Towing with 03 Montana...suggestions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-27-2009, 11:40 PM   #1
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I have a 2003 Pontiac Montana. It is the Extended wheelbase but does not come with the towing package. However, I believe it has the larger alternator and I have replaced the air shocks with heavier duty conventional shocks. I plan to get a trans. cooler before towing. Manufacturer says 2000# without towing package, 3500# with. I'm looking at either a 16 Scamp (advertised base 1750#) or 16 Casita Spirit Standard (advertised base 2050#). I don't really want a bathroom, but do an AC unit. I don't plan on a lot of long trips or high into the mountains, more like weekends to the state park. I feel like with the upgrades to my vehicle, I can push it up to maybe 3000#.....any suggestions?
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:08 AM   #2
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It has been reiterated over and over on these threads:

DO NOT TOW BEYOND THE RATING IN YOUR TOW VEHICLE'S OWNER'S MANUAL.

Although the TV may be able to handle it, lawyers get fat on people who do this type of negligent action. If you would have an accident in which someone was killed or seriously hurt, you WILL be working for that person for the rest of your life. You MAY end up in jail. YOUR LIFE will change in unpleasant ways like losing your house, your bank accounts, etc. IT IS JUST IS NOT WORTH IT.

Given your rig, I would NOT tow beyond a 13'. My 13' Trillium weighed 1700# with just a few things in it.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:39 AM   #3
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I had my 2009 16' weighed. It came in at 2700 lb.
That was NOT fully loaded.

Bill K

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I have a 2003 Pontiac Montana. It is the Extended wheelbase but does not come with the towing package. However, I believe it has the larger alternator and I have replaced the air shocks with heavier duty conventional shocks. I plan to get a trans. cooler before towing. Manufacturer says 2000# without towing package, 3500# with. I'm looking at either a 16 Scamp (advertised base 1750#) or 16 Casita Spirit Standard (advertised base 2050#). I don't really want a bathroom, but do an AC unit. I don't plan on a lot of long trips or high into the mountains, more like weekends to the state park. I feel like with the upgrades to my vehicle, I can push it up to maybe 3000#.....any suggestions?
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:16 PM   #4
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Todd, totally agree with Roger! (so there's my thought!) But that is not to say you can't find a "glass trailer" that will meet your needs. Please understand the base weights tend to be weights before options are added............ Adding a hitch to your vehicle adds weight which takes your tow cap down, though minimal every ounce counts. Depending how many people are riding in your car also can lower your tow cap, your manufacture info will tell you if it does or not ( for each person in the car, the tow cap goes down). Then when you pack for your weekend with all your stuff you are far exceeding your tow cap. I have said this more than once, there is nothing worth a beautiful day spent out enjoying the great outdoors camping in your "trailer" if it were to mean you put yourself, your family, or anyone else in danger trying to get to the great outdoors with a set up that wasn't a safe set up. There will be others that will tell you to go ahead, I just don't think it's worth it. I am certainly not trying to talk you out of buying your perfect trailer, but trying to talk you into buying the perfect trailer that will work with your current tow vehicle. So it's just about finding what will work for you.

Are you looking for a used or are you looking at new?
If used, older ones due tend to weigh less (I guess fridges, plumbing, stoves, heaters weighted less back then) LOL............... I don't know, but I know the 85 Casita we bought didn't weight as much as our 2007. Sorry can't tell you what it actually weighted cause we bought the 2007 with in weeks of the 85 purchase and sold the 85 right away.


Our 17 ft Casita weighted in at 2800 pounds empty! Roger may be right about finding a 13 or even a 14 footer, as they tend to weight a lot less than the 16 and 17 footers. Air can be found on them, or can be added. I am sure others will jump in with suggestions as there are several people who tow with mini vans. Best of Luck!



