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Old 09-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
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Another TV question

Greetings all,

Okay, I am looking for some sage advice. Thoughts on using a 2006 Lexus GX470 as a TV for a 25' Flying Cloud with an Equalizer WDH and correct tires? Class IV hitch already installed with the tow package.

Thinking of upgrading from our current smaller trailer (non-AS).

Thanks,
Phil Johnson
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:14 PM   #2
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I believe you're under capacity by quite a bit to start with. Isn't your vehicle rated at 6500?

You also need to determine to tongue weight capacity of the GX.

The 25 FC FB has a gross weight of 7300 and a tongue weight of 837. In my opinion, you're asking for problems.

This issue has been discussed using many different tow vehicles, but I don't specifically recall a Lexus GX 470. Try the search function at the top of the page.

Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:23 PM   #3
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Your payload with the Nexus is 1425lbs - that's important and should be more than enough for your purposes for as long as you don't carry generators, firewood and extra water in the vehicle.

Rated tow capacity, in my personal opinion, is often a meaningless number.

Were this my car, I would see no problem with this setup, assuming proper WD.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:30 PM   #4
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Our 25FB International Serenity has a Airstream literature tongue weight of 833. The actual weight is 1,175 pounds camping ready. That means the driver and passenger in the Lexus must be very light people (under 250 pounds for both) with no other camping stuff in the car.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:35 PM   #5
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Part of that weight is pushed back to the trailer wheels if WD is used, don't forget. Even if number is high with 1100lbs, 20% (to be conservative) of that is 200lbs that's carried by the trailer axles.

Also, from what I understand from your posts, you like to travel relatively heavy - our trailer weighs significantly less than yours, camp-ready.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:46 PM   #6
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So far--???

Okay, I'm getting conflicting things here.

Switz--what is "camping ready" referring to on your tongue weight? Also, I thought with a good WDH that some of that tongue weight was taken off the rear?

We travel light-just the wife and I and our medium pooch(60#). Not much else in the car. We were at the big RV show in Hershey today and the Airstream guy there showed us a picture of his 33' that he tows with a Buick Enclave of all things(tow capacity 5000); of course he said he didn't endorse that scenario but it works for him.

Guess I'll just take it all in.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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The Airstream in the image behind our car was being towed with a Lexus GX470. Can't recall many details. I believe it had a Hensley.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:55 PM   #8
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I tow my 34' with a Honda Odyssey with no issues.

You will get many different opinions when it comes to tow vehicles. There's one group, to which I belong, that believes that published tow capacity is pretty much irrelevant for as long as you don't overload the vehicle - i.e respect payload and axle ratings.

There's another group that believes that bigger is almost always better and that published tow ratings are meaningful.

My personal setup is as follows:

The trailer weighs 6250lbs empty, with a camp ready tongue weight of about 850lbs with all tanks full. My Honda has a payload capacity of 1400lbs. I use a Hensley Hitch for towing.

Weight distribution pushes about 25% of 850lbs back onto the trailer axles, leaving the Honda to carry approx 650lbs. That leaves me with a margin of 750lbs for passengers and gas. All luggage, such as it is, travels in the trailer.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:45 AM   #9
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When I picked the new 2013 25FB International Serenity up at the dealership last October, it had the street and rear awnings added, a 150 watt solar panel on the roof, full dual 30 pound propane tanks, centramatic wheel balancers, and the Hensley hitch head. The tongue weight was 1,150 pounds.

Camping ready included all my tools, cooking gear clothes, food in fridge, full fresh water tank and the tongue weight was 1,175 pounds.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:12 AM   #10
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Reference my avatar and do a search on "withidl" for lively posts on my assembly.
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Old 09-14-2013, 01:36 PM   #11
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As Andreass said, we have here the "Canadian School" which follows a seat-of-the-pants practical method for selecting TVs, and we have the "American School" which is strictly by the book (published numbers from auto maker on all aspects of towing and load capacity).

The former yields very interesting variety of TVs from vans to sedans, and the latter tends to yield very large PU trucks.

Something that has never been answered as far as I know, is whether there are more accidents in one method versus the other, since "safety" tends to be the bone of contention between schools.

One thing is for sure, there is a mountain of information available here to read on both! Good luck - the 25 FC is a MAGNIFICENT trailer!
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Old 09-14-2013, 01:52 PM   #12
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Ok, here's the bottom line.... yea you can tow it but are you willing to carry the stress of seeing your thermostat hitting the red line, the engine turning itself off so as not to blow the engine? Warped engine head(s). etc etc etc....?
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Old 09-14-2013, 01:52 PM   #13
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The short wheelbase, solid axle rear suspension, high center of gravity, and passenger car tires make this a somewhat unstable tow vehicle for the 25' Airstream. A Hensley/ProPride hitch and XL tires will make it much better.

We had a 2006 Tundra with that engine, it's okay but shift down as needed up and down steeper grades to keep engine well above 3000 rpm to get the torque for climbing, and engine braking coming down. I would worry more about coming down than going up, so shift way down and reduce speed a lot well before descending a steep hill.

I don't know about your Lexus payload or towing capacity, but the 1100-1200# tongue weight often mentioned of a 25' with Hensley/Propride hitch would probably be 100# less if the tongue was weighed where the hitch goes into the truck receiver instead of at the tongue jack. Then some 200# of that may be transferred to the trailer axles by the weight distribution hitch. So the actual tongue weight added to the tow vehicle payload may be closer to 800-900#.

Overall, it's probably not a good tow vehicle for a 25' A/S. Not that it's too small, it's just not well designed for the stability and braking you need.

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Old 09-14-2013, 01:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari-Rick View Post
Ok, here's the bottom line.... yea you can tow it but are you willing to carry the stress of seeing your thermostat hitting the red line, the engine turning itself off so as not to blow the engine? Warped engine head(s). etc etc etc....?
Not sure where you're getting that, but our 4.7 V8 never experienced anything similar to that description while towing a 25' Airstream. His problem is more likely short wheelbase, high center of gravity, P-rated tires and solid rear axle suspension causing poor stability, and possibly braking.

doug
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