Towing a a fibre vs conventional trailer - which is easier? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-07-2012, 12:25 PM   #15
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Given that the trailers I'm considering is in the range of 4000lb, would a crossover with 5000lb rating do the job? I would prefer to get something like a Highlander (5000lb), Pilot (5000lb) or Traverse (5200lb)? Or should I stick with the original plan of getting V8 JGC/Tahoe? I don't need huge amount of space in the vehicle but better MPG (with and without towing) would be nice...
Another consideration, besides payload when choosing a tow vehicle, IMHO, is the wheel base: the longer, the better.

Admittedly, my experience is limited pretty much to our 16' and 17' Casitas, but the ride is smoother with the full size truck (F-150) vs. the smaller pickup (2 different Ford Rangers). Some of that's surely the weight and power of the heavier truck (less "tail wagging the dog") but it's my understanding it's also the longer wheelbase.

In other words, I personally wouldn't be interested in trying to tow a 19' trailer with a "short" SUV. I'm sure people do it - but it would be a tough sell for me.

As Donna said, YMMV. Good luck with your quest!
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:27 PM   #16
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Another consideration, besides payload when choosing a tow vehicle, IMHO, is the wheel base: the longer, the better.

Admittedly, my experience is limited pretty much to our 16' and 17' Casitas, but the ride is smoother with the full size truck (F-150) vs. the smaller pickup (2 different Ford Rangers). Some of that's surely the weight and power of the heavier truck (less "tail wagging the dog") but it's my understanding it's also the longer wheelbase.

In other words, I personally wouldn't be interested in trying to tow a 19' trailer with a "short" SUV. I'm sure people do it - but it would be a tough sell for me.

As Donna said, YMMV. Good luck with your quest!
Thanks for the comments.

So would you consider above mentioned SUVs "short"?
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:29 PM   #17
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I tow with a Chevy Astro Van 4.3 on the highway average 13 miles to the gallon imperial or 11 US .

This is mountain driving and I tend to be heavy on the foot.

I think when it comes to towing having rear wheel drive is a consideration and why many chose four wheel drive over front wheel drive.
The SUV'S you list should be fine.

As for the trailer like others mentioned the life of Fiberglass is far longer and holds value.
Any stick built will have problems with leaks down the road from flexing.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:58 PM   #18
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CPA Hmmmmmmm! Reminds me of that old song " I can't drive 55" LOL!
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #19
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Many egg trailers are not only rounded, but also are narrower (under 7' wide) than conventional trailers... just one more aerodynamic advantage. The Airstreams tested were most likely 8' wide.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:07 AM   #20
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It is surprising that rounded fibre based trailers are so much more efficient in terms of gas consumption. When I looked at more conventional trailers, most of them don't have a flat surface in the frontal area - they obviously put some effort to overcome wind resistance issue.

I do like Airstreams too, but they seem quite expensive! Do they last longer?
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:13 AM   #21
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Don't mistake a bit of styling for actual aerodynamics. Fiberglass trailers have rounded corners on three edges at the front (the top and two sides) and that rounding is important in reducing drag. A shaped front panel is just styling unless they put in equal emphasis on getting a smooth airflow off the front and onto the top and sides.

The only curve on that Rockwood that looks to be of use for reducing drag is the gentle radius at the top of the front panel - the overall shape of that panel is just styling.

And to extend what Mike wrote, nothing trumps a smaller frontal area for reducing aerodynamic drag, and so increasing fuel economy.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:35 AM   #22
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I'm currently looking at Escape 19 vs Rockwood 1904. GVWR are similar (Escape - 4000lb, Rockwood - 3900lb). Would these two be comparable in terms of ease of towing? .
I just want to note that GVWR is not the weight of the trailer. It is the capacity of the axle(s).
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:25 AM   #23
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I just want to note that GVWR is not the weight of the trailer. It is the capacity of the axle(s).
I could be wrong, but from what I read, I'm supposed to ignore the dry weight and assume the worst - I will end up loading the trailer to the GCWR... Would this be the right approach?
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:37 AM   #24
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I just want to note that GVWR is not the weight of the trailer. It is the capacity of the axle(s).
According to Wiki, GAWR is axle, GVWR is vehicle, GCWR is combined and GTWR is hitch.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:01 PM   #25
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I could be wrong, but from what I read, I'm supposed to ignore the dry weight and assume the worst - I will end up loading the trailer to the GCWR... Would this be the right approach?
Some folks do load up that heavy, but not all. On the other hand, I've seen trailers with a cargo carrying capacity of only 300-400 lbs! Ridiculous.

I'd say a good rule of thumb would be to take the actual dry trailer weight and add somewhere around 700 to 1000 lbs for all the stuff.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:10 PM   #26
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Some folks do load up that heavy, but not all. On the other hand, I've seen trailers with a cargo carrying capacity of only 300-400 lbs! Ridiculous.

I'd say a good rule of thumb would be to take the actual dry trailer weight and add somewhere around 700 to 1000 lbs for all the stuff.
When manufacturer quotes dryload, does it include the options or it only applies to the barebone model?
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:21 PM   #27
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Before options. Such as those waterlogged air conditioners and soggy awnings. Curb weight is the only weight that counts except when you want to kid yourself (or others). It's possible that a comparison of dry weights of similar trailers might tell you something about construction: say minimal, beefy, or total overkill. There oughta be a law against this one, whatever the correct acronym.

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Old 09-08-2012, 03:28 PM   #28
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I did some analysis on dry weight vs GVWR (when stated) on various trailers and they are all over the place. In some cases, they are well under 50% premium while in some cases, well over 50%.

Escape 19: 2510/4000 (1490lb, 59%)
Rockwood 1904: 2827/3874 (1047lb, 37%)
Jayco 185RB: 2740/3500 (760lb, 27%)

Does this mean Jayco uses much much lighter material for their internal stuff while Escape uses heavier stuff?
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