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Scouter Dave 08-18-2016 08:09 AM

Tow Vehicle for Bigfoot B17???
 
1 Attachment(s)
I am looking for a new TV for my new [to me]1984 Bigfoot B17.
Dry weight is listed in the original sales brochure as 1875lbs. so I am probably looking at 2200lbs+ with my stuff in it.
Leaning towards a 6cyl. pickup truck but they are few and far between out here. Wondering about a 6cyl. van as a TV.

Any recommendations from B17 owners???

Thanks in advance, Scouter Dave.

threepine 08-18-2016 09:07 AM

Our 1997 Toyota 4runner pulled the Bigfoot fine and our 2010 Honda Ridgeline even better. No issues in the mountains.

Tom Trostel 08-18-2016 10:42 AM

My totally empty 17' weighs 2300 lbs. Unless you only pack a toothbrush, your weight will approach 3000 lbs. I have used 2 Toyota minivans (2006 & 2011) as tow vehicles with very good results. Tongue weight (loaded) for mine is 340 lbs. Since the early model BF are lighter, a V6 will work fine.

Lake Bardwell, TX Photo by tomNjo | Photobucket

Daniel A. 08-18-2016 10:56 AM

My Astro van pulls mine fine and it has a 4.3 V6 .

Lee Senn 08-18-2016 11:12 AM

Our 1981 Bigfoot 17 weighs in at 2480 on a certified scale fully loaded fV6or a one week trip. We have however been going all electric so have removed gas bottles and batteries. We tow with a 2012 Toyota Rav4 with the 3.5 V6 ( 2012 was the last year you could get the Rav with a V6 ) . We needed air bags to eliminate rear end sag but otherwise tows great including trips over the Cascades and Rockies. Thus I think any of the V6 SUVs would be excellent tow vehicles. Having said that if I were starting with a clean slate I would go with a pickup, Frontier, Tacoma or either one of the GM twins. Lee

Franswa 08-18-2016 12:57 PM

the brochure...
 
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1875 is probably the bare bones model offered at the beginning...no bathroom, shower, hot water tank etc.....as said before, the earlier models (80s) weighed a little less (than later models) even with those items

the models produced 89-04 (ish)....1500 series... weigh 2450 empty...my 97 weighs in at almost 3500 fully loaded.....the newer still 2500 series (05- ) is heavier still (completely different trailer/molds/insulation)

where, how, how fast and how big are the grades in your usual tow area will have a great deal to do with what makes a good tow vehicle for you....

if you go by tow ratings a good rule of thumb is to take 25% off the tow rating and see if that's close to your loaded trailer weight....plan on towing a lot in the mountains???....make it 40%.....

keep in mind that the question is not if the vehicle CAN tow the load....it's how long the transmission will LAST.......................YMMV

honda03842 08-18-2016 02:49 PM

Congratulations Dave. It looks like a nice rig. Ginny and I wish you well with it. Maybe we'll see you next year at TTT.

I certainly don't believe in de-rating tow vehicle ratings.

We tow with a V-6 mini van our 2600 lb Scamp 16 without any issue what so ever. The mini van, beyond towing well, provides an amazing volume for people and stuff.

Wishing you well and look forward to seeing you I the spring.

Norm and Ginny

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Franswa 08-18-2016 03:20 PM

Really Norm????
 
I certainly don't believe in de-rating tow vehicle ratings.

you say you are towing 2600lbs...a Honda mini-van has a tow rating of 3500....that's a 25% discout.....so I'm not surprised it's working well for you...Happy motoring

Jon in AZ 08-18-2016 05:08 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The manufacturer of my tow vehicle "de-rates" the towing capacity…
Attachment 98687

There are a number of good reasons to leave a margin between the tow rating of your vehicle and the actually loaded weight of your trailer:
  1. Payload in the tow vehicle (as the chart indicates; note that tongue weight is de-rated even faster than total trailer weight as you add payload)
  2. Performance under extreme conditions (high altitude, steep grades, strong headwinds; Subaru de-rates the towing capacity of its vehicles by 50% under certain high demand conditions)
  3. Frontal area (weight alone does not tell the whole story of the demand towing places on the vehicle, and a Bigfoot has a fairly large profile)
In general, the more of these factors that come into play in your towing situation, the more margin you should leave.

Carl V 08-18-2016 06:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon in AZ (Post 604496)
The manufacturer of my tow vehicle "de-rates" the towing capacity…

That's the equivalent of having a GCWR limit.

Jon in AZ 08-18-2016 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carl V (Post 604513)
That's the equivalent of having a GCWR limit.