Want to add, that no matter what you get, I would suggest trailer brakes! With your tow cap being so low, it's just added piece of mind. Robin
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:36 PM   #5
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Consider a stronger tow vehicle?
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:18 PM   #6
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I certainly take Roger's warning to heart.....It seems to me that the tow rating becomes 3500# with tow package.....I thought the upgraded alternator, stronger suspension, and a trans cooler pretty much met those same requirements? The problem with getting a better "tow" vehicle is in the name itself....I don't want to pay for a large vehicle for the few times a year when I would tow....I want it to double as a daily driver and a big V8 isn't practical. Maybe a 13 footer is the thing for us....I just wanted a little floor room and ac so we could leave the dogs in it if we go out to the store or a restaurant. Any more suggestions?
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
It has been reiterated over and over on these threads:

DO NOT TOW BEYOND THE RATING IN YOUR TOW VEHICLE'S OWNER'S MANUAL.

Although the TV may be able to handle it, lawyers get fat on people who do this type of negligent action. If you would have an accident in which someone was killed or seriously hurt, you WILL be working for that person for the rest of your life. You MAY end up in jail. YOUR LIFE will change in unpleasant ways like losing your house, your bank accounts, etc. IT IS JUST IS NOT WORTH IT.

Given your rig, I would NOT tow beyond a 13'. My 13' Trillium weighed 1700# with just a few things in it.
So you've never heard of SEMA? And you don't think any product can be improved aftermarket?
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:26 PM   #8
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So you've never heard of SEMA? And you don't think any product can be improved aftermarket?
Of course I have heard of after market improvements, but unless the firm that does the improvement is willing to give you a paper stating that your TV can now tow X pounds, you still have to convince a jury/judge/court that your rig is legal. In the case of serious injury or death the police will weigh your rig and examine your documentation (police officers feel free to comment here) and if you only have your owner's manual that says 2000#, you are in deep doo doo.

What? You made the improvements yourself? Would you kindly show the court your engineering degree that gives you the ability to decide that you know more than General Motors' engineering staff.

You get the picture.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:56 PM   #9
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I have finally found the link to the original story:

http://www.glamisdunes.com/invision/index....showtopic=24262

So there, all you who would tow overweight!

And here is a quote for the SEMA fan:

"Fact: any modification to a vehicle, any, can void the factory original towing capacity. tires, lift, etc............you idiots better think about that."
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
I have finally found the link to the original story:

http://www.glamisdunes.com/invision/index....showtopic=24262

So there, all you who would tow overweight!

And here is a quote for the SEMA fan:

"Fact: any modification to a vehicle, any, can void the factory original towing capacity. tires, lift, etc............you idiots better think about that."



Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you!

Imagine what a crappy world it's gonna be when all the "nanny staters" make it impossible to build streetrods or special interest cars, I guess we will all drive what we're told, in a world of abject mediocrity. Trabants for everyone!!

What exactlly is the tow capacity of a 1952 ford pick-up on a modified E-150 chassis,

I don't tow overweight, but I'd advise those of you without adequate knowledge or understanding to stick to the program.

You should, however, be informed that there are competent responsible people throughout our nation who are daily making valid improvements to the vehicles they own, and that it is unfair or just plain ignorant to paint everyone with the same broad brush.
I have never seen a vehicle that couldn't benefit from some modification.

I'm sure you meant General motors legal staff, if their enginneers were so great, they would not have had 50 recalls within 18 months of the release of one new model. [a world record] so who do you trust? the guy that wrote the owners manual or the guy that wrote the recall?
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:10 PM   #11
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Another aspect that showed up on the Glamis Site is that the insurance company denied responsibility because the principal had modified his Ford by raising it 4" and adding bulbous tires. You can talk all you want about the ability to modify your vehicle, but a trailer is a different animal since there is a greater possiblilty of a control problem. But I daresay that any modification to a vehicle would open a person up to greater liability even if a trailer is not involved. That is just the nature of the beast, a lawyer will tear you apart if you modified your vehicle and someone was injured. They certainly will try to tie that modification into the reason for the accident. Also indicated further down the thread is that excessive speed was also involved. I know I am passed all the time on the highway by large pick-ups towing large stickies.

