Help deciding on a tow vehicle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-20-2017, 12:12 PM   #1
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Name: Ray
Trailer: Oliver Elite II (Pick up in April 2018)
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Help deciding on a tow vehicle

I've been doing a lot of research online to help me choose the best tow vehicle for the Scamp 5th wheel I'm supposed to pick up in May. I read all kinds of opinions that lead me in many different directions. Some say less is more others say more is better. I can afford to get what ever I want but I don't want to get something I'll regret later. I am considering vehicles that I know are overkill like a Ford F250 or a Chevy 2500 just so I don't have to worry about how much gear I take along. I was thinking about the mid sized Tacoma or the Chevy Colorado but frankly I just don't know if they would be up to the task. Also there is the question of change. What if I find that the Scamp is not a good fit and decide to go with the larger and much heavier Escape 5th wheel. I would not want to have to purchase another TV. I know this must seem like I'm rambling but there is a question here. Is it better to purchase more tow vehicle than needed or to match the tow vehicle to the RV?
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:10 PM   #2
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The Scamp 5th wheel is pretty light - my Tacoma is rated to pull 6400 lbs, but you need to consider the pin weight of the trailer against the GVWR of whatever tow vehicle you choose. Dunno what the Tacoma (with tow package) GVWR is.

Mine pulls a 21 Escape fine (loaded weight of 4200 lbs) but it's not a 5th wheel.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:24 PM   #3
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Ford F150

A Ford F150 with the proper payload rating can tow a Scamp or an Escape 5th wheel trailer. I am a fan of pickup trucks and having ample towing capacity but IMHO going to a 3/4 ton truck is not necessary.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:43 PM   #4
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First I would call Scamp and find out which trucks are not difficult to work with. between the height of the truck, the length of the bed, the depth of the bed and rear axle location there must be a list of trucks they do not want to deal with. Then you have all the different materials the bed is made out of between steel, aluminium and composites. Some how you have to get to the frame to mount the hitch. A whole lot a variables.

Let Scamp and maybe Escape help cross off and narrow down this list some.
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
A Ford F150 with the proper payload rating can tow a Scamp or an Escape 5th wheel trailer. I am a fan of pickup trucks and having ample towing capacity but IMHO going to a 3/4 ton truck is not necessary.
x2. If you're concerned, you can get an F150 with the max payload package. The 5L V8 would be my choice; although the 2.7L turbo is enticing for its non-towing fuel economy, I like the idea of keeping it simpler (less plumbing, less to go wrong, easier to work on) under the hood.

That said, there's certainly nothing wrong with a 250. Thicker, heavier duty components should be good for longevity.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:22 PM   #6
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I am towing my Scamp 19Deluxe with the six cylinder (4.0 liter) Tacoma, with the towing package and have been over many Rocky Mountains passes with no problems. Just take it easy, as necessary. The Scamp, even loaded is just a little over half the truck ratings, by my weight estimate. Here is a pic taken from the Golden Spike Tower in North Platte, NE, when we stopped on our move west.

As far as mounting the Reese rails to the truck, it worked out just about perfectly for the four door, 5 ft. bed version. The front rail is attached with the bed mounting bolts and the rear one is attached to the bed and by means of a flat 3/8 steel to the middle set of bed bolts. The composite bed is probably as tough as steel and will never rust. I have posted a description of the job on the forum and could find it for you if you go that way.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:32 PM   #7
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I second the recommendation for an F150, but then again I always do. It'll easily handle either a Scamp or Escape 5th wheel with plenty of capacity to spare. There's no need there for a 3/4 ton truck, and you'll enjoy the much better fuel economy as well.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:40 AM   #8
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Ray, a 250 of any make may be a bit overboard for 95% of molded TTs. There are a lot of pluses of a 250 over something smaller but it really comes down to how the vehicle is going to be used in the many barefoot miles over the comparatively few miles towing.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:55 AM   #9
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+10 on the F150. Be sure to at least get the towing package, complete with integrated brake controller. If you look at the towing packages, the max towing has a lot more included than the other packages. I would not buy a new truck without it!

Our last F150 was a super crew model, 4 door with the 5 1/2 foot bed. I found the bed almost useless. You can now get the super crew with a 6 1/2 foot bed, that makes for a long truck. For our current truck, we went with a supercab model, rear seat is still pretty roomy, and we have the 6 1/2 foot bed. We only buy used. If I had found a super crew model with the 6 1/2 foot bed, I probably would have bought one. Maybe my next truck will be new??

People love the ecoboost motors for their fuel economy and towing prowess. We ended up with the 5.4 V8, which is a great towing motor as well, but not as economical on fuel. The deal on our used truck trumped any fuel savings.

