What "Small Car" can really tow a Scamp? - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-07-2011, 07:07 PM   #57
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None of the vehicles in question are meant to tow. My buddy tows his mastercraft ski boat/dual axel trailer with a big ass Dodge diesel truck; 26mpg, 25.5mpg while in tow. I'd make the switch myself if it weren't for that crappy Italian quality!
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:23 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Paul E Henning View Post
I think that there is no question that car companies in the USA are dumbing down the tow ratings. My point is that we don't and can't know by how much, and we, as consumers, don't have the information to make a good determination.
Sure we do. You look at what the MANUFACTURER rates the car to tow, based on real-world testing (as is required in many European countries), then subtract from that the amount that the US subsidiary of that car company rates the car for (not based on real-world testing) and then you have the answer to how much the rating is dumbed down.

I am not assuming that my car can tow more than the MANUFACTURER's rating. I tow LESS than the MANUFACTURER's rating. My car is made in Japan, but the US importer (Toyota Motor Sales USA) totally drops the tow rating to ZERO. They also say that the car is incapable of hauling a bicycle on the back. Too bad, because there is a bicycle on the back as I type! I hope the bicycle doesn't push my car around... or overcome the braking power of my car... thereby turning my car into an uncontrollable missile on the highway.

As mentioned a few threads prior, anecdotal information is not always reliable. Then the person went on to give us some anecdotal information... so I will, too. On average, I tow with my car about twice a week. More than 10% of my driving includes a trailer in tow. My car has about 65,000 miles on it, and I figure I have had a trailer in tow for at least 8,000 of those miles. This is not an exaggeration. I have a pretty good feel for how my car handles with a trailer in tow. I have had to brake pretty hard and avoid things like deer, idiot drivers, and debris in the road. NEVER has the trailer or car been out of control. Yes, and car, with or without a trailer, can be made to lose control. Can my car handle as well with a trailer than it can without? Of course not. No car or truck can. Can it stop as fast with the trailer? Nope. Again, no car or truck can. Is my car/trailer combo any more of a hazard than the average driver out there? I put it to you that it is not.

I will not drive a pickup truck, because they are wasteful and inherently dangerous vehicles. Most SUVs have the same attributes. YES, I'm one of those people who smirks at all of the pickup truck drivers... thinking that most of them have NO need for that kind of vehicle, and knowing that that most of them think they are SO safe in a BIG vehicle like that. I'm tired of not mentioning it, because many of the people on this forum are not holding back on how they feel about me towing with a small, efficient, safe car.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:07 PM   #59
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Sure we do. You look at what the MANUFACTURER rates the car to tow, based on real-world testing (as is required in many European countries), then subtract from that the amount that the US subsidiary of that car company rates the car for (not based on real-world testing) and then you have the answer to how much the rating is dumbed down.

I am not assuming that my car can tow more than the MANUFACTURER's rating. I tow LESS than the MANUFACTURER's rating. My car is made in Japan, but the US importer (Toyota Motor Sales USA) totally drops the tow rating to ZERO. They also say that the car is incapable of hauling a bicycle on the back. Too bad, because there is a bicycle on the back as I type! I hope the bicycle doesn't push my car around... or overcome the braking power of my car... thereby turning my car into an uncontrollable missile on the highway.

As mentioned a few threads prior, anecdotal information is not always reliable. Then the person went on to give us some anecdotal information... so I will, too. On average, I tow with my car about twice a week. More than 10% of my driving includes a trailer in tow. My car has about 65,000 miles on it, and I figure I have had a trailer in tow for at least 8,000 of those miles. This is not an exaggeration. I have a pretty good feel for how my car handles with a trailer in tow. I have had to brake pretty hard and avoid things like deer, idiot drivers, and debris in the road. NEVER has the trailer or car been out of control. Yes, and car, with or without a trailer, can be made to lose control. Can my car handle as well with a trailer than it can without? Of course not. No car or truck can. Can it stop as fast with the trailer? Nope. Again, no car or truck can. Is my car/trailer combo any more of a hazard than the average driver out there? I put it to you that it is not.

