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I have decided I will get a cargo trailer and perform a few mods to make it a toy hauler I can sleep in. (I can fit 2 twin bunks in a 5x8 or 10 with no leftover room, or up to 3 in a 6x12; only need extra bunks to take my young daughters along on NON Tw rides). Larry has a sweet 6x12 and I saw a few others at Moab. My issue is I have a 13 year old 4runner and do not have the money to get a real tow vehicle. Mid size SUV with moderate torque and HP. I know for a fact I cannot pull more than a 6x12. I also am 6'3' and think it would be best long term to get one where I don't have to stoop over the whole time (insert Neanderthal joke here). I live in a small town with no towns of any size within a 6 hour drive, so I will always be on the highway at speeds (70+ in Montana) or on rough forest service and hopefully even rougher remote roads.

For those of you with campers, etc, what size do you recommend for my use? My 4runner is basically 6' tall and 6' wide. Is the extra height going to kill highway speeds? Would a 6 wide (7'+ at wheels) limit high and rough roads? Maybe a 5 wide is better? I will never have more than 600 pounds added, and will likely get an aluminum version to hold the weight down to no more than 1600 total. I would like it to handle long trips to group rides like Moab, WA, ID and norcal, but also higher gravel passes like the one outside Avery, ID last year. Please let me know your thoughts. Currently paralyzed not wanting to make the wrong decision, but REALLY need to ride more outside my home area.
 

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Most utility trailer companies can custom build you a trailer and to get the extra height shouldn’t be that much more in cost. I had a 5x8 built adding roof racks, roof vent, side door and custom wheels. There are many options to choose from plus you can choose any color at no extra cost. I use my trailer as a shed on wheels and tent camp from it.
I tow with a 2006 Toyota Tacoma which pulls it easily but the gas Milage sucks when towing.

United Trailer Company

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We fixed up a 5x8 for our Alaska trip. It weighed 950 empty and loaded right at 2,000. It served as a motorcycle hauler, NC700x and all of our son's equipment along with 5 5 gallon empty fuel cans... etc. We installed E-track on the walls and floor for tie downs... The trailer also served as our son's bedroom for the trip. If I were to do it again I would do a 6x10....

We did modify the tongue on the trailer, adding an additional foot. That had 2 pluses for us. Less tongue weight on the rear of the truck and I could actually jackknife the trailer thus not having to disconnect when camping most of the time. I used the Uhaul small 5x8 trailer tongue dimension/length and added another 6". hahahaaa. We re-inforced the front of the trailer frame to support the additional tongue extension... So the 10-20% tongue weight does not apply... We ran about an actual 5% tongue weight... That trailer tows straight and with 40mph quick left-right there is no oscillation with 1000lbs of cargo. The trailer is now used for my son's business and is loaded all the time.. It tows like a dream!

We pulled the trailer with a f250 460 gasser Truck and slide in 4000lb camper.. On the flat ground I could not tell the trailer was back there.... climbing any grade greater than 6% with all that weight does make our truck work.
You did not say which engine you have in your 4 runner so I can not provide any advice except for brakes... Single axle trailers will not have any brake assist so down hill caution should be exercised. Use that engine and transmission for braking, staying off the brakes as much as possible thus letting the engine and gears do the work.

Jim
 

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Buy the biggest one you can afford/pull. You may want to tow a couple friends bikes or quads with you on trips. Rarely does someone complain they got a trailer to big. Often hear folks complain for buying one to small. One example is a buddy has a really nice aluminum enclosed trailer but it is just a tad to small to to fit both our street bikes -- My Victory bagger and his Harley Ultra. He plans to trade it for a longer/wider one - and will loose major $ in the deal....
 

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I use a 6x10 Haulmark & the standing room height with a rubber mat is just over 74" .
Your mpg will suffer , but it's been a great trailer for me.
I've used to to haul motorcycles behind the motor home or pickup & there's plenty of extra room for gear & stuff.
Its funny when you get a enclosed cargo trailer , all your friends & family will use it probably more than you will . Lol
 

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I own small Kendon (open) trailers with my 2002 Tacoma 4 cyl and while you can do it I don't recommend it the fuel mileage drops below my Dodge Cummins Quad Cab and you are always pedal to the floor trying to hold freeway speeds

It's hard on the AT trannies the fluid goes dark after a few thousand miles and with a manual the clutches are quite small and not really up to the task IMO

I now just take the big Dodge at 18 mpg it's a hotel on wheels and I can haul all the tools and gear I want

I have decided on a 20' enclosed Featherlite for my TW shenanigans a 24 was nice but a lot to maneuver in parking lots and most 16's have narrow bodies with wheels sticking out so they waste valuable space IMO

