towing vehicle for 13ft Boler or equivalent - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-24-2003, 04:59 AM   #1
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towing vehicle for 13ft Boler or equivalent

Hi All, I'm new to this board.

I am in the market for a 13ft Boler or equivalent, which from what I gather is actually a ten foot cabin with a 13ft total trailer length. I do not own a vehicle suitable for towing and am in the process of shopping around for a second vehicle to be used mainly by my better half for short trips. So, my plan is to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Is a 6 cylinder sedan powerful enough? More specifically, I am looking at a mid nineties Chev Corsica, 3.1 litre - a reasonably powerful engine for a small car. I tend to think I am pushing my luck with such a vehicle more because of transmission, though the car is rated for up to 1000 pounds towing. What are your thoughts?

If not a sedan, are minivans any good? For example, a 6 cyclinder 3.8 Chev Lumina? Nissan Quest?

Thanks in advance, Lenny
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Old 02-24-2003, 07:52 AM   #2
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That is a question asked often, but in different ways. the first thing that botherd me about which one you were considering was the 1000 lb towing weight. that,IMHO, is a little light. I think the Scamp or maybe it was the Boler, has a start weight of around 900lb so no room for stuff. I used the search button, upper right corner of the page, and found many pages of towing dicussions. here are just a few:
towing weight
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/read.php?TID=1307

Tow with Jeep Rubicon Possible/How?
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/read.php?TID=1187

My next vehicle
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/read.php?TID=1149

FWD Tow Vehicle?:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/read.php?TID=568

if you have a certain vehicle you want to *argue* about, I mean discuss, just name a brand. :)
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Old 02-24-2003, 08:00 AM   #3
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Hi, Lenny

...and welcome.:wave

There are many on the board that are towing Bolers and the like, so you will get a lot of feedback. Just sift through it and see what meets your needs.

In my opinion, I think if you can get a wider spread than a vehicle that has a 1,000 lb limit you would do better. I know many on the board pull with mini vans, and do it quite well. Even ones as large as 16'. There are many things to consider other than just tow weight. For example, the length of the vehichle, transmission, gear ratio, etc.

Yep, you'll get lots of feedback, so just hang around a bit, okay?

Really glad to have you!
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Old 02-24-2003, 08:49 AM   #4
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I did read several of those threads already, but I didn't come across a Chev Cosrsica. Bottom line is I think the transmission would be the weakest link. As for weight of trailer, good point, empty is already 900 pounds - cutting it close.

I'm not one to *argue* but what about an Astro/Savanna 4.3 litre V6. I'd say that was a safe bet! ;)

I have come to the conlusion - as I've seen alluded to often in other threas - that its better to over-compensate than under-compensate, so I'm going truck/van/suv
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Old 02-24-2003, 08:56 AM   #5
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I've heard nothing but good things about the Astro. Think we have two atleast that pull with one. Give them a day or so and I bet they chime in.
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:05 AM   #6
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Hi Lenny
The Astro van has the greatest towing capacity by far of any of the mini vans. We've seen them towing some pretty huge and heavy trailers. I'm sure one would tow a 13' fiberglass trailer like its not even there. We know someone who tows a 4500lb stick built with an Astro.

We tow with a 93 Aerostar 4l rated to tow 3800lbs. It tows the 13' Trillium fine. We usually have 2 adults, 4 adult sized kids, canoe, sometimes bikes numerous tents etc etc.

We wouldn't tow with anything less to be safe.

Nancy
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:53 AM   #7
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Chevy Astro Van

Lenny, since you mentioned the Astro Van, I think you would be interested in this comment by Charles Watts on another thread:
Quote:
The best ''tow bang for the bucks'' for our little fiberglass wonders, in my opinion, is the Chevy Astro van. No, it's not popular ... but it's a real workhorse and it's design has been around for years ... and dealers are more than willing to deal. (If you go this route, make sure you get an Astro with the 3.73 rear axle!)
Charles, I hope you don't mind, but I am total agreement with you on this one and you said it so well.

Lenny, looks like there are a few of us who think that might be a good choice.
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Old 02-24-2003, 11:12 AM   #8
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Thanks for your feedback everyone and the warm welcome :)

Astros bode well in the lemon-aid books as well. So many threads, so little time!
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Old 02-24-2003, 11:17 AM   #9
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towing a boler

While darn near anything would likely be CAPABLE of pulling it - I'm a big believer in overkill.

