Monday, June 19, 2017

Hitch

Day 40


What caused problem?


8am - My decision that Scampy's brakes did not need to be hooked up, led to the hitch failure. I came to the conclusion about not hooking up Scampy's brakes because Little Honda's brakes brought Scampy to a stop so easily.

However, I did not recognize that without Scampy's brakes, all of the load would be borne by the hitch.

Many Readers, because of the hitch failure, are of the opinion that Little Honda should be replaced with a larger vehicle. With the above explanation in mind, I disagree with this opinion.

Getting a different tow vehicle
There is no doubt that a Honda FIT is not the best tow vehicle for Scampy. So, I am going to shop for a different tow vehicle.

Perhaps a Ford Transit?




4pm - 2012 Ford Transit
Here is a pic of George in Salem, Oregon with our new tow vehicle!

 George and 2012 Ford Transit!

This Ford Transit is a small size van with built-in cabinets in the cargo area that have slide out drawers!


6pm - Specifications: 
2012 Ford Transit Connect trailer hitch:

Trailer Hitch Size:
2 Inch Hitch Opening

Towing Capacity:
350 Pound Tongue Weight
3500 Pound Towing

Weight Distribution Towing Capacity:
400 lbs WD TW Pound Tongue Weight
4000 lbs WD GTW Pound Towing


PS: Click [Here] to view page with the above specifications.



7pm - Bush's Pasture Park
We have made an Evening Camp in Bush's Pasture Park. Right after this Blog post, Little iPhone is sooooo anxious to take a walk about this lovely place.

There is a sign here reading:
"Park closed midnight to 5am"

In Scampanese, this translates to:
"OK to remain here until midnite!"

Scampy and Little Honda in Bush's Park
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Nite Camp Location Map

Elevation: 219 feet









57 comments:

  1. So what are the towing specs for the Honda and Scampy? Have you weighed the actual weights of the Honda's axles, trailer axle, and tongue when fully loaded. This is the only way to know if the Honda can safely to the trailer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nick,

      Thank for your comment!

      There are more Honda specs to consider.
      ➡︎ Transmission
      ➡︎ Engine
      ➡︎ Cooling

      Lots of other stuff too! It takes looking for the weakest components.

      George

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      Delete
    2. George,

      I've been following your blog for well over 10 years. Just want you to be safe. A lot of people overload their tow vehicle and/or their trailer. The Owner's Manual has the specifications for what can be safely towed and it takes into consideration all the equipment the vehicle comes from th factory with.

      What does the Honda's manual say? If I recollect correctly you have a Honda Fit. If it is a Fit, I suspect the Owner's Manual says it is not designed to tow anything at all.

      Delete
  2. The Ford Transit gets my vote. Looks like it will carry your gear and Scampy just fine. Get rid of the Honda before it gets damaged, Scampy gets damaged or you get hurt. Keep Scampy and set up your trailer on the RV lot when you're able. You've got the best of all worlds with Scampy to find adventure and the trailer as a home base. Good luck George.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Robert,

      I fought this change for a long time. When so many told me I was wrong. I just had to listen!

      George


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      Delete
  3. I like the looks of the Ford Transit and 4 wheel drive would be excellent. Lots of cargo space too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vera,

      Seems like the perfect tow vehicle. As you wrote. 4WD and cargo space too!

      George

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      Delete
    2. Will the Transit pull Twaylor? It would be nice to be able to go out in either one.

      Joe

      Delete
    3. Hi Joe,

      I would not tow Twayler even if I had the proper tow vehicle. I wouldn't trust myself towing a large trailer!

      George

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      Delete
  4. Looks beautiful but will it tow scampi? How much load and tow capacity does it have? Apparently this vehicle got some European awards...says it's a work horse but no other specs found on web.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rita,

      Click [Here] to go to a page describing the 2015 Ford Transit.

      George

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      Delete
    2. I read the towing specs for 2017 which is more in depth. It has a chart for the Ford Transit Van and Wagon and each with it's own load and towing capacity. Apparently you cannot use a donut when towing, you need a full spare tire. I'm not a mechanic so I had lots of questions reading the chart for the van...what is a GCW? Is it the center of gravity? Anyway, I found the specs in google. It seems the manual transmission is not offered in America...only in Europe. Some transmission have the tow/haul gear and some don't. Like I said I had lots of questions.

