Towing feedback needed from Casita & Scamp owners. The sooner the pretty please :-) - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-12-2016, 07:09 PM   #15
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Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
Arkansas
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When I built my 1150# rolling weight plus 150# hitch weight teardrop trailer in 2006 I owned a '95 Nissan Hardbody KingCab with 4 cylinder 2.4L, 5-spd. Our TD is 60"Wx114"Lx52"H & fit inside the 'wind shadow' of the Nissan with a cab-high shell on the bed. We towed the TD all over the western USA for 2yrs with no problem except it was slower on uphill grades at elevation, & on level when 'bucking' a strong headwind. Once in NW Kansas (pretty flat) heading west we encountered a pretty stiff, quartering headwind (35-45mph). I was unable to maintain 55mph on the level in 5th gear against the wind. Had to downshift to 4th for the last few miles that day, which cost us a drop in fuel mileage from 17 to 12mpg. Otherwise the truck performed great. A 13' Scamp will weigh several hundred (at least) pounds more than our TD & there's no way it'll fit inside the 'wind shadow' of your Tacoma. I've towed our TD since Dec 2008 with a 2008 Tacoma 4.0L V-6, 4x4 with auto trans, & for the past year and a half a 2001 Casita 17' SD. It still tows the Casita great & fuel efficiency only dropped a mile or so per gallon versus towing the TD.

I too would be reluctant to tow a Casita 17 with a 4 cylinder engine.
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:55 PM   #16
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Name: bill
Trailer: 1996 Casita LD
North Carolina
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Be sure to look beyond your truck's tow rating too! On most trucks, you run out of payload capacity way before you run out of tow rating. My F150 has a tow rating of 9,000 pounds, but I am over the payload limit if I go over about a 4,500 pound trailer. The manufacturers tend to fudge tow ratings a lot, sure my truck can "pull" a 9000 trailer, but I can't hitch up to it!!

And be very careful with trailer dry weights. Those weights tend to grossly understate the actual weight of the trailer.

Myself, I would never consider towing a 17 foot Casita with a four cylinder truck. Get more truck, or a lot less trailer.

I tow my 17 foot Casita with an F150 with a 5.4L V8. Sure, thats more truck than is needed, but I already owned the truck when I bought the trailer.
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:20 PM   #17
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Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
Arkansas
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Payload of a pickup has little to do with tow rating except as they affect each other. Payload is the amount of weight a vehicle can carry including all passengers & cargo (including hitch weight normally). Tow rating is normally the total rolling weight a vehicle can pull (not including hitch weight, which is normally included in payload). Manufacturers are generally optimistic in their assigning of payload ratings (& to a somewhat lesser extent their tow ratings). Most mfg'rs seem to assume (for payload purposes) that the truck will only contain a driver with a nominal weight of around 150#, & no cargo or passengers. That of course is nonsense. My 2008 Tacoma, double cab, long bed, 4x4, 4.0L V-6, auto trans, has around 1K# to 1.5K# payload rating. With a Leer 'fiberglass' hi-rise shell over the bed which weighs approx 200/250#, a composite toolbox, & various miscellaneous items in the bed, my payload (for hitch weight) is reduced to around 500#, give or take a few #. I've installed a set of rear airbags (by AirLift) to assist in maintaining a level ride/attitude on the rear axle, & to prevent serious 'drop' with the approx 400/430# hitch weight of our 2001 Casita 17SD. Our Casita, loaded for a trip, weighs between 2500# & 3K# so it is well below the tow rating. It is however, getting close to the payload with all the gear we put into the bed & rear seat of the double cab. With a tow rating of 6400#, I agree with thrifty bill that I'd be very reluctant to try to tow that amount, but only because I'm getting close to my payload rating. If I had a 6K# trailer with a hitch weight that didn't put me over the payload of my truck, & that had good, working brakes, I'd not hesitate to tow it... Payload only correlates with tow rating when the payload is likely to be exceeded by the hitch weight when the trailer is 'hooked up'. There is such a thing as 'Gross Combined Weight Rating' which you'd never want to exceed, but that normally includes the total weight of the vehicle (including payload) & the tow raring.
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Harvey View Post
There is such a thing as 'Gross Combined Weight Rating' which you'd never want to exceed, but that normally includes the total weight of the vehicle (including payload) & the tow raring.
I would highly recommend finding out what the Combined Weight rating is and doing the actual calculations. Its an interesting number and was surprised while recently shopping for a new tow vehicle that its not a hard to exceed.

