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Old 04-29-2007, 02:29 PM   #1
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santee , California
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late model toyota landcruiser as tv

Hi to everyone:

My question is to anyone who has had experience towing with a late model toyota landcruiser 100 series. I know the wheel base is not truck like in length, 112", but i'm getting the distinct impression that if i use a Hensley Arrow hitch i'll be more then okay. The trailer is a new 23' airstream, maxed out it's 6,000lbs, my calculations show i'm right around 5,500lbs gross. the toyota will tow up to 6,500lbs. Tongue wt. is ok and i'm just under as far as the GVW and GCVW goes. Any thoughts from any one would be great.

Thanks, Mike

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Old 04-29-2007, 03:43 PM   #2
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Hi Mike -- and welcome to the Forums! I first opened up Toyota's Land Cruiser specs. It comes with a 4.7L V8 -- V8 is much better than a V6. Curb weight is 5425# (without any options); GVWR is 6925#. The difference is the Land Cruisers 'payload' or 'load capacity' = 1500#. Any load you put on or in the tow vehicle must not exceed this amount -- this includes vehicle options added before or after your purchase, towing gear (eg, hitch bar & ball), humans, pets, luggage/personal gear and tongue weight. Biggest issue? Is there a Class III hitch on the Land Cruiser yet? You'd need to subtract the weight differential if it has to be added.

The always tardy Airstream site specs does not give a tongue weight or a UBW for for a 23' Safari. What the heck is the payload capacity of the trailer? Maybe you are getting some up to date numbers from a dealer. But the trailer GVWR is 5600# -- regardless of base tongue weight, with WD gear & full propane located up on the A-frame you'd better add 150# or more to the base tongue weight. An average tongue weight is 11-13% of gross trailer weight, which would give you a ready-to-travel tongue weight of around 700-750 pounds -- which is realistic given the empty tongue weights listed for the 22' and 25'. There are practical ways to determine this at home with a bathroom scale.

Mechanical reliability, wear and tear, and emergency maneuvers/braking lead to a commonly quoted factor of not loading tow vehicle payload or GVWR above 85% (some cite 80%). Figure conservatively and keep your speeds below 70mph. Altitude and steep terrain will necessitate slowing down -- the 4.7L is just not that big... Get a tranny cooler installed. All sorts of ideas -- hang out here, research, and never be shy about asking questions. It might work but without a lot of margin or oomph (I'll await hearing from people who've actually towed with a Land Cruiser) -- and you'll still probably be thinking about increasing tow vehicle size after a couple years. The first step is important -- get Airstreamin'! Best wishes -- I hope we see a lot of responses about this somewhat less common tow vehicle.


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Old 04-29-2007, 05:24 PM   #3
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Mike -- Without further direct experience being voiced by other members, I wouldn't endorse it if this was a question about whether you should go out and buy a Toyota Land Cruiser. On the positive side it could be made to work if you already have one. There is always going to be a conflict between a strong, reliable and safe tow vehicle vs. economy and commuting comfort. It's not always an easy call.

If you are looking at new Airstreams, the sure thing is that you will save money in the long run if you get the Airstream that works best for you. A new Airstream will have more depreciation after driving it off the lot than any perceived economy in keeping a tow vehicle you already have. Budget will always guide your possible choices. We see that there is a diminishing group of family capacity SUVs or vans that also make great tow vehicles -- the questions get much tougher if looking at a 25' or larger.

[on edit: BTW -- a Hensley is an excellent weight distribution and antisway system but it will not let you violate the basic capacities of your tow vehicle. If you stay conservative and give an 85% or so margin down from the spec maximums, you probably have 99.?% of the control you need with an Equal-I-Zer or Reese HP DualCam.]

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Old 04-29-2007, 08:16 PM   #4
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Bob is right on with his advice... and as far as the Hensley goes with your rig, you're adding extra pounds with it to the mix over what a Reese or Equalizer would add.

