Tow Vehicle (mid-size PU) for 19' Scamp 5th wheel - Fiberglass RV
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:27 PM   #1
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Name: Paul
Trailer: 2005 Scamp 19' 5th Wheel
Oregon
Posts: 23
Tow Vehicle (mid-size PU) for 19' Scamp 5th wheel

We picked up a used 19' Scamp 5th wheel using a '99 Chevy 1500 that we inherited. We already felt ambivalent about the truck, but now it needs unexpected work so we're looking for something else. We're partial to Japanese vehicles, and want a mid-size pickup. The Honda Ridgeline has a goofy bed (and Scamp does not approve of using them) and the Toyota Tacoma has a composite bed, which hitch manufacturers recommend against installing in. I know that some people do this, but it looks like it's pretty difficult to do it right, and my local RV/trailer repair guy is sticking to general hitch guidelines.

That leaves me with the Nissan Frontier, which I'm just starting to research.

Anyone out there have experience with any of these three models towing the 5th wheel with advice or recommendations? We would want a crew cab and ideally 4x4.
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:38 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottoscamp View Post
We picked up a used 19' Scamp 5th wheel using a '99 Chevy 1500 that we inherited. We already felt ambivalent about the truck, but now it needs unexpected work so we're looking for something else. We're partial to Japanese vehicles, and want a mid-size pickup. The Honda Ridgeline has a goofy bed (and Scamp does not approve of using them) and the Toyota Tacoma has a composite bed, which hitch manufacturers recommend against installing in. I know that some people do this, but it looks like it's pretty difficult to do it right, and my local RV/trailer repair guy is sticking to general hitch guidelines.

That leaves me with the Nissan Frontier, which I'm just starting to research.

Anyone out there have experience with any of these three models towing the 5th wheel with advice or recommendations? We would want a crew cab and ideally 4x4.
Ignoring your rather limiting criteria , I would research the Chevy Colorado or the new Ford Ranger . Both are fine vehicles capable of towing a Scamp 5th
wheeler .
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:40 PM   #3
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1st Gen Tundra would work great I bet!
There are also deals to be had for the age and people seem to want the huge ones now too.

I have had a couple of them and still do have an '01 V8 4 x 4 and it has been perfect for me.

I think the Frontier are pretty bulletproof as well and mostly "old school" design too which I bet helps the reliability overall.
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:04 PM   #4
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Name: Dennis
Trailer: Scamp
Minnesota
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As stated, the GM twins Colorado, and GMC would pull the Scamp 19 well. The Ford Ranger will most likely work well, although I hesitate to buy in the first year of production. Before I change trailers, We had a Scamp 19’ and our Nissan was a near perfect tow vehicle. Ours is very comfortable, and has more than adequate power for towing. I towed with a Toyota Tacoma before the Nissan, and it worked quite well also.
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:11 PM   #5
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
Washington
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I have seen a Toyota 4X4 a member of this forum owns with a composite bed and set up to tow a Scamp 19. The set up did not require any modifications to the composite bed. It worked well and removing the hitch would be fairly easy. I looked at it and am thinking of buying a Scamp 19 myself.


My Tacoma is 11 years old and has the 4.0 V6. It has enough power to tow the Scamp 19. The newer Tacoma's have a 3.5 L V6, and reports indicate that the newer smaller engine does not have enough power for this application.
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Old 12-01-2018, 08:20 AM   #6
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I saw a Ridgeline (really a modified SUV) towing a Scamp19 using a beautiful custom designed hitch. It even allowed for access to the in-bed trunk.
If you like the Tacoma, the box material is no hindrance to the hitch, but I think the Nissan Frontier would be your best choice for a Japanese brand.


Thank you for not choosing American brand trucks, that will help keep the price down when I go to buy my new Ranger... providing there are still more like you out there.


My two top choices will be the new Ranger or keeping my 18YO Ranger which has towed my Scamp and lots of other trailers since new and still looks and does well.
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:34 AM   #7
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Name: Peter
Trailer: Scamp
Iowa
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Hi Paul,


I sold my 19 foot Scamp this past summer and still have the truck -- and the hitch -- which we used to tow it. It's a 1994 Silverado with about 185,000 miles on it and it is in great shape. It was used exclusively to tow the Scamp for the four seasons we had it. Don't be scared off by its age, as it is a really dependable truck. We are looking to sell it at a very reasonable price. If you are interested, PM me.


Peter
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:47 AM   #8
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Plus one on the Frontier. It is a simple, straightforward, reliable truck that can be had at a reasonable price. My last truck was an early Frontier, and I would buy another if I had the need. The cab was pretty spartan, but the seats were comfortable and supportive for a long day's drive.

