Novice at towing - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-16-2016, 09:52 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Leslie
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Iowa
Posts: 13
Novice at towing

Hey all,

I'm going to take early retirement soon, and I'm getting a 16' Scamp or Casita or some other fiberglass RV (I haven't nailed down exactly which way I'm going to go), and I'm trading in my CR-V for a Subaru Outback since it will pull up to 2700 lbs.

My question is, how difficult will the trailer be to pull with the Outback? I'm a novice at pulling, as I've only pulled a trailer a few times, but I'm a quick learner so I'm not too concerned about it. I just want to make it as easy as possible.

What are your thoughts about my plan? Will the Outback pull well? I'll be all across the west from the deserts to the mountains, so I'll be pulling in a variety of conditions.

Any feedback is appreciated!

Thanks!

Leslie
__________________

__________________
LeslieGErickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 10:09 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Bob in Mb's Avatar
 
Name: Robert
Trailer: Surf-Side
Manitoba
Posts: 261
See the discussion on current thread " sway with a 16' scamp"
__________________

__________________
Bob in Mb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 10:10 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 5,569
Registry
Whoa!!!

A Subaru Outback is rated for 2700 pounds total trailer weight, but it's limited to 200 pounds tongue weight. Here's a link to the 2016 Subaru Outback Owner's Manual. Section 8 has all the trailer towing information. There are a number of other important caveats in addition to the tongue weight limit.

Camping-type trailers should have a tongue weight of at least 10-15% of total weight for stable towing. That means a 2400-2600 pound Scamp or Casita 16'er should have a tongue weight of at least 240-260 pounds. See the thread Trailer Weights in the Real World for more information. Post #297 links to a spreadsheet of the data.

With a tongue weight limit of 200 pounds, an Outback is limited to a camping trailer that weighs no more than 2000 pounds, meaning a 13'er.

Boat trailers are inherently more stable with tongue weights under 10%, but we're not talking about boats here.

See this thread for another ongoing discussion of the same issue: sway with a 16" scamp
__________________
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 10:37 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Dbybe's Avatar
 
Name: Donald
Trailer: Happier Camper HC1 pulled with a 2011 Subaru Outback 4cyl CVT
California
Posts: 106
Novice at towing

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieGErickson View Post
Hey all,

I'm going to take early retirement soon, and I'm getting a 16' Scamp or Casita or some other fiberglass RV (I haven't nailed down exactly which way I'm going to go), and I'm trading in my CR-V for a Subaru Outback since it will pull up to 2700 lbs.

My question is, how difficult will the trailer be to pull with the Outback? I'm a novice at pulling, as I've only pulled a trailer a few times, but I'm a quick learner so I'm not too concerned about it. I just want to make it as easy as possible.

What are your thoughts about my plan? Will the Outback pull well? I'll be all across the west from the deserts to the mountains, so I'll be pulling in a variety of conditions.

Any feedback is appreciated!

Thanks!

Leslie

I tow with a 2011 Subaru Outback 4 cyl CVT. I have a Happier Camper HC1 which is 13' long total. Have not weighed the trailer but the tongue weight is usually right around 160 lbs. trailer is probably in the 1500-1600 lb. range fully loaded. I have about 4000 miles on the trailer now since last September. It is towing well in the cool weather. There is plenty of power. (I have been towing to 100 degrees in the flats, and about 80 on climbs.). You can tell though that the suspension is not really designed for towing. Perhaps better rear shocks or sway bars might help. The other concern is that Subaru lowers the tow rating for temps at 104 and long climbs, to 1350. I have had it to 4000 foot elevation which was not a problem, but as I get into the real mountains this summer we will see. If I were looking for another tow vehicle I would look for something a bit more substantial than the Subaru, though so far it is doing pretty well.



Don
Sacramento
__________________
Don
Sacramento, California
Dbybe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 10:38 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
ZachO's Avatar
 
Name: Zach
Trailer: 91 Bigfoot 17
Montana
Posts: 953
Registry
On some level, "the bigger the tow vehicle, the easier time you'll have". You're going with the absolute minimum size and power vehicle. It'll be a challenge.

It's already been said, but you'll do better with either a larger tow vehicle, or a smaller trailer.
__________________
ZachO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 10:46 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Name: Leslie
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Iowa
Posts: 13
Thanks Jon

I read the thread you pointed me to, and I have a lot to consider. I like the idea of the better gas mileage with an Outback, so I didn't consider a pickup for very long.