I have towed my 25' Bigfoot with a curb weight of 5300 lbs and GVWR of 7500 lbs with my '02 Tundra. Although it's wheelbase is a little longer, it's a V6 and you've got the V8. You'll do OK. Your LandCruiser isn't overkill, but it'll do OK.

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Old 04-29-2007, 09:39 PM   #5
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Mike-----You are right on to stay within the stated vehicle max wt limits. The stay below 80-85% rule is smart if you are starting out to purchase a tow vehicle, but using all the capacity of an existing vehicle is very acceptable. The degradation in performance, confident feel, etc is a gradual continum. In your favor is the substantial wt of the TV, and the biggest negative is the leisurely performance of the small V8's low HP and torque characteristics without a trailer. This will be magnified substantially by doubling the wt being moved down the road with trailer in tow. If it were me, I'd use your current rig until you wanted/could step to more TV. Then buy the new land cruiser with another 100 hp. Let us know how you like it.

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Old 05-06-2007, 12:55 PM   #6
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Towing with a Landcruiser

Thank you all for your suggestions and comments, all good stuff. Waiting for the new 2008 Cruiser has been a thought, so I guess time will tell. Maybe I can catch a glimpse of one, in person, before all the new '07's disappear???
Thanks to everyone once again, Mike
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Old 05-06-2007, 01:22 PM   #7
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It could work


We have a 05 Lexus GX470 with similar specs to the Land Cruiser and its brother the Lexus LX470. They all have a 6500 lb tow rating and I believe a 965 lb hitch rating with a WD hitch.

The only difference is the GX470 has a 109" wheel base.

We have towed our 06 Safari 25FB/SE with the GX at around 6500 lbs and 950 tongue weight. Ok for short hauls but I was not comfortable, we usually tow with our 05 F250 PSD Crew Cab. One is a bit of an overkill and the other is a bit short.

I am familiar with the 23' and believe the LC would have no ploblems towing it at max weight. Although I wouldn't go with a LC if I was towing a 25' or larger, I think the LC and a 23' Safari are a good match based on my experience. Go with the EQ hitch and save the weight, they work just fine and are reasonable in price. Power with the 4.7 is good, its got great brakes and the electronic stability control is one of the best. And I am sure that you have heard the LC is almost bullet proof.

Maybe someone with a LC is out there who can give you a dead on example.

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Old 05-06-2007, 02:13 PM   #8
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Towing with a Land Cruiser

Well, looks like this question is for me. I tow a 25' 1989 Excella with a 1998 Toyota Land Cruiser. I sent Mike a more detailed message; but it does work pretty well. It is close to the weight limits, but not over them. Performance is good all around except for an occasional rough patch of road which can cause a bumpy ride due to the shorter wheelbase. It is an extremely smooth and reliable vechicle, very comfortable to traveling. Despite the 4.7 liter displacement torque and horsepower are very similar to 1/2 ton pickups or a Surburban.

After 14,000 miles of towing I told Mike that it isn't ideal and bigger would probably be better. But it does work and it wouldn't be overloaded.
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:28 AM   #9
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'07 Land Cruiser T.V. in the garage!

Well, it is done, brought the new Toyota home just the other day, I like! The 23' Safari will be down the road sometime and I do feel confident it will be a fine match, thanks to all your input.
Thanks again, Mike
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:43 AM   #10
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Hmm....I would double-check those quoted weights on the 23' safari. My OLD one weighs about that much. (book: ~3800 empty, ~5800 gross). New airstreams are typically much heavier than their vintage counterparts. I don't know the exact specs of the new 23-footers, but the idea that it weighs the same as an old one makes me raise an eyebrow....

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Old 05-11-2007, 07:45 AM   #11
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too short of a wheel base to make a good tv
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mikersmgm
Well, it is done, brought the new Toyota home just the other day, I like!
Congratulations! I'm sure you will enjoy your new Land Cruiser.

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