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Old 11-24-2014, 11:57 PM   #11
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Mr Scary, that is awesome. Thanks a lot for the advice!
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:41 PM   #12
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One question, how much total did you spend on equipment to getyour sienna to where it is? Also, I don't really need an AC. How many pounds would I save by removing it?
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Old 11-25-2014, 03:13 PM   #13
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I have about $500 in P2 brake controller and wiring for the van. I have about $90 in the Air Lift suspension. The WDH is about $250 (that came wrapped up in the cost of the camper). If you are buying new, you can probably get that all wrapped up in the deal. If you are handy, you can do it yourself....with the exception of the brake controller (P2 or P3) wiring. There isn't a hook-up in the wiring harness in the van. It needs to be done manually. I would recommend calling your Toyota dealer and see who they send them to (they may not do the install themselves). If you mess up the wiring harness doing it yourself, you will be SOL. A dealer or RV shop is at least insured and has the experience. That to me was worth the cost.

As far as the AC unit...that is a personal choice. I wouldn't delete it even if I wasn't intending to use it. Think about the resale of the camper and buyers remorse. What if after a year or so you wish you had it? Again, personal preference, but I would not delete that just to save a few pounds.
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:23 PM   #14
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Paulx213: If you check what they tow trailers ( caravans) with in Europe you'll see you don't need a huge truck to tow a light weight trailer.


In Europe most of the vehicles are still standard and the trailers weigh about half than the North American trailers. Then there is another factor; on the freeways a combination is allowed only 80 km and on the secondary highways 60 km. I towed over there from family with a Ford Fiesta Diesel (1.8L) a 1400 kg single TT on the flat. It was OK but as soon I hit a head wind the fun was over. Between the 80 and 100 km you need a lot more power for disposal. I always wondered how they did it in Europe with their cars; at least I had hands on experience.


I have a 160 hp V6 Ford Aerostar (5000 lbs Tow Capacity) which will pull my 5900 lbs. TT with reasonable hills, but when I get a head wind the comfort is gone.
To keep up with the traffic in North America you need reserve power.


If you only pull a TT 60 km. under power is not as much of a big deal. But then again you still have to stay within all the legal limits.
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:02 PM   #15
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Another thing you have to look at is the square footage of the front of the trailer. My Escape has the same capacities as the Sienna. My fully loaded trailer weighs right at 3100 lbs. The Escape pulls it well even in moderate hills. My issue is wind resistance. Experience has taught me that 57mph is all she's got without gear hunting. I have a gauge that measures HP Torque and engine load. At 57mph my engine is using 100% load. There is nothing left. As a mechanic, I dont like to see loads above 80-90%. Its just too much strain on rings and heads. Mind you, my Escape tows it but she dont want no more. Mine isn't the weight its the wind resistance.
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:04 PM   #16
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I probably should add, my 165bh is very flat and very tall.
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:06 PM   #17
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All very relevant information. Especially as a newbie to this forum, I really appreciate you guys taking the time to respond!
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Old 11-26-2014, 03:12 PM   #18
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I have a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan with tow package (3600 lbs tow capacity) hauling a Starcraft AR-ONE 15RB (apprx 2600 dry) with A EAZ-Lift WD hitch, Curt Sway Control, and a P2 brake controller. I can say that I definitely know the trailer is back there but it tows it with zero issues. I have not been through the mountains, but I have been up and down bluffs along the Mississippi River against headwinds. My RPM's in that situation are usually in the 3100-3500 range, while bumping higher for increased speed, but normal 'flat' driving I am usually in the 2100-2300 range and getting 12-17 mpg's at 63 MPH.
I will admit that I would not want to go any heavier than what I have, and that driving into the wind can get 'fatiguing' but I think if you stick to a Sienna with the tow package, and keep your trailer to under about 2800 lbs, you should be fine.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:28 PM   #19
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We have a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with a 3500 Max towing capacity. We bought a 185. RB with a weight of 2750. It is too heavy with our vehicle. After 1 day of towing it we decided to park it at a campground. You have to consider the weight of you and your family ad well as all the incidentals you will put in it. The beds will need to be giving more padding, and with the lack of an oven, you will be buying a BBQ grill and appliances to make up for it. Tires are also an important consideration. We just upgraded our tires. It is lightweight and with young ones, you will find the lightweight will be shaking.
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Old 11-27-2014, 07:26 AM   #20
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I have heard that Jeep Wranglers can be difficult vehicles to have as your tow vehicle because of the short wheelbase and height off the ground (center of gravity)...
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