Tow vehicle? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-25-2021, 05:32 PM   #1
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Boler
Ontario
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Unhappy Tow vehicle?

We have Bubba - a 1974 Boler which we enjoy very much. We are looking for a new tow vehicle. The vehicle which interests us has a tow capacity of 1500 lbs.
Boler weight is listed under 1000lbs, but I have read that realistically they are more like 1500lbs. We do not have access to a drive-through weigh scale. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.
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Old 11-25-2021, 05:44 PM   #2
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I am having a difficult time seeing that any trailer with your travel junk in it weighs less than 1500-2000 lbs.

I would be rethinking my tow vehicle options rather than getting something that barely will do the job.

Charles
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Old 11-25-2021, 09:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CharlesinGA View Post
I am having a difficult time seeing that any trailer with your travel junk in it weighs less than 1500-2000 lbs.

I would be rethinking my tow vehicle options rather than getting something that barely will do the job.

Charles
I just weighed my 13' Scamp with two propane bottles as well as battery and solar panels (but no water) at a certified scale: 1340 lbs. But I sure wouldn't attempt towing it with only a 1500 lbs limit.
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Old Yesterday, 12:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by chrisblessing View Post
I just weighed my 13' Scamp with two propane bottles as well as battery and solar panels (but no water) at a certified scale: 1340 lbs. But I sure wouldn't attempt towing it with only a 1500 lbs limit.
I sure would, but it would depend on what the vehicle was and whether it was designed for the task at hand.

I towed my Scamp 13 for 10years with a Ford Escape 2.3L 5spd manual, tow rated at 1500#.
The exact vehicle with a V6 Auto was tow rated at 3500# (properly equipped) The reduced rating was due entirely to drive train and that Ford would not offer the tow package.
The vehicle was retrofitted with the tow package and provided plenty of power, safety, and reliability with the smaller engine and the 9" clutch.

The thing is ... its the chassis, suspension , tires and brakes which matter for safe towing. But the lower tow rating was based entirely on the drivetrain. In this case, the engine and transmission were considered marginal but that all else was essentially overkill.

I agree that there should be an allowance for margin, but not all vehicles with a 1500 pound tow rating are equal, some make much better tow vehicles than others, but they are all capable of towing up to their ratings, even though some may be less advisable to do so than others...

Yes, tow rating is important but there are other considerations which contribute to the overall suitability for a tow vehicle.
In the case of the Escape, stress on the drive train was the reason for the rating, not the capability of the chassis, so there was plenty of safety margin for the 13Scamp.


PS. the vehicle is still in service in my family and the drive train has suffered no damage.
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Old Yesterday, 07:23 AM   #5
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There are three 13' Bolers listed on the Weights-in-the-Real World spreadsheet. 1300#, 1800#, 1880#.
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Old Yesterday, 08:44 AM   #6
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A number of popular 1500# rated compact SUVs, including the CR-V and Forester, now use CVTs (continuously variable transmissions). If your intended tow vehicle is one of them, I would consider it among those less desirable to tow close to their rated limits.

Better choices include the Outback (2700#), Mazda CX-5 (2000#), RAV4 Adventure (3500#), and RAV4 Hybrid (1750#). The list reflects my personal bias toward Asian makes. There are suitable compact choices from Ford and Jeep as well.

One up-and-coming model that looks to be a great match for a 13’ trailer is the Ford Maverick pickup. The base hybrid power train is rated 2000# and the turbo 4 with AWD and tow package can tow 4000#.

When tow ratings are marginal you have to consider payload as well. Tow ratings are based on 2@150# people in the vehicle and nothing else. When you add additional passengers, pets, and cargo, you reduce your available towing capacity.
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Old Yesterday, 09:19 AM   #7
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Oddly enough the E-CVT is a totally different animal than a conventional CVT.
It has no belts or pulleys , but rather a planetary gear system.
Although there is not much in common, this "all new" (and much better) design is reminiscent of the most famous planetary transmission of all time...

