Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-04-2011, 07:16 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
aluminitus's Avatar
 
1962 24' Tradewind
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 252
Images: 14
Blog Entries: 7
Is the FJ Cruiser hard to see out of?

I have a 24' Tradewind ('62) that should weigh 3,400lbs once the renovation is complete. I will need a tow vehicle, but as I don't know much about cars/trucks, any help in this area would be great. Ideally, I would like the smallest TV possible without causing towing issues. I don't mind if it is tall, but I would rather have a short wheelbase. It seems like a longer wheelbase would make the whole rig big and unwieldy, hard to back up and see around. Basically I would rather not look like a long locomotive chugging down the highway. I thought the FJ Cruiser might fit the bill, but reviews elsewhere made it seem like visibility was pretty bad. Does anybody tow with the FJ Cruiser and have strong feelings one way or the other about being able to see? Or is there a better SUV that I haven't stumbled upon yet? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
__________________

__________________
aluminitus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 07:33 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
I do have an FJ Cruiser, and do a little towing with it (mostly boats at this time), and yes, it is hard to see out of the rear. However, personally, I don't find it any more of a problem than my pickup with the camper shell on the back. You have to use the mirrors on both of them, and if you're used to using mirrors, it's not a problem. Others may have a different opinion.
__________________

__________________
Regards,
Steve
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 07:46 PM   #3
Site Team
 
Janet H's Avatar

 
1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
Eastern , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 12,447
Images: 90
I don't have an FJ but drove one when I was hunting for a tow vehicle. I found the visibility extremely limited and the ride well.. utilitarian. Very cute on the outside, but not so much on the inside. This was a disappointment as I really WANTED to love the Toyota (especially given the frugal repair expectations). I settled on a VW Touareg and am extremely happy with the choice to date.

When I was hunting the FJ, Touareg and Mercedes ML were the only real contenders based on their towing capacity. Most other SUVs top out at 5,000 lbs. Just not quite enough.
__________________
1964 Overlander | '08 Touareg V6
Current Project: 1964 Globetrotter

.
Let's have a polishing party: I'll supply the trailer and buffing supplies. BYOB (bring your own buffer)

AirForums Custom Search
Janet H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 09:43 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
 
meredith's Avatar
 
1965 24' Tradewind
silverton , Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 91
Images: 5
We had an F-J for about 4 years and yes it can be hard to see out of at times. Once you have driven it for awhile you "know" where the blind spots and you look out for them. We sold our F-J when we bought our AS and bought a Touareg. It pulls more weight and we like the handling Much better then the F-J! I also didn't like how the back door opened when we were towing. It would swing into the tanks.
M
__________________
meredith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 09:50 PM   #5
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
Andrew T's Avatar

 
2008 34' Classic
1960 17' Pacer
London , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 955
A Ford Edge is a similar size but it is a far more stable tow vehicle than the FJ. Performance power wise is similar but the Edge gets much better fuel economy. It is not serious off road vehicle like the FJ however.

The Explorer and Flex share the same chassis. The Explorer has the highest tow rating of the 3 but it is the least capable tow vehicle. The Flex is almost as good as the Edge but larger. We have set up about 50 of them now and everyone is very pleased with them. It will play with the 24'.

Andrew T
__________________
Andrew Thomson
London, Ontario

"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions."
Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot
Andrew T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 12:04 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
2006 22' International CCD
2007 Base Camp
Elk Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 657
There is a blind spot, but not any worse than small cars hiding next to the box of a pickup or SUV... you will get used to proper adjustment of your mirrors and use of them. Similar options are the Tacoma and 4Runner... which share most of the same underpinnings... I've owned all 3... Tacoma was the favourite and was a great tow vehicle... but I've since moved up to a Sequoia... you can get a nice 2-3 year old Sequoia for a decent price now...
__________________
Friday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 12:14 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,472
Andrew T. knows what he is talking about. Listen to him.

I would also consider the new Jeep Grand Jerokee Laredo base model. It seems to ge very well equiped with a reasonable price tag of 32k with 4wd.

Dan
__________________
TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 07:57 AM   #8
Restorations done right
Commercial Member
 
Frank's Trailer Works's Avatar
 
1962 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
Vintage Kin Owner
Currently Looking...
Baltimore , Maryland
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5,547
Images: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by aluminitus View Post
Ideally, I would like the smallest TV possible without causing towing issues. I don't mind if it is tall, but I would rather have a short wheelbase. It seems like a longer wheelbase would make the whole rig big and unwieldy, hard to back up and see around. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Actually, it is the opposite. The longer the wheel base the better backing and the less unwieldy it is. Also, it takes an equal force (and often more force) to stop a force in motion. A little TV is not always ideal at having equal force.
This is just my opinion and you can chose to ignore it as many do.
Frank's Trailer Works is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 08:14 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
mutcth's Avatar

 
2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,632
I get to tow my Argosy with various tow vehicles. Andy's right - a Flex would play with that Tradewind. It laughed at towing my Minuet. (If cars could laugh.) Note that a Flex has a few visibility issues, but not like the FJ. Long wheelbase, plug-and-play brake controller installation with the tow package, and a backup camera to help hitching - all good stuff. The Ecoboost engine is wonderful - with that trailer, it can almost pass at will. Uphill.

