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Old 06-27-2013, 10:40 AM   #21
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I'm a truck guy, and really like my Tacoma for towing. I got the tow package, which rates it for 6,000 pounds towing/600 pounds tongue weight, and it came with Class III hitch, 7-pin connector, tranny cooler, larger alternator, and beefier battery. If you're not into trucks, the Sequoia or Land Cruiser are both a little more upscale.

Whatever you decide upon, I'd look for factory installed tow equipment whenever possible.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:01 PM   #22
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Thanks Sandra,
Did you need to buy a custom mattress, or can you find a decent fit from what is on the market.
I did not buy a mattress, only a size full memory foam topper (3" I think). I got it at Costco. I then measured the width, and then put it on my living room floor, marked it, then cut it with sissors! I did not cut any curves, as it is a bit short, and I can squeench the corners. Further, the space allows for easily tucking in the bed clothes at the head and foot. It is comfortable for me as the Escape cushions are very firm, and I like a bit of give.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:41 PM   #23
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"squeench"... is that a technical term I'm not familiar with?
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:23 PM   #24
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"squeench"... is that a technical term I'm not familiar with?
I was wondering the same thing. They do speak a different form of English down there, I know.

A Google search came up with an Urban Dictionary meaning that was none too pretty.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:52 PM   #25
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ooohhh... brave man. I never do a google search on terms I don't know. There are just some things I don't want to learn about.
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:17 PM   #26
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I really appreciate all this feedback. I will be really prepared when I hit the road. I will look into the FJ. One question about pick up trucks. When I moved to Colorado, I was ignorant and purchased a truck that was very dangerous on snowy roads. Toyota Tundra, long bed, rear wheel drive. I'm wondering if short bed, rear wheel drive are different on snowy mountain roads, or would you have to get a 4 X 4?
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:08 PM   #27
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I did not buy a mattress, only a size full memory foam topper (3" I think). I got it at Costco. I then measured the width, and then put it on my living room floor, marked it, then cut it with sissors! I did not cut any curves, as it is a bit short, and I can squeench the corners. Further, the space allows for easily tucking in the bed clothes at the head and foot. It is comfortable for me as the Escape cushions are very firm, and I like a bit of give.
We have the same setup. 3" Memory Foam topper from Costco. Use an electric carving knife to cut the foam - nothing works better! I bought an inexpensive single duvet cover and modified it to fit the foam.

My husband leaves the single dinette set up as a bed as he's gone a month at a time and prefers to have the large dinette available for flytying and visiting fishing buddies. When I visited him at his campsite, I brought another memory foam up with me in my car. The standard foam seats are too hard for me to sleep on although my husband thought they were fine. However, once he tried the memory foam, there was no going back!
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:20 PM   #28
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The dry weight is not worth much. With options, may need to add about 500 lbs. Personal gear is also often as high as 700-800 lbs. These are the real world figures. You could easily be overweight with that vehicle. A towing capacity of 3500 is common for many 17' owners and they are looking at every pound so as not to be overweight and are often on the edge with that.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:36 PM   #29
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Trucks, any truck brand, is going to be light-weight in the back (bed). It's the nature of the beast. I'm a truck gal, but snowy roads (or worse ICE), driving my truck gives me the "hershey squirts." However, I know when that kind of weather is coming, and it's my daily driver, I throw weight in the back over the axle. It's ALL about knowing your tow vehicle... no matter the brand or type.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:33 PM   #30
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The dry weight is not worth much. With options, may need to add about 500 lbs. Personal gear is also often as high as 700-800 lbs. These are the real world figures. You could easily be overweight with that vehicle. A towing capacity of 3500 is common for many 17' owners and they are looking at every pound so as not to be overweight and are often on the edge with that.
I am beginning to see the nuances now. I either have to go smaller in the trailer, or get a new tv. That will also be dictated by money at the time. But now I have alot of great new info.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:37 PM   #31
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Trucks, any truck brand, is going to be light-weight in the back (bed). It's the nature of the beast. I'm a truck gal, but snowy roads (or worse ICE), driving my truck gives me the "hershey squirts." However, I know when that kind of weather is coming, and it's my daily driver, I throw weight in the back over the axle. It's ALL about knowing your tow vehicle... no matter the brand or type.
I had sandbags, but that long bed on Colorado mountain roads was not fun. Lots of overturned pick ups on Vail Pass.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:47 AM   #32
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Strategy and technique go a long way when driving a full size rear wheel drive pickup on wet, snowy, and icy roads. Yes, weight over the rear axle helps with traction but not so much with steering.