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Old Yesterday, 09:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Oddly enough the E-CVT is a totally different animal than a conventional CVT.
It has no belts or pulleys , but rather a planetary gear system.
I'm glad you mentioned that distinction, and it’s why I included two eCVT vehicles (RAV4 and Maverick hybrids) as potential good choices. Hybrids also have regenerative braking for downhill speed control, a plus for towing.

There is one belt-and-pulley CVT on my list, too, the Subaru Outback. Though I am generally leery of conventional CVTs for towing duty, this one has been tested to 2700# and has a pretty good track record for towing 13’ers in the real world.

The others are all conventional automatics.
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Old Yesterday, 10:01 AM   #9
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I am under the impression that nearly all the manufacturers lie about their trailer weights. My tow vehicle is rated for 5000 lbs. My trailer weight maxes out at just under 3000 lbs. loaded or 60% of my tug's maximum rating. I would not want to tow anything heavier. We were told at the time of purchase that our trailer weighed 2000 lbs. dry. In actuality it weighed approximately 350 lbs. more.
If I were a week-end camper seldom traveling more than a few hundred miles from home this may not be a large concern. We travel a lot averaging about 6000 tow miles a year in terrain from mild to wild. I like having the necessary power and towing stability to drive with a greater sense of safety.
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Old Yesterday, 11:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bill in Pittsburgh View Post
I am under the impression that nearly all the manufacturers lie about their trailer weights. My tow vehicle is rated for 5000 lbs. My trailer weight maxes out at just under 3000 lbs. loaded or 60% of my tug's maximum rating. I would not want to tow anything heavier. We were told at the time of purchase that our trailer weighed 2000 lbs. dry. In actuality it weighed approximately 350 lbs. more.
If I were a week-end camper seldom traveling more than a few hundred miles from home this may not be a large concern. We travel a lot averaging about 6000 tow miles a year in terrain from mild to wild. I like having the necessary power and towing stability to drive with a greater sense of safety.
You have likely made good choices, but if it is true that all trailers are much heavier than the manufacturer's claim, and that all TVs are much less capable than their manufacturer's claim, then why use them as authoritative sources? That presents a real conundrum and would preclude blanket judgements based on ratings which can not be trusted.

It then becomes incumbent upon the buyer (caveat emptor) to do some real objective research before the purchase of either, looking at each prospective vehicle individually without relying entirely on a door sticker or "bad" information from the manufacturers and sales people.

While I don't fully subscribe to the aforementioned premise, I would still say "trust but verify" then take responsibility for the choice made.
A "barely adequate" tow combination can be a miserable choice, but overkill can be a miserable choice as well.

I have two properly equipped TVs for my Scamp, one is pretty much at the tow rating, while the other rating is close to four times the weight of the Scamp.
While not equal, each has the necessary power and towing stability to drive with a great sense of safety and comfort.
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Old Yesterday, 03:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
[B]
It then becomes incumbent upon the buyer (caveat emptor) to do some real objective research before the purchase of either, looking at each prospective vehicle individually without relying entirely on "bad" information from the manufacturers and sales people.
You are quire correct. No substitute for experience and as the old saying goes, "It cost money to go to school."
This forum is a great place to gather experience and maximize your RV investment. First time buyers may learn here that even a manufacturer may provide misleading information.
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Old Yesterday, 04:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bill in Pittsburgh View Post
First time buyers may learn here that even a manufacturer may provide misleading information.
It's not the manufacturer's fault if the buyer doesn't understand what the term "dry weight" means.
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Old Yesterday, 06:26 PM   #13
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It's not the manufacturer's fault if the buyer doesn't understand what the term "dry weight" means.
Like I said Glenn. It cost money to go to school.
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Old Yesterday, 07:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
When tow ratings are marginal you have to consider payload as well.
Yep, and adding even a couple of hundred pounds hitch weight could put you over in some of these marginal vehicles. You have to look at each door sticker and not make assumptions, one way or the other. Though I wouldn't consider towing anything with our Prius, I was surprised that it shows 825# for "combined cargo and passengers." So purely based on payload, a reasonably sized couple and tongue weight of a small trailer could be under the limit. On the other hand, with obesity epidemic even among kids, a family of four could squish the poor thing. Anyway, be sure to check payload on the door sticker, even if you are under the advertised tow limit.
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