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Old 12-30-2019, 02:46 PM   #1
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Tacoma Tow Vehicle-27 Foot Flying Cloud?

Hello all!

My partner and I are seriously looking at an airstream, and have been for some time but my current truck is a 2012 Tacoma DoubleCab 4x4 (manual transmission), with the TRD Sport and Towing packages. I have put a deposit down on the new Tesla cybertruck and as soon as they make it Iíll have it.

The airstream we are looking at is the 27í Flying Cloud, which comes at an advertised weight of 5868 lbs with full propane and batteries. The hitch weight is advertised as 791 lbs, which is slightly over the 11% of my maximum placarded tow weight (6500lbs). If I take the propane tanks off and put them in the back of the trailer, Iím confident I can get the tongue weight under 11%, and add on the weight distribution hitch with proper pre-load and Iím still under my max tow weight, and even with the family in the cab with traveling bags (phones, bags, etc) we are under the MGVW of the pickup itself.

My question is; does anyone else tow an airstream with the Tacoma? If so how long? What weights? Is there a gaping hole in my plan?

We only plan on towing it with this vehicle once or twice, on flat ground (lower Alabama and Florida donít have much terrain), and without any water in the tanks (that can wait for the larger vehicle).
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:59 PM   #2
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This kind of question typically gets a spectrum of responses, but having seen it asked over and over again, the general response seems to be that that truck is not the right tow vehicle for a 27 ft Airstream. My own opinion is that you don't want to do it. Anything will tow in a straight line, on level ground, for a reasonable distance. But you have no margin for error and what happens when someone passes you and cuts in, sharply, in front of you? Don'r put your family at risk.
You can find lots of threads on this subject. Maybe you should do a Search on this forum for Tacoma.

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Old 12-30-2019, 03:17 PM   #3
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Whoa! I tow a 27' Globetrotter with an F250 Diesel and can barely keep under my vehicle's over 2000# payload rating with only two occupants on board. That 27' Airstream is much heavier than its advertised weight. I used to tow a 25' Airstream and felt significantly more drag when moving up to the 27' Airstream. You are asking a lot out of a Tacoma and I would not ride with you. Sorry, but welcome to the Forum.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:28 PM   #4
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You can lower the tongue weight by another 50 lbs by removing the spare and putting it into the rear outside compartment. It fits, at least on my 28. The Tacoma is not really big enough for a 27 but as long as you plan on taking a few small trips on flat ground and keep it slow you'll probably get away with it until the Cybertruck arrives.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:46 PM   #5
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By the way, if you're only planning on doing one or two trips you can rent an F-250 from Enterprise. That will be the right truck for your 27 and you won't have to worry about overloading your clutch.
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by NNarbutov View Post
The airstream we are looking at is the 27’ Flying Cloud, which comes at an advertised weight of 5868 lbs with full propane and batteries.
That seems awfully light for a 27' FC. What year is this Airstream? Older 27s were lighter but newer ones are heavier. In my 2006 manual it says the 28' unit base weight (UBW) is 5495 to 6516 for different models. (No 27' that year.) The UBW is without any options or fluids per Airstream.

I don't think you should take a chance, even for a couple of pulls. I would wait for the larger truck.
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:05 PM   #7
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A Toyota Tundra with their biggest engine would work. I tow a 28’ with an F150 Max Tow and 3.5 Ecoboost. Works just fine for where I travel. You will get people saying you MUST use a 3/4 ton. But many many people tow the 27’ 28’ with a 1/2 ton when set up correctly. Just watch your payload numbers.
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:33 PM   #8
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Are you assuming the Tesla will be available in a year or so? Tesla has never delivered anything when they said. It will probably be a year or two late.

