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Old 10-06-2015, 08:18 PM   #15
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Name: dawna
Trailer: U-Haul
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@Pam - You're absolutely right. I'm still getting the 3200 lb hitch but not towing more than 2000 lbs.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:21 PM   #16
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As you can see from the label on my hitch, it is capable of 14,000 lbs.
However it says not to exceed the vehicle's limitation, which is 3,500 lbs ( in my case ).
The hitch is capable. The tow vehicle is not.
Attached Thumbnails
WDHitch capacity.jpg  
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:15 PM   #17
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I really think you are really going to be impressed with how well your Mazda performs when you finally get it all set up and connected to your proposed egg.

There is some good info here Dawna. Always stay within the safe limits of your vehicle/rig combo. I believe that is something we all agree with.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:56 PM   #18
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawna View Post
Wow, guys! Thanks for the input.

@MC1: I am a die hard Mazda fan. Its unfortunate the CX-5's only have a 2000# tow capacity but overall, I wouldn't trade her in for the world. I bought it for heavy travel before I got this crazy trailer idea and she hasn't let me down even once. I highly recommend them.

That being said, I was discussing hitch receivers with a co-worker today and I mentioned that the CX-5 has two options
1.) Sportframe 1 1/4" Rec - Max weight 2000 lbs
2.) Square Tube 2 inch, Max weight 3500 lbs

My immediate inclination is the second option - the 3500 lb Max weight. So was the coworkers. What do you guys think? Why is there a 3500 lbs option if the capacity is 2000 lbs?

I've also been advised to follow these steps:
1.) Buy the receiver and install it first.
2.) Wait until I find a trailer before buying anything else.
3.) Once purchased, figure out what type of ball mount is needed (the drop is dependent on the trailer).
4.) Purchase correct ball mount, hitch ball, pin & clip AND then the wiring harness.

@Jon - Thank you! I will be sure to get the 7 pin connector and NOT a flat 4. Is there any other spec for the wiring harness that is dependent upon the actual trailer? Or will this suffice for just about any brand I get?

5.) Set up electric brake system with brake controller.
6.) Ramble.

@ Dudley - I have been watching those Scamps like a hawk! What are your thoughts on sight unseen auctions like that? I've studied the pictures closely and have one picked out that I think looks in the best condition (my main problem with this is not being able to see what Midwest winters and salt have done to the undercarriage of that trailer). The idea that I'll make it to Wright Pat to check them out before the auction ends is slim to non. I don't know...I've seen where these trailers can go for super cheap at these government liquidation sales but I also feel sketchy not being able to check them out first.

Thanks!
As you will quickly discover, the rule of thumb in buying used FGRVs is "You Snooze, You Looze". With that thought in mind I'd suggest getting a full set-up done on your vehicle so that you can drive and take home any prizes you discover. Having to get last minute work done, especially some distance from home, can get expensive in both time and money.

What I would do:

1. Get the 2" receiver installed. As mentioned the 3500 lb rating is for the hitch, not the vehicle to which it is attached.

2. Get full wiring, with a 7 blade RV connector, installed, including a brake controller and a charging line. The P2 controller is a favorite. You will need both eventually anyway and you want your vehicle to be set up "Standard", even if some trailer was incorrectly wired and needs correction later. The wiring is pretty much standard and, if you happen to find a trailer that just has a 4 pin connector, there is an adapter available for connecting to the 7 blade plug.

3. I'd start with a drawbar with the ball height set for the 13' Scamp, that's pretty close to most and they aren't all that expensive to change if need be. You can even buy them at WalMart.

Now, when you take that 300 mile trip to look and buy, you will have a pretty good chance of doing a "buy and drive" rather than spending time and money looking for a local shop to finish the job.
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:24 AM   #19
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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New Member from Ohio/North Carolina/Alaska

Regarding "buy and drive"... Even if the tow vehicle is ready to roll, the trailer may not be.

First, trailer tire "wear" is measured in years, not tread depth. A tire more than 6-7 years old needs to be replaced regardless of tread. A date code is stamped into the side of every tire and is read as wwyy (week and year, so 2408 means the 24th week of 2008).

Second, trailer wheel bearings need to be repacked periodically. If the seller cannot provide documentation of a recent bearing service (as in the past year or so), and especially if the trailer has been sitting unused, you'll want to have it done.

You might pull a trailer gingerly home a few miles with iffy tires and/or bearings, but not 300 miles.

Regarding brakes, if the trailer does not already have brakes installed, you should look for a square flange on the axle just behind the wheel. If it has the flange, brakes are easy to add. If it doesn't, the only way to add brakes is to change the whole axle, $600-800 if you pay someone to do it. Until recently, most torsion axles were welded to the frame.

