Looking for some education on tow vehicles - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-17-2010, 12:37 AM   #1
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Name: Todd
California
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Looking for some education on tow vehicles

With the Scamp being out first trailer ever, I am looking for some feedback on tow vehicles and our experience thus far. This thread is a bit long but I wanted to give as much info as is possible on our situation.

When we bought our Jeep earlier this summer we had no idea we'd being looking to add a trailer at some point. Turns out that the Jeep was a catalyst for my wife and I reconnecting with our childhood camping past. The Jeep was purchased as a third "fun" vehicle. I've had one before and love the top off fun. We have other cars we use for long drives, work commutes and when we need a more comfortable ride.

Fast forward to today and our top down love for the Jeep comes in second to our desire to go further with our Scamp. We started wondering if the Jeep would be a towing vehicle that actually kept us from going further as a 6+ hour drive in the Jeep is not something we want to do. Our butts are too used to more comfortable rides.

I used to own a VW Touareg. Loved it. Hated the gas mileage and its lust for new tires. I also didn't tow then so I couldn't justify it as a fill time vehicle.

I borrowed a T-reg today and towed the Scamp with it. INCREDIBLE. The trailer dissappeared. Whereas the Jeep feels like I'm wearing a backpack full of heavy books, the T-reg felt like nothing was even behind me. It's also just much more smooth on the road.

My wife and I are trying to figure out what Makes the T-reg so much better. Towing capacity? Engine? Suspension? Maybe a bit of everything? We want to use this info to help us make an informed next step. Our options are:

  1. Keep the Jeep and just accept its lack of road manners. It's awesome at camp sites and still very fun for beach trips and summer days
  2. Move from the Jeep to something a bit more refined like a FJ Cruiser (feedback on this vehicle appreciated). Give up top down for better towing.
  3. Go to a T-reg for all driving needs. Accept the bad gas mileage because one less car is good and it tows like a dream. Tow the Scamp all over the world. Also, get one with 18" wheels so we don't have to change out tires on a weekly basis.
  4. Look at something like a Highlander Hybrid as a multi-purpose vehicle. Good gas mileage but how does it tow (feedback on this vehicle also appreciated)
We're probably going to check out the FJ and Highlander but its hard to find a dealership who will let you take the vehicle out for a test drive with a trailer. We're really new to all of this but are having a blast in the Scamp and want to get the most out of it.
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:22 AM   #2
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Escape 13 ft 2010 ('Ladybug') / 2003 Subaru Forester/ 2012 Toyota Highlander
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor_Cal_Todd View Post

I borrowed a T-reg today and towed the Scamp with it. INCREDIBLE. The trailer dissappeared. Whereas the Jeep feels like I'm wearing a backpack full of heavy books, the T-reg felt like nothing was even behind me. It's also just much more smooth on the road.

My wife and I are trying to figure out what Makes the T-reg so much better. Towing capacity? Engine? Suspension? Maybe a bit of everything? We want to use this info to help us make an informed next step. Our options are:
You will find a review of the VW Touareg here:
Volkswagen Touareg Pros - Best Reasons To Own A VW Touareg

The reason it seems to tow your Scamp so easily is its 7700 pound towing capacity. You will see that the review also comments on the poor fuel economy of this vehicle. It might be better to find a smaller tow vehicle, such as a Toyota RAV4 V6, which has 3500 pound towing capacity and better economy.

Brian
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:22 AM   #3
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Name: Paul
Trailer: 13' Boler 1977
Ontario
Posts: 124
although with a higher price tag the diesel T-reg will get significantly better fuel millage, towing and not towing, ..............

but like i said i think it is a huge upgrade in price

Paul
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:24 AM   #4
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Name: Jesse
Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
Maryland
Posts: 818
Todd,

It sounds like you and your wife really like the Jeep. My gut feeling is that you should keep and modify the Jeep. I have never owned a Jeep, but I know that there are a million aftermarket parts for it. Maybe you could make it more comfortable with different seats or a different suspension.

The Jeep is a very capable tow vehicle, even though the trailer doesn "disappear" behind it. In my opinion (which is worth every penny you paid for it) is that if you don't notice the trailer behind you, you have TOO MUCH tow vehicle. I believe that this is one of the ways people get into trouble with trailers... because they drive with the trailer the same way they would without a trailer. If you feel it back there, you'll be more aware and more cautious.
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:26 AM   #5
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Name: Darnelle
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
Minnesota
Posts: 310
We have a Jeep Grand Cherokee that tows like a charm -- no top-down fun, but a very good vehicle that is comfortable.

As for gas mileage (towing and not) it's terrible. However in order to tow safely it's the price one pays. Our other vehicle gets better mileage and we use that for trips without towing.

We also buy used vehicles which keeps the initial price down and lets someone else absorb the greatest depreciation. We figure the lower purchase price off-sets our higher gas costs, and we never have a monthly car payment which makes the price at the pump easier to take. And we treat our cars well -- all fluids checked and full, regular oil changes, tires properly inflated, regular washes, good driving habits. We easily take our vehicles to very high odometer miles, making our vehicle expenses over the long run about as low as one can get and still drive nice vehicles.

We own just two vehicles and each drives one to work. We don't think the costs of owning more vehicles (plus the work of care and upkeep) is worth some savings in gas. Plus, in my experience, a vehicle that sits a lot deteriorates much faster than a car that is used with reasonable care.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:36 PM   #6
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Name: Ron
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp Deluxe 2007 and 40' Allegro Bus
Iowa
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We just purchased a V6 GMC Terrain to tow our Scamp. It came with a towing package ( 3500 lbs) and 17 mpg when towing. 24 mpg w/o the scamp in tow. It's really a great crossover. Chevy makes the Equanox (same chassis, different sheetmetal) that is just as capable.
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:25 PM   #7
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Name: Sam
Trailer: 1977 Boler
Kansas
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Funny, we've actually been going through some of the same decisions (trading a fun car for something with more towing capacity) and should be owners of a V8 Touareg by the end of the week. I guess that means my vote for option 3 is pretty clear.

Also, I wasn't sure from your post if you'd get rid of this particular Jeep in order to get the T-reg/Highlander/FJ etc., but if you do, there's the possibility of getting a cheap older Jeep down the line somewhere. Without needing it to tow, you could get one that's pretty rough around the edges and still get that occasional top-down fix.

I'd just suggest (from firsthand experience) that you don't drive it home, take it apart, and use it and its many, many pieces as garage decor for the next 6 years

--Jess
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