Most Economical TV for 13 footer (Trillium) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-08-2010, 08:49 AM   #1
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Most Economical TV for 13 footer (Trillium)

I am planning on tripping long term once I get the hang of things. I am looking at buying a TV for my Trillium 1300 and want the most efficient on gas mileage. It will be just me so there is no need for considering hauling kids or anything unessential around. I am a minimalist. Basically I want the least amount of car/truck possible to do the job safely. I have been scanning the posts and see alot of people using smallish SUVs but I am not sure about the fuel economy with these. I suppose I should mention that my Trill doesn't have brakes. I don't really plan to get them as I am a very cautious driver. I am not very mechanically inclined so I will be asking alot of advice over the next while so I want to thank you all in advance.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Carmella in Canada View Post
I am planning on tripping long term once I get the hang of things. I am looking at buying a TV for my Trillium 1300 and want the most efficient on gas mileage. It will be just me so there is no need for considering hauling kids or anything unessential around. I am a minimalist. Basically I want the least amount of car/truck possible to do the job safely. I have been scanning the posts and see alot of people using smallish SUVs but I am not sure about the fuel economy with these. I suppose I should mention that my Trill doesn't have brakes. I don't really plan to get them as I am a very cautious driver. I am not very mechanically inclined so I will be asking alot of advice over the next while so I want to thank you all in advance.
Our Ford Escape, 4cylinder/5spd 2wd recently pulled our 13dlxe front bath Scamp on a 5800 mile trip to Oregon/Washington state starting and ending in Illinois. The combo yielded a consistent 24MPG at 58MPH on the flats, in all sorts of weather, with a loss of less than 2MPG in the mountains. There are two of us and my Scamp is heavier , but with more efficient aerodynamics than your Trillium.

Our Escape has a 2.3L engine,5spd manual trans. The new ones have a stronger , more efficient 2.5L version as well as a 6speed automatic transmission.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:40 AM   #3
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Question Thank you

Thanks for the reply Floyd! Funnily enough, I was just looking at a 2006 Ford Escape with 190000 kms on it for 6500. Its AWD though and I have heard that may be a problem for me. Otherwise its a sweet ride!

My cousin is trying to sell me his souped up 2001 Mercury Cougar. Its a beautiful little car with a big V6 so I think it would do the job. It is a sports car though. What do you think? Maybe I could get it and as long as I get brakes put on the trailer it would be ok? I know that is going to run me about 800 dollars or so here in Alberta but then it would solve the problem of those pesky moody brake lights on the Trill and that awful old plug that doesn't seem to fit into anything.

I am not an ego tripper but I have always wanted a red sports car...
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Carmella in Canada View Post
Thanks for the reply Floyd! Funnily enough, I was just looking at a 2006 Ford Escape with 190000 kms on it for 6500. Its AWD though and I have heard that may be a problem for me. Otherwise its a sweet ride!

My cousin is trying to sell me his souped up 2001 Mercury Cougar. Its a beautiful little car with a big V6 so I think it would do the job. It is a sports car though. What do you think? Maybe I could get it and as long as I get brakes put on the trailer it would be ok? I know that is going to run me about 800 dollars or so here in Alberta but then it would solve the problem of those pesky moody brake lights on the Trill and that awful old plug that doesn't seem to fit into anything.

I am not an ego tripper but I have always wanted a red sports car...
The chassis of the Escape is more suitable for towing than the Cougar's.
The condition of the Escape is more important than the mileage[Or is that the kilometerage] sounds like highway driving to have gone that far already.
I have heard that you have an onerous tax on new cars, so maybe a few fixes would be ok.
My main TV is a 2001 Ford Ranger, It is excellent for the task and has 136000 miles on it [180000 km] so far, no plans for replacement.
I am a retired fleet mechanic though.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:38 PM   #5
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Tv

