Why Not A V8? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-06-2008, 10:56 AM   #1
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Hi folks, I am fairly new to this wonderful forum and have really enjoyed the comradre, sharing, and educational value it provides. I'd like to give some input on proper towing capacity. The wife and I currently wander in an older Chevy Silverado truck (1990) loaded with a Hallmark pop top slide in truck camper (1997). We have outgrown this rig and are thinking of moving on to switching out the Hallmark for a 17 foot EggCamper. I think we all realize the value of towing and living in an egg type trailer over traveling in a giant motorhome or pulling a trailer that is as long as a house.

That being said, I feel that the towing vehicle should be overated in both horsepower, torque, and towing capacity. What I'm getting at here is why not use a comfortable V8 truck or V8 SUV as the tug? Our Silverado is a three quarter ton pick up with a 350 engine that is designed for everything that folks here are talking about. I live in Colorado Springs, so we are doing all mountain driving at very high altitudes and still get 12 to 15 mpg in comfort and style. I could actually go with a half ton truck for pulling a fiberglass trailer, but the three quarter ton was necessarry to carry the load of the Hallmark in the bed of the truck. I also bought the truck for a song because of its age. We put a total of around $12,000 into it including purchase price, and it is a like new truck.

We feel that the Silverado/EggCamper will be a perfect match for our style of wandering. Would like to get some feedback from you folks on this subject since we are new to trailering. We had thought of getting a small Roadtrek type motorhome, but it seems that the disadvantages would outweigh the advantages with that setup.

Alyn
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:04 AM   #2
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Alyn,

If it's your everyday vehicle, why not? especially if you travel in a mountainous region.

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Old 11-06-2008, 11:16 AM   #3
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Hi Alyn,

I think the only problem is what you mentioned which is gas mileage. Gas prices have dropped world wide with the economy slowdown but when the economy gets back in line in 2010 then demand will increase and prices will likely be higher then they were this summer. However, if you can afford the gas then that's not an issue then I can't see any downsides to a V8.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:27 AM   #4
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If the conversation was "should I buy truck A or truck B" - I'd say go for the smaller one for the obvious fuel efficiency reason. However - that's not the conversation. When the question is "Should I go out and buy a new truck with either a new set of problems or a new set of payments or use the truck I've got which gets less than stellar mileage?" - I'll go with the truck you've got.

We pulled our Boler with a Full size Dodge van (1500). Overkill? Yeah, of course. But it's what we had and is was awfully comfy on the freeway.

When all is said and done - even at last summer's prices, gas usually isn't the largest expense.

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Old 11-06-2008, 11:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
If the conversation was "should I buy truck A or truck B" - I'd say go for the smaller one for the obvious fuel efficiency reason. However - that's not the conversation. When the question is "Should I go out and buy a new truck with either a new set of problems or a new set of payments or use the truck I've got which gets less than stellar mileage?" - I'll go with the truck you've got.

We pulled our Boler with a Full size Dodge van (1500). Overkill? Yeah, of course. But it's what we had and is was awfully comfy on the freeway.

When all is said and done - even at last summer's prices, gas usually isn't the largest expense.

Mike
Mike,

Wow! Very nice mods to the Boler. Awesome.

Also, I thought 12 to 15 mpg is good for pulling a fiberglass trailer in all around situations including mountain driving. Is my thinking out of line here folks?

Alyn
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:13 PM   #6
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I don't believe you are out of line -- Safety first -- Can't enjoy low fuel costs if you are in the ditch or the TV is in the shop with blown tranny...

Also, it would be hard to find a high-efficiency TV capable of hauling a 17' rig safely; this is a different situation than hauling a 13'.



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Old 11-06-2008, 06:04 PM   #7
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Welcome Alyn.

I believe you'll fit right in here.
I speculate that you've seen a lot of discussion of smaller vehicles, due to economic conditions. However, we respect everyone's choices who factor in "the big picture" of trailering beyond maximizing fuel economy.
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:23 PM   #8
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Hi Alyn,
You have addressed the topic of size and pulling power. You also have the advantage of increased weight in your tow vehicle to help anchor your combination if caught in mountain cross winds and greater braking capacity too. If you are comfortable in your truck it can be the ideal tow vehicle.
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:24 PM   #9
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I'm all for it. I just wish when I was driving my parents' Delta 88 or Chevy Kingswood Estate with the 400 engine that I had an egg to pull!
Bigger actually is safer.
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:28 PM   #10
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I don't believe you are out of line -- Safety first -- Can't enjoy low fuel costs if you are in the ditch or the TV is in the shop with blown tranny...

Also, it would be hard to find a high-efficiency TV capable of hauling a 17' rig safely; this is a different situation than hauling a 13'.
I haven't experienced a single moment of terror or anything close, towing my 17' Escape with the 2008 RAV4 V6. The cross winds on the Chilliwack prairie are notorious, but I've not felt them. I've been passed by a semi going 20K faster than me with no noticeable effect. I had to swerve ( at about 50 kph ) to avoid a huge pothole. The RAV missed it but the trailer didn't and I noticed no loss of control.

I don't want to test it further that that, but I'm extremely satisfied with the combo, and I don't think that a larger tow vehicle for the Escape would increase my safety factor by much, if at all. I try to increase my safety margin by leaving lots of room between me and the guy in front and by not getting jammed in a pack with no Escape route. I don't have to evade an accident if I avoid it in the first place.

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Old 11-06-2008, 08:46 PM   #11
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Hey, thanks so much for all of your replies and feedback on this subject. This is a great place to wonder, share, and learn more about egg life. Some of you may also want to share or get more related ideas at truckcampermagazine.com. They are a similar bunch of people traveling light and living even more off the grid.

Alyn
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:25 PM   #12
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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.

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Old 11-06-2008, 10:31 PM   #13
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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.

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Old 11-06-2008, 10:47 PM   #14
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I haven't experienced a single moment of terror...
I had at least 130,000 miles on my half-ton Dodge truck pulling my Jayco 16' (over truck's towing capacity) and my Scamp 13' when I experienced my first moment of terror. Sometimes it takes a while to catch up.

It wasn't power, it wasn't weight, it was tow geometry and balance in the **truck** -- The truck weighed somewhere close to 4,500 lbs and had a 112" wheelbase -- The Scamp still yanked it around like you wouldn't believe.

Of course, I've had some white-knuckle intersections, but that was solved by putting brakes on the Scamp.
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