TL Johnson thanks so very much for the detailed run down of your towing strategies and set-up. I really appreciate it. So great to have this conversation with someone that's out there doing it. I completely get the issues that you're dealing with. I'm in Santa Fe at the southern end of the Rockies so lots of big mountain driving here.i would not recommend doing this set up again; unfortunately there;s another decision maker involved, and she pays half the payments on both, and called final decision on getting this trailer. My plan B has been if it doesnt work out, we just spend $8 to $10k on an older Silverado 3/4 ton . which of course defeats the purpose of towing the FJ, of unhooking when you get there, and then hitting smaller /rougher roads. i found a great couple doing a you tube channel Geo Pro Adventurers, retired pilot and flight attendant wife, with the 19FBS, towed by a Jeep 4 dr SUV, but having a higher weight capability.
the issue of getting the trailer, is we started out looking at trailers before i had all the proper info on trailer, rig GVWR and tongue weight; and one the trailer was shown, then looked at, it was pretty much train on the tracks. should have known better, as we did this same type of thing with 3 separate pickup/trucks and cab-over slide in campers. Apparently the best route is find the trailer/camper of your dreams and then get the rig to pull/haul it.
Unfortunately with the FJ, the vehicle is so darn cool, its to hard give that lifestyle just to pull a bigger trailer. trade-offs.
to make this set up work, we got the 7 pin connector, a brake controller, a R3 Recurve 600 weight distribution hitch, a auxiliary transmission cooler and today a Curt left/right side frame mounted receiver. Yes, it has anti sway bars on each side; very nice little ones, not the big hang down kind. I have heard on this forum that the Hensley Arrow Cub is recommended, but $2,000+. the R3 was $600 installed. I may get the Hensley, if this setup doesnt improve over time.
with the single axel, and the compartment at the front, the trailer has a lot of tongue weight, impacting driving experience.
with the new receiver, and a re-adjusting of the WDH, it looks better today, and time will tell, on this weekends day trip to the coast. i'm experimenting with putting things in the bathroom/shower area behind the axle vs in the front compartment to keep the weight off the tongue.
the trailer itself is of course a sweet little setup for the money and size once the destination is reached.
my next step, other than the Hensley, is getting air bags with the inside adjustment, so lift up the rear a little, if it keeps having the slight porpoising. $1,000 installed, Les Schwab tire center. additional option is new Bilstein shocks., $1,000 for those as well?(installed)
as you can see, it's taken a bit of money and time to bring this rig up to tow-ability of it. the trailer weight loaded, FJ loaded and tongue weight loaded are all redlining the maximum numbers, and it definitely drives that way.
Hey TL keep an eye on your transmission. Right before I sold my fj at 130k the transmission started acting up. With the trans cooler and not towing my fluid temp would always stay really low, sometimes in the 120’s -130’s. I very rarely saw 160 plus in the pan. I was a little suspicious that those low temps weren’t always good for the transmission.Oh, I haven't got the air bags, or new shocks.
Did get the Transmission cooler.
And upgraded to. Curt side mount receiver vs the center post frame mount OEM stock receiver. Some say if you use a WDH hitch, best to do this.
Also, in looking at the 6 bolt oem center receiver, vs the Curt, with multiple bolts now on the left and right of the frame, it does look a better setup for safety. I have not yet been on the road since the Curt install