Senior gal looking for easy lightweight trailer - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-10-2018, 10:06 AM   #15
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Name: Kathleen
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
Washington
Posts: 2,015
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In WA state, if you want to get a "permanent" license tab for your trailer, you have to have a certificate from a bonafide weighing station. Your trailer jmust be under 2,000 pounds. Hence, odds are extremely good you will get a "true" dry weight. You'll take everything you can out to see if you can make that limit.

Our Peanut, a 1973 amerigo with no applicances except a microwave and ceramic heater, weighs 1987 dry. We left in the mattresses, curtains, microwave, and heater. We got our permanent tabs last fall.

Yaay!

I hear you...the PO insisted the trailer was 1400 pounds--based on the original sales brochure for the trailer with 3-way fridge, full oven stove/range, sink, holding tank, twin propane tanks, battery/ies...that was totally not the case. Luckily, I knew it from looking at Trailer Weights in the Real World here on FGRV--not that the list has an amerigo on it, but ours is a 16' and NO 16' trailer weighs 1400 pounds with full appliances! (I'm pretty sure it was "zero" but I'd have to check again to be absolutely sure--take a look for me, will you?)


Our TV handles 3500/3600, so at 2,000 dry, (under 2300-2500 packed to go) we have plenty of leeway...(depends on what all we're taking...it varies by trip)

Can hardly thank the maker of that Trailer Weights post enough...and FGRV members for all their info and everything!

BEST
Kai
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:14 AM   #16
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai in Seattle View Post
In WA state, if you want to get a "permanent" license tab for your trailer, you have to have a certificate from a bonafide weighing station. Your trailer jmust be under 2,000 pounds. Hence, odds are extremely good you will get a "true" dry weight. You'll take everything you can out to see if you can make that limit.
Kai
There is only one dry weight and it is provided by the manufacturer. It is the weight of the trailer without options or fluids. The weight you get at a scale will not be the dry weight.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:22 AM   #17
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Name: Leslie
Trailer: Little Guy
North Carolina
Posts: 20
My 2016 AWD Honda Pilot AWD towing capacity is 5,000 lbs. The two wheel drive for the same year has the capacity of 3500 pounds. My car has a more powerful engine than the 2 wheel drive but I do not have the background to explain more than that. I did get the towing package which included the transmission cooler. Took the Pilot and Parkliner trailer to the Colorado Rockies and it was an easy drive.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:40 AM   #18
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Originally Posted by Stevieboy View Post
Why does AWD reduce towing capacity? The weight of the additionsl drive train equipment?
What is the tow capacity of a Honda Pilot with AWD and factory-installed tow pavkage?
The Sienna AWD is a bit of an odd duck. I wouldn't compare it to any other vehicle. The AWD hardware displaces the spare tire, so it comes with run flats. Extra weight, different rear suspension geometry, AWD hardware and/or software... could be lots of reasons why Toyota doesn't offer the tow package and a decent tow rating on this particular model. Good luck getting a clear answer from them, though!

When you are able to get out of the lease, a Highlander, Pilot, or other similar crossover offers up to 5000# towing in AWD form. That will open up a number of trailer options.

In the meantime, a teardrop is a possibility, as others have said, but beware... larger teardrops can be pretty heavy, too. You also have to consider the cost of getting this vehicle prepped to tow- hitch, wiring- balanced against the length of the lease.

Another option is to rig up a bed and a few other conveniences in the van itself. Lots of ideas online- google "DIY minivan camper." There are ways to do it that are completely removable without a trace when the lease is up.

When she retired at 65 (and recently widowed), my mother started out traveling in a van with a bed, microwave, and a small ceramic cube heater. She always camped with electric hookups and bathrooms. After a few years of that she moved up to a self-contained unit.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:44 AM   #19
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Name: James Y.
Trailer: Companion
Ohio
Posts: 49
Honda Pilot AWD

The Honda Pilot towing capacity actually goes up to 5,000 Lbs. for the AWD version vs. 3,500 Lbs. for the front wheel drive version.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:03 AM   #20
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Name: Henry
Trailer: Casita
Tennessee
Posts: 424
I have a 2011 Toyota Tundra 5.7L 4x4. Being a 4x4 reduced my towing capacity from just less than about 10,000lbs to about 7200lbs.

As previously noted maybe a Meer Kat: Meerkat Teardrop Camper - Small Camping Trailer Dealer in California | Little Guy Trailers

Or a small pop up.

Why not just rent something in the short term?

Getting something small like a pop up will teach you how to handle a trailer. Backing up is difficult for some people to master. I have been in some gas stations that were very tight and required that I back up. It would be rather unpleasant to knock over a gas pump....

Sometimes just making a left or right turn can be a challenge, certain strip malls in California for instance.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:19 AM   #21
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Name: sharon
Trailer: Scamp
Virginia
Posts: 134
Marsh you may want to reconsider the bathroom. It was on my initial shopping list too. But I didnít want to deal with the stinky slinky & at the time it was just me so no one to pawn that job onto. Since then, every state park or campground weíve been to has clean & convenient bathrooms. you can shower late night if youíre shy like me. Itís a lot easier to just up & go without so much prep or cleanup when you get home. Happy hunting!
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:40 PM   #22
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Name: Debra
Trailer: Researching brands
FL
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Marsha,

I am in a similar situation but realize I need to upgrade my tow vehicle as my tiny Subaru Cross Trek is only rated to 1500 pounds. The Casita representative advised that I get a vehicle with a 5,000 pound towing capacity to accommodate a Casita with bathroom, which surprised me. I thought I might get away with 3500. I also do hope to travel in the mountains. So your post and the responses really applied to my situation as well.