People tow midweight Airstreams with Tacomas, but it is not a great idea. For your calculations, tongue weight when you use a weight distributing hitch is 2/3 of the amount, not the total. Nevertheless, Airstream's stated tongue weight is often wrong and less than reality. If you load the front cabinets up, that will increase the tongue wt. What is the cargo wt. of your Tacoma (look on the driver's side door frame and if options were added, be sure to subtract their wt.)? Half ton trucks usually have limited cargo wt. and the Tacoma is a medium sized truck, so you may not have any cargo wt. for cargo, children, dogs, spouse. The crew cab would have the least cargo allowance. What about axle weight for the Tacoma (how much each axle will support)—that also matters.

What engine does this Tacoma have? I think only the small V8 and the 6 have been available in it. Both are good engines, but the 6 would lag and the small 8 is borderline for this trailer at best. If you have the blower option, that would give more power, but few people ever bought that option. it was well over $4K.

Once you add water and clothes, food and everything else you can bring in the trailer, unless you are nudists and forage for food, you will probably have a trailer too heavy to tow.

People have reported on this Forum for years they tow with a Tacoma, but if something went wrong, they never seem to let us know. You can lower cargo wt. by several amputations, but I don't think it is worth giving up an arm and a leg to tow an Airstream. Renting a truck would save the Tacoma from any damage possible from an overweight rig and then you can be sure you will have the Tacoma for many, many years since they are very reliable.

You may be able to massage the numbers and get barely within weight limits and stay on flat ground, but don't try to push the numbers to force it to work. We had an '02 Tundra (which became the Tacoma) and when we got a 25' Safari, we sold it and got a new 2nd generation Tundra to make sure will had margin for error and a truck that would not be damaged. Even so, the cargo limits for the Tundra are hard to stay within.

I have no idea how far you need to go or how often, but plan on the Tesla not being available for 3 or more years.
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:56 PM   #9
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If I read the specs right your truck has 236 HP and a towing capacity of 3500 lbs. I am surely no expert but I don't think that would work.

https://www.google.com/search?ei=BY4...71.-cUyDaGSYck
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Old 12-30-2019, 07:47 PM   #10
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I tow a Flying Cloud 20' with a current generation Tacoma. It is an excellent match. I'm about 3k miles into an 8k mile trip. Some day I might sell the 20' and get a 23'. I would consider towing the 23' with the Tacoma for a while, but would also plan on getting a larger truck in short order. I would not consider a 25' let alone a 27'. The tongue weights you are quoting are not realistic and you are bound to be well over the GVWR of the Tacoma, especially a 2012.
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Old 12-30-2019, 07:54 PM   #11
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If I read the specs right your truck has 236 HP and a towing capacity of 3500 lbs. I am surely no expert but I don't think that would work.

https://www.google.com/search?ei=BY4...71.-cUyDaGSYck
I thought your tow capacity numbers were too high, but thought you had checked and you had some special suspension I am not aware of. Toyota trucks (Tacoma, FJ cruiser and probably the 4Runner) with either engine have long had a tow capacity of 3,500 lbs. You can do some things (air bags, extra leaf, etc.) to the suspension to increase it a bit, but the axle and running gear will still be rated at 3,500 lbs. Toyotas are tough and their capacities are more accurate than sone other companies, but everything has a limit.
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:01 PM   #12
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My 2015 27ft FC FB is over 7000 lbs. if you have a newer 27 FC, there is no way it’s coming in under 6000 lbs.


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Old 12-30-2019, 08:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NNarbutov View Post
Hello all!

My partner and I are seriously looking at an airstream, and have been for some time but my current truck is a 2012 Tacoma DoubleCab 4x4 (manual transmission), with the TRD Sport and Towing packages. I have put a deposit down on the new Tesla cybertruck and as soon as they make it I’ll have it.

The airstream we are looking at is the 27’ Flying Cloud, which comes at an advertised weight of 5868 lbs with full propane and batteries. The hitch weight is advertised as 791 lbs, which is slightly over the 11% of my maximum placarded tow weight (6500lbs). If I take the propane tanks off and put them in the back of the trailer, I’m confident I can get the tongue weight under 11%, and add on the weight distribution hitch with proper pre-load and I’m still under my max tow weight, and even with the family in the cab with traveling bags (phones, bags, etc) we are under the MGVW of the pickup itself.

