Back from Backus with the new 13 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-09-2007, 12:02 PM   #1
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp / Silver Ford 150
Posts: 56
Well, it was a long drive from southern Colorado, and the further north I got, the further back into winter I got (surprise). Learned a lot on the trip:

1. pick the trailer up in June. Snow and 4 degrees takes some of the fun out of it.

2. Don't use Yahoo maps to get you from Fargo to Backus - particularly not in early March. They route you through the back county roads, which don't get plowed and which aren't marked.

3. Recommended hitch height to top of the ball is 18". You don't find that out until you show up there with one that is 20".

4. Slush gets driven up under the bottom of the door. Make that right before you leave the factory, rather than after finding it on your return.

5. Don't panic about towing - it tows like a dream.

6. Don't plan on camping on the way back in early March. Your brother who is keeping you company will look cross-eyed at you and demand a motel with wireless internet access.

7. If you are driving across Nebraska, take your bird book!!!

8. Wash the trailer as soon as you get home, before your wife has a chance to see it. After 1300 miles of winter driving it does not look its best.

I love the trailer, and my 5 y/o grand-daughter and I are going to Alamosa next week to play at the dunes and swim in the hot springs. I can't wait. End of the month my wife and I are taking it for a week to Las Cruces, where she has friends. Can't wait for that either. I will send pictures and some camping reviews.

Some questions:

1. Lots of you tow these behind Ford Rangers. I saw my gas mileage plummet to 10-11 mpg. Some of that I know was due to the ethanol in the gas up there - but what is your experience? We cruised home at 70 on the Interstates, which is where everything seemed most comfortable.

2. I did not get the porta potti - never used one tent camping, figured it would be just one more thing to go wrong. Do any of you backwoods types use them? I hated the one on my sailboat, constantly was getting green tint in the bilge water.

A thank-you:

to all who advised us on where we might camp on the way back. It really was a lovely drive, and I want to go back in the summer. But all I wanted to do was get home this trip!!!


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Old 03-09-2007, 12:45 PM   #2
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Trailer: Love Bug / Chevy Astro
Posts: 225

I own a 13' 1973 Love Bug. Very similar to a Scamp. When I tow with my Chevy Astro my mileage goes from 17 mpg to 16 mpg. This is towing at 65 mph. I towed for 300 miles at 70 mph and my mileage dropped to 13 mpg. I decided that I am not in that much of a hurry so I drive 65 now. My Astro is almost the same size as my trailer so I don't add much wind resistance. I wanted to find out how much wind turbulance there is between the Astro and the trialer so I hung a piece of sting between the LP tank and the roof rake on the van, the string didn't blow around at all, it just hangs there. With your Ranger, you will have alot more height with the trailer compared to without so you will loss more mpg. You will also have alot of turbulance which robs more mpg.
What is your mpg without the trailer?

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Old 03-09-2007, 01:11 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2007 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 183
I had the same fuel issues with my Toyota Tacoma 4 banger. The smaller the engine the harder it works and your mileage drops up to 50% It freaked me out and was a bit disoriented.

My new V6 Toyota does not even know it's towing a 13' FG trailer.
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:51 PM   #4
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 25,013
Every vehicle has a"sweet spot" for gas mileage, whether towing or not. And my experience has been that NO TWO vehicles (even same brand/year) are the same. I find my 2000 Ford F-150 pulling a heavier-than-normal Scamp 16' does best at 57-63mph. You'll normally find me towing in the truck lane. Time to slow down and enjoy the scenery!

Scamp shows the 13' has a hitch height of 18" here: Scamp 13' Specifications

Can't wait to hear more and see some pictures, when you can share...
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:45 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1991 16 ft Casita Freedom Deluxe
Posts: 250
It might be beneficial to install a cap on the bed of the truck when you are towing, to minimize the frontal area of the trailer.
It has the added benefit of providing a dry, secure place to store "stuff" you don't want to keep in the trailer while camping.
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:01 PM   #6
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Name: Alfred
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA/ 2016 Ram V6 Eco Diesel
Posts: 3,971
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Hi: Welcome baaaaack!!! Life is a story... there is Her story and then there is His story Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 03-09-2007, 06:19 PM   #7
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Name: John
Trailer: 1996 13 ft Scamp
Posts: 471
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1. Lots of you tow these behind Ford Rangers. I saw my gas mileage plummet to 10-11 mpg. Some of that I know was due to the ethanol in the gas up there - but what is your experience? We cruised home at 70 on the Interstates, which is where everything seemed most comfortable.

I have an 05 Tacoma with the 4 cyl. and a 13 ft. Scamp. If I tow at 70 mph my mpg goes down to about 14 or 15 mpg. Towing at about 60 I average about 19.
When I had my 14' Burro widebody I never got more than 12 to 14 mpg at any speed.
I know it's hard, it is for me, but you have to slow down to get reasonable mpg.

PS I envy you your grandaughter. My sons have given me great grandsons but I keep asking them to get me a grandaughter to spoil.

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