Author Topic: Trailer / Camper / Towing  (Read 2877 times)

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Offline Adam Roby

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Trailer / Camper / Towing
« on: May 31, 2014, 05:19:21 PM »
The savings have not been adding up as quickly as I like, and the land opportunities are not coming as often as I would like.  My daughter is now 4 years old and I think I need to get her used to the woods NOW before she gets too girlie, cause once I have the land I need her to want to go there in order for me to be able to go there, if you know what I mean.

My idea was to find a truck or SUV that can pull a tent trailer, then use it to go camping and get her into it.  This will eat into the savings but I could aways use this during my build so, why not.

So, searching a bit on kijiji.ca the other night (like a craigs list) I found someone wanting to exchange his 2006 Ford Escape XLT for an "economic" car, preferably a Toyota.  I own a 2005 Toyota Echo, not the world's fanciest of cars but it is in MINT condition, has been oil treated so not a spec of rust, and it is extremely fuel efficient.  So I fire off an email and he seems all excited.  We decide to meet at a local garage known for their specialization in used vehicle inspections (bit pricey at $120) but what the heck, we planned for 2 inspections.  If all passes we go to the license bureau and do the swap.  After the discussion, I do some research.  In my neck of the woods, the red-book value of the 2006 Escape is $6200, whereas the red-book value of the Echo is $2000.  That said, if you look at all the local listings, the Echo's average selling price is from $3500 - $5500 and the Escape's is $3750 - $6500.  All in all very similar, strange but I guess because the Echo is desired for their economy and reliability it makes some sense.

So we meet this morning, and try out each other's vehicles.  His truck was listed as "perfect condition" but was so rusty I nearly walked away on sight of it.  He had not bothered washing it, it stunk inside, and the gas light was on.  Not a very good impression.  My car looked like it just came off the showroom floor, a few paint touch-ups on the hood from highway dust/gravel, full talk, and squeaky clean.  He tell me... "I was hoping it would be cleaner".  What?  "I don't know, it doesn't drive like a sports car, the suspension feels soft, and it doesn't really corner like I was hoping".  It is a Toyota Echo, what were you expecting?  So I counter with, "you said your truck was perfect, I can put my key through the rust on the door".  He just shrugs.  So he asks if I can inspect mine first, and if he is not happy he will just leave and not inspect his.  Normally, if I am buying and I want an inspection, I will pay for the inspection of the other car, not vice versa.  Again, thought about walking... then decided, last checkup was done in the fall, why not, worse case I have my spring checkup done.  The whole time during the inspection he was shaking his head, not happy about something.  The mechanic walked us through the car, showing that everything was perfect, suspension, brakes, muffler, engine, the only thing he recommended was to change the belts and told me the work I had done 2 weeks ago on the muffler, the person that did the work cut off a corner of my heat shield so it needs to be replaced or will start to make a racket soon from rattling.  As soon as the inspection was done... despite the car getting a green light, he decided to bolt.

Anyways, I am sure we all have similar stories.  I am not sure if I should still look for an Escape or consider something else.  The popup trailers I think weight in the neighborhood of 1800 lbs.  For sure too much for the Echo... still, would have been so much easier just doing an exchange, even if I gave him an amount extra, so much more difficult to buy then try to sell... 


Offline Patrick

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Re: Trailer / Camper / Towing
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2014, 02:12:04 PM »
My brother tows his pop-up with a 2001 ish chevy blazer does well another brother towed one with a e150 conversion van no problem then he upgraded to a hard side camper with the pull-out beds meant to be towed with an suv but was too much for the e150 so he uses chevy 2500 conversion van with a 454 after you load the pop-ups down with water,food,bikes and tools they can get heavy. A guy at work tows his with a dodge caravan.hope this helps make your decision.

Offline rick91351

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Re: Trailer / Camper / Towing
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2014, 03:15:02 PM »
There is another thing to think of.  Where are you going to be towing?  I have seen to many light towing vehicles throw craps when they venture from the Great Plains to the western mountains, from the shores of the Pacific east there is one way - east and up.  Sooner or latter you have to climb.  This requires horse power and two cooling for the engine and transmission.  The east coast has some pretty gnarly mountains as well.  Then to paraphrase Sir Isaac Newton what goes up has to come down.  So that requires brakes to do it safely.  Longer wheel based towing vehicles seem to be able to control decent better.  As well as how the trailer or what ever is loaded.  Slow down and just keep it under control.
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline DaveOrr

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Re: Trailer / Camper / Towing
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2014, 05:17:22 PM »
I tow my popup with a Honda Pilot. 3.5L V6.
It does a decent job but does use a ton more fuel when towing it compared to my 18' fishing boat.
It had no issues traversing the Rockies on my way to Alaska.

Dave's Arctic Cabin: www.anglersparadise.ca

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Trailer / Camper / Towing
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2014, 05:35:20 PM »
Quote
There is another thing to think of.

And another... elevation reduces power by approx 3% per 1000 ft above sea level. Couple a good upgrade to a 10,000 foot pass and things slow down. Except turbo diesels.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Adam Roby

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Re: Trailer / Camper / Towing
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2014, 03:12:23 AM »
DaveOrr - that's a beautiful picture, what a landscape.

Thanks for all the feedback fellas, have some things to chew on now.

Offline hpinson

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Re: Trailer / Camper / Towing
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2014, 05:38:32 AM »
Being persistent in exposing your daughter to the outdoors should eventually pay off.  Since a very young age, ours has come along kicking and screaming, but now as a teen I actually think she is starting to enjoy the trips.  Regardless she is VERY outdoorsy in comparison to her friends.  We just complete a very demanding backpack, and she totally held her own (she is 13 now). She has no hesitation going on long backpacks, finding and stomping scorpions that get into her gear, dealing with bears, or shooting a rifle or pistol. Her friends are not like that for the most part.

Add 500 pounds or so to the trailer weight for water carried, and your gear. 

The V6 would probably be ok for towing a popup - not much more than that though.  We used to tow that weight with a V6 4Runner, and it was pretty marginal - probably more due to the gutless 3VZE engine. Sucked gas like crazy too.  We did have to add an auxiliary transmission cooling radiator otherwise the it would overheat when under tow load. The newer V8 4Runners are really sweet for towing that class of trailer though. I don't know if the Escape is available in V8?

I remember the Echo. The design was also used for the 1st generation Prius.  It was a sweet little car. I think to do command a premium if they are in good shape.  They get GREAT gas mileage!  If nothing else you should be able to straight out sell it for a good price.


Offline Adam Roby

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Re: Trailer / Camper / Towing
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2014, 04:36:50 PM »
Thanks for the persistence confirmation.  I already have her playing with ants and other bugs in the back yard, baby steps and all.  I setup the tent last summer in the basement so she could experience it inside for the first time and wouldn't you believe the water tank burst and flooded the basement?  "Luckily" it happened before we went to bed, had it happened at 3 in the morning that may have done her in from the start. 

I found a decent deal on a 2008 Mazda Tribute, may go see it on the weekend.  It is rated at 3500 towing capacity.  The tent trailer is some 1500-1800 lbs (I think), plus 500 lbs of gear, leaves me with a 1200 lb margin of error so I think I will be OK.  No real mountains to traverse, other than perhaps 1 trip to Mt. Tremblant once per year (but the roads are all paved and should be OK).

Someone I work with wants my Echo.  I am not sure I should sell to someone I know but then again it did pass the inspection with flying colors so I am not trying to hide anything with it.  Anyways, crossing my fingers, we'll see how it goes.

 

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