Trailer: Previously Scamp 13 2002,2016. Scamp 16 on order
My Tacoma is really quite beside the point, although guilty as charged for injecting it into the conversation, but it was merely for informational purposes that even 3500 tow ratings aren't the be all and end all of towing effectively.
I've read the same posts on towing results by some of you folks, a dozen times or more. I get it. Really, I do. Plus, I wasn't really challenging anyone's CRV (have had one and loved it) and have had 4 Ford Rangers and loved them too, but still not on point.
The OP listed two vehicles which as I stated very, very clearly, in only doing a cursory search, didn't prove to demonstrate much more than a 1000 lb towing capacity. Say whatever you vehicle does or my vehicle doesn't do, I'm not ever going to recommend that someone tow a trailer out west with either of the TV's listed by the OP. Done with that.
The 2015 Tacome is a 4-door, 2.7 four cyl. The Scamp was CAT weighed at $1800+ with our gear. There was also some, but not an undue amount of stuff in the bed. The engine is fine as a grocery getter, but in this rather heavy truck, with only a 4 spd auto to select a gear from, I merely stated the obvious. It won no prizes.
Now, enough of CRV's, Rangers, Tacoma's and all the rest of what we may have or not have had experience. The OP's issue remains. Since none of us have those specific cars, apparently, all we can do is state the tow capacities as published.
It's the same thing everytime this subject comes up on any FG forum. Some choose to follow the engineering / towing specs supplied by the vehicle manufacturerer and other choose to totally ignore them for whatever reason. That's why no matter what trailer and tow vehicle you ask about someone will claim it's NO problem.
I am sure if you ask about towing a 28 ft Airstream with a Mini Cooper ,you will get a positive response from someone.
.Evidently the laws of physics don't apply to FG trailer ,never understood why. I towed my Scamp 16 with a 1/2 ton Dodge truck V6 and my towing experience was exactly the same as yours.
Maybe I needed to tow with a 4 cylinder to solve the problem ?
Problem is some refuse to believe the ratings and insist on gross overkill, which in effect denies the very purpose of lightweight fiberglass RVs.
I often wonder ... If a 3/4T diesel or big block V8 is needed to tow a small fiberglass trailer at 60MPH , just what is needed to tow the typical 30ft toyhauler at 75?
A one pound fudge on a 1500 pound tow rating strictly due to engine displacement, is often seen as an existential threat to civilization, with no credit given to good driving habits and no credit given to common sense.
As a counterpoint to your Mini Cooper comment...
If you dared to tow a teardrop with a Freightliner someone would surely accuse you of attempted genocide or abject irresponsibility for not have a large enough TV to be safe.
So why is it that those who preach the most about following the manufacturer's tow ratings also insist that the manufacturer's ratings are not valid?
A little common sense will tell you that these are both a little ridiculous...
Buy the trailer you want, otherwise you will not be satisfied, and will want to upgrade. Hook it to your TV. Take it for a drive to the nearest big hill and interstate for a test drive. Will it go up hill at a speed you want without overheating, does it go down hill without overtaxing your brakes?
I lent my Casita 17' to a friend to test his Tacoma out, and he found it to be just right.
I have a Tundra 5.7L. Having been through the Rockies and the Appalachians, and encountered unpaved steep mountain roads, I prefer my rig.
Just retired and we are planning a trip out West and are looking for a small camper. We own a 4 cylinder Jeep Patriot (4x4) and a 4 cylinder Nissan Rogue SL AWD.
Would we be able to tow a 13' Scamp? (adding transmission cooler of course)
There are small pop-ups that will work but a self-contained unit would be far better if we can find one that can be safely towed.
Jeff and Bev
If I had a choice of a single factor it would be brakes on the Scamp 13. Brakes are not standard on the 13 but always a good investment. Secondarily though you may be towing with your 'everyday vehicle' when towing drive conscious of the fact that you have the extra weight behind.
For example with a big downgrade slow down at the top of the hill, if there are anxious people behind you pull over and let them pass. Drive like you were a passenger with your kids driving, whispering in their ear conscious thoughts. Nothing beats a conscious driver.
Though we towed with what many consider a lightweight tow vehicle, we did many little things to insure a successful tow. There are many little things you can do that make a successful tow no matter the tow vehicle.
Just to clarify, the Lil Bigfoot does not exceed the Volvo's recommended tow or tongue weight, although brakes are recommended for trailers over 1300 lbs, which ours is (and we now have 10" brakes on the new axle).
We (I) researched this issue (should we tow with the Volvo) carefully before buying a trailer, but were really uncertain about how well it would perform in the mountains until we actually towed through them.
I'm kind of surprised that others have felt lugged down in mountain terrain while towing with what should be heftier vehicles than mine, but again, everyone's experience is different. Maybe our turbo makes a difference?
Ellpea in CA
1988 13.5' Lil Bigfoot
2002 Volvo V70 (turbocharged)
5 cylinders, 5 speed auto transmission
Ellpea, I think part of it is psychological. When people hear the engine turning at higher RPMs than normal, they think they are straining the engine. In reality, engines are fine at 4000 RPM or even higher (up to redline, which varies) and the faster revs are what generate the torque needed to climb grades with the extra weight in tow. But a turbo causes an engine to generate the higher torque without revving so fast, plus it doesn't lose power due to thin air like a normally aspirated engine will (2-3% per 1000 feet of altitude); so the turbo owner feels amazed at how easily their vehicle went up the mountain. The non-turbo engine isn't necessarily struggling (although at high altitude maybe it is), but it sounds as though it is working its tail off.
__________________ To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... --Ecclesiastes 3