Why Not A V8? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-06-2008, 11:14 PM   #15
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Alyn

One thing you really must factor in is that you already own the truck and know how it has been maintained for the last couple of years. Besides, when you head over the passes that 350 won't even break a sweat pulling an EggCamper.

Bring it up to Golden some time and we'll tie the GrayWolf to the hitch and try a run up to the tunnel to see how it pulls. I'm sure you will be favorably impressed.

Orlen
Cool, Orlen, we'll take ya up on that some time. Thanks for the offer and the nice visit we had with you last Saturday

Alyn
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:30 PM   #16
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I tow my fiver with a full size Sierra and have two problems.

1. 15 mpg!

2. I have to stand on a little portable step (sort of a mini step ladder) to reach across to the hitch! I'm 5'11", but the combination of bed width and side rail height puts the hitch just out of reach. Which means I have to carry the folding step thingy with me whenever we go camping, and that's rather inconvenient.

If I were younger, thinner, and more athletic, I could do it by standing on the "spokes" of the back wheel. But I am none of those, so someday I may convert to a conventional fifth wheel hitch.
Hey, I guess I'm still confused on this mileage issue. You say you're unhappy with 15 mpg. I thought that was a pretty good figure to shoot for. Would you do any better with a smaller vehicle or smaller engine? In the truck camper world, only a diesel truck might do better (might?). The only rig I know of that would get up around 20 mpg or higher consistently would be the rvs that are based on the new Mercedes (Dodge) Sprinter chassis, but they cost somewhere around $85,000, soooooooo.

Anyway, I guess this mileage topic is one that could go on forever till we figure a way to run our engines on free energy.

Alyn
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:42 AM   #17
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You may not be able to have too much truck for towing a trailer, but you can definitely have too much suspension. 3/4 ton may be too much for extended towing of a small camper without an air-ride hitch. The rear suspension of the truck is the front suspension of the trailer. If the truck's suspension doesn't deflect with load (as yours currently does with the in-bed camper installed, it jars the tongue of the trailer. In some trailers (Airstream for example) it can lead to structural failures; frame/body separation and rivet failure. Fiberglass trailers are not immune either. In Scamps that use pop rivets, that can lead to pop rivet failure where the interior is riveted inside the shell. It can also lead to cracked fiberglass bodies, cracked frames and broken frame bolts. These problems are more likely to happen when towing a light weight trailer with a HD 3/4 or 1 ton trucks with heavier suspension.

Just something to keep in mind. The heavier the tongue weight of the trailer, the less prevalent this problem becomes. Something with a heavier tongue weight like the Bigfoot 21 or the Casita 17 may be a better choice for you.

Roger
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:39 AM   #18
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You may not be able to have too much truck for towing a trailer, but you can definitely have too much suspension. 3/4 ton may be too much for extended towing of a small camper without an air-ride hitch. The rear suspension of the truck is the front suspension of the trailer. If the truck's suspension doesn't deflect with load (as yours currently does with the in-bed camper installed, it jars the tongue of the trailer. In some trailers (Airstream for example) it can lead to structural failures; frame/body separation and rivet failure. Fiberglass trailers are not immune either. In Scamps that use pop rivets, that can lead to pop rivet failure where the interior is riveted inside the shell. It can also lead to cracked fiberglass bodies, cracked frames and broken frame bolts. These problems are more likely to happen when towing a light weight trailer with a HD 3/4 or 1 ton trucks with heavier suspension.

Just something to keep in mind. The heavier the tongue weight of the trailer, the less prevalent this problem becomes. Something with a heavier tongue weight like the Bigfoot 21 or the Casita 17 may be a better choice for you.

Roger
Hmmm. I hadn't thought of this. Right now, I just get in my truck and take off without thinking about such things. I have never had the Hallmark camper off the truck, but I bet my three quarter ton truck would ride like a rock with the camper dismounted. And, yes, that stiff ride could take a toll on the small trailer.

We had also thought of a 5th wheel Scamp or Escape. That would probably bring the tongue (bed) weight up to 450 pounds or so. Would that even things out better? Hmmmmm.

Or, we could just upgrade to a class B Roadtrek motorhome or Tiger motorhome,,,,,,,,and just forget about towing altogether.

We're still formulating. Ain't no such thing as de perfect RV.

Alyn
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:03 PM   #19
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Hmmm. I hadn't thought of this. Right now, I just get in my truck and take off without thinking about such things. I have never had the Hallmark camper off the truck, but I bet my three quarter ton truck would ride like a rock with the camper dismounted. And, yes, that stiff ride could take a toll on the small trailer.

We had also thought of a 5th wheel Scamp or Escape. That would probably bring the tongue (bed) weight up to 450 pounds or so. Would that even things out better? Hmmmmm.

Or, we could just upgrade to a class B Roadtrek motorhome or Tiger motorhome,,,,,,,,and just forget about towing altogether.

We're still formulating. Ain't no such thing as de perfect RV.

Alyn

I don't think folks that tow with minimum sized tow vehicles gain much in gas mileage. What would concern me would be the additional stress placed on their smaller components may cause shorter service life, i.e., the fix'in might cost more than the sav'in.

To soften the ride, I removed half the leaves on the rear springs and installed some Firestone air bags. At 20 - 30 psi it rides almost like a DeVille empty. With the Scamp on I add some to about 40 - 50 psi up to 90 psi with the Avion.

