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Old 04-15-2018, 06:40 AM   #15
ShinyPete's Avatar
2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 396

Congratulations on your new TB 27fb and Tundra! We love our 27fb twin, and spend 50 or more nights aboard every year. We tow with a '15 F150, and I am firmly rooted in the "most Airstreams can be towed by a properly configured 1/2 ton pickup" crowd. We do it very easily with our rig, using first a BlueOx hitch setup, and then a used ProPride. It tows very well, as if it "welded together".

Your assignment for the next week is to read many "tow vehicle selection" and "hitch selection/setup" threads on AirForums. There is a lot to learn, and a lot of opinion to wade through, but the bottom line is, you can setup your Tundra and 27fb to tow safely and securely with a quality Weight Distribution/Sway Control hitch, given a proper installation and dial-in of the equipment.

Your coach has a 7600 lb GVWR, and will most likely weigh 6500-7000 lbs loaded, with a 850-1000 lb hitch weight (as long as you don't bring your cast iron pot collection aboard). We recently had our rig run through the Escapees SmartWeigh program, and it revealed a very good setup and balance with our truck and coach loaded as normal for camping. I have posted the ticket here, hoping you find it a helpful example of how your rig might weigh out.

One thing I have read about Tundra's is they tend to have a lower Payload rating than some 1/2 tons, so watch what you put in the truck carefully against that Payload number. I hunted for our F150 xlt with MaxTow and a 6.5' bed, getting a 1907 lb Payload......

I hope this helps, and wish you all the best with your new adventure!
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:45 PM   #16
2 Rivet Member
2018 28' Tommy Bahama
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 39
Thanks for the info Pete. SmartWeigh looks worthwhile. I think I'll do that after we have it home a while and all loaded up. Livingston isn't too far from me, and we go to Houston from time to time to visit family so that should work out. I hadn't thought too much about the Tundra payload, but we tend to travel light so I think it won't be a problem. I already did some hitch research and ordered an Equal-i-zer from etrailer. The dealer is going to assemble and install for a small fee, which saves me trying to torque bolts to 320 ft/lbs.

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Old 04-16-2018, 08:04 AM   #17
nvestysly's Avatar

1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,698
Originally Posted by pwlldvd View Post
...I already did some hitch research and ordered an Equal-i-zer from etrailer. The dealer is going to assemble and install for a small fee, which saves me trying to torque bolts to 320 ft/lbs.
Be sure to take time to understand how the hitch should be setup (hitch head angle, pre-load on bars, tongue height, etc.) and keep an eye on the dealer during installation. If you've never installed a hitch some of the information may seem trivial but a few degrees of change in hitch head angle make a big difference.

The "weight" of the bars make a big difference too. Every hitch manufacturer I looked at indicated our trailer and tow vehicle required 1000# bars. That was not the case at all. The 1000# bars flexed very little and almost locked the coupler. Consequently, there was very little movement between the tow vehicle and trailer. Some research indicated that lower "weight" bars may be better for our setup and I suspect many people are driving with weight distribution bars that are too "heavy." My conclusion... even hitch manufacturers don't take time to understand the day-to-day use of their product.

Some dealers take time to install hitches properly and some do not. If you're paying them don't simply take their word for it - watch them, ask questions, double-check their measurements. In the end you want to ensure your trailer is riding level and an appropriate amount of tongue weight has been transferred back to the front wheels of your tow vehicle.

It's surprising how many ill-installed hitches are seen in campgrounds, at gas stations, and truck stops. In many cases the owner indicates "the dealer installed it" and they assumed it was set up properly.

+1 on SmartWeigh - you can do the same thing with CAT scales but if you can arrange a meeting with SmartWeigh it's a much more straightforward process and our rep indicated we could return and re-check for free if we needed to tweak the hitch. No tweaks were needed.

Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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