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Old 12-28-2017, 12:23 PM   #1
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Ford F250/F350 4x4 versus Toyota Tundra 4x4

The 4.7L 2006 Tundra 4x4 with shell pulled the 2006 23 foot Safari easily. The hitch name I cannot recall, but it had the bars with the chain that I dropped three links to maintain level towing. The 2006 Tundra was the last of the ‘small Tundra’s and the last of the 4.7L engines. This model was great for top resale as it was the LAST of that model.

The 5.7L Double Cab towed the 23 foot easily, and later a 5.7L Crew Max towed the 2014 25 foot International easily. Towed… pulled the trailer. Braking and power. BUT…

Although I never had any mechanical problems with any of my Tundra’s, once we went to 25 feet… the leaf springs were… FLAT. The bed of the truck sat down and with the Equalizer Hitch. I tried to transfer weight to the front of the vehicle to bring the bed up, but the ride was hard and nothing changed. The rear suspension was not adequate. The pulling the trailer was fine. The braking power was fine. The towing into a head wind would drop the mileage per gallon 25% or more. A mountain pass would drop gas mileage 50% or more. On the flat road, no wind or tail wind… 14 mpg. Head wind and up and down 6 to 8 mpg. The mpg could vary a lot depending on load, wind and road.

Figuring fuel economy, the reliability of the Tundra.. always… it was a trade off I could deal with. Possibly a different hitch could raise the rear of the bed. Possibly a suspension ‘enhancement’ could raise the bed of the truck. The Tundra for resale was great.

My option was before the 2014 Tundra Crew Max 4x4’s warranty expired… I traded it in for a end of the year new 2016 Ford 4x4 F350 with the six foot bed, Diesel. It came with Michelin tires. The trade in for the Tundra was very satisfactory and the discounts from' imaginary reasons' were satisfactory and the haggling, and left the dealership to go home and return the following day to finalize terms and price. I would have to dig out paper work, but your pocket will be lighter no matter what price as the Diesel adds to the list price and is also an oil service cost you need to be able to accept. I am sure the gas model would be better in price and suspension able to handle anything in the F250/F350 series.

I did not want the aluminum bed as it was priced already into the model and those trucks made the previous year, would not as desirable for those people waiting for 2017. The dealership was 'happy' to find me coming through their front door.

Using the Equalizer Hitch with 1,000 pound bars, I set up the hitch as described on the Equalizer Web Site. I set the hitch up later, myself, as my experience with the local dealer was not positive. Do it once right and it has some flexibility in loads and maintaining a level line from front to back.

The Diesel F350, once you resolve the cost, is overkill to say the least. A 25 foot is easily towed, easier than the Tundra, but accelerates like the Tundra without the trailer in tow. I am sure the gas models would be much similar in towing as the Tundra, but the suspension of the Ford is superior as the F250/F350 have plenty of spring ‘arch’ left once the trailer is attached and being towed.

Someone towing a longer Airstream than 25 feet with a Tundra… be careful. That is a big leap in Toyota faith… but obviously seems successful up to 34 feet. I have seen it.

I had just as many interior rivets pop with the Tundra as the tow vehicle, as I have with the Ford. The count might be seven and all along the arch on the interior on either side. The cabinet screws that come loose, I upgrade and even used carriage bolt, washer and nut to avoid further screw tightening between the bathroom and closets. You can see from the floor if the cabinets are…moving. I sometimes find loose brackets, loose screws or even staples that missed the brace to hold cabinets together. If a cabinet will come loose, you will eventually find it. I like the Safari/Flying Cloud interior better than the International with the sliding plastic doors. We purchased off the lot, and the Flying Cloud was more to our liking, but the International we were content with the purchase price.

I, and this is my opinion, even after test driving the F150 V6 turbo… is not close to being a Tundra. The Ford has a beautiful interior and ride... but the Tundra will pull an Airstream safely and easily.

The Tundra is closer to being a Ford F250… if Toyota wanted to get into a heavier truck… I might even go back to Toyota. From 1972 to 2016 I had Toyota pickups. A HUGE change over those years only someone who experienced the mini truck to the current Crew Max and beyond.

I never owned a Dodge pickup. Someone may want to jump in. Lets not get into Diesel models and all of that. Suspension and towing ability. I would believe the 3/4 ton+, as well as Chevrolet would be capable.

