Scamp 13 and RAV4 I4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-30-2014, 06:27 PM   #1
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Scamp 13 and RAV4 I4

We took possession of our Scamp 13 this summer. We towed with our Toyota RAV4 I4 4 cylinder with good results.

We recognized that the tow vehicle is not made to pull this load without limitations. So we tow between 50 and 60 mph on the highway, which seems to be the comfort zone for the rig. When the auto kicks the rpm up to pull a grade, we lock out the overdrive. This avoids auto shifting confusion and lets the gear ratio maintain good rpm for climbing. We have experienced no problems over a 6 week trip taking it easy. This trip was across eastern Canada and the upper eastern seaboard of the US.

We recognize that if we want to keep up with the Interstate or TransCanada full speed crowd we would need a more robust tow rig. On the other hand this setup works great for the less trodden routes.

Just wanted to layout a Scamp 13/RAV4 case study for those interested.

Cheers, John
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:37 PM   #2
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Scamp 13 and RAV4 I4

Scamp 13s can vary significantly in weight depending on age, version, layout & options. It would probably help others to know more about the trailer as well as the tug (hitch type, towing adds,...).

Glad you had a good experience with yours. Happy travels!

PS - I'm a MD native (Harford Co.). My family did a lot of traveling in NY, New England, Maine, and the Maritime Provinces when I was a kid. Wish I could get my own family back there one day... so far from AZ!
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johno View Post
We took possession of our Scamp 13 this summer. We towed with our Toyota RAV4 I4 4 cylinder with good results.

We recognized that the tow vehicle is not made to pull this load without limitations. So we tow between 50 and 60 mph on the highway, which seems to be the comfort zone for the rig. When the auto kicks the rpm up to pull a grade, we lock out the overdrive. This avoids auto shifting confusion and lets the gear ratio maintain good rpm for climbing. We have experienced no problems over a 6 week trip taking it easy. This trip was across eastern Canada and the upper eastern seaboard of the US.

We recognize that if we want to keep up with the Interstate or TransCanada full speed crowd we would need a more robust tow rig. On the other hand this setup works great for the less trodden routes.

Just wanted to layout a Scamp 13/RAV4 case study for those interested.

Cheers, John
We towed for years all over NA 16 foot trailers, now a Scamp 16, with our 4 cylinder CRV and on Interstates we just stayed to the right. With tires rated for 65 mph there is simply no way to keep up. WE would typically stay at 62 mph.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:29 AM   #4
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Got a Rav4 6 tow package 3500# 2012. Tows my 16 scamp very well. I don`t know how a 4 would tow with out some kind of towing prep. I would consult the dealer as to how to acquire those preps. Carl
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:32 AM   #5
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RAV4/Scamp 13 details

Adding some details per Jon's comment.

We have not weighed the 13. It is a 13 deluxe, no bathroom but rather the front, two single dinette. It has one propane tank on the tongue. We have the A/C on the roof. We are also carrying two bikes on the back of the scamp. Trying to run with little in the grey water holding and little in the fresh water tank.

The RAV4 has an after market 2 inch receiver hitch rated for 3500 lbs with, I think, a 4 inch lift hitch bar. No electric brakes and no problems.

Now for the future, we're thinking of finding a convertible for a tow vehicle
John



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Scamp 13s can vary significantly in weight depending on age, version, layout & options. It would probably help others to know more about the trailer as well as the tug (hitch type, towing adds,...).

Glad you had a good experience with yours. Happy travels!

PS - I'm a MD native (Harford Co.). My family did a lot of traveling in NY, New England, Maine, and the Maritime Provinces when I was a kid. Wish I could get my own family back there one day... so far from AZ!
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:53 AM   #6
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Scamp 13 and RAV4 I4

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The RAV4 has an after market 2 inch receiver hitch rated for 3500 lbs with, I think, a 4 inch lift hitch bar. No electric brakes and no problems.

John, you might want to look into a transmission cooler. I have a very lightly optioned Scamp 13 Standard (no fridge, bath, or AC). When I first bought it I pulled it with a Toyota Sienna (2000, 3.0L) without the tow package (rated 2000#). Pulled great on flats, but tranny overheated on the first long uphill grade with a headwind. Electronic nannies prevented catastrophe, but not an experience I'd want to repeat.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:20 AM   #7
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Everyone plrase keep in mind that the tow rating for an aftermarket hitch, as mentioned in post #5, has no bearing whatsoever on the towing capacity of the vehicle on which it is installed.

The FACTORY hitch on my Blazer is marked for 6000 lbs, but some versions of that same vehicle, with the same factory hitch installed, have a tow rating as low as 2000 lbs.

Again, the sticker is for the hitches capacity, not the vehicle's capacity, go by the tow ratings shown in the vehicle's users manual only.
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:38 PM   #8
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I agree with Bob. I had a Ford Focus wagon, and had a hitch put on it (2000lb capacity hitch). However, my car was ONLY rated to tow 1000lbs max.

(Class I Trailer hitch definition - Trailer hitch with capacity up to to 2,000 lbs gross trailer weight and 200 lbs tongue weight.)
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:37 PM   #9
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We now have 6 years and tens of thousands of miles towing our Scamp 13D front bath with our 4CYL 5SPD manual Ford Escape. (two bikes on the front)
It too does best just under 60MPH with great economy and good performance in all terrains. (higher speeds just waste gas)
We have brakes on the trailer.

The Rav4 should be comparable.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by johno View Post

The RAV4 has an after market 2 inch receiver hitch rated for 3500 lbs with, I think, a 4 inch lift hitch bar. No electric brakes and no problems.

Now for the future, we're thinking of finding a convertible for a tow vehicle
John
John, good to here your rig is working out. Those Honda's seem bulletproof. I like the fact you have upgraded to the heavy duty 2 inch receiver. We did the same upgrade to our car and it works great. You didn't mention a sway bar. In many cases they can add security when the poop hits the fan.

The idea of a rag top sounds like fun. They seem to work well when the set up is done right. Cheers!
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:23 AM   #11
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I agree about the addition of a transmission cooler. We had one installed in our Odyssey at purchase.

Our son tows a Scamp 13 with a 4 cylinder Accord and noticed a slight color change in his transmission fluid and added an after market transmission cooler.
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Old 11-04-2014, 05:44 PM   #12
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This past March we picked up our new 13' Scamp Standard at the factory with a 2013 Rav4 four cylinder and camped our way back to Central West Virginia in snow, rain - all types of weather, all different terrain and had no problems. Kept the speed between 55 and 70, 55 up some of the steeper grades and 70 down the other side. There were times on the steeper grades or very strong headwinds that it felt a little "strained" but overall did great.

Next summer we plan to have six to eight weeks to set out and see the USA at our leisure and may use the Rav4. Our other TV is a Chevy Astro. Haven't decided which will make the trip.
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Old 11-04-2014, 05:46 PM   #13
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Oh - I asked the Toyota dealer about a transmission cooler. They had never heard of one...
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:24 PM   #14
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Oh - I asked the Toyota dealer about a transmission cooler. They had never heard of one...
Time to locate a different Toyota dealer.

PS... It is hit and miss with auto dealers as to what they know about towing. Generally speaking they don't know much.
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