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Old 09-24-2017, 05:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tom_T View Post
We have some similar questions to the OP, since I'm also considering a Sequoyah (yes Toyota, that's how it's supposed to be spelled) as an alternative to the Porsche Cayenne S (V8), even if it's a bit larger than I'd prefer for our tight conditions at home/driveway & street.

The Toyotas are usually pretty reliable, & parts are usually significantly less that Porsche parts .... but is the Sequoyah as reliable & low maintenance as the other cars/trucks?

The above weak brakes & warping rotors at 20K miles comment gives me pause!
.... What's the problem there??

Also, do you need to remove the spare tire from under the rear storage position, in order to have clearance for the forward end of the tow bar or Hensley/PP stinger?

I ask because with the smaller mid-sized 4Runner & its Lexus GX46/47 cousin only has about a 3" long factory hitch receiver tube & only 1/2"-1" clear to the spare tire. When I looked at the Sequoyah hitch/spare set-up, it too looks like a short tube & tight to the spare.

Lastly, what are the key towing specs for the recent 2011-17 Sequoyahs with the 5.7L V8?
> Note to OP, you'll want to consider all of these in your evaluation.

GTWR - Tow Weight Rating
HWR - Hitch Wt. Rating
GVWR - Gross Vehicle Wt. Rating (TV - Only)
GCWR - Gross Combined Vehicles Wt. Rating (TV + TT)
GAWR - F - Gross Axle Wt. Rating - Front (TV)
GAWR - R - Gross Axle Wt. Rating - Rear (TV)

> Note to OP, the above includes Full Fuel & other Fluids + 150 lb. Driver (add for heavier), so you'll need to add for the other 4 passengers (& if you're over 150#), plus all the baggage & stuff a family takes on trips! Some of this cargo can be handled by loading in the trailer properly balanced & secured, up to the trailer's GTWR.

.

In our case, we're only towing a vintage kin Avion T20 which is only about 3000-3500# wet & loaded, depending upon how much we load in or on the 20' class trailer. It's already equipped with a Hensley Cub & Tekonsha Prodigy RF brake controller, since we've been renting TVs since we got the Avion in 2013. The Cayenne is rated to tow 7700+ l s. with 700+/- HW, & only the GVWR, GCVWR & GVAR-F/R are a management issue when we take more than my wife & I when towing (e.g.: guest[s], grandkid[s], etc.); as well as really good brakes, power & stiff suspension; & it's smaller mid-size actually fits in our driveway.

.

Thanx in advance for any additional input, which I'm sure will help the OP too!

Cheers!
Tom
///////
Tom, if you're okay considering more premium vehicles, I'd encourage you to checkout the LX570, and its stablemate, the Land Cruiser. Seats 8. Strong AC with 4zone temps. It tows my 27FB with aplomb, having excellent stability and power, yet plush ride and agility. Doing this with an Equilizer hitch.

And of course the requisite reliability, and even more so considering this platform is tested to 250k/25yr service life under grueling 3rd world country conditions. Same 5.7L drivetrain, but Japan sourced and built for that extra edge in quality.

A number of nicities with this platform... It has a split rear hatch/tailgate which clears the trailer nicely. Full time AWD with low range for tractibility and maneuverability when backing into camp or boondocking. Mass against the trailer at 6250lbs.

AHC hydraulic suspension works incredibly well with the Equilizer. I can lift the suspension 2"+ on demand, relaxing the WD bars to negotiate transitions or ramps, negating that hitches primary weekness. Yet it also lowers 20mm at fwy speeds to increase weight transfer and sway stability when it's really needed. Not to mention the hitch-up conveniences adjustable height offers.
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:48 PM   #16
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In regards to brakes, I'd wager the individual did not setup his brake balance right. In my miles of towing, braking is no harder on the tow vehicle than solo. I actually find I'm easier on the brakes given the lower towing speeds and more measured application.

Adjusted correctly, the trailer brakes stop the trailer. Tow vehicle brakes stop the tow vehicle. Hills should see judicious use of low gears.

To be sure, the tow vehicle brakes need to be capable in an emergency situation should the trailer brakes fail for any reason.
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteck View Post
Tom, if you're okay considering more premium vehicles, I'd encourage you to checkout the LX570, and its stablemate, the Land Cruiser. Seats 8. Strong AC with 4zone temps. It tows my 27FB with aplomb, having excellent stability and power, yet plush ride and agility. Doing this with an Equilizer hitch.

And of course the requisite reliability, and even more so considering this platform is tested to 250k/25yr service life under grueling 3rd world country conditions. Same 5.7L drivetrain, but Japan sourced and built for that extra edge in quality.

A number of nicities with this platform... It has a split rear hatch/tailgate which clears the trailer nicely. Full time AWD with low range for tractibility and maneuverability when backing into camp or boondocking. Mass against the trailer at 6250lbs.

