Andrea in Colorado - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-12-2014, 07:51 AM   #21
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Maybe - but that's not an option
Options are what you make of them. I looked at trailers for quite a while and my daughter was beginning to think I was never going to buy one. Finally I tossed a cheap ($75) used camper shell on my old pickup truck and built a platform in the back to support a double mattress and we went camping. I bumped the top of the camper shell every time I turned over. And getting up at night to go..….well it was an adventure. But we were camping safe and secure off the ground and made some good memories. In due time “our” FGRV came along through word-of-mouth. It was not even for sale but was just sitting in a guy’s back yard. Anyway, go camping however you can. And buy a suitable tow rig.
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:58 AM   #22
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Sounds like you are going about this project in all the wrong ways.
First is your DH....why not rent something like a small motor home that does not need a tow vehicle. This will introduce him to camping and what is involved.
Note: I am not suggesting you buy a motor home. If he likes the test camping trip then you are on the right track.

Second decide what you want and what it weighs.

Third go out and trade in your current vehicle and buy something that will do the tow job right.

If your current approach is not altered you are headed for an expensive mistake.
You can't put a size 10 DH into a size 6 travel trailer. Don't let the "tail wag the dog"....you will damage both your tow vehicle and your marriage!

If the replacement of your current vehicle is not in your budget then you have only two options....1. Start saving for what works and delay the camping plans until you can afford it. or..... 2. Buy a tent tall enough for your DH.

Happy Camping (maybe) ?
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:00 PM   #23
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Name: Andrea
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Anyway, go camping however you can.
That's what I'm trying to do.

I recently turned 50 & have become very aware that life is short. My son is 12 & is going to grow up on me & there are things I want to do with him. Also, my mother is in her early 70’s and can no longer travel for health reasons. This means I have to find ways to get out East to see her - sooner rather than later. Also, while I probably have more time than she did to travel – there’s just no way of knowing. DH is really a home-body & would prefer to wait until we win the lottery or something. I have become convinced that I have to start doing what I can, within our means, here & now.

DS & I took a tour of the SE US in October - and visited my mom - sleeping in a rented minivan. It was great & I'm so glad we did it.

Thanks to everyone who has offered good real world advice regarding structural issues, tow weights and possible alternatives for our situation. That has been very helpful. The Chariot sounds interesting, though I’m still trying to find good info on it.

Quote:
you have never said what your tug is so we can only guess.
Our vehicle is a 2014 Jeep Patriot that we got a pretty good deal on. Without the optional tow package the tow capacity is shockingly low – but I know for a fact that we’re not the only people who have this constraint & I’m still hopeful that we can find a good solution.

I know you folks are in love with your FGRVs, that’s what this site is about after all. I have always loved the simple elegance of egg campers, teardrops & campervans (& frankly, I’m kind of horrified by the behemoths that seem to be mainstream in the US).

Obviously, the Tailfeather can’t rival the classic qualities of a Scamp, Casita, etc. & I’ve really appreciated reading the cautions regarding leakage, sturdiness, wear & tear, etc. On the other hand, there is something to be said for innovation & new options – particularly for someone in my position – and there’s a limit to the usefulness of opinions, positive or negative, based on never having used or even seen the subject. What little I have been able to glean from actual users regarding the camper, and the temporary shelters this company makes on the same model, has actually been fairly positive – but the product is new enough that there just isn’t much yet. It is a lot of money to put down on something relatively untested. Since we live close to the production facility, we should be able to at least arrange to take a look at it, which I think we’ll do after the 1st of the year.

I have scraped together a little money that could be used piecemeal for individual trips, RV rental, etc. or some kind of small, inexpensive RV option - or some combination. Since it seems unlikely that I’ll have this big a chunk to invest in this again anytime in the foreseeable future, I’d like to get the biggest bang for the buck that I can. We’re working through it and trying to consider ALL of our options. We won’t act until we’ve covered all our bases & know we're making the right decision. Neither one of us is going to risk our marriage over it.

Maybe I’m in the wrong place, though I don’t know where else to look for the kind of feedback I need. Whatever else, I’ll let you know what we do, if anyone is interested.

Happy Trails
- Andrea
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:16 PM   #24
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Here is a great link to an "Official" Jeep site for towing capacities of any number of 2014-2015 Jeep products and models and, for the most part, towing capacity is somewhat lower than would be expected for this product line.
Explore Jeep Capabilities - Towing Reference Guide


Does your Patriot fit one of the categories for which a towing package can be added by the dealer?



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Old 12-12-2014, 01:14 PM   #25
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Andrea,
I believe if you put an oil cooler and transmission cooler on the Patriot you increase the towing capacity to 2000 lbs, which would be a game changer for you. Have you asked a Jeep dealer what can be done to increase your capability. A cooler shouldn't be too expensive if an independent installs it or if you have an acquaintance who is mechanically inclined. There is s Jeep forum. You may want to research towing capacity there.