This gives me the best of both worlds. The only problem will be when they begin to leak! For that eventuality, I found another pair on e-bay.

Maybe I should do like I do with belts and hoses -- put new ones on, carry the old ones as spares in plastic zip-loc bags!

Not this trip, think I'll wing it. But next time, OK?
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:54 PM   #20
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For myself my TV is also my daily driver so what I need to worry about is fuel efficiency for the 95% of the miles I do without the trailer, not with it off. People with a dedicated TV for towing have different options then we do.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:22 PM   #21
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For myself my TV is also my daily driver so what I need to worry about is fuel efficiency for the 95% of the miles I do without the trailer, not with it off. People with a dedicated TV for towing have different options then we do.
I was just about to pipe in along the same lines. I tow with a 4-cylinder wagon that's also my daily driver (and my only vehicle). It's rated to tow 3500# (not that I would ever tow that much with it), and it seems quite happy with the +/- 1400# of a 13' egg. The car itself weighs nearly 3500#, so I'm still quite a bit heavier than the trailer.

Yes, my mileage is greatly reduced when towing, but that "greatly reduced" means it's 16-18 when I'm towing (which is a very small percentage of the time), and back up to 25-30 when I'm not towing (which is most of the time).

Raya

PS: I took the original question to be more theoretical; i.e. why doesn't everyone tow with a V-8, so that's why I answered the way I did. That is, I'm not trying to convince the original poster to run out and buy a 4-cylinder wagon.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:08 PM   #22
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I was just about to pipe in along the same lines. I tow with a 4-cylinder wagon that's also my daily driver (and my only vehicle). It's rated to tow 3500# (not that I would ever tow that much with it), and it seems quite happy with the +/- 1400# of a 13' egg. The car itself weighs nearly 3500#, so I'm still quite a bit heavier than the trailer.

Yes, my mileage is greatly reduced when towing, but that "greatly reduced" means it's 16-18 when I'm towing (which is a very small percentage of the time), and back up to 25-30 when I'm not towing (which is most of the time).

Raya

PS: I took the original question to be more theoretical; i.e. why doesn't everyone tow with a V-8, so that's why I answered the way I did. That is, I'm not trying to convince the original poster to run out and buy a 4-cylinder wagon.
Great input, Booker and Raya and others. I see the point of those interested in using a small, high mileage tow vehicle for towing and for daily use. Not all can afford or even desire a separate dedicated tow vehicle. In our case, the wife and I often wonder about the validity of having 3 vehicles in our driveway = a minivan, a sedan, and truck loaded with pop top camper. We have decided we would rather not tow anything, and our truck camper is dedicated for RVing because of the lower mileage and more awkward around town handling.

Someday, we'd like to trade the truck camper in on a small motorhome such as one of the Sprinter based camper vans. They have such great mileage and handling, that I would also do away with the sedan. Then, we'd only have two vehicles in the driveway and would be ready for anything.

Only problem is that the Sprinter vans run around $80,000 and there ain't many cheap used ones around.
Oh well, life goes on, and much of it is a compromise, eh?

Alyn
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Old 11-14-2008, 08:57 PM   #23
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Hi: Alyn... We are towing our "Escape Hatch" with a GMC S/box 4.3 ltr. V6 O/D tow haul tranny with cooler& H.D. susp. Our first year we have experienced up to 20MPG while towing expressways [at] 60 mph!!! It is a true 5th. wheel hitch and puts about 500# in the box and weighs in around 3000# ready to camp!!! We couldn't be happier with this rig.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:05 AM   #24
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Hey, I guess I'm still confused on this mileage issue. You say you're unhappy with 15 mpg. I thought that was a pretty good figure to shoot for. Would you do any better with a smaller vehicle or smaller engine? In the truck camper world, only a diesel truck might do better (might?). The only rig I know of that would get up around 20 mpg or higher consistently would be the rvs that are based on the new Mercedes (Dodge) Sprinter chassis, but they cost somewhere around $85,000, soooooooo.

Anyway, I guess this mileage topic is one that could go on forever till we figure a way to run our engines on free energy.

Alyn

We pull our 13' with a Saturn Vue 4cyl. which gets about 22mpg while towing. Without it gets about 25-27mpg. But we don't have the towing capacity for anything larger. I sure am glad those 13's are so light! We have not had the opportunity to take our rig out to the mountains yet, so I am hoping we are not pushing any serious limits.
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:26 AM   #25
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yep, some of us poor working schmucks must balance daily driver and tow as the same vehicle.

I bought my Jeep specifically for the tow rating, and I continued to drive my Honda Element as my daily driver, but.. insuring two cars and having ZERO room to store both made me sadly remove the Element from my fleet.

I have on occasion had two or more cars in my life, and since there is only one of me to drive, the "extra" cars were really just frivolous $$$ out the window.

I am very happy with my current combo, and don't see upgrading anytime soon, but if money and space were no object, sure, I would get a truck and a 5er!
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Old 11-15-2008, 12:45 PM   #26
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A simple thing to do that may be very revealing is to estimate the number of miles driven in a year and do some efficiency (MPG) and fuel costs (Low pump vs high pump) comparisons to see how much in dollars (or EhBucks) one could actually save by increasing fuel economy.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:34 AM   #27
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we pulled our Jubilee 15' with a 01 CRV and I don't think it was far off 15 MPG. It usually gets 30 MPG or so unloaded, but towing it dropped a lot, probably due to running in Drive all the time at 3800 RPM. It was just brutal.
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