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Old 10-21-2010, 01:24 PM   #1
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Suggestions for a Lightweight Travel Trailer

Hi,
My husband and I are looking to buy a travel trailer to tow behind our Toyota FJ Cruiser. I think it can tow up to 5000lbs but he's adamant that we don't want anything more than 3000lbs dry weight. Our only requirements are lightweight and indoor shower that is not part of the toilet. We've seen some models where the shower head is above the toilet. We don't want that. It will just be the two of us. Our first trip will be up to Alaska and lots of skiing so it has to be durable in extreme cold. We're hoping to stay below $15K.

Any advice, suggestions will be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:56 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. This a good place to get good info.
If it were me, my first trip (or even the 2nd or 3rd) wouldn't be to Alaska. I would test it out close to home in bad roads, cold etc. When you are lookng at TTs be sure to check wheel well clearence to allow for chains. I use cable chains. Before going out in winter weather be sure to have chains for thre TT. I don't think you will be getting a durable, cold rated TT in a light weight. As for the Toyota, I have to agree with you husband. Personally I wouldn't tow any TT with your criteria with less than a 3/4T.
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:04 PM   #3
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In that weight class you have very few choices. Did you want to buy new? If you are willing to consider a vintage trailer you might want to look at Argosys (by Airstream) made in the mod 1970s. The smaller ones come in under 3000 lbs dry, and I would tow behind an FJ. There were several models between 19 and 24 feet that would fit the bill. You can pick them up very used, cheaply or if you are patient buy one that has been rehabbed. Be prepared to pay between 3 K and 15 K depending on condition and updates.

I would be comfortable taking one of these to AK - in fact have some friends who did just that last year.
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
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Some other thoughts about towing to alaska..... SInce you are going to be looking at light weight trailers try to avoid single axle rigs. This is a safety issue on rough roads. A flat on a single axle trailer can be bad news. A tandem axle trailer will also be a little more controllable when backing.

Make sure that any trailer you are considering can be equipped with some guards for front windows (rocks and debris) on alaska roads.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:35 PM   #5
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I might suggest you look at aluminum frame TT. Ours is a Sunset Creek by SunnyBrook RV in Indiana. Ours is 26.8 feet and we tow it with a short bed Ford V-6 engine. It does not like steep hills very much but 2nd gear is a must for this.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:10 PM   #6
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The FJ has a pretty short wheelbase and high center of gravity. I would not consider pulling anywhere near 5000#. You should keep your size down to 21' or less. There is a lot more to towing than having the power to pull the load. You need enough tow vehicle to handle the load.

It would be a great idea to look at the older Avion and Air Stream trailers in the 17 to 19' range. They are fairly aerodynamic and tow pretty well. You can pick one up for a decent price and put a feww $$$ in it have a great piece of history.

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Old 10-21-2010, 10:58 PM   #7
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Forget the dry weight it is meaningless unless you plan to tow it empty. RV sales managers must use shock therapy on their sales personnel, because they all refuse to admit that. Use the trailer GVW when deciding what your tow vehicle will tow safely. You may not load it to it's maximum weight rating but it''s much more relaxing and comfortable for the driver knowing the trailer is not controlling the tow vehicle.
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:15 AM   #8
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One of the latest very popular Trends in RVing is the enclosed Cargo Trailer conversions... (probably resulting from current RV manufacturing processes ) Lighter, more payload, made to live outside in any weather... and you fit it with what You want !!! Perfect for smaller tow vehicles ... Very Practical , and NO conniving RV dealers to contend with ... Teardrops & Tiny Travel Trailers :: View Forum - Cargo Trailer Conversions
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:15 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your comments. I should have stated that our first few trips will definitely be within a 100 miles of home. Our long term goal is to tow it to Alaska. Is there any brand that you suggest we stay away from?

Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:08 PM   #10
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Your husband is smart by wanting to limit the TT wt to less than 5000 lbs. You also need to keep the size below 20'. Whether you go to Alaska or not, a well built TT is a must. To that end you might want to look at the Tamarak Trail models from Outdoors RV in LaGrande Oregon Outdoors RV Manufacturing . They have a limited distribution range, so you might have to make a trip to the northwest to see one. Either the 718FQ or 719RB would be good choices for a unit that meets the requirements for a small trailer for two. Otherwise you might want to look at the Hybreds - hard sided TTs with canvas walled extensions for sleeping. These are good for fair weather camping, but lack the insulation and weather stops to make them real multi season units. Either way finding small TTs with dry baths is hard.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:02 PM   #11
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We just purchased the Jayco 21FKV...Gross weight is 3500# the price is higher than what you are looking to pay. To be honest we were looking around the same price range but when we saw the quality of this trailer we were SOLD. We haven't taken on our first trip yet, we pulled it about 75 miles home from the dealer just 2 days ago and we'll be transferring all our "Stuff" from our vintage trailer into the new one this weekend.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:55 AM   #12
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Sun , Be SURE to read your owners manual thoroughly , especially the parts pertaining to the Warranty ... (the fine print)
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:04 PM   #13
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We have a FunFinder X139 and love it.

Teardrop trailers are also nice and light.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:13 AM   #14
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Canadian company: "Profil 14" with separate shower and toilet, weighs 1400 lbs; about 15 feet long...

Trailica Trailer RV Dealer Ontario Ottawa Cornwall - Inventory View

Ultra light caravan Profil 14 - Roulottes Prolite

Best of luck in your search!!
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