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The Right Travel Trailer

Discussion in 'Towing' started by harr0007, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Feb 1, 2009 at 9:31 AM
    #1
    harr0007

    harr0007 [OP] Member

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    This is my first post, but I have been following the sitefor quite a while. I am planning an extended vacation starting in May running until early September. My plan is to buy a travel trailer. My truck is an 07 4X4, 4 door Tacoma with the tow package. Being on the road this long I need as much trailer as I can safely and comfortably tow. I have seen some acceptable trailers with dry weights of between 4500-4900 lbs. Just my wife and I will be the passengers. Is this too much trailer?:confused:
     
  2. Feb 1, 2009 at 9:44 AM
    #2
    Rtrn2taco

    Rtrn2taco Go Vick ??? Go Birds !!!

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    Welcome to TW !!! I have no idea, somebody is sure to come along and answer your question.
     
  3. Feb 1, 2009 at 1:14 PM
    #3
    harr0007

    harr0007 [OP] Member

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    The dry weight of the trailer is with option, no generator, no water, no personal items added. I will ge going over the Sierra Nevadas and the Rockies. Since it is just my wife and I, personal items will be somewhat less then a family with childeren or multiple adults traveling. Loaded I should be somewhere around 5,800lbs. The question is safety and ease of towing. Regarding the suspension TSB, yes completed just last week.
     
  4. Feb 2, 2009 at 4:09 PM
    #4
    05silverTaco

    05silverTaco Well-Known Member

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    Should be fine towing with a good brake controller. No speed demon stay out of 5th gear when towing. Get a weight distribution hitch and sway controller. Mine is about that weight and tows fine.


    vince
     
  5. Feb 2, 2009 at 4:12 PM
    #5
    PrezidentRedz

    PrezidentRedz Uncivilized Creations Prez

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  6. Feb 2, 2009 at 4:31 PM
    #6
    jonl9

    jonl9 Jonl9

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    I think the figure you want to know is the Trailer's rated GVWR, the max weight it can have. Many RV'ers will say that you should max your tow at 80% of the rated tow capacity of the tow vehicle. That would be a GVWR of 5200 pounds.

    We tow a high wall pop up with a GVWR just under 4,000 pounds and do well in the mountains here in NC which are generally quite a bit lower in altitude than the Sierras or the Rockies. I can pull an 8% grade and maintain my speed. Another half ton and it really would be felt but I'd be willing to step up to 5,000 pounds, even if speed on a grade degrades somewhat.

    I think you can be sure the Tacoma won't fail pulling something more, but you have to kind of decide how slow you wish to pull grades or be patient with an inability to pass at times. The RV dealer I deal with here would allow me to do a test tow of a larger trailer if that were the gate to completing a deal. If possible, I think you should give it a try before you write the check.
     
  7. Feb 5, 2009 at 3:01 PM
    #7
    tacoma2002

    tacoma2002 Member

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    I also am looking to buy a travel trailer and these posts have been useful. With my tacoma's tow package the limit is around 6000 lbs. However, the rear suspension sags down when I have the bed loaded with rock or something heavy.

    My question is - has anyone had to AAL on their rear suspension or get air suspension installed when pulling a trailer that maxes out the towing weight? How did this affect the ride?

    Thx,
     
  8. Feb 5, 2009 at 4:24 PM
    #8
    jonl9

    jonl9 Jonl9

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    I would really recommend that you think in terms of a weight distribution hitch which is designed to put the trailer tongue load on all four wheels of your truck. Properly set up a WDH should sink front and back and not just the back of the Tacoma. I ended up getting a WDH even for my pop up and it made a world of difference. I've also had the suspension TSB put on but won't have a chance to check it's effect till spring.
     
  9. Feb 5, 2009 at 7:33 PM
    #9
    trd2001

    trd2001 Well-Known Member

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    Like others said, you will be no speed demon, and you will have horrible gas mileage. I got 170 miles per one tank. Hills are 3-4, and 4th on flats. 5th gear is useless. I found that going up a large long grade, as long as you kept the engine at 3500 to 3800 while in third, you can go 50-55. The truck seems happy there.

    I towed this last weekend, to Dumont Dunes. Its about 225 miles from my house. On the way up to Dumont, I did get 7.5 mpg, and 10mpg comming home. It was windy when i was going there.

    My GVCWR (truck and trailer loaded) was 10500. The max is 11100. I had it weighed at the dump locally. I normally dont bring the second quad with me though.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Feb 6, 2009 at 6:33 AM
    #10
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    You have a gen 1 truck. So there are two points to correct here. 1. You do not have a "Tow package" you have a hitch, and maybe a different fan clutch and pitch on the fan blades. 2. Your tow rating is 5000 lbs not 6000. (THAT IS ONLY IF YOU HAVE A V6)

    A good weight dist. hitch system will help to aleviate some of the sag, the rest of the sag can be fixed by not being 1000 lbs over your tow rating.

    To answer your question if you are within your tow rating you should not need an AAL, or air bags. The AAL will make the truck ride harsh when it is not towing, but the airbags would not affect the ride quality.

    I am not trying to be an ass, I just wanted to set some facts straight and encourage you to stay within your tow ratings because when you excede them you gamble with not only your life but with the lifes of my friends and family and anyone else who happens to be on the road.

