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Killaloe Ontario to Texas - January 2011 or BUST


Lawless's Toyotahome
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Well we planned our trip with all the good intentions. Bought our 1989 V6 21ft Sunrader in October, with the hopes of going south for the winter. The only repair the rig needed was a new grey water tank, which was melted by a faulty exhaust pipe. I found an original tank from Ronco Plastics and with a little luck and quick shipping by UPS had it by January 4th and installed by January 10th. We were packing and getting ready to go when I discovered an antifreeze leak by the thermostat housing. Thought it was just a bad gasket etc.. and replaced it. At the same time I noticed the power steering pulley was wobbly so I replaced that also. A day or two later the leak was back, but only when the truck was just started and too cold for the thermostat to open. when I opened the rad cap and released the pressure the leak stopped. Also, after it had warmed up the leak also would stop. Frustrated I took it to our local mechanic and with a dandy remote camera tool he was able to view in those tight spaces where only a mouse could see. He identified the problem as a defective water pump. This is the last thing I would have checked as the whole system (rad, hoses, water pump, timing belt, thermostat) had all been just replaced by the previous owner. The pump was an aftermarket and the bearing seals were defective. This was a Thursday night ( Jan 27) and we were suppose to leave with friends on Friday to our first stop in Sarnia, Ontario. Then cross the border Saturday and down 23 to I75 heading south. The local Toyota dealer (2hr drive) actually had a pump in stock. I picked it up took it to my mechanic who graciously installed it Thursday night and I had the Camper back home by 10:00 pm. However I came home to bad news again. My passport had not arrived as scheduled. I called Passport Canada and they advised it should have been there Thursday by courier. After a few calls back and forth, ("they") had no record of sending it out and it may have been misplaced internally between departments. I called our friends and advised they were on their own and not to wait for us, we would join up again in a few weeks in New Mexico.

So, the camper is packed ready to go in the laneway, with our toad (2006 Smart car) loaded on the trailer ready to head south. Yes, we are towing a smart car behind the Sunrader !! The V6 with ECT has plenty of power and the smart car keeps us well under the GAVW. It's like towing a small utility trailer. We plan to stay put for a week at a time and use the Smart car for touring around.

Jan 31st, - still awaiting the much needed passport..#$$#@!sad.gif

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Just saw the weather channel warnings for this week. Our trip would be right down the middle of it. From severe thunder storms in Texas, up to freezing rain, snow and heavy snowfall lake effect warnings. Maybe murphy's law has an alternate meaning!!:rolleyes:

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with our toad (2006 Smart car) loaded on the trailer ready to head south.

I'd love to see a picture of the trailer... Is it a dual axle with electric brakes? I'm planning to flat tow a Festiva or Sprint (1,700 LBS)but can't figure out what to do for the brakes. Maybe a tow dolly...?

Andrew.

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I'd love to see a picture of the trailer... Is it a dual axle with electric brakes? I'm planning to flat tow a Festiva or Sprint (1,700 LBS)but can't figure out what to do for the brakes. Maybe a tow dolly...?

Andrew.

The trailer is a "Snowbear", fitting I guess with this weather. It's 5'5" wide and 10' long, single axle, 13" tires, GAVW 2,300 lbs, with ramp tailgate and bed tilt option. You do not need brakes on a trailer that weighs less than 2000 lbs empty. This one is just the right size for the Smart Car. Remember the Smart Car is only 8'9" long and 5'0" wide. Basically two Lazyboy chairs side by each with wheels. The total weight of the trailer loaded with the Smart Ccar is (650lbs) trailer + (1447lbs) car = 2097lbs. Obviously your Festiva & or Sprint are both over 2500lbs and require a heavier trailer and may be a little more taxing on your Dolphin without brakes. I just completed a four hour round trip to Ottawa towing the Smart Car in the middle of this latest snow storm to have an alignment done on the Smart Car and the holding tank monitor panel and sensors fixed on the Sunrader. The unit ran like a dream and even through the heavy snow didn't cause any problems or concerns. Sorry no pictures available yet as the camera is packed and I just finished plowing the laneway out with the tractor so I could get back into the farm house. We load our bedding and head out first thing tomorrow morning. If you don't want wear & tear on your TOAD use an appropriate trailer. If you want to be able to back up use a trailer or tow dolly. Or you can flat tow with a Blue Ox tow bar etc.. but you stuck in forward mode and also putting those same miles on your TOADs tires and suspension.

Brian @ "The Road Rat" CB channel 3

If anyone see's us going by give a wave or call us on the CB. tongue.gif

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Thank you for the reply! I hope you have a great trip!!

I was thinking you have one of these:

aluminum_smartcar_trailers_0001.jpg

Site:http://expresscustom.com/nav_group_5.php?gazpart=view&gazimage=1834

I think I will just go with a custom tow dolly, I do have one, but it is much too big than needed for such a small car like a Sprint or Festiva.

Andrew.

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  • 1 month later...

I typed a whole dissertation of our trip but when I tried to post some pictures it crashed and all my hard work disappeared. So here are some photos of the car being towed behind the Sunrader. If I get energetic again I'll rewrite the highlights of our trip. Total of 6,800 miles.

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post-4550-0-06950100-1300412614_thumb.jp

post-4550-0-47408000-1300412616_thumb.jp

post-4550-0-50107800-1300412824_thumb.jp

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I typed a whole disertation of our trip but when I tried to post some pictures it crashed and all my hard work disappeared. So here are some photos of the car being towed behind the Sunrader. If I get energetic again I'll rewrite the highlihts of our trip. Total of 6,800 miles.

Look forward to being able to read the highlights when you get around to posting them. Noticed you seem to have missed any snow!

I wonder if the GVWR weights are the same for your Sunrader Toyota mh as for our Warrior. Did you by any chance go to a weight station and weigh it?

Ron 'n Sue

in Tuareg

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I suspect they both have a GVWR of 6000lb. I don't believe there were any higher than that. Then there's the 'Towing Capacity' and the GCWR to consider. 'Good' numbers seem difficult to find. These are the only ones I've found for the 1-Ton SRW Toyota: >6000lb & >8500lb.

http://www.toyoland....coma-hilux.html

So are you back in Killaloe? Did you happen to calculate fuel economy?

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  • 1 year later...

It looks  that with the proper preparation, my 85 Dolphin could structurally handle my Smart cart on a braked trailer.

Lawless has a V6 in his Sundance, I only have the 22ER and a manual transmission.

The question is if the 22RE Engine with a manual transmission would be damaged by towing the extra load. Of course extra care would be needed on hills and such.

I am probably just going to get a little 52CC motor scooter to put up on the rear bumper.

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Why a trailer? Just flat tow a Smart Car. Blue OX and Roadmaster make baseplates for it.

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Using a dolly or a trailer is not quite a drive on /off deal.   There are ramps and tie downs to deal with.  There are braking systems for towds. $$$ The big deal with a trailer is that you can back one up. Flat tow or a dolly its like trying to push a rope                         

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