New Tow Vehicle for Scamp 13 Standard: Your Thoughts? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-19-2014, 09:39 AM   #1
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New Tow Vehicle for Scamp 13 Standard: Your Thoughts?

Hi Everyone,
Come this fall, I'll be gifting my 02 S10 LS 4.3 vortech engine truck to my son. I have only towed the Scamp with it home (from picking it up in Ohio) and I couldn't even tell it was behind me.
I have been told (and read here) that the longer wheelbase helps with a smooth tow, as found in my truck. However, when I get a new(er) vehicle this fall, I'd like to get an SUV. I really don't want the expense or looks of another cap on a truck, even though I like trucks alot.
I like Toyota and Chevy vehicles as a rule. I was thinking about a Toyota FJ Cruiser, but they're a little short as far as wheel base goes, aren't they? I like the Chevy Tahoe, Toyota 4 Runner...there are probably others out there, but this is all that comes to mind right now.
I should get a 6 cylinder, right? I guess I just want to know people's thoughts on the wheelbase length and their experiences. I think that my friend Floyd wrote that he likes the wheelbase length of the tug to match the trailer. That's probably not an exact quote, but I think that's what he meant. My apology Floyd if I interpreted that wrong!

Wendy (CampyTime)
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:13 AM   #2
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Wendy, if you purchase a vehicle that is rated to tow 3500#, you will have more than enough to tow a 13' Scamp, plus some left over incase you want to upgrade to a larger FGRV in the future. Just verify the towing capacity of the vehicles you are considering.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:46 AM   #3
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Thanks for writing back Wallo. I understand about the tow capacity, but what I don't get is the part about wheelbase length. Any truck would be good due to that right? I guess I just wondered if SUVs due to their shorter wheelbase affects how scamp ties behind you and if you'd notice more sway. This is if course assuming I have the scamp loaded correctly which is another question I have for a new post!

Cheers,
Wendy
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:07 AM   #4
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I have personally found that a longer wheelbase does result in a better tow experience. There is an write up at RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints that you might find helpful. I once towed a boat with a fairly short wheelbase Jeep that I personally was happy not to have as a regular tow.

You do not need a 6 cylinder to pull a 13' trailer. Keep in mind not all 4 cylinder engines are all not created equal in regards to horsepower and torque. There are some 4 cylinders out there that have the power to pull a 13' trailer without a great deal of speed loss on hills etc. A Subaru Outback is an example of that and lots of folks pull with them (including myself for six years) and those pulling a 13' are pretty happy with the tow. If an actual SUV with more power is your want then take a look at the Toyota Highlander, its another popular choose here and used by a number of people pulling trailers bigger than 13'.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:40 AM   #5
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I can personally attest to pulling a 13' with a 2012 Rav4 V6 and a 2009 Subaru Forester. Both are very good. My only concern with the Forester, was pulling up a long hill in CO on a warm day and also on a long climb in CA. The Forester did not have a transmission cooler and that had me concerned since I could smell the oil burning. Had the transmission oil changed after each trip. Subaru did not recommend/offer an after market transmission cooler, but I think they should have. I have no advice/knowledge on wheel base since that was not in my consideration for a tow vehicle.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:55 AM   #6
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I have Scamp 16' and I pull it with my 2012 4 door Jeep Wrangler. I already pulled it 5000 miles. Except going uphill I forget it's even there until I look in the mirror.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CampyTime View Post
... I was thinking about a Toyota FJ Cruiser, but they're a little short as far as wheel base goes, aren't they?...
An fj would be well suited for towing your 13' Scamp. I tow an Escape 19' with my fj and have had no issues at all with power or stability. The short wheelbase is not an issue for the fj towing a lightweight fiberglass camper.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:05 PM   #8
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Hi everyone,
Thanks to you all for your replies. I really like the fj cruiser but will have to find a newer used one as they're pricey,
After your post Carol, I looked at the Subaru and highlander. I like the Subaru better but from what I read it ties 1500 pounds? Maybe a typo? I went to their website, maybe mistaken. I just am not crazy for the look of the highlander and would also consider a 4 runner. My truck has had a lot of problems this past year and I think it's time to bite the bullet and get a car payment again!

