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Old 12-14-2013, 02:19 PM   #15
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Protagonist- Thanks for the video on bearing maintenance.

All

Well yesterday was a very tough day, but successful. I finally got the Airstream 34 on the road at 11:30 last night and arrived at my sisters home in Milan at 2:00 am. It was snowing hard and slippery. I would have liked to continue heading south to try to beat the storm, but I was whipped and needed some rest.

I was heading north from Milan to Vassar yesterday morning, about 90 miles, and called Hensley to ask them some questions about hitch installation. I have a new Hensley hitch 5 years old that I never installed on my Airstream 31 as I bought the Tradewind and have been using it for the past 4 years. My hitch bar had a 4" drop. When talking to Hensley yesterday and giving them my Tundra measurements and the 800 lb hitch weight of the Airstream 34, they said I needed a 2" drop. Their office is in Davison, Mi (about 20 miles south of Vassar), but they did not have one in stock there, so I had to drive an hour east to their manufacturing facilities in Romeo, Mi.

I installed the two new batteries and the six new tires and wheels, and took the old tires and wheels to a truck stop to have the old tires removed. I did not end up greasing the bearings as they all spun well and the one bearing that I did look at looked just like new. I talked to the deceased owners wife about how much traveling they did in it. Sounds like they put maybe 1000-2000 miles on it over its 18 year life. I check the bearings after being on the road for a while and none were warm.

I started on the Hensley about 5:30 in the dark, I did have power and a trouble light, and with snow flurries off and on. They say it is a two hour installation. I probably could do the second one in two hours, but certainly not the first. It was 11:30 before I was finished. One gas line needed to be moved slightly, the electrical line had to be rerouted and safety chains lengthened. Thanks cwf for mentioning this stuff in another thread.

There is a snow covered Airstream and Tundra, all 55ft, in front of my sisters house as I wait out the storm. I am very thankful that yesterday was a pretty good day for working outside on an Airstream, 25 degrees and not much wind. I would not want to be outside working on it today.

I will plan to head out tomorrow morning if the weather looks reasonable. We shall see.

I will post photos when I can.

Thanks for the support.

Dan
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:28 PM   #16
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Glad to see you made it to a safe port!

Glad you are safe for the night! The storm is supposed to move out of here overnight so you should be OK to finish your journey on Sunday.

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Old 12-14-2013, 07:52 PM   #17
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The Hensley towed great. With this being the first data point, I really don't know if I have it adjusted correctly or not. All I know is that it towed well.

Fuel economy for the first 100 mile journey was 12.1 mpg. Speed was only 45-55.

The Tundra did fine.

Here are some photos.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:59 PM   #18
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Sorry, hit the wrong key.
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Old 12-14-2013, 11:05 PM   #19
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Good grief; not used to winter towing, I would probably have waited until clear weather (or next spring!).

Good luck, and best wishes for a safe trip!
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:23 AM   #20
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I left Milan, Mi about 9:30 yesterday morning (photo 1) and arrived home in Lynchburg, VA at 11.00 pm. 563 miles at 10.5 mpg. The roads were wet but were plenty safe to travel with the Airstream. The crosswinds in northern ohio (photo 2) moved the Tundra and Airstream around quite a bit. It concerned me at first because passing semis had no affect on the Airstream at all, just as expected. I got used to the crosswinds after a while. I finally ran out of the snow south of Columbus, Ohio. The Tundra and Airstream were covered in salt and filthy (photo 3).

I was amazed at how well the Tundra towed the Airstream 34' with the Hensley hitch. It actually towed easier than my Tradewind (no Hensley). At times I had to remind myself that I had a 7,500 lb trailer behind me. I generally towed at 55-60 mph, but at times caught myself going 65 mph. I am a new Hensley supporter. I also initially questioned if the Tundra would be up to the task. Plenty of power and I always felt comfortable. Mostly, I believe due to the Hensley.

Fuel economy is a different matter. I get about 13.5 with my Tradewind. This winter trip with head and crosswinds and through the mountains resulted in 10.5 mpg. I think that it may move up to 11.5 mpg in normal towing. We shall see.

No real hitch or trailer issues on the trip, except that the left middle brake drum was warm/hot to the touch sometimes. I will have to figure this one out.

It is only slightly above freezing here, but time to go get the salt off the Tundra and the Airstream 34. I am then going to weigh the rig and take it to the storage yard.

Dan
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:55 AM   #21
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You may get as good as 12-12.5 with no winds.
My 2 axle 30' weighs about the same as that 34' and fuel economy ranges between 10 and 12.5 depending on wind.
Glad you got that beautiful long trailer home safe.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:01 PM   #22
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Good to hear you made it home safely! The weather was a bit dicey for towing here in Michigan.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:07 PM   #23
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I weighed the 34' and Tundra before I took it to storage. I did not get empty weights, just loaded weights as I towed it. I wanted to see how much margin I had, if any, between the loaded axle weights and the axle ratings. I was traveling pretty light. No wife, no dog and only about 150 lbs in the bed and pretty much an empty trailer.

front axle- 3,140 lbs, weight limit- 3,900 lbs, margin is 760 lbs.

rear axle- 3,520 lbs, weight limit- 4,100 lbs, margin is 580 lbs.

Total TV- 6,660 lbs, weight limit- 6,900 lbs, margin is only 240 lbs.

34' plus Tundra- 14,000 lbs, combo weight limit- 16,000 lbs, margin is 2,0000 lbs.

34' trailer- 7,340 lbs, weight limit 8,900 lbs, margin is 1,560 lbs.

It is safe to say that I will probably be over the Tundra gvwr of 6,900 lbs by the time the Tundra and 34' are fully loaded. If I remove the Tundra cap, this will reduce the Tundra weight by about 200 lbs.

We shall see.

Dan
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Old 12-20-2013, 12:27 AM   #24
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Maybe try to put all your groceries and clothes and tools and camping gear aft of the axles on the trailer...
I wonder if Toyota will ever make a 1 ton...
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:05 PM   #25
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We can always hope that Toyota will make a 3/4 or 1 ton Tundra.

The gvwr for my 2wd Tundra is 6,900 lbs. It is 7,100 lbs for a 4wd. I would like for an engineer at Toyota to explain that one to me.

Dan
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:43 PM   #26
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Your milage won't improve much. I get 10.5-11.5 with our 34, and 13.5-14 with our 27' Overlander. It is a combination of the greater total weight and the rolling resistance of the extra pair of tires.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:09 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
We can always hope that Toyota will make a 3/4 or 1 ton Tundra.

The gvwr for my 2wd Tundra is 6,900 lbs. It is 7,100 lbs for a 4wd. I would like for an engineer at Toyota to explain that one to me.

Dan
The extra 200 lbs the 4wd is rated for is used by the unsprung weight of the heavier front axle and extra drive-shaft and probably has less payload capacity do to the rest of the weight added to make it 4wd.

In other words the suspension is rated to carry the same weight.
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