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Old 12-12-2014, 01:20 PM   #26
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Good luck with your search for the right solution. We are interested in what you decide to do, even if it's not fiberglass! There are a lot of folks just like you: limited resources, small vehicles, and a desire to have more than a tent between them and the elements.
Reminds me of an old joke:
"Know why adults are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up?"

"They're looking for ideas!"
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:39 PM   #27
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...Have you asked a Jeep dealer what can be done to increase your capability...
My thought exactly!
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:18 PM   #28
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Name: Andrea
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Andrea,
I believe if you put an oil cooler and transmission cooler on the Patriot you increase the towing capacity to 2000 lbs, which would be a game changer for you. Have you asked a Jeep dealer what can be done to increase your capability. A cooler shouldn't be too expensive if an independent installs it or if you have an acquaintance who is mechanically inclined. There is s Jeep forum. You may want to research towing capacity there.
Thanks - I did look at the Jeep forums & saw that suggestion. I asked the Jeep certified guys locally and they said that they couldn't do it. That may not be entirely true, but we don't want to risk voiding warranties & such.

Quote:
Good luck with your search for the right solution. We are interested in what you decide to do, even if it's not fiberglass! There are a lot of folks just like you: limited resources, small vehicles, and a desire to have more than a tent between them and the elements.
Reminds me of an old joke:
"Know why adults are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up?"

"They're looking for ideas!"
LOL - so true. I'll keep y'all posted
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:25 PM   #29
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I would strongly suggest you contact Chrysler, LLC directly instead of letting the "locals" tell you what can and cannot be done.


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Old 12-12-2014, 06:05 PM   #30
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One other suggestion might be a Compact Jr. It has a very long bed, less wind resistance and lighter. It would still only really sleep 2 unless you are really friendly. Also might be hard to find one.
Any chance there is room for DS to sleep in Jeep when there are 3 of you?

And completely off topic... Bob Miller, where did you get that cute sink/cooktop combo? We are about to tackle the galley in our Compact II and like the looks of what you have done

Denece


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Old 12-12-2014, 06:29 PM   #31
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If you are very, very careful you can keep a Compact under 1000 lbs, but it will have to be almost empty of stuff.
The kitchen our Compact-II is a SMEV model 00911 from Panther RV in Seattle. Love it, works perfect in small spaces.



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Old 12-12-2014, 07:05 PM   #32
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Now knowing that it's a Patriot, personally I feel less inclined to be dogmatic about the 1000 lb limit.

I understand if the techs are saying they can't add extra cooling without voiding warranty coverage; some warranties and especially some extended service contracts are worded to exclude any modifications, just to give them an 'out' from having to cover a problem. It stinks, but it's not illegal, so they do it.

But if they're saying they can't do it because there is some physical limitation, I'd double-check that (maybe at another dealership). The questions I would ask are: What exactly is included in the tow package, if any, that allows the 2000 lb tow rating? What is the limiting factor or factors that would keep my Jeep from having those components? Was the higher rating only for Patriots with a different engine or different transmission? Or what?

If I were in your shoes, I would not feel too bad about towing a little more than 1000 lb. I would monitor the engine and transmission temperatures while towing (if the Patriot does not offer temp readouts, a ScanGauge plugged into the OBD port under the dash probably would provide this info for you). I would figure on towing about 55 mph, certainly not over 60 anyway, plus I'd slow down and shift down when climbing long grades.

Remember when shopping that small frontal area will make more difference in towing ease than weight (well, most of the time, anyway). So you want something as low and narrow as you can get, within the other parameters of your personal needs.
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:30 PM   #33
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I just looked at jeep.com and found this page about tow ratings for the 2014 Patriot:
Explore Jeep Capabilities - Towing Reference Guide

The 2L engine only gets 1000 lb rating, period.

The 2.4L with CVT transmission is 2000 lb. The 2.4L with either manual or 6-speed auto is 2000 lb unless it's a 'sport' trim, which suggests to me that the 'sport' could possibly be made capable of towing 2000 lb. The tow prep package appears to be just an oil cooler, full size spare, and wiring harness according to jeep.com info.

Which engine do you have?
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:51 PM   #34
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Name: Andrea
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I just looked at jeep.com and found this page about tow ratings for the 2014 Patriot:
Explore Jeep Capabilities - Towing Reference Guide

The 2L engine only gets 1000 lb rating, period.

