Towing question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-10-2007, 10:31 AM   #1
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or not. Just curious, really.

I've towed a 1000 lb boat/trailer combo no brakes with my Subaru, so I assume towing the Campster will feel pretty similar but with a little more drag. My question is, how different would it feel to tow 2000 lbs WITH brakes? The Forester is rated for 2000 lb with brakes but it seems like that would be a lot of weight to tow, brakes or not.

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Old 04-10-2007, 10:47 AM   #2
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2000# with brakes and 2000# without brakes will TOW the same....it's the stopping that's different

Actually I think brakes are good on any weight trailer. If for no other reason than it saves the brakes on the Tug, which are typically much more expensive to replace.
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:14 AM   #3
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I have not towed 2000 lb, with or without brakes. It just seems to me that twice the weight of the boat would be a ton (pun intended!). Or does 2000 lbs not really feel like that much more once it is moving? (I understand the difference in braking and accelerating, but how does it feel towing?)

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:21 PM   #4
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Once it's moving, the shape and frontal area makes more difference in the towability than the weight. The weight stuff is important from an engineering perspective and getting it moving and/or stopped, but once the mass is moving, it really doesn't make a whole lot of difference how much it weighs in keeping it moving.

My Scamp 16' at 2800 lbs was easier to tow than my Bigfoot 17' at 2800 because it had less "front" to push air.


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Old 04-10-2007, 03:39 PM   #5
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I've towed with and without trailer brakes from 1000lbs to 6500lbs.
Once you are going everything is fine.

BUT a panic stop or a stop in the rain or snow or ice You WANT brakes.
It's very scary without them.
The trailer may or may not stay behind you, once it decides it wants to pass you you better speed up, and if you can't , well hang on tight and pray.
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:18 PM   #6
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I'll certainly agree with Pete! I put brakes on my 1,700 lb (loaded for travel) Scamp 13', pulled by an 82 Dodge D150 pickup truck because I was having too many times when I wished I'd had more brakes. It made quite a bit of difference in both my stopping distance and my driving-tension levels!

Regardless of how good the brakes may be on the tow vehicle, it's better to have six braked wheels on the pavement than only four!
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:21 PM   #7
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What about pulling uphill? Most of the 2000 lb trailers come with brakes, so having them is not the issue as much as pulling the trailer is.

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Old 04-10-2007, 06:42 PM   #8
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Pulling uphill depends on the vehicle, not the trailer weight.

example..

When towing with my Element and a 13 footer that easily weighed half of my current 17, I could run up my hill home (1000 to 4500 ft in 12 miles) and it was about 40 mph for my comfort level with the tug before I felt it was struggling and racking out.

With the Jeep, and the 17, I can do up to 50 MPH before I feel handling is unsafe, but there is more power available to do faster if I wanted.

I DO notice a big difference going down hill, however. The 17 is a harder push and the brakes are an absolute necessity.

On the flat, just "towing", I really don't notice any difference between the pair of rigs. I noticed a BIG difference when I towed the 13 with the Jeep. I had to watch my speed because I forgot it was there.

That would never with the E/13 combo.
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:46 PM   #9
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I pulled a U-haul 4X8 trailer ( not camper) from Chicago to Miami in 1969 with a 67 Volkswagon Beetle
( Not recommended by anyone, but I had no choice).
When you get to the hills you just slow down and don't stress the tow vehicle.

I was actually passed by a guy on a tractor going up the mountain in Chattanooga.

My biggest fear was going down but the trailer stuck up so high over the car it acted like a big air brake, I couldn't go over 55 if I wanted to.

When I moved back to Chicago ( why oh why did I do that?) I pulled a 4x6 U-haul.
Much smaller and I could maintain 65 mph.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:15 PM   #10
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Bobbie,
I tow my Hunter with a Chevy S-10 Blazer. No problem except trying to stay at 55 mph (Calif towing speed). I had no problems going 70 mph in Az. You don't feel like its even there. Just give yourself lots of room to slow down if you can and room to pass.

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Old 04-10-2007, 08:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
My Scamp 16' at 2800 lbs was easier to tow than my Bigfoot 17' at 2800 [b]because it had less "front" to push air.
My Compact Jr. weighed 1400 lbs and did not have brakes.
My Fiber Stream weighs 2800 lbs, and has brakes on 1 of the 2 axles.

The Compact Jr. was a near perfect match, (height-wise) to my Honda Odyssey. There was no difference in "feel" of the drive between towing and not towing. I didn't notice enough of a difference in miles-per-gallon to check what it actually was. I never experienced a panic stop; braking was predictably similar when towing. It was the proverbial "I didn't even know it was back there" and I was continuously checking the rear-view mirror to reassure myself that I hadn't forgotten it.

The Fiber Stream looms a good 2 feet taller than the Odyssey. I am constantly checking the tire pressure, because low tire pressure on the trailer's wheels feels like driving with the parking brake partly on. Going uphill is no problem IF I have momentum built up. If I loose momentum, then it is slow going. I DEFINITELY am glad I have brakes on the trailer! I am reminded of Desi's line from The Long, Long Trailer: "I couldn't tell if I were pulling it, or it was pushing me."
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
or not. Just curious, really.

I've towed a 1000 lb boat/trailer combo no brakes with my Subaru, so I assume towing the Campster will feel pretty similar but with a little more drag. My question is, how different would it feel to tow 2000 lbs WITH brakes? The Forester is rated for 2000 lb with brakes but it seems like that would be a lot of weight to tow, brakes or not.

Bobbie
Be sure to check state laws regarding the max. trailer weight without brakes. California requires brakes on trailers around 2000 lb (forget what the exact weight is).
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:52 PM   #13
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I own a Subaru Impreza with automatic transmission. It is also rated at 2000 pouds for towing.
I added a transmission oil cooler even if The dealer sais it is not mandatory. I traveld from Quebec, Canada to Mrtle Bach south carolina, and to Florida last summer with My RV trailer. It is a Scamp 16 feet. I had abosolutely no problem. I followed traffic without any problems. In the hills of new York State, I was a little bit faster than loaded vans, but slower than empty ones. Never went over 4 500 rpm.
As far as the brake issue, I do have electric brakes. I previeusly has a 13 feet Boler on which I added electric brakes. On my way back from the instaaltion, they were not fuctionnal since the car modulator was not installed. I was questionnig myself on my choice, when a traffic light truned yellow. It was raining. I tried to stop, but ended halfway into the crossing with no harm. It was my answer. According to me, everything you pull that is more than half the weight of the car NEEDS BRAKES.

This is my experience
Good traveling
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:27 PM   #14
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Actually, many states (and provinces?) require brakes if the trailer exceeds 40% of the tow vehicle's weight regardless of the scale weight of the trailer.
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