…and a GVWR and a GAWR for each axle… Judging by the tongue weight limits in the chart, I'd say it's the GAWR of the rear axle that is maxed out first.

Scouter Dave 08-19-2016 05:43 AM

THANKS
 
Thanks everyone for the good advice and information. I have a list of vehicles and recommendations now and my search for a new TV has been expanded considerably.
My fear was that I would be under pressure in mid October to just buy a vehicle because I would need it in November for my trip. I am now quite confident that this will not be the case.
Scouter Dave.

Jacqueline in BC 08-20-2016 04:11 PM

We use a 2012 Tacoma as the TV for our 91 B17. It is a 4L V6 and has a 6400lbs towing capacity. We find that it works well for the Bigfoot.

dbdbgriggs 08-26-2016 12:19 PM

Just throwing in my $.02, I traded a Toyota Highlander in on a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 ecodiesel. It's a full size half-ton truck that gets 25-29 mpg on my daily commute, and recently got 20 mpg towing my 16' scamp from central Maryland to the finger lakes region of New York, over the mountains in pa. I have over 30k miles on it now and it's just over a year old. Absolutely love it! And it's rated to tow about twice the weight of my scamp. Lots of margin! :).
Doug Griggs
83 Scamp 16
"Trash Panda"


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Tim D. 08-28-2016 08:00 AM

Our 2006 Dodge Sprinter van has been a fine tow vehicle for our 1991 Bigfoot 17'. The trailer is pushing 4k#, with added leaves and the axle upgraded to 5200# from original 3500#. No weight-distributing hitch required. The Sprinter has pulled it over Atigun Pass in Alaska (12% grade, 1st gear), Route du Nord in Quebec (400km unpaved), and the Trans-Labrador Highway in Labrador (much unpaved and rough). At six feet tall I can stand up in the Sprinter. Fuel economy is good (15-18 mpg pulling the trailer, 20-25 without). Ground clearance is excellent. I wish it had underdrive or posi-traction as we have been stuck a few times in sand and mud (Travel with shovel, jacks, and expanded metal). Needed to upgrade factory anti-sway bar to deal with strong crosswind. Being a commercial delivery van the ride is noisier and rougher than a typical pickup or mini van. Parts are not as ubiquitous as Ford. Nor are knowledgeable mechanics.

Scouter Dave 09-02-2016 07:15 AM

NEW [TO ME] TV
 
Once again, thanks for all the responses. I am now the owner of a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, inspected and checked out by my auto repair guys, who I know and trust, It is a 6cyl. with tow package rated at 7000lbs. New tires all 'round, stow and go seats and a couple of other odds and ends.
It should tow the Trillium 4500 or the Bigfoot B17 comfortably.

bigfootlefty 09-03-2016 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dbdbgriggs (Post 605852)
Just throwing in my $.02, I traded a Toyota Highlander in on a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 ecodiesel. It's a full size half-ton truck that gets 25-29 mpg on my daily commute, and recently got 20 mpg towing my 16' scamp from central Maryland to the finger lakes region of New York, over the mountains in pa. I have over 30k miles on it now and it's just over a year old. Absolutely love it! And it's rated to tow about twice the weight of my scamp. Lots of margin! :).
Doug Griggs
83 Scamp 16
"Trash Panda"


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+1 on over rating! We have a 19' 5th wheel BigFoot and have traded in our v8 Jeep Grand Cherokee (nice and plush, late model) for a '92 Dodge Cummins12v (beastly, spartan, but 4wd and GRUNT). Used to worry about climbing grades in the Sierra, now no worries, and better gas milage! Plus it looks better towing our '88 trailer :)

bigfootlefty 09-03-2016 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scouter Dave (Post 606915)
Once again, thanks for all the responses. I am now the owner of a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, inspected and checked out by my auto repair guys, who I know and trust, It is a 6cyl. with tow package rated at 7000lbs. New tires all 'round, stow and go seats and a couple of other odds and ends.
It should tow the Trillium 4500 or the Bigfoot B17 comfortably.

Good choice! Lots of room for gear, too!

LiseKen 09-03-2016 10:50 AM

Hi Scouter Dave--I'm interested in more info about your Dodge Caravan. I have a 2006 without tow package and am looking to upgrade. I thought the max towing with the tow package is 3600 lbs. How did you find one with a 7,000 lb capacity? Thanks for your help.


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LiseKen 09-04-2016 11:50 AM

Answered my own question with a little Google! Didn't know that some years of the Grand Caravan were rated for 7,000 lbs with the tow package.

Thanks Scouter Dave, think I have the right search for my new tow vehicle!


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