what to tow with? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-09-2008, 12:58 PM   #29
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First, nothing beats scale weights of a trailer, fully loaded for the road.

But that's not always possible for a number of reasons, so the next best way to estimate, esp for the purpose of deciding on a tow vehicle or assessing a TV one already has, is to take the GVWR or GAWR from the trailer's data plate and multiply that by 1.10 (to account for estimated tongue weight). The trailer's Gxxx is usually the max that the axle(s) can carry.

That's not always good, esp in the case of early Scamps, Bolers and Casitas because they often had much lower rated axles than current models (For example, an early '80s Scamp 13' came with a 1,200 lb axle; early '90s Scamp 13' had 1,600 axle and current Scamp 13' has 2,200 lb axle).

Another way is to ask on groups like this what others find theirs to weigh (my Scamp 13' scales out at about 1,700 lbs with all my Full Time stuf, but no bath or gray/black holding tanks -- Some weigh as much as 2,200 lbs).

The worst way is to go by what the manf says the dry weight is. This has been understated by manfs in the past, and even if accurate is only the unloaded weight -- It's unlikely that an egg will be towed many miles unloaded.

With regard to tow vehicle numbers, the best place to find them is in the Owner's Manuals, many of which can be found on line for downloading. There can be significant variations between vehicles of the same model and even engine because of things like differential ratios, tow package, etc., so attention to detail can be very important here.
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Old 03-09-2008, 07:47 PM   #30
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I am finally able to get a newer vehicle so i can get ther trailer on the road this year, but am not sure what to get. I was thinking of a mazda b series, or a car that can tow but what kind? In all honesty i really dont care what i drive as long as it can safely tow the trailer at the best gas mileage available. Any suggestions? has anyone ever heard of towing with a toyota cressida? They seem to have enough power. Oh, and the vehicle price i want to keep on the lower end, cant afford new right now. Is it true that the weight on my specs page excludes the cupboards and seats? If so, how can that be as they are built in. Thanks for all the great tips
Hi Cindy
I've towed 13' Trilliums and my current 13.5 Bigfoot with a 98 Mazda 2.5L 4 cyl. automatic. I got 24 mpg bringing the Bigfoot 5 1/2 hrs from Otawa to Alliston, Ontario, and 19 mpg in the mountains(3000' passes) of Vermont. I now have 202k on this vehicle. The 3.0 L v6 should have a little more power without much penalty on mileage, but I keep hearing stories about very poor mileage with the 4.0 L.The Ranger is going to be replaced for 2009(supposed to be moving to mid-size) so they are offering incentives right now, but resale could be an issue. My local Mazda dealer on the other hand says there are no rumours about Mazda following Fords example. This is interesting because they are built on the same assembly line. They could be trying to keep the Mazda as the only remaining small truck and moving Ford upsize to compete with Dakota, Canyon, etc. If you are going to tow in the mountains i've found that low gear in my Mazda does not hold back going down hill. I test drove an 08 4.0L Mazda automatic recently and it didn't hold in low either. I was on a very steep access road with switchbacks on Mount Ascoutney in Vermont and without the trailer I found second gear was too fast. Even with limited use of brakes I had smoke coming off the front rotors in a few minutes and had to stop for 15 minutes to let them cool off. A standard transmission would have been nice, or an automatic which allows holding in all gears. Fortunately they had signs at the bottom of the hill warning everyone not to tow a trailer up this hill. If I were going to buy either a new Ranger or Mazda I would definitely consider a 5 speed manual. Since 03 Mazda made limited slip differentials standard equipment on all v6's. I think this would be a good feature for towing.
Recently I bought an 05 Ford Freestar van to tow with. It has 201 hp versus 119 hp and the automatic holds in all gears. I havn't towed my Bigfoot with it but I did get 19 mpg towing a 4500 Trillium one weekend last summer. We find it very comfortable and since it is now discontinued(2007 was the last) they can be purchased at very reasonable cost. We payed half of new list price at 18 months old with 18k on the odometer. It was going to cost another $10K to buy a similar quad cab pickup (which I wanted) because pickups seem to be very popular right now and as a result hold their value better. Look for a vehicle with a factory tow package so you don't have to add wiring, hitch, trans cooler, etc.(consumes time and dollars doing it after you buy). Have fun deciding.
Bill
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:38 PM   #31
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Trailer: 2002 Scamp 16 ft / 2014 Ford Escape
Iowa
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I noticed one suggestion for a Honda Oddysey. The 2004 - 2007 Saturn Vue V-6 uses the Honda engine and 5-speed automatic transmission that is the same as in the Honda. We have a 2004 Vue and pull a 16 ft Scamp that is pretty well loaded with it and it works very well. So, you can buy the Honda engine and transmission for a lot less than buying a Honda.
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:01 PM   #32
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Name: Cyndi
Trailer: 1976 Boler 13 ft
British Columbia
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First, nothing beats scale weights of a trailer, fully loaded for the road.

