Senior gal looking for easy lightweight trailer - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-10-2018, 04:13 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbie in Florida View Post
...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?...
In the class of vehicles you are considering- compact and mid-sized crossovers- 4WD generally carries the same or higher tow rating than 2WD. The Sienna AWD is a minivan and somewhat unique.

I tow a small 13' Scamp with a 2WD Pilot. Most of the time I can't tell the difference, but I have experienced occasional loss of traction on the front drive wheels while climbing grades on slippery surfaces, such as you might encounter in a campground or back road. With a heavier trailer, it could be more of a problem.

Living in the sun belt, I do not consider AWD a necessity for everyday use, and it adds up-front cost and sometimes additional maintenance. However, it could be useful in your travels, and in some vehicles it comes with a higher tow rating.

Pick-ups are a different story. 4WD usually reduces payload and tow rating somewhat due to the additional weight of the components.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:42 PM   #30
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Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
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Glenn Baglo,

I think a lot of things inside were bought separately, so were options, including the back upper cupboard, a $15 option I saw in the paperwork. I think the inner walls were always included without extra cost.

Curb weight, then, with the fixtures that were included originally and for us now, the ones that are in it now...sure, I've heard that term, but didn't realize what it meant.

So the curb weight is without bedding, food, clothing, liquids like water, propane, etc., all the camping gear. Got it. That's what we got when we had it weighed--curb weight, not dry weight, though we included the mattresses and curtains.... We must've had it at dry weight for a brief while we were rebuilding it but didn't know it. It may well have been 1400.

What's the weight called when it's loaded? The actual weight one ends up dealing with on the road?

THANKS!
Kai
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:51 PM   #31
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Travel weight?
I don't know.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:26 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Kai in Seattle View Post
What's the weight called when it's loaded?...
Gross vehicle weight (GVW).

That's not to be confused with gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which is the maximum allowable total loaded weight according to the manufacturer.

I have never seen the term "curb weight" used in reference to a trailer, but I have seen the term "unloaded vehicle weight" (UVW) used to refer to the empty as-built weight, including all permanently affixed equipment and options.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:35 PM   #33
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OK, Jon and Glenn, thanks!
Kai
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Old 03-11-2018, 08:42 AM   #34
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You can certainly get a toilet without a bathroom/shower. That saves the space for a front sofa on the Scamp instead. Many people use a portapotty instead. In many ways they can be handier. No black water tank to dump, much simpler plumbing in your trailer, lighter trailer too.

In s really small trailer giving up critical space for a bathroom is a tough decision. As trailers get larger it’s easier to get it all: permanent bed, bath, separate dinette. But such a trailer takes a much more substantial TV.

Personally I would not want to tow with a leased minivan or SUV. First do they even allow it? What about modifications you make adding hitch, brake controls and wiring? Finally when the lease is up I wouldn’t want to lose my investment in towing upgrades.
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:18 AM   #35
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...
Personally I would not want to tow with a leased minivan or SUV. First do they even allow it? What about modifications you make adding hitch, brake controls and wiring? Finally when the lease is up I wouldn’t want to lose my investment in towing upgrades.
I tend to agree, but my brother did tow with a leased Highlander, and at the end of the lease they exercised their option to purchase the vehicle. That worked for them.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:21 PM   #36
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I would review my lease, which is better than tipping them off by asking. Plus, many employees seem not to know anyway. If a factory hitch receiver is there, that's one thing, but an inspection at the end of the lease would probably reveal a hitch, even if you had it removed. The presence of a factory receiver doesn't mean they can't tell if you towed. Also, the wiring harness.

I recommend finding a used trailer to start making memories, and that may make sense even if the tow vehicle isn't an issue. Plenty of folks trade RVs after determining their real needs. Plenty of others probably wish they bought something different.

Lastly here's a 900 lb trailer. Not molded fiberglass, & unfortunately there are no used ones:
Expedition Camping Trailer: Taxa Tigermoth Trailer
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:26 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
It's the AWD version. That could be the reason.

Without the factory tow package, mine was rated for 2000 pounds. That could be another factor . The threshold for brakes is likely 1000 pounds.

If the 1500 pound figure is correct, I don't think this'll work. 13' models with the full front bath package typically weigh more like 1800 pounds.
:just for info sake is the brakes as most USA states anything over 1600#'s has to have brakes or don't get caught towing it without as the fine is pretty heavy.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:31 PM   #38
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on the road....

I saw what must be the latest version of those....towed by a Subaru sedan....I think the roof popped up on this one as well....
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:41 AM   #39
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:just for info sake is the brakes as most USA states anything over 1600#'s has to have brakes or don't get caught towing it without as the fine is pretty heavy.
Stude
A 3000# threshold for trailer brakes is more common in the US. But several states set the bar at 1500#, and one (NY) requires brakes over 1000#. There is definitely no uniformity across the states.

Legalities aside, most smaller passenger vehicles- minivans and SUV's- specify trailer brakes over 1000#. Toyota does not provide any pre-wiring for trailer brakes in their passenger vehicles, even those with the tow package. It's another reason why outfitting this very marginal lease vehicle for towing may not be a good idea.

Looking ahead, brakes are a sound safety investment on any molded fiberglass trailer, even the small ones. Many 13' trailers did not come with brakes, something to check when buying used.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:08 AM   #40
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Thx for encouragement Leslie14, will continue my research. May have to forego a trailer for the time being and enjoy my Sienna and motel room, just doesn't sound as adventurous though. Happy traveling to you and your pups.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:13 AM   #41
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The dealership I have dealt with for many years now and 4 Toyotas put my hitch on and the owner says "do it" when I talk to him about pulling a lightweight trailer. I don't think there would be a problem with them taking my van back at the end of the lease, but there's always the money lost in outfitting the van to pull.
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:19 PM   #42
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I also had a good relationship with the local Toyota dealer. Still, they gave me some bad advice on one towing-related matter.

Our Sienna lacked the tow package, and I asked about adding a transmission cooler to pull our Scamp 13. I was told I didn't need it because it was under 2000# (tow rating without the tow package, which would have included the cooler).

I should have gotten a second opinion.

We overheated the transmission on the first long grade on our first trip. I was in a lower gear and taking it slow, but it wasn't enough. Sensors caught it before catastrophic damage occurred, but sitting on the side of the interstate for 45 minutes waiting for it to cool down was not fun.

Going by weight alone, I should have been fine. But the higher profile of the Scamp caught a lot of air, increasing the load on the drivetrain. Not as bad as a boxy conventional trailer, but enough to tip a marginal situation over the edge.

When we got home I realized a number of upgrades were needed. As the Sienna was 13 years old and had 180K miles, we decided a new vehicle made more sense. We ended up with a 2-year old, low mileage Honda Pilot, in part because it came with a factory integrated hitch, trailer wiring (including brakes), transmission cooler, and a 3500# rating.

You'll have to make some tough decisions. You are asking the right questions, and that's a good start.

Best wishes!
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