FJ40 and towing a camper

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How many here tow campers with their fj40s. How large of a camper, far do you go?

I am torn between keeping my tow vehicle and selling it so I can pick up a diesel for an FJ40 I am about to build.

Currently I have a 15' tent trailer 1800lbs but am getting an 25' airstream this summer.
 
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The guy I bought my cruiser from towed a 16 foot house trailer (not a pop-up), with a 3 speed tranmission. Here is a tally

1. Blew out second gear in the trans.
2. Smoked clutch getting home using high only with the transfer as "first" gear
3. I think the towing led to premature rear leaf spring demise...
4. Had to lengthen the trailer tongue to eliminate excessive sway.

Do you really want to do this with a 25 footer?
 

rusty_tlc

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If he killed his leafs h must not have been using a weight distributing hitch. But maby I will keep the 1 ton
Even a distribution hitch wouldn't save 30 year old springs (assuming they were original)

IMHO even the 15' pop up would be sketchy with a 40. We're shopping for something with an 8' box to tow behind our 40.

A lot will depend on the area where you plan to tow, we live in the Sierra so there are lots of steep grades. I wouldn't consider towing a 25' trailer with anything less than a 3/4 ton big block.
 
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My biggest thing is that when I get the fj done, I want to take it camping.

It should pull the tent trailer fine, I towed it with my last plymouth voyager SWB 3.0L and it towed very well, but we never went more than 350mi.

I will keep the f350 but that means either let my wife drive the fj40 or a f350 4 door long box with 25+ more feet of trailer. (the ford is automatic though ;))

The airstream I am looking at is a tradewind mid 70's vintage.(not exactly sure)


If all else fails, I could save up for a couple of years and get a airstream motorhome.
P7080021 (Small).jpg
 
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I want it to be as strong as possible but still retain the stock appearance.
It will have a diesel motor, already have all new springs, and will be running 7.5x16" military type tyres daily and radials when towing something.
 
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My biggest thing is that when I get the fj done, I want to take it camping.

It should pull the tent trailer fine, I towed it with my last plymouth voyager SWB 3.0L and it towed very well, but we never went more than 350mi.

I will keep the f350 but that means either let my wife drive the fj40 or a f350 4 door long box with 25+ more feet of trailer. (the ford is automatic though ;))

The airstream I am looking at is a tradewind mid 70's vintage.(not exactly sure)


If all else fails, I could save up for a couple of years and get a airstream motorhome.

70's airstreams are HEAVY mid 60's and older are the light ones. my 59 22ft Caravanner is 2700lb dry. loaded with full tank of water and gear it will be around 3500.

A mid 70's Trade is around 4100lb dry with 600+ on the tongue. SO loaded you are going to be 4700-5000lb depending how much you pack.

You are asking to get killed and kill your family with a anything under 120 inch wheel base pulling that kind of weight. The only thing I would even concider pulling at hwy speeds with a 40 is a Wee Wind maybe a 50's Bubble or a early 60's Bambi (1800-1900 dry)

http://www.airstream.com/airstream/product_line/customer_service/docs/weights-1.pdf

Motor homes are only rated to pull around 2500lb because of the frame extensions on the P30 chassis they are built on. You could probably get away with more on the shorter Motor homes with less tail. 24 Argosy with a 454 would be about the biggest I would concider flat towing a 40.
 

gladly

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here's mine, the first pic makes it look bigger than it is.
attachment.php

it's about 14' weighs 2000 or less
I wouldn't tow it long distance or at high speeds setup as it is
DCP_0001_2.JPG
 
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That is about the length of my tent trailer. It looks like you are running about 33" tyres, have you always towed on this type. I think they would be a little soft and might sway with a load on them.
 
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Check out the book "Who Needs a Road". The guys in the book towed a tent trailer around the world...pretty amazing testimony to the ruggedness of our FJ40s.
 

gladly

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That is about the length of my tent trailer. It looks like you are running about 33" tyres, have you always towed on this type. I think they would be a little soft and might sway with a load on them.

they're actually 31's (bias swamper TSL) the trailer is a 1969, the truck is a 75, and they are almost the same size, there's sway lots of places:D

we keep it pretty local, and we aren't in a high speed motorway kinda place.
I think that I might have to raise the trailer some more or drop the hitch so that there is more tongue weight, and it would be a lot nicer to tow. also it currently doesn't have brakes, but when I had the new axle built I got it set up for them, so I just have to buy and bolt on, still not sure whether to go with a surge or pedal controlled type of setup.
 

rusty_tlc

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If I ever built a trailer axle I would add a hand e-brake. I have had many occasions when one would have been very helpful.

I've never had a surge brake, electrics are really nice. If the trailer starts fishtailing you can apply the brakes independtly of the tow rig and straighten things out.
 

gladly

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^^ that's pretty much what I figured, but recently I have heard that properly set up the surge brakes can work great, but they seem kinda "dark side".
I think I will just do the electrics, for the added control.
 
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I move allot of equipment and trailers, and the ones with a hand 'park' brake are great. It seems they are mostly on gen-set trailers. It does feel reassuring when you leave a trailer and know it is not going to roll away.
 
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I pull a 24' double axle 1964 tradewind with my 60. I use a weight distribution hitch along with sway control and the 60 hates it. It does pull it anywhere I want to go ( although it does best on dirt roads at 15mph ), but the nickname mule really comes to life. I don't mind, but I imagine the folks behind me as I'm in second gear rolling up the hill don't like it. Breaking can be interesting when coming down a hill and making a turn. I think the trailer could very easily push a smaller truck into a ditch. Airstreams Rock :)

just my .02

Thanks B
 

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