New to RVing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-09-2017, 07:33 PM   #1
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Name: Barry
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New to RVing

Hello,

I recently retired and am interested in buying a Fiberglass RV. I drive a Ford Focus and would like to know if it can tow small campers and if it can what would be a good camper to own. My car is paid for and I really don't want to have a car payment being that I just retired. Thanks for any help you can provide. Barry
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Old 03-09-2017, 07:52 PM   #2
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Hi, Barry! Hate to bear bad news, but as far as I know Ford does not rate any Focus models for towing. The lightest molded fiberglass trailers weigh around 1300-1500 pounds loaded for camping, and they have a relatively large frontal area (compared to the car, anyway). So I think it's a no. Check your owner's manual for the final word.

Ford may not endorse it, but a small motorcycle tent trailer should be possible and at least give you a bed off the ground.

Congratulations on your retirement. I commend your debt-free approach to life and encourage you to think creatively. If you really want to travel, you'll find a way!
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:54 PM   #3
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You will probably find tow ratings for your focus by checking UK sites. For example I have a Audi A4 and they do not have a tow rating for it in US or Canada but doing a google search brought be to many sites in the UK with tow ratings. Surprisingly I can tow a little 3300 lbs within my 2.0liter turbo. BUT! I would need a class 3 receiver hitch. Check out a dealer by the name of CAN AM RV, they are towing experts and build custom hitches. Their website shows a VW Jetta towing a 16ft airstream and a Chrysler 300 towing a 30 ft airstream. I'm in a similar dilemma as yourself and think I could tow a 16ft scamp if equipped with class 3 hitch and weight distribution. As for your Focus I suspect your max would be around 1500 lbs. problem is the focus in Europe is quite a different car compared to the US model so results may vary. A 13ft Scamp may work. I know in North America the auto industry discourages towing with cars. They want you to buy a truck or SUV. That all being said i face similar issues as yourself and had to widen my search to non egg campers. Alto Safari Condo based in Quebec makes very light campers around 1500 lbs and they say that they are car towable. There is also Prolite that has several models 500lbs and up. They are also in Canada because have a dealer in the north east US that sells them.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:59 PM   #4
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Sorry for the typos. Meant to say they are in Canada but also have a dealer in the north east US. But then again this is a fiberglass RV site and the prolite is wood wrapped in fiberglass.
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:09 PM   #5
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I found a link from the UK for a 2012 Focus: http://www.practicalcaravan.com/revi...377-ford-focus
Quote taken: With a kerbweight of 1421kg, the Ford Focus can provide a safe and stable match for caravans weighing 1208kg or less, under the 85% guideline. Its legal towing limit is 1500kg and towball limit is 75kg, while it produces 138bhp and and 236lb ft of torque.
Read more at http://www.practicalcaravan.com/revi...xLWuzBelYGv.99.
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Old 03-10-2017, 12:26 PM   #6
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I want to encourage a lot more research

I encourage research for the sake of safety. For example, I see a lot of under powered motor homes struggling to climb mountains here in CO. Presumably their manufacturers thought they were a good match. I hope their brakes are well matched.
Good news: 1208kg translates to 2663 lbs.
75 kq on the towball translates to 165.3 lbs

Of course , 165 British pounds equals US $200

Again, make sure the 2012 Focus researched compares to yours.
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Old 03-10-2017, 03:00 PM   #7
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If you're going to look at UK specifications (which I don't consider relevant, but some do) make sure you notice that the tongue weight rating is well under 10% of the trailer weight rating. That's normal for European caravans, an accommodation for the smaller vehicles that are the norm. It works over there because towing speeds are lower and newer vehicles come with anti-sway software that most vehicles lack over here. In short, there's a lot that's different, including vehicles, trailers, highways, and towing laws.

As far as I know CanAm is the only North American dealer that will outfit a vehicle to tow based on EU specs rather than NA specs. And it isn't cheap. For what it would cost (including travel) to have them set up your Focus to tow a trailer when Ford says you shouldn't, you could probably upgrade to a vehicle with a suitable North American tow rating. Assuming you like Fords, a used Escape V6 or Ecoboost4 is easy to find and not too expensive.
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Old 03-10-2017, 03:56 PM   #8
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Jon, thanks for pointing out info on the tongue weight %. I didn't know about the anti sway software either. I know getting a custom hitch setup is pricey, $2400Cdn. Probably better to trade in the Focus for a second hand SUV as you said. One trailer that would definitely work but pricy is the Alto Condo Safari, it is very light weight but 40k Can and not a fibreglass rv. I would love a Parkliner myself but at 2200lbs would need a new tow vehicle. Not to mention they are only sold in US although little guy is now going to distribute them through dealers real soon, so hoping a canadian dealer will pick them up.
Sorry I'm going off topic....sorta..
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