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Old 11-04-2011, 09:49 AM   #15
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Hi...I am a "fan" of FJ cruisers...currently don't have one as I have my third Land Cruiser and like the four doors and extra size.

I suggest you ask your question on Toyota FJ Cruiser Community A great and active forum with MANY passionate FJ owners.

I have followed the FJ forum off and on for quite awhile and while there was some issue with "something" in the rear gear set in the early models...I believe that is long since resolved. The forum participants would give you more than you want/need to know

My impression is the FJ would be a good tow vehicle for moderate weight trailer...with the truck length more of a limit than the running gear...strong engine, etc.

I always get similar question when debating what I might tow with Land Cruiser...6,750# rating.

Also, Andy Thomson at CanAm RV/Airstream in Kitchener Ontario has lots of ideas on setting up a tow vehicle to maximize it's tow capacity and safety. While many here question his conclusions and practices he writes "expert" columns in a number of RV magazines...including Airstream Life...and has been selling and setting up tow vehicles and Airstreams for many years.

FWIW...Good Luck...Tom R
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:07 AM   #16
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Yes Tom, thanks, and I've been reading on that forum also, and there did seem to be some problems with ring gears breaking on early '07's, and mine is an '07, but I don't know when in that year it was manufactured. Also it seems the offroaders in certain conditions are still able to break them, those conditions being equipped wtih 35" tires, in locked rearend mode, and spinning the tires trying to get over big rocks. I do none of those things.

When I started this thread, I was just interested in hearing actual user reports from people who were towing with the FJ, as I also own a 17' Casita that I'm contemplating towing on an upcoming trip.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:47 AM   #17
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We towed a 16' Bambi with an FJ a couple times

For what it is worth, a few years ago we used a friend's FJ to tow a 16' Bambi (3500 lb. GVWR) on a couple short camping trips into the Colorado mountains. We took it slow going up/down hill and never had any issues/problems that I recall. The FJ seemed capable and up to the task. Of course, they were not long trips, and we didn't break any land speed records either, but my impression was that the FJ did a good job as a TV for the small Airstream. Also, we used a Prodigy brake controller if that is of any interest.

Tim
Boulder, CO
My blog: Airstream Camping
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:05 AM   #18
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I just bought a 16 Bambi DWR and towed it 1400 miles home with my 2010 FJ Cruiser. I had no problems, other than waking up in a Wallmart parking lot in Virginia with two inches of snow over everything. I was able to do 50-60 mph in the mountains and 65-75 on the rest of the interstates. MPG in the mountains was 11.2 and 12.5 everywhere else.

I am so excited to have my first AS. I have admired them since I was a kid. I will use the Bambi as a base camp for my photography expeditions. It will be so nice to get out of the weather when it gets nasty and be comfortable in the aluminum tent.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:56 AM   #19
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Maybe I'm a little late but there was an article about towing an Airstream with an FJ an Trailer Life magazine afew years ago. Might have been a Bambi. He tested it in winter in the Oregon area.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:24 AM   #20
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Hey Tim, I enjoyed reading your blog about your adventures camping with the 16 Bambi.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:22 AM   #21
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Hey Tim, I enjoyed reading your blog about your adventures camping with the 16 Bambi.

Thanks! I really enjoy that little trailer. Now, if we can just get Winter to make a quick exit, I can continue the adventures.

Tim
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:34 AM   #22
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I'm in the same boat as the rest of your. Love the FJ. Love the Airstream. Mine is a little bit of different style, given it is vintage, and even though it is longer than the 16' Bambi, it is significantly shorter and lighter (original weight ~2050#, will probably come out to a wet weight of ~2500# in the end). It has only been on one trip, but it towed exceptionally well. I've towed a bunch of boat trailers, but no travel trailers before so my perspective is biased. Nonetheless, I was extremely surprised. More than enough power going up some steep grades and still passing semis going 55, and of course keeping it in 4th the whole time to protect the tranny.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that the one trip I towed it on had high wind warnings and high profile vehicle caution advisory, yet it still did not move the FJ around based upon gusts on the trailer. I was planning to be going 20 mph in the shoulder on some parts due to the wind, and I didn't have to slow down below 50 the entire day.

Tim, I of course agree with you that the biggest detriment is the reduced visibility in the FJ out the rear, but I have helped that by installing a rear view wireless camera and transmitter on the bumper of the Airstream and the receiver to a 4" LCD screen on the flat space to the left of the steering column. In simple testing it seems to work great and we'll see how it holds up on my next trip. If it is still insufficient, I will get extender mirrors and that should be more than enough.

Hopefully that's some good FJ user feedback. Glad to see everyone is FJ Streamin!!!
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:26 PM   #23
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Thanks for the great info here. Any major issues with the hinged tail gate while the AS is hooked up? Thinking about a FJ to get the 4 wheel drive capability and I just enjoy the look and smaller package. Thanks
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:55 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urban71
Thanks for the great info here. Any major issues with the hinged tail gate while the AS is hooked up? Thinking about a FJ to get the 4 wheel drive capability and I just enjoy the look and smaller package. Thanks
Well, I have a vintage trailer, with a stubby a-frame, so my problem is probably on the extreme end, but I can only open the tailgate ~18 inches. I can't open the rear window either because I have a ladder over it, otherwise that would be the ideal access. I haven't found this to be a significant problem though. With 4 ppl in the car, the rear passengers grab whatever we need or we put it in the trailer. With 2 ppl, I just put everything in the backseat.

If you are getting a newer trailer you will probably have a little more freedom to open. Just put a piece of rubber or foam padding on the front right side of the jack so you don't scratch it or the door.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:39 PM   #25
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Thanks for the great info here. Any major issues with the hinged tail gate while the AS is hooked up? Thinking about a FJ to get the 4 wheel drive capability and I just enjoy the look and smaller package. Thanks
Yup. Big swing tail gates don't get along with trailers...
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:47 PM   #26
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Yeah.....that's a problem. I love having the access of a lift gate. Don't designers ask AS owners before making these decisions. Come on Toyota!
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:53 PM   #27
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Urban71, I have a Hensley Cub hitch setup which puts the trailer back further from the back of the FJ. It allows me to open the rear door far enough to do most things.
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