Towing 16' with 4 cylinder - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-05-2006, 11:53 AM   #15
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My loss from no-towing to towing is roughtly 8 mpg on average, so I can confirm that.
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Old 10-05-2006, 01:37 PM   #16
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If nothing else, this discussion makes me feel better about the numbers I get - 14 mpg with my 95 Montero SR and a 13-foot Burro vs. about 17 for the Monty by itself.

Of course, the Monty is such a brick, towing a parachute couldn't make the aerodynamics any worse.

We're toying around with trying to pull it with our little 94 Toyota pickup 2WD. I think if we lived in Kansas, it would work just fine, but here in Colorado, I can picture myself rolling backwards trying to get up Eisenhower. But the Toy does get 32 mpg freeway...
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:21 PM   #17
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I have enjoyed the comments that I have read so far. I'm new to the fiberglass camper world in that I bought a 13' scamp 3 months ago. We started pulling it with a Ford Ranger "Edge" 3.0L with a towing weight of 2350lbs. While the Ranger would pull the trailer. I was concerned with the ability to pull in mountainous terrain out here in Arizona and western states.
After looking intently at towing vehicles, we traded in our car for a 06 GMC Envoy. I'm impressed with the layout of this vehicle. In two weeks I have now put 550 miles on it (break in period... No towing) and am excited to tow with it now.

I realize that I'm moving against the newer high oil prices, but I also wanted to have a vehicle that I can upgrade campers later on and still use.
My initial milage is pretty good for an SUV 21MPG Hwy. Iwill post towing milage as it comes in.

Factory specs are:
Vortec 4.2L I6
Horsepower 291 hp
Torque 277 lb-ft
Factory built in trailer hitch with trailer wiring (round plug) w/ trailer brakes factory installed in the SUV.

While I realize that some consider this is a significant waste of gas. I also have read many stories of people destroying tow vehicles by overloading them. From the numbers, this seems to be the best in class for towing. I purchased the 5yr 100000 mile waranty which encompases towing a trailer of 4000lbs in the manual.
With such a small trailer, we will have to compensate some weight in the SUV which the Ranger would not have efectively been able to haul over great distances.
Thanks for all of the posts they have been helpful.
Cheers
Doug
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:33 PM   #18
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I am relatively new to towing in general and to my Skamp in particular and am always learning from reading everyone's comments. I'm glad, however, that I didn't read all these towing posts before starting my Skamp career or I never would have left the house. I have a S13 with fridge, AC, and furnace. I weighed it on a certified scale as part of licensing requirements at 1240 pounds plus the tongue weight, which I will get around to measuring any day (or month) now.

I tow with an old 1991 1.6 L, 4 cylinder Isuzu Trooper with a 2000 lb tow rating. I regulary haul my egg up and down 8-10% grades here in the mountains of western Wyoming. I am not the fastest mover on the way up the hills, but I'm not much slower than I am with no trailer. The Isuzu itself is like towing a piece of plywood down the road. On the flats, I tow at 55-60 mph and get 18 mpg, about 3 mpg less than without the trailer.

The hitch on my Trooper is welded on, so no adjustment is possible and I tow in a decidely nose up position, which should have added to my woes.

When I win the lottery (or some MFROG reader makes a generous donation), perhaps I will get a more appropriate tow vehicle. But until then, I'm still happy as a clam rolling down (or up) the road -- even knowing what I now know.

Thanks to all of you for all the great posts in this forum. The body of knowledge held by all of you is incredible.

John Campbell
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Old 10-06-2006, 02:08 AM   #19
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Hopefully my comment about the subject of towing has been flogged to death wasn't taken too seriously. The old foot in my mouth. I can never learn enough about the trials and tribulations of towing because it is all new to me. It 's a case of "if I knew then what I know now" I would have probably bought a six cylinder preferably a Toyoto, Mazda instead of the GMC Colorado. I can't really fault my truck for it's performance or the gas mileage. That was a great way to explain it when someone said pulling my little "Vinnie" Ventura was like towing a piece of plywood sideways down the highway. The aerodynamics did cross my mind on my trip. Will pay more attention too to the amount of "stuff" I didn't use or need. Thinking back on the 6000 mi. I just did, never did we have a long line up of traffic on the long steep hills, in fact we passed most big rigs on those grades.
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Old 10-06-2006, 07:47 AM   #20
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...

I tow with an old 1991 1.6 L, 4 cylinder Isuzu Trooper with a 2000 lb tow rating. I regulary haul my egg up and down 8-10% grades here in the mountains of western Wyoming. I am not the fastest mover on the way up the hills, but I'm not much slower than I am with no trailer. The Isuzu itself is like towing a piece of plywood down the road. On the flats, I tow at 55-60 mph and get 18 mpg, about 3 mpg less than without the trailer.

The hitch on my Trooper is welded on, so no adjustment is possible and I tow in a decidely nose up position, which should have added to my woes.
...

John Campbell
I love those old Troopers. I just wanted to suggest that you look into a 'stinger' (I think you call it) that can drop or raise the height of the ball, available in different heights.

