towing 13 ft versus 16 ft - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-17-2014, 02:35 AM   #15
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Smile A demonstration of fishtailing

An eye-opening demonstration:

Bailey of Bristol - Caravan Stability Studies

We like our 13'. It is the closest thing to not having a trailer at all. I used to tow a 20' sailboat on a trailer and can make some comparisons:

The longer trailer will track further inside on a turn and thereby precludes sharp turns and one has to not turn too close to the curb.

While the longer trailer is easier to maneuver in reverse because it turns slower, it also takes more effort to get it to turn. Shorter wheelbases turn quicker and as such are more maneuverable. I find that turning the wheel about a hand width works.

You want to talk hail damage, imagine an Airstream after a hailstorm. I saw the damage a woodpecker did to one. The bird liked the louder sound it made in comparison to a tree in calling for a mate.
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:57 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Karalyn View Post
WAYNE - what kind of hitch did you install on your Sienna? I need to get one and these mini vans are low to the ground. I do not want to hit ground going in and out of gas stations, etc.
Sorry Karalyn, we do not have a hitch/receiver on our Sienna for now. Some of my online pals do tow with Sienna's. If you really want a safe tow consider a WDH. They really help handling and stability.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:03 AM   #17
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Wanting a Class "C" FGRV?
There are several choices still out there.
Last week there was one of the few SCAMP motorhomes on eBay and there are still molded fiberglass Toyota Sunraders showing up out there on occasion. In the latter, 1987-1992 are the better years, but hang onto your wallet.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:20 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
An eye-opening demonstration:

Bailey of Bristol - Caravan Stability Studies

Not a very informative demo - other than showing a big mass toward the rear is a problem. Had the beam been graduated he could have shown WHERE the weights were relative to the axle and shown the point at which increasing weight distribution toward to the tongue makes for a nice stable ride.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:38 AM   #19
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Karalyn,

Over the last 7 years we've towed a number of different fiberglass trailers, they all towed beautifully. For example, to me there's little difference between towing a Scamp 13 or Scamp 16, they have similar frontal areas and similar weights. Weight is a factor on hills and frontal area is always a factor, most of the tow vehicle load is air resistance, I prefer the 16.

As to stability they are all stable if properly loaded. To me properly loading a trailer consists of keeping heavy items near or over the axle (like canned goods, pots and pans) and light things on the ends (like bedding and clothing). For a secondary part of the equation is proper inflation of tires. We increase the cold inflation pressure of the tow vehicle tires to higher than normal (our rears to 39 and fronts to 36 lbs). We also keep our trailer tires at max 50 lbs.

We also minimize tongue weight, we carry only one 20 lb propane tank. Most of our years towing our tongue weight was limited to 220 lbs. This means we typically had a 7-8% tongue weight.

This was never a problem, in part because of our centered weight. During most of our years we have towed with an anti-sway bar because we think it might nice in emergency. For an anti-sway bar to work it most be appropriately tightened but not too tight.

We used to have a motorhome, my rule with the motorhome was no rapid steering maneuvers. To me the motorhome was much harder to drive than a small trailer. As a result I think the no rapid maneuvers rule has carried over to the trailer.

As well we're not high speed drivers when towing. Our trailer tires have a max speed of 65 mph stamped on them and we never go that fast. On Interstates we stay to the right and keep it at 62 mph.

As to 13 versus 16, we're on the road over 7 months a year. The bigger trailer provides more storage volume and a bathroom. Of course we love fiberglass trailers, they just last forever without too much work required, our son has a Scamp 13 that's 35 years old.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
Not a very informative demo - other than showing a big mass toward the rear is a problem.
If you look across the top of the same website there is actually an interactive game you can play called Interactive Stability Game that is VERY informative.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:59 PM   #21
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In reply to Norms experiences, not all vehicles are as forgiving when pressed into towing over recommended limits, as apparently the early Honda w/std transmission proved to be.
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:01 PM   #22
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Any trailer or vehicle can cause the driver to lose control if they do not drive within the limits that the laws of physics impose on a moving mass.

5th wheel may not fishtail but if the driver swerves sharply with tow vehicle and trailer mass keeps going straight loss of control is a good bet to be the results. Some would say they jack knifed, I prefer the way the MDOT safety instructor put it. "swerving sharply is just inviting the elephant behind you to suddenly decide to lead the parade" See Norms comments on gentle movements.

Every winter here in Mich. you see lots of 4 wheel and all wheel drive vehicles in the ditch and in accidents. The drivers forget just because you can make it go that fast does not mean you can control it, especially if anything goes wrong. Same holds true for a trailer driving in any road conditions.
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:24 PM   #23
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Karalyn,

Our Honda CRV was very sturdy and easily towed our various trailers. It had over 225,000 miles when we traded it in. It had no problems when we traded it in, sold it because of age and miles.

One of our sons a tows a Scamp 13 with a 2005 automatic, 4 cylinder Honda Accord with a transmission cooler. He lives in WA and has had no problems.

Our other son towed a Casita 16 with a 4 cylinder Honda Element. Again no issues.

The number of Hondas in our extended family is huge, mostly CRVs and Accords, personally I think this is our 7th Honda, really bought because their drive line has been so strong.

We purchased an automatic Honda Odyssey to tow our Scamp this spring. It tows really well and is more comfortable than the CRV (Ginny says were getting older and need a little more comfort and an automatic). Our tongue weight is still in the 7-8% range.

Not selling Hondas, we've had a few other cars that were reliable and today's vehicles are all stronger and more efficient than past vehicles.

Safe travels

No matter what trailer you buy, I believe it should have it's own breaking system and not depend on the tow vehicle for stopping. We also have added a break away switch to our Scamp .
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