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Old 10-11-2011, 02:23 AM   #57
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Name: Jesse
Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
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Dylan,

When I bought my Scamp, I was towing it with a 2,600 pound car with a 128hp engine. Tow rating in the US was ZERO pounds (1,600 pounds overseas). I also used a Curt hitch, and was very happy with it. The car had OEM brakes... Disc up front and drums in the rear. The trailer does not have brakes.

I found that it towed pretty well. I could certainly go "too fast" if I wanted to. Braking seemed good... Even in the one or two instances when I had to get on the pedal. As far as mountains, I only had it in the hills of western Maryland and PA, and the Poconos. It did well... In fact, I got 24 MPG going to the Poconos. Here's a pic right before leaving on that trip:



I traded up to a Subaru Outback, which weighs about 3,500 pounds and has 170hp. It certainly pulls a lot easier with the additional HP and torque, and benefits from a CVT transmission. I also have a Curt hitch on the Subie.

Good luck with your Scamp adventures!
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Old 10-11-2011, 02:26 AM   #58
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By the way, I weighed my Scamp when I first bought it. No gear inside. It was 1,200 pounds. The only heavy option is the fridge. No AC, no heat, no water tanks.
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:47 PM   #59
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Jamie, I was just up in the pac nor west, car camping. More BC and Oregon, my time in WA was brief sadly. No, as discussed in other topics, I wasn't able to get a new axle with brakes in time and Dexter said brake flanges could not, or at least should not be welded to my type trailing arm axle. Before the next big trip I plan on that new axle and brakes. I've never felt I was having trouble bleeding off speed. I've been on some huge mountain passes, but the biggest have been going up. Other than a few wiggles when I had the higher head installed and a lot of gear placed at the very rear of the trailer this rig feels very stable and predictable. I do drive very deliberately and attentively, so I've yet to have to stop in a huge hurry other than test stops and I plan not to. Just paying attention eleminates 99.99% of reasons to stop in a panicked manner. I keep a large gap between me and anything in front, I slow before intersections even when I expect them to stay green, I slow way before curves and down grades. The few harder test stops I've made on empty roads have slowed things pretty quickly, so I have some idea of how it can stop. Having to brake significantly in a sharp corner isn't 100% comfortable, but no matter what you're driving one should brake before and not in turns. I imagine if I was overspeed to begin with a huge down grade could get very hairy. But approached at safe speeds I don't fear down grades, my brakes are massive for a Miata and are designed for abuse on the race track. You can stomp on them all day and they will not overheat or fade. I haven't felt it pushing too much or wiggling/oscillations going down hill braking. The one time I really didn't like the wiggle was a mild down grade curve I hit a bit too fast, was braking some and hit a big bump, all combined it did raise the hair on the back back of my neck, but simply backing off the brakes a tad, smoothly, and it settled, and then I got back on the brakes again no problem. I think the extra stiff springs and excellent damping of my shocks helps keep thing under control, if it's not a comfy ride. I doubt I'd feel more stability with a bigger, better rated tv with a sloppy soft suspension that let the trailer push the tv around. I'd love to get some experience with another tv, perhaps I could rent one to try out??

Lizbeth, there's a few Cat scales east on the 40, I'll see if I can't get to one during business hours. Maybe get a bathroom scale at Walmart.


Great data McBrew! I really don't think my Miata is way far than the first tv you describe, few hundred lbs less, but more HP, brakes and stiffer suspension. The chassis of the Miata is pretty stiff, it's got frame rails, not like a truck or big American car chassis, but a lot more bracing and reinforcement to the lower chassis than most monocoque chassis since it has no roof and the car is designed to be driven hard. Interesting about your weight, especially for an older scamp. If yours is 1200 empty, mine probably is too if not more, the wooden front dinette in mine looks like a lot of wood! And on the front too. Heck, I may be around 1500lbs. And while I can lift the tongue, I am a bit concerned with that weight on the receiver.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:24 AM   #60
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Good news and bad news. Good news is I'm there. Cedar Crest , NM. Safe, sound no worries, had an amazing trip.

