Vehicle for mountains - Page 7 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-11-2015, 03:13 PM   #85
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Name: Wayne
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Boler, eh! Just looked it up. Looks about like a Scamp 13, sure enough. My WoT clan is a Canadian-based clan. We are -NHL-, the National Hockey Lunatics. We had a clan wars battle last night and won land, so we're walkin' on air today!
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:51 PM   #86
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A couple of people on this forum have purchased V6 Grand Cherokees with the 8 speed, and they seem very happy towing their FG trailers through mountains and everyplace. MCDenny says he's getting about 17 mpg towing a Lil Snoozy at 60-65 mph.

You do have to get the Laredo "E" in order to get the tow package.

One can economize by getting a used vehicle, but the most reliable used vehicles are Toyotas, Hondas, etc. But everyone knows this, and such vehicles command a bit of a premium over the Fords and Chevys.
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:55 PM   #87
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Thanks, Mike. Whatever I end up with, I will make sure that it has the tow package. That's gonna be mandatory.
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:13 PM   #88
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Hey Steve!

I just noticed! Is Reacher named after Jack?
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:12 PM   #89
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Name: Dale
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Wayne, Do you monitor the "Rallies" forum on this site? Rallies are a great place to tour various campers and talk to owners about their tow vehicles. I'm not sure where you live in Florida, but the Sebring, FL, Scamp Camp rally is going on now at Highlands Hammock. If you live in the panhandle, there is a "Green Eggs & Ham" rally at Gunter Hill Park just outside of Montgomery, AL, March 11-14. I think there are over 70 fiberglass campers registered to be at that one, so that would be another great place to look at a sizable number of campers of various makes and models and visit with their owners about their tow vehicles - past and present. The park will still be open for day visitors at $5 (I believe) per car. So if not too inconvenient, you could drive up and spend a day walking around the rally and visiting with all kinds of folks with years of experience towing all over North America. Worth investing a little time. Just something to think about....
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:15 PM   #90
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Dale,

I can't make either of those two, but I will take a look at the Rallies forum and see if there is anything close to me. That is an excellent idea! Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:39 PM   #91
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Rallies often schedule an "open house" time when most owners roll out the welcome mat and others can visit with the owners, tour their campers, discuss modifications and custom touches, pick their brain for problem solving, share trip information and camping stories, etc., etc., etc. If and when you get a chance to participate in one of those, take along a notebook and a good pen to jot down all the great ideas you'll get from other owners - too much good information to try to remember without taking notes to review later! There obviously is also a lot of casual "off schedule" visiting, but sometimes you feel like you might be imposing too much on others' personal camping time if you talk shop too much during the "free" time.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:18 AM   #92
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Ok, I think I found a way to do what Rob suggested. I was looking online and noticed the Travel Lite Express E14. I could be into it for less than $10K. That price would probably allow me to get one before the end of next year. Vehicle first, then trailer. It's not ideal, and is short in only one regard, but it would be close enough to be completely workable for 4 years of local camping. I might even take a road trip with it to Great Smoky Mtns N.P. (I've been there many, many times before and have some fave campgrounds). Then, just after or just before I retire, I could sell it and trade up to an ideal one.


I might even make a local rally or two!


Sounds like a plan to me!
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:12 AM   #93
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Spoiler Alert..... Harsh review Ahead


In reading your earlier comments I am sorta surprised by your selection. Here is a link to that trailer: Express
and my take on it, of course, from an molded fiberglass point of view.


1. You can buy a lot of different really nice used FGRV's between now than then for $10,000 or even less.
2. While you can get into that one for $10k, in 4 years it will be worth less than $5k. In 4 years a $10k FGRV may well still be worth the purchase price, but certainly a lot more than $5k and a lot easier to sell if you want to "upgrade". BTW: The std. unit is "All Electric".
3. With an empty weight of close to 2000 lbs., and a lot more frontal area, you will be pulling a huge and heavy brick up and down those mountains you were concerned about.
4. The use of ribbed siding promotes the most common cause of sticky camper destruction, that of water leaks. Ask any Dolphin owner with that siding about water leaks, every rib creates a channel into a square edge for leaks. (And that's not mentioning all those miles of square edging, aka water inlets.)


Gotta say, from my experience repairing RV's, I got to the point where I refused to take on any jobs doing coach repair on anything with ribbed siding. Once opened, more than one patient proved to be terminal from water damage.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:32 AM   #94
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Bob, you beat me to it. While I was sitting in the vet's office with Bone Daddy, it occurred to me that in my last post I forgot to ask for pro's and con's and solicit comments, and then my phone chimes, and there you are, providing exactly what I forgot to ask for.

I think I have made it...abundantly...clear that I am here precisely because I have no knowledge and experience in several of these areas, and came here seeking guidance and advice. If I thought I had all the answers, I wouldn't of showed up here.

Your experience in the past and your input on this trailer is both appreciated and given credence. If I offended sensibilities by suggesting that trailer, I apologize. If you think that one is a bad idea, and can provide reasons for why you think that (and you have), then I will look for something else to consider for short-term use.

