Questions about towing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-15-2010, 09:35 PM   #1
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New to FiberglassRV.com, and I am about to be a first time Scamp owner, I have never owned any recreational vehicles before, travel for me was always a car and a tent!

A little background: My mom is giving her old Scamp to me and my husband. It's an older model, circa the 70's, not sure what year yet. My grandmother, coincidentally, is selling us her 2008 Chevy HHR after Grampa's death. Mom and Grammie live in New England, my husband and I live in Texas, about a 2500 mile drive.

Now to my question: I have read that the Scamp weighs about 1000 pounds, and Mom has made a few alterations, she thinks about an additional 100 pounds, and she has removed the water tank and propane tank. The Chevy HHR tows 1000 pounds. Grammie says she doesn't want us to tow the Scamp with the HHR, she is afraid towing at the max capacity would be a bad idea. That is, however, the only realistic way for us to get the Scamp to Texas! Any suggestions/warnings for us?

On another note, we dow already own a Volvo, which will tow the Scamp no problem, but it needs some work before it would ever make a trip like that, and we would have to make this trip before October, in case of snow in New England. Obviously the HHR is the ideal solution, but I am afraid to risk it!

Thanks so much!
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:15 PM   #2
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Hi Jennifer, and welcome

I'm going to have to disappoint you on the 1000# capacity tow vehicle. We have been 'round and 'round with other folks who have vehicles with that rating, and no matter how careful or "light" you are, there is just no way to tow any of our 13-footers and stay legal with that set up. We really have turned over every possible stone on this one.

On the other hand, what sort of Volvo do you have? I have a 240 wagon that tows my Boler 13 happily (And is rated for over 3000#)

Raya

PS: Just so you know, the "900#" weights of the older Scamps and etc. were really a bit of a myth. Unless you weigh YOUR trailer at an official scale and come up with a figure, you really can't know, and you're most likely to come up with about 1200# (before you add any gear). Some weigh more.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:39 PM   #3
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It's kinda crazy that a Pontiac Vibe can tow 500 pounds more than the HHR.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:55 PM   #4
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It's kinda crazy that a Pontiac Vibe can tow 500 pounds more than the HHR.
Yes, I read that too! Makes no sense!
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:58 PM   #5
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Hi Jennifer, and welcome

I'm going to have to disappoint you on the 1000# capacity tow vehicle. We have been 'round and 'round with other folks who have vehicles with that rating, and no matter how careful or "light" you are, there is just no way to tow any of our 13-footers and stay legal with that set up. We really have turned over every possible stone on this one.

On the other hand, what sort of Volvo do you have? I have a 240 wagon that tows my Boler 13 happily (And is rated for over 3000#)

Raya

PS: Just so you know, the "900#" weights of the older Scamps and etc. were really a bit of a myth. Unless you weigh YOUR trailer at an official scale and come up with a figure, you really can't know, and you're most likely to come up with about 1200# (before you add any gear). Some weigh more.
Thank you SO MUCH! It's good to get a "final answer" on this... I guess our only option is to get our Volvo fixed (it's an 850, tows I think 2500# if I'm remembering correctly)and try to pick up the Scamp next year. I've been wanting one for YEARS, so it's hard to wait, but I don't want to ruin a new car in the process! Thanks again!
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:33 AM   #6
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It's kinda crazy that a Pontiac Vibe can tow 500 pounds more than the HHR.

You want crazy?? An E-class Mercedes cannot tow at all!
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:59 AM   #7
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You want crazy?? An E-class Mercedes cannot tow at all!
Wow that is crazy. At the risk of having everyone down on me, I have never looked up a tow rating and have been pulling trailers for 40 years. Also I have worked in trailer mfg and Hitch shop.

I makemy own calls on towing.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:56 PM   #8
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I am impressed.
So tell me Don, just how long have you worked for BP?

David A.L.


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Wow that is crazy. At the risk of having everyone down on me, I have never looked up a tow rating and have been pulling trailers for 40 years. Also I have worked in trailer mfg and Hitch shop.

I makemy own calls on towing.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:57 PM   #9
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I am impressed.
So tell me Don, just how long have you worked for BP?

David A.L.
David'
That's just the way life is. .. some just follow instructions while others need to know why , and use their own judgment.
The latter is where ALL of history's progress has come from , and a few of its' setbacks .
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:07 AM   #10
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Floyd, I will be so bold as to suggest a book titled "Connections" by James Burke. It is a companion to the PBS TV series of the same name. I received a copy over a dozen years ago yet I just checked and it is still in print and available thru Amazon.com both as the book or should you prefer the DVD series.

