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Old 04-22-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
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Question Not the foggyist idea of where or how to start

Hi all, Scotty is in need of advice and new to the forum. I am in the process of deciding on what options would be advisiable on new 25 Safari SE. Big guestion is the solar system. Will be doing much boondocking as you call it, I have always just called in dry camping. Would I be better off with the factory option or after market? Weight is a big consideration for me. The solar system from factory adds only 12 lbs but at $2600 for the 100 wat system seems a tad steep. What do you think?
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:45 PM   #2
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Hi Scotty, welcome to the forums.
Here are a couple of search result pages that you can wade through.
Good luck, solar is nice. I had it on a previous trailer and it worked well.
Dave

http://www.airforums.com/forums/sear...archid=1039846

http://www.airforums.com/forums/sear...archid=1039848
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:03 PM   #3
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hi scotty and welcome to the forums!

fogggggggy?

start here....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...new-41003.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ice-39392.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...tem-35476.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...lar-35844.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...gen-39903.html

IF you want focused/specific answers tailored just for you, supply a LOT more details...

-about what you know regarding energy options,

-where you plan to camp,

-what the energy requirements will be...

-your budget or pie in the sky expectations...

and so on.

given your northern location, a genset will be far more reliable for battery charging off the grid...

and cost WAY less as a starting point.

imo the factory system (i have it) is expensive and incomplete, but at least it's done 4 us in advance...

as to the 'weight considerations'....

r u planning to tow a new 25 footer with the 03 4-runner?

if so, the weight of solar is the least of your concerns.

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:17 PM   #4
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Hi Scotty,

We are happy new owners of a 25FB Safari. We almost got the solar option, and I would love to have it; but given our New England location and the fact that we like to camp year round, we think that gensets are going to prove more reliably useful to us. Haven't purchased them yet.

We are already VERY happy that we purchased the street side and end awnings though! It is amazing how much heat gain was reduced by popping those open. Had to trade the telly in order to get them (couldn't afford both at same time) and it was definitely the right way to go. IF the SE line does not come with the full awning package you might consider that option
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:08 PM   #5
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If I had my life to live over...

I'd have gotten the 27 FB SE. But then they didn't offer it until 07.

More closet space, a microwave drawer, the lobster bowl sink, and a fore and aft bed that's easy to make are a few of my favorite things.

I too vote for the generator considering you're in the north west.

Paula
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:43 PM   #6
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Thanks for the TV advice. It will be tight but will give it a try before new TV. Do you know of someone with 03 4runner I should talk to?
I and friend both dislike to noise of a gen, but I have a CPAP to use every night. Not much in to tele and prefer fresh air to AC. We plan on travling lite but will be on road 2 months at a time. South in winter and anywhere in summer.
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty Oh
Thanks for the TV advice. It will be tight but will give it a try before new TV. Do you know of someone with 03 4runner I should talk to?
I and friend both dislike to noise of a gen, but I have a CPAP to use every night. Not much in to tele and prefer fresh air to AC. We plan on travling lite but will be on road 2 months at a time. South in winter and anywhere in summer.
Scotty,

I think that a 25' Safari SE is way too much trailer for a 4 Runner. The SE has a gross weight of about 7,000 lbs.

You can purchase a DC adaptor for your CPAP, we have one for my wife's machine. Talk to the supplier.

Bill
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:03 PM   #8
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Thank for the info. Looked closely at the 27 but for now the 25 might do. Still up in the air over solar or gen, maybe will do both.
Thank again
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:08 PM   #9
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Bill,
Thanks for the input. I have a 12v for CPAP. Weight is a consideration as you know, 03 4x4 4runner has 6400 trailer cap rating and I will not be loading trailer to limit. What do you think?

Just can't believe all the helpfull info you all give
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:45 PM   #10
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hi scotty'

if you search IN the tow vehicle section there are some threads related to 4-rnr towing....

-traveling light...

i don't think that many folks intentionally travel heavy.

but it is a house on wheels, so not carrying water, food, clothing, toys, entertainment (books, movies, beer!)

is sort of counter to having the space and appliances.

then consider BASIC tools, lp gas, the hitch apparatus, options and so on...

the 25s all weigh 5k+ and max out around 7,000 lbs with gear and fluids.

