Tow Vehicle question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-25-2016, 08:43 AM   #1
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Name: Beverly
Trailer: Scamp
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Tow Vehicle question

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.

Thanks
Jeff and Bev
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:02 AM   #2
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Maybe. What are the tow ratings in your owner's manual?

If by "self-contained" you mean with a full bath, and assuming you want a furnace, AC, HW heater, fridge, etc., you will be pushing 2000 pounds loaded. Simple, basic Scamps start around 1500 pounds loaded for camping.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:05 AM   #3
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The Patriot can have up to a 2000 lb tow rating depending on how it's equipped. Check with a Jeep dealer, they can look up your vin and tell you if you are good to go or if you need (or can add) some things to bring it up to snuff. The Rogue, not sure but I think they max out at 1000 lb rating. A Scamp 13 can weigh 1600-1800 lbs pretty easily once it's packed for camping.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:50 AM   #4
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A rule of thumb I got from a RV dealer is to take the dry weight of the trailer and multiply by 1.3 to get the loaded travel weight
My 16 ft Scamp std weighed approx 2000 lbs according to the scale ticket from the Scamp factory and weighed approx 2600 lbs when loaded for travel . We made a 7500 mile trip to the West Coast last fall with our 17 ft Casita pulled by a 1/2 ton V8 truck and found the combination to be "satisfactory "at best . Some would feel comfortable pulling through the mountains with a small 4 cylinder vehicle , I would not even attempt it . A small vehicle with a short wheelbase. small brakes and at it's towing limit is not a good towing combination especially in the mountains. IMHO .
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:21 AM   #5
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My 13' Trillium wieghs about 1700lbs ready to camp I tried pulling it with a Subaru Forester with a tow limit of 2400,lbs. For going to the lake 2 hours away, adequate. Merging into traffic on a busy Interstate, not fun. I went back to the pickup.

What ever trailer you buy, make sure it has working brakes. Raz
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:50 PM   #6
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Casita 17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beverly Korn View Post
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.

Thanks
Jeff and Bev
I asked myself the same question while looking for a Scamp or Casita and it came down to test drive. At the time we had a Ford Escape ,tow rated at 3500 lbs. The test was a towing a prospective 17 Scamp.Now the point I would like to make is, yes it was tow-able but I sure didn't feel the Escape was comfortable and in complete control. You knew you were towing something, getting on the on ramp was an geometry equation, forget about Colorado ,would there be any brakes left after some of those hills. So,as they say,do you want to feel in control or on the edge? That does not fit every situation. We got a Silverado to pull our new at the time 2014 Casita. We feel very comfortable with this setup even when this flatlander Florida boy gave it a go in Colorado.

Just a thought.

Steve & Hilde
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:37 PM   #7
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Also- remember that a classic mistake in choosing a trailer is to match it to a tow vehicle you want work instead of finding a trailer you will want to kept a few years.
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:41 PM   #8
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Being from the Midwest where a mountain is anything higher than 300 ft , driving in the Rockies is a whole new learning experience.
I have never gone over 2500 RPM'S towing up or down any grade in Minnesota or Wisconsin , in the West it was hard to stay under 2500. Just because your vehicle can pull your trailer in the flatlands of middle America is no indication of how it will perform in the mountains. When we decided to make our trip from Wisconsin to California , we bought a new truck with the big V8 , a 3.92 rearend ,factory brake controller, and the towing package and I still felt that I was never in control towing over the mountains . If we ever return to the west coast I will either be towing with a 3/4 ton diesel or I will fly. It's easy to go up the mountains at a reasonable speed but going down is another story.
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:06 PM   #9
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A quick search on Google shows both of your tow vehicles as very, very limited towing capacity. Admittedly, it was not a definitive search by any means. But 1000 lbs, 1500 pound and even the 2000 pound towing ratings will be wholly inadequate.

Our Toyota Tacoma is rated at 3500 pounds. It could barely nurse a (plain jane, no awning, A/C or bath even) 13 Scamp up Tenn and KY hills. There's no way it could handle the Rockies. People vastly underestimate how taxing pulling even the smaller FGRV's are and the woefully understated factory marketing material and over jealous FB loyalists making unsubstantiated claims about their tiny cars just doesn't help the situation, in my view.

