Safe weight limits in mountains - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-04-2012, 12:11 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=Robin G;319234]
I know someone who purchased a new stickie travel trailer and was given a weight by the dealer. The dealer telling him his truck would tow it! One trip, his first with their new travel trailer and guess what, the trailer was so much heavier than presented by the dealer. It got parked until they could afford a new tow vehicle. [QUOTE]

I know of at least 2 fiberglass trailer owners that have done the same. More than a little shocked the first time they actually weighed their trailers loaded up for camping. IMHO its always a good idea to add at least 7-800lbs to the dry weight given by the manufacture to get a ball park figure on what the Real World Weight may be. All the stuff needed for camping adds up, even when you have made a point of buying the lightest items out there & dont carry a lot of extras!

A good example is my 16' Scamp - dry weight given by Scamp is 1750lbs. Its been weighed at least 6 times loaded for camping & it comes in between 2500 and 2600lbs including the tongue weight. That's with no water in tanks, no ac, no microwave, no coffee maker etc. But it does include everything needed for camping including hoses, electrical cords, tables, chairs, bq, clothing & food etc & wine all carried in the trailer - only golf clubs in the back of the car. It includes only one battery and one 20lb propane tank full. Most recent couple of weigh ins its came in at about 2500lbs but that is after having done a couple of major clear outs of items not often used and changing a mountain bike that use to ride in the trailer over to a much lighter hybrid carbon fiber road bike that now rides on the roof of the car. Bottom line is the trailer still weighs in at 750lbs over the manufactures dry weight.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Robin G View Post
That statement might be true if the only reason you purchase a "small molded fiberglass trailer" is because you want to keep cost down, not have to park a mega truck, etc.

That is not the reason I bought and I am sure some people purchased for other reasons as well. Agree with you that for people who want to stay within parameters of that thinking, than the "right" size vehicle is a good choice!
Under what circumstances would the "right sized" vehicle be a bad choice?
I can't imagine wanting to keep the cost "up" or wanting to struggle with an unnecessarily unwieldy "mega" tow vehicle.
Of course "right sized" would mean using a larger TV with a larger trailer.

I too bought for other reasons as well, but I am also unwilling to reject the benefits which come naturally with a "small molded fiberglass trailer".

BTW;Just to define terms, "small" applies to those molded fiberglass trailers under 17ft,the point at which the term "small" starts seeming a bit incredulous(if not sooner in some cases).
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:06 PM   #17
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Depends on what you use it for other than towing your RV.

My "daily driver, grocery getter, run-around as needed AND tow & haul stuff & carry people AND tow my RV" vehicle is a one ton, extended cab longbox pickup.

To be precise, it is a 2006 Silverado 3500 Duramax and that is the "right size" vehicle for me.

It handles better and gets better fuel economy than my old Toyota 4Runner rides nicer, and drives like a dream. Parking isn`t an issue (I just run over the little cars!) (Joking!)
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:25 PM   #18
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Under what circumstances would the "right sized" vehicle be a bad choice?
.

Don't think it is a bad choice, but neither is a "mega truck" for the people who have them and prefer them. I was just saying people choose for different reasons that meet their lifestyle.


As long as "right sized" is adequate, I am all good!
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:40 PM   #19
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Carol H, that is why I always tell people it's worth the money spent to weigh a trailer before purchasing it. That minimal cost can save a lot of headaches! Especially when they are where their tow cap is in question.


And if we as members would find out the particulars before saying, Oh sure you will be fine! would be nice!

As I have been living and driving, towing in the mountains most of my driving life, I can tell you the only issues going up hill is loss of power, over heating.


But the biggest issue when towing in the mountains, near, at, or over your tow cap is coming down those mountains! That is why it's crucial to know the particulars of each individuals towing. If you got a truck load of kids and pets, this set up isn't probably the best set up! Takes a couple of post to find out what the OP needs will be, then recommend............
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:58 PM   #20
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I can only speak from my own experience - I tow a 3100 lb Escape 17B (Actual loaded weight) with a RAV4 V6 with tow package. 26,000 miles so far including both eastern & western mountains. No problems with overheating and while some would say it is underpowered, the only time I felt I was pushing it was climbing to the Eisenhower Tunnel on I 70 - down to 40 MPH in second gear.

I travel alone, usually travel secondary roads, stay below 57MPH, and get 15 MPG towing & 25 MPG unhooked.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:17 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by BCDave View Post
Depends on what you use it for other than towing your RV.

My daily driver, grocery getter, run-around as needed AND tow & haul stuff & carry people AND tow my RV vehicle is a one ton, extended cab longbox pickup.

To be precise, it is a 2006 Silverado 3500 Duramax and that is the `right size` vehicle for me.

