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Old 06-07-2017, 08:39 AM   #1
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Name: Linda
Trailer: in the market
Texas
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Buy the vehicle or choose the trailer-where to start

I'd like to buy a fiberglass 16' something like a Scamp next year, to take on trips all over the US and Canada, including the mountains. It's just me and the dogs, and I will want something pretty simple. Maybe 3500 lbs or less loaded.

But I'd like to get a vehicle this year for short trips and tent camping. This will be my only vehicle, so something with decent gas mileage when I'm not towing. And will be buying used from Enterprise or one of the other rental companies.

I realize that the vehicles all give you specs, but my friends with lots of travel trailer experience tell me to "be careful" and to be aware of specs regarding the engine and the transmission to avoid breakdowns, overheating and the like.

Any experienced folks out there with ideas for me? I was looking at a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe with a 6 cylinder engine, but my friends say that won't work even although the dealer says it can tow 5000. #confused
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:50 AM   #2
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Name: Dave & Kathie
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21
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Hi Linda,
Welcome! The Santa Fe should be more than adequate to tow a small fiberglass trailer (3,500 lbs or less). I'm sure other folks with that model may chime in. You may need a Weight Distributing Hitch (WDH) but that's no big deal. Are your friends familiar with these trailers? They are much smaller and lighter in weight than many stick built trailers. Also, congrats to you for thinking ahead. The best advice we ever got when we were looking was to find the trailer you like and then get the tow vehicle to pull it.
Have fun and Happy Trails!
Kathie
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:02 AM   #3
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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The Santa Fe V6 would be fine for a 16' Scamp or Casita or similar. It would even open up other options such as an Escape 17. The main thing I would want to verify is whether there is any optional equipment required for the maximum 5000# tow rating. The best place is not the dealer but the owner's manual. Try googling "2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner's Manual."

It would limit your trailer choices somewhat, but the smaller Santa Fe Sport (with the 2.0T turbocharged engine, not the base 2.4L) is rated to tow 3500#. That would be adequate for a Scamp, but marginal for the Casita or Escape.

Watch for its corporate sibling, the Kia Sorento, as well. It is available with the same engine choices and carries the same tow ratings.

I'm not keen about buying off-rentals, though. Being from the Grand Canyon State, I've witnessed how people abuse rental SUVs when they're on vacation!
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:21 AM   #4
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Name: Pamelia
Trailer: Boler
Nova Scotia
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Thumbs up Which first, vehicle or camper?

I have a Mini Cooper Clubman that pulls my Boler 1300 like a charm. I suspect your friends are thinking of a loaded traditional trailer. Listen to the recommendations here. They've had excellent advice that I can see. I'm hoping to get on the road this summer after a complete gut! Have fun!
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:40 AM   #5
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
Washington
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A factory towing package is a very desirable option. It's very unlikely that a rental car company would have vehicles in their fleet that have a factory tow package.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:08 AM   #6
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
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In your case, I guess you would buy the car/suv first.
Select one based on your non trailering needs... an SUV or a Minivan.
We have towed our 16 ft DLX Scamp (2840 lb) with Honda Odyssey vans, and with Toyota Highlanders, one was a hybrid and one isn't but all those had V6 engines. As far as I know they never had a factory rowing pkg, as we had aftermarket hitches on them.
I would make my choice as to which dealership or service shop you prefer to work with. The two brands mentioned are very reliable.
You should not need the WDH, but maybe a sway bar.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:09 AM   #7
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
A factory towing package is a very desirable option. It's very unlikely that a rental car company would have vehicles in their fleet that have a factory tow package.
Probably not an issue, but needs to be verified. It is common for modern crossover SUVs to have all the mechanical upgrades already included, so many "tow packages" are just dealer-installed accessories like hitches and wiring, readily added later. That was the case for my Pilot, but I haven't researched the Santa Fe.

In a way that's a good thing, because the ideal used tow vehicle is one that has all the mechanical upgrades for towing... but has never actually towed anything.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:24 AM   #8
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Name: Dean
Trailer: Casita
Kentucky
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Hi,

I think a Santa Fe rated at 5000 would be a great tug for a Scamp 16' or even the Casita 17'. Lots of other nice crossovers rated to tow 5000 as well. Tugs rated to tow 3500 would be ok for lighter Scamp 16s, but not Casita 17s, imo.

Wishing you the best,

Dean
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:36 AM   #9
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1999 Casita 17' SD
Ohio
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Let's all not forget that Casita also has a 16' trailer but as I understand it Casita no longer offers the 13' that many solo campers like
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:38 AM   #10
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Name: Frank
Trailer: Casita
Pennsylvania
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Linda...

The Santa Fe V6 model, equipped with a WDH hitch & friction sway control, should be fine, so long as you don't plan to do serious off-roading with your rig. Last year I downsized from 2 vehicles (an Elantra & a Tundra) to 1, and selected the Santa Fe precisely because it would tow my Casita 17' Spirit SD.

Now...the Santa Fe doesn't have the excess power of that Tundra, but that was bought years ago for a much larger trailer (it was rated to tow 10,500 lbs). But the Santa Fe does just fine for me. In fact, I'm leaving on a East coast to West coast to Denver and back jaunt in about a week.

One advantage of Certified Used Hyundai vehicles is that you get the full balance of the engine/transmission/driveline warranty . That means the balance of the 100,000 mile warranty. Something worth considering.

