Towing my Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-07-2015, 11:36 AM   #1
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Name: Anne
Trailer: Dutchman 5th wheel and a 2013 16 ft. Scamp
Michigan
Posts: 21
Towing my Scamp

Last week we finally got to bring home our new 2013 16 ft. Scamp
Now we have big decisions to make with the towing vehicle.
We own a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan, 6 cyl.
Dealer says it will pull it.
Does anyone here pull with a minivan? I haven't found anyone yet. We really want to keep this van but we also don't want to wreck it.
Thanks for all your input on all the subjects.
I have learned so much!
Annie and Jack in Michigan
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:26 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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Looks like the towing capacity for that vehicle is 3600 lbs., plenty for that trailer, but you might want to talk to the dealers service peeps about what's included in their "Towing Package" It may include recommended items like a transmission cooler and a larger radiator etc.


Here's a link to a Dodge site, but check for specs for your vehicle in the owners manual that came with it. If you don't have one, see your dealer.
Dodge Vehicle Towing Capacity Chart | Towing Guide & Capacity | Dodge


"But the dealer said" was often little more than an oft heard sales point
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:53 PM   #3
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Name: James
Trailer: Quicksilver 10.0 tent camper
Alabama
Posts: 6
Towing my Scamp

Please keep us update to how your van pulls the camper. I have a mini van also and I'm curious about its performance pulling a 16 foot scamp.


How did you get it home originally?



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 12-07-2015, 09:52 PM   #4
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 1,885
Quote:
Originally Posted by anne myette View Post
Does anyone here pull with a minivan? I haven't found anyone yet...
Really? then you need to look harder. I found plenty of people towing Scamps with minivans when I did some internet and forum searches. Most were good.

I have a different minivan so I will not reply to your question further.

Or maybe I will just mention that I am towing a Scamp 16 with a 2015 Toyota Sienna, rated at 3500 and 350 tongue weight. It was a bit of a pain to set up for towing and the hitch receiver is quite low, but over all it does just fine.

It would not hurt to add some sway control hardware but IMHO one can get by without it (in this specific case) just by exercising some extra care.
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:23 AM   #5
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
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We tow with a minivan, a 2014 Honda Odyssey rated at 3500/350 lbs. The Odyssey's V6 is powerful and efficient. It's reliability for us is yet to be determined, particularly since we only have one vehicle and keep it for 10 years.

There are numerous references to the Dodge Caravan suggesting it makes a good tow vehicle.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:33 AM   #6
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Name: Bob Ruggles
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 2012 Chevy Silverado
Michigan
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Three years ago we towed an EggCamper (17ft) with a 2010 Chrysler minivan, same as a Dodge. It did a good job towing. We got rid of the van for reasons unrelated to towing ability. Also towed the EggCamper with a Buick Enclave which did a much better towing job than the Chrysler. Now we have an Escape 19 which we tow with a Chevy Silverado 1500.
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:50 AM   #7
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Scamp 16' Deluxe side bath
Minnesota
Posts: 47
towing

I tow with the exact same van (2012 Dodge Grand Caravan). My previous van was a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan. Both vehicles were excellent at towing my 16' Scamp Deluxe. Gas mileage on the 2012 van usually gets 18 mpg (no wind) which was a couple mpg better than the 2005. Always tow in 5th gear and never set the van in the econ mode while towing.

Remember to have at least 10% weight on the tongue (usually 250lbs or so) and keep your speeds not to exceed 60 for best and safest results.

Swenny
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:00 AM   #8
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swenny View Post
I tow with the exact same van (2012 Dodge Grand Caravan). My previous van was a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan. Both vehicles were excellent at towing my 16' Scamp Deluxe. Gas mileage on the 2012 van usually gets 18 mpg (no wind) which was a couple mpg better than the 2005. Always tow in 5th gear and never set the van in the econ mode while towing.

Remember to have at least 10% weight on the tongue (usually 250lbs or so) and keep your speeds not to exceed 60 for best and safest results.

Swenny
For Others: Always check with the owners manual about towing recommendations. Several makes specifically state, to reduce constant up and down shifting, to NOT tow with the overdrive gear(s) engaged. (with 6 to 9 speed transmissons out there I no longer know if 5th is overdrive or not...)

FWIW: with a 2nd generation Honda CRV we got better MPG's with the overdrive locked out when towing either of the 13' Eggs we had. Ditto with previous 4 cylinder Toyota mini-motorhomes.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:02 AM   #9
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I made a trip to Alaska this June & July with friends that towed a Scamp 16 with a 2011 Toyota Sienna van. The only problem they had was on steep gravel driveways in a couple of campgrounds - wheel spin with the front wheel drive.

I'd be sure the Caravan has the tow package (if it isn't part of all of them). I drove 3 different Chrysler minivans with minimal towing (utility trailers on short hops only) and had transmission problems with all of them.
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Old 12-08-2015, 04:42 PM   #10
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I have towed with minivans for 11 years with no issues. You should not have a problem.

Tom Trostel's Trailer :: 1980 Bigfoot 15B17G
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:07 PM   #11
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Name: Doug
Trailer: Scamp 16 ft.
Missouri
Posts: 129
We tow with a 6 cylinder Ford Escape, and it seems quite able, having a tow rating of over 3500 pounds. We did install a transmission cooler too. Get that transmission cooler installed, very important.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:42 AM   #12
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
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Six Cylinder Minivan? No problem.
As long as you know how to downshift on the up hill pulls, or long downhill runs, to use engine braking instead of overheating the trailer brakes.
We pulled our 16 ft deluxe with 3 different Odyssey's and now with our second Highlander.
Because the rear end of the Van is low, and your trailer hitch is higher, you will need a high rise ball mount.
And, to avoid too much sag in the rear suspension of the van, try to not carry heavy stuff in the rear of the van.
If possible, install a pair of booster shocks. and add air to the rear tires to carry the added load.
Happy Camping!
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Old 12-09-2015, 01:42 PM   #13
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Name: Anne
Trailer: Dutchman 5th wheel and a 2013 16 ft. Scamp
Michigan
Posts: 21
Towing

Thanks Everyone for your input.
We went to 4 RV places and the Chrysler dealership and read online info before we bought the camper. A couple of them said that is a low vehicle to tow with but we got the riser hitch. I am not a computer person so I didn't think to ask ordinary people until now. We are learning all the time. I was relieved to see there are minivan TVs.
It doesn't have a tow package but I appreciate the advise about the transmission cooler. The dealer told us this model van has a trans cooler tied in with the air conditioning system on it but it may not be enough. I think it is very importantnto have a good one installed especially after reading one of the posts about tranny problems.
We brought the Scamp home with our friend's pick-up. As soon as we get all this equipment installed I am positive my two vehicles shall be as one on the road!!!! Can't wait!
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Old 12-09-2015, 01:56 PM   #14
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anne myette View Post
... The dealer told us this model van has a trans cooler tied in with the air conditioning system on it but it may not be enough. I think it is very important to have a good one installed especially after reading one of the posts about tranny problems...
Don't stop your research. Many dealers are clueless. If the manual says it can tow X lbs and does not mention supplemental equipment (or has the dreaded asterisk: "* When properly equipped," which tell you nothing!).. then it should be good go without an aux cooler. If it does have the legalize, "when properly equipped" then you have to find out what that means. It could mean many things other than a tranny cooler and some makes and models specially say you should not add a tranny cooler. So do your homework before assuming that adding a cooler is the best thing to do.
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