The Curmudgeon
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bpfick View Post
A quick search on Google shows both of your tow vehicles as very, very limited towing capacity. Admittedly, it was not a definitive search by any means. But 1000 lbs, 1500 pound and even the 2000 pound towing ratings will be wholly inadequate.

Our Toyota Tacoma is rated at 3500 pounds. It could barely nurse a (plain jane, no awning, A/C or bath even) 13 Scamp up Tenn and KY hills. There's no way it could handle the Rockies. People vastly underestimate how taxing pulling even the smaller FGRV's are and the woefully understated factory marketing material and over jealous FB loyalists making unsubstantiated claims about their tiny cars just doesn't help the situation, in my view.

The Curmudgeon
Sorry Frederick, we towed with a four cylinder Honda CRV all over North America, some 250,000 repair free miles, and never had an issue on any road from the Rockies to the Trans-Labrador Highway. I'm not saying we were the fastest rig to the top bur we always made the top. The tailer, lastly a 2600 lb Scamp 16, never felt the slightest bit out of control. Of course it had it's own brakes. We are not rocket travelers but we have been to all the states, all the provinces and territories. Never a problem with the tow vehicle, never a driveline repair, the same clutch and greta mileage.

I never worried about merging on to Interstates, it's a rare event. Saying that there was never a problem. Sure I may have to wait a little longer but so what.

It's possible to tow with a four cylinder, people do it all over Europe. I've easily done it all over North AMerica. We've made 6 loops of the USA, goen to NL 8 times, driven across Labrador. Four cylinders have powerful engines and get good mileage. Possible and done for 7 years, same vehicle, 3 different trailers, never an issue.250,000 miles on that vehicle.
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:22 PM   #11
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Been to Oregon, Washington state, Smokey Mountains , over Moneagle TN, etc. towing our Scamp13D front bath(every option) well matched to our Ford Escape 2.3L 4CYL 5spd manual.
Short trailers work better with short wheelbase tow vehicles when the ratio is a good match.
Our speed is always around 60 when towing with the Escape... Up, down or level and we have trailer brakes.
BTW; take a look at this page to compare a pop-up to a Scamp13 ...
http://www.generalrv.com/product-jay...-pop-up-camper

Mt St. Helens parking lot....
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:36 PM   #12
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I have no idea why your Tacoma would struggle with a 13' Scamp.
I tow an Escape 17B over the Coast and Rocky mountains of British Columbia with a Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport ( with tow package ).
I'm doing 90 to 100 Kph on the Coquihalla Highway ( don't want to burn gas ) and only slow to 80 Kph on the steepest section ( 8.5% ) approaching the summit.
That said, I'm not suggesting the OP tow with the vehicles they have. Must read the instruction manual. Mine, for instance says to tow in 4 and not in D and that's what I do. I geared down to 3 once trying to stay at 90 Kph on the steepest section and caused the transmission warning light to come on.
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:58 PM   #13
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And I have the 13.5' Lil Bigfoot and two with a 5 cylinder vehicle. My first trip over FIVE mountain passes (Highway 299 in California, I5 over to the coast), and without brakes on the trailer, the trailer behaved like a dream, and the car behaved as though it was not pulling a load at all.



We also did not have our transmission cooler yet. Our serviceman advised me to keep to third gear on uphill efforts (I.e., don't let the tranny shift back and forth constantly), and this worked well. I wasn't always speedy, and preferred to pull over often to make sure traffic wasn't building up behind me.


Granted, this was in a 5 cylinder, so YMMV.
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bpfick View Post
A quick search on Google shows both of your tow vehicles as very, very limited towing capacity. Admittedly, it was not a definitive search by any means. But 1000 lbs, 1500 pound and even the 2000 pound towing ratings will be wholly inadequate.

Our Toyota Tacoma is rated at 3500 pounds. It could barely nurse a (plain jane, no awning, A/C or bath even) 13 Scamp up Tenn and KY hills. There's no way it could handle the Rockies. People vastly underestimate how taxing pulling even the smaller FGRV's are and the woefully understated factory marketing material and over jealous FB loyalists making unsubstantiated claims about their tiny cars just doesn't help the situation, in my view.

The Curmudgeon
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 ?
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