Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-15-2012, 01:33 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
El Cerrito , California
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 46
1/2 Ton and 27FB... yellow alert Jim!

As some know I am in the processes of buying a new 27FB, and thought I had done good research that this TT was ok with my TV.

I have a 2011 Tundra 5.7 w/tow package.

This thread Check EVERYTHING On Your Hitch has caused me to pause and made me re-think how close to max I want to be.

Before I even considered which TT to get I ran some calculations which included data from going to a certified CAT scale with my wife/kid/stuff in the truck.

These calculations (posted below if interested) resulted in a max dry weight TT of 6300# for my TV. (this assumes 1000# of gear/stuff loaded into this TT)

The dry weights I see for the AS range I am considering are...

5552# 25FB (88% of my max)
5764# 27FB (91% of my max)

Under, but not by much for either, and really no difference between the two.

I know this has been covered, but for me worth opening a discussion...

Am I crazy to think even a 25FB is pushing it?

Some things to note.

a) I can not go smaller, wife has hurt back and we really need the bed size from 25 and up
b) I tend to be a safety nut which translates to me wanting to be safe but not being extreme (e.g. it is not safe getting on the freeway at 30mph, etc), thus always follow speed limits, etc.
c) I am not going to tow, ever, in the snow. We do not do winter sports, never will, my wife is a hot blooded Texan and we both just do not like cold weather so we tend to not travel into those types of environments.

So this is semi-threatening my AS purchase, but it also seems wrong b/c it kind of means you really can not tow anything over a 23FB with a 1/2 ton truck. Also my TV and TT weights will almost be the same, so that in itself seems OK, if it was not how do 1 Tons tow the monster SOB's/Live stock/loads I have seen?


===== My calculations based on an email thread with a fine gentleman named Ron Gratz over at =====

First Ron's message


The answer to this question depends on several factors -- one of which is how much the truck and contents will weigh when loaded for camping.

Step 1) The best way to determine this is to load the truck approximately as it would be loaded for camping. Have the fuel tank full. If you already have the weight distribution hitch, put it in the truck bed. If you don't have the WDH, add about 100# to the measured load.

Then find a place to get the loaded truck weighed. This can be a CAT Scale or you might find one at a nursery, quarry, trash collection station, feed store, etc. For this weighing, you do not need individual axle loads. The combined weight is sufficient. This weight is the Loaded GVW.

Step 2) Find the Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) for your truck. This can be found in the Owner's Manual for your particular vehicle. Subtract your TV's Loaded GVW from the GCWR. The difference is the first estimate for maximum allowable TT weight. Call this "MaxTT1".

Step 3) Find the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) for your truck. This should be printed on the certification label on the driver's door edge or pillar. Subtract the TV's Loaded GVW from the TV's GVWR. The difference is the maximum allowable trailer-induced vertical load which can be carried by the TV. With a properly-adjusted WDH, the vertical load will be approximately 75% of the TT's tongue weight. The first estimate for maximum tongue weight is equal to maximum allowable vertical load divided by 0.75. Call this value "MaxTW1".

Step 4) Look on the truck's receiver and find the maximum tongue weight rating for the "weight distributing" mode. Call this "MaxTW2".

Step 5) The smaller of MaxTW1 and MaxTW2 will be the maximum allowable loaded tongue weight for the TT. Call this "MaxTW".

Step 6) You can estimate the loaded tongue weight will be 13% of the loaded TT weight. This means the second estimate for maximum allowable TT weight will be equal to MaxTW/0.13. Call the result "MaxTT2".

Step 7) The smaller of MaxTT1 and MaxTT2 will be the estimated maximum allowable TT weight. Call this MaxTT. You'll often find that MaxTT is determined by TV GVWR or receiver rating rather than by GCWR.

Step 8) Estimate how much stuff you will load into the TT. Many people find this weight to be about 1000#. Subtract this estimated weight from MaxTT to determine the maximum TT "dry weight" you should be considering.

Step 9) Research your candidate TT's to find the proper value for "dry weight". Do not rely on the nunbers posted on a manufacturer's website or printed in a brochure. Instead, look at an actual TT and find the UVW value on the certification sticker. Or, you sometimes can find an image of the federally-mandated sticker on a dealer's website.


