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Old 10-28-2015, 06:03 PM   #15
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Joe, you will get lots of conflicting advice, so take it all with a grain of salt. All of it is meant to help.

My suggestion is that you get your truck weighed as it would be ready to travel. Get the weight of each axle. Then take your truck to the Toyota dealer and find out the weight ratings (front axle, rear axle, gross weight, and gross combined weight).

Once you have all of that information you can figure out exactly what you can tow. I'm not going to tell you to ignore the limits your truck has, nor am I going to tell you that you are endangering yourself and everyone else on the road if you are even one pound over one of those limits. You will have to make that decision yourself and live with the consequences. I will tell you that it is generally better to have too much truck than not enough.
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:25 PM   #16
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You can read Andy's articles backing up his methods in Airstream life and few other RV publications.
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:51 PM   #17
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Aside from the option to retrofit the '02 to tow... consider some other issues:

How many miles on that 4Runner? Will you be faced with replacement soon-ish anyway?
How much will you spend to get it tow ready? Would those funds be better spent in another way?

I used to tow an Argosy Minuet (2800 lbs) with a ford explorer - a similar vehicle. Technically it was up to the challenge but I always knew the trailer was behind me and a days travel was hard work. It's better, imo to have some headroom on your towing specs.

By the time you load in your stuff, your dog, some water and the 100's of pounds of things you will have in your 4runner, you are going to be maxed out.

You might consider looking for a used 3/4 ton van - a great and cost effective way to tow. This would give you many more options (and a 'guest' room).
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:27 PM   #18
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Upgrade the 4Runner to a Tundra and you'll be set. Problem solved. Figure out your trade-in or private party value, save cash difference. No payments, on the road. Only factor is time and patience.

If I took the advice of folks on this forum about size of trailer needed for full-timing I'd be in a 54ft Class A.
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rostam View Post
This is exactly what I don't like to see: Making these faith based recommendations to a newbie.

Underrated tow vehicles work... for a while. If you search this forum you will find many many examples of folks who started out with underrated tow vehicles, ranted and raved about how great their combo is, and eventually switched (many times, quietly) to a proper tow vehicle, with much financial loss.

I suggest you read this informative towing guide: Trailer Loading and Towing Guide

Observation of real world experience by the person who experienced it does not constitute a "faith based (sp) recommendation." Scientific understanding is based on both theoretical analysis - the towing guide being an example of this analysis as it is based on engineering specifications which are based on applied physics - and observation of those theories IN PRACTICE.

For a less esoteric reply, I'll repeat a challenge no one has taken me up on: I will meet anyone with a big trailer and a big truck and match that rig against my 20 and my "under-rated" tow vehicle in any type of "safety" maneuvers. Let's put the theories to the test.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:27 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TCwheels View Post
Observation of real world experience by the person who experienced it does not constitute a "faith based (sp) recommendation." Scientific understanding is based on both theoretical analysis - the towing guide being an example of this analysis as it is based on engineering specifications which are based on applied physics - and observation of those theories IN PRACTICE.

For a less esoteric reply, I'll repeat a challenge no one has taken me up on: I will meet anyone with a big trailer and a big truck and match that rig against my 20 and my "under-rated" tow vehicle in any type of "safety" maneuvers. Let's put the theories to the test.
Its faith based as its based on observations of just a single entity.

I'll also repeat a challenge no one has taken me up on: Name another RV shop that advocates ignoring the manufacturer tow ratings.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:35 AM   #21
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Name another RV shop that advocates ignoring the manufacturer tow ratings.
OK...

How about just about every RV shop on the planet if the decision is to sell a $40,000 sport versus a $130,000 Classic! "Yep, your Buick will tow her just fine...... (kicking tires to test)"
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:52 AM   #22
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It is most often a mistake to buy a travel trailer to accommodate a tow vehicle. It is probably wiser to acquire a tow vehicle that will comfortably handle the travel trailer that you want and/or need.

Albeit, I am not a full timer, but I have quite a bit of experience Airstreaming. In the last ten years I have spent more than 1,700 nights in my Airstream. I have had a 23FB and two 25FB's. If I were to full time, the 23 would be the bare minimum, and the 25 would be much more preferable.

Good luck in your quest. Choose carefully.

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Old 10-29-2015, 10:40 AM   #23
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Thanks again, everyone. Your advice, opinions, and experience on both sides of the aisle are invaluable and I will weigh my options very carefully (pun intended).

Some of your comments made me laugh. I appreciate the sense of humor in this group! Though I know this is a very serious matter and I am taking it with the utmost seriousness.

I don't have enough capital to pay outright for both an AS and a tow vehicle, so I'm looking at borrowing more than I intended (just the AS alone) if I decide to go the upgrade route.

Does anyone know of a good lender who is used to people borrowing for both auto and rv at once?
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:55 AM   #24
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Hi there,
You mention not having enough capital to purchase both a tow vehicle and an Airstream. I'm curious, are you looking at used or new for each?
You are on an exciting journey. Good to see folks, such as yourself, doing research and taking advantage of all these wonderful folks' experience on the forum. Well done.
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:11 AM   #25
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Thanks. I'm excited about this journey and want to do it right.

My 4Runner is completely paid off, so I was looking at taking out a loan for an AS, preferably used. The lower the monthly payment the better. As of right now, I don't have a telecommuting job lined up, so I plan to basically wing it as far as jobs go.

So if I end up doing a truck/AS combo, I will look at used for both, as I still need to try and make those monthly payments as low as possible.
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:11 AM   #26
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Hi there...
Although we do not "full time" we spend over six months this year in our 2014 FC 20' towed with certified pre-owned VW Touareg. We decided on Airstream first and preferred to go new to get exactly what we preferred. Saved $$$ on low mileage VW and we could not be happier. Well ...I'd be a little happier if we also owned a beach cottage in Kauai but enjoy your Airstream hunting!
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:16 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet View Post
Aside from the option to retrofit the '02 to tow... consider some other issues:

How many miles on that 4Runner? Will you be faced with replacement soon-ish anyway?
How much will you spend to get it tow ready? Would those funds be better spent in another way?

.
My 4Runner has just about 200,000 miles on it. It's in great shape. All the pertinent parts have been replaced within the past 4 years. I feel good about taking it out on the road because I know the history. Not to mention that 4Runner's are known for long lives.

I expect it to live another 200,000 miles.

Of course the other thing I have to consider is the type of loan I'll able to take out now will be much greater with a full-time job as opposed to when I'm living a life on the road working from temp job to temp job (I expect to land a telecommute job at some point).
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:37 AM   #28
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Time for a bigger vehicle-
We tried to find a trailer to tow behind my 1999 Nissan Pathfinder.
We were too limited.
Got a Tundra and doors opened as far as trailer options go.
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