probably tow a "sleeping tent trailer" designed for a motorcycle with your Accord, or you can find the trailer you want, and then buy something you like that's competent to tow it (the preferred method, actually. You'll end up keeping both of them a lot longer that way...)

Roger
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Old 12-11-2006, 07:04 PM   #8
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know some folks that have towed many happy miles with thier bolar have fun pack lite
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:46 AM   #9
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Many many moons ago, my sister-in-law needed us to come move her from VA to KY. I had an 86 Accord. I installed a trailer hitch and unfortunately, she had more than I thought on her trailer. I have no idea how much weight we packed in the trunk and with her in the back seat and even had a 500cc motorcycle on the trailer. Being dumb, I took the scenic route down part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. About $2500 later, I had a new used transmission from a burnt Accord. Live and learn. Be careful and take it easy.
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