Only caveat is the rear seat in the crew cab is small for regular use by anyone over about 10 years old. Fine for occasional use.

Buying used it's good to keep your options open. A full-size truck can get nearly as good (or on some cases even better) fuel economy with more capability and a bigger back seat. Parking a full-size crew cab can be a pain, though.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:56 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=Peter S. in Iowa;725541]Hi Paul,


I sold my 19 foot Scamp this past summer and still have the truck -- and the hitch -- which we used to tow it. It's a 1994 Silverado with about 185,000 miles on it and it is in great shape. It was used exclusively to tow the Scamp for the four seasons we had it. Don't be scared off by its age, as it is a really dependable truck. We are looking to sell it at a very reasonable price. If you are interested, PM me.


Peter, we have a 1993 GMC 1500 with 195,000 miles on it, that we tow our Lil Snoozy with. I feel the best bang for the buck would be to purchase a crate motor or rebuilt transmission when/if needed instead of having payments for years. That difference in price point will buy a lot of gas for travel/camping.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:14 AM   #10
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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If you are going to consider a new vehicle what about the new Jeep PU?

I pull with a 2011 Tundra which does a great job. The older Tundras have a good reputation also, and have a smaller body.

I have needed to use my 4x4 at least 1x each camping season.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:01 PM   #11
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Scamp 5th wheel
MB
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We have a 19' scamp that we tow with a 2016 Colorado with the V6. I installed a cold air intake and exhaust which improved the low end power significantly. If you are looking for a used truck I would recommend the previous generation Colorado/Canyon with the 3.7 L 5 cylinder, limited slip diff. The 5 cylinder has way more low end power than the V6 and the fuel mileage is about the same. I had a 2 wheel drive version with this and it was great even in snow, better than our new one. I looked at the Nissan and Toyota before we bought the Colorado and decided against the Nissan mostly because it was older technology, the rated fuel mileage wasn't as good and the seats were not as comfortable. the Toyota cab was too small for me. We find the Chevy's seat very comfortable for long trips and the gadgets it has are actually useful. I have owned Nissans in the past and Chevy's (no Fords or Toyotas). I have found overall the Chevy's have been a better truck.
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:57 AM   #12
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Trailer: In the market
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Own a tundra first generation 2006. Cost about $17k used with less than 90k miles on it. Towing a 5000 pound lance TT. no problems. Getting about 10 mpg when towing. The first generation line ends at 2006 year, but their is a legacy frame rusting issue that Toyota factory corrected in many. If you can find a 2000 to 2006 tundra that has the frame replaced go for it in 8 cylinder; with factory towing package. The six cylinder tundra version is underpowered in my opinion.

If you can get a 2010 or newer tundra with decent low miles under $20k then go for that.

BTW my sister in law bought a Honda ridge line used with engine issues. She ending up spending $5000 more a year later to replace the engine. Be careful.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by offroad View Post
Own a tundra first generation 2006. Cost about $17k used with less than 90k miles on it. Towing a 5000 pound lance TT. no problems. Getting about 10 mpg when towing. The first generation line ends at 2006 year, but their is a legacy frame rusting issue that Toyota factory corrected in many. If you can find a 2000 to 2006 tundra that has the frame replaced go for it in 8 cylinder; with factory towing package. The six cylinder tundra version is underpowered in my opinion.

If you can get a 2010 or newer tundra with decent low miles under $20k then go for that.

BTW my sister in law bought a Honda ridge line used with engine issues. She ending up spending $5000 more a year later to replace the engine. Be careful.
My V6 Tundra towed the Casita 17' just fine.
My V8 tows it somewhat more fine.
Either was up to the task and I used the V6 to drag that thing all over the place including through the Co. Mountains without incident.

My '01 was also inspected and found to not need the frame replaced and evidently not all of them came from the batch of bad ones.
I think the frames were from one specific supplier that failed to treat them correctly in manufacturing and those were the only problem versions.

Mine has 150k on it and climbing and I drove it 5000 miles a few weeks ago to South Florida and back trouble free.

In fact I have never really had a single problem the whole time I have had this one and only a few small issues with the V6 model before that.

I also had an '07 with the big motor for about a year and that thing was a towing BEAST!
But I hardly needed it for the Casita and got rid of it for a Land Cruiser which I hardly need too!?