I will not drive a pickup truck, because they are wasteful and inherently dangerous vehicles. Most SUVs have the same attributes. YES, I'm one of those people who smirks at all of the pickup truck drivers... thinking that most of them have NO need for that kind of vehicle, and knowing that that most of them think they are SO safe in a BIG vehicle like that. I'm tired of not mentioning it, because many of the people on this forum are not holding back on how they feel about me towing with a small, efficient, safe car.
To beat on a very beaten horse, we cannot assume that because a car is built in Japan, or wherever, that it is the same as the one sold in Europe. They build them to the spec for the country it is going to. It has been a huge effort for companies to try to build a "world car", because different countries require such different specs, and some of them are mutually exclusive. Our cars here may have different brakes, different suspension tuning, different tires, and on and on. Just because the engine and transmission can pull it doesn't mean the car can safely tow it.

I recall watching a car driving down the highway with two bikes mounted on a hitch-mount bike rack. The bouncing of the bikes had fatigued the metal that the hitch was bolted to, the hitch had sagged, and the two bikes were just dragging down the road. Yet, I am pretty certain the driver "had never had any trouble after doing it for years."

I also drive a small car -- a 2001 Chevy Prizm, rated to tow 1500 pounds. I tow a teardrop that weighs 750 lbs loaded. I have towed, for a short distance and at low speed, 2600 lbs (the garden center overloaded me - I asked for 1000 lbs and they loaded over a ton. Looking back, I should have made them unload it). I can tell you definitively that to use that car to tow a 16' Scamp, even empty, at anything approaching highway speeds, would be insane. I have owned trucks, but prefer small, efficient cars. I have sought to size my trailer to be appropriate for the car I choose to use.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:37 PM   #60
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So Jesse, I don't have a horse in this race; my tug is not ideal by any means, but.... A pick-up being wasteful and dangerous?! As stated before, my buddys gigantic Dodge gets 26mpg, and I'd bet that the over/under on it in any collision blows what ever you're driving out of the water!
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:54 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Scott H View Post
None of the vehicles in question are meant to tow. My buddy tows his mastercraft ski boat/dual axel trailer with a big ass Dodge diesel truck; 26mpg, 25.5mpg while in tow. I'd make the switch myself if it weren't for that crappy Italian quality!
This gas mileage is really good, almost unbelievable. Regarding Dodge Quality; I certainly hope that Chrysler will not have the bad influence on Fiat as it did on Mercedes regarding quality.

George.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:43 AM   #62
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Tow Ratings Finally Pass the Sniff Test - The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) - Automobile Magazine Apparently there IS a standard, called "The SAE's Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J2807" that defines the tests a vehicle must pass at a claimed Tow Rating.
And here's a quote from the article "a standard was approved in April 2008 and scheduled for 2013 model year implementation."
This has been the point I was trying to make but not communicating effectively. A standard is needed this is a good article and informative and the standard appears to be reasonable if mostly truck oriented, but i still have a question will they have to test all vehicles or only those that have a stated tow rating thus leaving every car with a zero rating.
I also wonder if the current ridiculously low (IMO) tow rating of cars is a ploy to upsell to trucks and SUVs? Also if this standard test will only fuel this further by not rating cars it will only be a valid test if they rate all vehicles.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:05 AM   #63
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Some people want to tow more than their small car rated tow capacity. They look for reasons to justify doing this and the most common reason given is that the European tow ratings are higher so the car must be capable. If the European rating was lower than the US rating, I would be willing to bet they would not use the European tow capacity when deciding how much to tow.

Maybe the US ratings are correct and the European tow ratings are inflated in order to sell cars.

There were 2 previous examples given of small car tow ratings in the UK, both seem to be inflated in my opinion and I would not want to be driving next to or in front of someone towing using these ratings.