Drive within the limitations of the conditions and resign yourself to your fate:
ALWAYS allow extra travel time and learn to accept the conditions that warrant caution. Do not leave at the last minute and expect to compensate for lost time with speed. Drive your own race and do not be concerned with the speed of others.
BRAKING IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. If you are going to loose control it will most likey occur during braking, especially when entering a curve. Plan head and use deacceleration rather than the brakes.
Alot of drivers with 4 wheel drive tend to overextend their capabilities
Stay safe !
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:43 PM   #33
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Perhaps a Jeep Liberty will work with the swing up hatch.
Used, perhaps; the Liberty has been discontinued, to be replaced for 2014 by a new model with the old Cherokee name.

Those who like the second-generation Jeep Liberty could also consider the Dodge Nitro, which is the same vehicle underneath.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:54 PM   #34
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I would look for a tow capacity of at least 4,000 lbs to meet your needs, and give you that little extra power for big hills, passing, or emergency maneuvers
Since trailer weight capacity limits are set by various factors, with power only a minor one, it is not at all certain that a higher tow limit rating will mean more power. With a 3500 pound trailer limit, my Toyota Sienna has more power and better performance than some vehicles with 5000 pound ratings.

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Most vehicles tend to have an hitch capacity of about 10% of their towing capacity (though this is included in the tow capacity).
For weight-carrying mode, I agree. The limits for total trailer weight and for hitch weight are often tied together, so the easiest way to find 400 pounds of hitch weight capacity is to find 4000 pounds of trailer weight capacity. In some cases the only way to go beyond a tongue weight of 10% of the allowed trailer weight is to use a weight-distributing hitch system... which not all tow vehicles allow.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:02 PM   #35
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"squeench"... is that a technical term I'm not familiar with?
It's a combo of sqeeze and wrench (force). I'm afraid to look up any one else's definition.
BTW, I have heard that the electric knife is a great way to cut foam, but I gave mine away years ago and have not replaced it.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:14 PM   #36
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Nice made up combo word, Sandra.

One of my wifes favourites is 'smicky', and it has to do with the potential of a fart.....'nuff said.

You can usually find electric knives at thrift shops, or second hand stores. They work fairly well for foam, but give me a nice sharp carving knife for meats any day.
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:48 AM   #37
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You can usually find electric knives at thrift shops, or second hand stores. They work fairly well for foam, but give me a nice sharp carving knife for meats any day. __________________ Jim Bennett

My electric knife is usually used for making Halloween props so cutting the memory foam was like slicing through soft butter! I've had mine over 30 years and it's never touched a side of beef or anything else edible!
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:51 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by LBaranyai View Post
You can usually find electric knives at thrift shops, or second hand stores. They work fairly well for foam, but give me a nice sharp carving knife for meats any day. __________________ Jim Bennett

My electric knife is usually used for making Halloween props so cutting the memory foam was like slicing through soft butter! I've had mine over 30 years and it's never touched a side of beef or anything else edible!
Mine sat in the drawer for years, so I finally gave it to the Goodwill. Looks like I may have to go there and shop for one!
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:02 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by LBaranyai View Post
You can usually find electric knives at thrift shops, or second hand stores. They work fairly well for foam, but give me a nice sharp carving knife for meats any day. __________________ Jim Bennett

My electric knife is usually used for making Halloween props so cutting the memory foam was like slicing through soft butter! I've had mine over 30 years and it's never touched a side of beef or anything else edible!
Well I'm sure I will get a memory foam topper and an electric knife from goodwill. Thanks for your suggestions.
This week I went camping in Steamboat Lake (Colorado) and after all this discussion about towing vehicles, I noticed 90% of the trailers on the road were being pulled by full size trucks and just a few by SUVs. I think I see a truck in my future.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:40 PM   #40
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Costco Memory Foam topper? For Lori, Sandra, other users...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LBaranyai View Post
We have the same setup. 3" Memory Foam topper from Costco. Use an electric carving knife to cut the foam - nothing works better! I bought an inexpensive single duvet cover and modified it to fit the foam.

My husband leaves the single dinette set up as a bed as he's gone a month at a time and prefers to have the large dinette available for flytying and visiting fishing buddies. When I visited him at his campsite, I brought another memory foam up with me in my car. The standard foam seats are too hard for me to sleep on although my husband thought they were fine. However, once he tried the memory foam, there was no going back!
I just purchased the Costco topper, but I have some questions before I unwrap it and can't compress it back into its packaging. 1) It looks like there is material around the foam. Is this correct and, if so, can it be refitted to a trimmed down topper? 2) It looks like the topper will prevent the sink counter extension from being lifted into counter position. Is this so, and how do you work around this? 3) Can the topper be rolled or folded small enough to fit in the storage bin under the seat? If not, how do y'all store it? 4) Any other tips or comfort alternatives? Thanks, Glenn.
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