Second my calculations based off above

2012 Toyota Tundra Crewmax w/tow package

Step 1-2 results...
CATW = 6500#
GCWR = 15200#
MaxTT1 == 8700#

Step 3 results...x`
GVWR = 7200#
MaxTW1 = 700# (no WDH)
MaxTW1 = 950# (w/ WDH)

Step 4 results...
MaxTW2 == 1400#

Step 5 results...
MaxTW = 950#

Step 6 results...
MaxTT2 == 7300#

Step 7 results...
MaxTT == 7300#

Step 8 results...
gear ~= 1000#
NewMaxTT == 6300#

bycrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 02:00 PM   #2
Rivet Master
aftermath's Avatar
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,167
I have an '08 Tundra with the tow package and have been pulling my 25FB for three years now and have gone just about 13,500 far. I can tell you from first hand experience that the Tundra will pull your 25 or 27FB without every having to worry about merging into traffic, pulling steep hills and heading down them as well. The 5.7 is a brute sitting in a half ton pick up.

Now, it you want to do all the numbers you simply won't be happy unless you have a 1 ton diesel. There are many out there that take the position that you simply can not, under any circumstance, pull a 27 footer with a half ton. I wonder what the thousands who do would have to say.

I am aware that my Tundra does not allow me to carry great quantities of stuff in the bed when we travel. I am OK with that. If I wanted to bring a half cord of wood and my 4 wheeler I would get a bigger truck. As it is, I am very close to the max but the way the combination feels and handles, I am OK with what I am doing.

The bottom line is that you will have to do what makes you feel comfortable. Get rid of your Tundra if it is best for you but don't do it because you think it will be underpowered for the trailer you are looking at. There are others out here that pull with the 5.7 Tundra and hopefully they will chime in soon.

If you already own the Tundra, I would suggest that you give it a try and see what you think then. Get the whole thing weighed and see if the numbers will keep you awake at night.

Good luck.

aftermath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 02:12 PM   #3
Rivet Master
aftermath's Avatar
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,167
I was just reading this thread.

Take a look at post #9
aftermath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 02:40 PM   #4
Rivet Master
purman's Avatar
1968 28' Ambassador
Cedaredge , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,542
There are plenty of people towing with Tundras that are still alive and have had no problems. Me with a Sequoia. I think that speaks volumes...

May you have at least one sunny day, and a soft chair to sit in..

2008 5.7 L V8 Sequoia
AIR # 31243
WBCCI # 6987
purman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
Rivet Master
dkottum's Avatar
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
This topic arrives about every week, endless arguments and warnings.

Many, many tow with this truck and love it. Many, many tow with less truck and do just fine (including us).

For a medium size Airstream such as the 27', all you can get with a bigger truck than your Tundra is more payload capacity and worse handling.

doug k
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 02:41 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
Mike91208's Avatar
2009 27' FB International
LA LA Land... , California
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 290
I second what Aftermath said. I have an '11 Tundra (5.7 w/tow package) and tow a '09 27FB with no problems whatsoever.
Mike91208 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 04:20 PM   #7
Rivet Master
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,341
Blog Entries: 1
Over thinking?

I would just want to be sure I was not much over the rear axle rating of the truck. I have been on several caravans with Toyta's pulling 25-28 ft Airstreams and they did fine and the owners love them. The Nissan seems to do good job too. So does a gas Ford 250.

I tow a 25' with a 3/4 ton diesel, but that is just the way it worked out. I had the truck when I got the Airstream.
Bill M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 04:47 PM   #8
Rivet Master
Foiled Again's Avatar
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 6,090
I have the 25FB and a 2500 Silverado diesel -

I've got power out the wahzoo!

I generally stay in a local campground and take an odd weekend here and there locally. Frankly I've got a tow vehicle that can haul the biggest honkin' Airstream ever made and not worry. I keep thinking I'll have a lot more time to travel and DO a lot more traveling, but the truth is that if I won the lottery tomorrow, I'd still like to GO places, then STAY and enjoy them for a couple of weeks.

So am I comfortable with my choice. Yep. And the truck is paid for.

So should you do what I did? I'd say NO. You have a servicable truck AND your wife has a bad back. Buying a Silverado 2500 - $$$ cha-ching! Climbing into the Silverado takes a ladder.... getting out takes a parachute! The ride is really "trucky" - pretty luxurious truck, but it's a truck. You don't want to arrive at a campground with either or both of you feeling beat up or exhausted.

