Newbie needs Tow Vehicle help - Fiberglass RV
Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-04-2018, 04:07 PM   #1
Member
 
Name: Vicki
Trailer: 2019 Scamp 13' with 2015 Nissan Frontier V6
Alabama
Posts: 88
Newbie needs Tow Vehicle help

I will be ordering a Scamp 13' with no bath room (Layout #1). I have not been able to find a used one so will have to get a new one.
I drive a Honda Fit so I will be trading in my car for a vehicle that can tow the camper.
Can anyone give me advice on what vehicles to look for?
I think I will need a 6 cylinder vehicle but that is as far as I have come on what to look for.
I would love to have a Toyota truck, but I cannot afford it.
What are good choices in 6 cylinder trucks and SUVs that are in the lower price range?
Also, will I need to get electric brakes on the 13' Scamp?

I have never towed a camper before so I am really out of my depth here. I plan on touring the south and southeast. There will be some hills, like in the Blue Ridge Parkway, if that helps in advising what TV would do the job.
Vicki Hale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 04:20 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 12,015
Registry
Newbie needs TV help

In my opinion a 6 cylinder is not absolutely necessary to tow a basic 13' Scamp. Subaru Outback (2700#) would be high on my list, along with the Toyota RAV4 Adventure (3500#) and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport (3500#).

If you do want a 6 cylinder for a bit more performance margin, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot (or the soon-to-be-introduced smaller 2-row Passport), Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Subaru Ascent (oops- that's a 4-cylinder turbo, but rated for 5000# like many in this group), Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee are all solid candidates.

A cheaper truck alternative is a Nissan Frontier. It has good reliability but mediocre gas mileage.

Yes to electric brakes!
Jon in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 04:28 PM   #3
Member
 
Name: Vicki
Trailer: 2019 Scamp 13' with 2015 Nissan Frontier V6
Alabama
Posts: 88
Thank you so much for your reply! I knew the camper I wanted but feel clueless about the TV.
I was assuming a 4 cylinder would have to work too hard.
What is your opinion on small 4 cylinder pickups?
(oops, sorry, I missed your info on trucks when I replied)
Vicki Hale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 04:34 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 12,015
Registry
If I really needed the extra hauling room of a truck, I'd go for the V6.
Jon in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 06:34 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
The Mountains of NC/SW Desert of UT
Posts: 4,160
Registry
Yes you should get brakes. Trailer brakes can make a scary situation easy to deal with. You can't add brakes in the middle of an emergency. No brainer really, and many of the smaller tow vehicles will require them for their ratings.

I'd get one of the V6 SUVs. RAV 4 used to have a V6 option. Kia Sorento. Highlanders are on the pricey side. Hyundai Santa Fe.


While you might be able to get by with something smaller, as someone who lives near the Blue Ridge Parkway myself, we have some serious climbs around here. Having a little extra tow vehicle on the rating side gives you a margin. I'd rather have a little extra than not quite enough. Years ago I towed with a marginal tow vehicle that was "Rated" to handle it (barely). Never again.

FWIW: tow rating for a Subaru Outback for a trailer without brakes is 1,000 pounds. With trailer brakes, its 2,700 pounds. I've never owned one, but the Subaru Outback is THE car for the mountains of NC. To me, on a Scamp 13 without a bathroom, the Outback would be on my list. I would avoid any of the 1500 pound max tow rated vehicles.
thrifty bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 06:49 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Trailer: Escape 17 ft
Posts: 8,317
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
I've never owned one, but the Subaru Outback is THE car for the mountains of NC.

