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Old 12-09-2020, 09:46 PM   #1
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2020 22' Bambi
Melbourne , Florida
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Advice on towing

I am renting a 22ft Bambi. I have a 2019 Toyota Tacoma, V6. I do NOT have a brake controller. My questions are:
Is this vehicle sufficient to pull this trailer?
Does this trailer have brakes? It is a single axle.
Do I need a brake controller?
Do I need a special hitch equalizer or sway bar assembly?
Thanks very much!
James
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Old 12-09-2020, 09:57 PM   #2
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Advice on towing

I tow a 22í international CCD with a Tacoma. You absolutely need a brake controller. I use a Tekonsa P3 controller. It plugs into the Tacoma harness with an adapter cable.

The Tacoma CANNOT properly handle a 22í trailer without working trailer brakes. The Tacoma is marginal on horsepower, but can be adequate if set up right.

You also need a decent weight distribution and anti-sway hitch system. An equal-I-zer dual cam system will work.

Since my trailer is mine, I use a ProPride system but for you itís honestly total overkill.

Lots of data all over the forums and lots of conflicting opinions.
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Old 12-09-2020, 10:17 PM   #3
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Thank you. It looks like I have a lot of added costs with the brake controller and sway bar.
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Old 12-09-2020, 10:19 PM   #4
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Santa Fe Springs , California
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I rented a 22ft once before purchasing my own airstream. I towed it with Nissan Frontier with v6 3.5l engine which should have similar capacity with Tacoma.

I did installed a brake controller on the truck but the owner of the trailer has tekensha prodigy RF installed and it worked very well. However, I didnít use the weight distribution hitch the owner has as he has a taller towing vehicle.

The trailer swayed at highway speed, 55 mph, and I didnít feel comfortable when towing.

Iíd suggest checking with the owner about the brake control and WDH before go pick up the trailer.
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Old 12-10-2020, 06:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by pickupjason View Post
I rented a 22ft once before purchasing my own airstream. I towed it with Nissan Frontier with v6 3.5l engine which should have similar capacity with Tacoma.

I did installed a brake controller on the truck but the owner of the trailer has tekensha prodigy RF installed and it worked very well. However, I didnít use the weight distribution hitch the owner has as he has a taller towing vehicle.

The trailer swayed at highway speed, 55 mph, and I didnít feel comfortable when towing.

Iíd suggest checking with the owner about the brake control and WDH before go pick up the trailer.
Thank you! Good advice.
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:24 AM   #6
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In a nutshell, yes to every question. Not trying to be cute, but really, yes to every question.
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:35 AM   #7
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Hopefully you have experience towing. There is a big difference between renting a utility trailer from U-Haul and a travel trailer.
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Old 12-10-2020, 04:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
Hopefully you have experience towing. There is a big difference between renting a utility trailer from U-Haul and a travel trailer.
Iíve trailered boats, but not a camper.
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Old 12-10-2020, 04:48 PM   #9
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In a nutshell, yes to every question. Not trying to be cute, but really, yes to every question.
Thanks.
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Old 12-10-2020, 04:49 PM   #10
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For the trailer hitch mount, I know I need a 5/16 ball, but they come in different drop lengths; 2Ē, 4Ē, etc. how do I know which one to get?
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Old 12-10-2020, 04:59 PM   #11
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Rental truck

Also look into renting a full size pickup truck equipped for towing. You have a trade off of all the things you need to do to in order to tow safely and comfortably vs rental cost. That's what I would do anyway.
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Old 12-10-2020, 07:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ny3299 View Post
For the trailer hitch mount, I know I need a 5/16 ball, but they come in different drop lengths; 2”, 4”, etc. how do I know which one to get?
You buy the one that matches the ball height to the trailer tongue to make the trailer level. If the trailer is nose down, you need less drop. If the trailer is nose high, you need more drop. No one who is not standing at the trailer can answer that question. And that is, of course, after the proper dialing in of the WD system to restore the necessary weight to the front axle.

That is the reason that my Reese Strait-Line has an adjustable height hitch head. I can raise or lower it as needed.

