Senior gal looking for easy lightweight trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-09-2018, 08:13 PM   #1
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Senior gal looking for easy lightweight trailer

Hi I'm new member from Minnesota. I'm looking to buy a lightweight 13ft fiberglass camper. It's just my two dogs and me; prefer bath/shower. I'm towing with a Toyota Sienna AWD Van so the towing capability is only max 1500lbs.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:45 PM   #2
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...there are more than weight of trailer to consider, such as payload, which includes you, your doggies, and all your gear(in van)...not to mention tongue weight...these are all counted against your load capacity...ALSO see Trailer Weights in the Real World , to find out what various trailers weigh...you may need to consider downgrading to a teardrop(no bath or kitchen ...just a bed and chuck wagon galley )(or maybe a pop-up) or upgrade your tow vehicle...there are people who have towed with a Sienna, they should be chiming in...me. I wouldn't do it on a bet...good luck in your search......................
madjack

p.s. I truly am not trying to scare you off...just to make you aware of the position you are in................mj
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:32 AM   #3
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I have towed with 3 Toyota Sienna minivans (2003, 2006, and current 2011). All had a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. I've not heard of any minivan with a 1,500 lb. capacity unless the trailer has no brakes.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:16 AM   #4
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
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Originally Posted by Tom Trostel View Post
I have towed with 3 Toyota Sienna minivans (2003, 2006, and current 2011). All had a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. I've not heard of any minivan with a 1,500 lb. capacity unless the trailer has no brakes.
My 2015 Sienna is also rated 3500 / 350 and does a good job with a mid-weight (~2600 lbs) Scamp 16. So double check - you might be in better shape than you think. Being solo cuts down on the total weight too, so your combined weight rating limit is less likely to be a problem.

By the way, the Sienna was a bit of a PIA to get it set up for towing the camper, and Toyota was not only no help, they were a hindrance. I wish I had bought a true towing-ready tug, but now that I have it set up, it works well for the most part. Low clearance is an occasional problem and I have been up some mountains with no undo stress but not the Rockies.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:42 AM   #5
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Senior gal looking for easy lightweight trailer

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.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
It's the AWD version. That could be the reason.
I believe Jon is correct regarding the AWD. That being said, we towed a 17' Casita with a FWD 08 Sienna for 6 years mostly eastern North America. We utilized air bags, aux trans cooler, WDH, removal of all but the two front bucket seats, never traveled with liquids. Weight of the trailer was approx. 3100lbs. The sienna was at its limit but still within ratings as per CAT scale. Head on over to the Sienna forum for a wealth of info on setting up your vehicle if at all possible.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:52 AM   #7
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Name: bill
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When you want to keep weight down, you really need to consider fewer options. Each option adds weight. A bathroom adds not just the weight of the bath, but the added plumbing and holding tanks. Simple is easier to maintain too (and no tanks to dump).

Check out weights in the real world. Jon knows Scamps well, which would be my recommendation on a new one. And you are from Minnesota, so it makes it an even better choice. Any decision you make on towing is yours. The fact that someone else does on the internet, or the sales person at the car dealer says you are going to be fine, doesn't really matter.

There used to be a company in Canada that modified Mustangs to tow big Airstreams (not the smaller models, but the big ones). I don't see them on the web anymore. It was pretty crazy IMHO. Not just weight, but length too.

Some people tow their trailers short distances, in flat terrain. There towing is relatively easy. As you get into the mountains everything changes. Its not just the uphill climbs either. The long downhill grades can be almost just as challenging (can you stop your rig safely and quickly in an emergency)? Not all mountains are out west either. The mountains here in NC surprise a lot of people. Heck, there are mountains in northern Alabama!


Don't be fooled by manufacturer dry weights. Google "how accurate are RV dry weights" and read some of those postings. If you can get Scamp to actually run a finished trailer across a scale, that would be wonderful (I don't know if they would do it). Lots of fun and games go into trailer dry weights. They never include any options, often don't include battery, propane, etc. In the end, they are significantly understated.

Few people go to the trouble of actually weighing their trailer. So if you see a used trailer for sale where the seller claims it weighs 1,000 pounds, ask them where that number came from. I'll occasionally see one for sale where the seller lists the weight at 800 pounds..... Sure.....


I borrowed this from another forum: "Dry weight is the mystical number no one has ever seen. It is basically a number some engineer came up with, that was massaged by the marketing department to help entice unsuspecting buyers" <-- From RV.net

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...d/26806149.cfm
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:55 AM   #8
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If you're really only rated for 1500 lb I'd seriously look at teardrops. We have one and it only weighs 800 lb. We towed it with our Subaru, rated about the same. I wouldn't have wanted to tow anything heavier because it is more difficult to stop your vehicle. You can set up one of those bathroom tents for a porta potty and battery powered shower. We did graduate to a Casita because I wanted to be able to stand up and make tea inside, but if you have a limit to what you can tow you can't beat a teardrop. They also have lots of gatherings and people do really interesting things with their rigs. Check out Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers • Index page
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Marsh Erickson View Post
Hi I'm new member from Minnesota. I'm looking to buy a lightweight 13ft fiberglass camper. It's just my two dogs and me; prefer bath/shower. I'm towing with a Toyota Sienna AWD Van so the towing capability is only max 1500lbs.

Yes the AWD knocks the tow capability on my Sienna from 3500 down to 1500. Its'a 2017 lease so I think I have to put a 13ft Scamp out of my mind. Kicking myself for leasing a wimpy Tow vehicle.
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:59 AM   #10
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I like a few creature comforts inside, like coffee pot and potty. I've had class B's in the past and am trying to get down to one vehicle because of the cost. Maybe I can't have it all!
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:02 AM   #11
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thx mad jack, really appreciate the real world feedback
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:04 AM   #12
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Name: MN Marsh
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thx Gordon2, I'm want easy. No one at the dealership ever talked to me about having to set it up. Uff-ta
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:56 AM   #13
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Marsha,

Don't be too hard on yourself. I am also a single woman and travel with two dogs. I used to be where you are in my decision-making. I bought a teardrop that I loved and used it for about 2 years when I had the means to purchase a much more powerful tow vehicle and could fiberglass trailer (with shower, toilet and head room). After doing a lot of research on tow vehicles and trailers I felt my comfort level was to find a vehicle rated to tow more than 20% more than the maximum I needed. I did get AWD and the complete tow package
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:01 AM   #14
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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?
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