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Old 12-21-2013, 04:11 PM   #1
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Lexus LX470 as TV?

I own a reasonably low mileage (94K) 2006 Lexus LX470 and am considering using it to tow an Airstream trailer. I envision using it for month long trips with 1-2 adults...probably touring from my home base in north Georgia to the great American west....Arizona, Montana, Utah, etc. So a fair amount of highway travel, driving western mountain passes and mostly summer/fall travel.

So, how big an Airstream can my LX comfortably, reliably and safely handle?

Are there add-on's that might help my Lexus do the duty with less stress on it's running gear (like an oil cooler?)?

I would particularly value input from those who have experience using this model (or it's twin, the Toyota Land Cruiser) to tow Airstreams around the west?

First post here....looking for ward to your input.

Many thanks,

Bob
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:22 PM   #2
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Bob check out our nearby--- Hiawassee rally in April. Under Springstream in Forums Rallys..
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:31 PM   #3
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Hi Bob

Here's a link to a forum search looking for threads featuring the Lexus: Airstream Forums - Search Results

You might find your questions answered in there.
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Old 12-21-2013, 05:24 PM   #4
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Bob.... here are some more posts of interest....

Airstream Forums - Search Results
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:39 PM   #5
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Hi Bob

Here's a link to a forum search looking for threads featuring the Lexus: Airstream Forums - Search Results

You might find your questions answered in there.
Yep...very helpful. Thanks!
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:57 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard. There are enough tow vehicle, tires and best hitch threads on here to spin your eye balls for years, or so it seems.

I wish I had the time to read every thread, but there is more to life than that. I learned all I know about those three topics above here and at least made a semi intelligent group of choices including the trailer size and subsequent trailer and trim level, what options to install at the factory and what options to put on later, the better (or best depends on who is talking) trailer tires and the proper sized or capability tow vehicle with hitch for the trailer selected.

I started with using my 2007 Mercedes ML 320 CDI diesel and found the numbers did not work (front axle rating exceeded and the car GVW was exceeded let alone the actual weight of the loaded trailer grossly exceeding the recommended maximum trailer weight and creating driveline stain) when the trailer was loaded for camping. I migrated to a ton diesel tow vehicle. I changed the tires to Michelin on the original trailer and have them in hand for the new unit when it gets here.

Enjoy the learning process. It is cheaper to push a pencil on the numbers on paper than try to erase the ink on a signed contract.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:27 AM   #7
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What size trailer are you thinking of towing?
The lx470 is a great SUV and the air suspension makes it ride great. But it does lower the towing compared to the land cruiser.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:52 AM   #8
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What size trailer are you thinking of towing?
The lx470 is a great SUV and the air suspension makes it ride great. But it does lower the towing compared to the land cruiser.
I didn't know that...thanks.

I am considering a small trailer, in the 20' range...I think. Still so early in the process. I haven't actually set foot in one yet, so I am judging based on floorplans and You tube videos. I know this isn't any way to decide, but everybody gotta start someplace.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:56 AM   #9
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I started with using my 2007 Mercedes ML 320 CDI diesel and found the numbers did not work (front axle rating exceeded and the car GVW was exceeded let alone the actual weight of the loaded trailer grossly exceeding the recommended maximum trailer weight and creating driveline stain) when the trailer was loaded for camping. I migrated to a ton diesel tow vehicle. I changed the tires to Michelin on the original trailer and have them in hand for the new unit when it gets here.

.
I'll wager you're not the first to go through this process. I'm curious...when considering a different tow vehicle, what were you decision points when considering 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton? '

Am I opening a can of worms here? If so, can you point me to threads that have already hashed through these wars?

Thanks!
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:44 PM   #10
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I'll wager you're not the first to go through this process. I'm curious...when considering a different tow vehicle, what were you decision points when considering 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton? '
For most the decision comes down to payload capacity, some just want the big diesel engine so they don't have to slow down on hills.

For example with your 2006 Lexus LX470 the payload is only 1270 lbs so with a 25' modern Airstream real world tongue weights are usually 1000-1200 lbs and after weight distribution is applied would use up 900-1000 lbs of your payload capacity which wouldn't leave much for passengers and anything else in your TV.

With that said you should be fine with an Airstream in the 20' range actually a 23' FB or smaller should be good for payload.(the other 23' Airstreams have more tongue weight then the 23' FB)

Your Lexus lists 2 tow ratings 5000 lbs or 6500 lbs if 5000 lbs that would limit you to 22' or less for a new Airstream, vintage trailers are lighter and may allow a larger trailer.

One of the best add-ons for reliability is an auxiliary-transmission cooler.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:57 AM   #11
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My choice of a successor tow vehicle to the Mercedes was limited to the 2012 Dodge 2500HD with Cummins. I wanted payload, diesel and no urea in the fuel. My choice within that boundary was limited because of model year end, but found the truck with all the required options and color I wanted plus some bonus options on the wish list.

Required options included:
Power Heater T-towing mirrors with signal lamps and pussle l;ights
Reverse Camera required the navigation system for the display screen
Backup sensors
Bucket front seats
180 watt alternator
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:30 AM   #12
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I am using Lexus 2007 GX470 for my 23 FB for last two years without any issues going over7,000 ft mountian passes. It is a great SUV. Previously I had 2005 4Runner and used it for my 20' Airstream. The both vehicles are almost same except Lexus is little luxurous, all wheel drive and tow capacity is 6500 lb as compare to 7,000 lbs for 4Runner. As mentioned above 23FB A/S has lowest hitch weight, however, our decision was not based on this fact rather than our preference to the layout. Good luck
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by bobframe View Post
I didn't know that...thanks.



I am considering a small trailer, in the 20' range...I think. Still so early in the process. I haven't actually set foot in one yet, so I am judging based on floorplans and You tube videos. I know this isn't any way to decide, but everybody gotta start someplace.

That's a good range for the trailer and the lx470. I agree with the other inputs here on size of the airstream for this SUV. Enjoy.
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:54 AM   #14
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Thanks for all of your input. Very helpful.

Can someone point me to the great debate on 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton?
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