Towing a Trillium with a Ford Focus Wagon - Do-able?? - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-22-2008, 10:15 AM   #1
Member
 
Trailer: 1974 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 55
Hello.

We are picking up our 76 Trillium on Saturday, and need a tow vehicle. One of thereasons we wentr for the Trillium is that the stated weight is about 1000 lbs (and after a few hours on this site I realize that is a bogus weight) and our Focus (2.0L 4 cyl) has a towing capaicuty of 1000 lbs.

Teh trailer hitch I am about to spend $400 on will tow a trailer of 2000 lbs...

QUESTION: Can I tow the Trillium with my car? Is it dangerous? Will I kill my car, or can I go slow and careful and at least get it home (from Victoria BC to Vancouver)??

thanks

Barry
__________________

__________________
Barry Konkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008, 10:27 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Booker B.'s Avatar
 
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 983
Hi Barry,

Interesting you should bring up the Focus/Trillium combination as we were hoping to do the same thing when we started looking at Trilliums last year. However, the Focus is just not designed to tow long term so we ended up getting a Subaru wagon.

I think you could safely get the trailer back from Victoria if it's empty - it's the stopping I would be worried about in the Focus. The brakes never seemed super strong on ours. We do use the trailer hitch on our Focus for a bike rack but you might want to consider if $400 is worth the one time tow. Could you borrow a friends vehicle with a higher tow rating to go and pick it up?

A few notes: Our Trillium loaded for a 2 week journey weighed in at 1800lbs+. You are going to be shocked at the return ferry cost as the Trillium is 2" over height and you will be 30' long - you will be paying the same as a full size RV bus.
__________________

__________________
Booker B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Ian-Vicki's Avatar
 
Name: Ian or Vicki
Trailer: 17 ft Burro Widebody / 2007 Explorer Sport Trac
British Columbia
Posts: 437
The question is more, if it will do it safely. Towing is more than about getting the trailer to move, it's also about being able to stop, about sway, and not have the trailer pushing the tow vehicle. Chances are you would be fine. But if there is an accident, ICBC might say you were over your tow limit and void your insurance. Maybe it's better to see not if you can do it, but if you should. I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but safety is a priority when towing.
good luck.
cheers
Ian
__________________
Ian-Vicki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Raya's Avatar
 
Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
In a way, this is a personal decision, but since you asked:

The 1976 Trillium that I bought states an empty weight of 1095 lbs. I haven't weighed it, but I believe it does weigh every bit of that. So you're already potentially over by 100 lbs.

Another factor is that I believe on some cars (please double-check this) you have to subtract the weight of the vehicle's cargo and occupants from the towing figure.

Next is tongue weight, which will vary depending on what's mounted up front on the trailer tongue.

Do you plan to tow the trailer ever again once you get it home? If so, spending $400 for a hitch on a vehicle that you clearly can't use to tow on a regular basis seems to be a bit of a waste. By that I mean that if you plan to actually use the trailer (i.e. tow it), you'll have to get another tow vehicle anyway, so maybe save the hitch money for that? Perhaps borrow or rent a tow vehicle for this trip.

If you were going five miles down a country road - and already had a hitch - I'd think "Okay, go for it." But Victoria to Vancouver is a bit longer than that, with traffic and a ferry ride to boot. You could be putting other people and yourself in danger.

Does the Trillium have trailer brakes? Will your car be wired to use them (i.e. you must buy and install a brake controller on the tow vehicle). This would make it less dangerous, but again it seems like wasted expense/effort since you can't really tow a Trillium with that vehicle.

I guess my answer really boils down to suggesting you get/borrow/buy a different tow vehicle, even for the trip home. I would be more "yeah, do it" if your vehicle was rated for even 1500# (although even that would be cutting it REALLY close over the long term when loaded for camping).

On the other hand: New Trillium for you! Yay!
__________________
Raya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008, 10:48 AM   #5
Member
 
Trailer: 1974 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 55
Quote:
Hi Barry,

Interesting you should bring up the Focus/Trillium combination as we were hoping to do the same thing when we started looking at Trilliums last year. However, the Focus is just not designed to tow long term so we ended up getting a Subaru wagon.

I think you could safely get the trailer back from Victoria if it's empty - it's the stopping I would be worried about in the Focus. The brakes never seemed super strong on ours. We do use the trailer hitch on our Focus for a bike rack but you might want to consider if $400 is worth the one time tow. Could you borrow a friends vehicle with a higher tow rating to go and pick it up?

A few notes: Our Trillium loaded for a 2 week journey weighed in at 1800lbs+. You are going to be shocked at the return ferry cost as the Trillium is 2" over height and you will be 30' long - you will be paying the same as a full size RV bus.
Thanks for the input.

Booker:

Which Subaru Wagon did you buy?

I was looking at Craigslist last night and was checking out Ford Explorers and Subarus.

I am trying to rent a tow vehicle and or borrow one and just get the Trillium home, and work on it for a few months and find a new car in the spring.

Barry
__________________
Barry Konkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008, 10:55 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Raya's Avatar
 
Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
Barry,

I hope I didn't sound too bossy in my reply above. It's not like I'm a priss who's never done anything that wasn't perfect

That said, I like your current plan. Might as well take the $400 (plus another $$? for trailer brake controller and wiring) and put it towards something you can use to tow the Trillium for camping.