      Delete
  5. Here's another option George-- a basic minivan. Yes, it's pretty boring as a daily driver, but they usually get pretty good gas mileage, and many can tow up to 3000 or 3500 lbs. But the best reason-- you'd have the option to go night camping with just the minivan alone if you'd wish to leave Scampy at home. Most minivans are long enough to hold a cot, porta potti, and camping supplies with the rear seats out. Sure, it's not as comfy as Scampy would be, but it'd at least give you the option for short trips when hitching up & towing might be a hassle. Night camping in a minivan would also be super-stealthy too. The Transit Connect would be a great tow vehicle too, but I think it might be a bit too short to hold a camping cot, so you'd always need to be towing Scampy with that vehicle. Just some food for thought!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynne,

      Thank you sooooo much for sharing your alternate thoughts about my next tow vehicle!

      George

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      Delete
  6. 2,900 pounds to 7,500 pounds for towing when properly equipped. The heavy duty towing package is an option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Robert,

      This is NOT a new vehicle. So "a properly equipped heavy duty towing package [whatever that is] is NOT an option.

      A hitch will be installed that is appropriate.

      George

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      Delete
  7. You would love the Ford Transit. Our son just got one and it's great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi JJ,

      I believe that I will love the Ford Transit Connect! 😍

      George

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      Delete
  8. Hello George, I am a full-time 4x4 off-road RV person near Portland. Lots of wilderness to camp in near you for free. I went through the exact same scenario as you did and came to my setup as the cheapest and most versatile. I choose a 4x4 truck capable of pulling 2X's the trailer weight. My trailer is a Baja 18' off road from Jayco, and I pull it with a 2" lifted F-150 4x4 with mud tires. I can go anywhere, unhook and go with the truck, and carry more (generator, water, food). $20K for the truck & $16K for the trailer. I lived full time in it for 2 years and on my way to Alaska. Get a 4x4 truck, and go off road a little! Good luck! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Unk,

      My Ford Transit Connect does not have 4WD.

      I will not be doing hardly any off road RVing.

      George

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      Delete
  9. Love the looks of that Ford Transit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joan,

      Looks nice, doesn't it?

      Thank you,
      George


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      Delete
  10. Just noticed you bought the Ford Transit, how FANTASTIC!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi again, Joan!

      Yes! I bought it!

      George


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      Delete
  11. George,

    What is the tow capacity of the 2012 Transit? I suspect that you haven't gained much.

    Do we know how much Scampy weighs fully loaded?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tow capacity is around 1,600 lb

      Delete
  12. Something to look at and something to think about.
    On the next future vehicle whatever you plan on buying.
    Can it be purchased with a ( from the factory ) install trailer hitch
    When you're doing your calculations add 800 pounds more to the trailer and another 25 pounds to the Hitch tongue weight
    The reason for that is.
    The future vehicle that you're buying will be rated X percentage more. Therefore giving you better peace of mind while towing
    But not so big as to exceed your ability .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mister Ed.
      Your spec sheet is for a 2017 model. Huge difference from a 2012. The specs changed in 2014.

      Delete
  13. I looked up the Owner Manual for a 2012 Transit. Page 169 says,

    "WARNING: Never tow a trailer with this vehicle. Your vehicle is not equipped to tow. No towing packages are available through an authorized dealer."

    I did find that newer Transits are rated to tow 1600-2000 lbs depending on equipment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Starting with the 2014 model, Ford recommended towing a max of 2,000#.
      Prior to that that recommended against using the Transit for towing anything. The 1,600# figure talked about is load capacity not towing capacity.

      At any rate, the ground clearance is better than the Honda, more interior room and towing shouldn't be any worse than the little Fit. Commercial hitches are available, just not through a Ford dealer.
      Trailer brakes are an absolute must. Not only required by law, but, more importantly, by common sense.

      Delete
    2. Oh my God, Nick!!!

      This is wonderful news for me to receive from you!

      I am sooooo happy to know that my newly purchased Ford Transit Connect cannot tow my Scamp trailer! 😎

      George

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      Delete
    3. Hi Ed, Carol et al,

      More wonderful good news for me!! Wow!

      Made my day! 😎

      George

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      Delete
  14. George my gosh the web site did say no towing for earlier models....did you ask whomever you purchased it from if the van was able to tow the scampi? Check it out before the three days expires in case you have to take it back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rita,

      Go back to my Blog. I put a link there with the specs.

      George

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      Delete
  15. In California the law requires brakes on any trailer weighing more than 1500 lbs. We still don't know how much Scampy weighs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nick,

      Scampy has brakes.

      Scampy has a GVWR = 2,200 lbs.

      George

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      Delete
  16. I think you will find that all Class III hitches are rated at 3,500#.
    This has nothing to do with the rated towing capacity of the vehicle. That's just how much the hitch can safely handle.
    You could put a Class III hitch on the Fit but that would not make into a Ford F-150.


    A trip to a truly top notch trailer hitch/suspension shop would be a good place to start.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, you could NOT put a Class 3 hitch on a FIT. No such hitch is manufactured!!!!!

