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Old 01-09-2020, 02:27 PM   #1
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2019 28' Flying Cloud
Dripping Springs , Texas
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2008 Tundra long bed with FC 28RBT - smooth!

We picked up our 2019 28RBT a couple weeks ago. My Blue Ox hitch hadn't arrived yet so I had to rely on just a 12k ball attached to a basic post. We even went on a 1-week camping trip with that setup and the combination towed well!
- 55-60mph most of the time
- Hit 65mph a couple times
- Traffic, some light wind, big rigs... all the usual stuff
- Modest hills
- Modest braking

The Tundra 5.7L is definitely enough to tow a 28' Airstream. No shimmies, shakes, sway, nothing. Totally solid and I got 12.5MPG overall which is a 25% improvement over our 25' SOB. (Anecdote: half the TVs at our campground were Tundras...)

Still adding the Blue Ox w/ 1500lb bars since I expect we'll be more heavily laden when boondocking. Will drive at normal freeway speeds once the hitch is installed (ie. 55-70mph depending on limits and conditions.)

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Old 01-09-2020, 03:45 PM   #2
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One feature I like is the option to shut manually, especially downhill or exiting.
If the shifter is in "D", just slide it left and it shifts into "4" for some engine breaking. Downshift to "3, 2, 1" as needed. It won't go into lower gears if it will over rev the engine. Just remember to return to "D" since it won't do it in manual.
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Old 01-09-2020, 06:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
One feature I like is the option to shut manually, especially downhill or exiting.
If the shifter is in "D", just slide it left and it shifts into "4" for some engine breaking. Downshift to "3, 2, 1" as needed. It won't go into lower gears if it will over rev the engine. Just remember to return to "D" since it won't do it in manual.

Yes, I always use manual mode!
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Old 01-09-2020, 07:53 PM   #4
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2008 28' International
Happy Valley , Pennsylvania
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2008 Tundra/28’ AS

I have about 25k towing miles with a 28’ International and a 2008 Tundra Crew Max. I have a Reese Straight Line hitch and have learned some lessons that may help you. I started with 800lb bars and then bought 1200lb bars(they do NOT make 1000lb bars for this particular Reese model). The 1200 lb bars shifted weight easier to the front wheels. However, the bars were too stiff and reeked havoc on the AS. So, back to the 800lb bars and all is good! Softer sprung WD bars work better for this rig...Trust me.
Look into a rear sway bar if you don’t already have one. Maybe the single best mod for my Tundra. I also run “E” rated Michelins and upgraded to Bilstein shocks. Have been all over with this rig. Grades 7–8% no power issues, just get used to the manual downshifting going down. Avoid any long (6 miles)10% grades with high elevation like the Teton Pass(10,000’). I made it up/down, but it was a huge mistake.
I currently have 171K on my Tundra and would drive it to Alaska tomorrow. Actually planning that trip in 2022
Enjoy the new AS and safe travels!
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malinois38 View Post
I have about 25k towing miles with a 28’ International and a 2008 Tundra Crew Max. I have a Reese Straight Line hitch and have learned some lessons that may help you. I started with 800lb bars and then bought 1200lb bars(they do NOT make 1000lb bars for this particular Reese model). The 1200 lb bars shifted weight easier to the front wheels. However, the bars were too stiff and reeked havoc on the AS. So, back to the 800lb bars and all is good! Softer sprung WD bars work better for this rig...Trust me.
Look into a rear sway bar if you don’t already have one. Maybe the single best mod for my Tundra. I also run “E” rated Michelins and upgraded to Bilstein shocks. Have been all over with this rig. Grades 7–8% no power issues, just get used to the manual downshifting going down. Avoid any long (6 miles)10% grades with high elevation like the Teton Pass(10,000’). I made it up/down, but it was a huge mistake.
I currently have 171K on my Tundra and would drive it to Alaska tomorrow. Actually planning that trip in 2022
Enjoy the new AS and safe travels!

Can you elaborate on the 'havoc' the bars caused?


gypsydad on this board tows the same trailer as ours (FC 28') with the 1500 bars and an F250 - if the stiffness theory held in all cases you'd think his AS would have fallen apart! And he has 3.5 links showing, that's quite tight.


