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Old 10-19-2018, 08:48 AM   #1
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Default Asking for advice please

This is such a helpful forum, and we need help making a tough decision about campers in general. We have a few issues with our little fun finder, but mostly we love it. I posted about these issues and the solution I am planning to resolve them. I won't go into them here too, but I have all materials and plans and am ready to start the mods. But through some strange turn of events, we have been offered a very good trade in on an almost new larger trailer and we just can't decide if we want to do it.

The trailer is a 2016, is called an 18', but actual length bumper to end of tongue is 21' long and 3100# unloaded wt. We've become very comfortable towing our little T139 with our 05 Toyota v6 4Runner. (Unlike many other year models, it is a Tacoma chassis and 4l engine and has a tow package. It's rated to tow 5000# but when tv and trailer are loaded, will probably come close to our capacity

Of course in asking family and friends, I'm already getting advice, mostly that it's quite doable.

The one thing we can't fix or change easily about our fun finder is the flat roof. It isn't leaking now, but will be a constant concern. We can't change the tiny space either. We can live with it, but it would be nice to have more.

So I'm wondering, will we take a big hit in ease of towing? the trailer we are considering is actuall a little narrower than the T139, and about the same height.
It is just longer and 1000# heavier.

If I have to choose between economical, easy towing or white knuckle driving, we'd chose the first.

Unfortunately the trade offer has made us start a mad dash to shop and compare and it's a chore!

Any advice and input welcomed!
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:17 AM   #2
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This is probably the most frequent question asked about towing because determining how much trailer a vehicle can tow is not as simple as it seems. Most people assume that because the trailer has a 5000 lb capacity it can safely tow a 5000 lb trailer. That is not true.

To know for sure you need to know not only the towing capacity, but also the trucks payload capacity as well as some other ratings. So will your truck be able to safely tow this larger trailer? Maybe. To be sure you need to run the numbers. Here's a link to a calculator that will help:

Travel Trailer Weight Calculator
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:35 AM   #3
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One other possibility is ask if you could tow the trailer you are considering. Weight will probably be OK, but the length is going to require significant sway control, as well as a weight distribution hitch to level out the rig.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:05 PM   #4
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Thank you both! We will have sway, and may need weight distribution hitch. I am still very undecided, but leaning toward the new one.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:19 AM   #5
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I called toyota and got all the specs needed to fill out the calculator, except the actual rear axle weight. I've read and dug through so much information on line, and did find that the weight restrictions on towing are related to the type of factory installed hitch more than the capabilities of the vehicle. Either way, we are able to tow 5000# according to the service department at toyota and several T4r forums.

we were able to hitch up the trailer and hit the interstate yesterday, and honestly, I felt very little difference in how it towed. We drove a long enough distance to be reassured about the ability to tow the trailer.

I really love the T139 and this is going to be hard to do. But they are giving a trade in value of more than we paid, and we honestly need the room. We have to go outside to change our minds in the T139. And nowhere for the grandchild who wants to go on a camping trip to fit. So, with great remorse, we have decided to go ahead and get the bigger trailer. It's a 2016 AR one 18QB.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:53 AM   #6
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The grandchild puts this over the edge -- if it was just two people, the 139 is great, since it can fit into any space, even while boondocking. But it is not good if you want to accommodate guests! I think you are doing the right thing.
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:17 AM   #7
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thanks. I do too, but it is with a lot of agonizing. We really do love the T139...where it can go, how amazingly livable it is for only 11.5' box. It is such a gem.

And we have 8 grandchildren, but only take one at a time! but they all want to go camping, fishing and kayaking with us.
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:11 AM   #8
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We returned the t139 to "stock" and cleaned out all our stuff. Man that old dinette table is HEAVY! I forgot how heavy. We will offer them the nice lightweight one, but assumed they would want all the original furnishings. Valances and bunk bed too. This is going to be hard. I felt worse cleaning out the fun finder than I did the Rialta. 19' seems a big jump, but actually is about as "short" as you can find. Today was windy and I kept envisioning us driving down the highway in that kind of wind in that bigger trailer. Gulp.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:11 AM   #9
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You are going from pulling a very small trailer to a slightly larger one.

That is exactly the opposite from my past experience. For some 10 years, I pulled manufactured homes (mobile homes) commercially ..... as large as 16' wide and up to 85' long. One always had to think ahead of the traffic, movement for turns, etc. for proper clearance.

Then, I got my Fun Finder ... only 8' wide and 30' long. What a change! I could back up and park a 85' long home on a dime, first try. Backing up and parking a short 30' trailer was much more difficult, at first, as the reaction to steering is far faster.
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:00 PM   #10
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We have had several people ask us about selling ours, and the offer has been about what we paid 4 years ago, but so far we've said no. It seems the little ones are quite popular around here in the southeast. We feel like we have just about gained our investment back in the trips, relaxation and fun we've had already. If we didn't have the FK floor plan we might feel differently but it suits us very well.
Realistically we are planning maybe 3 more years before thinking about a trade.

Alan
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