It handles better and gets better fuel economy than my old Toyota 4Runner rides nicer, and drives like a dream. Parking isn`t an issue (I just run over the little cars!) (Joking!)
Condolences(joking) While it is the "right size" for you, nobody needs one to tow a "small molded fiberglass trailer". Probably a smaller Isuzu would do the trick.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:21 PM   #22
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I towed a 16' scamp to Moab and back with my four cylinder Rav4. Vehicle stability and stopping was not the issue. I have a transmission cooler, so my transmission was relatively happy, but I really cooked my enginer because it was working very hard 4,000 rpm for much of the steep parts of I70 = not good. I will never do that to my car. I downshifted to a 13' scamp. Car still works hard, but I am not afraid for it anymore. Take away. The less you tow the better, also scamps tow like a dream even in high crosswinds.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:14 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by KevinScamps View Post
I towed a 16' scamp to Moab and back with my four cylinder Rav4. Vehicle stability and stopping was not the issue. I have a transmission cooler, so my transmission was relatively happy, but I really cooked my enginer because it was working very hard 4,000 rpm for much of the steep parts of I70 = not good. I will never do that to my car. I downshifted to a 13' scamp. Car still works hard, but I am not afraid for it anymore. Take away. The less you tow the better, also scamps tow like a dream even in high crosswinds.
Redline is probably something over 5000 rpm, right? If so, running at 4000 rpm (even all day) should do the engine no harm. It is noisy at that level, though.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:09 AM   #24
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Condolences(joking) While it is the "right size" for you, nobody needs one to tow a "small molded fiberglass trailer". Probably a smaller Isuzu would do the trick.

If I had a small light-weight F/G trailer, I might agree. my egg is a Bigfoot 21 footer with a GVW approaching 7,000 lb.

There are many members on here who have "larger" (non-small) F/G eggs

The point is - you have to (at a minimum) match the tug to the egg.

Yes, for a 13 footer (regardless of egg brand) , an Isuzu, a li'l Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Ranger. S10 etc will do nicely as will a host of other tugs. Also for a 14, most 15's and some 16's & 17's. By the time you get into SOME 17's, most 19's etc, you may be able to do it with a smaller tug, but the RIGHT-size one will likely be bigger.

I suspect that a "normal" half ton would pull my Bigfoot sans any issues , but my "diseasel" gets such great economy and that's the size truck those engines come in.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:59 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by BCDave View Post
If I had a small light-weight F/G trailer, I might agree. my egg is a Bigfoot 21 footer with a GVW approaching 7,000 lb.

There are many members on here who have "larger" (non-small) F/G eggs

The point is - you have to (at a minimum) match the tug to the egg.

Yes, for a 13 footer (regardless of egg brand) , an Isuzu, a li'l Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Ranger. S10 etc will do nicely as will a host of other tugs. Also for a 14, most 15's and some 16's & 17's. By the time you get into SOME 17's, most 19's etc, you may be able to do it with a smaller tug, but the RIGHT-size one will likely be bigger.

I suspect that a "normal" half ton would pull my Bigfoot sans any issues , but my "diseasel" gets such great economy and that's the size truck those engines come in.
We are obviously on the same page. You have made my point once again... you have to match the tug to the egg.
It's hard for me to understand why some folks here seem to infer that my comments were against larger tugs for larger trailers.In fact it advocates that.
I am, however saying that tug overkill generally defeats the purpose of buying a "small molded fiberglass trailer",which was to make RVing available for those who did not want and otherwise had no need for an oversized vehicle.
My advocacy for "right sized" Tow Vehicles is in response to those who consistently think that an oversized vehicle is the only solution to safe and enjoyable towing. You don't need a sledge to drive a tack.
I would not own a travel trailer if it meant being saddled with the unpleasant prospect of owning, driving, or maintaining an oversized truck,especially a "diseasel", so the 13 Scamp provides me with an otherwise inaccessible undertaking.
I have a friend who owns an F-350 diesel dually to pull his (40ft?)fifthwheel travel trailer, The truck and the trailer are each beautiful and make-up a "rightsized" combination, but if I had to keep it, I would not trade him even-up.
I love the 21 Bigfoot, it is commodious, and well made, but it represents to me an unacceptable seachange in travel style.

BTW;The Isuzu comment was a good natured dig at the DuraMax.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:59 AM   #26
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There is more to consider than just weight, so many people get really focused on the weight of the trailer and although it is a important component there are other factors, some trailers just tow nicer than others, heres an example, a friend of mine has a enclosed car trailer that when we have it loaded with 4 snowmobiles and go to the mountains in bc for the weekend is just under 7000 lbs, this trailer tows beautifully behind my chevrolet 3/4 ton truck, infact it tows way nicer than my old stick trailer which was 4200 lbs loaded. i kno wit is not always posible but when it is i would strongly recomend a trial run before buying any trailer, especialy if it is going to be anywhere close to capacity of the tow vehicle.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:33 AM   #27
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There is more to consider than just weight, so many people get really focused on the weight of the trailer
So true. I think folks focus on weight because it is easy and tangible.

What is far more complicated is trying to determine what the vehicle is really safely capable of, how to select the correct connection hardware, and how to set it correctly. You need professionals to do that and most folks can't be bothered.

Sooooo they do some basic calculations based on weight/numbers, hitch it up and head out on the road. They assume the numbers have made it all work. Many find out it isn't that easy.
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