Carmella I can't be of much help on the TV but I do want to strongly suggest that you add trailer brakes to the equation. I, like you, am a very cautious driver, vigilant and cruising speed when towing at 62 miles per hour. Unfortunatley unexpected unavoidable emergencies will crop up. We pull our 13 foot Uhaul , which has brakes, with a Dodge Ram 15O0, I realize that is overkill but we already had the truck when we got the Uhaul. On our way to the "egg gathering" in Oregon at the Stub Stewart campground this year we had the following occur. We were ascending a slight hill with a blind curve at the top, We were cruising at the above mentioned 62 mph. When we rounded the curve we suddenly came upon two lanes of traffic at a dead stop due to an accident a mile or so down the road. I slammed on the brakes and we came to a tire squealing, all 6 tires smoking (4 on the truck and 2 on the Uhaul ) stop with only about 1 foot between us and a semi. Without trailer brakes I am sure the result would have been catastrophic !! Adding brakes should only cost around $200.00 to a max of $350.00 and I can assure you it will be the best money you will ever spend. Lee and Norma
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:32 AM   #6
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I agree. Put the brakes on. Had them hooked up on my Play Pac and can't be happier.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:22 PM   #7
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I had a 4 cyl Ford Escape that I found to be a very stable tow vehicle and fairly economical. My newer Subaru Outback gets even better mileage and has a higher (2700 lbs) tow rating (A comparable newer Escape probably gets better mileage than my older 2001 did).
RV magazine recently ran a story on small tow vehicles and they listed the Volvo V50 as a good tow vehicle up to 2000 lbs with a better mileage than either the Escape or the Subaru.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:24 PM   #8
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Carmella:

We are using a 4 cylinder 2.5 litre 2003 Subaru Forester for towing our 13 foot Escape. The Subaru has a towing capacity of 2000 pounds, which is the loaded weight we found for our Escape when it was weighed in Bandon.

Our Forester has a towing capacity of only 1000 pounds if the trailer has no brakes, which may be true for other small towing vehicles.

Our Forester has 220,000 km on the odometer (137,000 miles), and we are getting about 20 US miles per gallon in towing in fairly hilly country.

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Old 08-12-2010, 09:25 PM   #9
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I don't know IF the Trillium had brakes on it, but I have seen a late model Ford Escort (1996+?)tow a Trillium AND a friend (Canadian) has a hot rodded model A (with a ford 4 banger) that he uses to tow an Escape with. My motto is 'just because you CAN, doesn't make it SAFE'!!
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Doug Mager View Post
I don't know IF the Trillium had brakes on it, but I have seen a late model Ford Escort (1996+?)tow a Trillium AND a friend (Canadian) has a hot rodded model A (with a ford 4 banger) that he uses to tow an Escape with. My motto is 'just because you CAN, doesn't make it SAFE'!!
I once built a 1929 Model "A" with a hodrodded 4CYL. 5spd. Nice car ...
If I still had it you can bet I'd be towing my 13 Scamp with it.
At least it had brakes, that's more than you can get on any new car.
My motto is "do it right and then quit worrying about it"
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:27 PM   #11
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Brakes are like air compressors you will never hear someone say they bought one that was too big!
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:54 AM   #12
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Just coming back from a 3000km trip around Gaspesia, I'm glad that I did install electrical brakes and secondary trasmission cooler.

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Old 08-19-2010, 07:34 AM   #13
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A little "add" to my last note. With the first Boler we had, my TV was back then a 1996 Jeep Cherokee, pulling with it was not a problem, we could almost make the Boler to fly bihind the TV.

Now with the small V6 2.7L we have, I was pulling a pop-up that was 800 pounds heavier than our new Boler. Pulling was not a problem neither. What I found with our new Boler is that even if it weights 800 pounds less, wind factor is a lot more important. Where I was able to pull the pop-up in 5th gear (overdrive) with no problem, now I have to do it in 4th gear, in 5th the engine is working too hard.