AHC hydraulic suspension works incredibly well with the Equilizer. I can lift the suspension 2"+ on demand, relaxing the WD bars to negotiate transitions or ramps, negating that hitches primary weekness. Yet it also lowers 20mm at fwy speeds to increase weight transfer and sway stability when it's really needed. Not to mention the hitch-up conveniences adjustable height offers.
Hi pteck,

We are looking at the Porsche Cayenne - so the Gland Bruiser/LX are in the same category & are closer to the Cayenne's mid-size, plus we have friends with them that like them (but who don't tow).

So I am keeping an eye out for them locally, but they're fewer & farther between than either the Cayenne S or Sequoya.

However, I don't want air suspension for any choice, due to long term maintenance & parts availability concerns, since I keep my cars 20+ years.

Thanx for the input.
Tom
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_T View Post
Hi pteck,

We are looking at the Porsche Cayenne - so the Gland Bruiser/LX are in the same category & are closer to the Cayenne's mid-size, plus we have friends with them that like them (but who don't tow).

So I am keeping an eye out for them locally, but they're fewer & farther between than either the Cayenne S or Sequoya.

However, I don't want air suspension for any choice, due to long term maintenance & parts availability concerns, since I keep my cars 20+ years.

Thanx for the input.
Tom
///////
Gland Bruiser is an apt description. It might seem mid-size in some dimensions due to its off-road pedigree, it's certainly more than full size in build and strength, if curb weight is any clue. Hence my recommendation based on your stated home/driveway/towing needs. The bigger Sequoia is a fine choice as well.

While there are those that tout the benefits of unibody strength for towing, I'm of the mind that frame based vehicles are superior for durability. Too many conflate unibody stiffness for durability. They are very different qualities. Which is why professional and commercial load handling platforms are always frame based. Frame flex is actually a benefit for durability. Making a very stiff platform perform with long term durability take engineering and more mass than regular vehicles are willing to be burdened with (e.g. Gland Bruiser ).

AHC in the LX570 application is not for everyone. Though I'd encourage you to learn more about it as it's not failure prone "air suspension" as applied to many vehicles including Range Rovers and Porsches. Toyota and Lexus after all, have much higher reliability targets than most vehicles, especially for this platform.

For the normal suspension Land Cruiser, and Sequoia/Tundra to an extent, I would highly recommend springs with higher spring rates if towing near the upper end of the spectrum. This is not often talked about on these boards, but it's a very viable way to increase weight handling capacities. This is especially true of the LC (and 4Runner/GX), where the stock suspension has lower spring rates as it's primarily setup for off road articulation. There are actually formal GVWR upgrades in countries like Australia for the exact same platforms we have in the states, that consist of nothing more than uprated springs. With tires to match.

Andy modified cars to handle more capacities. No reason trucks and SUVs can't be tailored to do the same (within reason).
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:51 AM   #19
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WOW! Awesome responses!

Hi everyone,

First, a big fat THANK YOU for all these great responses. Our main concern with the Sequoia has been the towing capacity + brakes because the GVW on our Classic is around 8400 and the towing capacity on the Sequoia is only 7400.

BUT! We have consistently heard from several people the following: "the Sequoia can tow it, they just rate it low because of the brakes. However if your Airstream brakes are set right, this won't be a problem." Um, what?!? That didn't pass the smell test for us AT ALL (especially traveling with our 4 kids). I kept thinking, "that just cannot be right!" and my husband kept doing research because we just didn't believe it, which is why I turned to AirForums. (Btw, we were not hearing this from Toyota dealers trying to sell us a vehicle.)

More than one of you mentioned not only weak, soft breaks but warping rotors (who wants that to happen on a cross country trip in the middle of nowhere?), and maybe if we were traveling with a smaller AS (under 7,400 GVW) and fewer people it would be a different situation, but that's not the reality for us.

A few of you mentioned the Expedition. We have shied away from it because it has a longer wheel base than the Armada. While my husband has no problem getting the Armada + Airstream in and out of places, there have been times that we've had a few tight squeezes (like backing into a campsite on a tiny road with trees everywhere), so it's given me pause. But the Expedition can tow 9,400 lbs! So it's back on our research list, as is the new Armada because it, too, can tow our AS.

I really appreciate everyones input. I have read all these comments to my husband and we are checking the Sequoia off our list. Clearly it is not the TV for us.