NONE of the a/s website weights include options or lpgas...

the tongue weight listed for 25s again are just estimates and range from 720-850 again this does NOT include 40-60 lbs of lp gas.

almost always the limiting issue for 'dry camping' becomes adequate WATER for the most basic needs...

-toyota suv payload...

the maker suggests the payload max for the 03 runners is 1000-1100 lbs.

the trailer tongue WILL weight 800 or 900 lbs...

add a hitch (100 lbs) and there is NO ROOM for people or gear or much fuel IN the runner...

without being way OVER payload.

and you won't be able to supplement fluid needs by carrying water (or beer), or extra lpgas in the runner either...

so payload IS a big weakness in the 03-05 runners...

-towing capacity...

while the t.c. for 03 runners is 5-6k, that is best case rating, as in NOTHING in the suv.

every pound of stuff IN the runner subtracts from towing capacity....

FIND the GCWR for the runner, that's the grand total limit of all mass moving...

but don't exceed the payload without some serious thought...

many of us try to limit mass to 80-85% of these max parameters for added safety and mechanical wear...

-energy needs....

while the c pap can be adapted to 12v, it will still use significant energy (amps) which will deplete 2 typical rv batteries...

just look up the amps required for the c pap and the amp hours available in the battery bank, this is pretty simple to do...

100 watts of solar will NOT be able to keep up with basic electrical needs so dry camping will be limited to 2-3 days...

and IF the furnace is running perhaps only 1 nite, with the additional energy load needed for breathing!

so to do this with solar MORE BATTERIES (storage) will be needed,

which means MORE WEIGHT in the trailer and on the tongue...

so again the runner payload limits become an issue...

while a small genset (30-50lbs) can be used to restore the battery capacity OR run the c pap on 110/ac juice when needed.

if c pap is really needed or important, adequate power is a must.

consider have 2 sources of energy by carrying a genset AND having solar with an adequate battery bank...

it is ALL doable, but you may need a bigger t.v. AND need to give more thought to equipping the trailer...

lots of good solar stuff has been posted, so to for gen set info and t.v. wisdom!

have a great time sorting it all out...

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty Oh
Bill,
Thanks for the input. I have a 12v for CPAP. Weight is a consideration as you know, 03 4x4 4runner has 6400 trailer cap rating and I will not be loading trailer to limit. What do you think? Just can't believe all the helpfull info you all give
Hi! Glad to hear from another Ohioan. We look forward to seeing you down the road. Larry and I are sw of Cleveland. I am also a CPAP user. Larry wired a 12v. connection to our trailer battery and put an extension on it that comes to my bedside. I can run my CPAP on that for a long time without worrying about it. We have gone for at least 4 nights with CPAP, 12v. lights and etc. We also did NOT have to use the furnace blower motor. We did not get a good read on exactly how long we could do that before charging the battery because our trip was over too soon! Good luck with your projects.
Lou and Larry in Ohio
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty Oh
Bill,
Thanks for the input. I have a 12v for CPAP. Weight is a consideration as you know, 03 4x4 4runner has 6400 trailer cap rating and I will not be loading trailer to limit. What do you think?

Just can't believe all the helpfull info you all give
Scotty,

2air gave a good analysis. I am probably not the one to ask about new tow vehicles, since I use a 1977 Lincoln Continental or a 1973 Dodge W200 PowerWagon and tow either a 1979 23' Safari with a gross weight of 5800 lbs or a 1954 29' Liner which will probably gross out at less. Personally, when considering a new trailer, I would not tow anything larger than a 23' with a 1/2 Ton truck, either domestic or import, and would use a 3/4 Ton truck, domestic only, no imports in that class yet, for anything longer. At about the 30' range, I would go with a diesel. Others will disagree, but that is my opinion.

Wheelbase is the most important consideration, my Lincoln has a wb of 127" and my Dodge has a wb of 131", can the 4Runner match either?

Bill
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:50 PM   #13
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Thanks All, I guess I have some more to consider.
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