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Old 04-13-2009, 07:59 AM   #29
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Steve, it's your nickel. At the end of day, any advice (including mine) is worth generally what you paid for it.

I notice that you didn't specify whether the GM was a 3/4 ton or a 1 ton. There are a number of threads about the risks of towing a relatively light trailer with a 1-ton rig. The stiff suspension of a 1-ton, when combined with a WD hitch, can transmit vibration and shock to the coach causing problems. Andy from Inland RV has some firsthand experience with this. You can PM him about popped rivets and frame damage. Hopefully, the GM you are considering is a 2500, 3/4 ton.

Unlike Bill, I don't have psychic powers. I don't know if you are going to enjoy the GMC diesel. Our family businesses have owned fleet trucks for decades. We run diesel because our trucks carry slip tanks to fuel heavy equipment. Diesels are great if you put mega-miles on your truck or if you need the torque. They also can be fiendishly expensive to repair. For us, running 40,000+ miles a year on unpaved roads carrying heavy weight, diesels generally make sense. The only person who is going to know if you are happy in a year or two is you. Personally, I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:51 AM   #30
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Steve, it's your nickel. At the end of day, any advice (including mine) is worth generally what you paid for it.

I notice that you didn't specify whether the GM was a 3/4 ton or a 1 ton. There are a number of threads about the risks of towing a relatively light trailer with a 1-ton rig. The stiff suspension of a 1-ton, when combined with a WD hitch, can transmit vibration and shock to the coach causing problems. Andy from Inland RV has some firsthand experience with this. You can PM him about popped rivets and frame damage. Hopefully, the GM you are considering is a 2500, 3/4 ton.

Unlike Bill, I don't have psychic powers. I don't know if you are going to enjoy the GMC diesel. Our family businesses have owned fleet trucks for decades. We run diesel because our trucks carry slip tanks to fuel heavy equipment. Diesels are great if you put mega-miles on your truck or if you need the torque. They also can be fiendishly expensive to repair. For us, running 40,000+ miles a year on unpaved roads carrying heavy weight, diesels generally make sense. The only person who is going to know if you are happy in a year or two is you. Personally, I wish you the best of luck.
The only difference between a 3/4 ton and a 1 ton, particularly in the GM lineup, is the overload spring, which does NOT come into contact untill you NEED it, so no difference in ride there(it is not likely the overload would come into contact towing an AS, unless you have your anvil collection along for the ride). All other components, brakes, axle, etc are identical. Dodge/Ford do have some other differences depending on model year.

While Bill is not psychic, he does have quite a bit of experience; gas, deezul, 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, etc. His 20 yr old AS has been towed it's entire life (except for 2 trips as noted in link above) by 3/4 ton vehicles. I have yet to find a loose rivet, frame damage etc. This theory of proper tow vehicles damaging trailers ASSumes that your AS has no suspension. Last time I crawled under mine, it did in fact, have (surprise!) suspension components.

The OP stated weights, and limits of his TV. I don't care if the TV is made in Tokyo or Crypton. The numbers do not lie. His stated weights require a 3/4 ton TV. I would NOT call 7000# relatively light.

There are also many posts here about the various advantages of towing with diesels. It has been my experience that it cost less to run a diesel than gassers I have owned in the past. Not to mention the pleasure of towing with diesel, that is hard to quantify! Others (except maybe TimeMachine who had a bad experience with a 6.0l Ford) would agree.
Here is another good post; http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...hip-39826.html

You have chosen wisely.
Enjoy your new truck and AS.

Bill
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:57 AM   #31
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If you read the original post, the dry weight of the trailer is just over 5,000 pounds... not 7,000 pounds. The OP stated the towing capacity of the Tundra was 7300 pounds, but it is more likely 7,000 pounds.

I have already walked through the math using the data published by Toyota. Even if you add a thousand pound pounds of "load" to the dry trailer, you are still within the Tundra's capacity. And there is plenty of capacity available for passengers and cargo in the TV itself... that is if you want to believe the manufacturer.

