New Smaller tow vehicle choices?? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-30-2007, 04:28 PM   #29
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Female, but may I jump in here with a question?

I have a 2001 Toyota V6, pre-runner off road, with tow package. Mfg. says 5,000 tow with 500 on hitch. I put just the truck on the scale last week with just me (110 lbs.) in the truck and it weighed 3680.

I just purchased a 2004 17' Casita I will pick up on Saturday. I have not weighed the egg and Casita's site is a tad confusing, but I am guessing it will weigh in around 3500. Ya'll correct me if I am wrong, please.

Is this a do able tow without feeling like I am pulling two elephants behind me?

Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2007, 04:35 PM   #30
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Susan, I tow with an '02 Tundra with the same drivetrain. It towed my Scamp 16' Custom Deluxe pretty nicely. I definitely feel the difference with the Bigfoot 17'. Although the weights between the Bigfoot and Scamp were similar, I suspect that the Bigfoot's more square frontal area contributes to a greater drag.

The short answer to your question is that yes, you'll feel something behind you, but no, the Casita 17' shouldn't be a problem for your Toyota at all.

Have a ball!

Roger
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Old 01-30-2007, 04:35 PM   #31
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My Sonnomas wheel base is 123 inches.Fast measurement with tape measure.My Toyoto Rave 4 is 104 inches.

Rave 4 was bought to pull a lighter unit than my 17ft Boler also a smaller unit.

Still looking for what will be my last trailer.
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Old 01-30-2007, 04:43 PM   #32
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The 17' Casita is closer to 3,000 not 3,500. Your problem may be hitch weight. My 17' Casita SD's hitch weighs in at 450 lbs. You can overcome this lack of margin by using a Weight Distribution Hitch. You should also consider some type of load leveling for you TV. air shocks or air bags depending on the what type suspension your TV has.
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Old 01-30-2007, 08:04 PM   #33
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Quote:
...I just purchased a 2004 17' Casita I will pick up on Saturday. I have not weighed the egg and Casita's site is a tad confusing, but I am guessing it will weigh in around 3500. Ya'll correct me if I am wrong, please...
Congrats on the new acquisition!

The 3500 lb value on the 17 ft Casita web page is the [b]axle capacity - the most the axle can carry, so the [b]maximum total for the trailer would be more, because there is also the weight carried by the hitch. The good news is that is the maximum allowed, not what yours is likely to weigh as you use it.

The [b]Dry Weight (given as 2385 lb for the Deluxe) is the trailer with no cargo and nothing in the tanks (water or propane), and possibly no battery either.

The [b]real weight when you use it will be somewhere in between, depending on what optional equipment you get, how much water and propane are in the tanks, and how much stuff (cargo) you carry. CD's value of 3000 lbs matches about the loaded weight of my similarly sized Boler.

This seems like a reasonable load for the truck; it's no problem for my van, using air bags to assist the rear springs. The air springs for a pickup are a different style, but they may be worth considering for the same reasons I use the air bags: maintaining a level attitude and increasing suspension spring stiffness to control the load.

With or without air, you need to check that the truck's rear axle isn't overloaded, which is likely not a problem unless you carry a bunch of stuff in the truck while towing the trailer. The only fixes to axle overloading are getting rid of weight, or using a weight-distributing hitch to force the other axles to carry more of the load.

Susan, if you want some axle load calculations done, I'd be happy to take a shot. What I would need (in addition to the total weight you've already got) is the separate weights of the front and rear truck axles, the wheelbase (distance between front and rear wheel centres), and the distance from the rear wheel/axle centre to the hitch ball.

This is a thread about [b]small tow vehicle choices, and the Tacoma (assuming it's a Tacoma, not a Tundra) is small as trucks go, but still much larger and more capable than many of our tugs... but the Casita 17 is twice the weight of many eggs. Seems like a reasonable match to me.
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Old 01-30-2007, 09:15 PM   #34
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I have done the calculations for my RV/TV combination.


WDH_Complete_Weight_Analysis.pdf


You can use this to do your own calculations to see how you RV/TV combination works.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:10 AM   #35
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Wow, $49 to weigh an RV! Very nice analysis CD! You wouldn't be retired by any chance would you?
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:34 PM   #36
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Great stuff, CD!

