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Old 06-30-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
tpi
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First tow with Tundra, 25' Safari

I pulled my Airstream with '99 Superduty F250 Super Cab shortbed 4x2 since new.

Today for first time hooked up trailer to '11 Tundra Doublecab 4x2 5.7 w/ tow package. P rated truck tires to 40 psi, trailer at 55 psi.

First impression this truck is a perfect match to 6300 pound Airstream.

Ride is much smoother than the '99 F250. The '99 had an oscillation on bad concrete freeways I couldn't tune out. It would porpoise at 50-60 mph. I had to run over 62 mph for it to smooth out. The new truck is smoother in all conditions and I noted none of the porpoising (bucking) over bad sections. The wheelbase of the trucks is about the same, the hitch is set up the same, so it must be spring rates, shock damping, etc. Just a truck/trailer combo that didn't work too well. The Tundra may get a little smoother when trailer attached, the '99 got rougher. I give the new truck an A for this, it was something I fought for years with the old one.

The new truck has more direct steering feel when empty and it translates over to towing. Its very easy for me to locate the rig exactly where I want it. Very relaxed and easy to drive.

Handled wind, steep downgrades, and big rig passing just fine. Felt as stable as the F250. Did not feel any shenanigans from the P tires (mushiness etc).

Drove from OC to Bishop CA. For the most part in "tow haul." Mostly at 55-60 MPH which is my normal towing speed. Transmission engaged 6th gear frequently showing 1500 RPM at 60 MPH. It could buck a light headwind in 6th and climb very mild grades in 6th. On steeper hills it would downshift to 4 or 5, or 3rd if I was behind a slow vehicle. I got 12.2 MPG on this leg of the trip. Engine is no 400/800 diesel but very pleasant and ample in the conditions I encountered today (Cajon Pass, and other rolling terrain, headwinds, and 4,000 ft. elevation). None of the gauges budged from their normal position (though they could be semi-dummy gauges).

Overall impression is very pleased. I had some concern about the result of downsizing which proved unwarranted.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:54 PM   #2
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Glad you are happy with the combination. We have found that our similar 2011 Tundra and our Safari 23 are very well matched.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:47 AM   #3
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We are pulling our '09 27' FB Ocean Breeze with our 2010 Tundra CrewMax 4x4 Platinum and love the combination (although I have no personal experience with other TVs). Getting between 11.0 and 12.5 running at 55-60 mph depending on terrain. When we were renting SOBs we got between 8-9 mpg with our '08 Tundra CrewMax 4.2 Limited but we were towing between 66-70. No... I don't replace my TV every 2 years, it was just that some one wanted it more than we did... at ~3:00am one morning while we were sleeping...
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:45 AM   #4
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Hooked

Right now my 08 Tundra is hooked to my 88 29' Excella and as always it will do a great job. Enjoy the ride with your new Tundra, I do!
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:23 AM   #5
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Technology is a wonderful thing!
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Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:36 AM   #6
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Most important....do you have a co-pilot?

In my case it was her comfort level that was the most important factor in choice of new TV.

"the one who must be obeyed"...if she's not happy, I'm not happy.

Happy Streams
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:40 AM   #7
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We have had great luck with our Tundra TV. Though we have the smaller engine and a 28' Safari, we are well within the capacity of the TV. We have the tow package as well and get 10.5 - 12.5 mpg depending on the elevation and wind. Even pulling "Sylvia" over three 10,000' plus passes in Colorado on our recent return from Virginia, the engine never overheated. Heck, the radiator and transmission temperature never increased much at all. We could possibly have used the additional horsepower on those passes but you couldn't go much above 25 mph anyway; given the curves and grade.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:59 AM   #8
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Robert, I'm mostly a solo traveler. But the seats seem pretty nice and the ride is quiet.

I guess in my exuberance over the ride, I did neglect to point out a couple places for improvement. One is the size of the 26 gallon fuel tank. Even four or five more gallons would be nice and ten more would be fantastic. And too many mfg. are sending out tow equipped trucks not equipped with proper mirrors. Any tow package should include towing mirrors. The Cipa extensions work, don't vibrate, but aren't nearly as nice as a factory tow mirror.

Scott good to hear you're also getting relatively good fuel economy. I pulled smaller boat trailers with other gas pickups at poorer fuel economy. I think all the gears help on the new truck, the old ones just one downshift took it to fairly high revs. On the new one just a minor downshift can do the job. Also the slippery shape of the Airstream is a big help. I'm inclined to let the computer choose the most efficient gear to operate the engine provided it isn't hunting excessively (I do use manual control at times). Frequently it would choose 6th and hold it for quite a while.


Enjoyed reading all the posts in this thread.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:07 AM   #9
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Seats, mirrors

Glad you brought up the seat issue. I have been very happy with the split bench seat in our basic Tundra. It is as comfortable as the upgraded seats in my wife's Camry, so that was a pleasant finding.

