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Old 03-20-2016, 06:38 PM   #1
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Default Mark from Houston

Hi,

I'm going to be retiring in June and am looking at a used Fun Finder X210 (no slides just the standard 210). I was wondering if anyone who owns a 210 would let me know their experiences with it (good and bad) as well as what other models they considered before settling on the 210. I've looked at the Keystone Bullet and the Skyline Koala as well as the 210 but I keep coming back to the 210.

I'll be towing this with a Toyota 4Runner with a 7000 lb rating so I want to keep the fully loaded weight at or below 5000 pounds and then I'll put a weight distribution hitch with anti sway on there. I'm hoping that should be more than enough to safely tow the 210.

Thanks in advance for any and all comments,

Mark
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:59 PM   #2
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Mark --

Do you plan on towing in the mountains at all? The 4Runner may not have a beefy enough transmission for long downhill stretches -- using the trans to slow you down. It also has a fairly short wheelbase.

I don't have any info on the 210, but we sure like our 139!

Dan
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:07 AM   #3
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I found this. It may be helpful?
RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: towing with Toyota 4Runner

Congratulation on leaving the rat race behind!!!
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:09 AM   #4
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Hi and welcome!

Ask all the questions you have as there is a wealth in info here.

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Old 03-21-2016, 08:12 AM   #5
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Wow, thanks for all the quick replies! I'm originally from Western Canada so I expect I would be towing through the mountains since those are my old stomping grounds. If you've never been up to Glacier National Park and The Road To The Sun I highly recommend it although I wouldn't tow a trailer on The Road To The Sun! Sorry for the aside there. I have one of the older 4Runners with a V8 and a beefier drivetrain so I'm hoping that by keeping a loaded TT at 5000 pounds I'll be alright. I'd be happy to hear opposing theories though.

Mark
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:48 PM   #6
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Hi Mark,
Welcome to the forum and I don't know anything about the Toyota. However, I have a 2008 FF XT190 that has a GVWR of 6,095 lbs. and a max tongue weight of 495 lbs.

My TV is a Chevy 1500 Crew Cab with the Max Tow package... I pull the FF XT190 with a Weight Carrying Hitch and like to tow between 62 and 67 mph.

The TV Max Trailer weight rating is 10,400 lbs. (conventional tongue trailer).
The TV Max tongue weight (Weight Carrying Hitch is 800 lbs) with a Weight Distribution Hitch, Max tongue weight is 1,100 lbs).
The TV has a 6.2 L engine which is plenty.
The TV transmission is a 6-speed auto with a converter lock (Tow Mode) and a Trans oil cooler.
The TV is equipped with 3.73 gears.

I have made 2 long trips across the US with this rig, one in the early fall to Southern AZ - San Diego, CA - up through Nevada - Utah - the Grand Tetons - Yellowstone - SD - ND - back to MN (still in the high 90's in AZ); and just got back from a trip straight to AZ and back (much cooler temps with freezing nights).

When running empty, the trans runs at around 150 - 170 deg. F, but when towing on level ground and normal uphill and light head winds, the trans runs around 170 - 210 deg F. However, when climbing with a medium to heavy head wind, climbing long steep hills, or running long steep downgrades And using the engine for braking (The TV is equipped with a manual gear select for towing) , the trans can climb pretty high... In the early fall run, I saw trans temps of 285 - 300 deg F and because high temps just bother me, I slowed way down to let things cool. I want to install a larger trans oil cooler and need to work with the Dealer as the TV is still under warranty.

In any case, all this info is to hopefully help you weigh out all your options... I hope it all helps in your decision making...
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:59 AM   #7
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Back in 90 when we had our 32 ft. Fifth wheel and Ford one ton 7.3 l. diesel dually with a turbo we realized we needed to cool things down when we got into the mountains of Oregon. We ran the heater full blast to dissipate some heat. It worked.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:25 AM   #8
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Thanks John_C, that is excellent information. For
comparison/reference purposes, the V8 4runner has:

The TV Max Trailer weight rating is 7000 lbs. (conventional tongue trailer)
The TV Max tongue weight (Weight Carrying Hitch is 400 lbs) with a
Weight Distribution Hitch, Max tongue weight is 650 lbs).
The TV has a 4.7 L engine.
The TV transmission is a 5-speed auto with a Transmission oil cooler
(which looks pretty small).
The TV is equipped with 3.50 gears.

Out of curiosity, how close do you think you're getting to the the
6100 lb GVWR in the XT190 when you're towing?


The most important thing for me is to be safe, so if I need to drop it
down to a smaller size (and still keep the wife happy), then I'll do
it.

The Grand Tetons are beautiful aren't they. During the real estate
crash I bought a townhouse in Victor, Idaho which is just on the other
side of the range from Jackson Hole. Hopefully now that I'm retiring I'll actually get to use the place!

Thanks as well Michigantraveler for the tip on cooling down with the heater.

