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Old 11-08-2013, 05:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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efficient toy hauler

Looking for ideas and general brainstorming.
Requirements: stowable bed, small cooking area, 2 300 lb motorcycles, 2 mtn bikes. Need at least 6 ft high to stand up.

Current setup is tent camping, RAV4, open trailer. The open trailer seems to have poor mpg due to poor aerodynamics. With no trailer the RAV4 gets mid 20's on the highway. With this light trailer (~1000 lbs loaded with motos & mtb's) the mpgs dropped to 16-18 at 60-70 mph. The desire is to increase living space and increase fuel economy (or at least no worse)

An alternative would be an small enclosed toy hauler. I tried a flat front 6x12x6 trailer and that was even worse than the open trailer. I would think that a shorter, vnose trailer would be better than an open trailer with motos and bike on it wouldn't it? Perhaps 5x12, 5 ft high with a popup roof. Then we'd need a stronger tow vehicle. I've pulled heavier trailers before & even though I was under the specs for the RAV4, it felt like too much. It doesn't feel like that vehicle is a good tow rig. There don't seem to be any small diesels available to us in a pick up or small van. Perhaps the Ram 3.5V6 is the best gas engine option.
Or
Seems like a large van (with similar engine/tranny) would always have better fuel economy than a trailer. Something like a long tall sprinter. The bikes could go inside during travel, then moved out for camping. The downside to this is the reliability of the sprinters. It's impossible to get real data, but there are plenty of folks on the forums with problems with them. Ram has a new high roof van and Ford will have one next year, but I don't really want to buy new, or wait untill next year. Another option would be a regular GM/Ford van with a pop-top or high-top on it. One moto could go on a hitch carrier and we could probably make that work. Big V8's & 4spd autos seem to be the only option though.

Any ideas?

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Old 11-08-2013, 07:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikenfool View Post
Seems like a large van (with similar engine/tranny) would always have better fuel economy than a trailer. Something like a long tall sprinter. The bikes could go inside during travel, then moved out for camping. The downside to this is the reliability of the sprinters. It's impossible to get real data, but there are plenty of folks on the forums with problems with them. Ram has a new high roof van and Ford will have one next year, but I don't really want to buy new, or wait untill next year. Another option would be a regular GM/Ford van with a pop-top or high-top on it. One moto could go on a hitch carrier and we could probably make that work. Big V8's & 4spd autos seem to be the only option though.
I don't see too many problems with the Sprinters in my country, altough they have a different powerplant (4-pot turbodiesel) and mostly manual transmissions back here. Regarding the new Ram ProMaster, if you could buy new it wouldn't be a bad option at all. Due to the FWD layout it has a lower cargo platform, which eases the loading and unloading and increases the interior standing height.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
An alternative would be an small enclosed toy hauler. I tried a flat front 6x12x6 trailer and that was even worse than the open trailer. I would think that a shorter, vnose trailer would be better than an open trailer with motos and bike on it wouldn't it? Perhaps 5x12, 5 ft high with a popup roof. Then we'd need a stronger tow vehicle.
I started this thread, but by page 2 it had veered into teardropping a 40ft shipping container.

http://http://ecomodder.com/forum/383403-post1.html





Did your RAV4 will handle a 6x12x6 trailer well? In comparison an aero 5x12x5 would be a breeze.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
I started this thread, but by page 2 it had veered into teardropping a 40ft shipping container.
...
Did your RAV4 will handle a 6x12x6 trailer well? In comparison an aero 5x12x5 would be a breeze.
It did not handle the 6x6x12 trailer very well in the mountains. I think it was about 2000 lbs loaded. Could be that I just need to get used to 2nd gear on the hills .
Interesting ideas. I don't think I'm handy enuf to do a decent job of building something like that tho.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You might surprise yourself, given enough materials and shop space.

If your going for a bigger tow vehicle, take a look at the Airstream Base Camp.
https://www.google.com/search?q=airstream+basecamp

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