I think at some point I am going to bite the bullet and get factory tow mirrors installed. I have the CIPA extensions and in theory and so far in practice they work fine but I have noticed that the wedges don't always stay in the tracks despite my best efforts and Im just waiting for one to fly off at some point. Also I had to ask CIPA for some new screws because the threads on the screw on my passenger side mirror didnt really match the threads on the mirror making for tough on and off for my 60 year old fingers.

I concur that Toyota really needs to make tow mirrors part of the standard tow package.... not sure why they have not done so.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:15 AM   #10
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The only way my Cipas will stay on tight is to crank the screw hard so the wedge pops out of the track. Or at least isn't contained by the track. At the point mine seem tight the outer shell has bent or deflected quite a bit. Agree on the bolts being hard to tighten. On the seats, I have '04 Camry w/ 130K and the driver seat has stood up to my 200 pound just great. I have never had a car seat hold up as well. When looking at the Tundra, the seat felt very similar to the Camry and I found that to be a plus.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:53 AM   #11
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My wife's Camry is a 02 with 135k and still running like a champ. the tundra is our 5th Toyota in the family over the past 30 years and that experience sold us on buying it as our TV
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:29 AM   #12
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Glad to hear that you are satisfied with the Toyota. I know I like mine.

I have the factory tow mirrors and they are great. That and the backup camera makes my life all that easier. I have the first generation camera and it is pretty marginal. My SIL has a 2011 and the camera is really nice. I am not ready to trade in my '08 just yet but the new ones are something. I suppose it is always that way.

I am towing in 5th with the tow haul mode off. I get right at 11mpg +/- .2

Even on the flats, I feel the transmission hunting between 5th and 6th more than I am comfortable with. I will try on the next trip to use tow haul with the OD and see if that is better. I would like to get 12 like many of you are getting. I do drive in the mountains a lot though.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:31 PM   #13
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I may email customer service at CIPA about this wedge issue because it doesnt seem to me that if it is designed to work in a certain manner that it should do this. I think if they added deeper track guides, and quality tested screws and threads in mirror they would have a real winner on their hands but perhaps im expecting too much for the very small price they charge for their product.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:34 PM   #14
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Be nice boyz don't fight over these.....go to ebay type in "Tundra tow mirrors" bingo
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:45 PM   #15
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Make sure your wedges are rh and lh. Mine were not and the incorrect one would not hold tight enough. Should say lh or rh on the wedge itself. jim
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:31 PM   #16
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First thing i checked to make sure i hadnt mixed them up. And for the record im not complaining about the CIPAs because they are definately a workable low cost solution... just thinking about ways they could work even better... but i will google tundra tow mirrors as directed . .. .
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aftermath View Post

I am towing in 5th with the tow haul mode off. I get right at 11mpg +/- .2

Even on the flats, I feel the transmission hunting between 5th and 6th more than I am comfortable with. I will try on the next trip to use tow haul with the OD and see if that is better. I would like to get 12 like many of you are getting. I do drive in the mountains a lot though.
I have limited experience with mine so far but was trying to tune into what it was doing.

The tow haul mode did attempt to hold the gears. I believe it uses a incline sensor and at times it would drop to 5th or 4th and even backing off on throttle wouldn't upshift it. OTOH it stayed in 6 pretty well. On the drive by wire throttle, there is a whole bunch of control possible here by the computer. At one point I could hear a very strong exhaust note in 6th and I suspect the computer opened up the throttle considerably even though my foot only had the throttle cracked. It was trying to avoid a downshift. And this is the exact scenario where engine produces the most power per unit of fuel burn.

It did shift more than 3 or 4sp automatics, but it almost does that by definition. There are more ratios, and it will try for the optimum ratio. Driving these 6 sp autos in town, they're constantly shifting. I haven't been concerned about a shift per mile on the hwy. Its shifting a lot more than that in town. And on some sections of flat road it went a lot farther than a mile on a shift.

Hopefully these automatics are well designed for all the shifting they're doing. They appear to be well cooled. Both CU and True Delta had good reports for the automatic, and my previous experience with Toyota automatics has been very good.

I do like the manual control for engine braking and for throttle control of speed on twisty roads. But on long 60 mph roads I'm inclined to let the computer choose the best ratio. It should know a lot about fuel consumption curves. At least until I hear of a weakness in the transmission I need to cover for.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:18 PM   #18
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Some Tundra owners on www.tundratalk.net are willing to swap tow mirrors for standard ones. Also, some purchase them from the Toyota Dealer in Sparks, Nevada. I'd check on that site for more ideas on where to get the best price.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:19 PM   #19
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I found this document from '07. Possibly some changes since, nothing I noticed in the transmission contradicted any of it.

