Will a CRV work for towing? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-31-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
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We are interested in possibily a 13' Scamp and have a Honda CRV. Is this a realistic option for towing?
Tim
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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The tow capacity of the CRV is 1500#. The dry weight of the Scamp 13 is 1200#. By the time you load up the CRV you may be close to the max tow weight. It will be close but with in the manufactures range.
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:38 PM   #3
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As you can see in my profile info, I'm a CRV owner who tows. Its something I explored a lot before I got a trailer, what the vehicles capabilities are/were, and what rigs are available in it's capacity. Honestly though many 13 ft rigs dry & empty weight might be within the tow capacity, but the time you add groceries, supplies, clothing, fresh water, propane, and all the other regular stuff, they often exceed the CRV's safe tow capacity.

And there lies the problem... I believe it's also highly recommended that you actually weigh a trailer as it sets, rather than just taking the dry weight on a sticker in the trailer, or on the registration, as super solid fact.

IF you find one that's within the tow capacity dry & empty, and can keep yourself to a VERY TIGHT weight budget as far as what you add to the trailer, then you're just fine. The catch is, most people can't do that...

My personal trailer, a Compact II, though fairly light as far as even fiberglass trailers go, had to be put on a 'diet' after it got it's official weigh-in a while back, as I was a bit over the 1500lb capacity myself. It tows okay with my CRV, though it can be a workout for the CRV depending on how flat the terrain I'm traveling through. Though I haven't added a trans cooler or anything to my CRV, I do get the trans serviced frequently per dealer recommendation for towing. And I just try to take it easy when I tow, keeping my speed down around 55-60MPH, stuff like that...

From what I've seen, the lightest trailers around are other Hunter rigs, but less 'option loaded' than mine, like Compact Jrs. If I remember right, the CJs that were at the last rally I was at all weighed in at either under or right around 1000lbs, which gives you plenty of 'weight budget' to work with.

So that's my input there, feel free to ask anything more you'd like to K?

Joe
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
We are interested in possibily a 13' Scamp and have a Honda CRV. Is this a realistic option for towing?
Tim
Here's a picture of my Ford Escape 4CYL and my Scamp 13 deluxe front bath, at the top of the Mt St. Helens overlook. this was part of a 5800 mile trip with mileage always in the mid-twenties. It is properly equipped and adult driven. I.E. The Scamp has electric brakes which is very advisable when the weight of the trailer exceeds 40% of the TV.
As you know, every trailer type tows differently. An open trailer tows MUCH easier than a closed trailer for instance. Having owned and towed many small Fiberglass and stick built trailers, I can tell you that there is more to towing capacity than trailer weight, For instance, aerodynamics and frontal area of the trailer have a huge impact on towability. I have owned both a Compact Jr. and several Scamps. My fully loaded 13Deluxe Scamp tows easier with less strain and better mileage than my base CJ did empty.
Although the CJ was many hundreds of pounds lighter, it had more ground clearance and presented more frontal area. Still it was a nice little trailer to tow, especially with my Ranger.
Also You do not say what year your CRV is. There is a big variation in size, weight, HP, and chassis design through the years, all of which effect towing prudence.
Ultimately, you must make the decision and take the responsibility for what you drive and for how it is equipped and and maintained. Seek good advice, use common sense, then enjoy yourself, safely and within the realistic limitations of your equipment and skills.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:10 PM   #5
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I suggest that you get something to level the TV like Air Shocks or Air Bags. Makes sure that the trailer is level as well (ball heights and hitch height)

You TV will pull it. Not sure how far. The main problem is stopping distances and going uphill and slowing down going down hill. It is recommended that you do not execeed 80% of your TV tow rating because of this. Weight distribution hitch is overkill. but an antisway bar is needed. One will do.

Make sure you put in a manual Trailer brake inside the TV. You can use that to slow down instead of your TV brakrs.