The fact of the matter is that the Tundra is built "heavy" for a half-ton truck. Some of its components are superior to those found on domestic 3/4 trucks. I'm not a huge fan of the older 4.7l engine, but the newer Tundras with the 5.7l are more than capable of pulling a trailer with a 5,000 pound dry weight. If the OP wants to buy a heavier tow vehicle, fine... but there's no evidence to support your contention the Tundra would be "way" beyond its capacity, aside from personal opinion.

As for trailer damage, I'll defer to a guy like Andy who repairs Airstreams for a living. My observation is based on comments like Andy's where issues like one-ton trucks and improperly sized/fitted torsion bars have caused damage to the coach. Personally, Bill, I think proper set up of the hitch is as important as the tow vehicle.

When a guy comes to the forum looking for advice, I hope we can do a bit better than "half ton = bad; three quarter ton = good." I think its more helpful to explain concepts like GCWR, to point out manufacturer's data, to talk about things like proper hitch set up and quality trailer brakes. Maybe the OP will love his new TV... and maybe keeping the old Tundra would have worked out just fine. The simple fact is that the 2005 Tundra double cab with 4.7l engine is capable of towing an Airstream with a 5,060 dry weight without exceeding any published weight rating. If you disagree, Bill, show us the math.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:34 AM   #32
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Bill, I finally got to read your story about the 1/2 ton Suburban. You do not say what year the Suburban was, but say "some years back" which could be '90's or older. I don't know how much you had loaded into that SUV, although SUV's generally have less payload than a pickup. You went from a 1/2 ton SUV to a 3/4 ton pickup, not exactly a fair comparison. The pickup was a brand new one in '06 compared to an old SUV.

You had a bad experience with the Suburban and your Excella and from one anecdotal situation you generalize to all 1/2 ton trucks and SUV's of any year.

Your old Suburban was apparently way underpowered. You say: "What is this spongy, pushed around, engine whining, transmission shifting feeling I am experiencing?" I have never had any such experience with my 395 HP, 401 # torque gas engine. Most of the time I am at 2,000-2,300 rpm and the 6 speed transmission works fine. I expect on an older Suburban you had a 4 speed. I only have 19,000 miles on the truck, but no maintenance, no recalls, nothing is broken. Only had to change the oil and grease it. Yes, the oil is very difficult to change and I don't like the OEM tires, but the Tundra performs flawlessly. In my experience Toyotas are extremely reliable and take whatever you throw at them. The Tundra was even made and designed in Texas.

I'm glad your pickup works for you. Mine works for me and I do not tow with white knuckles.

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Old 04-13-2009, 10:35 AM   #33
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Late model 25' Airstreams go closer to 6000# empty. By the time you fill the LP tanks, add a WDAS hitch system, add some water in the white tank, put some food in the refer, some stuff in the pantry. If you are very frugal, your looking at 7000# if you really want to use the trailer for camping.

The only way that you will be pulling a 5000# 25' late model Airstream is to strip out the appliances and cabinet doors.

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Old 04-13-2009, 11:12 AM   #34
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According to Airstream, the 2006 '25 Safari A/B has a dry weight of 5065 pounds and a GVWR of 7000 pounds. The cabinet doors and appliances are included in the 5065 weight. If someone loads the Safari to over 7,000, it would exceed the towing capacity of the Tundra and the weight rating coach as established by Airstream.

When it comes to personal experience, Gene is actually towing a 2008 Safari FB SE with a Toyota Tundra. If we're going to ignore published data like Airstream weights and Toyota towing manuals and pay attention to personal experiences... why not listen to the guy actually towing an Airstream very similar to the one purchased by the OP?
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:36 AM   #35
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My 2005 Safari 25FB weighs out at 7420# on a real truck scale (weigh was done on 040909). I am not carrying my anvil collection. This is loaded for real every day camping use on the road. We have food in the refrigerator and pillows on the bed. This is actual weight, not some pie-in-the-sky estimate. I have pulled this Airstream loaded this way for over 40,000 miles in all terrain and conditions.