Ideal height 7' I find the standard 6' is irritating and I prefer barn doors instead of a ramp in the rear

If I custom order one I'll go 8' tall

Remember if you travel in Kalifornia the speed limit is 55mph towing and they write hellacious tickets for speeding with a trailer
 

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I recommend use masking tape on the floor, or better yet use some cheap framing materials and cardboard to mock up the sizes you're considering. Put in the stuff you'll be using, etc. This well help reality set in on what you will actually want/need in the spacial reality. I also recommend gettting your trailer with the common option of a 6'6" ceiling. There is no sense in stooping. You'll be miserable stooping. You will notice a dragging resistance with the trailer at high speeds. Reduced mpg is a reality. I found that using a wind deflector helped. It increased the mpg 1-2, which doesn't seem like much, but it was the reduction in the dragging sail effect that was most noticeable. It just made for a smoother ride. I have this Icon Black Wind Deflector, purchased from Amazon here...http://amzn.to/2iLOmsZ. Like others have said, get the biggest you can afford. If you choose, you can add brakes later. I did add brakes to my single axle 6x12. I recommend it. Work in additions to your total budget, such as: upgraded tires, a wind deflector, adding brakes to the trailer, a spare tire, extra stuff you'll need, etc. If you plan on using it at 70 mph+, you might want to consider upgrading the tires. Trailers often now come with "China Bombs", cheap tires that have an increased reputation for the blow-outs you see on the sides of the freeway. A big factor on this is that they usually are not speed rated to go over 60-65 MPH. An upgrade in quality and an increase in speed rating can prevent scary situations down the road and give you more peace of mind. Here are some videos that helped shape my philosophy on the issue...


Finally, Eric has seen my trailer tour, but here it is if it helps anyone out or if anyone has interest...

 

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I have an 8x16 and should have went for a few extra ft. I fixed it up to be able to have all the amenities except for bathroom. My bed sits in sideways so having the 8ft wide is a must. Still room for a quad, bike, freezer, refrigerator/freezer, some shelves in the front with microwave, 3000 watt inverter to run them and a 4D cat battery on the tongue for power along with wiring for 110ac and charger for 12v when plugged in. It works out well. This is a lot for a smaller pickup, but if being on the road and taking some family with you, you might want to upsize a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the help. As noted, I forgot the engine. It is the V6 with 245HP and 280 torque. I have pulled a 6x12 (under 6' tall) as a test and it did fine on the interstate (I don't care about mileage as really long trips will only be 4 or 5 times a year), but didn't get to try steep hills or twisting roads. Being in western Montana, hills and twisting is most of what we have to get through if you want to go anywhere fun. I need it to handle forest service roads to get somewhat remote. Worried about maneuvering tight gravel or dirt roads with a 7" wide track. Sounds like trailer brakes are a must given the up and down nature, so I will add that. Highway stopping is fine as I tested that, but steep and long decents are probably not.

If I could find a 6' wide that had internal wheel wells, I would be done. That way the trailer tires would be no wider than the 4runner.
 

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I went out today and bought a used Haulmark Passport 12' x 6' V nose trailer with a 7' ceiling and rear ramp door. Tomorrow I will start setting it up to carry the motorcycles (up to 3), bicycles and other stuff I plan to take on my adventures. Will post pictures latter. It was dark when I got home. I will need to review Larry's video for some ideas.

Eric, a V nose trailer would work better for you as it will cut the air, for me it makes no difference as it will be towed behind my behemoth of a camper.
 

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I'm sure this is a dumb question, but for hauling, why don't some of you buy an old horse trailer? They seem cheap in price sometimes. I realize they wouldn't be the greatest for trying to camp out of though...
 

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Tommy I did look at horse trailers , I wanted to stick with just one axle & most of the horse trailers I looked at had 2 axles. They also had dividers in them that didn't suit my needs . I just wanted a enclosed trailer with a open floor plan.
Good question
 

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"from LT-I'm sure this is a dumb question, but for hauling, why don't some of you buy an old horse trailer? They seem cheap in price sometimes. I realize they wouldn't be the greatest for trying to camp out of though..."


Mule (pony horsy) trailers are heavy. I don't know if they're heavier than a cargo trailer but I would think so because of the animal weight versus motorcycle/ATV/UTV. The open window/door models don't stop the rain from coming in when going down the road. Criminals can also look in and see your stuff. Last Moab I did place a tarp over the mule trailer so Stig wouldn't get too wet or dusty from the weather. Also kept it a bit warmer for him. We took out all of the innards/stalls so we could use it for the mules or the motorcycles/ATV's but you may not be able to do this on all models.

