towing 13'er vs popup: experiences? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-23-2014, 10:57 AM   #1
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
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towing 13'er vs popup: experiences?

I'm curious to know if anyone here has towed both of the following:
* 13' egg (Scamp, Casita, Boler, etc.)
* small popup trailer of similar weight

If you have, can you give a comparison of your resulting fuel economy and your sense of towing ease on the tow vehicle, with each? Thanks........


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... --Ecclesiastes 3
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:00 PM   #2
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Name: kevin
Trailer: 13' Scamp
Posts: 170
pop ups suck

I had a 8' pop up for two months until I decided it sucked. With the leaf springs it would tug my car around like crazy. 13' scamp doesn't do that. I can barely feel the 13' Scamp on the back of the car. Also it rains every afternoon in Colorado. So I tended to set it up on Friday the evening in the rain, then take it down Sunday in the rain. Then have to take it home, set it up again to dry it out. Pain the the butt. On the plus side I made about $1500 on the deal since I got such a screaming deal on it when I bought it.

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Old 06-24-2014, 06:36 AM   #3
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Name: Denny
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
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towing 13'er vs popup: experiences?

No direct comparison but my experience is that towing anything kills the gas mileage. Pulling a 600# boat low enough to be in the slipstream of the car hurt my mileage nearly as much as pulling the Snoozy.

Seems to me the towing advantage of a pop up might be the ability to see over it in the rear view mirror plus probably fits in the garage.

We used to camp in a pop up many years ago when the kids were little, the Snoozy is MUCH more comfortable and much less hassle.

Denny Wolfe
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:45 AM   #4
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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I'm a little confused about the terminology in your question.

By "Pop-Up" do you mean a pop-up tent trailer or a Pop-up FGRV like the Hunter Compact-II and Campster?

As it turns out I have experience with all three and have owned all three at the same time.

That said, comparing a 13' FGRV, like a Scamp, with a pop-up tent trailer "of similar weight" is somewhat like comparing apples and hand grenades as all they share is weight. A 13' Scamp, at 1500+ lbs is a cozy hut for two + 2 kinder if you don't have a bathroom. A 1500 lb pop-up tent trailer can be sleeping space for 6 adults and still have more open floor space than the Scamp had when empty.

With 50%+ less frontal area it's a no brainer that the pop-up will be easier on economy and less prone to blow around in side winds.

About actual towing, it's been my experience that frontal area is the more critical issue. When towing I saw about the following MPG losses when compared to non-towed typical mpg's.

TV = 2009 Honda CRV 4 cyl/auto,
Scamp 13' -40%
Lil' Bigfoot, 13' -40%
Hunter Compact II -25%

TV = 2003 Blazer 2 dr V6/5 sp std.
Hunter Compact-II -15%
StarCraft Pop-Up -5%?

The Scamp was the heaviest of the bunch, but the lighter weight of the similar shape Lil'BigFoot didn't make much/if any difference.

The Hunter, while only slighty lighter than the Lil'Bigfoot, has about 30% less frontal area.

The Pop-up tent trailer has very little exposed frontal area, most being displaced by the TV

As shown, the normally much higher MPG figures for the newer 2009 CRV, took a bigger hit than the Blazer when towing.

Bottom line, the pop-up tent trailer is an entirely different animal than an FGRV and, although will usually result in less reduction in MPG's should be compared for entirely different reasons. For concerns about towing Pop-up tent trailers; <<<>>> is a huge site with about a bazillion members and 100's of posts on this topic re: pop-up towing and MPG losses.

BTW: We never intentionally tow faster than 55 MPH
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:50 PM   #5
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
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Pop up tent trailer (or A-frame pop up) is what I had in mind when I asked, but I'm glad you threw in the Compact II comparison as well. Thanks for the input so far.

The fuel economy comparison tells me quite a bit about how hard or easy the drive train has to work with each trailer.

I'm no longer happy (subjectively) with the performance of my combo. I had thoughts all winter and early spring about trading my Highlander for a V8 Grand Cherokee. But the HL is a good vehicle and trading would get into the big bucks. Downsizing my trailer is much more affordable. I'm just trying to decide how much downsizing I want to do while I'm at it. I'm putting my KZ Escape up for sale, but haven't decided yet what the replacement will be.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... --Ecclesiastes 3
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