towing w/ 4 cylinder vehicle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-05-2008, 01:43 PM   #1
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Ahhhem...newbie here...looking to tow a 16' Casita very soon here.... the Casita Factory and my manual tell me I can tow up to 3500#. I have a '95 Nissan XE, small 4 cylinder pickup with a camper shell...Am about to purchase this trailer (used)...I have talked with my mechanic and he advised better braking system, new clutch and shock replacements...I would be happy to foot that bill rather than buying a new unfamiliar vehicle with my dwinding funds...any advice? PS leaving to go full time OTR in the next 2 weeks...first trailer first time towing. Am I crazy?
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:06 PM   #2
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I tow a 13' Scamp with a Dodge Dakota 4cyl. 120hp. 5 spd. rated to tow 2000 lb. I don't think I could handle a 16'
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:37 PM   #3
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Hi Dawn,
For the last 2 years I have been towing with an 05 Toyota Tacoma 2.7L and 159 hp.
My truck has a 3500 lb tow rating and I can honestly tell you that I would not feel comfortable towing anywhere near 3500 lbs. unless it was only for a short distance and slightly down hill.
Personally I think you are asking for trouble attempting to tow any thing above a 13 footer.
Good luck,
John
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:35 PM   #4
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Your mechanic will make money out of your pockets!!!!

Change the brakes if finished only. New brakes won't improve your towing capacity. Same for the clutch. Shock should also be replaced only if needed. Shocks in good condition won't also improve your towing capacity but only allow you to tow according to the truck limits. That's it that's all,

As an educated guess I would say that a loaded 16-17 FGRV would weight near 2700-3000 lbs.

Your trailer must also have brakes.

That normally requires a 6 cylinder motor AND an over 3,500 lbs capacity. I would be personally comfortable with a 4.000-5000 lbs towing capacity.

You Nissan would be ok ( I would prefer a six) for a 13 feet trailer.
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:53 PM   #5
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Ahhhem...newbie here...looking to tow a 16' Casita very soon here.... the Casita Factory and my manual tell me I can tow up to 3500#.
My advice as a 1-year newbie is to start by getting your loaded trailer weighed at a scale so you have real numbers to work with. No more guessing required.
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Old 04-05-2008, 06:12 PM   #6
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You may be towing on the edge and a lot will depend on how good you are with the clutch. The worst case will be trying to back up on anything less than level pavement because one can't go fast or rig will easily jacknife. Plan ahead! Steep hills in traffic are next worst.

Be sure to keep rear TV tires at top pressures.
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Old 04-05-2008, 06:13 PM   #7
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The appended pic shows a Model A Shay replica, which USUALLY is a Ford (4 cylinder) Pinto powered car (auto tranny, with added cooler) which regularly tows a 17ft. Escape around these parts to various hot rod related functions. The trailer HAS electric brakes but the l'il 4 'holer' seems to get the trailer out of its own shadows way without too much difficulty.
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Old 04-05-2008, 06:31 PM   #8
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I had one of those Pinto engines. Was in a car pool and with three passengers at 55-60 mph, we'd all lurch forward when the a/c kicked in!!

BTW, cylinder numbers are a poor way to evaluate an engine (although it might be a starting point) because the size of the cylinders and the ignition/fuel systems make a lot of difference.
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Old 04-05-2008, 06:57 PM   #9
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Hi,

I have a 1991 Toyota 4x4 with the mighty 22r (2.4l) that is 116hp, probably very similar in power to the Nissans' of the time. I have packed huge loads in the truck while building my house (gravel, cement, wood, dirt, concrete bricks) and these little trucks will just keep pulling no matter how much you weigh them down - but they will not do it at highway speeds.

Pulling my 13' Trilllium the truck feels comfortable around 100-110km (60-65mph) and on hills I have to drop to 80km (50mph). This is fine for me, I tend to do the speed limit anyways so I can sight see, but there is no way I could do highway speeds with a bigger trailer then this.

Edit: My trucks manual state it will also pull 3500lbs, which I don't doubt it would =)
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Old 04-05-2008, 08:50 PM   #10
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Hi Dawn,
Go for it!
I am living full time in a 17' 2006 Casita that I have pulled
over 7,000 miles with my 2003 4 cyclinder Nissan pickup.
No problems so far.
If your Casita has electric brakes, get a good brake controller.
If I can answer any questions or be of any assistance, PM me.

See you down the road.

DanM
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