With the F150, we can stay up with regular traffic, up the grades, down the grades, high elevation, whatever.

Even if you end up with the heaviest, biggest molded trailers out there, the 25 foot Bigfoot or the Oliver Elite II, an F150 outfitted for maximum towing and payload would be more than capable. Our truck would be challenged by those two trailers, due to limited payload.

If you buy used (or new for that matter), be sure to check the door sticker. That tells you the payload capacity of that particular truck. Every option you get is subtracted from the payload. The hit on payload can be substantial. My truck has just about every option out there, from heated/A/C leather seats, to a tailgate step. Needless to say, the payload is underwhelming. Its still OK for a molded trailer, but somewhat limiting if I got a traditional trailer in a larger size. Because of the lower payload, I run out of payload capacity well before I run out of towing capacity (my truck is rated to tow up to 9,800 pounds, I run out of payload at 6,000 pounds).

The 3.5L V6 ecoboost has amazing capabilities, much better than my V8!

https://www.ford.com/resources/ford/..._F150_Sep7.pdf

Now with a Scamp 13 or even 16, an F150 is overkill. Since I have owned a half ton pickup of one kind or another for the last 30 years, its what I would use to tow even a Scamp.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:00 AM   #10
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I don't see what is wrong with overkill if you can afford the bigger tow vehicle especially if you are thinking a bigger trailer might be in your future
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry,C View Post
I don't see what is wrong with overkill if you can afford the bigger tow vehicle especially if you are thinking a bigger trailer might be in your future
True enough. But you'd have to define what "bigger" means, since as has been pointed out, an F150 can tow any molded FG rig with ease. And then there's the fuel economy, which does add up over the long haul, and the ease of driving and parking when you're not towing.

If I needed a 3/4 ton truck for purposes that have nothing to do with towing a small trailer or camping, then I'd go with that.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:57 AM   #12
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Help deciding on a tow vehicle

Youíll find you can configure a 1/2 ton to tow just fine.

I used a Tundra to to my 10k trailer just fine.

What no one calculates is how far will you be able to tow before needing a fuel stop!

In the Tundra, we could go only 180 miles!

Installed a transflo gas tank and 46 gal got me to at least 350 miles! (For a huge price)

Take the highway mpg and divide it by 1/2, thatís your mpg! Even if itís a diesel while towing that 5th wheel.

Check out the RAM eco diesel, youíll get better fuel mileage not only towing but not towing as well.

But donít buy something youíll be looking for fuel all the time when you tow.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:43 AM   #13
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Tow unit

I have a dodge 3500 no more can i cant' i. No more kitten carying the cat fealing. power wins. strugling is for the last guy pased on the hills. lol
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:01 PM   #14
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I agree with all the guys above who recommended Ford F-150's. They are all men of unquestionable taste, wisdom and common sense. Dittoes on all of it. A good friend used his F-150 to tow a Scamp 19 and now an Escape 5.0 T/A. His engine of choice is the 2.7 eco-boost. I'm hoping he weighs in, but he's a little busy with post Irma clean-up. Good luck with your choice.

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Old 09-21-2017, 01:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DannyS View Post
Youíll find you can configure a 1/2 ton to tow just fine.

I used a Tundra to to my 10k trailer just fine.

What no one calculates is how far will you be able to tow before needing a fuel stop!

In the Tundra, we could go only 180 miles!

Installed a transflo gas tank and 46 gal got me to at least 350 miles! (For a huge price)

Take the highway mpg and divide it by 1/2, thatís your mpg! Even if itís a diesel while towing that 5th wheel.

Check out the RAM eco diesel, youíll get better fuel mileage not only towing but not towing as well.

