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Old 09-28-2010, 02:26 PM   #1
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sell my new tundra? add a leaf? stay single?

I own a 2010 tundra crewmax, and am headed towards buying a 28 ft flying cloud. After spending tons of time on this site looking into issues with the 1/2 ton tundras, I am beginning to wonder a bit how this is going to work. I am unmarried, no wife, no kids, no dog. My payload is lighter. My goal for now is to travel alone for weeks or months to more remote places. (I know the 28 is a lot for one person but thats another thread).

It seems to me that the issue of the tundra (towing capacity vs payload capacity) can be neatly explained by the issue of the ring gear: The ring gear is larger by comparison, allowing a better axle ratio, improving the sheer “tow capacity”. But toyota did not (comparatively) increase the suspension. The leaf springs are like any other half ton. Toyota thus leaves it to us to determine that 10-15% of the trailer on the hitch is going to be an issue - at least thats my take on it.

I created 3 small spreadsheets that show all my weights and numbers are within Toyota’s stated limits. In fact I am about 2000 lbs under the GCWR except for of course, the payload, which is right at or perhaps 200 lbs over. If I add family or friends or kids to the truck it will be over the limits. So how do I approach this? Is is not going to be safe for some unrelated issue such as braking or stability? The toyota brakes are huge, the quality is great, am I going to be fighting on hills? The tundra is going to weigh more than the trailer by a small margin.

thanks for any responses

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Old 09-28-2010, 02:36 PM   #2
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Not so fast on disposing of the Tundra, if you are within the towing capacity,
(actually 20%) under, you can make it work. The hitch and set up are also critical factors....I tow a 73---25' with a 6cyl Toyota Tacoma.....using a Reese dual cam anti-sway hitch set up....I am at the recommended limit for towing capacity, and with the 6 speed manual transmission have towed many thousand miles with no problems, and quite safely! Get to some of the Airstream Rallys and talk to the folks who have been towing for some time, my experience is that these folks are a better source than you will find at any RV dealer.....Good luck


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Old 09-28-2010, 02:58 PM   #3
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Besides our 19-foot Bambi, we also tow a 27-foot Bayliner cabin cruiser that weighs about 9,000 pounds. It's a triple axle, so the tongue weight is surprisingly low for the load, only about 350 pounds (less than the Bambi). However, our Tundra CrewMax has no trouble towing it. Before you choke on eating the depreciation on your new Tundra, I'd try towing the 28 foot trailer with it. The dealer might let you hook it up and drive it around the block, especially, if you are about to buy. I think you may be pleasantly surprised how capable your Tundra is.

We had an old 3/4 ton Chevy crew cab with a 454 V8, and our Tundra tows the same or better than the old Chevy, and it is a lot more comfortable, quiet and reliable. The Tundra's suspension is a little softer, but I'm not sure that Chevy's overload springs were good for the Airstream and it rode like an old truck. A newer 3/4 ton Chevy, Ford or Dodge might make you feel better psychologically, but I'm sure you are going to lose thousands on the trade-in on your Tundra. And, it may be an unnecessary trade.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:57 PM   #4
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Carl28, I'm not sure if you know that a weight distribution hitch takes part of the tongue weight and transfers it to the front tires thru the truck's frame. As has been suggested, try to test tow one and you will see how well some of the hitches work. The key is getting the right stiffness of bars for your tongue weight. The Reese dual cam WD hitch is a popular choice.
So Long!
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:19 PM   #5
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You might want to check in with CrawfordGene. He's from colorado and tows 25 AS with Tundra. He might have some worthwhile thoughts.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:14 PM   #6
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I face the same problem. I bought a 2010 Tundra Crewmax to tow a 2008 25' Classic. I have a lighter tongue weight but the payload on the Crewmax (and on my truck) is typically much lower than the ball park figures you find on the Toyota website or that you hear from salesmen. All of those bells and whistles - moon roof, tonneau cover, running boards - add up very quickly.

I wonder what harm running over the max payload standard causes? So far I haven't seen anything specific. Does it impair handling? Or will it cause your transmission and running gear to wear out far more quickly than it otherwise would?
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:28 PM   #7
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I will remain an American car man. But, that being said I would say with a good WD hitch and anti-sway you have plenty of truck.

And I think a 28' is just the right size if that is what you like.
Have fun, enjoy your rig.

Best Regards,
Jeff & Cindy
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:30 PM   #8
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Surely you can make it work. We (two adults in car) tow our 23' with a mid sized sport sedan and we are not over the car's axle load ratings. The WDH will help a lot. With such a large Airstream put most of your stuff in the trailer not the truck. With it all properly set up it should be fine.

