I'm Candace & looking for a trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-08-2020, 11:02 AM   #1
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Name: Candace
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I'm Candace & looking for a trailer

Hello!
I'm Candace and new to the travel trailer world. I just got back to the States after two years abroad and am hoping to live on the road for as long as I can (I am luckily debt free and have some savings). I am in the Pacific NW right now, looking for a very lightweight trailer (no bathroom necessary) and a small, manual transmission vehicle.

I found a Trillium and am tempted to buy it, but I don't have a place to park it where I'm staying right now. The owner says that he can hold onto it for a week or two, but I'm not sure if I can situate a parking spot for it in that time. Any thoughts?

I'm excited to be part of this community!
Tootles,
Candace
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Old 08-08-2020, 12:55 PM   #2
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You will find that an automatic transmission is far superior when pulling a trailer.
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:45 PM   #3
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Why? I would think that being able to down shift would be helpful.

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You will find that an automatic transmission is far superior when pulling a trailer.
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:56 PM   #4
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Why? I would think that being able to down shift would be helpful.

You can downshift an automatic.
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:58 PM   #5
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That's true. But I'm still unclear why an automatic is superior. Could you please share your reasoning? Thank you.

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You can downshift an automatic.
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Old 08-08-2020, 02:32 PM   #6
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That's true. But I'm still unclear why an automatic is superior. Could you please share your reasoning? Thank you.

If you have to do any commuting ( stop and go ), you will know why. I had a VW bus with a clutch that you have to press straight down into the floor ( not the firewall cause it didn't have one ). Rush hour traffic ( moving five feet and stopping ) wore me out. That was my last manual transmission and I don't miss manual at all, for any reason.
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Old 08-08-2020, 04:01 PM   #7
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I'm Candace & looking for a trailer

Modern automatic transmissions are both more efficient and more controllable than ever. They are well-protected with sensors and failsafes to prevent damage from overheating (assuming you’re operating within rated capacities).

Biggest reason to have one when towing is backing uphill (say into a campsite). Second reason is bumper-to-bumper traffic such as you might encounter in a road construction zone or when passing through an urban area.

If none of that convinces you, and you love shifting a standard, then go for it! Good luck finding one suitable for towing, though. They are an endangered species, especially in smaller tow rated vehicles. A few compact pickups might still offer a manual transmission in the base 4 cylinder model.

I’d recommend a minimum tow rating of 2000# for the smallest 13’ molded fiberglass trailers. Beware sellers that claim, “under 1000# and can be towed by anything.” See the thread “Trailer Weights in the Real World” for actual loaded-for-camping weights of various makes and models (post #297 links to a spreadsheet). Expect 1400-1700# gross weight for a basic 13’er.
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:48 AM   #8
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Name: michael
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you decide

go for the 5 speed if you like, i have both depends on where you are going at the time. parking have you looked into a storage locker building safe and secure 24-7
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Old 08-09-2020, 10:37 AM   #9
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If you have ever gone down hill with a standard transmission and attempted to down shift and couldn't and wound up in neutral that is when you learn the importance of an automatic transmission.
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Old 08-09-2020, 10:50 AM   #10
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Anticipate. If you see signage ahead, take your foot off the gas and let the vehicle slow. If it says slow to 30, tap the brakes, then shift to a lower gear. It's all about anticipation - looking beyond your front bumper. Looking far down the road.
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Old 08-09-2020, 11:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
If you have ever gone down hill with a standard transmission and attempted to down shift and couldn't and wound up in neutral that is when you learn the importance of an automatic transmission.
Yes, manual shifting requires manual thinking.

That includes downshifting before starting down a grade. Those signs with a picture of a truck going downhill that say “use lower gears” are a good clue.
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Old 08-09-2020, 11:54 AM   #12
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Seasond manual shifting drivers posted how to anticipate the proper way to go down steep hills.
This is precicely why I suggest an Automatic transmission.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:10 PM   #13
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I'm Candace & looking for a trailer

Not disagreeing, Darwin. I did want to give the OP the benefit of the doubt and assume she is an experienced driver of stick shifts.