I originally thought I would get a 13', but I'll be living in it full time (along with some tent camping) for a few years, so I thought the extra space would be better.

Now, apparently, I have some thinking to do. With my inexperience with pulling and RVing, I definitely want the best and easiest setup I can find.

Thanks for your input!

Leslie
__________________
LeslieGErickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 11:04 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: None
Trailer: None
None
Posts: 2,738
We have owned a 16 ft Scamp SD and a 17 ft Casita Spirit DLX.
The tongue weight of the Scamp was around 250 lbs and the Casita is around 425 lbs. I gave up on towing with a vehicle that is pushing it's limits. I bought a 1/2 ton truck and just go camping. Even with a truck , if you don't limit the amount of extras you carry you can approach or exceed your GVWR. I like the feel of being in control when towing versus the trailer being in control. In reality trying to get the tongue weight of a 16 ft trailer under 200 lbs may well be an unattainable goal.
__________________
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 11:13 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 5,569
Registry
Novice at towing

Steve is right- living on the edge is not fun. But for a 16' Scamp or Casita, I don't think a truck is the only option. There are a number of minivans and mid-sized SUVs with tow ratings of 3500/350 or more. That's what I'd look for.

Best advice is to download and read the owner's manual for any vehicle you are considering. Don't trust sales brochures or manufacturer websites to give full disclosure. Owner's manuals for most vehicles can be found with a simple Google search.

I added a couple of links to my earlier post you might find helpful.
__________________
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 11:23 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieGErickson View Post
Hey all,

I'm going to take early retirement soon, and I'm getting a 16' Scamp or Casita or some other fiberglass RV (I haven't nailed down exactly which way I'm going to go), and I'm trading in my CR-V for a Subaru Outback since it will pull up to 2700 lbs.

My question is, how difficult will the trailer be to pull with the Outback? I'm a novice at pulling, as I've only pulled a trailer a few times, but I'm a quick learner so I'm not too concerned about it. I just want to make it as easy as possible.

What are your thoughts about my plan? Will the Outback pull well? I'll be all across the west from the deserts to the mountains, so I'll be pulling in a variety of conditions.

Any feedback is appreciated!

Thanks!

Leslie

Having towed the lightest layout of the 16' Scamps (a Side Bath) with an Outback for 5 years I would recommend not tow anything over 13' with it for a couple of reasons.

Big one is stability. You will be able to stow a 16' Scamp so that it does not exceed the total tow weight limit set by Subaru BUT In order to get the trailer nice a stable and not sway you are going to need 10% weight on the tongue. Subaru's Outback has a max 200lb limit on the tongue. My 16' Scamp (older model) is a side bath one of the lightest of the 16''s and had no AC, one propane tank, one battery, no water in the tanks and loaded evenly inside weighed in over and over between 2200/2300lbs on the axle meaning the tongue weight need to be at 220/230lbs for stability - it actually towed much better on the highways with 240lbs on the tongue. Check the thread Trailer Weights in the Real World Thread for actual weights of trailers. My trailer appears on that list a couple of times and one of them is #37 - note in that listing that I had only 200lbs on the tongue and was heavier on the axle than normal. That was a short test on my part to see if I could get a stable tow with only 200lbs on the tongue - so I had moved items to behind the axle to get the weight off the tongue - It did NOT work out well and for the return trip home I had moved stuff around in the trailer to better balance it and had it back at 240lbs on the tongue for safety reasons.

While the Outback provided a nice solid tow with the extra weight on the tongue it did struggle on long high climbs so I would often look at alternate routes to avoid such climbs if possible. Especially on warm summer days.

The BIG problem I experienced towing with the Outback was excessive wear and tear and the bills that went with it.

I had owned two previous Outbacks that did not tow and much higher yearly milage put on them than the one that did tow. But the one that did tow had what I would consider a MUCH higher level of yearly wear and tear repair issues, it actually had a lot of items in need of replacement before it had 50,000 miles on it that the other ones I had owned had never needed replacing even though they had much higher milage on them.

Most of the items that required replacing on the Outback that did tow were believed by the two independent machines who worked on it to be the result of excessive heat most probable caused by towing a trailer that maxed out its tow spec. I never had a transmission problem (thank goodness) but the vehicle required repairs on pretty well everything else by the time it had 60,000 miles on it. To Subaru's credit they did pitch in and help pay for the cost of some of the repairs even though due to its age it was off warranty as the items needing repair should have under normal conditions not have need repair/replacement with the milage it had on it, they of course had no idea as to what I had towed with it and for how many miles....

