Towing a 16' Scamp with small diesel - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-03-2015, 02:09 PM   #1
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Towing a 16' Scamp with small diesel

Has anyone used a small diesel SUV to tow the 16' Scamp? Either the BMW X3 or the Audi Q5. If not what is the smallest safe vehicle to tow the 16 footer with?
Pardon my novice questions I am new to this sport. And I don't want a dedicated tow vehicle. Thanks, TK
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:15 PM   #2
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First you need to know the weight of the loaded 16' trailer. I suggest that look at "trailer weights in real world" to get an idea how much a 16' loaded trailer will weigh. Then look at the manuals for your ideal tow vehicle to see what the maximum towing capacity is.
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:29 PM   #3
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Not just maximum towing capacity, but also max tongue weight.
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:30 PM   #4
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Small Vehicle towing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Kiley View Post
Has anyone used a small diesel SUV to tow the 16' Scamp? Either the BMW X3 or the Audi Q5. If not what is the smallest safe vehicle to tow the 16 footer with?
Pardon my novice questions I am new to this sport. And I don't want a dedicated tow vehicle. Thanks, TK
We typically tow for 8 months a year for the last 7 years all over North America. We towed with a small SUV, a gas powered Honda CRV, manual transmission 4 cylinder. Never an issue.

The BMW X3 is minimally rated for 3500 lbs. The Acura Q5 is rated for 4400 lbs. Vehicles may require options like a transmission cooler to meet the rating..

Our Scamp, one of the heaviest on the trailer list is heavily modified (read more weight than most) for our travels. Our trailer has an axle weight of 2400 pounds plus a tongue weight of 200 pounds.

A key parameter of towing is aerodynamic drag, the biggest load on the tow vehicle on the flat. Weight becomes the issue on steep hills. There one must down shift. Real hills are statistically a small percentage of travel time.

I believe small diesels make great tow vehicles.

Glad to answer any Scamp questions.
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:42 PM   #5
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The information Byron referenced about trailer weights is here:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...rld-43010.html
Post #297 on the last page has a downloadable spreadsheet that can be filtered by length and manufacturer and a chart at the bottom will calculate averages for you. Cool!

Complete owner's manuals for some vehicles can be accessed online. If not, it can be hard to find complete and accurate towing information. Owner's manuals often contain caveats and exceptions that are not reported elsewhere. For example, some Subaru models advertise a maximum trailer weight of 2700 pounds. But when you read the owner's manual you find out that (1) the tongue weight is limited to only 200 pounds (which means either towing with less than the recommended 10-12% tongue weight or keeping trailer weight under 2000 pounds), and (2) if your travel includes long uphill grades, you should reduce the maximum trailer weight by half. My own Pilot lists a maximum trailer weight of 3500 pounds and a maximum tongue weight of 350 pounds, but in the owner's manual it specifies that that is with only two passengers. Any more than that, and the capacity is reduced by a specified amount. My experience is that information from dealer sources (especially sales people, but also including service managers, etc,) is often inaccurate. There really is no substitute for reading the owner's manual.

The idea of a smallish diesel makes a lot of sense for towing, but the devil is in the details. Good luck!
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Old 04-03-2015, 03:11 PM   #6
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Good day Tom. Those Bimmers, Audi's, and Mercedes on other towing forums are very popular and highly respected for there towing prowess. As Jon said the key is in the details. As with all tow vehicles set up got to be done right.

There are some good blurbs within the "Hitch Hints" articles where they talk about vehicles like the BMW's and similar vehicles like them. A Google search will find the article.
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Old 04-03-2015, 03:20 PM   #7
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A friend just bought a Scamp 16 (Layout #4) that I towed from Canada to Oswego (about 200 miles) with my RAV4 (3500/350 lb rating). Towed easier than my Escape 17B, even without a weight distribution hitch. No sway, and about 1.5 more MPG than I get with the Escape. Haven't had a chance to measure the tongue weight, but I'll bet it is well under 300 lbs.

