Let's talk TRUCKS - Fiberglass RV

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Old 02-23-2019, 10:00 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Steve
Trailer: '87 13'scamp, 2006 Trailblazer
Posts: 24
Let's talk TRUCKS

I am slowly doing some research on a new vehicle. For me, it would be a truck with 4x4. I understand GVWR and tongue weight. I like a midsize truck vs. a full size, however I may change my mind on this. I would also look for a crew cab first and if not a crew cab then a extra cab option. I also really like the Toyota Tocoma. Like and "want" vs. cost and practicality is something I will also take into consideration. Right now I have a Scamp 13' but would like to change this to a Scamp 16' or a Casita 16'/17'. Let's set budget at 15k for the "new to me truck" - Thoughts and considerations?

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Old 02-23-2019, 12:15 PM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 8,037
I'm sure you'll get all kinds of opinions on this one. Nissan Frontier V6 would be my personal choice. Simple, reliable, reasonably priced. Downsides include the small rear seat, even in crew cab trim, and mediocre fuel economy.

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Old 02-23-2019, 12:53 PM   #3
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Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 3,085
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Check with Consumer Reports for the vehicles to avoid and the best ones to get.
We have the 2012 Frontier Crew Cab and get around 17MPG without towing.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:42 AM   #4
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Name: Steve
Trailer: '87 13'scamp, 2006 Trailblazer
Posts: 24
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
all kinds of opinions on this one

that is what I am hoping for. I appreciate thoughts I have not considered. I had a '85 Nissan, before the hardbody and I put 300k on that truck. I like the Nissan and that may be a good consideration, for the fact then I don't pay for "toyota tax" - the v6 would be good, like the extra power for mountain driving, yet then the MPG is under 20 and maybe that will always be that way. That is why I'm considering a fullsized gmc or chevy not sure if getting over 20mpg would happen. Thanks for the responses.
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:04 AM   #5
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Name: Zach
Trailer: 91 Bigfoot 17
Posts: 1,872
We have to be very quiet or the Toyota haters will hear us.

But until then...

The V6 Tacoma will have plenty of power for what you're considering. The one thing you need to watch is the payload limit. It sounds like you've got it pretty well figured out, to me. If you want decent gas mileage and "plenty of truck", get a full size domestic. Or Nissan. Not sure of their full size. But Tacoma and Tundra don't get good mileage, especially towing. Maybe the newer ones are different but my friends who have Tundras somewhere in the 2010 range get a whopping 9mpg whether towing a trailer or driving with a slide-in camper.

Beyond that, people here have good experiences with all the different full size domestic brands, so pick your favorite. I'll let people with more current shopping experience help. $15k definitely seems like it'll mean an older truck, but I haven't been in the market for a while so I'm not sure what that'll get you.
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:59 AM   #6
Name: Anthony
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 31

I was pulling my 13 foot Scamp with a 2015 Subaru Forester with six speed manual transmission. Got caught twice on steep hills where I had to start from a standstill. Was not a pretty sight. I have a 2002 Nissan Frontier, two wheel drive with a 4 cylinder but did not want to use it as a tow vehicle. My options were the usual, Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Chevy Colorado and the Honda Ridgeline. The thing is, I really didn't need another truck but I wanted to be able to throw chairs, tarps, greasy gas grills, gas containers coolers etc. in the back of the vehicle, cover it and keep it separate from the driving compartment, and I wanted the truck to ride like a plush SUV! Both my neighbors own Tacoma's so I didn't take one for a ride. I believe they are the best off road truck in that class, but I was not looking for an off road truck. I have a Frontier and it has been reliable, but an upgrade on that truck is long overdo! I drove the Chevy Colorado and liked it. It was a strong contender, until I drove the 2019 Honda Ridgeline. To me, that is the vehicle that best meets my needs and the one I purchased. It is the most comfortable to ride in, both front and back seats and has the most interior room. Is it a "real" truck? That could be argued, but it has a wide enough bed so that a sheet of 4x8 plywood can lay flat in it, there is a trunk under the bed where the spare tire and jack reside and a large storage area for tools. On my Frontier, the spare tire is cranked up under the bed and exposed to all the elements. It was a definite hassle getting that down and cleaned up when I needed it. Because it has independent suspension, the Rigdeline's ride is supremely nice and as for mpg, I regularly get 27 mpg highway. This is with a 285 hp v6 with a 5,000 lb towing capacity. This towing capacity is less than the other trucks, but I am towing a 13' Scamp. My recommendation would be to drive them all and then make your decision as to which is the best truck to meet your driving needs. One last point, Consumer Guide rates the Ridgeline much higher than the other trucks mentioned above. Good luck!
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:23 PM   #7
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Name: Zach
Trailer: 91 Bigfoot 17
Posts: 1,872
The new generation of Honda Ridgelines will definitely not be in the $15k arena, but the older ones might. The people who sold me my Bigfoot had been towing it with a first generation, larger Ridgeline.
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:49 PM   #8
Name: Larry
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 66
I agree with these reviews but one truck to consideris a Dodge Dakota, I towed several years with a 2005 quad cab with a 4.7 engine and it performed very well towing our 17 LD Casita. 12-14 MPG towing 20+ not towing and they are in your price range.
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:55 PM   #9
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Posts: 992
If you REALLY want/need a truck for use when not towing, make you choice accordingly. A 13' Scamp is a toy behind a truck. A 16' would justify a truck, A 19' fifth wheel for sure. Anyway, in our case, we use our TV for my every day driver. It's a 2013 Highlander. Pulling a 15' Parkliner, or the 16'Scamp DX is easy peasy. Before that we had a 2007 Highlander Hybrid, 3 Honda Odyssey vans. And before them, a 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon with a 13 ft DX Scamp.
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:21 PM   #10
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Name: Laura
Trailer: Escape 21' 2nd Gen, picked up on Black Friday 2016
Posts: 121
Test drive everything within your size requirements. Before we got our Tundra, I drove everything out there that I could find on the lots. Dirk was the passenger since I was gonna be using the trailer without him for the next whatever years until he retires.

