Small cars for towing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-24-2003, 06:43 PM   #1
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Small cars for towing

I am just wondering how many of you out there use a small car for towing 13 foot base model Scamp's ? The reason is I am seeing more and more small cars towing everything from 13' Scamps to all sizes of Pop-Ups with only 4 cly. engines without turbo's or super chargers on them and they all seem to do pretty well at this job. A lot of pick ups and suvs at the camp sites offen have 2nd thoughts on buying gas guzzeling trucks and suvs when they could have had the best of both worlds when it comes to a smaller tow vehical. Any one out there driveing small cars? if so please respond with what you are using to tow with. Thanks; Dan M.
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Old 03-24-2003, 07:10 PM   #2
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Hi Dan
I agree with what you are saying about small tow vehicals.Yes some small vehicals can and do a adequate job.I pull my 17 ft Boler with GMC Sonoma 4.2 litre.This vehical pulls and is capable of stopping properly.I know you can pull a 13ft with almost any thing but is it safe to do so.EG There are some photos here of a person pulling a 13 ft with a garden tractor.Other folks will jump in here with there thoughts and you will have a good idea of pros and cons.:wave
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Old 03-24-2003, 07:58 PM   #3
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Picture is worth a thousand words

Poster by Don on the Casita Club site yesterday.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e7fb7a76288eBurow.jpg/>

Pulling a Burro
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Old 03-25-2003, 07:51 PM   #4
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Our first trailer was a fiberglass Compact Jr. that had a lift top. It was very simple, just an ice box and two burner cook top. And it weighed, as I recall 850 lb. dry and about 1100 lb. when we travelled. Our tow vehicle was a 1965 Peugeot Station Wagon. I took an extended leave from my job and we travelled in every state except Alaska, Hawaii, Deleware and somehow missed Kentucky over about a year and a half.

I can remember twice in the Rocky Mts in second gear at about 15 mph for what seemed like an hour. Once we had to stop for road construction and didn't have enough power to get started, so a couple of the road workers gave us a little push.

Otherwise, the Peugeot that had a 1.6 liter 65hp 4 cyl engine did just fine. Got just a tad over 20 MPG towing unless there was a head wind, or mountains. The only problem we had was parts availability for the Peugeot.

So, I would advise you to try the vehicle you have and see how it works. You might just be surprised and satisfied. Then take the money you saved, invest it and retire early.
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Old 03-26-2003, 07:21 PM   #5
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Tow vehicle

I use a Chevy S-10, with the 4.3 engine to pull my 17"SD. So far no problems, and the gas milage aint to shabby either. 17mpg on the last 3000 mile trip.
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Old 03-27-2003, 12:18 AM   #6
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We used to have an S-10 (early 90's) with a 4.3L (Before my gas guzzling pig - Durango!) That S-10 Chevy was excellent all around. I'll assume you probably have the 4.3L Vortec which is an even better engine.
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Old 03-27-2003, 06:24 AM   #7
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blazer/bigfoot 21

Rick-
Did you pull your (most excellent) Bigfoot with that blazer?? If not, do you think it would? My pal just bought a 77 Argosy 6 meter Minuet that may be similar weight to your rig...or more. (3500??)He is towing with a short 2 door blazer and I think he is pushing it. Suggested he scale it so he knows what he's got.........
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Old 03-27-2003, 11:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Orginally posted by phil moldovan

* * * * * * Rick-
Did you pull your (most excellent) Bigfoot *with that blazer?? If not, do you think it would? My pal just bought a 77 Argosy 6 meter Minuet that may be similar weight to your rig...or more. (3500??)He is towing with a short 2 door blazer and I think he is pushing it. Suggested he scale it so he knows what he's got.........
Hi Phil: The S-10 was a pickup. It was very poweful and was more comfortable on the highway than any furniture in our living room (well, almost :) ) It would not have pulled the Bigfoot 21 but would have done a decent job with the 17.

Tell your friend not to pull 3500 lbs with a short Blazer. Sue's dad (in his short Blazer) went in the ditch and totalled a borrowed stick built trailer (2500 lbs?) after a drive by from a semi on the highway. Luckily 4 people were not killed.
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Old 03-28-2003, 07:20 PM   #9
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Diesel

Well I might get flamed here but here goes. I have a old ford F-350 with a 7.3 no turbo diesel aprox. 350,000 miles. This truck gets 17 mph not towing and about 15/16 towing small trailers, drops to 13 with something large. The newer diesels get much better milage and if you put a Banks kit on and change to amsol even better.

My opinion even with a 13 footer a small light 4 cyl car is asking for big time trouble. Also agree with Rick a short wheel base SUV just as bad. Not that they will not tow it they will you just do not have any margin at all.

With gas as high as it is you are going to see more suv's and trucks with diesels. They are very good vehicles have also owned a VW and put 315,000 on it until someone borrowed it and wrecked it. What my point is here is a used diesel truck can run for just about ever, has all kind of power, gets better milage than a Tundra and makes a far superior tow platform than just about anything else.

One warning though if you ever get a truck you will never ever be without one.
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Old 03-30-2003, 08:29 AM   #10
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trucks

>>One warning though if you ever get a truck you will never ever be without one... Stephen

My husband was anything but a truck person. I, on the other hand, had owned a couple of trucks before I knew him. One of his main complaints was that no vehicle ever 'fit' him. He'd driven every thing...every thing that is but a truck. Since he frequently travels, what he hadn't owned, he had rented. It's not that he is a big person, but he's about 6'1'' with broad shoulders.

About ten years ago, when he was bemoaning the fact it was time to find another vehicle, I suggested he go test drive a truck. ''I know your know a truck person, but just go drive one....''

Welp, he is now on his second truck. I have to admit he now glances over at the Suburbans, but that's really nothing more than a closed in truck.

So, Stephen, I can vouch for the fact that it is true of at least one other person...even if it isn't for everyone.
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Old 03-30-2003, 08:33 AM   #11
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The Smaller the Better!


These little cars are used all over the world for towing.
Here's a couple of more Euros.
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Old 03-31-2003, 11:42 AM   #12
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Obviously, everybody has their own opinions about tow vehicles. A bigger vehicle will unarguably make a higher-capacity tow vehicle, but you can't write off small vehicles. We used to tow our 13 Boler with a 1981 Datsun 510 station wagon. Check out what Lex has said about towing in Europe. The biggest issue is driver-error. Many, many people don't adjust their driving style to reflect the fact that they are towing. I tow now with an S15 Jimmy (rated 5500 lbs), and it is very stable and has plenty of power. My dad tows a 24' ShadowCruiser 5th wheel with an S10 pickup, and has 100K towing miles with no trouble. It handles the trailer beautifully.
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Old 03-31-2003, 01:28 PM   #13
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Small is beautiful

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e8896c03a469volbio2.jpg/>
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Old 04-05-2003, 11:24 PM   #14
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Small Car/Truck

We've been towing our little 13' Casita (w/bath) with our '02 Toyota Tacoma. Is has the 2.4 L engine with a 5 speed.

We've put about 1,000 miles on this combination and I would rate it OK. On the flat we go 65 without a problem. We come to a slight rise, I down shift into 4th to keep it above 60. I've taken it up a 5.5% grade and had to down shift to 3rd to keep it at 45. A bit more horses would be nice.

Whenever we've encountered Semi's, it behaves wonderfully. We've taken it out to the local community college parking lot on a Saturday and "panic" stopped it. The need for a sway bar is there.

Hope this helps.
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