If you need to go long distances one way you can always pay somebody to tow it for about $ 1 per mile.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:39 PM   #6
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You have gotten some good info. Though I may not agree with pushing the limits of tow capacity many do. But my question is, you say "WE" are you speaking "we" as in you and a spouse/partner or are you speaking of "WE" as a family? Cause if your considering towing at or what I would believe above tow cap with a family in the car I hope you realize that for every occupant in the vehicle it takes down your vehicles tow cap! Please read you owners manual to have all the variables before considering it. Best of luck in your search for just the right trailer.
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:39 PM   #7
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Frederick L. Simson has weighed many trailers and of the weights he has posted, the ones in this post are the lightest I have seen:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...mp;#entry338694

To summarize, one Compact Jr weighed 1120 lbs, but that is Michael and Hillary's trailer, which is pretty much gutted of all original equipment. Pictures of their trailer start as IMG_0025b at this link (thanks Cliff!):
http://www.salsaholics.com/trailer/gallery...2009/?g2_page=2

Mine, which is closer to what the manufacturer provided, is also listed in that post, and weighed 1300 pounds. I have since added about 75 pounds in the form of a 3-way refrigerator and more drawers (with stuff in them) in the cabinet.

Floyd is quite right that the Compact Jr is aerodynamically challenged. My 4-cylinder Camry tows it, but it's not very happy about it if I try to go more than 58mph on level ground. If I go faster the torque converter falls out of lock, which makes the transmission less efficient and heats the transmission fluid. So I too am looking for a more suitable tow vehicle.

My current short list is a 2004 or later Toyota Highlander which has a 5-speed transmission and a V6 engine, a Volvo XC70 or XC90 T6 or better, or possibly a Honda Pilot. When I first looked at the Pilot it seemed way too huge...

The Ford Escape was originally interesting to me but the lower links to the rear wheels seem much too vulnerable and lightweight for boondocking and then rambling around on dirt roads after setting up the trailer at the campspot. I don't 4-wheel, but clearance is an issue on occasionally-maintained dirt roads.
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:42 PM   #8
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You might find the links in the following post handy:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...c=38239&hl=
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:39 PM   #9
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Wow...A lot of great information. The We in my original note was my wife and I - we are retired and we intend to travel throughout USA and Canada. The responses seem to confirm that the 2003 CRV isn't heavy enough to deal with the Scamp 13'. Now I need to come up with a heavier vehicle, sigh. Thanks for all those responding to my request.
Tim
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:27 PM   #10
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Tim Just when you have made a decision someone ( that would be me ) comes along to muddy the waters. My wife and I tow a 13 foot Uhaul with our 2005 CRV. The Uhaul weighed at Bandon last year fully loaded and came in at 1580 lbs ( that obviously doesn't include me the wife the dog and the minimal gear we have loaded in the CRV ). I have pulled the Uhaul with the following a 2007 Ford F150 with the 4.6 V8, a 2006 Dodge Ram with a 4.7 V8, and a 2007 Honda Ridgeline with a 3.5 V6 and lastly the CRV. All, including the CRV , pulled the Uhaul very well but all the trucks stunk up the place gas mileage wise. I feel the CRV was not overtaxed as the RPMs never got much higher than driving it without the trailer ,and RPMs were actually only modestly higher than the trucks. It pulled well in all terrains including some high mountain passes. We drive it in the 60 MPH range and the gas mileage was at the 16 to 17 MPG area. We do not have a weight distributing hitch or sway control and have not felt it necessary ( however I have no clue how a Scamp tows ). If you love your CRV as much as we do ours you might find it worthwhile to give the CRV a shot and if it doesn"t work you can always then go for another tow vehicle. Lee
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:10 AM   #11
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Thumbs down

This is the story that convinced me to tow UNDER the limit:

Well, after almost a year has passed since my buddy lost control of his FS3000 toy hauler being pulled by his F-250 coming down Sierra pass. He had sway bars and bags. The trailer swayed somehow and took over the control of his tow rig. He ended up smashing into another vehicle and the passenger in the other was killed and the driver injured.

The highway patrol cited him for hauling the trailer with a tow vehicle that was not rated for the weights of the trailer even though he was not too loaded up. The injured sued him big time, the insurance company disowned him due to the fact that he was improperly rigged and was "using his vehicle for purposes not intended by the manufacturer" even though they insured both vehicles.