We pull our Boler with a full-size Dodge Ram van (the small one - 1500 SWB). Our decision was based more on creature comforts IN the van than it's towing capacity though. But we knew it was 'enough'. :)

We also STRONGLY considered the Astro/Safari vans as well. They are the last of the original 'minivans'. All the other manufacturers have moved their minivans more toward the 'car' end of the spectrum. Resulting in some dandy people-movers, but less effective tow vehicles. (All are probably still more than capable to pulling a Boler however).

The Astro however appears to have been designed as a tow vehicle. It's still rear-wheel drive (with AWD as an option). The automatic transmission is also switchable between "normal" mode and "towing" mode. A nice plus.

Of course, the Astro/Safari is a heck of a lot larger than all the other minivans on the market today too. Still gets respectable milage though. Not as good as the other minis - but trashes our Dodge Ram.

What moved us away from the Astro was cost. An Astro conversion outfitted like we wanted would have run us about $30k. The Dodge was 20k - and was larger (remember, our focus was comfort including wanting LOTS of second row leg room for the kids). Given more lead time and/or better deals at the time, we could have easily gone with the Safari and been just as happy.

mkw
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Old 02-24-2003, 11:23 AM   #10
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Just for discussion,

we used to tow a 13' Boler with a 1981 Datsun 510 station wagon with a 4-speed manual. It got around, and we never had any trouble, but I wouldn't recommend it as a great setup. A Corsica is not an overbuilt car. The engine would handle it ok, but, as you say, the tranny ... I wouldn't even consider it without a transmission cooler. I'd also recommend the Astro.
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Old 02-24-2003, 04:04 PM   #11
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Lenny- Do your homework and the math on questionable matchups.

You need the car/truck/van manf's towing max recommendation and the combined car/trailer max (whichever of these you hit first is the actual limit).

You need the actual weight of the car *and* all the stuf you will carry in it, including fuel, self, trailer hitch, etc.

You need the estimated weight of the trailer (950-1000 pounds is a fiction; that is a dry weight without options and even standard equipment -- see the Casita web site for some realistic numbers if you can't get any from Boler owners). My 13 Scamp with all my stuf in it weighs in at 1,700 lbs inc the tongue weight; one of the 13 Scamps I know of with lots of "options" is 2,200 lbs. A puller with a 1,000 limit just ain't gonna cut it.

Pete and Rats

PS Recently met a couple with an Astro Van pulling a mid-sized Coleman PopUp Tent Trailer who were quite dissatisfied with its performance, but the tent trailers are heavier than they appear.
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Old 02-24-2003, 06:29 PM   #12
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Tow vehicle.

We tow a 19' tandem axle Bigfoot with a Astro van, probably getting near 4,000 lb with the trailer fully loaded. We did a years research before getting the Astro and it has proved to be the most willing and able tow vehicle we have ever used. I use a fairly heavy hitch and keep it pretty tight and also use Reese straight line sway control. When towing, there is little indication that the trailer is there. Power, stability and braking are excellent. The Astro is also a great cargo vehicle even with all the seats in. I haul lumber and other bulky items on top of the two back rows of seats, ( folded flat and covered with a tarp) We did not go for the All-wheel drive version as it reduces the towing capacity. We opted for the locking rear axle and have found it to give great traction.
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Old 02-24-2003, 06:55 PM   #13
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Astro Van

I have a 2002 Astro van 4.3l. I tow a 13' 81 Burro with all the stuff my wife owns in it. It's like the trailer is not even there. Tows like a dream.
No problems stopping ,starting, passing. As a matter of fact when big trucks pass the trailer doesn't move and I don't even feel it until the truck gets to the middle of the van then the van gets pushed a little.
I found in upper Mich at 62 mph it still got 17 mpg.
Nice feature of the Astro is the tow/haul mode on the trans. It changes the shift pattern.
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Old 02-25-2003, 11:27 AM   #14
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towing

A lot of information on towing is presented in the following link [although it refers to tent trailers the weight formulas are appropriate for eggs]

http://www.popuptimes.com/archives/75rule.asp
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