What about the low maximum tongue weight allowed on Outback?
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 07:09 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 12,015
Registry
Newbie needs TV help

A 13' Scamp front bunk model with a battery and one LP tank on the tongue should run around 180-200# tongue weight. The optional second tank isn't needed in non-bath models, and it will put it over the Outback's 200# limit. Mine runs right at 200# with four camp chairs, canned goods, and tools stored on and under the front bunk.
Jon in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 07:10 PM   #8
Member
 
Name: Vicki
Trailer: 2019 Scamp 13' with 2015 Nissan Frontier V6
Alabama
Posts: 88
Thank you! I am getting some good solid info on this forum and I appreciate it very much. I want to get the right TV to start with to avoid problems down the road. (no pun intended).
I will put the electric brakes on my camper order. I didn't even know about camper brakes before joining this forum.
I am making a short list of vehicles to look at from the leads you guys are giving me. This is so helpful!
Vicki Hale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 07:32 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escape— 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 4,500
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
I've never owned one, but the Subaru Outback is THE car for the mountains of NC.
I apologize but that joke sailed right over my head
Must be an inside piece of humor or a regional thing ?
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 07:39 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Carl Pa's Avatar
 
Name: Carl
Trailer: 2014 16 scamp side dinette/Rav4 V6 Tow pkg.
Pennsylvania
Posts: 578
The rav4 v6 with tow pkg ended in 2012, if you can find one of those you would be all set. They say the 2018 or the new one coming out will have 3500# tow capacity. If you were going to buy new. Carl
Carl Pa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 09:40 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
The Mountains of NC/SW Desert of UT
Posts: 4,160
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I apologize but that joke sailed right over my head
Must be an inside piece of humor or a regional thing ?
Here in the mountains of NC, seems like every other vehicle is a Subaru, and usually its the Outback. One friend put 362,000 miles on his before a valve stuck. He put a rebuilt motor into it and its still running strong. They are just very popular here. Ourselves, we are sticking with the F150 as a tow vehicle, and a Honda Element for our other car. If/when we finally replace the Element, good chance it will be a Subaru.

The other good thing about the Outback is the supply of used ones here is very good, important for people like me that tend to buy used cars.

Another friend moved from the SC coast to the mountains here a couple of years ago. I asked him when he was going to get his Outback. He laughed, but four months later he had one.
thrifty bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 11:11 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
gretchens's Avatar
 
Name: gretchen
Trailer: scamp 13'
Washington
Posts: 19
I have a 13' scamp front bunk. A year ago I had to buy a new TV. This is my every day car also. I bought a Ford Escape. 2.0L eco engine with a factory tow package rated at 3500 pound tow rating. If you don't have that configuration it is only rated at 1500 pounds. So far I am really happy with it.
gretchens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 11:25 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Gilda's Avatar
 
Name: Gilda
Trailer: 2011 Scamp 13'
California
Posts: 1,445
Registry
We purchased our very basic 2011 Scamp 13' without a bathroom and had a 2008 Subaru Legacy sedan, manual drive, to tow it. We loved the Subaru and it towed the Scamp like a dream. The only problem was the tow package was too low to the ground so when we went over bumps and moderately steep inclines the tow package would scrape the ground, with or without the ball attached.


Come 2017, when it came time to get a new TV we thought about the Subaru Crosstrek but ended up not liking to drive it as it had relatively poor visibility, poor pickup and few new safety features. The next step up with Subaru (Forester) was too expensive and most safety features were add-ons.


We did our research, including a British website devoted to rankings of cars while towing trailers (caravans). We decided on a Mazda CX5 and have loved it ever since! The road clearance is great and we never scrape the ground. The following is a quote from Mazda. "Additionally, the 2018 Mazda CX-5 comes standard with a few advanced safety features, which cost extra on many competitors. Advanced safety features that come standard for all trim levels in the crossover's lineup include Smart City Brake Support, Blind Spot Monitoring, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert." We as 60 and 70-somethings like the sit up straight seats as opposed to bucket seats in most sedans. We purchased the CS-5 with, our first, automatic drive (it can be switched easily to manual).The only things I might like are a CD player (yes, we like our old technology and have a huge CD collection.)and a hatch back that has an assist. We have to open and raise it manually. The vehicle tows the Scamp like a dream AND we have a little more trunk room with the hatch back.