He is awaiting trial for manslaughter, lost a civil suit for 1.2 million dollars, of which he was able to get 300,000 dollars from his insurances company sold his home, toys and vacation property to pay for it.

His wife divorced him and he is probably going to do some time.

Bottom line is the man is broke, lost his wife, affected PERMANENTLY the life of another man, and killed a woman all because he didn't want to spend another few grand for the right sized tow vehicle.

Moral of this lesson: BE WARNED! You idiots out there that know you are over limits or running too small size tow rigs, PRAY you never get in an accident!

If you have any questions about this, I know the whole story and would be happy to share if any of you want to know more.

Find this story and the follow up posts at:

http://www.glamisdunes.com/invision/index....showtopic=24262
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:48 AM   #12
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Here is Trailer Life link to TV ratings -
http://www.trailerlife.com/output.cfm?id=42175
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:10 AM   #13
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Two points which are often willfully ignored on the subject of tow ratings are... "as equipped" and the idea that "tow ratings" are applied for non-safety as well as safety reasons.
The addition or subtraction of a tow package or an engine size or even transmission type or accessories can make otherwise exactly identical vehicles have widely varied tow ratings.
A tow package often consists only of a transmission cooler, a ClassII hitch with a 4-plug, and maybe a full sized spare.
If the addition of these items on an otherwise identical vehicle, increases the tow rating of a vehicle when supplied by the factory,logic dictates that they should have the same effect when equal or better items are supplied aftermarket.
What then becomes of the safe tow capability of the latter vehicle?

The presence of a manual transmission, for instance,many times reduces the "tow rating" of a TV, this has little to do with safety or even mechanical capability and is often based entirely on the manufacturer's distrust of the consumer's ability to properly operate a clutch.

A third, often ignored issue, concerns trailer type.... nearly every manufacturer includes information about drag limitations, usually in the form of "frontal area specs". This information is often at least as important as weight limitations in determining overall tow capability.

My point in this writing is that decisions which are based on good information encompassing all factors, are generally superior to a single glance at a chart containing incomplete information.
Fear induced by anecdotal accounts of disaster is an even less advisable basis for decision making.
Finally...
If you are afraid , don't just buy a Peterbilt, educate yourself to the point of dispelling the fear and buying an appropriate sized TV, properly equipped, for your needs and enjoyment.
My whole purpose in owning a lightweight fiberglass trailer, is to experience the enjoyment an RV trailer without the chore and expense of driving a cumbersome oversized TV.



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Old 06-04-2010, 09:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
We are interested in possibily a 13' Scamp and have a Honda CRV. Is this a realistic option for towing?
Short answer, yes. We towed a Scamp 13' with a Honda Element over 25,000 miles very successfully. The key is you must travel very light, giving up things you might normally like to carry like extra water and food, to stay at the 1,500# limit, and get your actual weight confirmed before your first trip.

Oh, and I think electric brakes are a must!

Happy trails!
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:14 PM   #15
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I have to agree that the frontal surface of the trailer is big time to take into consideration. Before I had a 1996 Jeep Cherokee with the inline 6 cylinders 4.0L HI, then traded it for a Suzuki Grand Vitara V6 2.7L rated for 3000lbs and before I got my actual Boler, I had a pop-up trailer weighting 2200lbs with everything in there.

Where I live, around the St-Laurence, winds are often pretty heavy, I also did a couple of trips from Montreal area to Ocean City NJ, going through the Adirondacs and Cat Skills, this without any problem with both vehicules (Jeep and Suzuki) towing the pop-up.

I would even say that the Suzuki was handling it better than the Cherokee (horse power and torque are about the same).

When I got my first Boler, at that time I had a Dodge Neon, this was not enough, so it was the reason why we got the Cherokee at that time. I could hardly feel the Boler behind the Cherokee, big winds or not, and could drive at any speed I wanted (even up to 100 mph without problem, sorry did it to pass trucks in the Adirondacs).

Now with my new Boler and that Suzuki Grand Vitara, I can see that the GV is just enough for it. My Boler with all my stuff in it is around 1300lbs, less than half of what it is rated for. But when I'm facing winds I'm struggling going over 50/55mph, although going up hills is no big deal however.