PS.... It's an Airstream. They are an easy tow!
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:32 PM   #9
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If you've been diligent in reading threads around here then you've come across the idea

Choose the trailer first, the tow vehicle second.

And I'd imagine your spreadsheets include a set of certified scale ticket readings of your Tundra with driver, full fuel and otherwise empty (except those few things that never leave the truck) as your reading also indicated to you that published factory weights bear little meaning from truck to truck -- the variance is almost always 450-lbs or more from the above, and may be hundreds of pounds different than another, seemingly comparable truck. This information is central to your investigation; guesstimates of TV weight don't count; so,

Hitch rigging is reliant on certified scale readings.

CAT Scale Search

Weight of TT versus TV doesn't mean much if the rigging is proper and one has an aerodynamic, independently-suspended trailer (I would also add to that list disc brakes and a sway eliminating hitch) as these qualities have genuine, positive effects. (On the other hand, off-road tires tend to squirm, and oversize tires on a truck with a "lift kit" genuinely degrade towing performance). Preferably the truck has the factory towing package (that you may choose to modify for better performance; vehicle dependent).

As you read and re-read threads/posts keep in mind that there are those who think towing performance is "not good" if the rig can't crest Wolf Creek Pass at 70 mph . . the same ones who don't know how to use mirrors and are afraid of being runned over by faster traffic. A TV/TT combination is pretty well the worst-handling, worst-braking combination out there. So, with a TV with ordinary power there will be "slow roads" that, IMO, have absolutely nothing to do with gauging TV performance. Climbing some roads at WOT for minutes on end is meaningless. The truck is designed for it. And that's only in the mountains, or really nasty head/crosswinds.

And don't buy into the "argument" that a HD truck is better. It is better for some full-timers (so that should carry weight with you), as there is no denying the advantage of occasionally or constantly being able to carry more payload. But it has to be balanced against non-towing use, as a percentage. It just isn't worth buying too much truck for a few (thousand) miles versus (tens of thousands) more miles when solo.

If you like what you have, and the numbers are close, then you are probably alright assuming you are working from a genuine empty truck weight AND that the other estimates are also genuine. The trailer is JUST as likely to weigh more than published shipping weight as is the truck. So -- maybe -- deduct 5-700-lbs from TT GVWR and see where you are (after scale reading).

And, if there's any possiblity you will move up in size, or suddenly acquire a family, well, you already know the answer.

Have you found posts where this truck has been scaled empty? Have you found posts where this trailer has been scaled (with at least full fresh water/propane, plus some supplies)(also want tongue weight from other users)?

Upgrade your data set with real numbers, first. If your reading has included bookmarking other posts about this TT & TV, then post them that the next guy through will have some better data and the rest of us can offer insights to what may not be as clear as you need from those posts.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:41 PM   #10
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I'd at least try it... make sure you're tires are at least load range D all around. I think you'll find that the "softer" suspension will make your AS shell last a lot longer. Make sure you get some WD setup that works for you...

I think you'll be happy.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dillon2 View Post
I wonder what harm running over the max payload standard causes? So far I haven't seen anything specific. Does it impair handling? Or will it cause your transmission and running gear to wear out far more quickly than it otherwise would?
I too would like to know the answers to these questions.
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:50 PM   #12
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just replaced my old (97) chev turbo-diesel 3/4 ton with a 2010 crew max. Wife hated the chev plus this way can shrink my "fleet". replacing chev and land cruiser with one truck. Just did a 2500 mile trip central oregon to yellowstone and glacier the tundra was great!! We tow a 27 fb safari. I am planning on adding air bags just to protect the suspension when towing. We travel light the only extra stuff we took were our golf clubs, I got the crew max mostly to use non-towing to haul folks with us as a 4x4 replacement for the land cruiser. That backup camera makes hitchup a snap!
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:23 PM   #13
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I think that the Tundra with the 5.7L motor is the best gas tv available. It has a great motor, great 6 speed tranny, great brakes and lots of room. You may be close to the payload maximum as I am, but I think with carful packing and proper set up of the W/D hitch that you will be in fine shape. You could go to a 3/4 ton truck, but why spend the money when your Tundra will do the job fine IMHO and the 3/4 ton truck suspension would be much tougher on the AS.

Heck, I don't even use tow/haul mode except when I am going thru the mountains. It is just not even needed. I am definately not worried about anything wearing out prematurely on the Tundra.

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Old 09-28-2010, 10:01 PM   #14
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Give the Tundra a try before going to a new tow vehicle.

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