But donít buy something youíll be looking for fuel all the time when you tow.
Your experience towing a 10 K trailer with a Tundra is far different than the experience others I know have had . My neighbor tried to tow an 8000 lb travel trailer with his Tundra and was extremely disappointed. ( The amount of rearend sag was unbelievable.
He traded the Tundra off for a Ford F350 diesel.
Satisfactory for one does not mean satisfactory for all
My Ram 1500 has a towing capacity of 10,350 lbs and I would never attempt to tow anywhere near my tow limit !!
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBig1 View Post
I've been doing a lot of research online to help me choose the best tow vehicle for the Scamp 5th wheel I'm supposed to pick up in May. I read all kinds of opinions that lead me in many different directions. Some say less is more others say more is better. I can afford to get what ever I want but I don't want to get something I'll regret later. I am considering vehicles that I know are overkill like a Ford F250 or a Chevy 2500 just so I don't have to worry about how much gear I take along. I was thinking about the mid sized Tacoma or the Chevy Colorado but frankly I just don't know if they would be up to the task. Also there is the question of change. What if I find that the Scamp is not a good fit and decide to go with the larger and much heavier Escape 5th wheel. I would not want to have to purchase another TV. I know this must seem like I'm rambling but there is a question here. Is it better to purchase more tow vehicle than needed or to match the tow vehicle to the RV?
It is best to match your tow vehicle to your needs. You have to consider what you expect for towing capacity, weigh capacity, fuel economy, maneuverability, comfort, etc. My personal opinion is that I would rather have a little more than I need than less than I need. When you have less than you need safety becomes a concern. I know there are other folks that have different needs than I do and are happy towing with vehicles that are bigger and smaller than what I need. I find it interesting that the OP mentioned Tacoma and Colorado and then F250 and Chevy 2500 while not mentioning 1/2 Tons pickups that most would agree to be the "right" size.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:18 PM   #17
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If a little is good, a lot must be better, right?

Freightliner makes the M2-112 with a gross vehicle weight rating of upto 80,000 lbs. 40 tons! That should pull yer Scamp 5th wheel! Yessirree! Be sure to get an air horn, so you can nudge those Tacomas out of the way! ...Tongue in cheek. Not serious.

https://freightliner.com/trucks/m2-112/
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:14 PM   #18
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:50 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Tom 72 View Post
Freightliner makes the M2-112 with a gross vehicle weight rating of upto 80,000 lbs. 40 tons! That should pull yer Scamp 5th wheel! Yessirree! Be sure to get an air horn, so you can nudge those Tacomas out of the way! ...Tongue in cheek. Not serious.

https://freightliner.com/trucks/m2-112/
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Toyota Highlander
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:18 PM   #20
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Name: Josh & Sonya
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First long trip with Tundra and Bigfoot 25 RQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Your experience towing a 10 K trailer with a Tundra is far different than the experience others I know have had . My neighbor tried to tow an 8000 lb travel trailer with his Tundra and was extremely disappointed. ( The amount of rearend sag was unbelievable.
He traded the Tundra off for a Ford F350 diesel.
Satisfactory for one does not mean satisfactory for all
My Ram 1500 has a towing capacity of 10,350 lbs and I would never attempt to tow anywhere near my tow limit !!
Hi Steve & All,

I'm a Toyota lover; we have three of them, including a 98 Land Cruiser with 347K miles on it. Unfortunately, when we decided to start spending more time on the road, we "added" to our trailer collection (we've had a 17ft Casita since 97) and purchased a 2003 Bigfoot 25 RQ, knowing the LC couldn't handle the additional weight (about 5,300 lb empty vs 2200 for the Casita).

After doing a lot of reading on this site, I decided to go with my preference, which was, of course, a Tundra; we bought a CrewMax 4X4. It's a great truck, except for a few things I think could have been better designed. Gas mileage is pretty dismal at 17mpg on the road, and maybe 13 in the city, if I'm careful.

Towing the Bigfoot at a guesstimated 6300lb, about 400lb in the truck, and tongue weight of about 600 lb, the Tundra does pretty well on flat roads, though there is a lot of shifting going on with any small inclines and/or headwinds. Towing gas mileage is usually between 10-11 mpg; around eight if there are a lot of inclines.

I haven't completely proven this to myself yet, but gas mileage seems to go up by about 1mpg if I use midgrade gas, instead of regular. I found that to be true as well when I had a 96 4-Runner. I haven't done a cost analysis, the higher price of the gas probably doesn't make it worth the extra mpg. But the truck "feels" better (or maybe it's just me that feels better for the truck).

Unfortunately, I've been very disappointed with performance on climbs. We did a lot of ups and downs on our recent trip to Grand Teton National Park to see the eclipse (amazing place!) and then through Flaming Gorge in Utah. The Tundra made the climbs, but it was not fast, and the engine sounded strained, although I could mostly keep to around 2-2.2k rpm.

The real test was climbing through the Teton Pass coming out of Jackson Hole, WY. I had to put it into 2nd gear in some stretches to get even close to 20mph .

So, though I still love Toyota, I have to say (don't tell my wife) that I'm a bit disappointed with the Tundra. It's a good truck, and I'm counting on it lasting. I know it doesn't have the torque of a diesel, but I really thought it would do better in terms of hills, not to mention mountains. And the gas mileage, umm...sucks. Still better than the LC/Casita combo, especially in terms of gas consumption and cost (LC demands premium), but I really expected/hoped-for more.

Josh
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