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Old 02-25-2016, 09:21 AM   #29
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
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I think that's about right, Raz. Some small vehicles address that distinction by imposing a frontal area limit as well as a weight limit.

Beyond small tent trailers and teardrops, a few (and certainly not all) 13' eggs and a few others, such as the Eriba Puck/Meerkat are the only stand-up travel trailers that can squeak by under 1500 pounds in the real world.

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Old 02-25-2016, 09:42 AM   #30
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
As to the Class I OEM hitch, there's no reason to offer anything larger. In fact it could be taken by lawyers as encouragement to ignore the 1500 pound rating. Most people would probably install an aftermarket 2" hitch for towing a small trailer, but doing so doesn't change the 1500 pound rating.
The hitch on the Element was from U-Haul, and was originally installed to hold a bicycle carrier, actually. And the class III hitch is the strongest part of that setup. it's rated at 5,000 lbs. But you're right and it can't be stated too many times... having a Class III receiver hitch doesn't improve the vehicle's rated tow capacity of 1500 lbs.

Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
I would never recommend towing with an under-rated vehicle, but neither do I subscribe to the philosophy that bigger is always better. There is under-sized, there is over-kill, and there is right-sized. The answer depends on a lot of factors, trailer weight being just the starting point.
Knowledge and experience count for a lot when setting up a tug and a trailer when you're close to or slightly over the manufacturer's tow rating. And having a braked axle on the trailer with a trailer brake controller in the vehicle is a MUST.

Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
BTW- Scamp 16s typically weigh 2400-2600 pounds with well over 200 pounds on the hitch. That is not something I would even remotely consider with a CRV.
And I need to be specific here, the new Scamp advertised weight for a stripped 16' is 1750 lbs with a tongue weight of 165 lbs. The Scamp 16 that i had (pictured) was very close to that curb weight which, while it exceeds the rated capacity of 1500 lbs, doesn't exceed it by much. Even loaded with food, clothes for one or tow and 5 gallons of water, there isn't much more weight added, and the 5-speed manual Element handled it with aplomb for some 25,000 towing miles while I had that combination. I even crashed that combination, hitting a large deer at night and was able to bring it to a safe stop on the side of a four lane highway without headlights on a dark, moonless night. The Element's damage ($7,000 worth) was repaired and I continued towing the Scamp with it until I traded the Element for a Toyota FJ 'Cruiser with a 5,000 lb tow capacity and upgraded the trailer to a Heartland MPG model 184 simply because I wanted hot water and a shower in the trailer.

Bear in mind that a Scamp 16 with any other options (particularly a water heater, larger fridge, and AC) is going to push that weight well into the 2500lb range very quickly. If you have a Scamp 16 deluxe with all the amenities (I had a really nice '02 that I towed with V6 Toyota pickups) you're going to be in the 3100-3300 lb range really quickly.

I'm not advocating that anyone overload the rated capacity of their tow vehicle, but towing at the vehicle's rated capacity isn't an automatic "catastrophe waiting to happen" either. I was able to safely tow MY Scamp 16 with the Element for three years and some 25,000 trouble-free (except for the deer crash) miles.

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