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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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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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