Towing 16' with 4 cylinder - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-03-2006, 03:11 PM   #1
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Trailer: 2004 Scamp 13 ft (''Egg-zackly'')
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I currently have a 13' Scamp and would like to ugrade to a 16ft'er, but my two vehicle is tow rated at 1500lbs. Is the upgrade do-able, or a pipe dream?
thanks so much!
Arline
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:55 PM   #2
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I currently have a 13' Scamp and would like to ugrade to a 16ft'er, but my two vehicle is tow rated at 1500lbs. Is the upgrade do-able, or a pipe dream?
thanks so much!
Arline
Arline, I think the typical current Scamp 16' with a bath weighs in dry at around 2000 lbs. My '02 custom deluxe front bath side dinette model was rumored by Scamp to tip in at about 2700 lbs dry.

Feel free to check those numbers with Scamp to confirm that I'm not out to lunch...

Roger
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Is the upgrade do-able, or a pipe dream?
thanks so much!
Arline

I would not try it. My 05 Toyota pickup has a 2.7 L, 185 hp engine. It tows my 14 ft. Wide Body Burro just fine but on steep grades I have to gear down. I would not want to tow anything any heavier.
Dry weight on my trailer is 1100 lbs. and fully loaded I am towing probably about 1600 pounds and my truck has a tow capacity of 3500 lbs. I think they rate tow capacitys on flat ground.
John
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:01 PM   #4
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Talking

I have an artist friend who lives in Vermont, and own a 13' Burro. The trailer has an extended (on the back) frame to carry a large utility box for tarps and jacks and "stuff".

He makes an annual trip west to attend Burning Man, and then a retreat Later in September in the Malibu Hills.

I first met him in Malibu. He told of towing across the country with a '90 something Toyota 4 cylinder pick-up, and what an ordeal the trip was that first year, and how he dreading the return trip to Vermont because of that under-sized truck.

He now flies across country, with tent gear as checked baggage, and leaves the truck & Burro home.
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:09 PM   #5
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I tow a 13 ft Burro with a 2.4l 160 hp Honda Element.

I am fine with what I have, but wouldn't even consider tugging any bigger.
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:00 PM   #6
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The number of cylinders is not the issue, but the size of the motor and tow rating.

I have a '95 Nissan Pathfinder with a 6 cylinder but only a 2.9L engine. I have a 16ft Casita and on two trips from Austin, TX to Muleshoe,Tx I had to drive for hours with my foot to the floor going against a strong side or head wind and when going up hill.

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.

Good luck, don
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:20 PM   #7
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Boy can I chime in on THIS one!!!

I have one of the longest posts here about difficulty towing my 13ft Scamp Deluxe. My trailer is HEAVY (2480lbs fully loaded) which is what I'm hearing 16 and 17ft trailers are weighing at. Mine is just overly heavy due to the solid oak, A/C, fridge, heater, microwave, porcelain toilet (who's idea was THAT?!?!), shower/full bath, stereo, 4 speakers, tv, dvd player, oak nick-nack holders...anyway, my points are two-fold:

1) Tow ratings are ALWAYS over-rated for satisfactory towing and are ALL rated for level ground

2) Scamps, Casita's and the like are GROSSLY under-rated regarding weight from the factory. My trailer was supposed to weigh 1400lbs unloaded. ImPOSSible.

I ran into a guy in Utah a couple weeks ago with a bone stripped Scamp (basically a shell with a dinette...no bath, no fridge, no furnace, no water pump, no A/C, no brakes...NOTHING); he had certified his weight at 1600lbs DRY. Late models of these trailers are a LOT heavier than the factories say.


Anyway, I towed mine with a SCCA Dodge Neon when I bought it in 1996...and the little car did amazingly well looking back. I had to go with a 400hp 400lb/ft torque Chevy SSR to make a notable difference in ease of towing of my particular trailer. I blew up a Caravan last year trying to tow the thing. But, now....I have ample power to literally fly up mountains, but even still.....this trailer still FEELS like it weighs 7500lbs! Although I can pull it with ease (I am seriously in the overkill department power-wise) my point is that I shouldn't NEED this much power, and this trailer should still be SIMPLE to tow. But, its not...and I've ruled out wheel/tire/alignment/bearing/brake/wind buffering issues.