      The hitch that you looked at has specs for the Ford Transit that I bought. That is how its done!

      Wow! Enough!

      George

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      Delete
  17. Yes, the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is 2200 lbs, but how much does it actually weigh fully loaded? This is the important question along with the actual weight.

    Also you posted the specs for a hitch that eTrailer sells. That has no relationship at all to what Ford says it can tow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nick,

      In a prior comment you stated, "Just want you to be safe."
      I assume that you do want me to be safe. However, I find that I am more than a bit sorry that I listened to you.

      In your comment above, you might wish to add:
      "In my opinion...." in front of "That has no relationship at all to what Ford says it can tow."

      George

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      Delete
  18. Ignore the naysayers.

    https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Ford/Transit+Connect/2012/13076.html?vehicleid=2012301853

    CONFIRMED TO FIT
    2012 Ford Transit Connect

    Maybe in 2012 Ford "didn't recommend" towing. Neither does Honda for their Goldwing motorcycles, and I've seen thousands of them. Sounds like corporate CYA.

    Enjoy your new vehicle and keep living the good life. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jay,

      Thank you sooooo very much!

      Those "naysayers" were making me feel very low!

      George

      .

      Delete
    2. GEORGE! WHEN THEY GO LOW
      WE GO HIGH!!!

      Delete
    3. Hi Joan,

      Yes! You are sooooo right!

      George


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      Delete
  19. Hi George, the final say about towing is what is in the manual. I wish you the best of luck as I truly enjoy your adventures.

    Mark in Sunny Palm Springs, CA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, that is not correct.

      The manual is merely a guide, not gospel.

      George

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      Delete
    2. The final say is the mfg. tag on the drivers door.

      Delete
    3. The final say is the man in the drivers seat.

      Delete
  20. George,

    Yes, I care about your safety, which is why I have spent a lot of time doing research today. Bottom line is that anytime someone has an accident insurance companies WILL decline payment of a claim if they can prove the towing combination exceeds manufacturer's specifications, especially in cases where the payout can be tens or even hundreds of thousands dollars. And of course I don't want to see anyone get hurt.

    I spent nearly 50 years in the automotive and truck business, where I was known as a "subject matter expert, and have worked with the engineers who come up with these specifications. The really difficult part of matching tow vehicles and trailers is all the needed information is not in one place, and usually one cannot trust the salespeople who sell vehicles because usually their only interest is making a commission.

    If you do not want me to post any more, just tell me.

    However, you might want to read this three part article I wrote on How Much Trailer Can You Tow?

    http://popupbackpacker.com/how-much-trailer-can-you-tow-part-1/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Nick,

      I would like you to continue your comments.

      George

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      Delete
  21. I had thought of making a tiny little camper in a Transit, but you can't stand up in one. Enjoy your new team mate....Trannie?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Suz,

      Better to get a Scamp towed by a Transit! 😎

      George

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      Delete
  22. I am towing a 2700lb trailer loaded to about 3500lbs with a lifted King Ranch F-150 4x4 with airbags, capable of towing 11,000lbs - and I am at its limit with the trailer @ 3500lbs. That is because you have to take in the worst case - uphill, wind/rain pushing on you. Don't listen to any salesperson ever on safety issues. 1/2 the rated tow capacity is the safe zone George. Also the TV should be 2x heavier. But no one listens to me...hahaha :) Happy SUMMER! :) :) George, Iv'e been reading you since day one...you are a hero to me no matter what adventure you are on! Good luck brother:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Point,

      What a nice compliment:
      "...you are a hero to me..."!

      George


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      Delete
    2. There are some folks who say the trailer weight should be much less than what the tow vehicle can tow (per the manufacturer's specifications).

      The manufacturers of tow vehicles do a lot of engineering to come up with a tow capacity that is deemed safe to tow (assuming all other capacities such as axle weights, combined weight of tow vehicle and trailer, and tongue weight) are all within specifications. They are also a battery of attorneys that must bless the ratings to avoid financial liability to the manufacturer. So I am comfortable towing a trailer that is close to the tow vehicle's maximum specification.

      A lot of people are commenting here today and I believe it is because we all like George and want him to make the best decisions so he can be safe and continue to live his life on the road.

      Ultimately it is George's decision regarding what he is going to tow Scampy with. Can the Transit tow Scampy without problem? Perhaps. But if the Owner's Manual says it cannot tow a trailer and something happens, like an accident, there are potential liability issues for him. And perhaps nothing bad will happen at all.

      Delete
    3. Hi Nick,

      Your last sentence says it all:
      "And perhaps nothing bad will happen at all."

      George


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      Delete

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