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Old 03-01-2021, 08:18 PM   #1
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Advice appreciated on new 154BH Baja

Hi all -

My family and I are totally new to travel trailer camping - just purchased a 154BH Baja last week. I'm a bit concerned however that we may have bought too much of a camper. I know the 154BH is relatively small in comparison to most travel trailers, but my towing vehicle is a 2014 Toyota Tacoma. I was assured by my local Toyota dealership that my truck has the towing package which is "rated" at over 5600 lbs, but I'm still a bit nervous as I never towed anything this large. I did buy a Centerline TS Sway Control Hitch, but other than that, does anyone have any additional advice? Is my truck too small for this camper? I tried to educate myself on GVWR, Hitch Weight, GCVW, payload, etc., but was confused. Does anyone have a Taco and pull a 154BH? IS there a towing for dummies book? This dummy needs some help!

Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:33 AM   #2
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I would do some practice towing first to get use to towing.
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:31 AM   #3
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Don’t worry about it and don’t take your blood pressure during your first drive. Once you get that over with you’ll be just fine. The problem some of us have after a short while is forgetting that its right behind us and your speed has increased past the sweet spot.
Enjoy your new trailer for a long time to come.
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:59 AM   #4
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Just looking to reassure.
- 2014 Tacoma with Tow package is showing 6500# towing capacity and 1500# payload
- Max weight of the trailer is 3450#s
- The max weight of the trailer is far under towing capacity you are fine there.
- You also need to consider the tongue weight/payload, downward pressure on back of truck. Tongue weight is estimated to be 15% the total trailer weight. At 3450#s (max trailer weight) * 15% is 518# tongue weight. Well below limit of 1500#.
- Trailer weight without anything in it is 2650#
- That leaves you with 800#s to put in the trailer before reaching max trailer weight.
- Looks like there are two fresh water tanks for a total of 29 gallons. 29 gallons @ 8.3#/gal =249#s 800-249 = 551#s left over for anything else inside the trailer.

Assuming you have the v6 in the Tacoma it should have enough power to get you around so the trailer and vehicle are a good match.

Read up on the trailer sway and make sure you are using it correctly. If you ever do get trailer sway apply trailer brakes a little via trailer break controller.

I'd recommend buying a TPMS to monitor trailer tire pressure while driving. If you search the forum there are a few articles on it with different models people like. Always a good idea to keep an eye on those tires.

Once you get a few trips under your belt you'll feel much better. Like many things people confront, talking about it is much worse than when you actually do it. Like another poster mentioned, after a few trips you'll need to remember its back there instead of worrying about it being there.
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:21 AM   #5
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Congratulations! Looks like a nice little TT.

Couple of tips.
  • Big tip, make sure you can see your bumpers in your TV mirrors when towing. Most states it is the law. But it will really help you back up. It will also help you when you need to change lanes on the highway.
  • Take your time, never feel rushed. Example; when backing in if there is vehicle in the CG loop behind you, do not worry about it. Take your time. As a camper we all have been in your shoes, and we have all had to back into our site.
  • Don't get frustrated, use it as a learning moment. For example; when you get to camp. Get out, look at the site, discuss where you are at, and consider how you want to get to where you want to be. I think of backing up a bit like a game of Chess, you need to be thinking 3 moves ahead, so you can get the TT where you want it. If needed; stop get out, look around, pull up, start over if needed.
  • Communications (more frustrations), discuss how you want your helper to signal you. When your done, talk about what went well and what could have been a little better. For example, my DW had never helped a person back up before. At first she would give very tiny hand signals, always right in front of her chest. I could not tell stop from keep coming back. She thought she was giving very clear signals. At 5 feet away, yes, but 40+ feet, and viewing through a mirror, not so clear. Now, she is very clear, It probably took a year, for us to figure it out.
  • Find a large open parking lot in your area, practice parking.
  • When the kid was small, he and dog stay in the TV when I am backing up. I did want to be concerned where are at. Also if I do not see my helper in a mirror, I stop, until I can see them. Last thing I want to do is back over them if they trip and fall. Both the wife and kid both know this rule.
  • Most important thing, sit back relax and have some fun with the family!
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:01 PM   #6
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Hi, I can say I know what you are feeling. I was new to towing a few years ago. I purchased a 212qb (first trailer ever), slightly larger then yours and had the same concerns. It felt like every little bump or vehicle that passed me was going to auger me. Practice and going out often is what worked for me. Not saying I'm totally confident, but semi-comfortable. Ive taken it from So Cal to Michigan (55 days) with no major problems and got a trip planned to S. Dakota this summer (52 days).
This forum has helped me immensely, don't post much, but there is all the information you need and it is free.

Good luck and welcome to the forums and Jayco.
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Old 03-02-2021, 01:20 PM   #7
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We tow a 145rb Baja (16 feet from hitch to bumper) with our 2015 4x4 v6 Tacoma. Along with all previous posts, I would suggest that you avoid using the "D" drive position on the shifter console which is basically "overdrive". Move the shifter to the immediate left position which is "4" and not overdrive. Of course, if yours is a "standard" then my suggestion is of no use to you.
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Old 03-02-2021, 01:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firewxman View Post
snip..... Is my truck too small for this camper? I tried to educate myself on GVWR, Hitch Weight, GCVW, payload, etc., but was confused......snip
firewxman,

Welcome to JOF

When you get a little more familiar with your new TT, I would take your TV/TT combination under what you feel would be your typical loaded conditions to a CAT scale for a 'three-pass' weigh-in (full fuel, passengers, cargo, etc.). An initial CAT scale visit under loaded TV/TT conditions is worth its weight in gold....., and a CAT visit wouldn't be required again unless your loaded TV/TT conditions notably change.

The CAT weight data will tell you everything you need to know (ie; WDH adjustment, proper weight distribution, tongue weight, confirm weight limits, etc.).

Having a friend that is familiar with WDH's and/or towing TT's may be helpful at the CAT scale. The following link will walk you through the weighing process and how to use the weight data.

CAT scale 'how-to': https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...v-tt-3871.html

Bob
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Old 03-02-2021, 02:28 PM   #9
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great instructions
https://www.livinlightly.com/how-to-...er-like-a-pro/

good video


another good video

https://youtu.be/RLtfrBWzNCw
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Old 03-03-2021, 01:09 AM   #10
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We just picked up the same trailer except not a Baha. I am going to do an axle flip ASAP because I have to be careful backing in the driveway. WE also have a Flagstaff 228 BHSE pop up and it came with a spring over. It is quite a bit heavier than a pop up we had years ago. You may feel it doesn't corner like you want but with the sway control you should be ok. Just never tow it faster than your TV will run down hill(:>)
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Old 03-03-2021, 08:33 AM   #11
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I tow a 174 BH with a Tacoma just fine
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