Going from pop up to [email protected] How different is towing? (Tacoma)

momto4girlsmomto4girls Posts: 6Member
Hi! first time to post on this forum, but I've lurked a little in the past. We currently own a Trailmanor hard sided pop up type camper. It weighs 3000lbs dry/unloaded. We tow with a 2016 Tacoma with tow package. I'm wondering if any of you went from towing a pop up to a teardrop. I like the 320. The Trailmanor is taller than traditional pop ups when folded down--more like a high wall pop up. As "easy" as it is to tow a Trailmanor, I want something even easier. Lighter, smaller. I'm concerned about drag and sway. We have never had sway issues with the TM, and never used sway control (other than the built in sway control on the Tacoma). A [email protected] would come in around a 1000lbs lighter and much less tongue weight than our TM. I'm just wondering if the height/drag will make it seem just as heavy while towing.

The other camper I'm considering is a Livin Lite Quicksilver which is basically a tent on wheels. Super light and very low profile. I know it would be easier to tow, but I still love the idea of having a bath and hard sides and easier set up. Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Posts: 204Member
    edited May 14
    OK to be fair, I had my TrailManor almost 20 years ago with a different tow vehicle, but...the 320 definitely has more drag, especially the taller Boondock version. Most people do not have sway issues with the 320, assuming of course that you carry a 10-15% tongue weight. Due to the drag, I’d be surprised if your mileage improved much, if at all, in spite of the lighter weight, and though your handling will differ, I don’t feel it’s really easier. Both are pretty easy tows. You’ll lose a ton of living space, and I’m not sure you’d gain a whole lot in return. (Besides, of course, this fabulous [email protected] owners group!)

    That said, since you are already set up for towing, why not see if a [email protected] dealer will let you test tow? Or see about renting one? Would love to hear your thoughts on the differences after you’ve tried one.

    I really loved my TM all those years back, but when the time came to get a trailer for solo travel, I didn’t even consider it. The popup and takedown is easy, but not having to do that at all is even better. Same thing with a Aliner, which I thought about briefly due to the hard sides, but having a full bath and no additional setup was more important to me than the MPG I’d save going that route. 
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r 
    Pacific NW
  • momto4girlsmomto4girls Posts: 6Member
    edited May 14
    Thank you! That was very helpful! And sort of what I suspected. I love the idea of renting one. I'll look into that.
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Posts: 204Member
    edited May 14
    Having seen your other post...3 in a 320s could be a tough go unless you use a side tent. When set up, the bed takes up nearly all the space, leaving you with a 24”x40” or so area in front of the kitchen. And the bed would a tight fit for three, given that your youngest is 13. It’s been done, don’t get me wrong, but coming off a more spacious trailer, I think the 320 will feel even smaller than it is. Sitting in mine just by myself makes the TrailManor feel gigantic by comparison!

    If you want the ease of no setup and enough room for three, plenty of people tow a [email protected] 400 with a Tacoma. It really wouldn’t be much worse than a 320 for drag, and if sway was an issue for some reason (doubtful), you could always add a sway bar.
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r 
    Pacific NW
  • momto4girlsmomto4girls Posts: 6Member
    Yeah, that's definitely something to consider. I was thinking that we would do a side tent for when she went with us. If she ever wanted to bring a friend along, we would need a side tent regardless--even with the 400. Thanks for your input. very helpful!


  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Posts: 204Member
    You’re very welcome!

    I’d definitely try to find either a test tow opportunity or a rental. I believe Missouri Teardrops has some rental options, and I know of some in WA & CO, so perhaps there’s one in the South too.
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r 
    Pacific NW
  • BigGroverBigGrover Posts: 432Member
    @momto4girls, we transitioned from a large popup to a Flagstaff Aframe that was about 3500 lbs. Our [email protected] 400 tows better than either. No sway but the tongue weight on the 2019's are high.  The 2020's have had some changes to lighten the tongue weight.  The  Where are you located in Alabame? We are just north of Montgomery. If your Tacoma is a V6 either the 320 or 400 should tow just fine.
    BigGrover
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2018 Ram 1500 Quad Cab Hemi
    Central Alabama
  • momto4girlsmomto4girls Posts: 6Member
    BigGrover said:
    @momto4girls, we transitioned from a large popup to a Flagstaff Aframe that was about 3500 lbs. Our [email protected] 400 tows better than either. No sway but the tongue weight on the 2019's are high.  The 2020's have had some changes to lighten the tongue weight.  The  Where are you located in Alabame? We are just north of Montgomery. If your Tacoma is a V6 either the 320 or 400 should tow just fine.
    I’m in B’hham. :) Thanks for your input!
  • BigGroverBigGrover Posts: 432Member
    edited May 15
    @Momto4girls, what dealer are you talking with?  We had a lot of issues with our first [email protected] because of the service department st RV Roadway in Calera and got no support from the sales and management people.  They would not return calls or emails.  Southland RV in Atlanta is probably one of the premier dealers in the SE.
    BigGrover
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2018 Ram 1500 Quad Cab Hemi
    Central Alabama
  • BigGroverBigGrover Posts: 432Member
    @momto4girls ; I pulled our 400 with a Nissan Frontier with no problem.  Just used Millenco clamp on mirrors to ensure adequate visibility
    BigGrover
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2018 Ram 1500 Quad Cab Hemi
    Central Alabama
  • momto4girlsmomto4girls Posts: 6Member
    BigGrover said:
    @Momto4girls, what dealer are you talking with?  We had a lot of issues with our first [email protected] because of the service department st RV Roadway in Calera and got no support from the sales and management people.  They would not return calls or emails.  Southland RV in Atlanta is probably one of the premier dealers in the SE.
    I haven’t visited any dealers. If and when I’m in the market, I’ll probably buy used—preferably private party. That’s good to know about RV Roadway. I hear good things about Burton, but don’t think they sell teardrops.
  • Spectre9Spectre9 Posts: 26Member
    Make sure you have a brake controller installed for your 320 as your pop up probably didn’t require one.
  • ChrisKChrisK Posts: 182Member
    We went from a big popup to the [email protected] The [email protected] tows so much better. Our popup was around 3000 lbs. We had to have sway control and a weight distribution hitch. With the [email protected], we use neither. It is so much easier to set up at the site and to move around when parked. Yes, more drag, but the lighter weight offsets that.
  • GatorEggGatorEgg Posts: 107Member
    There's some folks in our area that rent theirs out on Outdoorsy.com.  You might try them for your area.
    2018 [email protected] Boondock 320S, 2003 Toyota Tacoma
    Odessa, Fl.  

  • stevevstevev Posts: 8Member
    edited July 3
    We have a 2014 [email protected] Wetbath...loaded. We pull it with a 2015 Tacoma with a bunch of drinking water, gas, generator and camping stuff [[email protected] tent, etc.] I bought a set of SUMO 1000 lb. Rear axle support "springs" and installed them myself. Now the "squat" is gone when the truck is loaded and hitched up, and the "sway" (what little there was) is gone. Unless we're having to hit freeway or interstate speeds [we prefer rural highways when possible] we put along at 50-60 mph and get 12-17 mpg depending on wind and terrain. Towing is easy!
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