Should you read that book you will discover that innovation was not by someone who prided themselves on never having looked up any specifications.

Civilization as we know it relies on certain rules in order to exist. One of those rules is that in this country we drive on the right side of the road, keeping to our side of the centerline. This is for the common good and well being of all those using the highway. Likewise restrictions are placed on load carrying capacities of vehicles and the trailers they may tow. To infer that someone who has forty years following directions of someone else installing hitches and towing and as a result knows better the safe towing capabilities of vehicles than the engineers who designed and built them is ludicrous.

He said he worked at such facilities not owned them, you can bet had he owned them and was responsible for the outcome of his actions he would have looked up and knew the towing capabilities of rigs. The idea that somehow disregarding the specifications is advancing knowledge and civilization boggles the mind. We are talking safety here, in particular the safety of innocents.

To have pride in not ever looked up a specification and presenting oneself as some sort of an expert boggles the mind. Pride in being ignorant???

What you do on your property is your business. Overload your rigs, drive drunk I don't care but when you pull out onto the highway it is a different story, but you know that.

David A.L.

Life is hard and harder if you make stupid decisions.

Quote:
David'
That's just the way life is. .. some just follow instructions while others need to know why , and use their own judgment.
The latter is where ALL of history's progress has come from , and a few of its' setbacks .
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:35 PM   #11
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Floyd, I will be so bold as to suggest a book titled "Connections" by James Burke. It is a companion to the PBS TV series of the same name. I received a copy over a dozen years ago yet I just checked and it is still in print and available thru Amazon.com both as the book or should you prefer the DVD series.

Should you read that book you will discover that innovation was not by someone who prided themselves on never having looked up any specifications.

Civilization as we know it relies on certain rules in order to exist. One of those rules is that in this country we drive on the right side of the road, keeping to our side of the centerline. This is for the common good and well being of all those using the highway. Likewise restrictions are placed on load carrying capacities of vehicles and the trailers they may tow. To infer that someone who has forty years following directions of someone else installing hitches and towing and as a result knows better the safe towing capabilities of vehicles than the engineers who designed and built them is ludicrous.

He said he worked at such facilities not owned them, you can bet had he owned them and was responsible for the outcome of his actions he would have looked up and knew the towing capabilities of rigs. The idea that somehow disregarding the specifications is advancing knowledge and civilization boggles the mind. We are talking safety here, in particular the safety of innocents.

To have pride in not ever looked up a specification and presenting oneself as some sort of an expert boggles the mind. Pride in being ignorant???

What you do on your property is your business. Overload your rigs, drive drunk I don't care but when you pull out onto the highway it is a different story, but you know that.

David A.L.

Life is hard and harder if you make stupid decisions.
GREAT series!
You misunderstand my characterizations. and also the dynamics of innovation.
In fact, I suggest a reread of Connections!
Your reaction is predictable and proves my point. Followers have never seen the need to know why, nor do they trust their own judgement, so naturally they will always be offended at the thought.
Understanding the why and how something works, places a person in a position to judge it's use.
You are right about that specific inference that you made, perhaps you shouldn't have.
I made no such implication.

The fact of the matter is that BP employs the very best experts in the world and confers regularly with others who do the same,[it's called benchmarking] then they use their own judgement.
99.99% of the time the result is that your home is warm and your car runs, I allowed for the setbacks inherent in the risk involved, but serendipity and progress it'self seldom falls into the laps of those who lack curiosity or have no appetite for risk.
Such people are usually relegated to the ranks of the Monday morning quarterbacks.

I assure you that I have as much respect and understanding of safety as you have as well as a willingness to rely on established engineering principles, however I am willing to violate the rule to keep on my side of the centerline, when an innocent child steps off the curb,and in so doing,showing a willingness to rely on my own judgment.
When you respond ,infer all you like, but please make no claim that I implied anything.
Regards;Floyd
BTW; I clearly understand the merits of your position and respect them within their narrow perameters.
I simply believe that the objective principles of science and engineering are not respecters of experts and rule makers, or would you like to go back to the day when doctors recommended cigarettes.
I chose not to smoke then, using my own judgment, while waiting for the experts to catch up.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:49 PM   #12
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Floyd, You misunderstand me. I used the BP as "a poke in the ribs", to point out in a what was hoped to be a somewhat humorous fashion the bizarreness of the opinion tendered by Don. My critic of your comments was that you supported a person who presented ignorance as it was a credential. And that the judgement of such an individual based on such a claim was somehow of any value. Obviously my attempt at humor was lost on you. Perhaps you have some reason for being a bit touchy and defensive about BP, did you have stock in the company? If so, I'm sorry. The bad decision had many many far reaching consequences unconsidered at the time of the poor decision.

