what to tow with? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-29-2008, 05:53 PM   #1
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Name: Cyndi
Trailer: 1976 Boler 13 ft
British Columbia
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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
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:47 PM   #2
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Hi Cindy
What size of Boler trailer do you have, and what does it list for it's weight?
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:58 PM   #3
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Cyndi, we towed our 13ft Trillium with a 1997 Mazda B 4000 (V-6 with auto), but IF you come to our May gathering in Ft.Langley you'll see a whole slew of other choices.....
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:01 PM   #4
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Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
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There's just way too many choices. Find what you think you'd like to drive, at the price you want to pay. Then check to see if it's capable of towing your trailer. You'll need to weigh your trailer and tongue weight, fully loaded, ready to hit the road. Then add a bit of fudge (that is add a bit more for stuff you might be adding to trailer at some later date). Now you can compare those weights with the specs of vehicle of your dreams.
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:48 PM   #5
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Cyndi,
What I can tell you is do NOT pay attention to what the sales people tell you the tow capacity is. Verify the numbers with both the owner's manual. Then as a second check, reserch the towing specs online. As President Ronald Regan said many years ago, "Trust, but Verify."
Good luck.
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:52 PM   #6
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Each year Trailer Life magazine posts a guide as to how much new cars are rated to tow. Nowadays it's mostly just trucks and SUVs, as many small cars aren't rated to tow anything anymore.

I think they may have a list of older cars on their website.

Many people think you should use a vehicle with a separate frame (which many trucks and SUVs have), as some unit-bodied vehicles may not be sturdy enough for the demands of travel trailer towing.

Many small trailers have a GVWR of around 3,500 lbs, so you will probably be looking for something with a tow rating of that or higher. Higher ratings are important if you will tow in the mountains.

If you are thinking of a fiver, such as the beautiful Escape 5.0, or Scamp 19, you must also consider the payload of the truck. Fifth wheel trailers usually put a larger percentage (about twice as much) of the trailer weight on the tow vehicle. This can eat into how many other things you can take with you.

Then there's the matter of wheel base. The longer the better, up to a point. Too short can be dangerous.

Many people do tow successfully with a Mazda "B" (or its clone, the Ford Ranger) but ideally you should sit down and do the math as it applies to your particular situation.
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:06 AM   #7
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Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
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Cyndi, first the weight of your trailer listed on the spec sheet was "dry", probably as in no cushions, no propane tank, and everything else that is removable, removed. It may not have included cupboard doors and plumbing, and may have just been the frame, running gear and shell. There's no standard for "dry weight" so unless you had inside scoop from Boler, there's no way to know exactly what was in the trailer when it was weighed.

Bigfoot now sends their trailers out the door with an "as equipped" weight on each coach. I have to applaud them for that. I don't know how long they've been doing it, but it had an "as equipped" weight on my '04 model so they've done it at least that long. I know that Scamp will tell you what they believe their "as equipped" weight is on any given unit as well.

In any event, you don't list the size of your '76 Boler, but assuming it's a 13', it won't weigh over 1,400 lbs "as equipped" so that's a fairly safe number to work with when calculating weights. If it's a Boler 17, that's a whole different ballgame. Assume that your Boler 13 will weigh 2,000 lbs loaded and ready to tow. After you're all set up, if you weigh less than that, so much the better!

Now as far as your tow vehicle, there are several numbers that are important and they are all of equal importance. If you exceed any of them, you're asking for trouble. First of course is the tow rating of the vehicle. Second is the hitch weight rating of the vehicle, and last is the combined gross vehicle weight rating which includes your tow vehicle's weight, your trailer's curb weight, and all of your stuff, passengers, liquids, and pets.

Make certain that whatever you choose to tow with has numbers of sufficient capacity all the way around to accommodate your situation and load.

Good luck!

Roger
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:35 AM   #8
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Here's an old thread with many trailer weights including a '72 Boler 13 footer:

How Much Do You Weigh

Lance reports his Boler weighs 1750 pounds in travel trim. Lots of other 13 footers. I'm assuming you have a 13 but your profile doesn't specify. And we don't know what differences in equipment there are between yours and Lance's Boler. You could very easily be at 2000 pounds as Roger's working estimate recommends.

There is no right answer to what to tow with but you'll get lots of points to consider from the group.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:44 AM   #9
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: 2007 Casita Liberty (Sold 2011)/ Honda Odyssey
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Buy a used 2005 or newer Honda Odyssey. Get lots of room to store stuff inside unlike a pickup and without the stigma of being an SUV!
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:39 AM   #10
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Name: Roger
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Buy a used 2005 or newer Honda Odyssey. Get lots of room to store stuff inside unlike a pickup and without the stigma of being an SUV!
Ugh... a Honda mommy-mobile? Patrick... a little self-respect... PUHLEEEZE!

Roger
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:45 AM   #11
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Pardon me, sir! I prefer "Loser Cruiser"!
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:13 AM   #12
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I second Patrick's recommendation.

The '99 Odyssey we have has and continues to do a fine job. Don't listen to Roger: as the current Odyssey commercial states "Respect the Van." I've also heard that the current transmission has not had the "issues" cropping up statistically on the earlier versions (ours has worked flawlessly).
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:58 PM   #13
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Or a 2004 - present Toyota Sienna. Same advantages as the Honda Odyssey but no issues with the transmission.

Tom Trostel
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:23 PM   #14
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Trailer: Boler 1984
Ontario
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And I like my Dodge Dakota Redneck Mobile.
You get the vehicle that you want and we'll tear it apart later.
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