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


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Old 10-11-2016, 02:31 PM   #1
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Name: Jeanne
Trailer: Desire a Scamp 13' Trailer
Washington
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Towing feedback needed from Casita & Scamp owners. The sooner the pretty please :-)

Can anyone tell me if you have had first-hand experience pulling a 17 foot Casita Freedom Deluxe with a 2000 4WD Toyota Tacoma? It is a four-cylinder 2-7 engine with an extended cab. It's all set with the brake controller and wired for a trailer.


I'm writing on behalf of a friend. My biggest concern is his steep and potentially dangerous hill that my friend has for an access road that has a 900 foot drop off on one side. He also lives in a remote area and there are many passes to go over with hills to climb on a very regular basis. I know other Toyota Tacoma's have pulled this rig but I'm not sure how new the trucks were or how many hills they had to climb.


The deep concern started when I got an email from a seller who had just a 13 foot scamp with the bathroom and her Subaru Forrester could only go 40 miles an hour uphill, and she feared overheating the rig on a trip so she is selling it. Thank you in advance for any helpful feedback.


He was preparing to go pick up a very special Casita Freedom Deluxe trailer when this tremendous red light appeared. He always had doubts that it might be too heavy for his rig but this email brought up the conversation again.


And for you Scamp experts out there I would like to pose the same question on a 2007 16 foot scamp without a bathroom? Would his truck pull that up hills with no problem or does he need to concentrate on a 13 foot scamp with no bathroom?


Thanks again so much for any feedback you could send my way. The sooner the better as he is trying to find a trailer very soon.


And if anyone has a great lead on a Scamp 13 without a bathroom that is in wonderful shape with the furnace and a three-way fridge please holler soon! The problem continues to be that they're already sold by the time one gets a hold of the seller.
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Old 10-11-2016, 03:40 PM   #2
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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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I pull a 17" Freedom Deluxe right now with an 02 Tundra 4wd V8 and have also pulled the same with an 01 Tundra 2wd V6 both long bed trucks.

I would not want to try this with any 4cyl. Taco I have seen.

There is also a pretty huge difference between the 17' Freedom and a 16' Scamp w/o bath and I have also owned and towed one of those with the Tundra V6.

Much more likely to have a good experience with the much lighter weight Scamp but I would still be reluctant myself to give it a go.

I would much rather have a heavier truck than I really need than one that I need to wonder about,YMMV as they say.
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Old 10-11-2016, 03:54 PM   #3
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Name: Jeanne
Trailer: Desire a Scamp 13' Trailer
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post
I pull a 17" Freedom Deluxe right now with an 02 Tundra 4wd V8 and have also pulled the same with an 01 Tundra 2wd V6 both long bed trucks.

I would not want to try this with any 4cyl. Taco I have seen.

There is also a pretty huge difference between the 17' Freedom and a 16' Scamp w/o bath and I have also owned and towed one of those with the Tundra V6.

Much more likely to have a good experience with the much lighter weight Scamp but I would still be reluctant myself to give it a go.

I would much rather have a heavier truck than I really need than one that I need to wonder about,YMMV as they say.
Thank you so much for the helpful reply Ed! Could you be clear if you think he could pull a Scamp 13 foot without a bathroom or do you think that would be a challenge also maybe? Thanks again for your helpful feedback. And I hope so much someone has a wonderful 13 foot scamp for sale without a bathroom out there in the next few days that you could give me a holler about! :-)
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:36 PM   #4
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Name: Wayne
Trailer: Casita
Connecticut
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Taco

Hey Jeanne,
I know the Tacoma with a V6 and tow package is a well regarded vehicle for towing a Casita 17 or Scamp. I tow a 17 ft Spirit Deluxe with a Rav 4 V6 with tow package and weight distribution hitch with sway bar. Although it gets the job done I would say it's a marginal setup at best. I take back roads whenever possible(45-50 mph average) and when I am on the highway I try to maintain a speed of around 60 mph. I would think a 4 cylinder Tacoma would not be a suitable tow vehicle for 16 or 17 footer, and I would get some additional advice regarding a 13 footer. As far as a 13 footer for sale I would check out the classified ads on the other forums. Hope that helps a little. Peace!
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:17 AM   #5
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Name: Bill
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I tow a 13ft Boler ,without bathroom, with a 96 Ford Ranger 4.0 V6 Automatic , Tow Package and even my V6 Ranger struggles on hills.
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:27 AM   #6
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Name: Robert
Trailer: Scamp
Oregon
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We tow a 13' Scamp with a 2015 Ford Transit Connect 4-cyclinder van with no problems at all, up hill, down hill, works fine. We do have a brake controller, an important safety precaution. And we average about 17-22 mpg while doing so depending on terrain. All-up weight, car/trailer/passengers/cargo about 6100 lbs. Trailer weight 1600 and tongue load about 120.
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:00 AM   #7
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I pulled a 16' Scamp with a 4 cyl vehicle as well as with a V6 Nissan Frontier. The Scamp loaded (no water or AC) weighed in at 2500lbs total. I can tell you there is a world of difference when dealing with steep passes etc when pulling with the V6 vs the 4 cyl. All in a good way. The 4 cyl could do it but it was a very slow go and sure would not try it on a hot day.
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:11 AM   #8
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Name: Michael
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I would have to agree with other posters. Towing on flat land and up steep hills are entirely different situations. I can pull my 26 footer (3500 lb) with my Ranger on flat prairies. Into the foothills my 1/2 ton GMC works better. Into the mountains I use my 3/4 diesel. This isn't something you want to find out the hard way. Keep your antifreeze and tranny fluid in your vehicle and not on the road. cheers
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:55 AM   #9
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Name: Steve and Carolyn
Trailer: Casita 17" SDX
California
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Get the tow ratings and the weight of the trailer