Anyone who thinks that they will be towing a 5000# late model 25' Airstream down the road for use as a camper is fantasizing.

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Old 04-13-2009, 11:48 AM   #36
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My Tundra has 34K miles and BRAND new Michelin tires. I wish I could swap them out, but the GMC takes 265/75/16 and the Tundra 265/70/16.
Steve
IMHO, If the Michelin's on the Tundra are the LTX series load range E, swap them for load not size. You can have the ECM re-programed for any difference in tire height. Been there, done that. The LTX is a great riding/waring tire!!

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Old 04-13-2009, 04:09 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
My 2005 Safari 25FB weighs out at 7420# on a real truck scale (weigh was done on 040909). I am not carrying my anvil collection. This is loaded for real every day camping use on the road. We have food in the refrigerator and pillows on the bed. This is actual weight, not some pie-in-the-sky estimate. I have pulled this Airstream loaded this way for over 40,000 miles in all terrain and conditions.

Anyone who thinks that they will be towing a 5000# late model 25' Airstream down the road for use as a camper is fantasizing.

Brian
Couldn't have said it better.....my unit, if totally empty (no cargo, no water, food, bedding, clothes, nothing, nada, zip--- just the unit as it was built) is about 5400lbs! ....and it's a 25er too!
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:13 PM   #38
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"Anyone who thinks that they will be towing a 5000# late model 25' Airstream down the road for use as a camper is fantasizing."

Did some someone saying that a loaded 25' Safari weighs 5000 pounds? If so, I missed it. By the way, if you are running your Safari at nearly 7,500 pounds, Brian, I believe you are exceeding the GVWR of the coach. In my humble opinion, this is not a good practice no matter what tow vehicle you are using.

Let's walk through the numbers one more time with a 25' Safari SE loaded at its maximum GVWR of 7300.

2009 Tundra 4x2 regular cab 5.7l V8 curb weight = 5010 pounds
Standard payload capacity = 1990 pounds
Tundra GVWR = 7000 pounds
Tundra GCWR = 16000 pounds
Maximum loaded Safari = 7300 pounds.
Maximum loaded Tundra = 7000 pounds

In this scenario, the trailer is loaded to capacity, the truck is loaded to capacity and the combination is 1700 pounds under the GCWR. The only way to exceed the GCWR with a 25' Safari is to overload the trailer or overload the truck. Even if you assume a hitch weight of 1,000 pounds, the Tundra still has nearly a thousand pounds of payload capacity. Once again, and according to Toyota, "payload" does not include fuel, fluids or driver. Is it possible to need more than 1,000 pounds of "stuff" in the truck to go camping... sure. It just depends on what you want to take camping. But to say that a Toyota Tundra cannot safely tow a fully loaded Safari 25 is simply not supported by an objective consideration of the manufacturer's ratings.

Earlier on this thread Gene said, "I've towed a 25' FB more than 9,000 miles with a 2nd generation Tundra with no problems, including over the Coast Range in Oregon, the Rockies and have passed cars on 11,000' passes in Colorado." I'm not a Toyota Tundra salesman, but I've owned Toyotas (including a truck) and have been impressed by the durability. I've linked this before, but it's worth doing again. To dismiss the Tundra out of hand as a mere "half ton" does not due justice to the truck. In closing, from Edmunds:

"It comes down to utility, though, and the 1st-place 2007 Toyota Tundra simply offers more of it. No matter what we threw at it, the Tundra never blinked. It's almost as though Toyota built a 3/4-ton truck and honed it for half-ton duty, such is its unburstable nature. You pay for the Toyota's proficiency with a stiffer ride than the Silverado, but the payoff is the most capable half-ton truck on the market."
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:15 PM   #39
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The trailer as Brain is describing is 7450 loaded....7300 can be on the axles while 800lbs of the 7450 loaded weight is transferred to the tow vehicle. He is as far as I can tell not overloaded. At the high water mark, but not over.