I'm also keen on the 2011+ Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. I've towed with V6 and V8 versions; the V6 gets better fuel economy and will get the job done but it needs to rev. The Flex feels a bit more stable towing thanks to the lower center of gravity and lower hitch point.

A shorter tow vehicle does have the advantage of better maneuverability when backing the trailer up into tight campsites. As Frank said, a longer wheelbase adds stability. Nothing that we mentioned in this thread really qualifies as big, relative to the typical pickup truck.

Tom
__________________
mutcth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 10:56 AM   #10
New Member
 
Saint Jacob , Illinois
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1
I have an FJ. It is like any other vehicle really...you have to use the mirrors. On the road for lane changing I have put some convex mirrors on the side mirrors and that took care of the blind spot. I towed an almost 3600 lb boat from Oregon to Illinois last fall. Nary a problem with the FJ in terms of control or power. It was slower on the hills, but I usually drove it in 4th at 55-60 Mph. Plus I got 17+ MPG.
__________________
pstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 11:13 AM   #11
Rivet Master

 
Southwestern , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by aluminitus View Post
I will need a tow vehicle, but as I don't know much about cars/trucks, any help in this area would be great. Ideally, I would like the smallest TV possible without causing towing issues. I don't mind if it is tall, but I would rather have a short wheelbase. It seems like a longer wheelbase would make the whole rig big and unwieldy, hard to back up and see around. Basically I would rather not look like a long locomotive chugging down the highway.
Welcome to the forums--and from Napanee, Indiana, too--the heart of (non-Airstream) RV country!

For towing stability with a ball-hitch trailer you are better off if the tow vehicle has a long wheelbase and a short rear overhang (distance from rear axle to ball). True, a short trailer with a long wheelbase tow vehicle is somewhat harder to back, although I got the hang of backing our 16 foot Pacer with a long-bed Silverado pickup all right.

I have seen several people towing with FJ Cruisers. One good thing about the FJ is that it does have a very short rear overhang. But if you haven't bought anything yet I would listen to the wisdom of CanAm RV, which sort of specializes in towing big trailers with little tow vehicles.
.
__________________
Nuvite-F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 08:42 PM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
aluminitus's Avatar
 
1962 24' Tradewind
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 252
Images: 14
Blog Entries: 7
Thank you all so much! All this info will definitely help!
__________________
aluminitus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 08:45 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
aluminitus's Avatar
 
1962 24' Tradewind
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 252
Images: 14
Blog Entries: 7
Haha yes..being surrounded by lots full of ugly RV's with big wolf and eagle decals on them will drive anybody to run headlong for an airstream!
__________________
aluminitus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 01:05 AM   #14
1 Rivet Member
 
Vienna , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6
I have an FJ cruiser and it's a good ride as far as reliability and simplicity goes. It's more or less my daily driver at the moment. It's easy to clean up and a smooth ride at highway speeds. As far as visibility goes, yes it is more challenging than other vehicles, but it's something that all FJ drivers get used to. More FJ drivers complain about the lack of windows for the rear seat, than the blind spots. Honestly, I feel perfectly safe in my FJ, but that's cause I know the capabilities of my vehicle.

The FJs is rated for a 5000 pound towing capacity, so it should be able to handle the trailer you listed. Keep in mind that when you start adding passengers and weight to vehicle, you're creeping up close to max capacity quickly. If you travel light, I suppose its not much of an issue.

Here is a quote from Toyotas website:

"Before towing, confirm your vehicle and trailer are compatible, hooked up and loaded properly and that you have any necessary additional equipment. Do not exceed any Weight Ratings and follow all instructions in your Owner's Manual. The maximum you can tow depends on the total weight of any cargo, occupants and available equipment."

I'm sure the above statement is also applicable to other car manufacturers, so be sure to double check.

The most I've towed in mine is a John Boat and I didn't even feel it. I know some people on the FJ Cruiser forums town trailers and boats etc.



In addition to my FJ, I also own a Ford F250 Super Duty Diesel w/ the 7.3 engine, which is a beast when it comes to towing. I'm currently in the market for an Airstream myself, and plan on using my F250 truck instead of the FJ to tow. Mostly because of the space the crew cab and bed area provide me with. Allows more room for my family, dogs and cargo without having to worry about weight and room restrictions. However, if the FJ were my only vehicle, i wouldn't think twice about using it on the type of trailer you described.

If the blind spot is are a deal breaker for you, another option is a Toyota Tacoma Crew cab. They have similar tow ratings, in fact I think the new Tacoma is rated for 6300 with the V6 tow package.

No matter what you get, look for something that has proven reliability to it. Continue to do some research online, find out what the common problems are with each vehicle that you're considering and make an informed decision.
__________________

__________________
oomph is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
24' tradewind, fj cruiser, tow vehicles


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Toyota FJ Cruiser? SteveH Tow Vehicles 26 03-07-2012 05:53 PM
1954 Romany Cruiser smcpheters 1955 Romany 8 09-26-2011 05:07 PM
2004 Toyota Land Cruiser TV, what size trailer? Seinbelld Tow Vehicles 1 08-21-2011 06:39 PM
Fridge for my '52 Cruiser Cruising52 1950 - 1958 Cruiser 4 06-08-2011 08:11 PM
Water Hose - Hard Water Deposits Al - K4GLU Fresh Water Systems 4 02-16-2011 05:00 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.