The examples were:

In the United Kingdom, the 2.0 liter Impreza with manual transmission is rated to tow 3,520 pounds. It could tow the Scamp19 foot 5th wheel and the 13 foot Scamp at the same time and still carry 320 pounds of camping gear in the trailer. It has the tow capacity to tow two Scamp 16's at the same time.

The Ford Fiesta in the UK with 1.6 liter gasoline engine can tow up to 3,366 pounds. With this tow capacity it could tow the Scamp 19 foot 5th wheel and the 13 foot Scamp at the same time and still carry 166 pounds of camping gear in the trailer.

Do people really think that these UK ratings are safe? Most people would not attempt to tow 1 Scamp 16 with one of these little cars and the UK tow rating says that it can tow the weight of two Scamp 16's at the same time. Common sense tells me that these tow ratings are much to high for a little car.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:08 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Scott H View Post
So Jesse, I don't have a horse in this race; my tug is not ideal by any means, but.... A pick-up being wasteful and dangerous?! As stated before, my buddys gigantic Dodge gets 26mpg, and I'd bet that the over/under on it in any collision blows what ever you're driving out of the water!
Yeah, that's part of what "unsafe" means - the tendency to kill the people in the cars that one crashes into. We have a real collective action problem on american roads with jumbo sized personal vehicles.

Which is not to say that I don't think trucks have a place - I would certainly not have wanted to haul horses behind a car like my Forester.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:25 AM   #65
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If the European rating was lower than the US rating, I would be willing to bet they would not use the European tow capacity when deciding how much to tow.
I would certainly want to know why the ratings were different. Since the European ratings are based on ACTUAL TESTING, they are the ones I trust. Call me crazy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy B View Post
Do people really think that these UK ratings are safe? Most people would not attempt to tow 1 Scamp 16 with one of these little cars and the UK tow rating says that it can tow the weight of two Scamp 16's at the same time. Common sense tells me that these tow ratings are much to high for a little car.
Have you been to Europe to see what they tow? I have seen VW Golfs towing 20+ foot caravans. I have seen Fiats, Renaults, Volvos, Mercedes, Toyotas, Hondas, etc. pulling trailers over there. Overall, they tend to drive a little more sensibly than we do... especially with a trailer in tow.

I don't think the manufacturers of those vehicles would attach such a rating if they felt that it was unsafe. Do you?
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:31 AM   #66
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And here's a quote from the article "a standard was approved in April 2008 and scheduled for 2013 model year implementation."
This has been the point I was trying to make but not communicating effectively. A standard is needed this is a good article and informative and the standard appears to be reasonable if mostly truck oriented, but i still have a question will they have to test all vehicles or only those that have a stated tow rating thus leaving every car with a zero rating.
I also wonder if the current ridiculously low (IMO) tow rating of cars is a ploy to upsell to trucks and SUVs? Also if this standard test will only fuel this further by not rating cars it will only be a valid test if they rate all vehicles.
The Standard is interesting. One of the requirements is the Davis Dam Road. Do you think an 18 wheeler could pass this test?

Quoted from page 2 of the standard.

"To merit a particular TWR, a vehicle must be capable of maintaining a minimum cruising speed while climbing the grade at Davis Dam on state roads 68 and 163 in Arizona and Nevada. This 12-mile-long run originating in Bullhead City, Arizona, involves grades that vary between 3- and 7-percent with an average over 5-percent. During this test, the minimum acceptable ambient temperature is 100-degrees F. and AC systems must be operating on the maximum cold setting with no recirculation and the blower at the highest possible setting.


Singlerearwheel vehicles must be able to maintain an average of at least 40 mph on this grade. Dual rear wheel vehicles are required to maintain 35 mph or more here. Dual rear wheel vehicles with a GVWR over 13,000 pounds must maintain at least 30 mph."



