Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am fairly new to the forum, in this is a few highlights, stories, complaints, and if I can a few pictures. Tips at the end are highly appreciated.
As you all know I bought the 07 FJ with 141,xxx miles on it 6 weeks ago and my wife an I decided to tow our travel trailer to visit our kids in Colorado. (we live in California( I know, we will leave as fast as we can)). I have always had full size diesel pick up trucks before that my wife hated, but I never ever cared about tow capabilities. I hooked the trailer to the FJ, filled up the tank and we were off. Sort of, the trailer weighed 3800#s dry and we loaded it up, so when I say we were off I meant we crawled to Colorado Springs. We use a travel app called Harvest Host (big shout out to this company, look it up if you have a camper) and we made it from Sacramento to Barstow (yes it is a real place) in less than 10 hours. It is normally a 6 hour drive so I was happy(???) We set up in a place called Slash X Ranch that was having a trail event for off road vehicles, I so desperately wanted to unhitch and go with but the wife suggested that I spend time doing something completely more fun like scrabble. So we did that. We woke up and drove 60MPH (barely) at 4000 rpm (gas mileage sucks) to Grants NM and stayed at Uranium winery where it was 18 degrees at night. The heater worked in the camper and I brought a heated blanket so that was a plus. It was on Route 66 and served a pretty good pasta dinner. But the toilet in the camper was leaking fresh water so it made it a bit difficult. I tried to fix it on the fly and it made it worse. The FJ was not doing super well with the trailer and we hit a few windy spots that made my ___ pucker. We made it through, but probably should not have. We got to Colorado Springs in three days. The FJ got terrible fuel mileage. The wind was peeling the side of the trailer off, I had to stop and take a few screws out of the door jam and screw the siding back on. No, its cool, I did not look to much like a hillbilly. (NOTE-NO OFFENSE TO HILLBILLIES INTENDED).
My daughter belongs to a "ladies of toyota" four wheel drive group and she took me on a trail that was amazing. The stock FJ did better than the driver. I have never been 4 wheeling before and I really need a plan to get the rig up to par, Next time I don't want to get pulled out of a rut by my 26 year daughter (its not really embarrassing if you stop to think about it, dang, that is not true, I just lied) But really any tips on what to do, and it what order will be met with gracious thanks. I had a blast, it was one of the coolest things I have done in a long time, the FJ was fantastic. And A track saved my bacon ( and my ___).
Because we had such an issue towing the heavy trailer, we gave that Jayco to my daughter and we bought a Braxton Creek Free Solo that weighs 2300#s and was easier to pull. The FJ really does not like towing, We drove back to California (don't ask why, I don't know). and we still struggled with the trip, We did improve gas mileage to 7.5mpg with the lighter trailer and the southern route, but every molehill required 4-5000 rpms. The National Petrified Forest is amazing if you get the chance to see it (Petrified Forest National Park (U.S. National Park Service)). So I say all that to ask this,
The FJ is a daily driver and ride quality is very important. I want to use for two purposes.
1) I want to do so minor off road adventures
2) I want to tow a 2300 pound camper.
What are the upgrades that guys usually do to help with this? I tried to ask google, now all I get are ads for ED.