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Which camper???


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14 replies to this topic

#1 chef_tim

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 05:02 AM

We are down to two options for a new camper, the Cikira Classic Cruiser FB18 or the R-POD RP177.

We like the Cikira better, it has a lot more storage, a friendlier lay-out BUT it weighs apx 2800lb but with a double axle has a 240lb tongue weight. our price $13,500

The R-pod is just cool. It has a small slid-out for the kitchen, only weighs 2300lb but with a single axle has a 232lb tongue weight. The interior storage is also very sparse and the shower barely fits me. Our price $11,500

Initially this will be pulled with my 97 Outback, with a brake controller. but will probably end up being pulled with the 08 Outback again, with a brake controller.

To me the biggest limiting factor is the extra 500lb, which puts the Cikira over the rated weight for both cars.

Comments, suggestions welcome. No pics 'cause I know you all know how to use Google. Thanks, Tim

#2 86subaru

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 07:57 AM

this is not a answer, i have a larger camper also i borrow a truck now to pull my camper ,

#3 hankosolder2

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 08:50 AM

Well, I'd have concerns about exceeding the max weight, and the biggest concern would be liability. If some idiot pulls a stupid manouver which causes you to crash, your insurer could deny coverage, etc.

I wonder if it would be possible to upgrade the towing capacity on a car "by the book." If you did a brake upgrade, tire upgrade and a suspension upgrade and had the results certified by an engineer somehow....

I'd say go for the lighter one or get (buy/borrow) a different tow vehicle. I did a bit of research on this as my parents were initially hoping to tow a small travel trailer/camper with a car and let me tell you- the towing limits on modern cars are really low. Volvo is one of the few companies which have decent towing capacity. Even American V-8 land yachts had towing ratings in the low 2000s.

Nathan

#4 MilesFox

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 09:38 AM

if the gross weight of the trailer is less than the weight of the car, you should be allright. Driver skill and towing experience is the most crucial factor.

A brake controller is best to keep the rig straight in a panic stop.

orient the drawbar so that the trailer is level, but not too high or low to the center line of the whole rig.

there are weight disribution systems you can use, but then you get into more $$$, probably would be too much for this type of tow.

generally anything in tow is covered by the car's liability insurance, dont need separate trailer insurance(other than if its financed or for comprehensive)

#5 johnceggleston

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 09:51 AM

generally anything in tow is covered by the car's liability insurance, dont need separate trailer insurance(other than if its financed or for comprehensive)



what if the towed item exceeds manuf. recommended limit??

#6 MilesFox

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 10:00 AM

I guess it comes down to the insurance provider itself, if you want to get specific. my policy never asked me anything about gross weightsw or what not, i was told by my agent that anything in-tow is covered.

U-haul uses a hookup guide to match trailer gross's with customer vehicles to approve or deny a towing combination, or for recommending which class/model of hitch to use for specific vehicles.

a subaru legacy would be allowed to tow any single axle trailer at u-haul, but won't be approved for a tow dolly. Generally a hitch for a legacy will be aclass 2 with 1-1/4 receiver. there might be a 2 inch receiver available, but is still class 2 2500 lbs. The ball rating will be 5 or 6 thousand pounds for a 2 inch ball, 1 inch shank

hope this helps...

i would think the tow ratings on the car are meant to keep people coming to the dealer and claiming warranty for failures associated with towing, if dictated by the manufacturer itself. but i do not know if there is a federal guideline for towing capacity of new cars

#7 Scoobywagon

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 10:16 AM

The low tow ratings reflect a couple of things. First, most modern cars are pretty light weight. Obviously, that effects the car's ability to stop when there is weight pushing the car forward on the bumper. Second, the engineers generally do not assume the presence of any type of trailer braking when they set about determining max tow ratings. Essentially, they look at the car's weight, brakes and tires and work out how much EXTRA weight the car can reasonably be expected to stop. A car that only weighs 2500 lbs cannot be reasonably expected to stop a trailer that weighs 2300 even with the excellent braking action provided by modern braking systems. This is because the brakes stop being the weak point.

Those brakes will happily lock right up because the car does not weigh enough to generate higher friction between the tires and pavement. Obviously, ABS will try to put a stop to that locking up nonsense, but that just means that your stops run WAAAAY long because there's nothing to be done about the friction between tire and ground. Trailer brakes help with this, even if they are just surge brakes.

You're on the right track with the brake controller. If the trailer can provide its own braking action, then the car just has to stop itself. It is important, though, to make SURE that the brake controller and trailer brakes are calibrated properly. I would think that in a situation like yours, you'd want the brake controller to stop ever so slightly harder than the car. This will give the trailer a tendency to pull the car to a stop. That will make your stops shorter and straighter even under panic conditions.

The other thing I'd advise is to take the car in to a good transmission shop and have them add a transmission cooler and an ATF temp guage. If you're going to be towing for long distances, you might also want to add diff temp guages. I don't know what the specs are for the trans and diffs in your cars, but you may also want to look at that. Heavier duty fluids may be in order.

