Tow Trillium 13 with Tracker 4 cyl. Auto??? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-31-2011, 09:51 PM   #1
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Tow Trillium 13 with Tracker 4 cyl. Auto???

I am considering a Trillium 13, brake-equipped. My '02 Tracker is rated for 1,500 lbs. Today, I took the Tracker (no trailer) for it's first long highway run, and noted that it downshifted sharply pretty well every time I hit a hill (2,500 rpm to about 3,700), using cruise control. I'm wondering if it's gonna flog itself to death with a trailer back there...

I do have an alternate - the venerable but strong 3.0L 5 spd. '91 Ranger, rated for 2,440 lbs. In normal driving, it uses significantly more fuel, but might the larger motor rev less, and hence close the fuel consumption gap? Any advice would be appreciated...
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:14 AM   #2
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I would pick the Ranger. I think you will find the fuel usage about the same as the Tracker will have to work much harder. I suspect your Trillium will be close to the 1500 lbs. Might want to weigh it. The one thing that might nix the Ranger is rust. I had the same truck and the rear chassis would not have safely held a hitch toward the end of it's life. Good luck, Raz
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:40 AM   #3
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Thanks, Raz. The Ranger is solid - spent its life in Alberta until 2 years ago, has never been winter driven - virtually no rust at all, anywhere on the chassis or body. Bought it because I couldn't find a Newfoundland-driven 2000+Ranger that didn't have serious rust problems...
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:08 AM   #4
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I agree, use the truck. You may save $100's in gas with the Tracker, but it will cost you $1,000's to fix the damage from towing.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:26 AM   #5
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Just a quick bit of info...My 75' Trillium 1300 has the orginal label still on the inside of the closet door and it states the weight at 1500 lbs and that's not loaded with gear. I vote for the truck too, at 1500 lbs dry that already puts your Tracker at full towing weight.
Have fun!
Cheers! Emily
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:42 PM   #6
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:50 PM   #7
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Truck undoubtedly! I had a 1300 and, full, was near 1900 lbs. I was towing it with a 200 Honda CRV AND it was definitively NOT enough. I had serious problems. I then changed for a Honda Pilot (3500 lbs). I now have a Trillium 5500 and itis probably near it's towing limit (near 3,400 lbs full). Next time I will go for a 5,000 lbs TV.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:48 PM   #8
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Cool Tracker or Truck?

I vote for truck. There are many threads on this blog about towing overweight.
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:53 AM   #9
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Don't skimp on towing capacity. I towed our 2500 pound EggCamper with a V-6 S-10 which had a towing capacity of 5600 pounds and I didn't think it was enough for the job. It was fine on the flat or gentle hills, but any mildly steep hills and the four speed transmission had to drop into third. This caused the engine to rev higher than I liked unless I just creeped along, blocking traffic and generally being a nuisance and safety hazard to those behind me. If it had at least a five speed transmission it might have been fine for the steeper grades, but the four speed just didn't do it. I upgraded to a truck with 8200 pounds of towing capacity and a six speed transmission and now I don't have to even think about slowing down. I know some folks don't mind going 45 mph in a 65 zone, but I'm not one of them.

Oh, and I give the new six speed transmission much of the credit for giving us about the same mileage with our new V-8, full size truck that we used to get with our old, V-6, compact, truck - maybe even a bit better! They both give/gave about 20 mpg on the highway and 15 to 16 mpg when towing, (U.S. gallons).
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:27 PM   #10
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I too say truck, My truck is only a 4 banger but it is a 5 speed manual, that makes a difference.
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hayes View Post
I am considering a Trillium 13, brake-equipped. My '02 Tracker is rated for 1,500 lbs. Today, I took the Tracker (no trailer) for it's first long highway run, and noted that it downshifted sharply pretty well every time I hit a hill (2,500 rpm to about 3,700), using cruise control. I'm wondering if it's gonna flog itself to death with a trailer back there...

I do have an alternate - the venerable but strong 3.0L 5 spd. '91 Ranger, rated for 2,440 lbs. In normal driving, it uses significantly more fuel, but might the larger motor rev less, and hence close the fuel consumption gap? Any advice would be appreciated...
Hi, I also vote for the truck. Besides being so close to the vehicle tow limit, I think you will find that your gear ratio, and the number of revolutions at a given speed, has a profound impact on your gas mileage. I just did a run from Edmonton to Vancouver and Vancouver Island (1200 Km each way through 3 mountain ranges) with the trailer, using a 2007 Chevy Uplander minivan set up for towing with a 3500 pound tow limit. Our trailer, fully loaded, is around 1900 pounds as recently weighed, including tongue weight. At a speed of 102 Km/hr, the same speed that I towed with my old Aerostar for years (same chassis as your Ranger), I got a depressing 14 miles per gallon (Canadian gallon) on the way there, which included a drop in altitude from 2400 feet to sea level. On the way back I decided to keep my revolutions down, which meant a speed of 95 Km/hr. My gas mileage shot up to 20 mpg, an acceptable figure. The main difference was that at 95 Km/hr, this van turned at about 1700 rpm, while at 102 Km/hr it was up to 2500 to 3000 all the time. The difference in speed added about 40 minutes to the 12 hour drive. At 80 Km/hr I got noticeably better gas mileage, but that was too slow for me.

Good luck.
Rick G
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:58 PM   #12
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Richard,

I'd be shocked if you couldn't tow a 13 footer with just about anything, particularly if the trailer has brakes and your's does. I've towed small trailers for 4 years now, all with my 2004 Honda CRV. We've criss crossed the USA and your province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Not a single issue with the Honda and depending on the trailer 20-23 MPG per US Gallon.

I'm honestly not familiar with your Tracker or truck, never owned either, but a Trillium should be easy to handle. At the PEI Rally people would pick up the front end of a Boler and move it 90 degrees to reposition it, just surprising to me.

The man across from me has been towing his Boler 13 with a 112 hp car, a 1951 Mercury (Monarch). If I were you I tried the vehicles I owned before I did anything. If you find them inadequate get something bigger.

As to high reving, Hondas are high Reving engines. Most of the time we're in 5th gear, our highest gear, usually running between 2 and 3,000 rpm. Of course we do have to occasionally downshift. (One thing we do have and I really like is a manual transmission.)

My general rule is to try what I have. If inadequate get something else.

Norm
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:41 AM   #13
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It may be JD whispering in my ear but I say Tracker with a fabulous brake controller - c'mon folks, the trailer has well maintained brakes
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:17 PM   #14
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we have a trillium, 13', we stopped at the hwy scales and they were nice enough to weigh us, fully loaded for our trip. The trailer, loaded, weighed 1200 lbs. We wanted to know because we were about to buy another vehicle (Nissan Xtrail, rated to tow 2000 lbs).
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