Y'all are awesome!
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:21 AM   #20
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I would double check on a Toyota forum about the brakes. I only noticed one post about the brakes, but I didn't read every post thoroughly. We've had several toyotas over the years. We keep them a long time (250,000 miles) we have warped one rotor over that time, and we've certainly never had any brake failures. If the sequoia is like my Tundra, and I suspect it is, you'll find it rides great, is very reliable, and rugged. My concern would be getting it set up properly with a weight distribution hitch, if I was going to pull a 30' AS. I haven't heard of anyone that's set up as many as Andy. I'm tempted to make an appointment and go by just to have him evaluate my set up, and I'm only pulling a 23'.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:35 AM   #21
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Hi Leslie,

If your AS is over the Sequoyah's towing rating, then you will need to look for a higher rated vehicle. Otherwise you may find your warranty on the truck negated. Before the Armada, I'd loo at perhaps a Tundra with a shell on & bed liner in the back to haul the gear, but the tow rating is still a factor.

My buddy has had an Expedition for several years & loves it, but I don't know it's tow rating. We've also been renting both gas & diesel Ford F250 crew cabs, which would be workable for you with the shell & bed liner. There is also that Nissan XD diesel 1/2 ton+ crew cab which may have a better tow rating - again with the shell & bed liner for gear.

However, the Nissans are not noted for as good reliability as the Toyotas, so read up in Consumer Reports & other sources on the relative reliability of your choices.

Good Luck!
Tom
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:51 AM   #22
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pteck,

We actually came up with that "Gland Bruiser" back in the 1960s-70s when it was the straight 6 off-road competitor to Jeep & Land Rover (a nickname there too, which I won't use on here ;-).

Since I tend to keep my vehicles long term, the Air Suspension on any of them will eventually need new air-bags, air pump, equalizers, sensors, etc. - & it being a low production option, those parts will go NLA sooner than anything else (NLA = the dreaded No Longer Available in classic car circles).

I agree with the soft springs on the GX/4Runner twins/cousins, since there was a post on here about a member whose GX + Bambi 19 flipped in windy & high speed/truck wake conditions in Idaho earlier this year - the week before we went to test dive a really nice 2013 GX460 (470?).

While it proved to be far too much sway when doing some low speed Esses simulating a cone course for obstacle avoidance on test drives - the real deal killers also included seats which were as hard as a wood park bench which we noticed as soon as we sat in the GX (not great on short or long trips for folks in our 60s), & the too short hitch receiver blocked by the spare tire forcing it's removal when towing.

One of the big reasons for us looking for a TV of our own - instead of renting F250s permanently - is that they're too tall to hoist our old bodies into, & then to have said old bodies thrashed around in a stiff 3/4 ton truck for 100s of miles towing trips!

So the GX - & presumably the 4Runner - flunked that test, & the safety of towing with a squishy off-road oriented suspension.

While the later & new Lexus won't get a 2nd thought from us due to the their ugly "gaping maw" front end design, the LC/LX & Sequoyah might if they can pass the comfort, ride height & roll controlled suspension tests - even if the Sequoyah is a bit longer than we want.

We shall see!
Tom
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:21 PM   #23
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I have a 2008 Sequoia and dearly love this vehicle; but I would not use it to tow any airstream larger than 23D.
I kept my Sequoia and purchased a 2014 Tundra as my dedicated tow vehicle for FC 25FB. The Tundra towing stability is great.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:29 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadleslie View Post
Hi everyone,

First, a big fat THANK YOU for all these great responses. Our main concern with the Sequoia has been the towing capacity + brakes because the GVW on our Classic is around 8400 and the towing capacity on the Sequoia is only 7400.

BUT! We have consistently heard from several people the following: "the Sequoia can tow it, they just rate it low because of the brakes. However if your Airstream brakes are set right, this won't be a problem." Um, what?!? That didn't pass the smell test for us AT ALL (especially traveling with our 4 kids). I kept thinking, "that just cannot be right!" and my husband kept doing research because we just didn't believe it, which is why I turned to AirForums. (Btw, we were not hearing this from Toyota dealers trying to sell us a vehicle.)

More than one of you mentioned not only weak, soft breaks but warping rotors (who wants that to happen on a cross country trip in the middle of nowhere?), and maybe if we were traveling with a smaller AS (under 7,400 GVW) and fewer people it would be a different situation, but that's not the reality for us.

A few of you mentioned the Expedition. We have shied away from it because it has a longer wheel base than the Armada. While my husband has no problem getting the Armada + Airstream in and out of places, there have been times that we've had a few tight squeezes (like backing into a campsite on a tiny road with trees everywhere), so it's given me pause. But the Expedition can tow 9,400 lbs! So it's back on our research list, as is the new Armada because it, too, can tow our AS.

I really appreciate everyones input. I have read all these comments to my husband and we are checking the Sequoia off our list. Clearly it is not the TV for us.

Y'all are awesome!
Umm. ..with 238,000 miles on my 2008 Sequoia; have never noticed weak brake issues or warped rotor issues. Cancel the Sequoia as Tow Vehicle to to the towing weight limits....but not based on the "brake issues" .
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