You may also wish to consider adding a remote oil filter system. Such a system allows you to move the oil filter to somewhere other than directly on the engine. It also means you can add an oil cooler and go to multiple oil filters. This adds to your overall oil capacity and more oil means generally lower operating temps. That'll be important when you're working the engine hard. The down side here is that you'll have several extra lines to deal with during maintenance. It also means that you'll have to periodically flush those lines. I did this to a Ford Ranger years ago and I found that the best way to clean all those lines out was to bypass the remote filter head and connect the "in" line directly to the "out" line. Then I'd fill the crankcase with ATF and run the engine at idle for just a minute or so. Don't let it get hot and don't rev it. Then I'd drain the ATF, reconnect the filter head and refill the crankcase with motor oil.

#8 johnceggleston

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 10:42 AM

It is important, though, to make SURE that the brake controller and trailer brakes are calibrated properly.



when i got my 2006 ford f350 dually to haul my 8000 lb trailer, the ford owners manual describe how to set up the brake controller. basically you want the brakes of the trailer set right at the point where stomping on the pedal will lock them up. actually they called for a little below the lock up point i think, but in my case with the weight of my trailer, i could never get the trailer brakes to lock up.

they recommend testing this procedure in an empty parking lot, set controller low drive across the parking lot and hit the brakes. work your way up until the trailer brakes lock. i tried a couple of low settings and then moved it to the max, still no brake lock.

side note. on wet / slick pavement, the ABS will operate the car brakes, but the trailer brakes will lock up and do what ever trailers do, fishtail?, with locked up brakes on wet pavement.

#9 chef_tim

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 11:46 AM

As usual a great wealth of knowledge and experiance!! We have also concidered one other option (it was in fact our initial first choose) and that is a 16 foot Scamp with a weight of about 16-1800lb. I really think that will be our best option at this point

#10 MilesFox

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 12:33 PM

sounds like the better choice for the Subaru. The other model would have been better handled with a v6 buick sized car or chrysler minivan.

#11 nipper

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 01:05 PM

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but the pre 2010 towing ratings on all vehicals were called at best "optimistic". Only last year did SAE come up with a unified test for twoing weights. This is why some poeple have complained about a drop in tow ratings in cars (including subaru). It is just called truth in advertising. Your 97 should be at the very beginigs of when the braging about towing weights started.

That being said, you need to get an external traany cooler and i would highly recomend a tranny temp gauge. CHange the tranny fluid once a year. If the struts are original replace them with GR-2s. Do oil changes at 3750 miles during towing season.

Good luck. I always wanted a pop-up myself but I dont have any place to store it.

nipper

#12 chef_tim

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 01:14 PM

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but the pre 2010 towing ratings on all vehicals were called at best "optimistic". Only last year did SAE come up with a unified test for twoing weights. This is why some poeple have complained about a drop in tow ratings in cars (including subaru). It is just called truth in advertising. Your 97 should be at the very beginigs of when the braging about towing weights started.

That being said, you need to get an external traany cooler and i would highly recomend a tranny temp gauge. CHange the tranny fluid once a year. If the struts are original replace them with GR-2s. Do oil changes at 3750 miles during towing season.

Good luck. I always wanted a pop-up myself but I dont have any place to store it.

nipper

Funny you mention a pop-up, that is what we will be replacing. We will be selling it in the spring. I'll try and remember to drop you a line about it when we do. The pop-up towed great behind the 97.

#13 montana105

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 08:10 PM

One thing you don't want is the trailer brakes locking up,it takes lots of on hand experience but you want your trailer brakes just at the point of locking up just as happens with surge brakes on boat and camper trailers,if the trailer brakes are locked up they aren't doing you any good.

#14 Scoobywagon

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 12:30 PM

This thread raises a question for me. In Europe, they pull some unreasonably large trailers with some outlandishly small cars. My understanding is that you are usually limited to about 40MPH when doing so. But does anyone know whats up with that?

I suppose there could be some legal wrangling at work. Maybe the law says something like "when towing a trailer that exceeds the tow rating of the vehicle, speed must not exceed XX mph." Seems like there should also be some kind of law regarding liability. I don't know. Does anyone else have any ideas? I know we've got some European members. Someone chime in here!

#15 nipper

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 01:04 PM

This thread raises a question for me. In Europe, they pull some unreasonably large trailers with some outlandishly small cars. My understanding is that you are usually limited to about 40MPH when doing so. But does anyone know whats up with that?

I suppose there could be some legal wrangling at work. Maybe the law says something like "when towing a trailer that exceeds the tow rating of the vehicle, speed must not exceed XX mph." Seems like there should also be some kind of law regarding liability. I don't know. Does anyone else have any ideas? I know we've got some European members. Someone chime in here!



They are limited to 50 mph.

http://www.practical...aravanlaw2.html

MAXIMUM SIZE OF CARAVAN
The maximum dimensions of a trailer that can be towed by a car or light commercial vehicle in the UK (neither of which may have a maximum allowable weight over 3500kg) are fixed by law at 7m long (excluding the drawbar) and 2.3m wide (including any fixed body parts such as mudguards). Note that this restriction applies to caravans towed by all types of vehicle within this weight limit, including 4x4s and light trucks, so those 2.5m-wide German caravans you see being towed by Transit-type vans or 4x4s are almost certainly illegal.
This law should also apply to tourists from countries where the width limit is higher (as in Germany), but in practice few are ever prosecuted. If you want to tow a caravan over these size limits, then you must use a towing vehicle that has a maximum allowable weight of more than 3500kg (in practice, a heavy commercial – or goods – vehicle). In that case, the trailer can go right up to 12m long and 2.55m wide.




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