Thank you,
Wendy
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CampyTime View Post
After your post Carol, I looked at the Subaru and highlander. I like the Subaru better but from what I read it ties 1500 pounds? Maybe a typo?
Nope I suspect you are looking at the Subaru Forester rating which with the newer models is only 1500lbs.

The Subaru Outback has two different towing capacity ratings - 2800lbs or 3000lbs depending on which model of the Outback you get. The Outback also has a bigger transmission cooler than the Forester - or I read that someplace. In six years of towing with it no issues on that front. I did have the transmission fluid changed out about every year and a half or so though but I also but a fairly high number of tow miles on it each year.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:45 PM   #10
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If your thinking about getting a new tow rig you also need to think about how you camp and what you take with you. In a 13 foot you dont have much room to stuff your supplies. If you like to travel and stop for the night you dont want to have to unload your trailer just to go to sleep. I feel the smaller the trailer the more volume you need in your tow rig. I use a 2001 Nissan pathfinder and by the time I load a cooler Chairs a canopy and a folding hammock and a couple of boxes of food I barely have room to squeeze in the dog. But when I arrive at night with my 13 foot Scamp and just want to crawl into bed I can without having to move stuff around. But I camp mostly in the desert boonies from 5 to 7 days so if you didn't bring it with you, you dont have it. In your shoes the Toyota 4 runner is good the Land Cruiser is better but the FJ cruiser carries 4 people OK but not much else. If I was a minimalist I would use the highlander. I am not a fan of Chevy anything so others would have to judge there. For me if i was doing over again I would pick a truck and put a cap on it. I miss my old Toyota pick-up.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:34 PM   #11
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Steve raises a really good point. The more cargo space in the rear of the tug the better and to be honest some of them come up real short in that department.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
If your thinking about getting a new tow rig you also need to think about how you camp and what you take with you. In a 13 foot you dont have much room to stuff your supplies. If you like to travel and stop for the night you dont want to have to unload your trailer just to go to sleep. I feel the smaller the trailer the more volume you need in your tow rig. I use a 2001 Nissan pathfinder and by the time I load a cooler Chairs a canopy and a folding hammock and a couple of boxes of food I barely have room to squeeze in the dog. But when I arrive at night with my 13 foot Scamp and just want to crawl into bed I can without having to move stuff around. But I camp mostly in the desert boonies from 5 to 7 days so if you didn't bring it with you, you dont have it. In your shoes the Toyota 4 runner is good the Land Cruiser is better but the FJ cruiser carries 4 people OK but not much else. If I was a minimalist I would use the highlander. I am not a fan of Chevy anything so others would have to judge there. For me if i was doing over again I would pick a truck and put a cap on it. I miss my old Toyota pick-up.
If you are travelling solo with one dog in a 13' trailer and a Nissan pathfinder, and find yourself out of room, you are probably overpacking and need to leave some "stuff" at home.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:15 PM   #13
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If you are travelling solo with one dog in a 13' trailer and a Nissan pathfinder, and find yourself out of room, you are probably overpacking and need to leave some "stuff" at home.
Humm I looked at the Pathfinder and honestly don't think its cargo area was all that great. If you had a dog in that space then you really are limited as you don't want every thing else which you would have to stack up falling on top of it. In fact I have a friend who coaches soccer and he has a tough time stuffing the net full of soccer balls needed for practise into the back of his Pathfinder without dropping down a rear seat or two.

One of the things I look at when looking for a new vehicle is if I can fit a bike inside the rear of it. You would be surprised how many SUV's you can't even do it with the seats all folded down. I love the Subaru Outback as not only could you fit one bike in - if you took the front wheel off of one, you could fit two bikes in nicely.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:05 PM   #14
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I had a 2006 Xterra V6 and it pulled a 16 Scamp and it rode like a buckboard with or without the trailer. Bought a 5er then traded the Xterra for a 2007 Crew Cab V6 Frontier, 4 dr. long bed. The Frontier rides like a dream empty but has a very good ride pulling a S-13, 16 or 19. The long wheel base does make a big difference. Both vehicles had the same drive train.
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