One thing I considered with a double axle trailer is if you have a tire blowout you can continue your trip if you remove the blown out tire and secure the axle in the air with something like a ratchet strap. I have had to do this with a double axle flatbed trailer when I got 2 flat tires on our trip and only 1 spare tire. Single axle you have to stop and change the tire as soon as it's safe to pull off the road.

No matter what you try to do to mitigate potential problems shit happens at the worst possible moment or place.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ejfranz, Really looking forward to your progress. Since you have a camper too, I assume you have a pretty strong tow vehicle. Curious how it handles the trailer. Admiral covered the horse trailer. I also looked at them as there are a ton of used ones here in Montana, but weight is the biggest issue. They are beefy to handle lots of pounds. I can get a 6x12 with extra height that is just under 1000 pounds. So it would be light weight with a TW and camping gear. I am not worried about pulling weight, mostly drag from the trailer at high speeds and whether it is less than nimble on tight roads. Thanks for the advice/help everyone.
 

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As I have a tuned 6.6 Dmax putting out 735 ft-lbs at the rear wheels, I most likely will not even know the trailer is there. Driving it home yesterday I did not notice any change in the way the truck handled empty. With my old Nissan truck bed trailer, I was always looking to see if the trailer was still attached when I took a bend in the road. With this new trailer, I will at least be able to see the wheels and fenders behind the camper.

Today I picked up two wheel chocks and 2 - 4' E-Tracks. Princess Auto is having a sale and I got the chocks and E tracks for 1/2 price. The trailer place also included 6 - 5000 lb D rings for me to instal. As Princess Auto could not find the chocks that were on sale they let me have the non sales ones for the sale price.

I was going to post pictures, but in Safari it just hangs and in Chrome there are no tools showing
 

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The 4Runner has a 500 tongue/ 5000 tow capacity if I remember correctly. And a 5 speed I think for your particular year (2014+). 4 speed for 2013. Is it a V6 or V8. Those engines are very different in terms of torque. The V8 is much better.

I HIGHLY recommend you rent/borrow a similar trailer, get a brake controller installed (if you don't have one already) and TRY IT before investing time and money into a trailer. I loved my 4Runner, but it was NOT a primo tow vehicle, it simply wasn't designed to be.

You will NOT want an 8-8.5 wide trailer. You will have a considerable amount of wind pushback. Stick with 7 feet wide. Go as long as possible, but the axle placement and loading will be critical.

My experience with my 2003 4Runner (4.0L V6 - 4 speed auto) was that it did not have the engine/transmission for more than 3500 pounds at 65-70 mph. And that is on flat terrain. Slower when climbing hills. At less than 50 mph, it could easily pull 5000 pounds if I had to. No problem there, but at highway speeds there simply wasn't a lot of torque to pull a parachute (trailer) through the wind at those speeds. I upgraded in 2013 to a diesel SUV. I can honestly say there is NO comparision in towing between the two. Toque makes for a much better towing experience. And I have had 3 travel trailers since 2012.

2013 Starcraft 17RD ~ 2800 pounds loaded
2013 R-Pod 177 ~ 3000 pounds loaded
2017 ATC 7X20 toy hauler ~ 6200 pounds loaded

The 4Runner did not like hills at 60mph+. Period. My 2013 Touareg TDI is a totally different SUV. Heavy and powerful. It did not care that the R-Pod was behind it. Effortless at 65mph. Even up hills. No need to wring it out or slow down.

I am glad I did not opt for an 8.5 wide trailer. It would not handle as well and push a lot more wind. And I did not need any extra room.

Some people would be correct that an 8.5 wide trailer is more desirable and easier to sell in the future than a 7 foot wide trailer, but since I don't intend to sell it for at least 20 years, I don't mind.
 

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I started to set up the trailer today as it is not raining.
I read somewhere on here that mounting the chocks on plywood allowed for easy removal, so that is what i did. I went to Rona and checked their "scrap" wood and got a 5/8" X 28" X 8' piece of plywood and had them cut it in half. I mounted the chocks to the plywood and then positioned them in the trailer with the bikes and got the alignment I wanted. Then I used #10 1.5" wood screws to attach them to the floor. My electric drills ran out of juice so I will finish mounting the tie down tomorrow.
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Getting the bike where I want them.
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Outside of trailer
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Mountain bike fits in between
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TW will ride in front and go in and out through side door. I still need to figure out how to tie it down.
 

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Did some more work on the trailer.
All the floor tie down points are in.
I was too cheap to buy a closet clothes rod and mount so made an inexpensive alternative.
I still need to install the wall tie down bars.
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TW tied down where it will ride on the way to Arizona.
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"Bar" to hang motorcycle gear.
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Wall tie down bar. I have 5 of these to mount.
 
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