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Old 04-15-2019, 12:06 PM   #1
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soliciting opinions on Land Cruiser as TV

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond...

Our goal was to use one of our vehicles to tow our Airstream. We own a 2018 Land Cruiser which has been great (ideal) for our 22' Airstream FB.

We are looking at upgrading to a 25 footer (Flying Cloud).

The opinions are mixed on whether our current TV is worthy.

It's well within range as the max tow weight is 8100 and a loaded up trailer is less than 7300 lbs. (5500 empty).

HOWEVER, max tongue weight is 800-850 (from Toyota) depending on your source. And, this puts the trailer specification in jeopardy with a rating (from Airstream) at 837 pounds.

We have purchased a weight distributing hitch system.

Can anyone comment?

Thanks, again.

-Jeff & Stacy
Ira, VT
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:17 PM   #2
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With a 22' Sport, you'll be fine. When connecting weight distribution, I would use the lowest rated bars possible (as an example, Reese has 600lb bars). There isn't a lot of hitch weight to a 22', some, but not enough to warrant larger bars or sleepless nights over. If you get larger/heavier than a 22, then I'd have a different suggestion.


If your Land Cruiser doesn't have a trans cooler, I'd be in favor of getting one.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:39 PM   #3
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The actual tongue weight depends on how you load the trailer. Airstream gives you a number that is for a basic unloaded trailer without any options. Once you get it loaded and have the water tank filled to where you need it you should weigh the tongue. You can use the bathroom scale method described in the Airstream manual. It is more accurate than a truck scale. I'm sure you can get the load to fall within the Land Cruiser limits.

Also check your door stickers to make sure you don't exceed the vehicle gross weight, axle loads, tire loads and payload. Generally if the vehicle manufacturer says you can tow an 8100 lb trailer then you can probably make it work with a 7300 lb trailer. BTW, you probably won't ever have much more than about 1000 lbs cargo in the trailer.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:51 PM   #4
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Many thanks for the information. We appreciate it.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:55 PM   #5
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Well, I'm not sure you got what you needed. A 25, late model will easily run 1000lbs on the tongue. To deal with that. you have a number of tactics. 1) don't buy that coach. Get a 23. 2) load the 25 to reduce the tongue weight - a, aluminum LPG tanks = 10-20 lb reduction for $500; b, replace dual wet cell batteries with 1 lithium battery = 61 lb reduction for $1000 - save some of the remaining 31 lbs by moving the battery inside; move the spare tire to the space over the trailer axles or mount it directly behind the axles = weigh your spare (30-50 lbs); and someone else may have another idea (see the VW, Porsche Audi threads - one plan was posted). 3) have CanAm or one of the shops they recommend upgrade the receiver on your vehicle.

The LC has a wheelbase of 112in. That is a bit short of the 120in that is considered optimal. So be aware. Does have trailer sway control too. Test before you assume.

The LC has a solid rear axle that is rugged, but not as good overall as a full independent suspension. Not a horrible configuration, just be aware. Does have torsen differential for good traction control.

Consequently, the LC is not the ideal tow vehicle, but it is not at all a bad a tow vehicle either. Note, believe you can find fellow posters who use the Toyota and Lexus vehicles for their motive force.

Caution, a relative of mine ended up with a LC. The suspension bushings wore and required a rebuild to make the rig safe. It was my suspicion that the LC was abused in it's early life. We saw it again last summer and it was serving heavy duty towing river rafts. Fix it when it breaks, maintain it regularly, test the rigs performance before you need it, and enjoy the smiles.

Travel safe. Pat
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:50 PM   #6
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Definately have a chat with Andrew at Can-am RV in Ontario Canada, as far as upgrading your hitch receiver to take extra weight. They might be able to send you a kit or just PDF you a file on what parts to make and where to weld them too.

Cheers
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:19 PM   #7
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Hi Sport22FB.

I tow a larger 27FB Airstream with the sister vehicle to your Land Cruiser, a Lexus LX570. Both fundamentally known as 200-series vehicles.

While true that there are some qualities that may make for a better tow vehicle, there are very few tow vehicles better as a complete package. I want for nothing else.

If one were to examine the dimensions of frame, suspension components, and drivetrain - it would show this is a 3/4 ton vehicle masquerading as a 1/2 ton SUV. Weight would tell us that too at over 5800lbs. That's equivalent to an F350 in some configurations, which is a much larger vehicle.

Where that weight is carried, centered in the SUV, helps greatly for stability (vs trucks that are light in the rear).

With regards to the tow hitch - it's exceedingly robust, and Toyota exceedingly conservative. Just like the rest of the vehicle. It's not by chance that it's the vehicle of choice for the UN, Red Cross, and harsh locales like the middle east and Australian outback.

The tow hitch is not just a bolt on job like most vehicles. It's robustly integrated, and literally a part of the rearmost frame member. Here's a picture of it to show the way it's boxed in. You won't even find this level of design robustness in even HD trucks.

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My 27FB with modifications and additions is likely easily over 1k lbs. I have zero concerns.

Several key setup parameters to help in successfully using this vehicle. Keep the hitch ball as close and tight to the rear bumper as possible. Apply enough weight distribution tension to bring the nose of the vehicle almost back to unladen ride height. You may want to consider LT type tires for additional lateral stability.

In my towing, he 5.7 makes easy work of mountains (let her rev). It's a Toyota, it won't mind in the least. Stability wise, she tracks straight as an arrow, hardly noticing even passing rigs and buses.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:39 AM   #8
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Let me clarify. The Land Cruiser, IIRC, is a fully body on frame, as such it's pretty decent in terms of being heavy duty, unlike a unibody for the uses/applications being discussed.