As others have suggested, until you pack the trailer for a trip you have no idea what the trailer or tongue weight will be, so measuring both is imperative before a trip.
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:04 PM   #8
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As to tongue weight our Scamp 16 has had a 200 pound tongue for 4 years. No issues what so ever. We only carry one Propane tank.
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:22 PM   #9
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I have towed my 16' Scamp with our 2009 Jetta Sportwagen TDI with no problems.
This was last from Mineral Wells TX through Austin to Mobile in the hot part of the summer.
he limitation is with the hitch loading and not so much the trailer weight.
The JSW is equipped with the DSG transmission.
140 hp, but 270 ft of torque moves the wagon and trailer nicely.
25 MPG towing 62 - 65 mph.
Of course if the US VW does not recommend the towing at the limit the UK VW does then you are the devil himself for violating VW owner's manual's limitations and every lawyer in the US will line up to litigate.
The Touareg is good for lots.
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Old 04-04-2015, 04:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I have towed my 16' Scamp with our 2009 Jetta Sportwagen TDI with no problems.

The JSW is equipped with the DSG transmission.
140 hp, but 270 ft of torque moves the wagon and trailer nicely.
25 MPG towing 62 - 65 mph.
Those are nice numbers! Our Nissan minivan V6 gasser had 150HP but only 180TQ. It did tow the 23' quite well and passed the SAE acceleration standard for acceleration but an extra 90TQ would have been real nice.
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:22 AM   #11
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The vw TDI with DSG will pull to third gear at IDLE from a stop. The first gear is so low that there is very little slipping of the clutch to get started and then the computers match the engine and road speed exactly.
A problem with Diesels (and others) is the dual mass flywheel and the internal springs weakening and breaking requiring replacement.
My DMF is starting to make some noise at 230,000 miles and it seems that it has held up well compared with others. The reason for the DMF is to absorb the power and torsional vibrations from the engine compared to the constant rotational speed of the transmission and drive train.
I don't think responsible towing is a problem for the VW Diesel, but there are others who disagree.
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:36 AM   #12
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Isn't torque great!

Our 2014 Ford Escape Ecoboost 2.0L FWD also has 270 lb-ft of torque.
It also has 240 hp and recently delivered 25 mpg pulling our Scamp13,
at 59 mph, from Joplin (Mo) to the KC Metro.

Although our Scamp13 has less total weight than a Scamp16, it has
the same drag-producing frontal area.

As I mentioned in the following thread, I've started to believe that
looking at the engine torque output at towing rpm is perhaps one of
the most significant statistics in selecting a tow vehicle. Both diesels
and turbocharged engines shine in the high-torque@low-rpm
department. (The Ford Ecoboost 2.0L is a turbo engine.)
Eggcamper Weight, Tongue Weight & Towing with Outback

Along with past education and personal experience, some of my ideas
on towing (horsepower versus torque) and the Ford Ecoboost 2.0L
engine are included in the following links:

Towing - horsepower versus torque
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-parts/towing/towing-capacity/information/horsepower-versus-torque1.htm 

Stout EcoBoost I-4 Plays Well Above Weight Class
http://wardsauto.com/vehicles-amp-technology/stout-ecoboost-i-4-plays-well-above-weight-class

Ray

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Old 04-04-2015, 08:40 AM   #13
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JD,

I'm interested in the VW Diesel. I assume the DMF is the dual mass flywheel. What is the failure mechanism for a flywheel?

When you speak of 'internal springs', I assume this is something internal to the engine....

Thank you.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:23 AM   #14
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Towing a 16' Scamp with small diesel

Ray, minor correction... A 16' Scamp is going to have a larger frontal area because it sits on a raised axle compared to a 13'.
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:32 AM   #15
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Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
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True, Jon! 😊

Because of the down-sloping shape on the back of the Ford Escape, I sometimes
wonder how much "vehicle shadow" I am actually getting on the front of my
Scamp13.

The other significant aerodynamic drag characteristic shared by both the Scamp16
and the Scamp13 is the relatively flat back of both trailers. (I know that both have
more rounded edges and corners than some, but I think that flat backside still exacts
a real drag penalty.) I have often wondered about the drag penalty for trailers that have
the entry/exit door on a flat back side of the trailer.

