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Old 08-10-2009, 01:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Towing a Travel Trailer & my BEFORE & AFTER renovation *PICS*

I wanted to share yet another experience with you guys, in hopes of possibly helping others out, and to show all of you guys what I've been up to. Like many of you, I heavily modded my truck for the first 2 years. After doing so many mods, I got kind of bored, so I found a new toy to play with. But at the same time, it involves my tacoma, so my desire and luster for the taco is still there.

Anyway, I got a smoking deal off Craigslist for a small travel trailer: $300. It was pretty old school looking in there, not to mention the horrible cigarette smell. Well, knowing that I had a camping trip planned in late July, I renovated the crap out of that thing with ~2 months time, and had it ready for my trip.

Here are some pics of my taco and the TT. As you can see, the rear sags bc of the TT (~3000 lbs loaded up). For the rear suspension, I currently have an AAL (from toytec), but I may look into the Firestone airbags.





And here are the before and after pics
before


after


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after


before


after


before


after


before


after


before


after


enjoy
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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And for info about towing, here is my spiel:

The TT is listed at 1950 lbs dry. With all of the upgrades I put in there and loading it up with water, food, propane, etc, I estimated it to be ~3000 lbs. I still have to check it out and go to scale where I can get official numbers.

As far as what I felt I needed for towing, I did extensive research on other tacoma forums, RV forums, etc and found that the following were necessary and/or good ol piece of mind:

brake controller (required by law!)
anti sway bar (good insurance)
towing mirrors (help out a bunch)

I didnt opt to get a weight distibution system (sorry, but if you don't know what that is, you can google it and get tons of info. I just don't feel like explaining what it is ) because even at 3000 lbs, I'm still towing under half of the towing capacity on my truck (v6 with tow pkg)

I recently took it up to the Eldorado National Forrest, and went through some really challenging hills with it. The truck performed fine, but going uphill, it was the first time EVER that I felt like I wanted a v8. Maybe I had a bad approach or technique to it, but I know that I still have a lot to learn about towing.

I do want to say that being on this forum did help out my trip. After doing research, I found out that TN memeber 05Moose lived in that area and had experience with the roads over there. He gave me the 3 routes to get to my campsite, and chose which one would be the safest for me, taking into account that I'd be towing. THANKS AGAIN 05Moose!
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice work on the reno.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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How much was the lift kit for the camper?
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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it was ~$30 from this one RV site. But I didn't even use all the parts, it's realy easy to jsut get the parts at a welding shop for like less than $10. Google: Flipping trailer axle or just PM me for info

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Old 08-10-2009, 03:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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mjonags32,

If I were you I would look into a Equal-i-zer hitch. It is a weight distribution and anti-sway hitch. I pulled my camper alot before I got my equal-i-zer hitch and the difference is night and day. When you set this type of hitch up correctly you will not need airbags.
My truck went from squatting about 3 tp 4 inches in the rear and raising a couple of inches in ther front without the equalizer. To squatting 3/4 of a inch front and rear with the equalizer set up properly. This system is also much better sway control then the friction sway control from draw-tite if that is what you have. The single axle on your camper is going to make it even more prone to sway than a dual axle camper. You my tow 20,000 miles and never have a problem but all it takes is one time to really destroy your truck and camper and possible someone else.

Check out this website and watch some of the videos it explains it very well:

http://www.equalizerhitch.com/

My camper and truck now sit level when hooked up, it is a 23' Trail-lite and I do not have any air bags, aal's or even the factory upgraded springs. My truck is just like it was when it left the factory as far as springs go and it does just fine.

I swear I do not sell hitches, this setup just really impressed me.

Last edited by rachunter; 08-10-2009 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes I am aware of Equal-i-zer. I just couldn't justify spending that much $$ on that set up. I also looked into the Reese dual cam set up, which prevents the sway from happening in the first place.

idk, I just kinda promised myself that I wouldn't spend more than $300 on one single item ($300 bc that;s how much the TT was).
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Sweet deal, nice work!
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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nice job man. I like it allot. I bet you could sell it for 1500-2500$ now.
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