However, I also think I made clear that I was considering it for use until I move, and then getting something different, so that particular trailer wouldn't have been part of the equation for living in Montana and dragging it up and down mountains on a regular basis. It's use would have been in Florida.

In any event, I will keep looking at options. Purchase wouldn't be until late next year anyway, so there is lots of time to try to get knowed up on this stuff.

Thanks for the observations, my friend. They were very useful.
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:09 PM   #95
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Del

I am going to go along with Bob on this one, I think you can do better. And FWIW you can see these sort of TT's throughout the intermountain rocky states, a nickel dime a dozen too. Many of the stick built manufacturers make entry level low cost TT such as this. I also suspect there are many used ones setting on the lots of many an RV dealer in your area as well.

Another option for you would be to look for a good used T@b, lightweight and very nice but small TT. We sold ours back in Oct in less than 12 hours after running the Craigslist ad. Could have sold half a dozen more if I had them. We owned that camper for 8 years and got about 60% of what we paid for it new and that was with some noticeable hail damage to the camper. They can be towed (marginally) with almost anything.

However and this is where I agree with Steve and his comments and have often stated, you can never have enough tow vehicle. Granted our F150 EB was way overkill for the T@b but we never had to worry about the tail wagging the dog either. And likewise the same TV would be a bit overkill for a small Scamp, but would be nice just the same. I'll ad one anecdotal story to Steve's. A few years ago on our way back from a trip to the gulf coast region we hit some heavy headwinds going west across I-40 through west TX and on into NM. At the time our TV was an 04 Tundra DC with a 4.7 L V8. I'm not making this up nor exaggerating, pedal to the floorboard all we could get out of this setup was 50-55 mph going over those steep mesas especially in NM and that was the downhill part. It was worse on the climb up. We were down to 9-10 MPG too. And this for a camper loaded was only around 2000 lbs.

By comparison on our most recent trip (last sept) down south with same T@b pulled this time with the F150 nothing slowed us down including but not limited to 45-50 mph headwinds on our way back from from the Black Hills of SD until we got to MT. On our way down we experienced the worst weather ever with torrential rain and heavy wind virtually the entire trip. Our trip average was 13.5 mpg but traveling at interstate speeds of 65-75 mph, not great, but also with awful driving conditions that would suck the life out of any tank of gas.

Lots to consider.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:02 PM   #96
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Name: Wayne
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I came here for advice. If y'all be waving me off that one, so be it. Seeking advice is worthless if you're just gonna ignore it. If y'all say pass, then it's a pass. I'll find something else. And before I buy anything, I'll vet it on here first.

And environmental conditions, in addition to mountains, were one reason I was leaning towards a full-size pickup. I had been thinking in terms of rain, snow, etc. I hadn't really considered heavy winds, but on some trips out there it has been very windy, now that I think about it.

Main two under consideration are the F-150 and Jeep GC, leaning about 80-20 towards the F-150. Dodge is also in the mix, although I'm not sure to what extent.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:05 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Del Gue View Post

And while I understand your point about mountain passes not being transited all that much, I'm looking at it from the perspective of someone who is going to be living out there, which means I may be driving them a lot more frequently than perhaps somebody who lives back east and only goes out there a few times a year or less.

I'm not discounting either your advice or your experience, just saying that my daily reality once I move out there may be different than others.
Take it from someone who does live full time in the west and is a frequent mountain pass flyer that you don't need a V8 to pull a trailer that is no bigger than a 3000 lb loaded Scamp - which is the size the OP has indicated they do not plan to go bigger than.

The suggestion that a V8 may be a requirement to pulling that size/weight of trailer through the mountain passes of the West has me

And yes I travel often through mountain passes on both sides of the border, some here might suggest that I do it every time I pull my trailer out of my driveway.

Trust me this isn't Florida, Kansas or Texas where one can expect to do 65 mph over the hills You are going to find that most people towing on the big passes here in the west are often doing well under 50mph regardless of the size of truck they are pulling with or the size of the trailer behind them. Not to mention that you can expect to find yourself stuck behind semi's for miles when in the real steep and curvy sections of most passes doing well under 35 mph all the way down to 5 mph. It also may surprise the OP that for example when towing through any of the mountain passes in California big or small, they will not be legally able to exceed 55mph regardless - can't do it legally on the freeway either

A V8 in my experience would simple be a luxury that you could get by very comfortably and safely without assuming the OP sticks to the plan on nothing bigger than a Scamp. There are dozens and dozens of folks on this forum who travel a lot up and down the west & points east, all year round who are pulling 16' Scamps and 17' Escapes (some even 19' Escapes) with nothing more than a V6 (some even have less power) and they get by just fine. Some are even pulling 5th wheel Escapes as well as the Scamp 19 with nothing more than a V6 as well, although I admit the GVW in some of those cases might be a bit worrysome to me.

If one can afford the sticker price on a new V8 and are ok with the MPG's - although some of the newer ones have better MPG's than the V6's, then by all means enjoy the luxury of the extra power you will have, but do not expect to actually need &/or use that extra power all to often here in the west.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:09 PM   #98
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Your input is noted, Carol. Thank you.
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