'93 Isuzu Trooper as a Tow - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-12-2019, 02:06 PM   #1
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Name: Charlie
Trailer: '83 Burro
Posts: 392
'93 Isuzu Trooper as a Tow

Well, I've decided that my '03 Honda CRV with auto trans is just not up to the job of hauling my Burro up and down hills and mountains in the Blue Ridge and the Shenandoah Valley. As usual, I'm in a tight money situation (actually more so than usual) but have the opportunity to get a '93 Isuzu Trooper for not much money. It has a lot of miles on it but is solid as a brick wall and the engine and trans will be carefully checked and serviced before I get it. It has manual trans and manual 4 WD and I like the 6 cylinder engine and the tubular chassis. This thing is actually built like a truck! It comes equipped with a Reese type hitch and has done some towing apparently.

So, who has experience with one of these towing a 13' FGRV such as my Burro or something similar? Assuming good condition of the vehicle, will it do the job for me? I bought the CRV thinking it was what I was going to need, but it just doesn't have the beef to get the job done. My '93 Blazer and '00 Astro both had the Vortec V-6 and tow package, but they are both completely worn out and can't be used. Would the Isuzu have similar performance, assuming solid condition?? TIA for all experiences and insights you can share.

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Old 03-12-2019, 02:31 PM   #2
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Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
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I can't speak to towing a fiberglass trailer, but my old 1992 Isuzu Rodeo could easily pull a 15 foot 1950's era polished aluminum (not Airstream) trailer I had when I lived in Oregon. It had wood interior and was not built light. I think your Trooper will be perfectly fine assuming it is mechanically sound.
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:56 PM   #3
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Escape 15A
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A manual trans Trooper is a solid rig, very reliable. Not super powerful, either 175 or 195 hp depending on SOHC or DOHC motor (most are SOHC, identifiable by the coil packs at the front of the engine, whereas the DOHC has a different intake and the coil packs at the rear of the engine. They are the same motor other than heads and intakes), but they are geared deep to compensate (4.56:1 differentials).

I think it will do fine, they were rated at 4500 pounds towing capacity I believe, for 4WD models.

BTW sometimes the SOHC motors will have some valve clatter. That is due to the hydraulic lifters but isn't really a concern. Running a diesel-rated oil like Rotella can help clean out the lifter buckets over time and diminish the clatter.

Check for frame rust, the bodies on the 2nd gens were pretty good at resisting rust (unlike the first gens) but the frames could be vulnerable. I had a 93 from Massachusetts that the rear crossmember in front of the bumper was nearly gone from rust.
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:58 PM   #4
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Name: Z
Trailer: Sasquatch
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Ah, the hydraulic lifter noise. Had that on an older Subaru. I miss the car quite a bit, but sure don't miss sounding like a jackhammer driving down the road.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:25 PM   #5
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Escape 15A
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Just tell 'em it's a diesel.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:33 PM   #6
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Name: Laura
Trailer: Escape 21' 2nd Gen, picked up on Black Friday 2016
Posts: 167
A Trooper! One of my favorite vehicles I've ever owned. Got an '89 brand new and drove it until I got my 2010 FJ Cruiser (also brand new). Loved the visibility in the Trooper, plus the back doors. Believe it or not, I saw it driving up the highway last fall. Was thrilled it was still running. (Mine was a very unique color - Cognac - and I well know the dent in the bumper - HA!)

Anyway, I used to pull an enclosed cargo trailer with it that was a tad bit smaller than your Burro. It was rock solid pulling it more than half way across the country and back. Multiple times. I don't think you'd have any problems pulling the Burro. Especially since it's a 6 cylinder (mine was a 4).
Laura and Dirk, and Spike, Sam & Jasper (the cats)

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