As a starting point, and I stress STARTING POINT, I would get the trailer level on level ground and measure from the ground to the top of the coupler. I would want the top of the ball about 1" higher than that number. But, like I said, that is only a STARTING POINT and may change.
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post
Also look into renting a full size pickup truck equipped for towing. You have a trade off of all the things you need to do to in order to tow safely and comfortably vs rental cost. That's what I would do anyway.
Where do you recommend I go to find a suitable tow vehicle?
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:21 PM   #14
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I mean rent a suitable tow vehicle.
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:39 PM   #15
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Enterprise rents pickups and vans. You could consider a 3/4 ton van as well as pickup. BUT you will need to make sure that in these instances they have a brake controller. Most 3/4 ton pickups would have brake controllers since they are used more for towing. I’ve never done it myself, but others have. It makes sense. Cheaper than buying a new pickup.

Most WDH’s have height adjustments of some type. The biggest learning curve will be setting up the hitch and learning how to adjust it. Since you are renting the trailer you are going to need something that is easy and quick to install without drilling holes into the frame. But it can be done.
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Old 12-20-2020, 08:27 PM   #16
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I towed horse trailers gooseneck extensively with a Toyota T100 V6 in the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.
Your Tacoma can certainly do it. My opinion is that you do not need a full size truck. See the post I started on Toyota tow vehicles to see what people are towing with. Take your time. Don't expect to pace with the sedans. Instead stick with the trucks and you should be fine. Learn how to use your gears!
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...ra-214452.html

You will definitely need, and want, a brake controller to actuate the trailer brakes.

Often times the rental company will have the hitch and sway bars for you to use. I would double check on that.
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Old 12-20-2020, 08:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ny3299 View Post
Thank you. It looks like I have a lot of added costs with the brake controller and sway bar.
For infrequent use, you can get an inexpensive or used hitch. The Knock Off brands including the cheap Harbor Freight model will do fine if you get the WD and the sway friction bar. They are fine for infrequent use, but are likely to wear out more quickly. Just be sure the hitch is designed for 600 lb or so tongue weight. Don't go with 1000 lb or more tension bars.

The Curt Echo or similar brake controllers plug into the seven pin connectors which you may need to add if yours is only the 4 pin type. They will move easily from one vehicle to the next. Again you can likely find one used.

If you give us more info on how long you intend to rent this, we can help better. Also you can get a used good quality hitch and then sell it on eBay or Airstream Clasified after you are done with it and you won't take too much of a hit.
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Old 12-22-2020, 09:28 PM   #18
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I towed a 42í Spartan imperial mansion over the grapevine without using my brake controller in my diesel van without any issues at all. The connector cable and brakes in trailer were toast from sitting when I bought it. Sure it wasent great for my brakes but it felt plenty safe driving like a semi truck slow and calculating.
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Old 12-23-2020, 06:47 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ny3299 View Post
For the trailer hitch mount, I know I need a 5/16 ball, but they come in different drop lengths; 2Ē, 4Ē, etc. how do I know which one to get?
To add to ball height setting, the Bambi top of ball is about 18 inches, and depending on the vehicle and rear springs (SUV's and light trucks have less spring travel than 4WD trucks, HD trucks and off-road vehicles) so use 1 inch more for light vehicles and 2 inches for others. So with your light vehicle you will want the mounted ball top at 18 3/4 to 19 1/2 inches. The top of the receiver square hole is where the bottom of the ball is located for zero offset. The ball is 3 1/4 inch tall so the top of ball with zero offset is 3 1/4 above the receiver hole top. The shank hole spacing is industry consistent at 1 1/4 inch but the location of the shank the lead hole is drilled varies. Also hitch makers use different geometries with the ball mounts relative to the shank holes so the required drop or rise will depend on the manufacturer and the specific shank you use. Follow the manufacturers recommendation for drop or rise to get the final ball height as close to 19 (for a light vehicle) as possible.
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Old 12-23-2020, 04:08 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ny3299 View Post
Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senorpink View Post
I towed a 42í Spartan imperial mansion over the grapevine without using my brake controller in my diesel van without any issues at all. The connector cable and brakes in trailer were toast from sitting when I bought it. Sure it wasent great for my brakes but it felt plenty safe driving like a semi truck slow and calculating.
Thank you for the input.

I towed the 22í Bambi without a WDH or sway bar, and without a brake controller and didnít have any issues. I was wondering if I actually benefitted from some trailer braking without the actual controller. I mean, with the 7 pin plug, doesnít that activate the trailer brakes a little bit? And a controller would only enable further adjustment to the vehicle/trailer brake percentages, right? Anyway, I was running 70 mph at 2000 rpms and didnít even feel the trailer. Sway started at slightly higher speeds so 70 was my max for this setup.
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