The 2.4L with CVT transmission is 2000 lb. The 2.4L with either manual or 6-speed auto is 2000 lb unless it's a 'sport' trim, which suggests to me that the 'sport' could possibly be made capable of towing 2000 lb. The tow prep package appears to be just an oil cooler, full size spare, and wiring harness according to jeep.com info.

Which engine do you have?
We have the smaller engine. I just got off of chat with Chrysler Jeep and that's pretty much what they said - I'd need a bigger engine. So I guess that's that.

Thx - A
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:57 PM   #35
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Maybe - but that's not an option
I said the same thing for a number of years but in hindsight its really the only option if you happen to like your car & want to get a good resale price for it. Trust me the wear and tear on my previous vehicle from pulling at trailer that was only a couple of hundred pounds under its towing capacity just wasn't worth it in the end. Costly mistake. In your situation it could be costly in more ways than my situation was. Just not worth it.
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Old 12-13-2014, 01:21 PM   #36
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I said the same thing for a number of years but in hindsight its really the only option if you happen to like your car & want to get a good resale price for it. Trust me the wear and tear on my previous vehicle from pulling at trailer that was only a couple of hundred pounds under its towing capacity just wasn't worth it in the end. Costly mistake. In your situation it could be costly in more ways than my situation was. Just not worth it.
Yeah, but that was a lousy ol' Subaru, wasn't it? This is a legendary Jeep! . To be honest, you have a point, particularly if the Jeep will see a large amount of towing. But for the rare, occasional long trip plus maybe a few short ones close to home, it shouldn't be the end of the world (or of the Jeep). If Andrea doesn't push for speed and babies the rig, I think it would meet the need.

Really, for Andrea's situation I can see the Tailfeather as a decent candidate. Even though it has all those seams that may need seal replacement down the road, it shouldn't strain the Jeep too much. Even better IMO would be (flame suit on) a used Aliner Scout; 2003-2007 vintage were listed as 995 lb dry weight and, being a (hard sided) popup with hardly any wind resistance, the strain would be as minimal as any trailer could be.

Andrea, I bought a 1984 Dodge Omni 5-speed stick shift brand new. I would tow a 400 lb, 4'8' utility trailer (no top on it) pretty regularly to deliver parts to farmers; typical weight loaded was 600 to 700 lb. I also rented a 13' UHaul CT egg trailer and went on vacation with DW and 2 little kids, towing it from MI to Colorado Springs and back. Not saying I would do that again. But I drove that car for another 100k miles before selling it. And I think your Jeep has about 50% more HP than that Omni had. Point is, I don't think that some occasional towing will necessarily trash your Jeep.
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:50 PM   #37
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Yeah, but that was a lousy ol' Subaru, wasn't it? This is a legendary Jeep! . To be honest, you have a point, particularly if the Jeep will see a large amount of towing. But for the rare, occasional long trip plus maybe a few short ones close to home, it shouldn't be the end of the world (or of the Jeep). If Andrea doesn't push for speed and babies the rig, I think it would meet the need.

Really, for Andrea's situation I can see the Tailfeather as a decent candidate. Even though it has all those seams that may need seal replacement down the road, it shouldn't strain the Jeep too much. Even better IMO would be (flame suit on) a used Aliner Scout; 2003-2007 vintage were listed as 995 lb dry weight and, being a (hard sided) popup with hardly any wind resistance, the strain would be as minimal as any trailer could be.

Andrea, I bought a 1984 Dodge Omni 5-speed stick shift brand new. I would tow a 400 lb, 4'8' utility trailer (no top on it) pretty regularly to deliver parts to farmers; typical weight loaded was 600 to 700 lb. I also rented a 13' UHaul CT egg trailer and went on vacation with DW and 2 little kids, towing it from MI to Colorado Springs and back. Not saying I would do that again. But I drove that car for another 100k miles before selling it. And I think your Jeep has about 50% more HP than that Omni had. Point is, I don't think that some occasional towing will necessarily trash your Jeep.
Thanks, Mike . Your input has been really helpful
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:54 AM   #38
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For a number of reasons, buying a new vehicle doesn't make sense for us right now. Even if I wanted to, DH would never agree to it. Whatever solution we come up with is going to have to work with the vehicle, space & budget we have now. If a fiberglass RV isn't going to work, we'll have to find something else.

Thanks
-Andrea
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:41 PM   #39
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The Jeep Patriot is the lowest rated SUV in its class by consumer reports.
Before buying any vehicle it is always a good idea to do a little research about its track record. The reason the resale value is low on these vehicles is they are problem prone. ....perhaps it is trade-in time.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:49 AM   #40
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Name: Andrea
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Thanks for all the input - particularly from those of you who answered the questions I actually asked . I've gotten some really good information.

I think I'm signing off until we've made a decision. Will let you know if we come up with anything that might be interesting to this forum.

Thanks, again
-Andrea
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