Realistic RV for 2001 Ford Windstar - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-05-2010, 06:33 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 13 foot 1975 Boler
Posts: 10
I'm looking for recommendations for our family to start out in this crazy/addicting fibreglass rv world. We want to have camping be part of our son's memories and are clueless as both our parents never camped. We currently drive a 2001 Ford Windstar Sport Minivan. The van is a 3.8L V6.

I've looked at the specs of our vehicle and want *realistic* recommendations on what we could actually pull with our vehicle. We want something that will sleep 2 adults and two children minimum and perhaps take our bikes with us. We use this van as our daily driver and do not want to put any undue stress on our engine or transmission.

How big a camper can we realisticly go with 13 or 15, or is 13 the limit? We are *not* in the market for a new camper (cost) and I have fond memories of staying in bolers with my cousin's family and am leaning that way, however, this was before I realized there were fiberglass rv's of other makes...color me clueless. BTW, we do not want a tent trailer.

Thanks for your time!
__________________

__________________
MelFrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 06:39 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
Posts: 24,433
Hi Mel, welcome to FiberglassRV. You're going to find lots of helpful people on this site.

I know the very first question everyone is going to ask.... what does the owners manual for the Windstar say about towing weight? Once you know the poundage you can tow, we'll be able to give you a better idea of what brands will fit that weight requirement and your needs.

__________________

__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 07:22 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Raya's Avatar
 
Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
Hi and I agree with Donna

Without the towing spec for your specific vehicle, we can't give any realistic advice for your vehicle. Engine size is only one part of the picture, and doesn't mean anything alone.

While you are in the manual, look to see if there are different ratings for whether you do or don't have trailer brakes, and also check to see if you are supposed to subtract anything for luggage/weight in the tow vehicle.

Once we have those numbers, we can help you out

Raya
__________________
Raya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 08:03 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 13 foot 1975 Boler
Posts: 10
This is all I could find out by searching the vin for my van...no manual is with our van as we are not the original owners.

Year: 2001

Make: Ford

Model: Windstar

Vehicle Manufacturer:
Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited, Canada

Vehicle Type: MPV

Brake System: Hydraulic

GVWR Class: Class D

GVWR Range: 5,001-6,000 pounds

Restraint System Type:
Active Belts and Second Generation Air Bags

Series: SE Sport

Chassis Type: 4x2

Cab or Body Type: 4-Door Wagon

Engine Displacement: 3.8 Litre

Engine Type: EFI-OHV

Engine Configuration: V-Type

Number of Cylinders: 6

Fuel Type: Gasoline

Engine Manufacturer: Ford

Horsepower: 200 hp
__________________
MelFrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 08:37 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Raya's Avatar
 
Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
MelFrank,

You can download a copy of the manual for free from Ford (in fact, I am looking at it now to see if they show the tow ratings).

Raya

Edited to add:

Okay, for starters, here is a link to where you can find your manual. It is viewable on screen or downloadable for free:

https://www.flmowner.com/servlet/ContentSer...mp;ord=60556359


Here is the pertinent info:


Click image for larger version

Name:	towing_1.jpg
Views:	38
Size:	235.5 KB
ID:	29332


On to next post....
__________________
Raya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 08:51 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Raya's Avatar
 
Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
Pertinent info, part 2:


Click image for larger version

Name:	towing_2.jpg
Views:	30
Size:	167.7 KB
ID:	29333


So, it looks like if you have the "wagon" with a factory tow package, you can tow 3500# maximum. If you have the wagon without the tow package, or the van, then you can tow 2000# maximum.

I do not see any mention of brakes (i.e. sometimes you can tow more with trailer brakes on some vehicles).

I think the minimum 0# - maximum 2000# (or 3500#) has to do with the fact that you have to subtract some passenger or luggage/cargo weight. They talk about this more in the manual, so you should be able to figure it out from that. (I was skimming.)

This could cut into your tow rating fairly dramatically with 4 people plus gear, but don't take my word for it from a skim, but please check out the manual and do the calcs yourself, so you know you're right.

Raya
__________________
Raya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 08:54 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Raya's Avatar
 
Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
Okay, had to go back and read your first post.

If you have the 2000# maximum capacity, and four people plus gear in your vehicle, then I think you may end up with a capacity too small to make any of our fiberglass "eggs" viable options. Then you might be better off with a different tow vehicle. But the calculations and numbers will tell more

If you have a 3500# maximum capacity, then you have a bit more leeway, but ... can you tell us which one you have before we ramble on?

(I see you can plug in your VIN on the "find your manual" page, and maybe that will tell you if you have the factory tow package. Also, the manual says that comes pre-wired, so if you have a hitch and wiring you *might* have the factory tow package - although someone could have added a hitch to a vehicle without the package too. OTOH, if you do not have a hitch and wiring, then you likely do not have the factory tow package. Of course it includes more things than just that, but I'm talking about looking for clues.)

And just to give you some very very ballpark numbers, it's not uncommon for a 13-footer plus some outfitting/food/domestic stuff to weight up to 1800-2000# by itself. Some do weigh in at a svelte 1200# or so, but that is a really bare-bones lightly loaded one.

I don't mean to be discouraging (in case I sound that way) - we like to welcome new eggers into the fold
__________________
Raya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 09:21 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
Posts: 24,433
Looks like Raya is all over this... so, how "old" or what are the weights of the "children"? My "child" is now an adult. And frankly, the only bunk I would let her to sleep on is one in an Escape.... which is rated to 200 lbs. She's petite, but certainly not the 80 lbs the Scamp bunk (or clones) is rated.