Leslie14, I would love to hear more about your Little Guy, which I have not heard of before, and about your tow vehicle and how you decided on both.

And like StevieBoy, I am wondering why AWD reduces towing capacity. I was planning to get AWD on my tow vehicle, which will also be my regular transport for all purposes. Will it interfere with towing in any way?

Thanks for all the great advice on this thread. Looking forward to learning more from all you experienced folks. I am a newbie and have never had a trailer before and am also a single retired woman. No dogs yet!
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:53 PM   #23
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Name: Kathleen
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
Washington
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Glen Baglo:

So the "dry weight" never changes from essentially the shell and frame? No matter what mods / options are stuck in there later? Peanut has inner wall panels that finish the interior... The inner wall panels aren't an option, surely? Like-- even the cabinets would have been considered options and not included in the "dry weight?" Not the beds, not the curtains, nothing? I can see why someone above said it was a relatively meaningless term if that's the case.

And I can see why they were able to say it was 1400 pounds. I'm surprised.

So once the thing is assembled, there's no real way to test that "dry" weight unless you gut it, but you don't know quite where to stop unless you can weigh it repeatedly as you do so and stop when it hits that odd, magic number...just for amusement, because you probably end up taking out things you don't want to have out. (Like the inner walls!)

I'm sure at some point of emptiness Peanut's shell and frame would've been 1400 pounds...that seems inherently dishonest, though, and I agree, quite pointless.

So what would one call the state of the trailer without your gear in it at all? "Empty?" versus, say, "Packed?"

Thanks.
Kai
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:05 PM   #24
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
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Options weigh something.
Dry weight would be what the trailer weighs without any options. If your trailer was built so that inner walls were an option, then you subtract the weight of those walls from the actual weight to get dry weight.
If fridge and stove and furnace are optional, then those wouldn't be included in dry weight.
Dry weight is what it is and no amount of misuse of the term will change what it is.
For a trailer as it came from the factory, with options, you would use the term curb weight.
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:39 PM   #25
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Name: Jack
Trailer: 2015 Casita 17FD
Rapides Parish La.
Posts: 136
...you may also want to check your lease...many do not allow for towing or add a surcharge for the privilege...............
madjack

p.s. we camped all over with a teardrop for a dozen years...we used a screenroom set up over the back for a kitchen and a shower tent from Cabellas with a handicap potti chair(taller than a porta potti)...one of the major reasons we bought a Casita17 was A BATHROOM of our own andnot to havvta use pubic restrooms for showers and such...plus as we get older, the night time trips to the bathroom get more frequent...plus nobody else has used it but US...the TD was better than a tent but your own bathroom is PRICELESS.....mj
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:48 PM   #26
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 2,503
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Originally Posted by Marsh Erickson View Post
thx Gordon2, I'm want easy. No one at the dealership ever talked to me about having to set it up. Uff-ta
Ahh I could tell you stories... including the Toyota people either being incompetent or flat out lying. But they do make good vehicles. If you want to discuss my experience setting up a Sienna for towing feel free to PM me.

I would look for a vehicle that comes with a 7 pin RV connector which is fully wired including the charge line, and has either built in trailer brake controller or at least the pre-wiring for one. The Sienna has neither and Toyota told me they dont sell what you need to tow with the Sienna and they do not endorse any after market items, so you are on your own and might void warranty (lawyers!). What tow rating I would want (3,500 or 5,000, etc) depends on the trailer. Nothing wrong with having twice the rating of the trailer.

Also make sure there is nothing in the lease that forbids using the vehicle for towing.

BTW, I did look for tow ratings for the AWD before my last post and didn't find it. But Jon is right, those stupid run-flat tires and such might affect the rating.
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:55 PM   #27
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Name: Nancy
Trailer: 2008 Escape 17B
Ontario
Posts: 17
Iím a senior lady with one canine travelling companion. I did things in reverse. I researched trailers for a couple of years and decided that I wanted an Escape 17B, because of their excellent reputation and ĎMade in Canadaí. It was very clear from the website and Escape Forum that it could be towed by a Toyota Sienna so that is what I bought in 2010. The next year I was able to buy a second hand 17B with almost every option available. I was a bit nervous because I had never towed anything before. Since then I have gone south to Florida twice and in between spent a month in the Canadian Rockies. I could climb those mountains with no trouble at all. Iím still not great at backing the trailer up but there is no time limit on getting into a campsite...
Something I would like? Higher clearance on both the vehicle and trailer, and maybe a skyhook for lifting and turning the trailer around in some difficult places.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:47 PM   #28
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Name: David
Trailer: Currently shopping
New York
Posts: 31
Hi Marsh, Don't give up on the small Casita!!! I would advise against the teardrop, too small, no bathroom and have to go outside to cook in all weather. You have a great vehicle, a Toyota of any model is easy to sell or trade so that you can get a good tow vehicle, another toyota maybe. The Casita will last forever, it will serve all your purposes and will be great for your loving dogs!! (dog spelled vackwards? God) Anyway, there are a lot of Toyotas that will pull that Casita and I'd venture to say you could sell yours and not have to invest any or very little more to get the right one!! Hang in there girl, 70 year old Dave just buying a 17 ft Caita!
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