I love the 1st Gen Tundy for most Eggs.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:48 AM   #14
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Name: Larry
Trailer: 2003 Scamp 19ft deluxe 5th wheel
Florida
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We have a Frontier v6 crew cab for our 19' Scamp. It tows great. We installed the hitch ourselves and were no techies. ( I'm 75). on last one we used a Dakota which they no longer make. Getting about 16.5 mpg pulling. Very happy with it.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:04 AM   #15
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Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Deluxe B19 19 ft / 2007 Nissan Frontier V6 NISMO 4x4
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I tow my 19 foot Bigfoot with my Nissan Frontier... It's a 2007 Nismo 4 x 4 V6 and I love it! I haven't seen any other truck on the market that I would buy instead. My mechanic always says it's really well-built and it's been very reliable in the 11 years I've owned it
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:07 AM   #16
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
I saw a Ridgeline (really a modified SUV) towing a Scamp19 using a beautiful custom designed hitch. It even allowed for access to the in-bed trunk.
If you like the Tacoma, the box material is no hindrance to the hitch, but I think the Nissan Frontier would be your best choice for a Japanese brand.


Thank you for not choosing American brand trucks, that will help keep the price down when I go to buy my new Ranger... providing there are still more like you out there.


My two top choices will be the new Ranger or keeping my 18YO Ranger which has towed my Scamp and lots of other trailers since new and still looks and does well.
The real competition for the new Ford Ranger is the Chevy Colorado / GMC Colorado . I know people who own / drive Tacomaís / Frontiers . They were purchased as commuter vehicles that looked like a truck not as a work / tow vehicles . The new Rangers will work well for commuting and as a tow vehicle
A totally different market IMHO
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:50 PM   #17
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Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Deluxe B19 19 ft / 2007 Nissan Frontier V6 NISMO 4x4
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HA, Steve! Of course there are always bigger and more powerful trucks than the Tacomas and Frontiers, but these are hardly "commute" vehicles - my Nissan Frontier has a very beefy frame and off-road suspension with a 6,100 lb tow capacity, which is excellent for its size. It has hauled so many heavy loads of building and landscaping materials over the 11 years I have owned it - never an issue. I just replaced the shocks and struts last month, after 104,000 miles.

As far as "buying American," my Nissan truck was built in TN, U.S.A, and has as many U.S.-based components as it can, given that many U.S. manufacturing companies chose to move their production to other countries decades ago. So your so-called "American brands" are not necessarily any more "American" than Nissan or Toyota at this point. I bought my truck knowing that, because it was built in TN, it was employing Americans at decent wages for their labor.

In my opinion, people should buy whatever truck they most feel drawn to and can afford. There is no reason to malign anyone else's choice of vehicle and that is not the purpose of these forums.
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by V'sGlassSleeper View Post
HA, Steve! Of course there are always bigger and more powerful trucks than the Tacomas and Frontiers, but these are hardly "commute" vehicles - my Nissan Frontier has a very beefy frame and off-road suspension with a 6,100 lb tow capacity, which is excellent for its size. It has hauled so many heavy loads of building and landscaping materials over the 11 years I have owned - never an issue. I just replaced the shocks and struts last month, after 104,000 miles.

As far as "buying American," my Nissan truck was built in TN, U.S.A, and has as many U.S.-based components as it can, given that many U.S. manufacturing companies chose to move their manufacturing to other countries decades ago. So your so-called "American brands" are not necessarily any more "American" than Nissan at this point. I bought my truck knowing that, because it was built in TN, it was employing Americans at decent wages for their labor.

In my opinion, people should buy whatever truck they most feel drawn to and can afford. There is no reason to malign anyone else's choice of vehicle and that is not the purpose of these forums.
Notice I said "American brand".
Ford was building trucks when Aichi was only known for $2 imitations of American clocks. (I have a couple and love them)
Ford has a proud legacy which has produced a durable and reciprocal loyalty for generations.




I Love this early Datsun with no apps in the dash...
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Old 12-04-2018, 01:23 AM   #19
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We tow a Scamp 16 with a Nissan Frontier V6 auto trans and it works very well. The Frontier has a very comfortable ride but wins no contests on gas mileage. Engine braking downhill is well balanced for the Scamp 16 but I would not want to pull anything much heavier with it. I tend to put a fair amount of gear in the back of the pickup in addition to the trailer so if you tow the 19 without a lot of extra gear in the pickup the weight might not be that much different. Iím not sure of the weight difference between 16 and 19 Scamp.
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:50 AM   #20
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I tow my 19 foot Bigfoot with my Nissan Frontier... It's a 2007 Nismo 4 x 4 V6 and I love it! I haven't seen any other truck on the market that I would buy instead. My mechanic always says it's really well-built and it's been very reliable in the 11 years I've owned it


I like V6 in some trucks and light weight trailers like scamp. You can get over 15 mpg with that.
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