Some I liked right off the bat while others I barely took them out of the lot before they were nixed. For those that I liked, I narrowed it down to 3 and then took all 3 out for a test drive, right after each other. A friend went with and she commented that there wasn't much room on the passenger side area for her legs in the Ram, so that got crossed off the list.

For the Tundra I drove a TRD version and one that wasn't. I much preferred the handling of the TRD - I took them both from the same dealer on the same pothole filled road, so they had an equal test drive. My friend liked the ride in the TRD better as well.

So, yeah, test drive, test drive, test drive. BTW, my top 3 were the Ram, Nissan Titan and Tundra. We already own 2 other Toyotas, so we decided to stick with the same brand (our neighbors are the same way - too funny).

And make sure there's a place to stash the purse!
Laura and Dirk, and Spike, Sam & Jasper (the cats)

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Old 02-24-2019, 03:03 PM   #11
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Oswego, NY
Posts: 1,823
Keep an eye on payload, particularly with mid sized trucks. Almost all of them will pull most fiberglass trailers (although some will have to work at it) but if you carry too many toys, it is easy to overload the truck.

I loved my 2016 Tacoma for off roading & the smaller size, but when I went to an Escape 21 it was still well within the tow ratings, but 150 - 200 pounds overloaded. (It also spent too much time in 2-3 gear at 4000 RPM). If you are looking at Tacomas, I suggest the older 4.0L engine over the new 3.5L even with a lighter trailer.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:46 PM   #12
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Name: Bob Ruggles
Trailer: 2015 Escape
Posts: 1,456
I have a Ram 1500 with the hemi and an economy axle, 4x4. On the road not towing I get up to 23 mpg and up to 16.5 towing. Obviously traffic, hills, wind, weight of right foot all affect the mpg. Iíve had Fords and Chevy trucks and the Ram has outperformed those. The only trucks that gave me better mpg were Dodge/Cummins diesels, also 4x4. Get what you want and not what the rest of us think you should get.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:48 PM   #13
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 2,355
One “advantage” of an F150 is your budget WILL go a lot further in the used market. Toyota’s hold their value extremely well.

I bought my pristine F150 that only had 12,000 miles on it (but it was five years old) for half of what the seller paid for it new. His cost per mile was ridiculous! I’ve put 100,000 miles more on it, so my cost per mile is quite low. And it still has value left and I’ll likely put a lot more miles on it.

+100 watch out for LOW payload. It will be marked on a sticker in the door jamb. It’s the dirty little secret on trucks. Many have high tow ratings, but if you gat a trailer that weighs anything close to the tow rating you will likely be out of payload. The more loaded your truck the worse it gets. And 4 wheel drive will lower your payload too.
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:34 PM   #14
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Name: John
Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
Mid Left Coast
Posts: 1,795
I know I'm going to annoy some Honda lovers, but the Ridgeline isn't really a truck, its a unibody crossover/SUV with a open back. its a primarily FWD vehicle, built on the Odyssey minivan chassis, same as the Honda Pilot. Like the Pilot, it rides on taller wheels than the Odyssey.

I towed a Casita 16 with a 2008 Tacoma for many 1000s of miles all over the mountainous west coast, it did quite well, but I was near or over the payload limits many times. I had load range E all terrain tires on it (total overkill on the Tacoma) and I had airbags on the rear (made the tacoma 'trd offroad' ride MUCH better when towing) so I could level the load.

when we got an Escape 21, I opted to get a bigger truck, and then went stupid overkill, a 2002 F250 7.3 diesel I doubt I'll ever overload this one.

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