Whatever you decide, I hope you have as much enjoyment from your RVing as I've experienced.

Frank
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:46 AM   #11
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Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area, Washington
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We bought our 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan based on the space inside being adequate for two dog crates and other items for possible travel and definite local driving with at least reasonable gas mileage. Then we found out what tow capacity it had and looked for our trailer based on that.


The Caravan can tow 3600, tongue weight 360 max, so we gradually focused on the fiberglass trailers as the stickies we looked at were way over that weight.


I'm not interested in pushing the limits, so when we found our amerigo (listed for sale at 1700 lbs or so) we thought it might do. Of course it's heavier than that, but not by much after we renovated it inside and out with an eye to keeping everything as light as possible.


Loaded it comes in between 2150 and 2250 depending. Longer trips mean more clothing, more dog food, etc., but even if we yard sale along the way, we have more than a thousand pounds of unused tow capacity which comforts my mind.


So for us--tow vehicle came first but with an eye toward towing.


The amerigo was originally marketed as being light enough for a Ford Pinto to pull... in 1973, the year it was made, the year we were married, we bought a Ford Pinto...imagine if we'd have managed to get the trailer then, too!


I'm not so sure, really, that the Pinto could have towed it without trouble...but maybe! The Caravan hardly notices it, which is just the way I like it. (Actually, it seems to act as a stabilizing kind of "sea anchor" on the Caravan, which seems to bounce a bit when running without Peanut...the single shell with two nuts in it).


Happy hunting, and happy trails!
BEST
Kai
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:46 AM   #12
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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If I was looking for a tug to tow a 15'-16' trailer I would want a rig to tow with 5,000 lb capacity. A rig with this rating will have bigger brakes and handle the heavier tongue weight. This is extra margin of safety for your benefit it will also be a mid size SUV or a small truck. It will also have more room to carry the dogs especially if you use crates.

Extensive travel while towing you will want to carry more stuff like chairs maybe dog pen and portable awing and stuff like that. You will want your stuff relatively out of sight and secured.

You don't want to be packing a whole lot of bulky stuff inside your trailer where every time you stop you have to unload a bunch of stuff to make lunch or take a nap. These lightweight campers are not utility trailers and are not rated to be loaded as such.

I am a camping hoarder I carry way to much stuff than I actually need. But when I camp I am on vacation I normally drive to location and stay there for the duration but usually leave the trailer at site and go off exploring even it its to the local swap meet or thrift shop. But where I travel and park, security for unattended stuff needs to be locked up and out of sight as to not draw in unwanted property re-locators.

I use to tow with a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder and now tow with a 2016 Tacoma with bed cap.
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:56 AM   #13
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Name: mark
Trailer: ,Retro by Riverside RV
California
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Linda, you are lucky that you know you want a trailer, BEFORE you purchase the TV. I did the opposite, bought the vehicle before I even knew I wanted a trailer, ended up loosing money on a trade in for the "proper" TV.
My feeling is buy more TV than you think you need. That doesn't mean go way overboard, but if you are close to tow ratings of the TV go to the next level. Certainly sounds like you are on the right tract with your initial choice.
Another thing to consider is where you like to drive, mountains, flat lands, freeways, country roads, etc. Better to be overpowered than under.

Hopefully you are enjoying the hunt!

Mark
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Old 06-07-2017, 01:09 PM   #14
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Trailer: Burro
Oregon
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Camper first :)

I bought my 17' burro first, then looked around for a vehicle that would be good for both towing and just driving around town. I chose a 2012 Ford Explorer V6 with the factory tow package, it really tows great, we drove all the way across the country towing the Burro and never had a problem. The interior is comfortable and has plenty of room for our 2 big dogs and camping gear when not towing and the gas mileage isn't bad. I also bought an adjustable ht. hitch so that the trailer would always be level regardless of how much stuff or people we were hauling in the explorer.
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:03 PM   #15
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Name: Bonnie
Trailer: Born Free
Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Probably not an issue, but needs to be verified. It is common for modern crossover SUVs to have all the mechanical upgrades already included, so many "tow packages" are just dealer-installed accessories like hitches and wiring, readily added later. That was the case for my Pilot, but I haven't researched the Santa Fe.

In a way that's a good thing, because the ideal used tow vehicle is one that has all the mechanical upgrades for towing... but has never actually towed anything.
When I bought my Pilot, I asked about a tow package. I was told that the transmission cooler and hitch are added by the dealer, and are not factory installed. I haven't added them yet, as I still have my motorhome for now.
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:16 PM   #16
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
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Best check with your dealer, in your country.
With the Toyota RAV4, for instance, it came equipped standard with transmission cooler, larger radiator and larger alternator in Canada. In the US, all these were optional.
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:39 PM   #17
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Name: Peg
Trailer: 2016 -13' Scamp
Massachusetts
Posts: 211
I chose a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0L Turbo for a 13" Scamp. I carry a LOT of gear, besides. And I have a 100 lb. Thule roof rack and 110 lbs. of kayaks on the roof. I have plenty of power, tons of acceleration, and am so pleased with this vehicle with all its added options and accessories. I added electric brakes, a tow hitch, and a 7-pin plug.

I have never had a vehicle that came close to this one in looks, performance, and comfort! Highly recommended for towing/camping.
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