Quote:
8. Tow/Haul Control

General
During tow/haul control, the ECM controls the engine output, transmission shift schedule and shift timing to ensure drivability when a trailer is towed. The tow/haul control includes a throttle control, shift schedule control, wide open throttle shift timing control and AI-SHIFT control.
** The conditions required for tow/haul control to operate are as follows:
- Shift position: D position (Tow/haul control does not operate in the S position).
- TOW/HAUL pattern select switch: ON
** The TOW/HAUL indicator light is used to inform the driver that tow/haul control is operating.

Throttle Control
Throttle control changes the relationship between the accelerator pedal depression angle and the throttle valve opening angle.
** During tow/haul control, the throttle valve opening is increased by throttle control. As a result, acceleration performance is ensured.

Shift Schedule Control
The shift schedule control changes the upshift and downshift schedules during tow/haul control.
** For the upshift schedule, the upshift timing is changed to higher vehicle speeds, enhancing the use of lower gears. As a result, drivability is ensured.
** For the downshift schedule, the downshift timing is change to a wider throttle valve opening angle, enhancing the use of higher gears. As a result, the frequency of gear changes is reduced, allowing optimal shift quality.

Wide Open Throttle Shift Timing Control
Due to wide open throttle shift timing control, upshift timing is delayed to make use of high engine power when the accelerator pedal is fully opened.
** Wide open throttle shift control operates in 1st, 2nd and 3rd during tow/haul control.


11. AI (Artificial Intelligence)-SHIFT Control

General
In addition to shift pattern changes due to tow/haul control, AI-SHIFT control determines optimal transmission control based on input signals and automatically changes the shift pattern. As a result, a high caliber of transmission operation is achieved.
** The AI-SHIFT control includes a road condition support control and a driver’s intention support control.
** AI-SHIFT control is effect only with the shift lever in the D position, based on the accelerator and brake operation data. AI-SHIFT control will be canceled when the driver selects the S mode.

Road Condition Support Control
Under road condition support control, the ECM determines throttle valve opening angle and the vehicle speed whether the vehicle is being driven uphill or downhill.
1) When a trailer is not being towed:
** To achieve an optimal drive force while driving uphill, this control prevents the transmission from up-shifting to 4th, 5th or 6th gear.
** To achieve an optimal engine braking effect while driving downhill, this control automatically downshifts the transmission to 5th, 4th or 3rd gear.

2) When a trailer is being towed:
** To achieve an optimal drive force while driving uphill, this control prevents the transmission from up-shifting.
** To achieve an optimal engine braking effect while driving downhill, this control automatically downshifts the transmission.
** In addition to the shift pattern changes due to the road condition support control, the shift pattern is further changed when the tow/haul control is turned ON.

Driver’s Intention Support Control
1) When a trailer is not being towed Driver’s intention support control estimates the driver’s intention based on the accelerator operation and vehicle condition and selects a shift pattern that is well-suited to each driver.
2) When a trailer is being towed During tow/haul control operation, the driver’s intention support control ensures drivability while towing a trailer by determining the driver’s intention based on accelerator pedal operation and vehicle condition and performs the controls shown below:

Control= Sudden Accelerator Pedal Depress Control
Operation= When the driver operates (presses) the accelerator pedal quickly, this control causes the transmission to downshift rapidly to improve acceleration response.
Available for= 4th to 6th

Control= Sudden Accelerator Pedal Release Control
Operation= When the driver releases the accelerator quickly, this control makes it easy for the transmission to hold the gear, which improves engine braking force and re-acceleration response.
Available for= 3rd to 6th

Control= Sudden Deceleration Downshift Control
Operation= When the driver decelerates the vehicle suddenly, this control downshifts rapidly, which improves engine braking force and re-acceleration response.
Available for= 3rd to 6th

---2007 Tundra "NewCar Features" document
I find it fascinating that with drive by wire, what your foot is doing on the accelerator pedal and what the actual throttle is doing can be very different. Very cool, but very different for a guy who's first car was a '65 Chevy.
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:19 AM   #20
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We also have a Prius, and besides having accelerator and brake pedals that have every command questioned and frequently enhanced or overridden by the hybrid system computer, it has a continuously variable transmission that doesn't seem to shift.

Early on we gave up using the accelerator since the engine sounds never seemed to match what your foot was doing. We now use the cruise control almost exclusively, even in city driving, which allows the computer to set the engine speed and transmission ratio for the best economy.

We drive our 2008 Tundra CrewMax the same way and get pretty good mileage. However, it's really hard to keep your foot off the accelerator; all that extra power is intoxicating after driving the Prius.

Since our Bambi is relatively light compared to what the Tundra is rated for, we just let the cruise control and computers handle the throttle and shifts, and pretty much ignore the engine and transmission sounds, except when using engine braking, downhill.
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