While we are not "auto geeks" we do like our CX-5. Hope this helps you.
__________________
The Gleeful Glamper
Gilda (Jill-da)
"Here we go again on another amazing adventure"
Gilda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2018, 06:36 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 12,015
Registry
Newbie needs TV help

You can see there are a lot of choices. Anything with a a tow rating of at least 2000# and a tongue weight rating of at least 200# is a potential candidate for a Scamp 13, so that leaves the field pretty wide open, from a few compact crossovers right up to full-size pickups. Depending on individual needs and preferences, anything within that range could be the best option for you.

To narrow things down it would help to know more: new or used, budget range, how many people and how much cargo in the vehicle (extra weight reduces available towing capacity), bulky or messy cargo like bicycles or kayaks, how much you plan to travel, off-highway or backcountry use, non-towing use of the vehicle, etc. There are also subjective factors like brand preferences and performance expectations (some expect to keep up with the cars in the left lane ascending those beautiful NC hills, while others are okay slowing down and blending in with the trucks in the right lane).

Many of the vehicles mentioned come in different configurations with different tow ratings, so it's important to get the right version of any vehicle. Some require expensive trim and drivetrain upgrades to get the rating you need. Dealer sales people are often sadly uninformed when it comes to towing. Once you have your short list, I would strongly recommend you google the owner's manual for each one ("2018 Mazda CX-5 Owner's Manual," for example, should get you a link to a PDF). The year is important, as specs change. The towing section will spell out what models and equipment are required to obtain the desired tow rating.

You also have to consider towing add-ons: hitch, 7-pin trailer wiring (needed for brakes and battery charging, not 4-pin, which only runs the lights), electric brake controller. Some vehicles come standard with some of them, many offer them as dealer-installed accessories, others require you to go to a 3rd party hitch installer after purchase. Some vehicles make it easy; others not so easy.

That was one factor that led us to choose a Pilot over a Highlander back in 2013. Everything for towing came standard on the Pilot except the brake controller (and it was an easy plug-in), but the Highlander gave you nothing. It would have cost another $1500 to prep the Highlander to tow.
Jon in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2018, 09:29 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Name: Bob Ruggles
Trailer: 2015 Escape
Michigan
Posts: 1,537
It’s not a bad idea to buy more tow capacity than you need if you should later decide on a larger and heavier trailer.
rgrugg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2018, 10:10 AM   #16
Moderator
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Trailer: 2009 19 ft Escape / 2009 Honda Pilot
Posts: 6,235
Registry
A wee moderator note. Please use real words in the title, as a TV is primarily known as a television and I came in here to recommend a Samsung.

BTW, fixed the title.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2018, 12:21 PM   #17
Member
 
Name: Vicki
Trailer: 2019 Scamp 13' with 2015 Nissan Frontier V6
Alabama
Posts: 88
LOL, I'm sorry Jim. I have nothing but tow-vehicle on the brain right now and never thought how my title would read different. Thank you for changing the title! Don't need advice for a television!
Vicki Hale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2018, 12:45 PM   #18
Member
 
Name: Vicki
Trailer: 2019 Scamp 13' with 2015 Nissan Frontier V6
Alabama
Posts: 88
The original plan was to buy a used camper and a new TV. That has flipped since I cannot find a used camper. Now, the camper will be new and the TV will be used.
This week, I've walked around three used car lots with only a vague idea of what I'm looking for. "A 6 cylinder vehicle with a tow rate of 2,000 or more" was the only criteria I was trying to match. I felt like a deer caught in headlights...
There was a LOT matching that criteria and I was trying to narrow things down on site while beating sales people off with a stick. This method of TV shopping was not going to work. I didn't have enough info yet. I need to know what specific qualities the vehicle should have to do the job.
(FYI: Before getting my used Honda Fit in 2017, my last car purchase was a new 1996 Nissan pick up truck. This will tell you how often I buy a car.)

Here's more detailed info if it helps:
At 62 years old, my hiking/ backpacking/ tent camping days are behind me. My plan for the camper is to be able to camp in state parks and national parks, boon dock when I can, and use the TV to explore the area. I will not do any off-road driving. I will start off "close to home", in the south and south east states, (AL and TN first and then SC and NC) until I figure out how "camper-camping" works and then branch out to farther states like AZ and NM.