Like it or not, we are a litiginous society. That is the main reason health costs are sky high. We had a neighbor who is a doctor and he quit his practice just because he couldn't afford the requirements imposed upon it. The enemy is us. Citizens sit on juries which give horrendous rewards to some schmoe just because he is suing someone else who has deep pockets. Of course in the Glamis case, there was a death and (apparently) serious injury. Strangely enough, the injured person will cost more than the dead one. Go figure.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:20 PM   #12
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Another aspect that showed up on the Glamis Site is that the insurance company denied responsibility because the principal had modified his Ford by raising it 4" and adding bulbous tires. You can talk all you want about the ability to modify your vehicle, but a trailer is a different animal since there is a greater possiblilty of a control problem. Like it or not, we are a litiginous society. That is the main reason health costs are sky high. We had a neighbor who is a doctor and he quit his practice just because he couldn't afford the requirements imposed upon it. The enemy is us. Citizens sit on juries which give horrendous rewards to some schmoe just because he is suing someone else who had deep pockets. Of course in the Glamis case, there was a death and (apparently) serious injury. Strangely enough, the injured person will cost more than the dead one. Go figure.
Tell you what, Roger, you worry for both of us, OK?
I have already talked to the wall more than I care to on this subject so it's you who can talk all you want about my abilities, without even meeting me.
BTW; Do you worry about modifying your trailer too? or is it bone stock?
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:05 PM   #13
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Ok, opinions are getting a little heated! Whew...........................
Everyone has an opinion, I think it's best to believe how I believe but certainly don't expect people to do so. Stay calm, let the original poster form his or her own opinion from the info provided! As far as mod's to either the tow vehicle or trailer, remember they add more weight if that is the issue to start with. And in the end there is probably a glass option that will work. Without Mod's to the tow vehicle.


Ok, here's a great thread that may help you Todd. Let's you see how much some of these lil egg's can weight in. Few surprises. http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=36145
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:24 PM   #14
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Todd, want to add those weight's in the link are most likely weights from trailers with a load of gear on board, as the weight in is done as people arrive at the Rally, I do believe Frederick does state one was weighted after unloading but not sure you will have to read all to see if so. Best of Luck! Robin
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:17 AM   #15
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This is an interesting thread. I tow my 13' casita with a 02 extended cab Dodge Dakota with a V8 engine. I know the size of the rig may well be overkill for the size of my trailer, but I feel safer with a bigger tow rig. I know that I can go up a hill, or get out of a tight spot much easier with the bigger rig. I feel safer and less dangerous with the bigger tow. I know that it's not as fuel efficient, but I feel much safer. I have towed it to Colorado, Oklahoma and back without difficulty.
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:06 AM   #16
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Hi Todd,

We have a basic (no fridg, air conditioner, water) Scamp 13 that weighs in at about 1600 lbs. We are very comfortable towing with our mini van with 3500 tow weight capacity.

Recently we considered going up in size to the 16. After visiting the Scamp factory and seeing how huge they seem compared to our last generation 13 we decided that we really like our Scamp 13 and have no desire to go up a size.

We too like having the extra power. By keeping our weight down we do have the option of a couple of 4 cylinder cars out there; not many by my standards, but we are more flexible than if we move to the 16 or even a heavily loaded 13.

I am also very glad that we have the standard 13 with bunk in front instead of the private toilet. I would love a privacy room, but much prefer the elbow room.

The 13 seems more friendly for two people to pass each other too, it just seems a bit larger in the center area.

The 13 will make a very adequate dog house.

Nancy
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:15 AM   #17
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Todd,

Forgot to mention that the reason we really feel comfortable with the low weight Scamp to our mini van is that we do take cross country trips over mountains.

If we ever do downsize to a smaller tow vehicle we will no longer feel comfortable about crossing the mountains.

If we just towed locally and not often, then I would consider a tow vehicle with a 2,000 lb limit for my bare bones 1,600 lb Scamp.

Just our opinion.

Nancy
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:57 PM   #18
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Roger;
Can a GM engineer do this??.........

http://www.snurge.com/video/365/Redneck-Rollercoaster


Notice the driver is on the rig! they moved the steering column and foot controls!

Just to let you know I CAN see your perspective! [lol]
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