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Old 06-08-2009, 11:13 PM   #1
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is anyone towing with a 2009 tundra crew cab?

from my understanding the 2009 has more towing prowess than earlier models. Am considering pulling a 27 Fb. I understand its close and need to really watch my loading. Am wondering if anyone else is in this situation and how its gone?
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:15 AM   #2
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We have an '07 and the last time I looked the '09 the numbers didn't change that much. Our 25' Safari tops out at 6,100lbs and we tow it with absolutely no problems. We have a CrewMax which has a (if memory serves) 1,535lb payload. Accounting for what goes in the truck, truck bed and tongue weight we max out our towing capacity at about 9,000lbs. (It would pull 10K, but we would be over the max payload)
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:57 AM   #3
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This gives 1555# as the payload for an '09 Toyota CrewMax. You can expect a new 27' International's tongue weight to balloon to something over 900# with propane, WD gear and just some of your stuff aboard. Subtract that tongue weight from payload and this leaves 600-625# for the weight of all people aboard. Subtract the people from that 600-625# and that leaves how many pounds for all the options (truck cap?) and gear you want to carry in the box? And this is calculating you down to the skinny -- not even taking any 85% rule into account.

barkingspider handed me my lunch here on Tundra crew cabs towing a 25' Classic. Engine power will handle the 27'. Pay no attention to "I'm within tow capacity." A safe tow puts 11-13% of trailer weight onto the tongue. Tow capacity is calculated with absolutely no load beyond one driver in the truck. Therefore they allocate the remaining 1365# of payload to tongue weight only. That's why I had to ditch my Titan when I got a newer, heavier Airstream. Some of your F-150s have significantly higher payload capacities. Wasn't it just Car of the Year? [on edit: forgot to add the link - http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/f150/features/specs/ ]

Staying within spec on any capacity is important for emergency braking & maneuverability, family safety, vehicle durability, etc.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:23 AM   #4
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I tow with A Sequoia With the same engine and just a little less tow weight. This has been debated here lots and there are a ton of people towing with the tundra. The Frame youtube video will probably be brought up, but I talk to an engineer friend of mine and the test means nothing with out the running gear and the rest of the truck on it.

Bottom Line.... The Tundra is a very capable 1/2 ton TW. and it will tow your trailer just fine.

Sure A 3/4 ton has a higher towing rating and many will say it may be safer because of the stiffer frame and suspension. But I have ridden if both and the ride is a lot better in a 1/2 ton...

Your good to go with the Tundra....
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:24 AM   #5
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I recommend talking to CrawfordGene. He's a Tundra driver.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:32 AM   #6
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And here I am, but I'm hardly the only one towing with a Tundra. We tow a 2008 25' FB Safari without any problems. It is a 2007 SR5 5.7 L. double cab. The 2007 models had about 60 or 70 lbs. more payload for the double cabs over the crew cab. The SR5 has more payload than the Limited models. Because there are a lot of models, payload varies somewhat. If you go to the Toyota website, you can find payloads after a lot of looking around. On Toyotas, payload is cargo and people and weight distributed to the truck by a weight distributing hitch (you can think of that as cargo too). Some companies give you payload with an empty gas tank and/or no coolant, but those are taken into account on Toyotas.

Payload, not tow capacity, is the issue with 1/2 ton trucks. The WD hitch roughly distributes (if set up right) about 2/3 of tongue weight to the truck and 1/3 to the trailer axles. Tongue weight on Airstreams gets stated differently in different company literature (who knows why?), so take the highest number you can find, add wt. of propane, consider how many options are on the trailer that add something to tongue wt., take 2/3 of that.

Then how many people are going to ride in the truck and what do they weigh (getting accurate information on what people weigh can be a challenge and I have no advice on that)? Dogs? Cats? Hampsters? Then what about tools, extra food and clothes, maps and tour books, generator, extra water and gas, sewer connections, safety gear, and assorted junk, and add all this together.

Take that number and compare it to the various payloads for all the different Tundra models. You may be able to get a booklet at a Toyota dealer that has it in easy to read format. You may find yourself looking at the double cab SR5 5.7L engine for the most tow capacity and payload in a popular model. 4wd or 2wd makes a difference too—more payload in a 2wd, but 4wd makes sense in Minnesota.

Then there's the safety factor, often stated to be 80 or 85% of the number—any towing number, payload, tow capacity, etc. Keeping below the maximum is supposed to be safer, though whether that's conventional (i.e., unproven) knowledge or there is objective testing of it, I don't know. Seems like a safety factor is a good idea, if only because a lot of people carry more than they anticipated with them and eat too much and gain weight.

I didn't see anything on the Toyota website about increasing towing ability, but I didn't look at everything. The payloads looked about the same as 2007. Just make sure you check out the tow package which was standard on a lot of models in 2007, but may not be now. Also, the TRD package would seem to me to be helpful for towing. I believe that is the package which gets you the Bilstein shocks, definitely the shocks to go with. Also see what tires come with a model—Toyota has a habit of putting crap tires on certain models. Sometimes you get a choice.

There's a lot on the Forum about all this including a great deal of brand bashing and statements indicating you can't tow just about any trailer with anything but an American 3/4 ton diesel powered behemoth. The Tundra is a behemoth with a very powerful gas engine and reasonable payload for some trailers.