Hi--Why guess.. The automotive engineers have done the heavy lifting. Get the tow rating of your vehicle. Model engine size etc., it is in your owners manual or readily available on line.

Get the trailer weight on line or from the manufacturer.

You will avoid guess work and have hard facts to make an informed decision.

Plan on being on tougher roads, mountainous roads leave a larger margin for safety.

Maintain your tow vehicle. It has a lot of work to do.
I just had every fluid and filter changed in my tow vehicle. 100,000 miles.

Coolant, engine oil, transmission, transfer case, rear differential, power steering, brake fluid plus every lock and hinged lubed. Don't forget moon/sun roof tracks and seat tracks.

Previous tow vehicle had a secondary transmission cooler installed.
Cheap tranny insurance for driving in the hot southwest.

Good luck in your decision.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:58 AM   #10
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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The 2000 4x4 2.7 engine has a towing capacity of 3500 lbs. A 16/17 foot trailer dressed with camping weight is pushing a load on that particular truck. If its an automatic it better have a very big transmission cooler and you will need to manually downshift it. You will have to gear down on the hills and take a vacation on the way up. He would be far better off with a 13 foot trailer. Buy the trailer you want and swap out the truck. It's much harder to get the trailer than a replacement truck. My tow vehicles don't struggle towing my 13 foot trailer. It's a far nicer drive than having to pull over for a school bus to pass you when you hit a hill. I use to pull that game in my old motorhome. Struggling with a very slow uphill tow just wears you out mentally and physically not counting the poor little engine that could. Good luck in your quest I remember my frustrations finding my Scamp 13.
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Old 10-12-2016, 12:40 PM   #11
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Name: Marge
Trailer: Casita
Oregon
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I just googled "tow capacity of 4 cylinder tacoma" and got a response of 3500 lbs. You don't want to come even close to that and I would think a big grade with a drop-off would be on edge (pun intended!) unless you have a very light rig. Especially if it has to be done on a regular basis...

One thing a wise sales person recommended to us is to go to U-haul and rent a trailer that is the approximate weight of the trailer you want to buy and take it out for the day. You can then see first hand how it handles.
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:06 PM   #12
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Name: Charlie Y
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I pulled a 17LD with the 4 banger Taco - not only is capacity and power lacking for steep hills, the transmission is geared differently than the V6 Taco I have now. Even on moderately steep hills you'll be turning over 4000 rpm just to maintain 40-50 miles per hour.

My V6 4 dr 4WD long bed Taco is rated at 6400 lbs and tows a 4200 pound (when loaded for travel) Escape 21 just fine...........
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:53 PM   #13
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Iowa
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Cylinders vs Power

How well will a 4 cylinder tow a heavier trailer? Slowly, in a lower gear!

I used to operate a Caterpillar Tractor with a 3 cylinder engine. But, it had a larger bore and stroke that you typical SUV engine today.
Pulling a load requires a high torque. If you want to go fast you need higher horsepower. A small engine that spins at a high RPM needs lots of gear reduction
between it and the drive wheels to pull a heavy load.
A big engine with lots of torque and low RPM can move the same load with less gear reduction. vis-avis the Cat.

For your application, others have told you to compare the Tow vehicles towing capacity against the trailer weight. If it says you can tow up to 3500 lb you can. The engineers always allow a margin of "safety".
Just learn how to downshift on the uphill ...and downhill ... grades.
Overheating of automatic transmissions is caused by excessive slippage in the torque converter. And that is caused by keeping the shifter in Drive.
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:33 PM   #14
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Personal opinion; I would not pull anything but a small teardrop trailer with any 4 cylinder engine; it's just too much of a risk. Transmission loss especially would be disastrous.


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Old 10-12-2016, 06:09 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, 06:55 PM   #16
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Name: bill
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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, 11:20 AM   #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, 11:55 AM   #18
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Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Quote:
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, 07:19 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, 02:53 PM   #20
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
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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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