But that's not always possible for a number of reasons, so the next best way to estimate, esp for the purpose of deciding on a tow vehicle or assessing a TV one already has, is to take the GVWR or GAWR from the trailer's data plate and multiply that by 1.10 (to account for estimated tongue weight). The trailer's Gxxx is usually the max that the axle(s) can carry.

That's not always good, esp in the case of early Scamps, Bolers and Casitas because they often had much lower rated axles than current models (For example, an early '80s Scamp 13' came with a 1,200 lb axle; early '90s Scamp 13' had 1,600 axle and current Scamp 13' has 2,200 lb axle).

Another way is to ask on groups like this what others find theirs to weigh (my Scamp 13' scales out at about 1,700 lbs with all my Full Time stuf, but no bath or gray/black holding tanks -- Some weigh as much as 2,200 lbs).

The worst way is to go by what the manf says the dry weight is. This has been understated by manfs in the past, and even if accurate is only the unloaded weight -- It's unlikely that an egg will be towed many miles unloaded.

With regard to tow vehicle numbers, the best place to find them is in the Owner's Manuals, many of which can be found on line for downloading. There can be significant variations between vehicles of the same model and even engine because of things like differential ratios, tow package, etc., so attention to detail can be very important here.
Thanks, where is that plate? Is it on the door? I will look up the manuals as well
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:13 PM   #33
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Name: Cyndi
Trailer: 1976 Boler 13 ft
British Columbia
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Hi Cindy
I've towed 13' Trilliums and my current 13.5 Bigfoot with a 98 Mazda 2.5L 4 cyl. automatic. I got 24 mpg bringing the Bigfoot 5 1/2 hrs from Otawa to Alliston, Ontario, and 19 mpg in the mountains(3000' passes) of Vermont. I now have 202k on this vehicle. The 3.0 L v6 should have a little more power without much penalty on mileage, but I keep hearing stories about very poor mileage with the 4.0 L.The Ranger is going to be replaced for 2009(supposed to be moving to mid-size) so they are offering incentives right now, but resale could be an issue. My local Mazda dealer on the other hand says there are no rumours about Mazda following Fords example. This is interesting because they are built on the same assembly line. They could be trying to keep the Mazda as the only remaining small truck and moving Ford upsize to compete with Dakota, Canyon, etc. If you are going to tow in the mountains i've found that low gear in my Mazda does not hold back going down hill. I test drove an 08 4.0L Mazda automatic recently and it didn't hold in low either. I was on a very steep access road with switchbacks on Mount Ascoutney in Vermont and without the trailer I found second gear was too fast. Even with limited use of brakes I had smoke coming off the front rotors in a few minutes and had to stop for 15 minutes to let them cool off. A standard transmission would have been nice, or an automatic which allows holding in all gears. Fortunately they had signs at the bottom of the hill warning everyone not to tow a trailer up this hill. If I were going to buy either a new Ranger or Mazda I would definitely consider a 5 speed manual. Since 03 Mazda made limited slip differentials standard equipment on all v6's. I think this would be a good feature for towing.
Recently I bought an 05 Ford Freestar van to tow with. It has 201 hp versus 119 hp and the automatic holds in all gears. I havn't towed my Bigfoot with it but I did get 19 mpg towing a 4500 Trillium one weekend last summer. We find it very comfortable and since it is now discontinued(2007 was the last) they can be purchased at very reasonable cost. We payed half of new list price at 18 months old with 18k on the odometer. It was going to cost another $10K to buy a similar quad cab pickup (which I wanted) because pickups seem to be very popular right now and as a result hold their value better. Look for a vehicle with a factory tow package so you don't have to add wiring, hitch, trans cooler, etc.(consumes time and dollars doing it after you buy). Have fun deciding.
Bill
Thanks for that. It seems that vans are looking more appealing, cheaper than trucks. I will have to read the manuals and check out the trailer info a little more. I hate car shopping, i dont want to do it
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:18 PM   #34
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Name: Cyndi
Trailer: 1976 Boler 13 ft
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I noticed one suggestion for a Honda Oddysey. The 2004 - 2007 Saturn Vue V-6 uses the Honda engine and 5-speed automatic transmission that is the same as in the Honda. We have a 2004 Vue and pull a 16 ft Scamp that is pretty well loaded with it and it works very well. So, you can buy the Honda engine and transmission for a lot less than buying a Honda.
Thanks, that is good to know. I'll have to look into that as well. How many mpg does it get and what is the tank size? (I could look it up, but you may know off the top of your head) I will have to look it up anyway as i cant picture what a vue looks like. Thanks
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:19 PM   #35
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Thanks, where is that plate? Is it on the door? I will look up the manuals as well
On Scamps, the plate is a metallic sticker inside the A-frame a small distance behind the coupler. Usually more durable is the axle plate on the axle beam, put there by the axle manf (Dexter or Al-Ko) with the axle capacity.