We didn't feel the Tundra was the right truck for a 27' Safari (now Flying Cloud), but others tow a 27' and longer and report no problems. It is possible they feel no problems, but the 27' may be putting more strain on the suspension and other components which they will feel in the wallet some day, but that's only a wild guess. The numbers for payload for all the various models of Tundras and Airstreams are important and require some thought because it's a close call for some combinations. My experience with Toyotas is they are extremely well built and reliable and that the newer Tundras are overbuilt for a 1/2 ton truck. But follow the numbers and make your decision. In the end you have to go with what you are comfortable with because a divorce between you and your truck is expensive.

Gene
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:22 PM   #7
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I tow 63 TW 3350 dry with an 04 Tundra. Wish i had more power and a better suspension. However the truck with 95K miles on it has been trouble free. I get
13.5 mpg towing. I had to put air bags on to keep the ass end up while towing.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:51 PM   #8
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We have a 2008 Tundra CrewMax and tow a 19-foot Bambi. Plenty of towing capacity for our trailer, but not sure about a 27 foot.

There are others on this Tundra forum that can probably answer your questions: www.tundratalk.net
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:46 PM   #9
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I think Gene's advice is spot on. While we all ought to "watch our loading," it's pretty easy to start putting stuff in and accumulating weight. He's also right about "truck divorces." I tend to be a "buy and hold" truck guy while my brother seems to get a new truck every year. My brother's latest truck is Tundra. He pulls a '26 SOB with slide out. Like Sixty, he installed bags in the rear to firm and level things.

I think it's a preference question. Do you want to get a Tundra and carefully watch the weight of everything... or do you want to go bigger and relax about what you take along?
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:26 PM   #10
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Becoming one with your towing

A couple of things to note. Sixty's (post #7) Tundra is the first generation one. This is a very different truck than the second generation one and he's towing a much, much lighter trailer. We don't what kind of WD hitch he's using, if he's using one and whether it's adjusted correctly.

What the weight of Hampstead's brother's (is he "37" or "39") SOB is or which Tundra generation he's driving are more unknowns. Perhaps it's a new one, or he buys an old, but newer than the last, truck every year.

Airbags are one way to beef up a suspension. Another way is rubber blocks ("springs" they are called*) that prevent too much compression of the leaf springs. At least one Forum member uses them to tow a 27' with a newer Tundra. He likes them and reports no problems. I don't understand how a rubber block or an air bag makes a suspension stronger. All I can understand is that it keeps the springs from overcompression, but that doesn't make the leaf springs stronger. Perhaps this technology is beyond me.

Last, I relax and don't worry about what I'm taking along. Relaxing/not worrying can be achieved through medication, ignorance, drunkenness, being in touch with your inner self, having the right tool for the task, or any number of other strategeries. I made my decision about weights and trucks when I started this process and live with it. It could be ignorance or one of the other reasons. When I towed the Safari over the Bong Bridge** I felt a sublime calmness.

Gene

*Phrase structure courtesy of a Yoda moment.

**The Bong Bridge is in Duluth, Minn. I am not making this up. After the Bong Bridge, you graduate to the Duluth Aerial Bridge. Nonetheless, some things in this post cannot be trusted (2air moment).
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:16 PM   #11
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I tow a 26' Overlander with an 08 Tundra 5.7 double cab. My trailer isn't as big or as heavy, but it really isn't a challenge for the Tundra. I didn't pay much attention to load ratings, etc when I bought. I hitched it up for a test drive and liked it a lot. I still do.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:45 PM   #12
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We are taking our first trip this week-end with our new 2009 Tundra. We have a 22" Safari. Looking forward to seeing if we will have a better tow than our last trip with our 4Runner. Can't wait until Thurs gets here. Will post again after we have returned home
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:14 PM   #13
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the numbers

according to my book that came with the truck
my gcwr is 14000 min
my towing capacity is
8100

those are low range if i dont have certain options which im trying to figure out
so could be high as 16000 and 10100.

but i suck at math and acronymns

anyway it doesnt sound like im out of the ball park. whats really driving me nuts is the hitch arguement. some swear the equalizer is horrible and i have one and i have issues with it. the metal vertical bars bend on every trip. equalizer says turn em around so they start bending back. really? REALLY? then others say reese dual is the way to go. Now i hear other wise. Ugh i smell another thread coming...
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:22 AM   #14
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Hitches seem to have an emotional component just like trucks and politics. I think you mean the link plates, the 4 black bars, 2 of them with a box welded to them for the L brackets. The link plates will bend if the bolts that secure them to the tongue are over tightened. You can turn around the two without the box and beat at the other ones to straighten it. Tighten the bolts to about 50 foot pounds.

My Equalizer was set up badly by the dealer, but still worked fine. Now I'm going through the instructions carefully and setting it up right. Takes some simple math though. My hitch confused me until I really studied it and spent a lot of time on the phone with Equalizer. It's getting easier now.

Sounds like you have an '09 Tundra already. What is the payload is the question. GCWR and tow capacity are plenty for a 27', it's the payload. The owner's manual gives payload for each model. The booklets the dealer has or the window sticker will tell you what is standard with your model and you then can figure out what the options weigh—guesswork to be sure and you can ask people at the dealership, perhaps in the servicde dept., to calculate that weight.

Gene
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