Mark
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:35 AM   #9
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Bear in mind John was referring to transmission temps that were rising to marginal levels when towing, not engine temps. Trying to dissipate excess heat with the truck cab heater could only potentially lower engine coolant temps. It would have little to no effect on transmission temps.
If I were seeing high trans temps, I would certainly investigate adding a very large transmission cooler.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:21 AM   #10
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According to my husband typically transmission coolers are integrated in the radiator and so lowering engine coolant temperatures will help to lower transmission fluid temperatures. However an external transmission cooler will help ultimately.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigantraveler View Post
According to my husband typically transmission coolers are integrated in the radiator and so lowering engine coolant temperatures will help to lower transmission fluid temperatures. However an external transmission cooler will help ultimately.

Yup, that is why the automatic transmission lines run from the AT to the bottom of the radiator. Enhanced AT cooling is provided when equipped with a supplemental external AT cooler.
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigantraveler View Post
According to my husband typically transmission coolers are integrated in the radiator and so lowering engine coolant temperatures will help to lower transmission fluid temperatures. However an external transmission cooler will help ultimately.
I'm not trying to pick an argument with anybody here, but that is why I worded my statement the way I did, ( "it would have LITTLE to no effect" ).

Hoping to lower trans ( and engine temp for that matter ) temps by running the heater fan, and therefore using the relatively tiny heat exchanger in the HVAC is wishful thinking at best. If Marks truck has factory tow package, it may not have an embedded water cooled transmission cooler. It may have only an external air-cooled heat exchanger, although it's possible it has both.

Mark, one other thing to be sure of, if you have a choice of "tow/haul" mode, make certain you always have that on when towing.

The biggest causes of transmission heat spikes is the added heat due to the torque converter not being locked, and the more frequent shifting up and down ( sometimes called "hunting" ). Using tow/haul will ensure the converter remains locked as much as possible, and also force the trans to hold lower gears longer, allowing the engine to rev higher. More revs is better for a couple reasons. One it allows coolant to circulate more rapidly, and two, contrary to what you might think, slightly higher revs means you are not pushing the pedal as far down. When the revs are too low, you are compensating by having to pedal it more. In effect you are lugging, which causes combustion temps to rise, exhaust valve temps to dramatically rise, and therefore more heat is transferred to the cooling system.

Let it rev, it's better all the way 'round, and you'll likely see lower operating temps of both the engine and trans.
If you'd like some more technical discussion of it, send me a PM so we don't have to bore the other folks with specific details of how some of this works.
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:41 PM   #13
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One thing I have learned on these forums is that there is always at least one person who is an expert on every subject and makes sure that everyone knows it. It just makes coming to the forum a less inviting place. Even if someone has knowledge about something they do not have to go out of their way to instruct and prove others wrong. Just not necessary. I came here to enjoy the company of other RV owners who we have something in common with and to learn more about the product. But it is evident that I was mistaken. Perhaps you resent the fact that a woman wants to contribute to this. Maybe you have a problem with that. Well I intend to be here until I feel I have had enough irritation from you, and then I will leave. Go and be someone else's professor and please ignore my posts.
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:52 PM   #14
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I base my statements on facts, engineering principles, and almost five decades of driving and towing. You, as any member can, always block me.

Internet forums are always full of old wives tales and anecdotal reasoning. Honest folks come here to get solid information so they can safely and effectively use their truck and camper. Males and females.

Have a great day all, and safe travels.
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longmark999 View Post
Thanks John_C, that is excellent information. For
comparison/reference purposes, the V8 4runner has:

The TV Max Trailer weight rating is 7000 lbs. (conventional tongue trailer)
The TV Max tongue weight (Weight Carrying Hitch is 400 lbs) with a
Weight Distribution Hitch, Max tongue weight is 650 lbs).
The TV has a 4.7 L engine.
The TV transmission is a 5-speed auto with a Transmission oil cooler
(which looks pretty small).

The TV is equipped with 3.50 gears.

Out of curiosity, how close do you think you're getting to the the 6100 lb GVWR in the XT190 when you're towing?


The most important thing for me is to be safe, so if I need to drop it
down to a smaller size (and still keep the wife happy), then I'll do
it.

The Grand Tetons are beautiful aren't they. During the real estate
crash I bought a townhouse in Victor, Idaho which is just on the other
side of the range from Jackson Hole. Hopefully now that I'm retiring I'll actually get to use the place!

Thanks as well Michigantraveler for the tip on cooling down with the heater.

Mark
Hi Mark,
1st - Transmission oil cooler (which looks pretty small).... My TV is a Minnesota vehicle and towing here, heat has never been an issue. For example, when towing where the mountain highways become steep and the outside temps are 90 and above is where I have problems. My old Blazer was New Mexico State truck and came with a 2-core radiator that presented no real problems until I loaded the truck (i.e., tied a trailer on the back) and started climbing hills. I rectified the probs by going to a 3-core (the largest that would fit without mods to the radiator supports) and it worked fine.