If you’ve ever replaced a clutch before 150K,that’s a good sign you are not ready for towing with a manual. Even a little slipping will be magnified with the added weight of a trailer.

Manufacturers know that and have pushed automatics in tow-rated vehicles for decades.

However I think of Norm and his stick shift CR-V (a rare bird) pulling a 2600# Scamp 16 all over North America for 250K on the original clutch. It can be done if you know what you’re doing.

I can drive a stick (and enjoy doing so), but I’d rather tow with an automatic. I have enough other things to think about, and the fun’s not really there when towing.
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Old 08-09-2020, 02:31 PM   #14
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There is no reason one can not tow with a manual. If that's what you prefer go with it. You just have to learn the characteristics and how to use it safely.
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Old 08-09-2020, 07:26 PM   #15
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Welcome Candace! As Jon in AZ pointed out, there are MANY ways an ATM is better than a stick shift. One thing I didn't see mentioned is the AVAILABILITY of vehicles that have manual transmissions. These days, manual transmissions are few and far between and, can even cost MORE than its' ATM counterpart.

As for trailers, any 13' fiberglass should fit your needs. Not needing a bathroom, you could consider a PopUp trailer (although I would NOT recommend cold weather camping in a pop up). If you're new to RVing, I would STRONGLY advise you to attend an RV Boot Camp. With the Corona19 Pandemic, a standard in-person RVBC won't be likely for the foreseeable future. I read recently that the Escapees RV Club was going to run a Virtual RVBC. LOTS of ways to make mistakes with ANY RV and, mistakes made with RVs are often expensive and, sometimes dangerous. RVBC graduates are SMARTER RV buyers and, SAFER RVers in general. One important tip: buy the TRAILER FIRST! Then you'll know EXACTLY how much towing capacity you have. Most people but the tow vehicle first and many of them then fall in love with a trailer TOO big / heavy for said tow vehicle. If you're NOT reading Chuck Woodbury's FREE Ezine " www.RVTravel.com " START! Chuck has recently started a special section for newbies. TONS of useful information and, decades af archived articles are available (donations are appreciated but, Chuck does NOT hound anybody for funds). Finally, you mention that where you currently are, you can't keep even a small trailer there, is that right? If so, finding a SAFE place to secure your trailer when it's not being used becomes VERY important. Even if you find a paid spot, bad things frequently happen to unattended RVs which become magnets for homeless, druggies or just outright vandalism and theft. Sadly, in today's world, these things are just a fact of life. Again, WELCOME and, GOOD LUCK!
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
If you have ever gone down hill with a standard transmission and attempted to down shift and couldn't and wound up in neutral that is when you learn the importance of an automatic transmission.
But of course computer controlled auto transmissions will not let you down shift if the engine revolutions would be too high. So you could try to downshift and the computer will tell you, "sorry Charlie.. you are stuck in this gear." In that case, no engine braking... better hope your trailer brakes can get you slowed down enough that the computer will agree with your shift request before its too late.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:38 AM   #17
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Manual Transmission Fan

We towed for almost a decade with a Honda CRV with manual transmission; towing a Sunline 1500, a Casita 16 and a Scamp 16. Over the years we covered 250,000 miles, same clutch never a problem.

We would have bought another one but they are no longer made. Obviously a manual is our first choice. We have owned a number of automatics before the Honda and experienced a number of transmission problems though we weren't towing.

We presently tow with an automatic now at 120,000 miles. It does have a huge transmission cooler.
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:22 PM   #18
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So, After reading all these posts, what have you decided?
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:09 AM   #19
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So, After reading all these posts, what have you decided?

Instead of RVing, she's going to take up tiddlywinks..........
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:49 AM   #20
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tiddlywinks
You r showing your age. The Youts of today have no idea what that is.
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