To make a long story short....don't even think about towing a 16ft with a low powered 4-cylinder. This entire discussion in that regard completely defeats the entire idea of having a small/lightweight/easy to tow trailer. If I would have known it was going to be this difficult from the get-go, I would have bought a 35ft 5th wheel and a giant diesel truck. They seem to just zip right up the mountains while I, with my 400hp SSR and tiny egg...while aptly going right up as fast as I want and as efficiently as I want, still feel like I am struggling just a little too much in comparision to these giant rigs.


Jeff
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:30 AM   #8
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He now flies across country, with tent gear as checked baggage, and leaves the truck & Burro home.
I have "People" to transport my gear for me...

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Old 10-05-2006, 02:14 AM   #9
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Just wanted to ask you Jeff where in the world did you put your full bath with shower and porcelin toilet? I am full of envy. This topic of towing has nearly been flogged to death, but my question is does my GMC 2005 Colorado have less power because it's a standard gear shift. Would there be more power if it were automatic. I now hear mine is actually a 5 cylinder, but hey I still have to lean forward when going up hills.
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Old 10-05-2006, 06:47 AM   #10
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Bonnie,
Your 3.7 liter, straight 5 engine makes 242hp and has 242 lb./ft. of torque. I doubt the engine power differs with standard or automatic transmission. With that much power you should be having little trouble towing your Ventura. You might want to join this forum and ask the same question.

http://www.coloradofans.com/

Tom Trostel
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:55 AM   #11
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Bonnie,

You raise an interesting question. Having had a variety of trailers and tow vehicles in differing combinations over the past couple of years, I can share some observations I've made. First, any tow vehicle towing near it's max tow weight will get around 12 mpg plus or minus a couple regardless of engine size or trailer. Reduced weight causes that to rise a little; but reduced frontal area on the trailer in relation to the tow vehicle causes a SIGNIFICANT difference and a significant difference in ease of towing.

Not all tow vehicle/trailer combinations are created equal, and I've found that assumptions I've made by 'looking' at them aren't valid. I suspect that without windtunnel or trial-and-error testing of the various combinations, there's really no way to know how a specific tow vehicle/trailer pairing is going to work in the real world.

Of course, the faster you go, the harder your trailer is to pull, especially with a flat, square front. Add to that a smaller front-surface area tow vehicle like the Colorado that doesn't move the air smoothly ahead of the trailer and it's like trying to tow a piece of plywood sideways. Some trailers move air smoothly themselves, and some don't. Some tow vehicles leave a 'tunnel' behind them that smooths the way for the trailer and some don't.

Presuming that your truck is running the way it should, and is properly equipped, you may just be a victim of poor aerodynamics.

Roger
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:24 AM   #12
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First, any tow vehicle towing near it's max tow weight will get around 12 mpg plus or minus a couple regardless of engine size or trailer.
I get 17+ at the tow rating for my Element. "Any" might be a bit broadbrush.

The title of this thread is a little misleading as the number of cylinders is not important, it's the tow rating of the vehicle. Anyone know what the highest tow rating is for a 4 cylinder is?
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:27 AM   #13
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I have been considering a slightly used Nissan Xterra, with the 4 cyl rated at 3500 lbs towing capacity 5000 lbs with the 6. More than enough for my 13 footer I'd say, although some reviews I've read have complained of the 4 cyl version being "underpowered", which makes one wonder how it rates such a high tow rating compared to other 4 cyl SUV's.
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Old 10-05-2006, 11:32 AM   #14
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I get 17+ at the tow rating for my Element. "Any" might be a bit broadbrush.
As it was intended to be Patrick. What's really interesting is the percentage of drop from the unladen mpg to the laden towing mpg from vehicle to vehicle. In raw numbers though, it seems to be usually between a 5-10 mpg loss, with vehicles with smaller engines and higher tow loads suffering the highest percentage mpg loss. If I were drawing a comparison statistical formula that would be most accurate, I'd guess it's probably weight to horsepower ratio of the GCVWR. The rear end gearing is probably THE second most important factor in miles per gallon.

Roger
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