Bad? Got weighed and I'm way more portly than I imagined. Mostly worrisome is being over the tv max weight by 150ish lbs, 5%ish so not shockingly bad. The trailer, loaded is like 1600, not including tongue weight! I don't think I have 200lbs of gear in the trailer, I think this is just one heavy 13 footer! The tongue was hitched to the tv, so that weight is included in the car's measurement. It was on a segmented truck scale with the tv on one segment and the trailer on another. If I had unhitched and weighed again I could subtract to get the tongue weight. Shoulda, coulda. I'll see about getting a bathroom scale to weigh the tongue, also I can weigh all the things in the trailer, add them up and subtract from the weighed amount to get some idea of empty weight. I think I'm going to have to remove the very nice and very stoutly built wooden dinette in front. I want to shed like 200 lbs from the travel weight. The dinette is all very thick, dense plywood, and reinforced. Much heavier than the fiberglass front seats from Scamp I'm sure. Oh well, probably best to build the front from scratch for the shower, etc. Keeping it light and simple.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:25 AM   #61
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Ahem.... I told you so. Your Scamp is not heavy, that is a weight that falls in "normal" range for a trailer that size. Referring you to this again;
Trailer Weights in the Real World

Glad you made it safely.

Taking out the dinette would surely shed a few pounds but you will have to be very careful about what you replace it with. Do you plan to install a shower or just make a place to shower? What else is going to go up there?
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by dylanear View Post
Robin, I am open to any useful information, I have not meant to foo foo anyone's opinions, but that doesn't mean I find every opinion as valid or useful as others. I'm very open to discussion the technical issues. I'm not as convinced by vague opinions without accompanying technical discussion or especially based on actual experiences which I assure you I welcome.

but the 1000+ miles I've towed so far have been uneventful and drama free
it's a 1000 miles, I would assume your intention is to pull your trailer to and from adventures. Not just park it?

I feel I'm being pretty cautious and careful.

Well I am very cautious and careful and I wouldn't do it! Of course there are people who would, I am sure you have gotten many a PM's saying to ignore caution. What ever!
I am willing to say it in front of the world wide web that I think it's wrong. Not hide behind a private message. Hmmmm, what experience do the people telling you it's ok have? hmmmmm!


Just a quick question, do you think the morons who send you PM's telling you to go for it, would be willing to back you up financially when and if you are ever taken to court by a victim? Have you even asked your insurance provider if they will cover you when towing with such a tow set up?






I'd be pretty shocked if my Scamp fully loaded was even 1500bs,

I wouldn't! See this is why I question what you are doing. I see in a newer post that you have found out it is "portly" !.


It's factory spec is 950

With a little reading you would have had the information that is probably way off the actual weight.

probably not even 150 since everything heavy is in the car. I've not heard that adding weight to the car takes away towing capacity Can you point me to more info about vehicle loading and it's effect on towing capacity?


You should find the information I am referring to in your owner's manual. There isn't an owner's manual I have ever read that didn't say that the amount/weight of occupants didn't lower the tow capacity. Perhaps a semi or people mover wouldn't say it, but as I said, I have never read a owner's manual that didn't say it.


Do I feel I'm taking an excessive risk? Not on my experience so far. And I put first hand personal experience above most opinion on the internet,

Didn't you say in one of your post, you had never towed anything before? ( Actually you did say that, I went back and checked)
Many have pointed out that the driver plays a huge part in towing, I completely agree! So if you haven't had experience than I do believe you are taking a risk. But can tell you most experienced drivers would probably not consider this tow set up, a proper set up. Your taking information/experience from people who mostly commuted by bus or bicycle to work their whole life. Really? Good Luck!




Dylaner, You say you want first had experiences, Well honestly I can't give you one, mainly because I tow properly with a set up that can deal with my trailer. And frankly that does not mean that it couldn't/wouldn't go wonky on me. Could easily occur, but I know that I can probably have a chance of getting out of an issue due to the fact that my tow vehicle is more apt to handle it. I am not trying to give you a hard time, I just believe you need to re-think your decision. I want everyone who wishes to experience camping to experience it. I grew up camping, I think people who have never camped are just odd! But I want everyone to experience it safely!

I have heard of many towing issues, and tragically often people are hurt improperly towing. One example, sorry I don't have the source to provide you with a link to the story. But a what most of us would consider a "experienced driver" was killed along with his wife and one child, leaving 2 other children orphaned. The issue that lead to the tragedy was his tow vehicle was over the tow capacity as well as improperly loaded. The accident took place on a family vacation with several friends and their family's witnessing the whole thing as they were all traveling together.

Another occurred here in Colorado several years ago, a little girl was killed on the way home from a family camping trip. Tow capacity was an issue in this accident as well. Actually, the Rv Dealer and his sales staff where sued due to selling this rv to the childs parents and telling them that their vehicle was more than able to handle the weight of the trailer. A child lost, for the almighty dollar! Sad but very true! The dealer ship was held responsible in a court of law. Again, I don't have a link to provide you the information but honestly I tend not to save articles about such tragedy's.