Early 80s Scamps had 1,200 lbs, early 90s had 1,600 and current have 2,200 lbs.
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:50 PM   #36
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A UNIMOG

My 5er will be towed by the orange one (once Im completed the conversion) and it will be on 20" tires. It wont be Orange. It will be the colors of Desert Camo though it wont be in a Camo pattern.
Attached Thumbnails
Mog_2.jpg   wboxdraw_phixrBed.jpg  

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Old 03-10-2008, 09:08 PM   #37
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Here's one all rigged out as a camper in Alaska.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Serious_Boondocking_MB_frt_AK.JPG
Views:	47
Size:	90.8 KB
ID:	11987


Click image for larger version

Name:	Serious_Boondocking_MB_rear_AK.JPG
Views:	27
Size:	87.1 KB
ID:	11988

Doesn't have to worry about beating up a trailer or pulling one out of the muck or ditch, but gets his exercise climbing in and out.

It has Washington registration.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:11 PM   #38
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Trailer: 2002 Scamp 16 ft / 2014 Ford Escape
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Thanks, that is good to know. I'll have to look into that as well. How many mpg does it get and what is the tank size? (I could look it up, but you may know off the top of your head) I will have to look it up anyway as i cant picture what a vue looks like. Thanks
Cyndi. Sorry to take so long to respond. On the highway traveling 55-60 mph mileage runs 13-15 mpg depending on terrain, wind direction. Without the trailer we get 28-29 mpg traveling at 55-65 mph. Local driving, mix highway and town, 20-23 mpg, again depending on how we drive. We are very satisfied with its performance pulling the Scamp. The Honda engine is rated at 250-hp. It was the higest rated hp of any of the small SUV type vehicles. Ours is front wheel drive. It is available with all wheel drive too.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:41 PM   #39
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Quote:
Here's one all rigged out as a camper in Alaska.

Attachment 11987

...It has Washington registration.
There are several in Washington. It and CA have the largest collection of Mogs. Doc J lives in alaska but he has the newest version and sold his like this pic (1300L) and the other ones he had.
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:40 AM   #40
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We had a 2005 Saturn Vue with the Honda engine. We had problems with it pulling our 16' Scamp. Our Scamp has the oak interior which adds more weight. Saturn told me that I couldn't pull that much weight, so now we have a Chev Trailblazer, which works much better. Gets the same 12 mpg as the Vue. I miss the 28 mpg with the Saturn when we didn't pull the trailer, but we do not overheat with the Chev. Since the Chev is made to tow.
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:14 PM   #41
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Trailer: 2002 Scamp 16 ft / 2014 Ford Escape
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We had a 2005 Saturn Vue with the Honda engine. We had problems with it pulling our 16' Scamp. Our Scamp has the oak interior which adds more weight. Saturn told me that I couldn't pull that much weight, so now we have a Chev Trailblazer, which works much better. Gets the same 12 mpg as the Vue. I miss the 28 mpg with the Saturn when we didn't pull the trailer, but we do not overheat with the Chev. Since the Chev is made to tow.
I didn't mention that I did have a transmission cooler installed on our 2004 Vue. Perhaps that has helped it not to overheat.
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:39 PM   #42
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Name: Cyndi
Trailer: 1976 Boler 13 ft
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I didn't mention that I did have a transmission cooler installed on our 2004 Vue. Perhaps that has helped it not to overheat.
thanks for the info. I think i'm leaning towards a toyota avalon now but i need to verify that a tow package can be added w/o any difficulty. Ity seems comparable to the sienna in towing capacity but with better mileage and the fact that i wont have to drive a big honkin van or SUV Has anyone ever towed with an avalon? Has anyone ever heard of anything good/bad about towing with a sedan type (specifically the avalon) Thanks for all the help
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