Might surprise more than a few that while they may be towing below their vehicles max tow rating they are at or over the Combined Weight rating.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:19 PM   #19
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Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
Arkansas
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You are of course correct Carol. Gross vehicle weight rating (GCWR) is computed by each mfg'r using a combination of factors, vehicle street weight/mass, gross axle weight rating, size & type of tires, engine size/torque, towed vehicle weight/mass, final drive gear ratio, braking capacity, and lots of other factors. Generally the vehicle GVWR plus its tow rating will get you pretty close but, one definitely needs to know the GCWR before selecting or hitching up to a trailer. GCWR is based on safety & should never be ignored or exceeded. Mfg'rs are sometimes pretty 'cavalier' in assigning payload or tow rating but are usually pretty conservative in the GCWR. GCWR can usually be found on the 'general info' tag on the driver side door post (on USA sold vehicles, dunno 'bout Canadian). If the GCWR is not on the door post tag, you can query the mfg'r using the VIN, or check the mfg'r towing info. Your owner manual may also have needed info...
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:53 PM   #20
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Name: bill
Trailer: 1996 Casita LD
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Let me try this again. While many focus on the tow rating of their vehicle, they often overlook the payload capacity. While these are two different ratings, one does affect the other. In my case, with a five passenger pickup truck, I run out of payload capacity long before I run out of towing capacity.

How does towing a trailer affect payload? Its mostly tongue weight. A rule of thumb is tongue weight will run about 12% of a trailer's overall weight.

So again, using my F150 as an example, tow rating is 9,000 pounds, payload limit is 1450 pounds. First, I have a bed topper on my truck, that weighs 250 pounds. Then I have the weight of passengers (and driver), lets put that at 400 pounds. Then you have the stuff in my truck bed and in the passenger compartment, say another 200 pounds. Then you have the weight of the hitch, lets say 50 pounds. That leaves 550 pounds for tongue weight. Divide that by 12%, that gives you a trailer weight of 4,600 pounds, far from the "9,000" rating.

Take the same truck, same topper, same stuff, but lets just have one person in the truck, a light weight driver, at 150 pounds. 150 pound driver plus 250 pound topper, plus 200 pounds of stuff, plus 50 pounds for the hitch leaves 800 for tongue weight. Divide that by 12% and that gives you a trailer weighing 6700 pounds.

At least in my case, part of towing a FG trailer is the very limited storage in the trailer itself. So a lot of stuff ends up in my truck instead: bicycles, camp stove, lantern, misc extension cords, gas grill, screen room, lawn chairs.

On Ford trucks from the year my truck was made, the more options your truck has, the lower the payload. My truck is pretty loaded, its an F150 Lariat with many options. All those options drive down the available payload.
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:20 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Let me try this again. While many focus on the tow rating of their vehicle, they often overlook the payload capacity. While these are two different ratings, one does affect the other. In my case, with a five passenger pickup truck, I run out of payload capacity long before I run out of towing capacity.

<cut>

At least in my case, part of towing a FG trailer is the very limited storage in the trailer itself. So a lot of stuff ends up in my truck instead: bicycles, camp stove, lantern, misc extension cords, gas grill, screen room, lawn chairs.

On Ford trucks from the year my truck was made, the more options your truck has, the lower the payload. My truck is pretty loaded, its an F150 Lariat with many options. All those options drive down the available payload.
You should have got the optional MAX tow package for your F150 and your pay load would be greater

I hear you on this though. It is/was a real big problem for me with the Nissan Frontier which has a much lower payload rating than the F150 depending on the model. Mine has the largest payload of the Frontier's and I also have a fibreglass topper over the box that reduces the usable payload greatly. With two passengers, the cover and the current trailer and a pop up tent in the back I max out the Frontier - even a bit over. So I do need to put everything I can in the trailer and why I have ordered a new truck. ;-)

To keep the payload in check I carried almost everything in the trailer - even when I had the Scamp. Chairs and tables traveled in the bathroom. Outdoor stove and small BQ in the small cupboard under the front bunk. A large rubber maid container that contained all the hoses, electrical cords, lights etc rode on the floor of the trailer.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:43 PM   #22
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Name: Robert
Trailer: Scamp
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A word of caution about gross vehicle weights and tow weights. The gross vehicle weight is the weight of vehicle, fuel, passengers, cargo, hitch, tongue weight. In short, everything bearing on the tow vehicle wheels. The tow weight is the trailer weight. Whatever you choose to call them, it is possible to be under the limit for both, but still exceed the gross combined weight spec. For instance, with my van a gross vehicle weight of 4500lb and a trailer weight of 2000lb are both under the manufacturers limits for each, but the combined weight, 6500lb is 150lb over the gross combined vehicle weight limit.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:01 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by ravensrest View Post
A word of caution about gross vehicle weights and tow weights. The gross vehicle weight is the weight of vehicle, fuel, passengers, cargo, hitch, tongue weight. In short, everything bearing on the tow vehicle wheels. The tow weight is the trailer weight. Whatever you choose to call them, it is possible to be under the limit for both, but still exceed the gross combined weight spec. For instance, with my van a gross vehicle weight of 4500lb and a trailer weight of 2000lb are both under the manufacturers limits for each, but the combined weight, 6500lb is 150lb over the gross combined vehicle weight limit.
Yup as mentioned in post 18 that was my experience as well when I was shopping for a new tow vehicle and I did the math on the combined rating using my trailers weight on several new tow vehicles I was considering. Funny enough it was not a situation that I was looking at vehicles with relatively low tow ratings &/or maxing out their tow limits either. Was a bit surprised at some of them and as a result I have not doubt there are lot of combos on the roads that are over the combined limits.
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:47 PM   #24
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I have a 2013 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe . The trailer is towed by a 2014 Ram 1500 with the 5.7 liter Hemi V8 . I find that my vehicle is adequate for towing the Casita. I previously towed with a 1999 Ram 1500 truck with a V6 engine and found it to be totally inadequate.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:17 PM   #25
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
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A hemi will get the job done. Do you get better mileage towing with the modern Hemi that you did with the 1500 with the V6? I know you get more smiles per mile with the new truck.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:10 PM   #26
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Hi All,