As much as I loved my Outback after some pretty hefty repair bills I retired it from towing. As it had so much work done on it and figured that it would be ok to keep as a second vehicle in the family, unfortunately in the year it was kept and not used for towing the trips to the repair shop continued and the decision was made to get rid of it. I have no doubt that using it to tow a trailer that was at its upper weight towing limit played a big part in its not so great repair history.
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 11:29 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Name: Leslie
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Iowa
Posts: 13
Thanks everyone for all the input!

I hate giving up gas mileage when I'm not towing, but it looks like I might have to. I was thinking a Toyota Tecoma for a pick up or maybe a Honda Pilot or Toyota SUV would work.

I don't think I want to go any smaller on the trailer since I'll be living in it.

Leslie
__________________
LeslieGErickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 11:33 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
I forgot to note that while I currently tow with a mid size truck I would if I was planning to pull only a 16' trailer look at some of the alternative vehicles that have a 3500lb tow spec but with a V6 that are not trucks. I think you will find they are able to provide a very solid and comfortable tow for a small trailer, perhaps even more solid & comfortable than a truck ;-)

The Highlander is one I would put at the top of my list as I know several folks who are towing with them and are very happy with them. Only reason I did not go that route is I am looking at going to a heavier/larger trailer and need a higher tow rating.
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 11:37 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieGErickson View Post
Thanks everyone for all the input!

I hate giving up gas mileage when I'm not towing,
Leslie
Well I think you will find as I did have that Subaru's MPG's are not the best to start with, so that many of the slightly larger vehicles with larger engines actually get the same or in some cases better gas milage.
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 11:43 AM   #13
Junior Member
 
Name: Leslie
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Iowa
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Well I think you will find as I did have that Subaru's MPG's are not the best to start with, so that many of the slightly larger vehicles with larger engines actually get the same or in some cases better gas milage.
I wondered about that. The new Outbacks are rated 33 on the highway, and I've averaged 31 with my CR-V (rated at 32) over the past two summers with more than 10K miles. But I know the Outback wouldn't get near that mileage towing.

The Highlander is something I'll look at, but then I'm looking at a much higher price tag for the vehicle - I wanted to stay at about $30K at the highest. I'll start looking for used ones this summer.

Thanks Carol for your input! I find it so valuable!

Leslie
__________________
LeslieGErickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 11:49 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
CampyTime's Avatar
 
Name: Wendy Lee
Trailer: Scamp 13' Standard
New York
Posts: 1,061
Registry
Hi Leslie,

Forgive me if I missed something, but I didn't see if it will be you living in trailer or with significant other? If you'll be alone, and love your outback, I think the 13 will do you just fine. I camp quite regularly alone in mine and am happy with it.

You didn't mention, but I wondered if bath/toilet is necessary for you? If you plan on using campsite facilities, you could save the bath space in a 13 for a front dinette setup. I know that's offered in scamp 13 Deluxe, but I wonder if they'd put that in there for you with a standard? Others might know more.

If you plan in using campground facilities, a porta Pottie works well for late night calls or other emergent needs. If you got a front dinette, you wouldn't have to make the bed to have a place to sit and eat, etc. But if it's only offered in deluxe, now you're adding more weight due to wood cabinetry.

Myself, I leave bed as is and sit on my sofa bunk to eat. I turned my silverware drawer into a shelf when pulled out. I also use a TV tray (from the 70's) to put my meal on.

Keep in mind you might be set up camping a lot more than you're driving, and if you love your outback, you'll still get that great gas mileage when going into town, sightseeing and the like. The tongue weight on my 13 standard is 160 pounds, measured with tongue weight scale.

Please know these are just my thoughts for your consideration. I am very happy and comfy in my scamp. Living smaller than home takes a little getting used to, organization and planning either way.

Best wishes,

Wendy


Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
__________________

__________________
CampyTime is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Towing Definitions-Understanding Towing weight terms cpaharley2008 Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 40 04-16-2017 04:42 AM
Electrical system advice for total novice greendrew Modifications, Alterations and Updates 3 08-29-2014 07:52 PM
Tower novice - Car badly affected - help please... franck2cv Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 119 05-13-2014 11:58 AM
Liability and overweight towing (split from Towing 13' Scamp...) Bob Miller Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 88 04-18-2014 06:10 PM
Towing fifth wheel versus towing bumper hitch drstock Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 67 02-20-2014 02:04 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.