When we pass an Airstream, we try to glance to see how they tow vehicle is sitting and hitch. Most are just fine from a casual glance. Some… are squatting. Our F350 can tow our 25 foot International at any speed, at any ‘highway grade’ with ease. Forest Service and BLM roads… like the Tundra… and effortless.

This is only my opinion after having a 2006 4.7L and 2014 5.7L Tundra 4x4 and currently a 2016 6.7L Diesel F350 4x4. The intent is to give my experiences. The Tundra is better built than a Ford pickup. Look at the fit of the doors and body. The Tundra has a better paint job than my Ford. The interiors have plusses and minuses for either. If Toyota comes out with a Heavy Duty Diesel 4x4… I might be at the dealership for a test drive and have the best of both worlds.
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Old 12-28-2017, 01:23 PM   #2
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They still have 2016s?
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Old 12-28-2017, 01:27 PM   #3
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Good Summary, Ray

We really like our 2010 Tundra CrewMax. With about 50K miles, it is comfortable and reliable, and the steering is solid.

Our issue is the payload; at 1290 lbs. it just does not give us much to work with. We are over the sticker payload numbers, though not the individual axle ratings. I have mitigated the load by going to LRE Michelin tires and installed SuperSprings on the rear axle to level the load. We tow a 23FB using an Equalizer Hitch. Once the adjustments are dialed in, it tracks straight and true.

But, I just don't like the payload restriction and having to decide what to bring and what to leave behind. There are those that say don't worry about it, the vehicle components are over engineered and then there are those that say you are a menace to the highways if you exceed the payload by one pound.

Which is why I am thinking about going to a 3/4 ton gasser, either a Ford or GMC . I need to drive each one and see how the steering feels and if it is as tight as the rack and pinion on the Tundra.
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Old 12-28-2017, 02:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Countryboy59 View Post
They still have 2016s?
June 29, 2016 the Ford Dealership in Denver had hundreds of 2016's (trucks and cars) on the lot.

I emphasized, at the dealership, that the 2017's with the aluminum beds probably was worth waiting for and I sure liked the F150 turbo six that I test drove.... which for a pickup truck, a truly luxury version!

From somewhere on the lot they find this 2016 King Ranch in maroon... exactly what color I would have asked for. Michelin Tires. Color. F350 for the extra $100 sticker... but the Diesel engine problems I had heard about the earlier versions of Ford Forums, which there seemed to be more than I could keep up with... that the 2016 was finally worked out.

After negotiating price with the saleswoman, she almost began crying, being so frustrated with my wife as the 'bad guy' and I would go out on the lot and look around for a better deal and be... undecided. After we finally worked out the price, I managed to get the Ford rubber floor mats and rubber bed mat at no charge.

We have a 2008 Land Cruiser that is the local drive around vehicle and the Ford gets out to get the engine up to temperature, but is the primary use is to tow the 25 foot International. Retired has its rewards, but for those of you who are younger... you would have to make some tough decisions.

The 2014 Tundra was our every day truck and the 2008 Land Cruiser our number two, when we both needed a vehicle. Now the Land Cruiser is at 48,000 miles will be good for another ten or more years.

There were plenty of 4x4 F250's, some without running boards which are needed, or you need a ladder to climb into the cab. Lots of white and odd colors.

We try to buy new at the end of the year when the new models are coming out. New 'doo dad' electronics are not on our wish list.

If I have any problem with my F350 while under warranty... if it be the diesel engine or transmission... I will be one very... unhappy... camper. I love the truck. It may not be assembled as well as the Tundra or Land Cruiser... but for what I need the truck... this is like having a jet engine on a scooter.

I have to add: The Brake Controller worked out fine. Plugged the Airstream into the truck and no problems. The Diesel brakes well in the mountains without using your wheel braking. Gets some time to get use to, but the engine braking is also a great surprise.
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Old 12-28-2017, 03:00 PM   #5
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June 29, 2016 the Ford Dealership in Denver had hundreds of 2016's (trucks and cars) on the lot.

---------------snip-------------------------

After negotiating price with the saleswoman, she almost began crying, being so frustrated with my wife as the 'bad guy' and I would go out on the lot and look around for a better deal and be... undecided. After we finally worked out the price, I managed to get the Ford rubber floor mats and rubber bed mat at no charge.

