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Prepping a Tacoma for a FWC....and Europe

tacoma fwc eagle shell suspension tires brakes germany europe air bags

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#11 moveinon

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 12:12 AM

Have not seen it before, but Uro camper looks nice, and lite too.

 

Friend who upgraded with Tundra brakes had 16 inch wheels without spacers.   He used the 199mm S13WE brake calipers that he got from a junk yard, cleaned up and match painted to his truck.  He said the only modification that he remembered making was to bend the dust shield some for the caliber to fit and drilling out the banjo bolt about 1/4 inch and says his braking has substantially improved- by about 1/3rd or more.  I plan on doing the same modification when my brakes get bad if it will work with my 17 inch wheels.

 

Personally I like Firestone air bags better for some of the same reasons/problems that Hanson details on his build and because it is what the Baja racers use so I know it will hold up.  I liked the adjustable shock upgrade he did.  I also plan on doing that when mine weaken.  The bags are supposed to enhance the springs, not pump up to ridiculous poundage and then go over jumps which I am sure could do some damage.  I have about every option but AC on my fleet and fully loaded with water it is pretty heavy for the truck -have never needed to run over 35 pounds pressure in the bags.  

 

Morocco is well worth doing.  Went there on a Vanagon Syncro caravan many years ago and it was one of the most fun adventures ever.  Sure hard on the Syncro though where we went.  Hope you have a great time over there, lots of great camping all over Europe. 


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#12 JHanson

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 11:47 PM

GrayJ, I think you're on the right track. If you plan to remove the camper between trips, air bags are the only way to go. I've never personally seen any adverse effects on a chassis from properly mounted air bags. Certainly never experienced it myself in what's now several hundred thousand miles of air bag/FWC combinations. The stock front springs should be fine unless you want to lift it.

 

Regarding the Hilux—the current Hilux and Tacoma are within fractions of an inch of each other in overall width, so I'd be surprised if the interior bed width is much different. And the new 2.8 turbodiesel is a really nice engine. But of course you couldn't import it to the U.S. (Ironically, when drooling over turbodiesel Hiluxes in South America I found that everyone there wishes they could get the U.S. TRD supercharged petrol V6 . . .)


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#13 GrayJ

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 09:39 PM

JHanson, thanks for the info.  I may have missed it while on your site, but did you have any fit issues with chains and the 235's on the stock suspension?


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#14 JHanson

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 05:38 PM

 

JHanson, thanks for the info.  I may have missed it while on your site, but did you have any fit issues with chains and the 235's on the stock suspension?

 

 

No - plenty of room for chains with that tire size.


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#15 GrayJ

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 01:25 AM

Alright, finally got the camper mounted on the truck. With everything else still stock, I was surprised that I didn't notice any significant handling problems. The truck squatted pretty good, and I definitely noticed the weight difference with regards to acceleration, but nothing scary. Still planning on air bags, E-rated tires, and probably upgraded shocks.

 

Just before mounting the camper, I drove the empty truck to a local truck stop and put it on their CAT scale. The stock Tacoma (including myself and a full gas tank) registered at 4380 lbs.

 

The next day I did the same after mounting the camper. This time the stock truck, empty eagle shell (including mounting hardware, rollover couch, furnace w/empty propane, and 1 ea stock camper battery), myself, and a full gas tank registered at 5360 lbs. 

 

Here's the problem; the camper's data plate states 600 lbs delivered from the factory, but the math from the CAT scale weights gives me a camper weight of 980 lbs. That pushes me over my GVWR by 10 lbs....with an empty Eagle shell.

 

Does anyone know if these scales are accurate when weighing less than 10,000 lbs? The looks I got when I went through certainly indicate they don't see many vehicles beyond the usual commercial trucks. If those are accurate numbers, then I have a problem.

 

Some numbers: 

 

2010 Tacoma ext cab 4x4 V6 automatic

Curb weight: 4,070 lbs

GVWR: 5,350 lbs

Payload: 1,280 lbs

Me: 200 lbs


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#16 PaulT

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 02:05 AM

Welcome to the club. My 2014  Hawk mfg plate says camper weighs 875 lbs. The documentation received with the camper new, indicated weight as built is 1481 lbs dry. Removing the jacks reduced this to about 1380 lbs. Adding camping gear, food, 26 gallons of water, propane, etc. runs it up even more. Look around the forum and you will find many discussions of this and whether it is better to carry a pop-up camper purchased for a 1/2 ton truck on a 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck. Apparently, pop-up owners are more concerned about this than the much more common and heavier hard side campers on 3/4 ton trucks.

 

Welcome again. It's good to have new people worrying about what they have done. :)   Read those other threads here and decide if you need to modify your truck, trade the truck in for a heavier truck, or just get out there and enjoy camping while sweating about your situation.  Can't solve your situation, but can commiserate with you.

 

Paul


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#17 GrayJ

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 03:23 PM

Haha, oops. I feel pretty stupid. My documentation does show a delivered weight of 967. I went through my notes, and it appears I knew this at one time, but apparently forgot and fixated on the 600 on the data plate. I guess that's what happens when you order a camper and have to wait a whole year to get it on the truck.


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#18 germale52

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 03:25 PM

GrayJ:
Since I'm a retired german with some pacific-northwest years, planning to buy/borrow/rent a used truck and to buy a used pop-up-camper myself in north america, I'm interested into the issues you raised . And if the camper to buy (be) fits an european (= mostly japanese) 6'-pickup bed, such as a toyota hilux, isuzu d-max, nissan navarra, (thai) mazda b-50 or (thai=same factory) ford ranger with a 6-foot bed, ship the camper after 1 or 2 or 3 years of adventures (=WTW) in north america back to europe. And sell(or return) the american carrier truck in north america before leaving 'turtle island'!

 

Spare parts:
However, I did see some fresh=2016 toyota tacomas with german license plates here in germany last year, I wouldn't worry about spare parts to much !

 

Propane:
Propane standards ARE different in the US and EU! Since we do have a FWC-dealer in germany, selling european standard FWC campers, I should be able to find out about this issue. Usually, as a civilian, you return your empty propane/butan tanks and get freshly filled tanks in exchange (5 kg or 11 kg) at gas stations/dealerships. Americans usually get propane refills in US military compounds, as far as i know.

 

Safety:
What you want to consider is the 230 V public power supply. Usually you get used tranformers from 230 V to 120 V for different power ratings easily in US-compounds. Think about safety: F-I switch (Fehlerstrom-Schutzschalter).

.

 


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#19 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 07:52 PM

 

 

Europe:

 

Since I'll be driving a U.S. spec Tacoma in Europe, I'm thinking I should take some parts with me to try and avoid any availability or cost issues later on. Just off the top of my head; bulbs, filters, wipers. Any suggestions?

 

 

Sheesh, I think that's it. Am I missing anything? Thanks in advance for any input and for all the info that everyone’s taken the time to post on here.

Toyota parts might not be that hard to find in Europe. When in Spain I see a lot of Toyota products.

As for propane not sure if you will find that.

Again what I see in Spain is butane. Different but like natural gas conversion to propane here just a different orifice is needed.

You could check with Stan/FWC since they make campers for European sales.

Fave fun camping in Europe.

Frank


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#20 germale52

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 11:41 PM

Hi GrayJ, if you need to solve the propane problem US vs. Germany, here might be a solution:

 

http://www.gasfachfr...illadapter.html

 

Propane seems to be her business!


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