But in the end it is not that bad, even if in 5th the engine was running at 2400 RPM and now in 4th it is running at 3400 rpm for the same speed (aroung 62 mph), gas mileage is only worst by 1 or 2 miles per gallon.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:17 AM   #14
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Hi Carmella,
I have a 13' Trillium and tow it with my 2.0L 5 speed Jetta. I recently added new brakes and can stop on a dime. I thought I was stopping quickly before but... wow, what a difference the brakes make. I travel constantly, including through eastern mountains, with no problems. My $.02 worth.
Cheers,
Barrie
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:14 PM   #15
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Camella, yeah get brakes. It's a maintenance issue. It's FAR cheaper to replace trailer brakes than brakes on a tug. Your tow vehicle will go through brakes much faster towing than not towing. Save yourself some money and be safer too. Win-Win.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:15 PM   #16
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Camella, yeah get brakes. It's a maintenance issue. It's FAR cheaper to replace trailer brakes than brakes on a tug. Your tow vehicle will go through brakes much faster towing than not towing. Save yourself some money and be safer too. Win-Win.
Camella,

What she said!
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:53 AM   #17
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Subara Outback has a tow cap of 2800 or 3000 depending on the model and it would handle your tailer just fine. But you need brakes over 1000lbs. A *large* storage area in the back - much larger than a lot of much bigger SUV's. Average about 19 mpg towing a 16' scamp over the *long* trips. On short flat trips it does a bit better in the 21 mpg range.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:16 PM   #18
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Better than me, I just did a 3000 km trip around Gaspesia with an average of 13.4l/100km or with US gallon, 17.55mpg.

Someone I know just went from QC to BC and with his 1300 Boler and 2010 Dodge Caravan and he did in between 15 to 16 l/100km, which is around 15mpg.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:16 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Carmella in Canada View Post
I am planning on tripping long term once I get the hang of things. I am looking at buying a TV for my Trillium 1300 and want the most efficient on gas mileage.....

....Basically I want the least amount of car/truck possible to do the job safely. I have been scanning the posts and see alot of people using smallish SUVs but I am not sure about the fuel economy with these. I suppose I should mention that my Trill doesn't have brakes. I don't really plan to get them as I am a very cautious driver. I am not very mechanically inclined so I will be asking alot of advice over the next while so I want to thank you all in advance.
Carmella,

A vehicle that gets good mileage in day to day driving is not necessarily going to get the best mileage when towing. Larger engines labor less than smaller ones. We camped for many years in days of yore and pretty much came to the conclusion that the trailer weight should not exceed any more than 3/4 the tow rating of the tow vehicle. Example: A trailer when, fully loaded, that weighs 1500 lbs should be pulled by a TV with a tow rating of at least 2000#.

It is amazing the amount of weight we add to a camper with "STUFF". Also a lot of campers advertised weight is for the basic. Add in AC,water, awning, leveling jacks, dishes clothing propane tanks, and so forth, and a 1200 # (advertised) camper can be more in the 1600-1700 range real quick. That would require a TV with a rating more in the 2200 lb range.

Our Ridgeline is rated to tow 5000#. But the owners manual states boldly that brakes must be on any trailer over 1000 pounds. This is for proper handling and safety as well as saving the tow vehicles brakes.

Makes no difference how careful you drive. Sooner or later Murphey's law will catch up and you will have to slam on your brakes. Without trailer brakes, the trailer can push you into whatever you were trying to avoid, and/or jack knife. Over the years I've had instances where all 4 tires on the TV and the trailer tires were all smoking from a panic stop which ended very close to whatever was in front of me. Without trailer brakes I would have plowed into it.

Driving in the Mountains can also cause real stress on brakes. If the TV is having to deal with the extra weight of a trailer, bad things can and will happen. It isn't a matter if IF! It is a matter of WHEN!

You also need enough engine to keep you at or near the speed limit. Going too slow up a steep grade can result in folks passing you in unsafe conditions. Same when trying to merge into traffic.

Automatic transmissions need to have auxilary coolers when towing much over 1000 lbs. If they don't have them they will eventually die prematurely.

Good luck and be safe!

Kip
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:11 PM   #20
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Trailer brakes can also be manually controlled to help stop trailer from swaying due to an adverse event.
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