As for renting a tow vehicle: Sometimes companies who cater towards renting tools and equipment to contractors can be a source.

Raya
__________________
Raya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008, 11:43 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Booker B.'s Avatar
 
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 983
Hi Barry,

We bought a 2005 Subaru Forester - Subaru's have become upscale vehicles and I could not justify the high cost of the new ones. We chose the Forester over the Outback for a few reasons. First, I am 6'2 and the Forester is tall inside - similar to a Matrix whereas the Outback is lower and longer like the Focus. The outback has more use able storage space but since we are towing a trailer that wasn't a concern =). The Forester also has a massive sunroof which the kids love.

We were also looking at used Pathfinders (thirsty), Volvo wagons (dicey suspension) and Ford Escapes (too expensive) . In the end the Subaru / Trillium combo seemed right for us and doing a 2 week trip from Courtenay to Drumheller and back proved very successful. We were lucky to pick up a Trillium with electric brakes and I totally advocate getting them installed if you go for smaller TV like a Subaru.

EDIT: I should also mention that the Subaru is my daily driver and our 4x4 Toyota truck replacement - it will tow our Aluminum trailer so gas mileage, 4wd and tow capacity were all part of my decision.

LAST EDIT: just a plug for a local trailer company if you are moving from a truck to suv:
Parksville Express Trailers
__________________
Booker B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008, 11:46 AM   #8
Member
 
Trailer: 1974 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 55
Quote:
Barry,

I hope I didn't sound too bossy in my reply above. It's not like I'm a priss who's never done anything that wasn't perfect

That said, I like your current plan. Might as well take the $400 (plus another $$? for trailer brake controller and wiring) and put it towards something you can use to tow the Trillium for camping.

As for renting a tow vehicle: Sometimes companies who cater towards renting tools and equipment to contractors can be a source.

Raya
Raya - not at all - I am completely new to this trailer thing. Problem is solved as my boss is lending me his F-150 to tow the Trillium home on Saturday.
__________________
Barry Konkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008, 11:48 AM   #9
Member
 
Trailer: 1974 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 55
Quote:
Hi Barry,

We bought a 2005 Subaru Forester - Subaru's have become upscale vehicles and I could not justify the high cost of the new ones. We chose the Forester over the Outback for a few reasons. First, I am 6'2 and the Forester is tall inside - similar to a Matrix whereas the Outback is lower and longer like the Focus. The outback has more use able storage space but since we are towing a trailer that wasn't a concern =). The Forester also has a massive sunroof which the kids love.

We were also looking at used Pathfinders (thirsty), Volvo wagons (dicey suspension) and Ford Escapes (too expensive) . In the end the Subaru / Trillium combo seemed right for us and doing a 2 week trip from Courtenay to Drumheller and back proved very successful. We were lucky to pick up a Trillium with electric brakes and I totally advocate getting them installed if you go for smaller TV like a Subaru.

EDIT: I should also mention that the Subaru is my daily driver and our 4x4 Toyota truck replacement - it will tow our Aluminum trailer so gas mileage, 4wd and tow capacity were all part of my decision.

LAST EDIT: just a plug for a local trailer company if you are moving from a truck to suv:
Parksville Express Trailers

thanks Booker.

I ahave commuted on two wheels for 12 years now - first bike, then motor scooter and now a 500cc Suzuki... I think I am getting old for the weather and risk of it all, and the Trillium is just fast-tracking us towards the car I haev been considering for the last six months.

Subaru dealership, here we come!

Barry
__________________
Barry Konkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008, 11:51 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Booker B.'s Avatar
 
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 983
Been there alright - I used to cycle daily but the 40km return ride (with hills) got to be hard on me. Then I went a BWS Scooter, then to a 650 V-Strom, then downsized to a XT225. I worried too much about getting smucked too much with our crazy drivers here so back to a car for me. The BWS Scooter is something I have been thinking about as we are moving closer to town and the new route would have far less traffic.
__________________
Booker B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008, 12:08 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
brendadave's Avatar
 
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 218
Quote:
QUESTION: Can I tow the Trillium with my car? Is it dangerous? Will I kill my car, or can I go slow and careful and at least get it home (from Victoria BC to Vancouver)??

thanks

Barry
Don't do it, rent a truck, or SUV with a hitch on it if you have to, then you have all the time you want to decide on a new tow vehicle.
__________________
brendadave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008, 03:15 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Raya's Avatar
 
Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
Quote:
Problem is solved as my boss is lending me his F-150 to tow the Trillium home on Saturday.
Perfect! Lots of extra tow-capacity so one less thing to worry about. Have a great trip to pick up the new camper

Raya
__________________

__________________
Raya is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
trillium


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ford Explorer Overheating When Towing Rich Hayes Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 8 07-07-2009 07:39 PM
Towing with a Ford Ranger 4X4 4.0L Tom H. Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 4 06-10-2009 07:03 AM
towing options w/ ford ranger Justin, M Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 18 04-18-2008 01:30 AM
Anyone Towing With a Ford E-series Van Doug Hounshell Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 8 01-03-2007 07:53 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.