On September 22nd of this year, my wife and I drove to Backus to pick up our long-awaited Scamp 16 (Layout 6). We own a Subaru Outback with the 2.5-liter (non turbo) engine, which is listed as having a 2700 lb. tow capacity. We had decided to use the Subaru as our tow vehicle on our three-week journey home and see how it worked out. The Outback came with an original equipment Class 2 hitch and four prong connector. We added a seven-prong connector to the car to take care of the Scamp’s electrics.
On the drive home we realized that the Outback was not the ideal vehicle for towing a Scamp 16. The Outback did well in the flat land of the Midwest, but once we started hitting hills the four cylinder just did not have the power needed. We were mostly sticking to backroads and kept our speed below 60. At outside temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s the oil temperature stayed in 218-224 range, but as we started hitting interstates for the most direct trip through Kentucky and eastern Tennessee, I had to work to keep the oil temps down to the mid-230s. It was a struggle keep at 65 MPH while the other traffic was zipping by, working the paddle shifters to keep up the RPMs. We were glad to finally get home. I calculated our average milage while towing to be around 18.2 MPG; without the camper the Outback gets 32-34 MPG on the highway.
We have since picked up a new tow vehicle: a 2017 Nissan Armada. It is really overkill for a Scamp, with a towing capacity of 8500 lbs., 390 hp, and four-wheel drive, but I know it will not have a problem pulling and we found it at a great price. The only issue is gas milage. On a mix of interstate and two lane I am averaging 20-21 without the Scamp. I have not done enough distance with the camper to get my milage, but it shouldn’t be much difference than the Subaru gets while pulling. We will continue to use the Outback as our main transportation because of the gas milage and the Armada as our secondary and tow vehicle.