---------------------------------snip-------------------
Sounds very familiar...Wife and I go to the dealer, find the vehicle we researched online, then I sit back and watch her get the price, terms, and accessories SHE wants. Since her ancestry includes a genetic propensity for haggling, the dealership inevitably caves to her preconceived price and terms. Formidable to watch, especially when she tells the sales droid to get the real sales manager out there to finish negotiating the deal, and she ties that second guy in knots...and wins.
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Old 12-28-2017, 04:03 PM   #6
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Good Summary, Ray

We really like our 2010 Tundra CrewMax. With about 50K miles, it is comfortable and reliable, and the steering is solid.

Our issue is the payload; at 1290 lbs. it just does not give us much to work with. We are over the sticker payload numbers, though not the individual axle ratings. I have mitigated the load by going to LRE Michelin tires and installed SuperSprings on the rear axle to level the load. We tow a 23FB using an Equalizer Hitch. Once the adjustments are dialed in, it tracks straight and true.

But, I just don't like the payload restriction and having to decide what to bring and what to leave behind. There are those that say don't worry about it, the vehicle components are over engineered and then there are those that say you are a menace to the highways if you exceed the payload by one pound.

Which is why I am thinking about going to a 3/4 ton gasser, either a Ford or GMC . I need to drive each one and see how the steering feels and if it is as tight as the rack and pinion on the Tundra.
Your right; payload is disappointing on the Tundra's, from my evaluation earlier this year; I could not find one on the lot with more than 1300 lbs payload rating with any upgrades on it. Nice looking, but older technology,...6 speed trany, poor MPG, no payload. They are over due for a re-design for sure. Lots of Toyota fans waiting for that to happen.
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Old 12-28-2017, 04:17 PM   #7
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Good Summary, Ray

We really like our 2010 Tundra CrewMax. With about 50K miles, it is comfortable and reliable, and the steering is solid.

Our issue is the payload; at 1290 lbs. it just does not give us much to work with. We are over the sticker payload numbers, though not the individual axle ratings. I have mitigated the load by going to LRE Michelin tires and installed SuperSprings on the rear axle to level the load. We tow a 23FB using an Equalizer Hitch. Once the adjustments are dialed in, it tracks straight and true.

But, I just don't like the payload restriction and having to decide what to bring and what to leave behind. There are those that say don't worry about it, the vehicle components are over engineered and then there are those that say you are a menace to the highways if you exceed the payload by one pound.

Which is why I am thinking about going to a 3/4 ton gasser, either a Ford or GMC . I need to drive each one and see how the steering feels and if it is as tight as the rack and pinion on the Tundra.
A one ton series is nice when the trailers weigh 12-14k. Stop by the truckstop and get the solo, full fuel, loaded for camping solo weight on the Cat Scale after dropping trailer.

Then get back to Cat Scale with only Driver, max fuel and gear kept permanently aboard. The TARE weight.

My 35’ can be towed with a car, given proper WD. Better than by a pickup despite the bleating of the sheep.

The only wild card is how much junk in back of truck. Isolate that.

And, no, a solid axle, worm-gear steer truck isn’t near as good. Not even close.

.
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Old 12-28-2017, 05:50 PM   #8
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Thanks Ray...I enjoyed your post.
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Old 12-28-2017, 06:22 PM   #9
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Thanks for the review! Another classic Ray commentary. You are the Paul Harvey of Airforums! I for one appreciate your deep rooted Toyota history which mirrors mine, minus the deisel upgrade.
I started with the T-100 3.4L(Favorite), Sequoia 4.7L(Tank in the snow) and now a Tundra 5.7L(upgraded Bilstein shocks, E-rated tires, rear sway bar have all helped).
I tow a 28’ AS and have been out west and down south with only one regret. That being to never ever go over the Teton Pass or any other 10% 6 mile grade again with my current set up. I hit wall going up at 30mph and said a rosary (to myself) going down the other side.
I have 145,000 on my Tundra now and plan on heading out to Glacier NP this summer with the family. But, in the back of my head I’m hoping to hang onto this truck till Toyota finally comes out with that rumored deisel. And if they do, we will see if your F-350 can beat my Tundra to the dealership
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Old 12-28-2017, 06:40 PM   #10
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...

