Hi, I'm searching for a light trailer - going full time on the road in May! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-23-2019, 01:26 AM   #1
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Name: Amber
Trailer: Scamp
California
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Smile Hi, I'm searching for a light trailer - going full time on the road in May!

Glad to have found Fiberglass trailers in my searching. I think this is the best fit for me as I have an SUV that is not a V6 and do not want to have to buy a trailer and also buy a new vehicle to pull it :/
Planning to hit the road in May. My job changed so I can work with an internet connection. Very excited to get out and see America.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:34 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Amber. What is your tow vehicle as that may be a problem with a full bath TT....extra weight to start with.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:35 AM   #3
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I have a 2012 Ford Escape AWD, but it's not a V6..
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:46 AM   #4
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Hi, I'm searching for a light trailer - going full time on the road in May!

Welcome, Amber!

Two places to start your research... (1) Read the towing section of your owner’s manual. Look for the maximum trailer weight, frontal area, tongue weight, and other caveats and required equipment. (2) Study our database “Trailer Weights in the Real World” in the General Chat section of the forum (post #297 links to a spreadsheet you can filter by size, make, and model; it even calculates averages). Note that there are a couple of sub-1000# units, but they are empty shells. The smallest 13’ trailers without bath or A/C start at around 1500 pounds loaded for travel.

There are lots of experienced people here to answer any questions that might come up in your research. Best wishes!
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Welcome to the forum Amber. What is your tow vehicle as that may be a problem with a full bath TT....extra weight to start with.
I don't see the words "full bath" in the initial post. Amber, just note that a light molded fiberglass camper, or any light camper for that matter will not include separate bathroom, shower, etc. Maybe a shower tent?
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:40 AM   #6
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Depends on the engine and options on your Escape. The larger 2.0 EB motor has a pretty decent tow rating, while the 2.5L I4 only has a 1,500 pound tow rating.

The Escape could be ordered with two different tow packages. The better package was only available on the 2.0EB motor.

In the world of light trailers, molded fiberglass are at the expensive end and popups are at the lower cost end.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:29 AM   #7
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For the 2012 Ford Escape, the 2.5L was an in-line 4, the 3.0L was a 6 cylinder. Ecoboost was not offered in this model in the 2012 MY. It took Ford a while to spool up Ecoboost production and this model got it later than others.

Your tow rating is 1500 lb. Attached chart excerpt is from the 2012 owner's guide.

In the world of FG trailers, Scamp trailers tend to be lighter than Casitas. In Fred's trailer weights in the real world, the average Scamp weighs well over 1600 lb. Casitas are well over 2000 lb.

If you're inclined to follow manufacturer's recommendations you may have to look for another sort of trailer. Some of the 13' Bolers and Burro's are under 1500 lb. They are a littler rarer than Scamps and Casitas. Because you would be so close to your weight rating I'd be inclined to look for one that has actually been weighed. You can not depend on advertised weights.
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2012 Ford Escape AWD Towing.JPG  
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:59 AM   #8
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...

If you're inclined to follow manufacturer's recommendations ....
I was not aware that vehicle manufactures made recommendations for towing... all I see is limits, maximums and restrictions.

My point of course, which is made time and time again on this forum, is that the given maximums are for nearly ideal conditions, including light loads in the tow vehicle (usually no passengers even). So I would never start with a trailer that is near the max trailer limits. The altitude reduction (see above chart), weight of passengers, cargo, etc. will frequently put you over the limit of one or more of the ratings, perhaps the combined vehicle rating (total weight of TV, trailer and all cargo and passengers). And even if you do stay under the max limits, well.... go to a gym and try to lift as much dead weight as you possibly can. Then do it 50 or 100 times an hour. Then try the same thing with 50-70 percent of the max that you can lift. The difference you feel is an analogy to the strain on your tow vehicle, especially when going over the mountains, in high temperatures or other more demanding scenarios.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:22 AM   #9
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You might consider a teardrop. It would be a bit tough to work from one as they're essentially a bed on wheels with an outdoor kitchen in the back. But I agree with all the other posts that your truck wouldn't work well with a FG trailer. You might be able to rig something up with a 5' wide teardrop where you have a small bed on 1 side and a small work area on the other side. Teardrops are in the 700-1000# range and would pull easily with your truck. Check out www.tnttt.com for more info.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:26 AM   #10
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You're preaching to the choir in my case. I'm a retired (last June) OE chassis engineer and I know what goes into the ratings and much of the rationale behind them. My inclination is to be conservative. Good tires, good brakes, good driver, dry pavement, etc. But I get tired of being beat up on the the forum by the conspiracy theorists that "the Man" is out to drive them (pun intended, I suppose) to big trucks.

But I think you're talking semantics about whether a max trailer weight is a recommended maximum or not. A distinction without a difference IMO. But, whatever floats your boat. Pile on.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:26 AM   #11
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Time for a better more capable tow vehicle that is matched to the trailer you intend to purchase!
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:32 AM   #12
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You're preaching to the choir in my case. ...

But I think you're talking semantics about whether a max trailer weight is a recommended maximum or not. A distinction without a difference IMO. But, whatever floats your boat. Pile on.
No piling.. comments directed to the OP to make sure OP is happy with their decision.

So what about max loading vs recommended loading for tires based on pressure.. Oh. no! Lets not go there again!
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:21 AM   #13
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In general the OP's situation is not unique. People come to RV-ing at different times and usually with the desire to not have to buy a new tow vehicle. However, the drive for improved fuel econony is not in line with towing, at least at the extremes of performance.

People's eyes are frequently bigger than their tow vehicles will support. If you came from farming, at least one of your vehicles is probably a pick-em-up and you're good to go, if you come from an office desk job (I specialize in generalizations) your single vehicle is probably a lighter vehicle that can barely tow it's shadow. Beyond the vehicle maximums (and some say legal liability) is what compromises you will accept to tow. If it takes you 3/4 of a mile to get up to 65 mph your entrance ramp experience may be a bit scary. If you plan to stick to 2 lanes, again, you may be good to go.

My parting thought is probably to recommend to buy the best quality you can find so that if it doesn't work out you're most likely to get more of your money back.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:37 AM   #14
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A friend of mine recently bought a trailer at Camping World. They assured him his tow vehicle was more than adequate, despite the trailer being over its tow limit.

When he bought it I told him: "Good news, you will be getting a NEW TRUCK!" Sure enough, after one scary towing experience a week later, he bought a new truck......

Its really wise to decide what trailer you want first, then figure out what tow vehicle you need. Most people get enticed by more trailer than their current vehicle can tow. It happens all the time.

IF you are set on keeping the Escape, then the smallest popup, or a teardrop can work. A really stripped down 13 footer (think no toilet, ice box instead of refrigerator), might work.

Do consider that in a full time mode, you are more likely to have more stuff in both your tow vehicle and your trailer. Its one thing to pack super light for a weekend. Its another thing to pack for full time RVing. Figure you are going to need clothing for a variety of temperatures, and quite a bit more.

In the molded FG world, if I was full time, solo, and wanted a really small trailer, I'd look for one with a small front dinette (a place to eat and work from), along with a rear bed. Most of the 13 footers out there have a front gaucho (couch) that converts into bunk beds, and a rear dinette that makes into a bed. A gaucho is less useful for solo than a front dinette IMHO. I have a gaucho in my 1977 Trillium. Front dinettes were an option on the old Trillium, but rare. the gaucho can kind of/sort of work as a solo place to eat and work, but not ideal.
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