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Which option would you choose? (Please read first post before voting.)

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Discussion Starter #1
Here's the deal..

I've always driven trucks in the past and I find that the FJ just doesn't offer the storage capacity I sometimes require. I've always taken my two sons on road trips and on those trips, we usually take our two full-sized australian shepherds (roughly the same size as a german shepherd). Well, with the dogs clipped into the back, I don't have much room for gear (camping or wheeling). We really enjoy camping and wheeling and we don't like leaving the dogs behind so we tend to run into problems whenever we decide to go on a trip.

Up until this morning, I was considering the purchase of a PawPrint Jamboree Off Road Trailer. I've been in contact with the company's owner and he's willing to give me a good deal on his personal trailer, but it's been used and abused. We are talking about meeting up at Truckhaven this coming weekend so I can take a look at the trailer and (uopefully) see it in action.

Then this morning, I stumbled across oorodriguez2000's post at http://socalfjcruiserforums.com/forums/index.php?topic=347.msg5522#msg5522 . The rack looks pretty sweet so I went to the WAAG website and checked out the WAAG XS Rack for the FJ. Now I'm wondering if a roof rack will better fit my needs??

Anyway, I'm just looking for some input from my trusted SoCalFJCF.com family. Assuming that money isn't an issue (the trailer is roughly $1000 more than the rack), which option would you choose? Please take a couple extra minutes to justify your choice.

Thanks in advance for your input!
~Brian
 

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Kokopeli,

Depending on what you would use them for and how hard of trails you plan to do is the question.

The trailer offers you far more uses. Not only camping but yard work projects that might come up down the road. It looks to be desgined to be used for pretty much anything. The question on the trailer, is it built for off road use or just a tag trailer to the trail head. Normally that is all you need, but for a long haul expedition outing it might not be what you are looking for. It appears to be built alot like the Big Tex Trailers, meaning a lot of angle iron for the frame. On road it will work fine, off road under harsh use it will have problems if it is made with angle iron.

The roof rack adds ease of getting ready and not having to drag something behind you. But is there enough room for all that you might want to do. Are you thinking of a roof tent like dom's if so it puts you out out that option.

For ease and simple use the roof rack is the way to go is my guess. But for anything over a few days it may just not be enough.

You have decide exactly what you are going to be doing with either of them. Hope that helps buddy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
skersfan said:
Kokopeli,

Depending on what you would use them for and how hard of trails you plan to do is the question.

The trailer offers you far more uses. Not only camping but yard work projects that might come up down the road. It looks to be desgined to be used for pretty much anything. The question on the trailer, is it built for off road use or just a tag trailer to the trail head. Normally that is all you need, but for a long haul expedition outing it might not be what you are looking for. It appears to be built alot like the Big Tex Trailers, meaning a lot of angle iron for the frame. On road it will work fine, off road under harsh use it will have problems if it is made with angle iron.

The roof rack adds ease of getting ready and not having to drag something behind you. But is there enough room for all that you might want to do. Are you thinking of a roof tent like dom's if so it puts you out out that option.

For ease and simple use the roof rack is the way to go is my guess. But for anything over a few days it may just not be enough.

You have decide exactly what you are going to be doing with either of them. Hope that helps buddy.
The trailers are designed for off road use and I've been assured that the trailer will go just about anywhere the lead vehicle will. The guy that owns it is an avid wheeler and he takes frequent trips down to Mexico as well as the areas surrounding Yuma, AZ.. He designed the trailer to go where he wants to go.

I can see the benefits of both options, and that's why I'm having such a hard time with this decision. Both options fill certain needs and each has its pros and cons. I can say that the ideal solution is to get both, but in the real world money is an issue so only one can be purchased at this time...

Thanks for chiming in Skers!
~B
 

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If I could afford it today I would get an adventure trailer with a rooftop tent on it for trips, treks and aventures. but for more practical every day use I get more use out of my rack. I have used it from anything from hauling trash to the dump, to transporting furniture,to camping gear and fuel cans. I think the rack is a more practical item but a trailer would be more convienient.