Will your Tundra do the job? Yep. You might have to be a little more alert (hey that can't hurt anyone!) and aware of traffic because you might not be able to floor it and get quite the instant surge of power my truck has.

If you have $50K laying around with nothing good to spend it on my address is...............

Get a good weight distributing hitch and happy trails!

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 05:14 PM   #9
Aluminum Rookie
1974 25' Tradewind
Saskatoon , Saskatchewan
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 47
I have a 2008 Tundra TRD Off road double cab that pulls my 1974 Tradewind with no problem.Tons of power and torque. I also pulled my Tradewind with my 2006 4runner v6 limited. The Runner was a Little weak in the mountains but still nothing scary and it was very close to the max towing capacity. You will have no problems pulling a 27fb with your Tundra.NO PROBLEM!!!
chefmardigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 05:39 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
El Cerrito , California
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 46
Everyone, thanks much, you can see I did the math as far as I could and it seems if I stay under (for risk level I am willing to take) all is good.

Man I am so ready to roll (btw), but I am just doing final "T" crossing and "I" dotting to make sure I completely understand everything this purchase entails.
bycrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 07:20 PM   #11
Rivet Master
2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 866
Images: 2
The Tundra should do fine for you. I had a 25 foot Airstream and '11 Tundra. Prior to that I towed it with '99 F250 diesel.

The Tundra handled better than the F250 both towing and not towing. The Tundra engine drivetrain are excellent. My Airstream and Tundra have been sold, but after selling them, it's very obvious to me what a good handling combination I had. It was quiet, tracked straight, rode well towing, steered with precision, and stopped short. The powerful engine could climb most hills at less than 3000 RPM.

Right now I have a 24' Class C motorhome that is much lighter than the capacity of the E450 chassis. It's handling is the worst of all.

Unless you hook up the Airstream and have a very specific reason the Tundra is unsuitable, I'd use it and count blessings.
tpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 09:13 PM   #12
Vintage Kin
slowmover's Avatar
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,801
Images: 1
Originally Posted by bycrom View Post
Everyone, thanks much, you can see I did the math as far as I could and it seems if I stay under (for risk level I am willing to take) all is good.

Man I am so ready to roll (btw), but I am just doing final "T" crossing and "I" dotting to make sure I completely understand everything this purchase entails.
You are right to pursue numbers, OP, to have a baseline of comparison. But estimates are just that . . and not ever quite close enough. I've quoted the Ron Gratz Chart more than a few times around here as a way of setting up hitch rigging, and with your chosen vehicles taken to a CAT Scale (results replicable nationwide) you can get the thing dialled in. "Rough it in" with manufacturer fender height measurements, and then off to the scale.

The two vehicles are a close enough match according to others. A half ton ought to be fine. There is no perfect TV but that we try to take a good one and make it as good as can be. Oversized TV's tend to mask important information about "feel" . . keep that in mind.

A VPP style hitch and trailer disc brakes will go a lot farther to your idea of "safety" than an oversized TV anyway. Put your efforts in reading that direction. Threads, also, on DIRECLINK brake controller and TT Anti-lock brakes. For real fun: upsize TT to 16" LT type tires plus wheels.

The TV really isn't as important once a basic range of vehicle is found suitable, IMO, as compared to the details of hitch rigging, brakes, brake controller, and best tires on both vehicles.

As to "complete understanding" of the mechanical systems above I believe you'll find plenty of reading to a depth satisfactory to you. There should never be underestimation of the importance of confidence in a rig when at speed. Numbers, numbers, numbers . . . .

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 10:34 PM   #13
Rivet Master
TouringDan's Avatar

1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,641
I give a hearty second to what all the posters have told you. You may want to make some changes, but the tv is not one of them.

Enjoy your new Airstream.

TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2012, 10:54 PM   #14
Rivet Master
1984 31' Excella
Norfolk , Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 667
Images: 11
Tow Vehicle Capacity

The only problem you may run into is that on certain interstates you may be in the right lane with the tractor trailers doing 40 MPH. Good common sense will carry you through the rest. Dont be afraid to as questions however as the only bad question is the ones not asked.

Beginner is offline   Reply With Quote

1/2 ton

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:23 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.