Not to scare you off... It's not uncommon for older trailers to lack brakes and have worn out axles. If the price is right and the shell, floor, frame, and interior look good, you can invest the $$ and have a brand new axle with brakes.

Beware the floor, though. Check above and below carefully for soft spots and water staining. Inside pay special attention inside benches and cabinets and under windows. Replacing a rotten floor is not a beginner's project.
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:38 AM   #20
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Name: dawna
Trailer: U-Haul
North Carolina
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Sorry for the delay! I keep some weird hours up here at work-

@Bob - Thank you! You make a great point; considering my schedule and how quickly these trailers go, the best possible move would be ready to tow at any time.

I found my hitch receiver online. For the drawbar/ball mount..I don't know. Does anyone have experience with the adjustable ones? Doesn't that make more sense if I don't know what I'm getting yet? Then I could purchase different sized hitch balls depending on what I needed.

Wiring harness: Are most wiring harnesses set up for the flat 4? Because that's mostly what I'm finding online. There are abundant 7 pin converters and all...I was just wondering if that was standard.

@ Jon - Quit trying to scare me off! Just kidding. Thanks for the heads up on the brakes. I will keep my eyes open for the square flange on the axle.

Thanks again, everyone! I have so many good notes thanks to all of you.

dawna
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:28 AM   #21
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Yep, most of the plug n play wiring harnesses terminate in a flat 4 connector... BUT, there are any number of 7 blade receptacles that come with a pre-wired flat four pigtail, so all you have to do is connect the two, add the brake and charge lines, and you are good to go.


At least in FGRV's your vehicle can tow, there are only two hitch ball sizes, 1 7/8" and 2". As a WAG, most are the 2" variety, just verify with the seller. As a temporary solution there are multi-size drawbars, with two or three balls attached, available. Check with Harbor Freight for an inexpensive one. Adjustable hitches are expensive, and all are guaranteed to meet up with your shins when installed. Again, if you start with the standard height for a Scamp, you should be fairly close for starters.


And Jon's advice is pertinent. Unless it's a super deal, I would suggest just avoiding any that don't have brakes from the get-go, as well as any that look like they will need a new axle. But aged tires are always a concern, just check the numbers as it's not uncommon to find aged out tires, especially on rigs that haven't been used for several years.


Good luck with your hunt
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:03 AM   #22
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Agree with Bob- skip the adjustable drawbar and just get one that comes close. Scamp 13 coupler height is approximately 16-18" from the ground. You will be putting 150-200 pounds of weight on the hitch so have someone sit on the back of the vehicle while you measure.

About ball size... some older trailers take 1-7/8" and newer ones take 2". They're cheap enough at Walmart and returns are easy. Buy both, but don't install. Take the tools with you and install when you actually buy a trailer. Then return the unused one.

When you go to inspect a trailer, you can download and print the Buyer's Checklist here.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:23 AM   #23
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Here's a photo of an axle with the brake flange:

Name:   Brake Flange.jpg
Views: 44
Size:  4.5 KB
The square piece with four holes is what you're looking for. It'll be right behind the wheel, assuming you don't see the brake drum itself.
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Old 02-27-2016, 01:48 PM   #24
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Name: dawna
Trailer: U-Haul
North Carolina
Posts: 9
Greetings!

A lot of these forums mention memorable stories on how people find their first fiberglass RV. When I started looking in October, I had hoped I could have a similar experience; I'm elated to report that I indeed have.

Through a lot of luck (and frequently checking this website), I happened upon a 1985 U-Haul CT in Columbus, Ohio while visiting my Mom and Grandparents. Marty D and his wife Pam are the sweetest people I've met in ages- and fascinating too. Travelers and collectors and story tellers true an true- my favorite kind of people. Marty has been a pretty active member on this website and has collected (and printed) just about every discussion/forum/manual there is to find about these types of U-Haul trailers. He's also throwing in a ton of extra parts (like a Fantastic Fan!) and has promised to help me out should I have any questions. In reality, I hope he and Pam are just ready for frequent visits and postcards.

Another huge plus was that Marty did a ton of work replacing the axle and installing electric brakes- something a majority of you suggested as being ideal. So half the battle was already taken care of; my hitch receiver and break controller have been installed and I look forward to picking up my girl next week.

Thanks for being so awesome and helpful, fiberglassrv.com community. This has been an excellent experience and a memorable origin story.

Safe Travels,
dawna
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:20 PM   #25
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You did well, Dawna! You have been very patient, as I notice it's been several months since you began your search. A U-Haul in good condition is a prize in itself, but making the connection with the previous owners is priceless. U-Hauls do have a few idiosyncrasies, so their help is a huge bonus.

Best wishes and happy camping!
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