Towing capacities - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-18-2020, 03:22 PM   #1
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Name: Mike
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Smile Towing capacities

In general, if you over engineer something, you have less to worry about. So with tow capacity if your TV can handle well more than your tow, you can rest easier. Now I know some have a vehicle already and want to know what they can tow; that's good and fine. But if one has a tow in mind and doesn't have a TV yet, it would be good to look for a TV that can easily pull it even if you buy used, and even give up some MPG.

I'm all about reducing stress. If I never have to worry about the tow weight; perfect!

Tahoe pulling a 16 Scamp.
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Old 08-18-2020, 04:47 PM   #2
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This came up somewhere, buried in a thread on a related topic. Someone did the calculations based on how many miles they typically haul their trailer in a year, and what the difference would be in gas expenses with a reasonable mpg difference. Basically, if you're buying a whole different vehicle for a maybe 5mpg gain, you're going to be underwhelmed with the savings...

So it depends on why you want better mpg. If it's an idealistic thing, that's cool. If it's strictly a budget thing, it doesn't get you very far.

I'm only focusing on mpg because that's often the argument for using a smaller TV.

Always better to to have more tow vehicle than you need, but I'm definitely one of those who has the truck he wants, and I make it work for my trailer. The thing about bigger trucks is that some of the more modern full size trucks get better mileage than my little V6 Tacoma, both towing and unloaded. Best of both worlds in that way.
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Old 08-18-2020, 06:07 PM   #3
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Smile Towing

So much agree. I'm totally into reducing stress!!!! If I don't have to worry about it, less stress. They say stress kills! Same reason for a FB trailer; less chance (I didn't say no chance) of leaks and rot. I had a stick/tin truck camper and swear to God; worried about it at night.....
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:34 AM   #4
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Yeah. I know I should have a bigger truck for my trailer, but oh well. It's safe, but would be safer with a heavier truck.

I don't mind going slow. The idea that if you can't go as fast as you want up any hill, then you don't have a powerful enough truck, is silly to me. I see semis going 40mph with flashers on going up mountain passes all the time.

But if your TV is getting thrown around by the weight of your trailer, you can't stop well etc, that's not ok.

I guess I'm "lucky" in one sense. Whenever my truck does finally die, no one makes trucks this small anymore. I'll be forced to buy something bigger.
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:23 AM   #5
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One element is almost always overlooked in these discussions is the very purpose of small fiberglass trailers.

(Ok that last one isn't fiberglass but it should be)
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:29 AM   #6
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Except that Bigfoot and some others aren't that small!

My truck would be perfect for a 13' Scamp.
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
Yeah. I know I should have a bigger truck for my trailer, but oh well. It's safe, but would be safer with a heavier truck.

I don't mind going slow. The idea that if you can't go as fast as you want up any hill, then you don't have a powerful enough truck, is silly to me. I see semis going 40mph with flashers on going up mountain passes all the time.

But if your TV is getting thrown around by the weight of your trailer, you can't stop well etc, that's not ok.

I guess I'm "lucky" in one sense. Whenever my truck does finally die, no one makes trucks this small anymore. I'll be forced to buy something bigger.
I get it. I towed with a real and capable truck for 18 years which had 114" wheelbase and weighed 3200pounds, more power than its entry level fullsized equivalent with the same brakes and drive train and a 6000 tow rating.
My new truck had to be 126" wheelbase and 3900 pounds. It is capable but much more sedate and less fun as a daily driver.


I tire at hearing that there is a need for a massive oversized vehicle to tow a Scamp13.
Just one look at any campground and it would be obvious that that the average trailer/truck ratio is much higher than 90% of the small fiberglass trailer/tow vehicle ratio even if measured in percentage of TV ratings.
Actually too much HP can be more dangerous than too little in the wrong hands.
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:29 PM   #8
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Except that Bigfoot and some others aren't that small!

My truck would be perfect for a 13' Scamp.
So the problem is that fiberglass trailers are getting too big?

Or is it just that the right tool for the job is the safest tool for the job in the right hands.
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Old 08-19-2020, 10:54 PM   #9
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WE picked upo our E21C in June after a 4 month covid delay. Towed it home from Phoenix camping and visiting for 3 weeks, then 2 other camping jaunts since then. Decision was that the 2wd V6 Frontier Crew Cab, long bed was fine for the Casita 17, but not so fine for hauling the bigger E21..ok on flat ground and moderate hills..but not so good in the mountains of CO, NM, AZ and even here in TN..long grades even w the AC off(108* in Phoenix??) ended up w the fronty in 2nd gear rather often...and that 4500ish RPMs is not comfortable. WE just picked up the Titan XD 4x4 V8/gasser last night..no problemo w hauling now. ;-)
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Old 08-20-2020, 07:58 AM   #10
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So the problem is that fiberglass trailers are getting too big?

Or is it just that the right tool for the job is the safest tool for the job in the right hands.
If I understand your statement, yes!

