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Old 09-12-2010, 08:32 PM   #15
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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The Airstream is a self-contained camper. Maybe all the camping stuff, cooler for sure, charcoal + grill for sure, are not needed for the long trip.

As for food and water, it's available along the way.

If the 4-runner performs well, hang onto it. It's a reliable truck and that's important out in the boonies. Pack only what you need, then leave half of that at home. "Making do" is the skill and fun of camping.


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Old 09-12-2010, 09:50 PM   #16
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
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Just to let you know that you might not have to invest in a truck to carry around your "stuff" ....

We have a Pathfinder (similar in size to yours) to haul around our 19 Bambi, comfortably house our Border Collie, carry our outdoor gear (similar to yours), a 1000W generator and tote, substantial toolbox and "just-in-case" tote (no kayak + related equipment).

"Attica" owns the space behind the front seats - these are folded flat and a pet barrier installed between the seating area and the rear storage - lots of room for her bed, her toys, food and water, and "get up, nose around and stretch space".

And the rear? - with some imagination it packs nicely - really. In the beginning it took a couple of trial runs to get it right - but after 8 seasons (our previous vehicle was a smaller Pathfinder) it packs pretty smoothly - with the stuff you would want to use on a daily basis easily accessible.


Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:02 AM   #17
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2008 22' Safari
Oracle , Arizona
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Okay, this is where I get confused (and yes, I suppose its been discussed many times).

If a Suburban weighs about the same as a 28 ft Safari, and a 4-Runner weighs about the same as a 19 ft Bambi, why is that Suburban combo so much better than the 4-Runner combo, relative to white knuckles?

Good point Doug.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:00 AM   #18
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2001 19' Bambi
Dallas , Texas
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Doug, I love what you said about making do with less stuff! It's a huge departure from the concept of what can be added to make camping more comfortable. For me, I think the suggestion to pack smarter would be better. The 4-Runner was stuffed on the last trip, and some of the stuff has already been relocated to the Bambi..
Note- take bar soap instead of liquid soap....
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:14 PM   #19
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2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
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Traveling with only what you need and will use is an art in itself, and we are constantly evaluating what we take... We actually have different "sets" of gear depending on where we're going and for how long. For instance: know there are fire restrictions?...don't take fire wood or charcoal won't be able to use either; if water will be with less-than-full fresh water tank... Going for a long weekend?...don't bother with a cooler. Will there be electricity?...Don't haul a generator... etc... We all learn over time... And we have learned to not take anything that we are likely not to need or use. We tow a 19' with a 6cyl Tacoma so we know that the lighter we travel the better off we'll be...
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:57 PM   #20
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Fort Worth , Texas
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Awfully good choice of shake-down territory out of Dallas! From the Ouachita's north towards Russellville is as good as it gets short the Sangre De Cristo.
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:57 PM   #21
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2001 19' Bambi
Dallas , Texas
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One thing I forgot to mention about the 4-Runner as a TV, is the back up camera. What a joy to be able to line up the hitch with one try. It was an option on the 4-Runner that has made hooking up to a trailer so much easier. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the back up camera!!
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:26 AM   #22
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2011 25' FB Flying Cloud
West Linn , Oregon
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We're thinking of doing the same deal, a 2010 4Runner and a 19', but I'm concerned about the hitch arrangement. Did you use the factory hitch? My reason for asking is that AS lists the tongue weight at 550#, but Toyota says max 500 on the hitch. I'd be curious to hear the setup you used...any anti-sway devices or weight distribution stuff?

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Old 09-17-2010, 01:08 PM   #23
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Just my opinion, but we seem to keep adding stuff to our trailer and pickup bed. For just that reason, personally, I wouldn't start out with a tow vehicle that was slightly under-rated for the hitch weight.

Sounds like you are shopping Toyotas; did you look at the Tundra CrewMax? That's what we have, with a tonneau cover. The pickup bed is like a long low trunk. You might not think you need a halfton pickup, but it's really quiet and has lots of power. And, after you get used to the seemingly big chassis (it really isn't especially big compared to the larger SUVs), it drives like a limo. Plus, we get around 16.5 mpg towing our 19-foot Bambi. See other threads on this forum for more info on Tundras as tow vehicles.
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:13 PM   #24
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My experience with my 4Runner was not acceptable

Originally Posted by LydiaB View Post
New to this forum, and have a question. My tow vehicle is a 2010 4-Runner Trail Edition, and has a big old 6 cylinder motor. It's rated to tow 5000 lbs, which is under the Bambi's loaded weight. But, I'm a little worried whether it can pull hard enough to trverse mountains. Next summer it's going to make a road trip to Alaska, and there are some huge peaks between Texas and Alaska. Does any one have any experiance or tips about towing with a 6 cylinder?
You may be just fine with the 19 foot Bambi considering weight, hitch, center of gravity etc, but my VERY NEGATIVE experience with my 27' Overlander was due to WHEELBASE disparity. There is an excellent thread here that discusses matching tow unit with the trailer in a very simple but scientific way. My 4Runner just was not well matched to the length ratio of my trailer. This resulted in a number of out-of-control events - all around 50 mph and down hill with truck passings. Once I switched to the Suburban I have not had ANY similar experience over the same routes many times under same conditions.

So you may be fine with your ratio, it just didn't work for me. It did have plenty of power however!

PS: The 4Runner was crushed flat in the middle of the night by "Hurricane" Ernesto while we were in the trailer on Maryland's Eastern shore, but I've never changed my avatar on this site.
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:11 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post

Sounds like you are shopping Toyotas;

Actually, we already own the 4Runner, but I'd like to get as much info regarding this combo as I can. It would appear that you can't get an aftermarket hitch for this I'm wondering if the factory hitch is appropriate for weight distribution tongues and sway control stuff.
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:13 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by AirConditioner View Post
There is an excellent thread here that discusses matching tow unit with the trailer in a very simple but scientific way.
Any idea what this thread is labeled? I've searched but no luck...

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Old 09-18-2010, 10:10 AM   #27
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Dallas , Texas
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We have a weight distribution tow hitch (by Easy Hitch I think) and an anti sway bar. The hitch is a royal pain, it needs to be whacked with a hammer to seat/unseat the bars, but it does the job.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:54 PM   #28
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Antlers , Oklahoma
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LydiaB - just read your thread - sorry I missed your Broken Bow Trip - I live an hour west of there in Antlers OK. I can't wait until my refurb is finished so I can travel also. If you are ever back this way - give a shout. Always like to talk to other AS owners. Met 2 today. Black powder season starts this weekend and the hills are already filling up. My girlfriend is the manager of Kwik Chek on the West side of Antlers by the Indian Nation Turnpike. While I was there for lunch a 52 SilverStreak and a 55 safari took a break. Had to talk to the owners about both and put in a work for the forum. Both had been looking for parts and information. Keep everyone up to date on your Alaska travels. Good Luck.


2006 GMC 1500 SLE Crew Cab
5.3L V8 Towing Package
Equal-i-zer E2

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