I'm not sure why the weighing costs that much, since I am accustomed to getting my axle weights free at the highway scales, but it is a different program. Do we know how precise and how accurate the RVSEF weights are? I know that someone has to pay the costs, but it is interesting that a "safety education foundation" needs to charge this much.

The level of detail is impressive, and generally quite clear. I do have one concern, related to the (clearly stated) assumption:
Quote:
Note 1: These weights assume the hitch weight is completely neutralized by the WDH and equallly distributed to the three axles
I believe that this is a common misconception, based on advertising by companies which claim that their WD system somehow re-writes the laws of physics and makes such equal distribution possible. In fact, the ratio between the wheelbase (EWB in the worksheet) and rear axle to trailer axle spacing (EBB + CMA) determines the distribution. The whole rig is a see-saw lever, pivoted on the rear axle, so the axle which is further away (typically the trailer axle, as in this case) picks up less of the load than the one which is closer.

In this case
EWB = 118" (Escalade Wheel Base)
EBB = 52" (Escalade Back axle to Ball)
CMA = 138" (Casita coupler to Axle)
so EBB+CMA = 190" (the Casita's axle is 190" from the Escalade's rear axle)
and EWB + EBB + CMA = 308" (front axle to Casita axle)

Of the load taken off of the rear axle by the WD system,
(190/308) = [b]62% will be transferred to the Escalade's front axle,
and (118/308) = [b]38 % will be transferred to the Casita's axle.
Any other distribution would mean a net change in the centre of mass of the system. I realize that this is acknowledged by this statement:
Quote:
To be absolutely correct the the Escalade/Casita configuration should be weighed with the WDH bars in place.
I'm just supplying the method for doing the calculation using the dimensions we already have, and thus not needing the assumption.

The assumption that WD systems do something which they cannot probably leads people to apply too much spring force, and load front axles more heavily than they intended. In this case, taking 300 lb off of the rear axle would not add 150 lb to each of the trailer and front axles (as assumed); instead, it would add 186 lb to the front axle and 114 to the trailer. Only a few pounds, but crank those WD bars up and the problem is magnified.

Why wouldn't the RVSEF charge cover weighing the rig with and without WDH set, so the RV owner could learn to adjust it properly?

One interpretation question: can I assume that the grey-backgrounded values in the LOAD MEASUREMENTS box (e.g. 1575 for left front tire) are for the unloaded tug (without trailer), and the others for the same points (e.g. 1525 for the left front tire) are for the complete rig (tug while trailer is attached)?
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:39 PM   #37
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I agree that the weighing should not be that expensive. I did not have a WDH at the time I had my TV/RV weighed. It was due to the resulting weights that I adapted a WDH I used back in the late '70s to use with the our Casita. I don't know if RSEVF weighs TV/RV with and without WDH. Their primary purpose of providing weight measurements is to alert those individuals that are exceed the weight ratings of the TV or RV. My understanding of their results are that about 30% of the rigs on the road (all classes) are overweight.

The fact that many users of WDH put to much tension on the spring bars is not that they are trying to evenly distribute the hitch weight. They use to much tension attempting to conteract the rear axle loaded weight of their TV. This is not what a WDH is designed to do. Without an auxiliary method of leveling the TV after it is loaded, but before the hitch load is added (such as helper springs, air shocks, or air bags) they end up exceeding the rating on their WDH. This is most common with those using a single bar WDH rated at 300 lbs.

Yes, the shaded numbers are for the loaded TV without the RV.

Thanks for the added incite into the calculations of weight distribution. I will verify them as soon as I can make some additional weight measurements.

My position about all this and the reason I posted the analysis was to get people to think about the weight distribution of their TV/RV and how it affects their safety driving down the road.
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:21 PM   #38
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Quote:
I agree that the weighing should not be that expensive. I did not have a WDH at the time I had my TV/RV weighed.
...I don't know if RSEVF weighs TV/RV with and without WDH.
That makes sense. I didn't realize that this weighing was done before the WDH was installed.