I should have a softer combination from the start: Tundra instead of F250, 4.5 links instead of 3.5. I'll report back after our first trip with the system.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:12 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kalashnikov View Post
Can you elaborate on the 'havoc' the bars caused?


gypsydad on this board tows the same trailer as ours (FC 28') with the 1500 bars and an F250 - if the stiffness theory held in all cases you'd think his AS would have fallen apart! And he has 3.5 links showing, that's quite tight.


I should have a softer combination from the start: Tundra instead of F250, 4.5 links instead of 3.5. I'll report back after our first trip with the system.
So, the drive itself with the 1200lb bars felt stiff. I could actually feel it going over highway bumps etc. This translated inside the airstream to missing rivets and items on the floor that were not there with the 800lb bars.
There are some old posts regarding lighter WD bars that you can research. I forget the one guy who was very knowledgeable on this lighter WD bar theory, maybe someone can chime in with his name. He does not post anymore. I can only speak to how my particular Reese hitch works for me. YMMV
Maybe the mods to my Tundra (“E” rated tires, shocks, sway bar) have had an affect on the type of bars. The ride is much softer and my AS likes that. I do have to crank the bars so they are heavily sprung to move weight forward, as they are designed. The bars are almost parallel with the pavement, which is how the Reese bars should look if properly installed. I spent some time tweaking this set up & have been to the CAT scales numerous times. All I can tell you is that it rides very good and I NEVER get any sway from trucks passing or high winds. And I am under both axle ratings while loaded for travel.
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malinois38 View Post
<snip>

Maybe the mods to my Tundra (“E” rated tires, shocks, sway bar) have had an affect on the type of bars. The ride is much softer and my AS likes that. I do have to crank the bars so they are heavily sprung to move weight forward, as they are designed. The bars are almost parallel with the pavement, which is how the Reese bars should look if properly installed. I spent some time tweaking this set up & have been to the CAT scales numerous times. All I can tell you is that it rides very good and I NEVER get any sway from trucks passing or high winds. And I am under both axle ratings while loaded for travel.

I have a similar setup on my Tundra, michelin E rated tires @ 75PSI, bilstein shocks. Trailer tires @ 65PSI.


But then again the hitch is totally different. In order to get my combination level I don't have to tighten very much, in fact it doesn't feel any different than towing with the bare ball. (no sway in either case)


IMO trailer & truck bed loading will have a profound effect on the harshness of the ride. If I over-tighten my WDH when I have an empty trailer it will be more stiff. The same setting with a full load (eg. 1500 lbs more cargo) will feel much softer.
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:28 AM   #8
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East Coast , Newfoundland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malinois38 View Post
I have about 25k towing miles with a 28’ International and a 2008 Tundra Crew Max. I have a Reese Straight Line hitch and have learned some lessons that may help you. I started with 800lb bars and then bought 1200lb bars(they do NOT make 1000lb bars for this particular Reese model). The 1200 lb bars shifted weight easier to the front wheels. However, the bars were too stiff and reeked havoc on the AS. So, back to the 800lb bars and all is good! Softer sprung WD bars work better for this rig...Trust me.

Look into a rear sway bar if you don’t already have one. Maybe the single best mod for my Tundra. I also run “E” rated Michelins and upgraded to Bilstein shocks. Have been all over with this rig. Grades 7–8% no power issues, just get used to the manual downshifting going down. Avoid any long (6 miles)10% grades with high elevation like the Teton Pass(10,000’). I made it up/down, but it was a huge mistake.

I currently have 171K on my Tundra and would drive it to Alaska tomorrow. Actually planning that trip in 2022

Enjoy the new AS and safe travels!


X2 on the 800# bars. I have the same truck and hitch towing a 27FB and also experienced harshness when I started with the 1200# original bars. The lighter bars made a significant difference.

Curious on your experience with the Teton pass. What was the trouble?

Don
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:28 AM   #9
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Guys, perhaps it's impossible to compare apples:apples between hitches when the design is totally different. Reese has a thick square bar that "looks" very stiff to begin with. Blue Ox has a tapered bar that's designed to bend and is also how the "sway control" is implemented - there is no friction component or separate cam.


