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Old 10-19-2018, 07:48 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, 10:17 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, 10:35 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, 11:05 AM   #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, 09:19 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, 09:53 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, 10:17 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 10-20-2018, 11:11 PM   #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, 10:11 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, 01:00 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.

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Old 10-21-2018, 01:08 PM   #11
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Alan, if we had the front kitchen floor plan, we would probably not be trading to a bigger camper! We love our little fun finder in so many ways. well, there is the grandkid sleeping arrangement, so maybe not. but having the twin beds would solve a lot of the other issues.
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:25 AM   #12
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Hilda. I believe your new trailer is a single axle, correct? My current trailer (FF189FBR) is a 2010 with a twin axle and my opinion, that is the way to go. Unfotunately, most RV companies stopped putting double axles in this size trailer due to cost and weight. But a twin axle does make towing easier and a safer.
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:49 AM   #13
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We bought our lightly used 2010 189FBR in 2015 for $7200. I suspect we could get the same amount how. I like the trailer alot and have made many mods.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:08 PM   #14
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yes, single axle. it tows pretty nice, and the place we bought it from have been fantastic. they hitched it up to our TV, including anti sway bar, and proper height receiver just so we could take it for a test tow. They did this because we were so concerned about the ease of towing with the 4 runner. they seem very serious about towing safety, and I over heard the manager explaining to some customers that they wouldn't sell a unit to them because it would be unsafe for them to tow with their vehicle. also, very knowledgeable. The same manager told me we shouldn't put a weight distribution hitch on our vehicle, unless we modified the factory hitch to a different design. And that it was well rated at 5000# with an anti sway bar and brakes. Called Toyota, and by golly he was spot on with that information. We took it out on the highway and it did do fine. up hills and in traffic. I didn't feel uncomfortable at anytime. Of course, in wind, steep grades, etc, it remains to be seen. but based on what I felt, it is well within margins of comfort and safety.

We will miss the little fun finder, I know. But the more I see this new trailer, the more I realize a 7' x 18' trailer that weighs 3000# isn't considered large by most people. just me, I guess.
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Old 10-22-2018, 01:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinster2 View Post
Hilda. I believe your new trailer is a single axle, correct? My current trailer (FF189FBR) is a 2010 with a twin axle and my opinion, that is the way to go. Unfotunately, most RV companies stopped putting double axles in this size trailer due to cost and weight. But a twin axle does make towing easier and a safer.
I agree! I won't pull a single axle trailer, especially after having had a blowout at 60 miles an hour. With a tandem axle you can safely drive along until you can find a place to pull over.

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Old 10-23-2018, 01:35 PM   #16
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I agree! I won't pull a single axle trailer, especially after having had a blowout at 60 miles an hour. With a tandem axle you can safely drive along until you can find a place to pull over.

Liz
My previous trailer before my FF was a hugh single axle Coleman popup. It was about 18 feet long! One day while towing it on the highway I had a blow out. Scare the crap out of me becaused it swayed violently even with sway control. Moral of the story is have good tires and when it time to replace them go with light truck tires if possible.
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Old 10-23-2018, 05:12 PM   #17
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well, our fun finder is single axle and so is the new one. I guess it's a good thing we check our tires often and don't mind lower speeds on the highway. We've had a lot of campers, none double axle. We have had blow outs in vehicles, but not in our campers. maybe the charm will continue.
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilda View Post
well, our fun finder is single axle and so is the new one. I guess it's a good thing we check our tires often and don't mind lower speeds on the highway. We've had a lot of campers, none double axle. We have had blow outs in vehicles, but not in our campers. maybe the charm will continue.
Sorry to sound so disparaging of single axle trailers. I see a lot of them safely running all over the place. One thing you might look into is a tire pressure monitoring system. The ones that work at a distance for trailers used to be really expensive, but my sister and I just bought one for under $50 that works great with our trailers. It's already saved my sister when a tire had a slow leak.

This is the one we got https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075848KTW/ it's solar powered and super easy to install. You can totally do it yourself.

Anyway, it may give you more peace of mind, it certainly does for me.

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Old 10-23-2018, 09:34 PM   #19
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Looks like a good thing to have, thanks! We are kind of old school, my husband checks all 6 tires and oil before we head out on trips. I'll see if he wants one of those. When we had the Rialta, he checked 4 tires and 2 air shocks. He keeps a tire gauge in the glove box!
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Old 10-24-2018, 07:04 AM   #20
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With a single axle you would feel it instantly when a tire is very low or flat.
With 2 axles tires gone before you know what happened.

With the single axle I got a larger camper with same weight.
im at apx 3200lbs empty im at 4000 lbs loaded with H20 with a max of 4400lbs
old 2 axle camper was 3200lbs empty 4000lbs loaded with max of 5800 lbs.
as my limit is 4500 lbs the single axle does the job and tows very well with just a friction sway bar.

My single axle camper is 1 foot wider and 3 foot longer with a open floor plan over 40 square feet larger and a huge rear window.
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