I'll be towing my Boler with my 85 Volvo wagon. I thought I had the rights to most un-aerodynamic and 'Brick-like'.
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:15 AM   #21
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I just wanted to suggest that you look into a 'stinger' (I think you call it) that can drop or raise the height of the ball, available in different heights.
Do they even make such a thing for a non-receiver type hitch?
Quote:
The hitch on my Trooper [b]is welded on, so no adjustment is possible
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:14 PM   #22
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Do they even make such a thing for a non-receiver type hitch?
OK. The penny dropped. Excuse me. I didn't understand that he didn't have a receiver!
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Old 10-15-2006, 06:45 PM   #23
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The number of cylinders is not the issue, but the size of the motor and tow rating.

Something with a 3.5, 3.9 or larger would sure be nice. But I normally only go a hundred or so miles from home and make it with the 2.9L that I do own.
I'm considering a 13' Scamp or Casita. I used to have a Subaru Legacy 4 cylinder rated to tow 2000 lbs. I now have a Buick Century: with the following specs

Engines: 2.2L L4, 3.1L V6
Transmissions: 3 Speed Automatic, 4 Speed Automatic
Drivetrains: Front Wheel Drive

Even though it's a 6 cylinder, it's only rated for 1000 lbs.

Probably the suspension, eh?

I'm trying to wrap my brain around all of this...

I would be towing mostly on flat roads, only a few hills on rare occasions, with gradual inclines.

Thanks...this is a very informative thread.

Loretta
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:55 PM   #24
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Even though it's a 6 cylinder, it's only rated for 1000 lbs.
Unfortunately, you'll need your old Subaru back to tow a 13 footer, as all but maybe a completely stripped one is going to be over 1,000.
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:58 PM   #25
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It's really more than the number of cylinders when it comes to pulling power of a particular engine -- It's things like how BIG the cylinders are, whether they are big because of diameter or because of the length of the piston rods (stroke), what kind of ignition is used and what kind of fuel delivery system is used -- IOW, what is the end result of those pistons in terms of horsepower produced and torque produced (there's more to it than that, but that's a simplistic start).

Next is the transmission -- Can it handle the job of starting from a standstill on a hill, climbing hills, running for hours towing a load, etc.

Next is the cooling system -- Can it extract heat from the engine working hard under load? Can it also handle the transmission (in the case of automatics; manuals generally don't require cooling). Does the power steering pump need cooling? (Some do)

Next are the brakes -- Can they handle stopping the tow vehicle (TV) plus a trailer? Note: Since some states allow relatively high trailer weights before requiring trailer brakes (Wash for example allows up to 3,500 lbs), I presume the auto manfs must take this into account when setting a USA-wide tow capacity).

Next is the suspension -- Can the TV still be expected to steer if there is a (properly balanced) large trailer pushing the rear end to one side or another, esp in something like a downhill curve?

Next is the body -- Can it support the trailer hitch required to pull a trailer of a certain weight? Can it support a weight-distributing hitch (WDH) if required?

I think I hit most of the engineering considerations above, so now the marketing situation :

How badly does the manf of the vehicle want to market the car to trailer-pullers and stand behind it with repairs when something breaks? Just as some of the small trailer manfs are content to continue to build their products in essentially the same way from decade to decade, an automobile manf may decide that the trailer market is so small compared to the 'normal' market that the risks (repairs and liabilities) aren't worth the rewards -- They therefore tack on a small or non-existent tow capacity to their vehicle and get on with their strategy.

Trying to second-guess the reasons for the low capacity for the purpose of exceeding them is a risky business, altho some of us have been known do it -- Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice!
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:08 PM   #26
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"Trying to second-guess the reasons for the low capacity for the purpose of exceeding them is a risky business, altho some of us have been known do it -- Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice!"


I could not agree with this more. I have heard people talk about pulling heavy loads with small vehicles. This is a risk that I was not willing to take. I traded in a Buick Century for a GMC Envoy. Because I was not comfortable with pulling my Scamp 13 with a small ford ranger. I will not tamper with manufacturer's ratings.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:05 PM   #27
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Quote:
...I now have a Buick Century: with the following specs

Engines: 2.2L L4, 3.1L V6
Transmissions: 3 Speed Automatic, 4 Speed Automatic
Drivetrains: Front Wheel Drive

Even though it's a 6 cylinder, it's only rated for 1000 lbs.

Probably the suspension, eh?
My guess would be the engine cooling and transmission cooling capacity; however, this is only a guess for entertainment. I agree with Pete: we can guess at the limiting factors, but cannot know all of them, so we can't "fix" them and have a suitable tow vehicle.

I noticed when the current Malibu model came out that the hatch/wagon version - called the "Malibu Maxx" - had a longer wheelbase and shorter overhang than the sedan, with that large (3.1L) engine, making it an interesting possible tug for a small trailer. I checked out the owner's manual, and found that it did not recommend towing. The engine is certainly not the only - or even most important - factor.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:17 PM   #28
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It's really [b]more than the number of cylinders when it comes to pulling power of a particular engine!
Quote:
I now have a Buick Century:
Even though it's a 6 cylinder, it's only rated for 1000 lbs.
The most current Ford Thunderbird is a [b]V8, and it's only rated for 1000 lbs as well!
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