Ideal tow vehicle for towing Scamp 19 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-13-2016, 06:58 AM   #1
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Name: James
Trailer: Scamp
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Ideal tow vehicle for towing Scamp 19

Hi All,
New member here. JmR. I'm having a little trouble narrowing down information concerning a tow vehicle for 19' 5th wheel Scamp. Two questions have haunted me since I have committed to purchase a fifth wheel Scamp. Is it really worth buying a smaller truck to try and get better gas mileage? And Second do I really need 4wd? I am familiar with the off road advantages of 4wd but I don't think I want to drag our new/used camper on roads marked "4wd only". Is there something I'm missing concerning the 5th wheel that would rule out 2wheel drive?
I would prefer buying a late model truck versus a new one.

Ideal is probably the wrong term, but suggestions based on real world experience would be invaluable.
Thanks in advance
JmR
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:27 AM   #2
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I think you will fnd the mileage difference is minimal. My Frontier doesn't do better than an F150 of the same year but it cost less and is a little easier to find a parking space. I have 4wd mostly because 2wd pickups are unsaleable here. The low range is useful. Two wheel pickups tend to be light in the rear but the fifth wheel will take care of that.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:54 AM   #3
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Three thoughts (related to towing in general, not the Scamp 19 in particular)...

Towing fuel economy is likely to be similar whether you buy a larger vehicle or a smaller, and has more to do with the weight and frontal area of the trailer. The larger vehicle won't be working as hard, of course. The advantages of a smaller vehicle come when you unhitch- fuel economy, maneuverability, garageability, cost,... Your decision may come down to how much you tow and how much time you expect to spend in high-demand conditions: mountains and high altitudes.

Repairs can quickly overshadow fuel savings, so I rate reliability as one of the top characteristics of a tow vehicle.

Four wheel drive is useful whenever you're on a loose or slippery surface. You don't have to go on a jeep trail for that. Gravel forest service roads, campgrounds, winter conditions can all make 4WD useful, and more so when you're dragging an extra 3000 pounds behind you. You might also consider resale- since you live in the snow belt, you may find 4WD is the norm.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:21 AM   #4
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4X4 trucks often have stronger transmissions and rear axle ratios that are more suitable for towing.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:45 AM   #5
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Limited slip is an very definite advantage for towing.
4WD is a liability for the purpose. if for no other reason than simply lugging around an extra differential and transfer case.
Buy 4WD only if you feel you need it for other purposes.
You MUST check out the 2.7L Ecoboost before you buy!
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:58 AM   #6
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Name: Marge
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I really appreciate the versatility of 4WD. We unload our trailer where we will be camping and then have much more varied choices as to where we can explore. I'm not into roads marked as 4WD only, but do like to explore on dirt roads, have the freedom to brave the snow, etc. The 4WD opens a lot of doors.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Three thoughts (related to towing in general, not the Scamp 19 in particular)...

Towing fuel economy is likely to be similar whether you buy a larger vehicle or a smaller, and has more to do with the weight and frontal area of the trailer. The larger vehicle won't be working as hard, of course. The advantages of a smaller vehicle come when you unhitch- fuel economy, maneuverability, garageability, cost,... Your decision may come down to how much you tow and how much time you expect to spend in high-demand conditions: mountains and high altitudes.

Repairs can quickly overshadow fuel savings, so I rate reliability as one of the top characteristics of a tow vehicle.

Four wheel drive is useful whenever you're on a loose or slippery surface. You don't have to go on a jeep trail for that. Gravel forest service roads, campgrounds, winter conditions can all make 4WD useful, and more so when you're dragging an extra 3000 pounds behind you. You might also consider resale- since you live in the snow belt, you may find 4WD is the norm.
Well said Jon!
I would add that newer trucks seem to be getting taller and taller so if you buy a used Scamp 19 it may need to have a lift kit added so it matches the truck bed height. If you order a new Scamp you can have the factory do that. It seems that in some of the newer trucks you need a step stool just to be able to reach over the side to get something in the bed.
I wish Dodge would come back with the Dakota, and have heard persistent rumors that Ford is coming back with a Ranger.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:04 AM   #8
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4X4 trucks often have stronger transmissions and rear axle ratios that are more suitable for towing.
Not remotely accurate. Any Tech can tell you that. If you don't need 4x4, you will be paying more for maintenance,, have more components to break down, higher and less stable ride hight, less payload, and far worse economy. The only upside is resale value and the odd situation when you ended up in conditions where you needed it. If it's a dedicated TV, and you aren't one to test the elements, you will regret purchasing it every time you drive it. It's a bunch of high maintenance dead weight moving components you don't need.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:16 AM   #9
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I tow my 19 Scamp with a 1996 Ford Ranger, 3.0L, automatic, 2wd. I get between 16 - 17 mpg towing and 20-22 empty.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:32 AM   #10
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Name: James
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Tow vehicle

Thanks for all the quick responses. This is a great site! I am looking at 2 vehicles right now one is a 3/4 ton chevy 2wd (I know the truck) it's set up for towing. The other is a 1999 Ford Ranger 4wd towing package well kept and maintained. Both are in the same price range. It's a coin toss to me. Resale is going to be about the same by the time I get done with them. Decisions, decisions ?
JmR
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:35 AM   #11
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For got

I forgot to mention the Chevy has posi traction.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:03 AM   #12
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A four wheel drive will have a heavier suspension. Fuel mileage will be less when not towing but the same when you are towing. Traction will be much better with a 4X4. I've lost traction when climbing towing my trailer on a gravel road in the summer. This won't happen with a 4x4 and the resale value will be much better. I have five trucks and tow with all of them.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:10 AM   #13
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Name: David
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Originally Posted by Jm Rintel View Post
Thanks for all the quick responses. This is a great site! I am looking at 2 vehicles right now one is a 3/4 ton chevy 2wd (I know the truck) it's set up for towing. The other is a 1999 Ford Ranger 4wd towing package well kept and maintained. Both are in the same price range. It's a coin toss to me. Resale is going to be about the same by the time I get done with them. Decisions, decisions ?
JmR
--------------------------- ------------------------------

I would worry a bit about buying a 17 year old (Ford or Chevy) to Start my travel adventures ; if you buy a pretty new TV it will be 17 yrs old soon enough. Some folks on here tow with older TVs, (even Rangers ! ) but most have owned the truck for many years. From Experience, a 17 yr old Ranger is not the same as a 17 yr old Toyota. ( Go ahead and tell me your 20 yr old Ranger with 200 K has never required a bit of repair. )
I sold my 2003 Tacoma ( 180,000 mi )and bought a 2002 Ranger with 52,000 mi and am fairly happy with it now at 70,000+. But it is needing suspension and steering work that the Tacoma didn't need at 180k . I would try to buy as new a truck as possible, It will be 'old' quite soon anyway. If you plan to camp mostly at local parks and lakes, the older truck(s) might be OK, but will you be heading cross country soon, or be limited by reliability.? David in Fresno and Sonora, CA
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:23 PM   #14
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The Chevy. Has the power, has positrac and will tow bigger campers should you upgrade in the future.
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