I plan to buy a used vehicle to help with the price.
I have only owned Honda, Nissan and Toyota but willing to try other brands. (used American made seems to be a little cheaper in price)
I want to have a decent MPG since the TV will get a lot of road mileage, but I am realistic about what to expect.
I will be mostly a solo traveler, so will not be hauling a great deal gear in the camper. A small 2000 watt generator is the only permanent item I will add to the weight of the camper. The camper will come with a roof A/C and awning which will also contribute to the built-in weight.
I'm never in a hurry so speeding up a hill while towing the camper is not in the plan. I would like to get up that NC hill without overworking the engine or transmission and get down the hill without white knuckles.

My vehicles have always been 4 cylinder cars and trucks because I was only interested in gas mileage and reliability.
Now I need to know what type/size engine and transmission handles towing well.
What add-ons need to be on the vehicle to make it a good TV. (Jon, the info on the 7 pin wiring was VERY helpful, thank you!)

I am getting excellent info from this forum. What has worked for others, the hitch and tow rate recommendations, brakes, add-ons, etc. My thanks to everyone for taking the time to help educate me so I can make an informed TV purchase and avoid an ignorant mistake.
Vicki Hale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2018, 12:59 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
floyd's Avatar
 
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
Posts: 8,524
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicki Hale View Post
Thank you so much for your reply! I knew the camper I wanted but feel clueless about the TV.
I was assuming a 4 cylinder would have to work too hard.
What is your opinion on small 4 cylinder pickups?
(oops, sorry, I missed your info on trucks when I replied)
Your assumption was based outdated information. It was not that long ago that the same thing was wrongfully said about 6CYLs Vis-a-Vis V8s

Especially since we are talking about towing a 13ft Scamp.


I tow with a 2.5L normally aspirated 4CYL. It has more than twice the power of a typical 4CYL from the early 1980s. The performance is more than adequate for towing my Scamp13 Deluxe front bath, and the fuel economy is phenomenal. Automatic transmissions have also made quantum leaps in recent years.


Drive a Ford Escape with a 4CYL Ecoboost 2.0L before you buy, if you want to experience overkill for towing a Scamp13 along with great handling and exhilarating performance.
floyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2018, 01:45 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 12,015
Registry
Newbie needs Tow Vehicle help

Dealer lots, new or used, are the worst places to start! Go there once once you have a very clear idea of what you're looking for.

There are several ways to research on your own. (1) Forums like this one can give you some leads on specific models. (2) Read owner's manuals to get the scoop on towing, check reliability reports, and use sites like kbb.com and cars.com to get a sense of market values. (3) Use sites like cars.com to locate used units at dealers. Call and arrange a test drive of a specific vehicle to find out if the size, interior ergonomics, and driving experience work for you. Do not feel pressured to discuss price on the first visit. They say, "What will it take to get you in this vehicle today?" You answer (firmly), "I'm not buying today. I'm still in the research phase. But I'll be happy to take your business card and keep you in mind when I'm ready to buy." Walk away. Keep notes about what you liked and disliked about each vehicle.

Make your short list, set your budget, then start shopping to buy. When you find "the one," arrange to have a trusted mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection. If the seller won't cooperate with that, walk away.

Based on everything I'm hearing you say, I think I'd start with the Nissan Frontier V6. 4WD is not essential, but it can come in handy on slippery gravel campground roads. It's simple and reliable, plentiful and affordable, lots of storage for stuff that won't fit in the small trailer, and its more than ample towing capacity allows for a larger trailer in the future if desired.
Jon in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Newbee Needs help choosing a tow vehicle. TravLynne Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 8 03-13-2016 02:58 PM
Who needs a tow vehicle - Small modification John Linck General Chat 3 10-17-2014 11:25 AM
Newbie needs help before ordering my Scamp Hman66 Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 68 08-03-2013 08:39 AM
Newbie- needs help Rosemarie K. Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 23 03-09-2012 09:20 PM
Newbie needs help FredericL General Chat 5 05-13-2008 07:49 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions Inc.