Again, I don't wish to be hard on you, I just want you to enjoy your adventure safely! And those around you to be safe.
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:06 PM   #63
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Lizbeth, I saw those numbers, I never expected it to be 950 actual weight, I was thinking I'd be closer to McBrews 1200bs empty or a bit more, But I think I'm more like 1400 or even 1500 empty. It's probably close to 1800 all full.

Robin, I appreciate your concern, just don't agree. The trailer is not likely to move much if at all before spring. So no reason to be worked up until then. I hope to reduce the weight before then. The trailer does not exceed the tow rating of the Hitch. I do not have time to address all your points this weekend and frankly don't feel like arguing with you. You don't think what I'm doing is safe, I don't think it's an excessive risk given my experiences. We just have to agree to disagree I suppose. And yes, I explained everything to my insurer in detail and yes they say I have full coverage on the vehicle and trailer.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:49 AM   #64
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dylanear,

I too am interested in this issue of tow vehicle and trailer compatibility. What is curious is how tow rating is different in other countries. Check out this article if you haven't already:

RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints

These guys are talking about using a PT Cruiser to pull 22ft Airstreams! And a Jetta in Europe is rated at 3000 lbs towing capacity, while in the US it is rated at 1000 lbs (?!?) Our roads are bigger and smoother, maybe we drive faster, therefore we need to pull lighter loads? Our attorneys are meaner?

Your having bigger brakes, stiffer suspension, more powerful engine, and most importantly a vigilant awareness and attitude have combined to make your choice...acceptable. Kind of like a "don't try this at home, kids!" What works for you probably shouldn't be attempted by most, but I'm really glad it has been working for you.

My two cents, which considering all your precautions so far you're probably already aware of, is to be very careful in the rain or other slick conditions, especially if there is any gusting wind; these are the conditions that a short wheelbase tow vehicle is going to be most vulnerable. But you likely have considered this.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:27 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post
dylanear,

I too am interested in this issue of tow vehicle and trailer compatibility. What is curious is how tow rating is different in other countries. Check out this article if you haven't already:

RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints

These guys are talking about using a PT Cruiser to pull 22ft Airstreams! And a Jetta in Europe is rated at 3000 lbs towing capacity, while in the US it is rated at 1000 lbs (?!?) Our roads are bigger and smoother, maybe we drive faster, therefore we need to pull lighter loads? Our attorneys are meaner?

Your having bigger brakes, stiffer suspension, more powerful engine, and most importantly a vigilant awareness and attitude have combined to make your choice...acceptable. Kind of like a "don't try this at home, kids!" What works for you probably shouldn't be attempted by most, but I'm really glad it has been working for you.

My two cents, which considering all your precautions so far you're probably already aware of, is to be very careful in the rain or other slick conditions, especially if there is any gusting wind; these are the conditions that a short wheelbase tow vehicle is going to be most vulnerable. But you likely have considered this.
Andy Thomson, the author of that aricle, has a whole series of articles about towing previously pointed to on FRV. As well he directs you to Can-AM RV where there are a couple of interesting videos.

Can-Am RV :: Towing

RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints & Wagon Masters

There is obviously some information that is not well known.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:24 PM   #66
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Oh yeah, this is a safe combination...

Can-Am RV :: Mini towing Airstream

I can't even find words to describe how I feel about that video.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:22 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by dylanear View Post
.

Robin, I appreciate your concern, just don't agree.


Of course you don't, because my concerns don't go with you wanting to do what you want to do............ Blow off concerns as long as it fits what you want.........


frankly don't feel like arguing with you.

I wasn't arguing, I was as you asked for giving my opinion.


You don't think what I'm doing is safe, I don't think it's an excessive risk given my experiences.


No I don't! But frankly your the one who said you have never towed anything. So given your "experiences", yes I question what your doing! Again, just my opinion (others as well) but of course your gonna do what you want to do............ Good luck!

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Old 10-16-2011, 03:29 PM   #68
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Science

One thing I've learned in Science is whether a concept turns out to be true or false, initally it is denied by the majority.

A man just won the Noble prize for discovering a new form of crystal that every book said could not exist. He was denied for years, told by his peers his proposal was shameful, and actually lost his job. He says it did not bother him because he new what he had discovered. Some decades later he is a winner.

It is very difficult to accept the different; I should say it's very difficult 'to consider' the different might be correct.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:30 PM   #69
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When it comes to opinions, everyone has one and no one is ever convinced to change an opinion just because someone else thinks they should. Then too, oftentime when people are asking for an opinion, what they really are asking is for "permission," to believe their idea/opinion is best/will work. This is probably a no-win and probably will need to be experienced. I just hope it's not with disasterous results, truly.
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:10 PM   #70
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This is probably a no-win and probably will need to be experienced.
Folks,

We've been here before. Many times. I think it all has been said.
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