So all of this bla-bla to say that wind force has a lot to do with your choice more than the weight of the trailer. I was shock that I had more trouble pulling my Boler than my pop-up even if it's almost half weight.

Being an engineer I tried to do the equation, and all I can think is that weight has more effect on horse power (on the highway when launched, from start it is obvious that torque is the main factor) and wind has more to do with torque (my Suzuki having a little bit more horse power but a little less torque).

Both factors being in consideration, I would say that don't go for a vehicule that has less than 180HP and less than 180lbs/ft2, at least for the application I'm using it for...

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Old 06-04-2010, 05:14 PM   #16
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Both factors being in consideration, I would say that don't go for a vehicule that has less than 180HP and less than 180lbs/ft2, at least for the application I'm using it for...
I think this is too much of a blanket statement. Now, I do agree with Floyd and you that windage is a consideration in towing. But I don't agree that someone should need to buy a vehicle with 180 hp or over to tow a 13-foot Boler (or equivalent). My 4-cylinder car has 110hp and I do just fine. No, I can't zoom up every hill at 60 mph; nor can I pass every car in every situation. But I don't feel that I have any crippling problems towing long distances.

Note that my car is rated to tow 3300# with trailer brakes; 2000# without them, so I am not going over my rated tow limit (indeed, I am way under it). I don't think I would try to tow up to the limit, in fact. But one reason I have this trailer, is that I don't *want* to have to buy a larger vehicle. A small, light trailer allows me to tow with my daily driver, and since towing is probably 5% or less of all my driving, I enjoy my normal 27+mpg, and pleasant drivability/parkability, and live with the lower - but still decent - mileage when I am towing.

I am considering trailer brakes because I think they will make for a safer experience and put less pressure on my car's brakes, but that isn't really related to horsepower.

Back to the windage factor: I would never raise a car's rated towing capacity for a low-windage trailer; but I would probably lower it for a high-windage trailer.

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Old 06-04-2010, 08:00 PM   #17
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I would like to agree with you Raya, but may be I'm wrong, that is why I stated "at least for the application I'm using it for", and for this specific case I should have specified torque, it is not unusual to have 40 mph front winds here, don't even think to use overdrive in that case... maximum is 1:1 ratio and rev the engin to its optimal torque power.

On my Neon, I think it was 136HP and 117 lbs/ft2 torque (mind you they were lemons), I burned 2 transmissions pulling my first Boler (they were replaced under warranty), and sold it 1600 miles before the end of warranty.

I will even install an auxilliary transmission radiator this week, something that I wasn't even thinking about with the pop-up trailer. This may due also to the fact that my Boler is now about 13 inches above the ground ?
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:56 PM   #18
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While I'm not endorsing if it is right or wrong, here are some observations. I just came back from Bend and next to use was a Honda element pulling a T&B up Mt hood without any problem. Looking on the web shows the TAB to be 1600# dry. I just talked to a next-door neighbor that used her Honda element to drive a Uhaul travel trailer from Massachusetts to Hillsboro Oregon over the last two weeks. She said that she didn't feel it while towing. I'm planning to tow with an older Hyundai Tucson and it states it will due 2000# as it's set up, but I'm probably adding a couple hundred pounds in improvements to my Scamp! I would get as much information as possible and make the choice.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:59 AM   #19
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Wow...A lot of great information. The We in my original note was my wife and I - we are retired and we intend to travel throughout USA and Canada. The responses seem to confirm that the 2003 CRV isn't heavy enough to deal with the Scamp 13'. Now I need to come up with a heavier vehicle, sigh. Thanks for all those responding to my request.
Tim
If you want to stay with a smaller tow a Subaru Outback is worth looking and is more than capable of towing a 13'.
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:26 PM   #20
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Make sure you have an in cab trailer brake controler and the trailer is well balanced. Learn how to use it. Get to a scale to ballance.

Makes sure both Tow and traliler is level to the ground. You may have to change ball height on Tow or get air shocks. Get an anti-sway bar. Learn how to use it. When the tail starts moving the dog to much is when you get into problems. Slow down when in strong cross winds and bigs trucks passing.
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