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The one thing on the trailer you want to look at is the frame. If it is interlaced with angle iron no matter the thickness there are potential problems. If it is box tubing of at least 2X2 120 wall you will be fine. Going Off Road places a lot of twisting non the trailer, once angle iron is twisted it trys to retain the new shape, Box tubing is more resiliant and returns to its original form. You also should find out what the trailer rating is. It appears fromt he picture to be around 1000 pounds. The axle may be over rated for the trailer. That is normal with torsion bar axles. But if so and under loaded it can cause a lot of bouncing.

The dexter axle is a good axle, I used to use that type on my trailers 20 years ago. Much better than a spring system.

Like FunJunkie says the roof rack brings far less problems. But most that have them and have boxes on the top very rarely use them it seems and some have even taken them off. It is quite a job to hoist the stuff up there and then get it out if it is more than 30 pounds

Both have strong positives and negatives, just a matter of preference for the individual.
 

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With things like this, I always try to be very practical. While I see the trailer as being able to haul more, save me from climbing up to load/retrieve, and some other uses, I also see it as a problem. It requires a license / registration. On the highway, you would then be a 'vehicle with trailer', and have to go slower in many situations. When you are out on vacation, you either have to drag the trailer around town everywhere you go, or find someplace safe for it. With a trailer, you have to have a spot where you can park it.

Roof rack takes up less space, has no registration, and does not force slower truck type speeds (except from the wind ;) ). You can probably find a place for the rack (or rack basket as I'm considering) either in the garage or elsewhere, or just leave it on.

I like the couple 'extras' the trailer has, but those (to me) are outweighed by all the 'issues'.

I've been looking for something to have in time for Ouray, and think I've found something cheap and easy. Probably won't leave it on all the time, so 'cheap' is ok. Safari Roof Basket

UPDATE - This (the proline) basket is JUST a bit too wide for fitting inside the rails of the stock roof rack. However, they have some cross beams (like Thule) that work pretty well, and can hold the basket over the front part of the stock rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You made some great points Dave, and one or two that I hadn't considered.

That basked looks nice. I wonder how it would work with the FJ.. If you go with it, and I'm still shopping for something, how 'bout we get together for lunch one weekend and let me check it out?

Thanks for the input.
~Brian
 

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x2 in regards to the highway speeds. Also there is the storage issue of the trialer at home.
 

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It depends on where do you go and for how long. In my case I have a Carson trailer (1000 +/_), with 15"
tires good for offroading (do not buy the cheap one at home depot for like $400).

I use both when I go out for a long weekend with family, you can never have enough gear when you are camping longer than one day, I mean if you want to keep the family happy and confortable
 

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Well because of the demand for the off road type trailer, I have started building one in my spare time.

I should have pictures of its development over the next two weeks, my goal is to have it fully functional by the first week of may.

This is a serious off road trailer, very similar to the Adventure Trailer, which I will add is a very well made trailer. But seems quite overpriced to me.

I will be building them as a hobby/partime job. One a month. The pricing will be much better than the Adventure Trailer. I am building one similar to the Horizon that they make.

I have built enclosed car trailers, tri axles and giant skateboard half pipes.

I think most will be happy with what we plan to bring to the table. But I must add that these will not be Home Depot type trailers nor like the one in the intial post. Vastly superior in all phases.


On the trailer in the right lan/speed limit. Very few tickets are issued for speed in California. You stay in the first two lanes and run with traffic you will not have a problem. I drag a 40 foot fifth wheel all over and run it near 70 all the time. I have never gotten a ticket for speeding with a trailer. You can not run in the far left lane ever, but the rest are pretty much fair game it seems to me.
 

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Can't vote, I use both, check out the Carson Trailers web site (they are off the 405), I have the smaller one 4'x6', had it for the last 5 years, is great on rocky or bumpy terrain, no complaints. There is a company that sells a coupler (lost the contact) that allows the trailer to "swing" on the ball hitch, in other words if your trailer is on a 30 degrees slope sideways it will not put stress on your hitch, because of the "swinging" movement. Let me know if you are happy enough to find it.
 
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