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Old 05-07-2011, 10:52 AM   #1
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Towing a 19' Bambi

Good morning everyone,
I am a new member and hope to purchase a used 19" Bambi, looking at my vehicle specs, I should be able to tow it with my 2007 Toyota FJ. ( I hope) Does anyone have experience with an FJ?. I have a 6 speed manual,4x4.
Would alternate coolers help?...(Transmission, Radiator,oil cooler?). Also my FJ has the factory mounted type III hitch will this suffice?..If anyone can help it would be so I am a newbie to Airstreaming!...But love those Airstreams since I was a kid....(some time ago) lol.
Thank you for any help

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Old 05-07-2011, 01:19 PM   #2
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2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
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Welcome to the foroums! The year of the 19' Bambi you are considering would be important because newer Airstreams are heavier than the older ones. We tow our 2007 19' with an 07 Tacoma 6Cyl Double Cab 2WD TRD with a factory tow package and do fine, I am not familiar with the towing spec's for the FJ. The dry wight of our Bambi is 3500 lbs and the full weight is 4500 lbs. Our Tacoma is rated for 6500 lbs.

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Old 05-10-2011, 03:17 AM   #3
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1959 17' Pacer
Long Beach , California
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 920

First off, I think the FJ is a great vehicle, and I'm not at all biased because I have one...

Second, although there are some great threads with info on the topic in the Airstream forums, like this one linked here (with Moses towing a 19' Bambi behind his FJ), there are also some really great threads on In fact, I will be posting a new thread with details on how I converted my FJ to be more tow-friendly.

I have to echo TBRich's comments about the year. This is very important. To give you perspective, my 1959 18' trailer weighs about 2000# stripped and after renovation will be closer to 2800#. I believe the newer 19' models are closer to 4300#? And the rule of thumb is not to exceed 80% of manufacturer's rating, 5000# as per Toyota.

You will certainly want either a Weight distributing hitch or airbag inserts for the rear coil suspension. I went with the latter option because I also have been towing around some extremely heavy loads recently in the trunk, and have started using a hitch carrier with lots of weight on it. The Airlift bags took 4 hrs to install and completely level out the vehicle. This compensates for the FJ's springy offroad suspension when you need the strength.

The one thing I would consider if you are going to be climbing lots of hills and if you have a more recent trailer with more weight is the Tranny cooler. Everything else should be fine on the FJ, but that is the one place where you might want to extend the life. However, the fjcruiserforums have numerous threads saying that if you have a manual transmission then don't worry about it. I'm honestly not that familiar with manual trannys which is why I didn't even read a lot of those reasons or details. I do know for the automatics a few people have put coolers on (and I can never put it in "D" because that allows overdrive to engage).

Anyway, just my 3 cents.
- Peter (and Marie)

1959 Pacer 18' Renovation - Knight in Shining Armor

Our Adventure Blog - Documenting our backpacking, hiking, camping, and Airstreaming
(still updating, haven't gotten to the Airstream trips yet)
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:43 AM   #4
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Hey Thanks, for the info, love my FJ not much miles...I have been deployed...sooo not much driving, soon to retire.....I am hoping to find a later model, CCD, International, goshhh I love the 07 Cent, with the "old school" interior,
Thank you for the info,
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