You mentioned small fiberglass trailers were built so that we could tow with smaller vehicles. Which is true. I was pointing out for the rest of the audience that though it’s true, it only relates to those small trailers. Trying to pull my trailer with a Subaru would be a bad idea to say the least. So there is still a legitimate argument against using too little tow vehicle. The right tool in the right hands, yes.

I love my truck. It’s going to be hard to let it go.

As far as new vehicles, I still like the Tacoma. After that, going strictly on looks, the new Rangers are my next favorite. The Colorado’s aren’t so bad looking either, but Ford wins in my eyes. No idea on quality comparisons between the three. Probably mostly comes down to what you want.
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Old 08-20-2020, 08:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
If I understand your statement, yes!

You mentioned small fiberglass trailers were built so that we could tow with smaller vehicles. Which is true. I was pointing out for the rest of the audience that though it’s true, it only relates to those small trailers. Trying to pull my trailer with a Subaru would be a bad idea to say the least. So there is still a legitimate argument against using too little tow vehicle. The right tool in the right hands, yes.

I love my truck. It’s going to be hard to let it go.

As far as new vehicles, I still like the Tacoma. After that, going strictly on looks, the new Rangers are my next favorite. The Colorado’s aren’t so bad looking either, but Ford wins in my eyes. No idea on quality comparisons between the three. Probably mostly comes down to what you want.
Yes , as I have always said... Right tool for the job.
There are plenty here who carry the "argument against too little tow vehicle" to such an extreme that it is no longer "legitimate"
It often becomes "the argument for too much tow vehicle"

I'm not saying you have done that.


Of course if a person actually likes driving a big ol' truck, he certainly has more options ....



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Old 08-29-2020, 12:00 PM   #12
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Towing was first consideration when replacing SUV

We have a '96 Bigfoot 17. When we bought it we had an '05 Lexus RX330 which we were using to tow our Scamp 13 footer. Lexus tow capacity is 3500 lbs. Fine for Scamp but not as good for Bigfoot which is about 2800 lbs wet. When we replaced Lexus, first priority was SUV with 5000 lb capacity. Next priority was length of SUV as garage is small and it had to fit inside. That narrowed options to Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. Ended up with '18 Highlander and couldn't be more pleased when towing Bigfoot. It's just right for us.
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Old 08-29-2020, 12:10 PM   #13
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That narrowed options to Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. Ended up with '18 Highlander and couldn't be more pleased when towing Bigfoot. It's just right for us.

With weight distribution hitch or no?
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Old 08-29-2020, 02:54 PM   #14
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Yes Scamps and similar sized Egg Campers can be towed by cars, similar to what they do in Europe
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Old 08-29-2020, 03:07 PM   #15
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So the problem is that fiberglass trailers are getting too big?

Or is it just that the right tool for the job is the safest tool for the job in the right hands.
Here you have Diesel " Midsizers" pulling 20ft Caravans that weigh 6,500lb. Seeing they are by far the most common " car" people use these days and even heavier SUV's for Caravans weighing 8000lbs
US HD Pickups, then Japanese Trucks for anything heavier.
Towing with cars has died out in Australia, but 1970's Caravans could be towed with the 5000lb limit.
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Old 08-29-2020, 03:27 PM   #16
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Yes Scamps and similar sized Egg Campers can be towed by cars, similar to what they do in Europe
When it comes to passenger vehicles, North American tow ratings tend to be significantly lower for the same or similar vehicles than in Europe, thus providing hours of entertaining debate on towing forums.


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Old 08-29-2020, 03:40 PM   #17
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When it comes to passenger vehicles, North American tow ratings tend to be significantly lower for the same or similar vehicles than in Europe, thus providing hours of entertaining debate on towing forums.
Yes the US OEM's want you to buy Pickup Trucks.
Ironically US Pickup towing capacities are downgraded considerably in Australia. Eg a RAM 1500 would have a 4500kg towing( 9,900lb), but in reality to get a 1000lb payload on a 50mm ball it would be 3500kg or7,700lb. Vastly different to US ratings.
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Old 08-29-2020, 04:00 PM   #18
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I would love to sit on a jury where the defendants defense / excuse for a towing over his / her vehicles weight limit was that it’s “Allowed in Europe “
I’d vote to give him / her the chair !
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Old 08-29-2020, 04:03 PM   #19
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I haven't ever read through a towing forum so I'm sure this has been beat to death...all the same, "what I've heard" is that the trucks in the US are actually different. The market for a real workhorse wasn't here, so we got flimsier, more passenger-style comfort vehicles. So it isn't that the same truck is given different tow capacities in different countries. It's that the truck itself is different here. I'm completely open to learning that this is wrong.

It does make sense to me though, as Japanese diesels never "took" in the US, so they quickly stopped offering them here, and because double-cab, 4-door Toyota pickups were available just about everywhere except North America as far back as the early 80s. We didn't get quad cab models until 2001, and still don't have a diesel.

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Old 08-29-2020, 05:11 PM   #20
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I would love to sit on a jury where the defendants defense / excuse for a towing over his / her vehicles weight limit was that itís ďAllowed in Europe ď
Iíd vote to give him / her the chair !
Several million Europeans would be in the witness box saying you can😁
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