2nd - When traveling through Phoenix, AZ two weeks ago, the outside temps were up in the 90's and we ended up stuck in in bumper to bumper 15 mph rush hour traffic and both engine and trans ran about 230-240 (no markings on gauge between 210 and 260) and after stopping for lunch with my brother, everything was fine. I am going to take it in and see if the fan is coming on working as designed. I believe the having the trans cooler mounted directly in front of the AC and radiator effects the engine temps also, but I need to get with the dealer and see what we can do... My TV will pull that trailer to an unreal speed if you let it, but fuel consumption goes way up and the temps follow if on a long steep hill.

3rd - Your questions/comments...
-- The Grand Tetons are beautiful aren't they? ... Yes they are; I actually enjoyed the Teton drive better than Yellowstone.

-- Out of curiosity, how close do you think you're getting to the the
6100 lb GVWR in the XT190 when you're towing?
... Like an idiot, I just took the Mfg. weights and added what I considered Cargo Weight ...
The mfg. says --- 3390 lbs. Dry Weight and 2705 Cargo Weight (A footnote says that Cargo Weight does not include water or LP gas). The footnote also says that weights are approximate and based on standard features; Optional features are not included. Soooo, based on that, the A/C, Mic, Fresh, Grey, and Black water need to be added, (2) 5 gal. bottles of LP, extra large batteries (2) need to be added,the awning, etc. Well, it adds up and I would guess I am between 5,500 and 6,000 when I load a 600 lb. ATV, personal stuff, food, and all the "Optional Features". I am going to check around for some scales and someone to weigh everything.
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Old 03-24-2016, 03:51 PM   #16
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John C

Good thought to run over a set of scales to get the true reading.

I did that with my unit when fully loaded and also with just the TV fully loaded.

One may be surprised at the actual weights.

You probably know some truck stops have scales as do grain elevators...but often charge to weigh a unit. I went to the local landfill and got weighted at no cost.
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:00 PM   #17
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So - we bought a 2012 210UDS in 2012. I looked at every comparible model I could find. Big thing is we wanted a walk-around bed (no climbing over someone to get out), and a slide for the extra room. So-factoring in everything (price, options, weight, size, etc.) the 210UDS worked for us.
Our first tow vehicle was a 2005 Nissan Titan 5.6L. It's rated to tow something like 9K pounds. But going cross-country from TN to the west coast, the mountains killed us. Couldn't get above 45mph on the inclines. And it was hard on the truck - course we're running 6-8 hours a day at 65mph (when flat and level). The excessive heat lead to both exhaust manifolds cracking as well as both rear seals developing leaks. Not all at once, but over time.
As for the 210UDS - love it. It's been everything we wanted. Comfortable, large enough for the two of us plus two dogs. It's maneuverable, the bathroom is big enough and kitchen area works just great.
Now I've got way more truck than I need, but I also throw a truck bed camper in there so dad can come on our journeys. He's got his own space and those mountain ranges don't intimidate the truck.
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:02 PM   #18
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...Perhaps you resent the fact that a woman wants to contribute to this. Maybe you have a problem with that. Well I intend to be here until I feel I have had enough irritation from you, and then I will leave. Go and be someone else's professor and please ignore my posts.
I'm really sorry you feel that way. George is spot on with his knowledge, is more than willing to share that knowledge, and has helped me - a woman - on MANY occasions. All the times he's helped me, he has never been wrong, like so many of the chest thumpers - man or woman - over on rv dot net. I trust that his information will be correct, unlike some of the misinformation (sometimes dangerous misinformation) that people read and believe.

And I've never found him to be condescending to me, or anyone - man or woman - for that matter.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:08 PM   #19
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Hi Everyone,

I appreciate all comments and advice and I hope I'm not causing any friction between members. That would be a terrible way for me to get started on the forum! I'm still hoping that I can get an X210 (without slides) and manage the weight to a point where I can safely tow it without risking the internals of the 4Runner, but I'm also not married to the idea of getting the 210 so if I need to drop down to a slightly smaller trailer I can live with that. Does anyone have any experience using their Fun Finders in cooler temps? I know they are not cold weather TTs, but I'd be interested to know at what outside temperature people felt it was just too cold to comfortably use them.

Thanks again for all the advice and comments. This is really helpful stuff,

Mark
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:06 AM   #20
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Hi Mark,
Regarding using the FF in cold weather, yes I use my trailer off and on, year round. Although I normally winter in Arizona ( as I am now ) still, i have used it down into the lower teens numerous times. I use a electric space heater to save on propane. I can meet almost all my heating needs with electric, the exception being when I first get up in the morning I use the propane furnace to "quickly warm up" and break the chill. Then the electric space heater keeps it warm. I ran a dedicated elec circuit, and run a separate extension cord to run my space heater. I have also wrapped the "outside" fresh water hoses with elec heat tape and insulated them, although to be honest when camping in really cold temps, I normally just leave the water system winterized and use bottled water. Flush the commode with RV antifreeze, and use the campground facilities for showering and the daily constitutional. While these trailers are not four season rated, with a little thinking and care, occasional cold weather use is fine. I almost always stay in places that have electric hookups. Boondocking is another complete subject !
Hopefully Professor Dan will weigh in on this as he and his wife have extensive cold weather boondocking experience.
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