If you ever saw a "bunk" in most of the 13 footers.... you wouldn't want to be the person on the bottom with a bigger person on the top...
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 09:24 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 13 foot 1975 Boler
Posts: 10
Also looked inside door and found these specs:
GVWR 2567 kg/5660 lb
GAWR 1270 Kg/2800 lb
I think I remember something about a towing package (could one be an after-market?).

It's starting to sound like we are destined to be tenters for at least this vehicle...can't afford something different right now...sigh...
__________________
MelFrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 09:40 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 13 foot 1975 Boler
Posts: 10
Quote:
Looks like Raya is all over this... so, how "old" or what are the weights of the "children"? My "child" is now an adult. And frankly, the only bunk I would let her to sleep on is one in an Escape.... which is rated to 200 lbs. She's petite, but certainly not the 80 lbs the Scamp bunk (or clones) is rated.

If you ever saw a "bunk" in most of the 13 footers.... you wouldn't want to be the person on the bottom with a bigger person on the top...
Planning for kid number two (not even on the scene), son will be 3 and is not 30 lbs yet. If #2 doesn't come then I want J to be able to take a buddy.
__________________
MelFrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 10:01 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
Posts: 24,433
I think this is the greatest solution for two small children... YMMV
bunkbed modification, bunkbed mod for kids
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 10:24 PM   #12
Moderator
 
Frederick L. Simson's Avatar
 
Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
California
Posts: 8,151
Registry
Send a message via AIM to Frederick L. Simson
Talking

Quote:
I think I remember something about a towing package ([b]could one be an after-market?).

[b]Tow "packages" consist of at the very least:
  • Hitch Receiver sized to match your vehicle's maximum tow rating
  • Electric "pigtail" to power at least the trailer's Stop Lights/Turn Signals & Running lights. (a.k.a. 4-pin flat)
  • Transmission cooler (radiator for you transmission fluid)
These items are common as aftermarket add-ons.

[b]Some manufacturers modify other equipment selections when a "Tow Package" is ordered from the factory.
  • Heavier suspension
  • more robust transmission gearing
  • Bigger wheels and tires
A lot depends on Ford's definition of "Tow Package". The second group is not generally easily done aftermarket...

[b]Another upgrade is to add electric trailer brakes...
  • exchange 4-pin flat for a 6 or 7-pin round electric pigtail.
    • Stop Lights/Turn Signals
    • Running lights
    • Brake Controller connection (5th pin)
    • House battery charge line (6th pin)
    • Back-up lights on the trailer (7th pin, optional)
  • Brake controller mounted on or under the dashboard
... This third group is always a good idea.

My Honda Odyssey's Tow Package cost approximately $2200.00 (USD) to add the 1st and the 3rd groups to the van when I bought it. This plus the use of a Weight Distributing Hitch satisfied Honda's requirements for the maximum tow rating of 3500 pounds with only 2 occupants. Each additional occupant decreases the towing capacity by the amount that occupant weighs.
__________________
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
Frederick L. Simson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 10:47 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 13 foot 1975 Boler
Posts: 10
I'll have to go digging around in the van in the daylight to see about the towing package thing. However, what's the lightest "egg" (I'll get the lingo yet!) out there with sleeping for 4?

__________________
MelFrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 11:37 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Raya's Avatar
 
Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
I think the lightest you will find for sleeping four is an older Boler/clone (Scamp, etc.) or maybe a Burro 13 or original Trillium 13.

These are the classic small eggs, and you may be able to find one that weighs in around 1200# empty. (Batteries and 3-way fridges add weight, as do multiple propane tanks.)

These eggs usually come with a dinette in back that will seat four and then convert to a (small) double bed; then there is a sofa in front wherein the back lifts up to be a bunk (80# capacity unless you modify it). Those two are single beds, so there are your four sleeping spots.

There will be a place to slide a Porta Potti on some of these (don't go for a "bathroom" model as they are heavier and will limit your sleeping capacity).

U-haul also made a small camper (Burro clone) but they may be a bit heavier due to a beefed up frame. Also, the sofa is too small to actually sit on with the bunk down, so they are more practical for those who don't need the bunk and can remove the back and just use pillows. Note that the Burro may be like this too; I don't know the Burro but it is something to check to be sure. Boler/clones have an ample couch, with the bunk down, and a 28" wide single with the back up - not bad at all.

One thing I will warn you about is that you will see many ads - and even manufacturer statements - of 13-footers that weigh "900 lbs," and can be towed by "any vehicle." I doubt this was ever true, and it certainly has not been true of the many 13-footers that have been actually weighed. If you are close to the limit, I would advise to look for the trailers mentioned above, and then *actually* weigh THAT specific trailer to be sure. (Or accept a certified scale slip from a seller.) Otherwise you could have an 1800# base trailer without even knowing it.

Then, just be very careful about gear: Travel with water tanks empty; maybe get a 10# propane tank vs. a 20#; stick with a cooler, etc.

Now, if you have the factory tow package, this changes as you will have more capacity. If you actually have the "up to 2000#" capacity, it would be tight even with a light egg with 3 people, but may still be doable if you are willing to go ultralight and actually weigh everything.

(I agree with Frederick that it's possible to have a hitch, wiring, transmission cooler, etc. and still not have the factory tow package. They sometimes are just those items, but for it to give you almost double the potential towing capacity, it very well may be much more than that. I should think Ford might be able to help you if you have the VIN and contact them. Or, do you see a dealer plaque on the car? IF so maybe call them.)
__________________

__________________
Raya 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
Deer+Ford=New Tug Pat B Ohio Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 9 05-26-2009 03:48 PM
Anyone tow with a Ford Freestar 3.9? ChadR Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 10 04-13-2008 11:54 PM
Realistic Tow/Cargo Weights V'sGlassSleeper General Chat 25 07-18-2007 01:11 PM

» 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 02:12 PM.


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