Quote:
Their primary purpose of providing weight measurements is to alert those individuals that are exceed the weight ratings of the TV or RV. My understanding of their results are that about 30% of the rigs on the road (all classes) are overweight.
Unfortunately, I can believe that statistic.

Quote:
My position about all this and the reason I posted the analysis was to get people to think about the weight distribution of their TV/RV and how it affects their safety driving down the road.
A worthy goal, and thanks again for your contribution, CD. I'm looking forward to the next update.
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:36 PM   #39
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Personally I have a 2001 Honda CRV with the automatic transmission. It's rated for 1500lbs, and I have a 1973 Compact II. I've heard differing opinions on the actual weight of my trailer, and have yet to actually get it weighed. I installed the hitch on my CRV myself, since from my research there doesn't appear to be anything else 'tow package'-wise that Honda installed on them from the factory.
I haven't been on many trips with it, so I don't have a TON of towing experience, but reading through this posting has got me thinking. It does seem to do okay towing-wise, though I can't (and don't think I should!) fly along at 75mph when Im towing. I usually keep down to 60-65mph max. The trailer doesn't feel like it's beating the TV to death, nore do I feel like it's crying it's death nell after a trip. I usually get the auto trans serviced (drain & fill I think) after a trip, to keep it happy and healthy.
I KNOW I'm not quite on subject for this particular post, but I was just curious to see what anybody has as far as input/suggestions/ideas. I LOVE my CRV, love the fuel economy it gets when not towing, and would like to stick with it. I'm learning more and more about my Compact II, and enjoying it as well. Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:43 PM   #40
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Joseph, I think you're on-topic, as the CRV is good example of a "smaller" tow vehicle, and your Compact-towing experience is valuable input. The CRV has been updated since 2001, so anyone looking at new options should consider that.

I am not surprised that there seems to be no factory-installed hitch. I would not expect a factory-installed on any Honda or Toyota (except perhaps Toyota trucks), since the official original equipment hitches are specific to the vehicle and endorsed by the manufacturer, but normally installed by the dealer. For instance, my Sienna has the Toyota hitch, and I bought it as an option on the van as a new vehicle, but it was installed by the dealership - the same as the converter for the trailer lights. I have no concerns with the alternative of installing the hitch yourself.

The Element seems to be the common small Honda towing choice in this forum, but the CRV seems to me like the more capable choice as a tug due to its longer wheelbase. Of course, every two vehicle choice is driven by a mix of factors, and towing performance is only one of them.
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Old 01-31-2007, 06:09 PM   #41
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Hey Brian
Thanks for the 'pat on the back' I guess you could say...hehe Yes, you're right, the new CRV's are much more powerful than mine, I believe mine's around 146hp and I think the new model is around 167hp, something like that. I have run across a few other CRV owners who tow, but most of them have been manual trans models. Still, they've had no problems as far as I'd heard. I think a big part of it also is to not go climbing the Continental Divide with the rig, while trying to go 80mph! hehe Don't get me wrong, I slow down on grades, and I do KNOW the trailer's back there, but it doesn't toss the CRV around much, unless there's some high wind or something.
As for the factory tow hitch, I have seen what you're talking about, that it seems to be a dealer-installed option. Personally my CRV didn't have anything for towing when I bought it, but I got the hitch and wiring harness online (E-trailers or something like that) and installed em myself in a long afternoon. I went with a MUCH beefier hitch than the Honda factory one, like a Class 2 I think, that takes the regular Class 3 type inserts, not that odd flat Class 1 or 2 thing. I figured it might be wise, if I somehow lost mine, or had the wrong ball, or something, down the road...
I agree also that I've seen more Elements towing that CRVs, and I'm not sure why that is. Especially since I believe the powertrains are virtually indentical. I personally just liked the look of the CRV better. I have spoken to many Element owners though, and they all can't say enough about how much they love the space and versatility of the unique design.
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Old 02-18-2007, 02:25 AM   #42
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I am new to this site. I have a 73 Boler and am planning on towing it with my 04 Corolla this summer. Probably no further than about 200klm if that and I am in Saskatchewan so pretty much level ground. Any suggestions??

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Robin
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