Interesting thread. IMO, I would not tow a 16' Scamp or 17' Casita with a 4 cylinder Taco rated to tow 3,500 lbs., particularly given the environmental parameters described by the OP.

I have an '05 Casita 17' FD that weighs 2910. I have an '09 Kia Borrego V8 2WD rated to tow 7,500 lbs and 750 on the tongue with a WDH. In other words, I have plenty of tow capacity, BUT the cargo carrying capacity of The Borg is 1,160. Once you subtract the weight of the hitch, the tongue weight, Laura, and myself, we have about 350 lbs left for gear and stuff. No problem for us empty nesters, but if our two young adult daughters and their stuff comes with us, then we are pushing it. Plenty of tow capacity, but limited CCC.

Lots of details to keep up with. Thanks to all the good folks here for helping me learn this over past 15 months!

Wishing the OP and friend the best!

Take care,

Dean
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:20 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
A hemi will get the job done. Do you get better mileage towing with the modern Hemi that you did with the 1500 with the V6? I know you get more smiles per mile with the new truck.
Like I said , I find the Hemi to be adequate not great just adequate.
Yes , I do get better gas mileage with the V8 compared to the V6
plus it doesn't have to downshift or change gears on the slightest upgrade when towing. I can't imagine nor will I tow a 3500 lb trailer with a small vehicle with a 4 or 6 cylinder engine.
Everyone has a different comfort level when towing so I am only speaking for myself.
As I have stated many times , if I had my choice of tow vehicles and cost was not an issue , my tow vehicle would be a 3/4 ton diesel truck but to each their own.

PS: I witnessed a small vehicle towing a relatively small trailer get thrown into the ditch while trying to make a panic stop.
That was enough for me !!.
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:39 PM   #28
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Name: Ed
Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Missouri
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Like I said , I find the Hemi to be adequate not great just adequate.
Yes , I do get better gas mileage with the V8 compared to the V6
plus it doesn't have to downshift or change gears on the slightest upgrade when towing. I can't imagine nor will I tow a 3500 lb trailer with a small vehicle with a 4 or 6 cylinder engine.
Everyone has a different comfort level when towing so I am only speaking for myself.
As I have stated many times , if I had my choice of tow vehicles and cost was not an issue , my tow vehicle would be a 3/4 ton diesel truck but to each their own.

PS: I witnessed a small vehicle towing a relatively small trailer get thrown into the ditch while trying to make a panic stop.
That was enough for me !!.
Like I said when this thread started I have had both a Tundra Longbed.Reg Cab with the V8 and one with the V6.
The V8 is 4wd and the V6 is 2wd but otherwise they were setup the exact same way and I even had the same shell on the back of both.
As far as I know they were similar if not identical (no European versions and unproven assumptions of similarity!) and I pulled the 17' FD with each a lot.

The V6 had no issues at all with the Casita,ever and I towed with it through some amazing storms too from STL to S.Florida and back several times. I was entirely satisfied with it although I also did not know the difference just yet either.

The V8 just pulls almost the same but is much more effortless in every situation.

I am convinced part of my success overall is the longer wheelbase heavier truck that the Tundra is compared to a Taco or 4Runner or Highlander or any other smaller truck really.
Mine is the smaller 1st Generation Tundra as is the Taco in question here the older and smaller generation of them but the extra mass and stability of the bigger truck just enables it to better Manhandle the trailer from my experience.

The V8 also does get better mileage for me than the V6 did although it is close and I also tend to drive faster with the extra power,I try not to but........

So I am all for too much truck than wondering about too little and I am the only one I need to convince about it too,but experience has taught me to be safer and it is more efficient for me by any measure.
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