Where I start to get uneasy is that the wheelbase of the LC is about 112" to 113" if memory serves me correctly. If that is the case, it's really not an ideal wheelbase for a larger rig, so as such my suggestion is that going much larger than 22-23 I'd consider another tow vehicle. Not because the LC can't move a 25er, clearly it can, and with weight distribution the hitch weight at the sizes we are talking about are really not a big issue IMHO.



For reference, look at item #3.


https://www.transwest.com/kansas-cit...towing-vehicle


Can you do it? Sure? Best practice? Probably not the further north you go of 23ish feet.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:33 AM   #9
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We tow our 28' International with a 2018 Land Cruiser, using an Equalizer hitch. While I'd prefer to have my old Tundra back when we tow, Im satisfied with the way the setup handles. Admittedly, we rarely come anywhere close to maxing our trailer weight and watch what we pack in the LC.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sport22FB View Post
Our goal was to use one of our vehicles to tow our Airstream. We own a 2018 Land Cruiser which has been great (ideal) for our 22' Airstream FB. We are looking at upgrading to a 25 footer (Flying Cloud). The opinions are mixed on whether our current TV is worthy.
Recommend contacting Andy or Philip at canamrv.ca. They are the Airstream and SUV towing experts.

We narrowed our SUV TV choices to the MB GLS 450 or the Infiniti QX80. Philip wrote back:
"The GLS will make an awesome tow vehicle for the 30 Classic. Safe, comfortable with power to spare. When you're ready, give David Joliffe or Richard Butterworth a call at 1-866-226-2678 to book an appointment for receiver reinforcement."
"I spoke with Andy and we found a picture of the QX80 frame assembly. That hitch is solidly overbuilt and does not need a reinforce. It's on a very short list of vehicles that don't need it done."

For the price we purchased the QX80 - saving almost $30k. Glad we did, and it is an excellent TV for our 30' Classic. We have the ProPride 3P with 140# bars.

73/gus
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
If your Land Cruiser doesn't have a trans cooler, I'd be in favor of getting one.
So there is no misinformation here. There is no concern to the driveline holding up to the rigors of HD use or towing. The tranny is both cooled with a circuit that runs through the lower radiator. It also has a dedicated transmission cooling radiator. A rather substantial one at that. This is an '18 LX, but it's the same.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
Where I start to get uneasy is that the wheelbase of the LC is about 112" to 113" if memory serves me correctly. If that is the case, it's really not an ideal wheelbase for a larger rig, so as such my suggestion is that going much larger than 22-23 I'd consider another tow vehicle. Not because the LC can't move a 25er, clearly it can, and with weight distribution the hitch weight at the sizes we are talking about are really not a big issue IMHO.
While a 112.3" is on the shorter end, there's other qualities to the vehicle that make up this variable. Namely structure, weight, track width. 112.3" on a mid-size SUV is one thing, but the 200-series is a full size and full weight tug. I had my hesitations when I first setup my vehicle as there was very little information available.

I mentioned to keep the tow ball close to the rear bumper. It's specifically to maximize stability with available wheelbase. Because it's really about the wheelbase to rear overhang ratio. Rear overhang defined by the axle centerline to ball distance. LT tires will also help in this regard.

Like Rugger, I run a standard Equalizer hitch with 1000lb bars on my 27FB. It's very stable with no sway. Exceedingly stable that I have no hesitations and have been in high winds and secondary mountain roads regularly.

Your experience like every other vehicle, including F250/F350s, will depend on you dialing in the setup right. There's a recipe that can and will work.

If you are still concerned about wheelbase, one can always use a pivot projecting hitch like a Propride. For which it's completely mitigated. There's long wheelbase HD trucks that prefer to use a propride as well.

What you'll be rewarded with is an immensely maneuverable rig. I've used it to my advantage many times in parks with tighter spots that long wheelbase rigs would have no hope of getting in. There's pros to a shorter wheelbase too.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteck View Post

While a 112.3" is on the shorter end, there's other qualities to the vehicle that make up this variable. Namely structure, weight, track width. 112.3" on a mid-size SUV is one thing, but the 200-series is a full size and full weight tug. I had my hesitations when I first setup my vehicle as there was very little information available.
\

That is just about the LARGEST trans cooler I have ever seen in a passenger vehicle.



I would disagree about wheelbase. Sure it's a big heavy top heavy truck, but longer wheelbase is recommended for longer rigs. It simply a matter of physics which you can't completely overcome with upgrades.



The truck clearly has the power, and a robust frame, but it's still a top heavy SUV with a short wheelbase and will have less control than a TV with at least 130" or more. I've done is being considered. I had a 115" wheelbase, did all the upgrades I could think of, in the end, in solid side wind condition (50+mph), it was still harder to manage than my current TV that has a longer wheelbase (8600lb GVWR), even though my truck is also a top heavy SUV.



The LC has about a 7300lb GVWR, that combined with a larger trailer (of nearly the SAME WEIGHT or heavier than the LC and a the short wheelbase ***could*** lead to stability and control issues under the right circumstances.


There is no question it can move it and tow it, stop a 25er, even up mountains. It's just not a "best practice" in terms of wheelbase vs longer trailer. There are several threads on the web discussing longer wheelbases with longer trailers by doing a web search wheelbases requirements.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:30 AM   #13
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Many hitches have higher ratings for instances where weight distributing systems are used. What is on the sticker on the hitch is for plain deadweight attachment. Might ask Toyota dealer for the answer.
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