My question is; does anyone else tow an airstream with the Tacoma? If so how long? What weights? Is there a gaping hole in my plan?

We only plan on towing it with this vehicle once or twice, on flat ground (lower Alabama and Florida don’t have much terrain), and without any water in the tanks (that can wait for the larger vehicle).
Tacoma is to small for a 27. Airstreams numbers are always on the light side. You will be over weight with out water or supplies.
I live in Dadeville on Lake Martin. We have a 23D and tow with a 2500 Duramax Diesel and can still struggle with payload numbers.
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:03 PM   #14
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:05 PM   #15
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Wouldnít try it. My son works at Tesla and we did calcs for towing that truck and it wonít work either unless only flat roads and round trip under 100 miles. No charging stations for trailer rigs
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
I thought your tow capacity numbers were too high, but thought you had checked and you had some special suspension I am not aware of. Toyota trucks (Tacoma, FJ cruiser and probably the 4Runner) with either engine have long had a tow capacity of 3,500 lbs. You can do some things (air bags, extra leaf, etc.) to the suspension to increase it a bit, but the axle and running gear will still be rated at 3,500 lbs. Toyotas are tough and their capacities are more accurate than sone other companies, but everything has a limit.
The current Tacoma, SR5, 4x4, V6 with tow package is rated for 6500 lbs. and tongue weight of 650 lbs. The two wheel drive is 6800 and 680. The hitch is a class IV hitch.
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:25 PM   #17
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The current Tacoma, SR5, 4x4, V6 with tow package is rated for 6500 lbs. and tongue weight of 650 lbs. The two wheel drive is 6800 and 680. The hitch is a class IV hitch.


Yeah, Iím towing a 2007 22í International CCD with one. Itís on the edge of capacity but I load light. No control or stability issues. Next step is a Tundra.
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:42 PM   #18
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Personally, I would not tow a 27 with a Tacoma. The 27 is a great coach and I would recommend it as the best all around AS trailer. So, you have that part right. My suggestion would be to start looking to trade for a better tow vehicle.

Note-never teeter totter gear loading to reduce tongue weight (LPG tanks moved to the rear). Weight in the ends adds significant moment arm instability forces. Reference bicycle loading discussions.

Note-tongue weight can be reduced by changing from steel to aluminum LPG tanks, short filling LPG tanks, moving the battery bank to an internal location (wet cell must change to AGM), moving spare tire to tow vehicle, and keeping minimal fluids in tank. That does not address the inherent lack of stability associated with the high center of gravity and narrow track of the Tacoma.

There is a fellow who purchased a 25 without telling his wife. She was quite upset and would not let him purchase an appropriate tow vehicle. He rents one from Enterprise. There are alternatives. Just choose the right ones for you.

We talked to a lady who purchased an older 30. She had it towed to an TV park and paid their monthly rate to keep it there on FHUs. She spent the weekends in it and upgraded the condition of the coach as she had funding to cover the cost.

Yes, there are alternatives.

My suggestion......buy a Casita. The Tacoma will tow it well, you will have a coach to enjoy, you will have a much lower acquisition cost and you can trade the Casita for little loss when you get that perfect TV and are ready for the 27.

Pat
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:27 PM   #19
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I'm as bullish as anyone. A 27' AS unfortunately is absolutely outside the capacity range of a Tacoma. From a power, capacity, payload, stability, etc. Just not a good idea. Coming from an owner of a 27FB, towing with a heavyweight Lexus Land Cruiser.

BTW, for anyone that ever suggests lightening tongue weight, it's an incredibly bad idea. Especially moving weight from the tongue to the rear of a trailer. Tongue weight increases stability. Moving weight aft has the effect of potentially dramatically decreasing stability.

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Old 12-30-2019, 10:36 PM   #20
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Time to trade in that Tacoma for a Tundra !
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