Blue Ox bars:




Reese bars:
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:27 AM   #10
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I currently use an Equalizer hitch and 1000# bars.
They're square and not tapered and appear impossible to bend, but they do. My tongue weight is around 1000# and I'm using 7 washers.
(adding tilt to put more load on the bars.) I really need 8.
I've wondered about 1200# bars and fewer washers.
Or....raising the "L" brackets one hole.
The Equalizer is so adjustable (good) that it can become confusing...just when you think you understand it. (bad)
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:54 PM   #11
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2008 28' International
Happy Valley , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalashnikov View Post
Guys, perhaps it's impossible to compare apples:apples between hitches when the design is totally different. Reese has a thick square bar that "looks" very stiff to begin with. Blue Ox has a tapered bar that's designed to bend and is also how the "sway control" is implemented - there is no friction component or separate cam.


Blue Ox bars:




Reese bars:


FYI: The Reese is a tapered bar.
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by malinois38 View Post
FYI: The Reese is a tapered bar.

Potentially. For some reason people omit what system they're comparing.



Per their website:
- Light weight = tapered
- Round bar = round
- Trunnion = tapered
- Trunnion heavy = square
- Steadi-flex = tapered
- Straight-line WDH = square


Anyway, the hitch attached to my truck has flexible tapered bars and I observe no rattling, popped rivets, no sway. Unless someone comes along with an identical setup (1500lb BO & Tundra & 7600lb trailer) comparisons don't really make sense.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:55 AM   #13
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In 2009 I started towing my Airstream. I read this forum heavily and learned a great deal. At that time, there were many who warned us about using stiff bars. All sorts of issues would follow, like popped rivets, open storage doors and even damaged aluminum panels. There was also many posts talking about balancing running gear and some even talked about centramatic wheel balancers.


I have an Equalizer (I know, apples to oranges) and was getting a few popped rivets and an open drawer now and then. I adjusted my hitch to get it as "loose" as possible yet still transferring weight to the right places. It helped a bit but still some issues remained. Within the first year I put new tires on it and had them balanced. Bingo, problem solved.



I had an Equalizer on my SOB before and liked it. When I purchased my used Airstream it came with the Equalizer hitch with 1K bars. I was happy. Now as I look back, the hitches with the flexible bars would be something I would consider. There are lots of good affordable options out there. I like what I have heard about the Blue Ox hitches. Not sure if I could tell everyone that I had BO though.
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:44 AM   #14
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CAT scale three pass method with results posted would assist you and other forum members...
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:29 AM   #15
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We tow a 31 classic with our 2012 Tundra.
No problems at all. I put Firestone Airbags in the rear, which help alot and gave some adjustability. Hitch is a Hensley.
Motor wise, the Tundra is plenty strong.
The Tundra gets panned alot these days for not being super updated like the others, but I really hope Toyota doesn't drop the 5.7 engine. It makes the whole truck.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:35 PM   #16
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I should have noted that I have aftermarket shackles in the back, they are very sturdy and also provide a slight lift. Don't know if it makes a difference but this truck is rock solid with or without the hitch.

Example pic from web
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:49 AM   #17
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We tow a 31 classic with our 2012 Tundra.
No problems at all. I put Firestone Airbags in the rear, which help alot and gave some adjustability. Hitch is a Hensley.
Motor wise, the Tundra is plenty strong.
The Tundra gets panned alot these days for not being super updated like the others, but I really hope Toyota doesn't drop the 5.7 engine. It makes the whole truck.
I have a 2000 Excella 34 that I pull with my 2008 Tundra double cab 4x4. Just wondering if your ride is pretty rough on highways with bad expansion joints or when going over bridge over passes? We have a Propride hitch
and the ride quality is pretty rough sometimes. Always have to watch or take out drawer between rear twin beds. To me it seems as though this hitch makes the truck and trailer look like they are one solid moving object going down the road. This is my first time owning a pre-owned Airstream that cam equipped with the Propride hitch. Owned almost 3 years.

Thanks

Terry
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:27 PM   #18
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Terry. I'll do a PM so as not to hijack this thread with Hensley/Pro pride stuff
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:42 AM   #19
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Terry. I'll do a PM so as not to hijack this thread with Hensley/Pro pride stuff
Okay, Thanks
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