Norm
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:46 AM   #67
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Perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy B View Post
There were 2 previous examples given of small car tow ratings in the UK, both seem to be inflated in my opinion and I would not want to be driving next to or in front of someone towing using these ratings.

The examples were:

In the United Kingdom, the 2.0 liter Impreza with manual transmission is rated to tow 3,520 pounds. It could tow the Scamp19 foot 5th wheel and the 13 foot Scamp at the same time and still carry 320 pounds of camping gear in the trailer. It has the tow capacity to tow two Scamp 16's at the same time.

The Ford Fiesta in the UK with 1.6 liter gasoline engine can tow up to 3,366 pounds. With this tow capacity it could tow the Scamp 19 foot 5th wheel and the 13 foot Scamp at the same time and still carry 166 pounds of camping gear in the trailer.
Andy,

Perspective is important. Following your reasoning this also means a Ford F150 can tow 5 Scamp 16s.

As to accidents, 18 wheelers have their share and I'm sure they're rated for their loads. I still maintain that the driver is number one in the safety equation.

When I read any article about RV trailer accidents speed is often a factor along with loading.

On one of the other sites I belong to one of the primary issues was failure to lock the ball, again a driver issue that can quickly lead to failure at speed.

Double checking the ball lock is mandatory.

Norm
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:52 AM   #68
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I don't think the manufacturers of those vehicles would attach such a rating if they felt that it was unsafe. Do you?
If the manufacturers are protected from being sued better than in the US then they may have ratings that would be unsafe under certain conditions if it helps them sell cars. Corporations operate by what makes a profit, I do not expect that any corporation has my best interest at heart.

Do you think it is safe for a little car like an Impreza or a Fiesta to tow the weight of two Scamp 16s? Would you feel safe towing that much weight down a hill on a curve in the rain?
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:13 AM   #69
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Maybe the US ratings are correct and the European tow ratings are inflated in order to sell cars.
Nonsense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy B View Post
There were 2 previous examples given of small car tow ratings in the UK, both seem to be inflated in my opinion and I would not want to be driving next to or in front of someone towing using these ratings.

The examples were:

In the United Kingdom, the 2.0 liter Impreza with manual transmission is rated to tow 3,520 pounds. It could tow the Scamp19 foot 5th wheel and the 13 foot Scamp at the same time and still carry 320 pounds of camping gear in the trailer. It has the tow capacity to tow two Scamp 16's at the same time.

The Ford Fiesta in the UK with 1.6 liter gasoline engine can tow up to 3,366 pounds. With this tow capacity it could tow the Scamp 19 foot 5th wheel and the 13 foot Scamp at the same time and still carry 166 pounds of camping gear in the trailer.

Do people really think that these UK ratings are safe? Most people would not attempt to tow 1 Scamp 16 with one of these little cars and the UK tow rating says that it can tow the weight of two Scamp 16's at the same time. Common sense tells me that these tow ratings are much to high for a little car.
The figures give the maximum tow mass allowed for cars. That 's it !
That does't not mean that European people buy trailers as heavy as the allowed tow capacity of the car.
In most European countries the maximum speed is 80 km/hr (50 mls/hr).
We travelled for 5 months in North America. We were overtaken by almost all other rigs. Our experience: in NA almost all drivers are speeding, even the lorries. Not much, but they do!
In Europe there is a towing code (advice): let the loaden mass of the trailer not exceed 85% of the mass of the towcar.
(Dutch) website for trailers: TowCar.eu - All about TowCars and Towing Caravans
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:26 AM   #70
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Perspective is important. Following your reasoning this also means a Ford F150 can tow 5 Scamp 16s.
Norm
If that is the F150 tow rating then I would not feel safe towing 8,750 pounds with a F150 either. It is not a matter of reasoning, it is a weight rating. Sometimes people do not appreciate how heavy something really is unless it is put in perspective by comparing to something they are familiar with. I agree that perspective is important and the UK tow capacities that someone posted for the little cars are huge when you actually think about what that says a little car can tow (safely).
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