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Old 11-17-2018, 02:12 PM   #1
Omi
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Location: Arcata, California
Trailer: 2019 Escape 17B
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Omi

Hubby and I have just returned from Chilliwack where we ordered an Escape 17B. Will pick it up in March 2019. Have never owned a trailer. Plan to tow it with our 2002 Volkswagen pop-top Eurovan which has been our "camper" for 16 years. Big change for us !
This site has already been so helpful. Many Thanks. I am not very computer literate. Please excuse my bumbling around the forums and posts.
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:17 PM   #2
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Separate bedrooms?
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omi View Post
Hubby and I have just returned from Chilliwack where we ordered an Escape 17B. Will pick it up in March 2019. Have never owned a trailer. Plan to tow it with our 2002 Volkswagen pop-top Eurovan which has been our "camper" for 16 years. Big change for us !
This site has already been so helpful. Many Thanks. I am not very computer literate. Please excuse my bumbling around the forums and posts.
Great that you purchased an Escape! You should make sure that you have enough towing capacity with your van. A fully loaded 17B with propane and water can be upward of 3,500 lbs, so make sure that you have a robust enough tow vehicle.
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:33 PM   #4
Omi
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Arcata, California
Trailer: 2019 Escape 17B
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Well, our VW is rated to tow 4400 lbs. The ETI people seemed to think it would be fine. We know that somewhere down the line we will need a new tow vehicle but I can't imagine one as versatile as our "Blue Bird" . . . seats 7, sleeps 4 and allows standing height.


. . . and you never know when that "separate bedroom" might be handy
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:57 PM   #5
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Welcome! I've been down your way a few times; my daughter lives in McKinleyville and works in Arcata.
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Old 11-17-2018, 04:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Omi View Post
Well, our VW is rated to tow 4400 lbs.
The T4 generation of the Volkswagen Transporter (called the "Eurovan" in North America) is a commercial vehicle of substantial capacity - especially these late ones with the six-cylinder engine - and the towing rating looks promising. There is more than one number to towing capacity, though, so it is still worth checking to see if the trailer will fit within all of the vehicle's limits, including
  • the trailer's tongue weight is within the van's hitch weight limit,
  • the total of the loaded camper plus the trailer's hitch weight is within the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the van, and
  • the total weight of the loaded camper plus loaded trailer is within the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of the van.
You might need to be careful with the amount of stuff that you carry (to avoid excessive total weight), or how the trailer is loaded (to avoid excessive tongue weight).

I can't find a Eurovan manual online - so far it looks like perhaps (from owner's comments in other forums):
  • hitch weight limit = 440 pounds (one post said 220 pounds, but that would be unreasonably low)
  • GVWR = 5800 pounds
  • GCWR = 10,000 pounds
The empty Eurovan is about 4500 pounds and the camper adds a lot to that, so the trailer's tongue weight might tip it over GVWR, and the trailer's total weight might tip it over GCWR, if you carry too much stuff.
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Old 11-17-2018, 04:40 PM   #7
Omi
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There is no "camper" inside our Eurovan . . . no sink, no stove, no propane etc. . . . only the pop-top and a very small fridge under a seat.


My husband looked at the hitch we have and it reads max. TW = 400 lbs. We assume that means tongue weight. How do we determine the tongue weight of the 17B ?
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Old 11-17-2018, 04:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omi View Post
There is no "camper" inside our Eurovan . . . no sink, no stove, no propane etc. . . . only the pop-top and a very small fridge under a seat.


My husband looked at the hitch we have and it reads max. TW = 400 lbs. We assume that means tongue weight. How do we determine the tongue weight of the 17B ?
ETI says the approx. dry hitch weight is 250lbs for the 17'. But the only way to truly know what YOUR trailer hitch weight is, is to weight it. Maybe every single time you are loaded and ready to go.
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Old 11-17-2018, 04:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omi View Post
There is no "camper" inside our Eurovan . . . no sink, no stove, no propane etc. . . . only the pop-top and a very small fridge under a seat.
Ah, so it's a Eurovan MV Weekender, not a Eurovan Camper. That will save some weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omi View Post
My husband looked at the hitch we have and it reads max. TW = 400 lbs. We assume that means tongue weight. How do we determine the tongue weight of the 17B ?
Yes, that's tongue weight.

The base dry (meaning without option, and with no water or propane) tongue weight of a 17' is listed by Escape in the Specifications as only 250 pounds. The base dry total weight of a 17B is 2400 pounds, and as Escape suggests in their FAQ, a typical loaded weight might be 3400 pounds (including options and your stuff). If the tongue weight is 12% or more of that (typical for Escapes) it would be over 400 pounds on the hitch. You'll need to distribute the load in the trailer carefully to keep it under 400 pounds, but that will still be high enough for good trailer stability.

There's a long-running discussion of loaded trailer weights with accompanying spreadsheet listing: Trailer Weights in the Real World. It only has a very small sample of 17B tongue weights, all but one of which are under 400 pounds, but some people run much higher tongue weight than these examples. I don't see a problem, but don't plan on piling a bunch of stuff on the tongue (including the storage box if you got that) or in the front dinette area.
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Old 11-17-2018, 05:17 PM   #10
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when I test drove a new T4 Eurovan VR6 circa 2000 or 2001, I felt it had a bit of a tendency to porpoise even without a trailer. If you're going to use one for towing, I would strongly look at either using a light WDH, or adding airbags to the rear suspension of the van to reduce this. The T4 I drove had the sport suspension setup with /50 tires, which I thought was ludicrous on a van.
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