We were sailors too (sold the boat), so we know what you mean about being used to close quarters...our little 1950 trailer seems very roomy compared to the cabin of our Catalina 25! Also we had been pop-up campers for 20+ years. We were even crazy enough to take a seven week trip (2004-2005 winter) to the west coast with our tiny (8ft. box) pop-up pulled by our Dodge Caravan. It was actually a fabulous trip, but we learned we no longer want to worry daily about rain! We just purchased the 1950 a few weeks ago (after months and months of research and searching) and we are so thrilled with it. We just love the layout and cannot believe the quality throughout. The cabinetry is just so wonderful! And it doesn't have to be popped up! Hooray!
Like you, we worried about the tow vehicle. We knew we wanted to upgrade from the pop-up, but we try to be very environmentally conscious and budget conscious (living on a retirement income is tough!) so did months of research (ad nauseum) to find a vehicle that could tow a trailer and also give us good gas mileage day-to-day. We finally settled on a 2006 Toyota Tacoma double cab long bed, which has a powerful V6 and had excellent reviews for ride, mileage, towing, etc. The tow capacity is 6,500, but we wanted to stay waaay below that with a six cylinder. We considered hybrids and the Jayco Jayfeather Light line. What we discovered was that the other companies post light weights but do not include most necessities in the weight....and they won't tell you clearly what they included and what they didn't! Although our Sunline was heavier than the others (but only by about 500 lbs.), we knew exactly what it weighed...with Jayco, we couldn't get a true figure at all! Once we compared the quality, there was no contest. Also, with just the two of us our weight should never exceed 80% of the towing capacity.
We purchased the 1,000/10,000 Equalizer W/D sway-control and already had the Prodigy brake control. Still, we were very, very nervous when we drove down to pick up the trailer. The former owner was nice enough to go for a very long drive with us and then our drive home was almost 3 hours through very hilly terrain. The trip was super. It was very windy (and of course it rained/snowed that day!!) and there were countless semis whizzing by, but we had no sway at all and the RPM's never went over 3 (OK, I don't know what that means, but it made my husband happy.) We never went above 55 mph, though, and never intend to (maybe Nebraska, we'll see) so that is a consideration. We like to just mosey along and like to be off the freeways if the area is not too hilly, so that speed works for us. As John said, though, you have to look at the capabilities of your own truck (probably higher than ours, with your V-eight).
You haven't posted in a while, so maybe you are still researching or have taken another route, but if you are still considering Sunline, we most heartily recommend the brand. Because we purchased privately, we had no dealer to answer our questions. We e-mailed Sunline several times and we got almost immediate, detailed responses to our questions. We were astonished! LarRue Lengel, who is the customer service rep, is just unbelievable. She truly makes every Sunline customer feel like a personal...and valued... friend. We now believe, as many people have said on the TrailerLife Forum, "You can't go wrong with Sunline"!
2004 Sunline 1950
Toyota Tacoma 2006 Double Cab long bed