The shape of the teardrop trailers eliminates the vacuum created by dragging along
that large flat plate area and thus creates a lowered aerodynamic drag.

Ray


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Old 04-04-2015, 11:49 AM   #16
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Towing a 16' Scamp with small diesel

While diesel engines and turbocharged engines both have great
high-torque@low-rpm characteristics, you also might look at
acquisition costs, operation costs, and brand reliability.

When my wife wanted me to get a tow vehicle that would pull
the next size larger trailer (16ft/17ft), I seriously considered a
diesel tow vehicle. (My son has two VW Jetta TDI vehicles [one
sedan and one wagon] and a larger RAM diesel truck that he
uses to pull heavy horse/farm trailers.)

For multiple brands, they wanted additional money for the
diesel engine option on a new purchase (i.e. higher acquisition
cost).

With the current cost difference in diesel fuel, a similar 25 mpg
for both gas and diesel vehicles usually results in a higher cost/mile
for the diesel vehicle.

With my Ford Ecoboost 2.0L, I usually burn premium while
towing (the Ford owners manual actually says to do that) and
mid-grade or regular for for around town driving.

For a true towing fuel cost comparison, I guess you would have
to look at the price difference between diesel fuel and premium
gasoline for those towing miles.

Just my 2 cents worth .....

As always, YMMV.

Ray
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
As to tongue weight our Scamp 16 has had a 200 pound tongue for 4 years. No issues what so ever. We only carry one Propane tank.
On the other hand I have the same Scamp 16 as Norm in layout (side bath) and age and find that with only 200lbs on the tongue the tow is not as solid as I would like when traveling at highway speeds over 55mph. Loaded for camping without water in any tanks & one propane tank it weighs in between 2500/2600lbs (including tongue weight). The trailer has no AC but it does have an awning, rock guard and bathroom etc.

Having at least 250lbs on the tongue is a much more comfortable/solid tow for me. The tongue weight needed for a solid tow works out to be the same situation pulling with my larger truck as it was when pulling with the smaller Subaru Outback (its low tongue weight allowance of only 200lbs was a very real draw back for me).
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Old 04-04-2015, 02:24 PM   #18
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The tongue weight is the limiting factor on the VW and lots of the smaller cars / wagons.
The JSW (Jetta Sport Wagon) Has towing springs etc and there are available AirLift air bags for the rear to bring the wagon back to the proper level.
Tests in the late 70s indicated that the air bags had very much the same positive effect as a weight distributing hitch.
The Westfalia hitch I have installed is the VW OEM hitch in the rest of the world.
The TUV specifications are as good as the DOT/ASME , but lots on the forum dismiss the European standards deferring to the lawyers and tort system.
The DMF ( correct Dual Mass Flywheel) has springs within the unit. The crankshaft turns the "inner" flywheel and the outer flywheel is coupled with springs that compress to allow the compliance between the changing speed of the crankshaft as the engine turns and the (more or less) constant speed of the transmission at road speed.
The constant compressing and releasing of the springs will eventually cause the spring to fatigue fracture and then rattle.
Four cylinder engines are particularly prone to the torsional vibrations since the power impulses do not overlap like engines with more than four.
The more cylinders the smoother.
The JSW makes a good tow car since it handles good with and without the trailer.
The low center of gravity and independent rear end with forward center of gravity makes a comfortable tow. The damping of the system is good and the Scamp and JSW are a good match.
I have extended the frame of the scamp to allow moving the side bath to the front and as a side benefit the longer tongue will reduce the hitch weight and make the trailer more stable at the cost of being able to back and turn quickly and tight.
Since I don't do much of that it is all to the good!
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Old 04-04-2015, 02:34 PM   #19
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JD,

I don't understand how you move the side bath to the front. Would you provide pictures?
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:24 PM   #20
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
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All that you have to do is to extend the frame rails full width past the front of the shell and use the center 4' between them to build the dropped shower pan and black tank.
I used a pan from a transtar 37" X 24" with the frame made to fit it.
I have posted some pictures somewhere here on the forum.
The side bath was much too short to use the shower while the new bath floor is the same level as the main floor and the roof is higher in the front than the side as well.
This is pretty much still a work in progress.


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