    Regards,
     
  11. Feb 6, 2009 at 6:39 AM
    #11
    Delmarva

    Delmarva Mayor of TW

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    What's the length of that trailer?
     
  12. Feb 6, 2009 at 6:52 AM
    #12
    Delmarva

    Delmarva Mayor of TW

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    Get a Hi-Lo... thems are neat... :D Supposed to tow very well...

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Feb 6, 2009 at 7:02 AM
    #13
    Delmarva

    Delmarva Mayor of TW

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    ^^
    Oh ya... that's in your build thread right?

    I like that V8 runner :D
     
  14. Feb 6, 2009 at 7:43 AM
    #14
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    Ok, first thing's first. Your truck has a tow rating of 6500lbs, so dry weights of 4500-4900 on average will get you to 5200-5700 wet and ready to camp. I do cover how to get the exact calculations in the towing bible.

    5200-5700lbs is well within the Tacoma's abilities.

    I have a couple of questions. I do not know your age and situation, so I don't know if kids are on your agenda, or if the kids are grown and gone, or if you have friends that you might want to take camping with you at some point, perhaps not this trip, but at somepoint in the future. These are things to consider, as the trailer will be with you for quite some time.

    I am going to make a few recomendations based on the assumption that it will just be your and your wife, most of the time, and if that's not the case then I'll adjust my recomendation later.

    The clubhouse leader in my mind, and the trailer I'd buy if I were in the market again right now is the Jayco Jayfeather Sport 199.

    The 199 is 3550 dry, with a GVWR of 4750, and is 20'7" long. It has a queen bed with the option for a single bunk over it, or cabinates in place of the bunk, depending on your preferences. It has a streetside slide-out with a 3 seat sofa, and table in it, which convert to a double bed. There is an accordian door between the living area and the bunk area, so that there is still a measure of privacy if you are camping with others, and there is ample storage. Another pro for the jayfeather's in my mind is that they are smooth gel-coat exteriors, which just looks cleaner to me and I prefer over the aluminum siding look of some other RVs.

    Another option if you want bigger would be the Jayfeather 242.

    The 242 is 5020 dry, and has a GVWR of 6500 lbs, which puts you right at the tow rating of the Tacoma, but she'd still handle it fine. The 242 is 27'9" and carrys quite a bit more fresh, grey and black water which would be important if there are more than just the two of you or if you are going to be boondocking it without full hook-ups a bit. The 242 has a front queen bedroom, with a center bathroom, and aft dining/living area. This is most relevant if you are camping with others and do not want to have to walk past them in the middle of the night to use the head.

    In much the same way that I do not consider any vehicle other than a Toyota, and no bicycle other than a Specialized or Orbea, I consider no RV other than a Jayco, it is just my personal preference I guess. If you have other manufactures, and models you are looking at let me know and I'll take a look at them and offer my views.

    Regards,
     
  15. Feb 6, 2009 at 8:04 AM
    #15
    Delmarva

    Delmarva Mayor of TW

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    Great post Adam... :thumbsup:
     
  16. Feb 6, 2009 at 10:11 AM
    #16
    sonjay

    sonjay Well-Known Member

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  17. Feb 6, 2009 at 3:31 PM
    #17
    harr0007

    harr0007 [OP] Member

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    Guys,
    Thanks for the great advice. Jon19, the dealer will not be happy, but they will first give me a test pull prior to a check passing hands! Delmarva and Silverback07, low profile may be the way to go. Next weekend in Sacramento there is an RV show. I will be there to check them out. Interesting to note both high dollar (and quality) tow hitch companies said I would be fine towing to the limit of 6,500 lbs. The task for me is to balance living areas for a long trip 3-4 months and still have a trailer that is not too heavy. I considered soft sides but will be spending time in bear country. Not that bears cannot get into a hard sided trailer just a bit more of a challenge. Any other ideas please post.
    Thanks again
     
  18. Feb 7, 2009 at 8:27 AM
    #18
    harr0007

    harr0007 [OP] Member

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    Maverick and all,
    Thanks for your recommendations. I will take a look at the Jayco. 90% of the time the use of the trailer will just be my wife and I, but we need some space because we will be on the road for 3-4 months. In May we head for Utah, WY, MT, Canada, then west to the Pacific coast and south back to northern CA. With spending this much time on the road the decision on what trailer to buy becomes very important.
     
  19. Feb 7, 2009 at 10:09 AM
    #19
    jonl9

    jonl9 Jonl9

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    I do not recall ever seeing a negative about Jayco in any of the forums, including www.RV.net. Register and you can post questions there.

    I've had a couple of Fleetwood pop ups and they've been fine, the one warrantee problem I had that was a Fleetwood issue was quickly fixed with no hassle. I have had problems with some of the appliances which are almost universally used in all rv's, mostly stuff like spider webs in the hot water heater or furnace.

    A quality rv is important, I think it's almost as important to have a good dealer with a really good reputation for service.

    Happy wandering and let us know how it goes!!
     
  20. Feb 7, 2009 at 10:06 PM
    #20
    trd2001

    trd2001 Well-Known Member

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    its 18ft.

    I used to tow it with a 4runner, but it was not stable.
     
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