As for BP itself, I worked on TAPS as a Quality Control Engineer in the employ of Bechtel. As such we worked ahand in hand with Alyeska, a consortium of several oil companies of which BP was a member. I am familiar with working on deadlines and to budget. And working with the "oilfield" mentality. That was years (decades) ago but even then there was a risk benefit analysis for such situations as presented themselves in the Gulf. Had they known the outcome surely they would have chosen differently and I expect as a result they will do so in the future. That doesn't negate the incorrectness of the choices made that fateful day. And from the accounts I have read it would appear that the wrong decision was the result of someone who was not so concerned about possible downside as a schedule. And he paid with his life for that poor decision; unfortunately many others have also suffered and died as a result of the wrong decision. And like it or not and rightfully or not BP will be long remembered for the poor decision made that day.


To bring this back to something relevant to towing: IMHO anyone towing beyond the stated capacity of their rigs is taking a serious risk. Should they assume that risk then they should be prepared to accept the consequences if the results come out poorly.
And anyone accepting consul from anyone who uses ignorance as a credential needs to seriously rethink their values.

I have to leave this discussion for a few days as we have guests from Switzerland arriving shortly and spending a few days with us. Floyd, I expect we would probably get on fine and would enjoy a beer together; as for Don, well not so much.

Bests,
David A. L.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:19 PM   #13
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Floyd, You misunderstand me. I used the BP as "a poke in the ribs", to point out in a what was hoped to be a somewhat humorous fashion the bizarreness of the opinion tendered by Don. My critic of your comments was that you supported a person who presented ignorance as it was a credential. And that the judgement of such an individual based on such a claim was somehow of any value. Obviously my attempt at humor was lost on you. Perhaps you have some reason for being a bit touchy and defensive about BP, did you have stock in the company? If so, I'm sorry. The bad decision had many many far reaching consequences unconsidered at the time of the poor decision.

As for BP itself, I worked on TAPS as a Quality Control Engineer in the employ of Bechtel. As such we worked ahand in hand with Alyeska, a consortium of several oil companies of which BP was a member. I am familiar with working on deadlines and to budget. And working with the "oilfield" mentality. That was years (decades) ago but even then there was a risk benefit analysis for such situations as presented themselves in the Gulf. Had they known the outcome surely they would have chosen differently and I expect as a result they will do so in the future. That doesn't negate the incorrectness of the choices made that fateful day. And from the accounts I have read it would appear that the wrong decision was the result of someone who was not so concerned about possible downside as a schedule. And he paid with his life for that poor decision; unfortunately many others have also suffered and died as a result of the wrong decision. And like it or not and rightfully or not BP will be long remembered for the poor decision made that day.


To bring this back to something relevant to towing: IMHO anyone towing beyond the stated capacity of their rigs is taking a serious risk. Should they assume that risk then they should be prepared to accept the consequences if the results come out poorly.""
And anyone accepting consul from anyone who uses ignorance as a credential needs to seriously rethink their values.

I have to leave this discussion for a few days as we have guests from Switzerland arriving shortly and spending a few days with us. Floyd, I expect we would probably get on fine and would enjoy a beer together; as for Don, well not so much.

Bests,
David A. L.

""Should they assume that risk then they should be prepared to accept the consequences if the results come out poorly.
And anyone accepting consul from anyone who uses ignorance as a credential needs to seriously rethink their values". Agreed!

And a paraphrase....

I expect we would probably get on fine and would enjoy each others company.[I'm a teetotaler] Agreed as well!

35 years with XOM nee Mobil Oil

BTW... Hey! It's only Saturday!!
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:34 PM   #14
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Some of you guys must never come to Europe, because it would probably disturb you to see the impossible being done every day.

In Britain, the Honda Fit has a manufacturer's tow rating of 2,200 pounds, though the British caravan (trailer) club would say that the sensible tow-er must not exceed 2,000 pounds.....

Andrew
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:19 PM   #15
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Moderator Hat On.

Keep this thread civil. Joking can sometimes cause problems with people.

Moderator Hat Off.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:36 PM   #16
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Some of you guys must never come to Europe, because it would probably disturb you to see the impossible being done every day.