Although I never had any mechanical problems with any of my Tundra’s, once we went to 25 feet… the leaf springs were… FLAT. The bed of the truck sat down and with the Equalizer Hitch. I tried to transfer weight to the front of the vehicle to bring the bed up, but the ride was hard and nothing changed. The rear suspension was not adequate. The pulling the trailer was fine. The braking power was fine. The towing into a head wind would drop the mileage per gallon 25% or more. A mountain pass would drop gas mileage 50% or more. On the flat road, no wind or tail wind… 14 mpg. Head wind and up and down 6 to 8 mpg. The mpg could vary a lot depending on load, wind and road.

...
Ray, I do agree with your take on the cargo capacity of the Tundra. As a half ton this is an issue, a very big issue for some. A small issue for me.

As for the comments above, I really don't agree. You must have had quite a load in the back of your truck is all I can say. I have towed my 25FB for just about 40K miles with my Tundra and have never seen "flat" springs. They are not even close to the rubber bumper stops. My Equalizer is lightly dialed in and my trailer truck combo is straight.

Good luck with your bigger heavier truck, I am sure you are going to enjoy it. If it is a gasser don't expect to maintain the same mileage when towing into the wind or pulling up the hills. A Tundra is no different from any of the other big V8s in mileage in these conditions.
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:30 PM   #11
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Sounds very familiar...Wife and I go to the dealer, find the vehicle we researched online, then I sit back and watch her get the price, terms, and accessories SHE wants. Since her ancestry includes a genetic propensity for haggling, the dealership inevitably caves to her preconceived price and terms. Formidable to watch, especially when she tells the sales droid to get the real sales manager out there to finish negotiating the deal, and she ties that second guy in knots...and wins.
Ford still does OK on the deal I'm guessing, based on my stock...
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:37 AM   #12
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I am in the crowd that believes if you need a weight distribution hitch to tow safely then you may need a bigger truck. WD hitches were invented when HD trucks were not a part of most families daily driver stable. Often there was only one car and it had to serve as the tow vehicle too. Back then we were pulling AS trailers with cars mostly which needed the correction of the WD hitches to tow safer. Same thing applies today with light duty 1/2 ton trucks. I do not believe in pushing a vehicle to its limits, especially when towing. There needs to be a safety factor which can add to the enjoyment of the RVing experience. No stress is good. White knuckles, not so much.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:54 AM   #13
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Ford still does OK on the deal I'm guessing, based on my stock...
I have no idea---wife refuses to buy Fords, or anything from Dodge, barely tolerated a van from GM. She (thank heavens) quit buying Volvos as well when they sold passenger car line to the Chinese. Toyota is what we get now--She loves her Prius!
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:56 AM   #14
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I am very fortunate to be able to 'Log In' onto the Forum after some trial and error with tow vehicles.

If you truly want to test your Tow Vehicle and Hitch... try Monarch Pass, Colorado. Or for fun ANY PASS in Colorado.

The braking of the Diesel made it much easier, although not a 'cake walk through the mountains'. It is still an experience.

It is even a better challenge with a Tundra 5.7L towing a 25 foot or longer trailer. Just getting to the top on Monarch Pass it was 'break time'. Getting down... you wonder what in Hell am I Thinking, if at all. Those who say 'ah... it is not so bad'... have fighter pilot nerves.

If any of us are primarily towing on flat terrain, probably will not have one problem. Getting into and out of mountain terrain, Appalachians to the Rockies... well, you will understand the challenges of towing.

I have done it all. Colorado is a sure test of will and skill... The family 'sees' the driver and the smell of 18 wheeler brakes.

Even Monarch Pass travel... you will note a lack of... 18 wheelers. Hmmm. What do they know that we do not?

It was a big change going from my experience with Tundra... but the mountains of the West show no mercy and if you are not careful... things happen quickly going down hill, and slowly going up. Just be careful. We are a tight knit family, we Airstream owners, and we sometimes boast of our abilities to do the impossible.

One day... as I discovered... the impossible made an imprint in my head... Monarch Pass. There was blood in my knuckles... but most of it was in my head wondering... what in hell am I doing on this Pass?
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