To each their own...you like the Tundra, great? I'm still unimpressed with it's 1/2 chassis which is why I'm sticking domestic. The imports may have the domestics beat hands down in the car market, but in the truck market, what's left of it in it's entirety today, the domestics still own the truck market IMHO. Will they forever? I doubt it, particularly when Toyota and Nissan actually build a 3/4 ton truck. I think then the tides will turn. If folks recall the whole blow out of the Titan, it had "X" tow rating, and if you got the big tow package, it increased to some high rating and the big tow package was something like a trans temp indicator, and a hopped up 1/2 ton differential-- which wasn't even a semi-floater if I recall, similar to the GM 8 bolt.

In the end, Steve made a decision and I think he made the right one FWIW.

http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/l...ommitment.aspx

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Old 04-13-2009, 06:46 PM   #40
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Forgot this one:

YouTube - Ford F150 vs Toyota Tundra - Frame Strength
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:13 PM   #41
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Bill, I finally got to read your story about the 1/2 ton Suburban. You do not say what year the Suburban was, but say "some years back" which could be '90's or older. I don't know how much you had loaded into that SUV, although SUV's generally have less payload than a pickup. You went from a 1/2 ton SUV to a 3/4 ton pickup, not exactly a fair comparison. The pickup was a brand new one in '06 compared to an old SUV.

You had a bad experience with the Suburban and your Excella and from one anecdotal situation you generalize to all 1/2 ton trucks and SUV's of any year.

Your old Suburban was apparently way underpowered. You say: "What is this spongy, pushed around, engine whining, transmission shifting feeling I am experiencing?" I have never had any such experience with my 395 HP, 401 # torque gas engine. Most of the time I am at 2,000-2,300 rpm and the 6 speed transmission works fine. I expect on an older Suburban you had a 4 speed. I only have 19,000 miles on the truck, but no maintenance, no recalls, nothing is broken. Only had to change the oil and grease it. Yes, the oil is very difficult to change and I don't like the OEM tires, but the Tundra performs flawlessly. In my experience Toyotas are extremely reliable and take whatever you throw at them. The Tundra was even made and designed in Texas.

I'm glad your pickup works for you. Mine works for me and I do not tow with white knuckles.

Gene
Gene, I have owned 6 or 7 half tons. The 2 Suburbans were both of the same (last) generation; a 2001 and a 2004. Both 5.3L one had a 4:10 the other a 3:73. Payloads were ~ 1600# IIRC, tow capacities were 10,400 and 9300 based on rear end. These are no small fry in the towing game. The 3/4 ton like Brians, is of course, even more capable. Had a few 5.7l small block 1/2 ton pickups...now that was a great motor.
If you caught my post a few months back, also had a brain fart once and actualy (yikes!) leased a Toyota. Most tinny, underpowered, bouncy, poor excuse for a truck I ever had. The only truck I ever leased (we usualy purchase) was so unimpressed I payed a penalty to get out of the lease early. Yes, that's right...PAYED TO GET OUT OF IT. I do not buy their marketing hype, and was not impressed at all. More than a 1/2 ton...give me a break.

But I did not come on to this post to slam any brand...(too late now!). I don't think they are bad vehicles, they just don't offer any where near the capability the domestics do. I suspect most Folks driving them are on their first truck.

I posted to relate personal experience, and caution the OP about his overloading that truck. It would not make for a positive/safe towing experience.
As Brian and ST have noted above, real world does not reflect towing with a very light load.
Based on the numbers given, the OP is way beyond the 80% rule when locked and loaded.The OP made the right, safe, choice. Don't fault him for not wanting to take the risk of a TV loaded to the max.

If I ever go back to tent camping, I may look at 1/2 tons again.
But NOT Toyotas.


They certainly have some rabid fans.
Too bad.

IMO; Towing an AirStream with a foreign truck is like putting a Harley sticker on a Toyota...some Folks just don't get it.

I'm otter hair.

Bill
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:33 PM   #42
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