Issues towing new 16' home with Honda Pilot

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markjazzbassist's picture
Last seen: 2 days 13 hours ago
Joined: 12/14/2020 - 15:56
all in the ratings

in the US it's rated at 1500 lbs.  same car in europe magically rated at 1500kg (3300 lbs).  cars in the US market are rated much lower due to lawsuits and manufacturers worried about being sued.  europe has more regulations so they don't have to worry about these needless lawsuits.  my receiver is rated for 3500 pounds, hitch for 5000 pounds and 500 tongue weight.  also the 80's scamp 16 weighs 1300 pounds dry, so even with my gear at most it's 1700 lbs.  i have brakes on my scamp as well (i wouldn't do this without the breaks).  i'm not about to go head out to the rocky mountains and have a go, but it's been fine so far in the midwest and mid atlantic regions.  there was another person on this forum that used the same setup and didn't have issues.  my honda is a 2008 (it's NOT CVT).

1987 Scamp 16

DowneastME's picture
Last seen: 1 week 3 days ago
Joined: 09/06/2018 - 12:20
never use cruise control - response to #8

I agree with your comments on most efficient towing.  Cruise control is not for towing except perhaps on an extended, flat straightaway when you need to stretch your leg in the summer. :)  Some vehicles today have an electronic transmission mode to be used when towing.  Overdrive and cruise controls are just not appropriate.

Another point I'd add is tire inflation.  Make sure the tires of the tow vehicle as well as the trailer are at or near the upper limit.  This will improve gas mileage.  Because I have truck tires, I typically have a slightly lower inflation setting on the front tires to reduce front end/steering shock and maintain higher in the rear to support the bed load as well as the tongue weight.  I also had an air lift system installed.

On my last extended road trip during warm months, I was pleasantly surprised where I was getting upwards of 19 mpg (sometimes 20+) while towing my 13' Scamp with a 2011 Ford Ranger 6 cylinder.  Of course, highway driving makes a difference.  Another thing that makes a signficant difference in a tow vehicle is a manual transmission, which I have.  It's too bad that they have become a dinosaur to the "convenience" of an automatic trans.  In my opinon, a manual shines when it comes to towing.

Last seen: 2 months 3 days ago
Joined: 07/07/2016 - 07:06
Lessons learned

I am not familiar with the vehicles mentioned in this thread, but I have learned some lessons in tow vehicles over the years.  Eons ago, I hauled my horse trailer with a few different model years of GMC Jimmys (the old smaller ones).  Always great tow vehicles, no problems.  When GM discontinued the Jimmy and went to the larger (well, it looked larger) Envoy I bought one.  I used it for work travel, and thought it would be great for towing the horse trailer.  Wrong--figured that out after one short trip.  The tow capacity was rated the same as the smaller Jimmys, but there were three main differences.  Gear ratio was wrong--set up more for gas mileage and smooth sailing.  Suspension was too soft--again, set up for comfort vs. stability towing.  And third, the center of gravity was higher.  We upgraded to a larger truck and I used that for towing.  All of these variables are important in a TV.    

Rhonda Riebow

Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 07/11/2015 - 10:36
Towing a 13' Scamp with a 2013 Honda Pilot

We own a 13' Scamp with a 2013 Honda Pilot.  We have had great experiences towing our Scamp with the Honda for thousands of miles.  We have the same engine that you have except we have a 5 speed transmission.  I realize that your 16' Scamp weighs more but when we travel our Scamp is loaded down as is the Honda for our travel/camping needs.  Yes, the mileage is poor - 14/15 mpg.  But it is much better than when I towed heavier trailers with my GMC Yukon or with our pickup camper.  I would suggest that you do not use cruise when you are towing.  I have discovered that I get better mileage when not using cruise.  We have enjoyed our 2015 Scamp, it is a pure joy when we are camping/traveling.  We wish you happy trails with your new Scamp.

Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 07/07/2020 - 11:30
Towing 16' Scamp with Honda Pilot

Thanks for sharing your experiences and insight.  I found your post most helpful.  It is lining up with the other advice i have gotten.  I'm very confident our next towing experience will be much improved, and our expectations will be better aligned with reality.

Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/25/2021 - 15:03
Parachute, Scamp

Welcome to Scamp towing.  Towing a Scamp is like towing a parachute.  It's the wind resistance that is slowing you down and using your gas!  The thing has no aerodynamics, and has lots of drag from its frontal area, and the low pressure area behind it.  I have been involved in race cars most of my life and am a pilot.  I understand this things.  When I first towed my Scam, I understood exactly what was happening.

I tow my 13 footer using a Volvo 740 Wagon; only 115hp.  It does OK but I am limited to 67mph top speed on the flat.  BUT, get behind a truck and I can go as fast as the truck goes.  It's called drafting in race terms.  You are driving in the low pressure area the truck is making behind it, reducing the amount of power necessary to go that speed.  Usually at 25% less power, or more.  My gas milage is normally about 26-28mpg.  Towing the Scamp it goes down to 15mpg.  Behind a truck, I know it is closer to 20mpg.  I set my trip odometer each tank full and keep track of the millage.

Towing a Scamp is like towing a parachute, slowing you down.  I thought of making a fairing for the front of the Scamp by using a tarp to attach to the top front of the roof, tapering to just behind the trailer ball, to streamline the front of the Scamp a bit better.  It could be taken off when parked, and not ruin the beautiful Scamp shape.  

Last seen: 2 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 08/20/2018 - 13:45

For three years now we pulled our 13 with bath with a 2018 subaru crosstrek and 6 speed manual trans,. 2.0 engine and 1,500-150 rated. Trying to pull in 6th was miserable /useless even at 65MPH. We towed even using the cruise was very acceptable  in 5thgear  and was so much better by letting the engine breathe and get up a little  higher RPM where it needed to be. there were even times where 4th was best on longer moderate grades the engine was very happy at 3,000-3,200 rpm and more for hours on end. Much better on the engine than slugginng it out at 2,500 where it could not work. .  

2019 Scamp 13 standard