Take your time and take plenty of pictures, so you can enjoy it both now and later. I'd suggest working your way along the lower peninsula's Lake Michigan shoreline. Silver Lake SP, Ludington, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Traverse City, Charlevoix, and Mackinaw City are all interesting. In the upper peninsula, some of the highlights include Tahquamenon Falls, the big spring at Palms Book SP, the Pictured Rocks (you know about of course), McLain SP and the western Keweenaw Peninsula shoreline all the way to Ft. Wilkins SP, the Porcupine Mountains SP (both east and west units), and Bond Falls near Paulding.
The shoreline and state parks N of Duluth are great, too. Be sure to stop at the Palisade Head (south of Gooseberry Falls if memory serves). And in Grand Marais, don't miss Artist's Point out past the coast guard station... either before or after you have pizza at Sven and Ole's.
Can anyone comment on Sprint cell phone reception at Trailer Village, the south rim, bryce canyon and zion?
My sister has Sprint, mom has ATT, and we have Verizon. They never had any cell service at all inside YNP. We had texting ability when we were at Old Faithful and Mammoth hot springs, onlyYou're about 1000 miles north of the area inquired about.
HL V6 has more HP but less torque than Tacoma V6. Different engines. You should be fine. I've read comments that some have had to add air bags or similar to deal with the rear sag, but a WD hitch would be a good alternative if you wanted to use one. Your drive train should be good, just lock out overdrive.
My TT is 16' long and has dry weight around 2200 lb. Basic dinette that I leave as a bed, a gaucho to sit on, and a bathroom with tub/shower. A bit skimpy on storage and fresh water capacity, but it works for me. Cost me less than $10K new.
Better options include Casita, Scamp, Lil Snoozy, and similar molded fiberglass trailers. A TV with 3500 lb. rating should be able to handle a 16 footer and some 17s. The rounded, aero shape of these trailers makes for easier towing (less wind resistance) and better fuel economy. I get 12 mpg with mine, for example, but when I had the more egg shaped Burro I got 14 (same TV).
The thing to watch out for is exceeding tongue weight. My TT's tongue weight is about 350-360 lbs, which means if you had my TT you might have to run with no fresh water (tank is under the front dinette).
I'm looking forward to getting TL with a GS insert, seems like an improvement to me. I understand how those of you who already pay for TL or MH would feel, though. Maybe they'll do something to help you folks.
Reminds me of a story. My dad, back in the early '70s, walking back to a parking lot full of RVs and not paying attention, accidentally wound up alongside the wrong Winnie. Put his key in, unlocked the door, stepped inside, and went Whoa!
Come to find out, somehow he had wound up with a master key that could open any and every Winnie.
My V nose cargo trailer never yielded any better fuel economy than my previous flat front cargo. And I tow the cargoes a lot of miles, over 100K on this V nose.
My current travel trailer (with a front that tapers somewhat to the top), despite having a 1' wider body than the 6x12 cargo, runs about 1 mpg better than the cargo.
There are some really nutty animals out there (some on 2 legs, some on 4) and it's good to have something just in case. Ultimately, each of us is responsible for our own safety. Suppose you're out for a walk and a rabid skunk shows up? Unlikely, but strange things happen every day.
Definitely go to a gun range and rent something to see if you're comfortable with it, though, before spending money. It might save you from backtracking and buying something different later on, for example, if you decide you want a smaller caliber or a firearm that operates differently.
If for some reason you decide not to get a firearm, one alternative is to carry a can of hornet spray that shoots a thin stream a long way. Better than nothing, for sure.
Drive US 2 between St. Ignace and Engadine for some nice views of Lake Michigan.
In Mackinaw City, if you like good bread be sure to stop at the bakery a block north of the main shopping area; I always try to get a loaf of the cinnamon bread. Of course, there's plenty of fudge, caramel corn, and fish to eat around there, too.
My favorite thing to do on Mackinac Island is to ride a bike all the way around the outer perimeter, enjoying the lake views.
If you go west in the U.P., I'd suggest Palms Book SP where you can float across the Big Spring... perfectly clear water with fish 40' below that look like they're only 10' away. Also check out Fayette SP and the historic buildings and artifacts there. As previously mentioned, the Pictured Rocks Lakeshore is worth seeing by boat (pricey, but worth it... try to book the sunset cruise on a sunny day for best light on the rock cliffs). Tahquamenon Falls is worth visiting, as well as Whitefish Point's lighthouse/tiny museum.
Some days I just feel like sitting around the campsite, enjoying the smell of the woods and the feel of the breeze. I read a while, get up and ride my bike around the CG, then sit some more and watch the clouds go by. Aaaahhh, vacation! A day like this, interspersed with the sightseeing/traveling days, makes it really relaxing.