In Britain, the Honda Fit has a manufacturer's tow rating of 2,200 pounds, though the British caravan (trailer) club would say that the sensible tow-er must not exceed 2,000 pounds.....

Andrew
Andrew, I agree 100%.
Having spent 8 years in Europe and also owning a "Caravan" over there, it amazes me that the tow ratings on this side of the pond are sometimes drastically different than those on the other side of the pond, even though some of the compared vehicles are virtually identical in build, engine, and transmission.
Although one of my cars is rated to tow 1984 lbs in the UK version, the same mode here is "Not Recommended" for towing so technically I shouldn't haul my lightweight canoe trailer with it (the one I move around by hand quite easily). I think it must have more to do with the more litigious society in the US than actual tow limits.

John
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:37 PM   #17
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Hi Jennifer, and welcome

I'm going to have to disappoint you on the 1000# capacity tow vehicle. We have been 'round and 'round with other folks who have vehicles with that rating, and no matter how careful or "light" you are, there is just no way to tow any of our 13-footers and stay legal with that set up. We really have turned over every possible stone on this one.

On the other hand, what sort of Volvo do you have? I have a 240 wagon that tows my Boler 13 happily (And is rated for over 3000#)

Raya

PS: Just so you know, the "900#" weights of the older Scamps and etc. were really a bit of a myth. Unless you weigh YOUR trailer at an official scale and come up with a figure, you really can't know, and you're most likely to come up with about 1200# (before you add any gear). Some weigh more.
Hi Jennifer,
I have a 13' Trillium and asked the same question about using my 2.0 L 5 speed Jetta before purchase. I had some 'experts' tell me no way and others telling me they tow their's with a Corolla. I bought my little gem and took it for a spin around NB last week; highway [at] 110 kph, hills, along the coast, dirt roads... I could hardly tell I was pulling anything. Stopping was no problem either.
Last November, I used my Jetta to haul a utility trailer with my V-Star 1100 to Florida and back, over 4,000 miles, with no problem and that rig weighs at least as much as my Trillium.
If you're worried about the HHR, and I wouldn't be, (that's just my opinion), either fix the Volvo or pay someone to haul it for you.
I have 35 years experience in the trucking business and therefore my driving experience and 'feel' for towing may be different than yours'.
Welcome and good luck.
Barrie
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:17 PM   #18
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If your car is rated to tow 'X' (whether or not you agree that it 'can' tow more than that) and you get ino an accident, the insurance company will go by that 'X' amount when verifying if you were within your tow rating. Insurance companies are not known to 'give you the benefit of the doubt'. And if there is another car involved in the accident also, you definitely do not want to be found 'overloaded'.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:46 PM   #19
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If your car is rated to tow 'X' (whether or not you agree that it 'can' tow more than that) and you get ino an accident, the insurance company will go by that 'X' amount when verifying if you were within your tow rating. Insurance companies are not known to 'give you the benefit of the doubt'. And if there is another car involved in the accident also, you definitely do not want to be found 'overloaded'.
Tow ratings are not necessarily legal limits, many are merely manufacturer's recommendations "as delivered and eqipped".
By adding towing equipment the stock capacity can be increased, for instance....
the addition of electric brake controllers, transmission coolers, and upgraded hitches.
The exact same vehicle without a factory tow package can be safely upgraded to match the tow package vehicle with the addition of the parts contained in the package.
Many TVs are rated at 3500lb but are not factory equipped with brake controllers which are required to meet that standard in most states.
Don't forget that "weight" is not the only limiting factor for tow capacity, other things such as total frontal area,and tongue weight must be considered.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:49 PM   #20
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it amazes me that the tow ratings on this side of the pond are sometimes drastically different than those on the other side of the pond, even though some of the compared vehicles are virtually identical in build, engine, and transmission.
Yes, there are big differences. But I don't want to suggest that Yurpeen towing ratings can be used in Merka, as the towing practices are different. For example, Yurpeen tow-ers think 4-7% hitch weight is adequate and indeed our higher tow ratings often limit the hitch weight to 4-5% unless you are willing to exceed the manufacturer's hitch weight limit.

To tow safely with these low hitch weights, tow-ers excpect to drive below the speed of other traffic and to pay a lot of attention to any tendency for sway to start. However it is clear that small vehicles can tow quite heavy trailers without (a) the tow vehicle being pulled apart, ( every trip involving a crash, tow vehicles failing mechanically, or (d) plagues of locusts and frogs descending on all trailers.

Andrew
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