I have followed this and other threads on tow vehicles and also I ten d to agree with Norm and his assessment of the capabilities of the smaller TV, especially the VW TDI.
While only rated 140 hp. the torque is rated at 240 ft/ lbs and comes in at a very low rpm and this is what does all of the work, really.
Where gas engines may develop more horsepower it is at the high end of the rpm band and the engines are working hard to get there.
The VW Jetta Sportwagon is the same platform as the taller Tiguan (which has a gas engine and slushbox automatic transmission) and weighs slightly less.
The DSG gearbox is six speed with the top two overdrive ratio and it tows the Scamp 16 easily and runs about 2000 rpm at 65 mph. The mileage is around 25 mpg and the car shows no signs of any distress even towing in the hill country of Texas in 110* heat.
The whole idea of these small molded trailers is the ability to tow with a normal car and get reasonable fuel mileage and have less hassle in doing so.
I have just completed installation of the Westfalia tow hitch and stabilization / trailer light
module as is standard in Europe in my wife's new TDI which we bought to augment the 2009 TDI with 240,000 miles. The old car did not have the trailer electronic module, but did have the towbar installed.
Evidently the worthies who decide if and how much a Euro car can tow in the US don'r understand the difference between us pounds and kilograms and seem to rate the vehicles the same number in the US pounds as Kilograms in the rest of the world!
Personally I can do the conversion with little outside help and my personal opinion is that with the electronic stabilization and electric brakes
the car can easily and safely tow the Scamp. Especially since I have lengthened the distance from the axle
to the hitch by about a foot and oriented the major weight nearer to the axle
and lower in the trailer.
My Scamp will be heavier than the original (I think, but I haven't finished the rebuild so it is just a guess) because of the reinforced and lengthened frame and the all wood oak cabinets and bulkhead walls and revised front bath.
I can forsee no problems towing safely with the Euro setup at all. Actually the T-ESP will make corrections and steering guidance before the driver detects and react to the incipient swaying. Usually the experts suggest making no corrective steering inputs since the drivers reactions are usually too great and are delayed enough to be out of phase with what is required and makes matters worse than no input at all.
I looked into the Casitas and especially the 17' since the 16' is too low for my wife's comfort. However it is considerably heavier and has too high a tongue weight for my vehicle choice. The Scamp has the headroom and is lighter and the tongue weight can be kept within the limits I have set for operations.
I can make no suggestions for anyone else, but this will work for me. Your Mileage may vary and all of the standard disclaimers apply:
Personally requiring a truck etc puts me out of the market for one of these light
campers so that is a non-starter. If you run the cost up too high you might as well just drive a car and stay in a motel and eat in restaurants.