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Old 01-05-2013, 11:05 AM   #43
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It is hard to know what a particular brand will do. Some never tow anything and break down a lot anyway. It may be bad judgment to buy some vehicles and use them for anything.

If you crawl around under the Tundra, as abutters probably has done, it sure looks like a 3/4 ton with the exception of the leaf springs and the OEM tires. Maybe it is a 5/8 ton. Are the payload ratings for Tundras lower than reality? Does Toyota overbuild them to make sure they last a long time and thus protect their reputation for reliability? Did they design it for an easy upgrade to a 3/4 ton truck they never offered because the recession killed truck sales for several years? If someone wants to ask the Toyoda family* that still controls the company, maybe we'll have some answers.

Gene

*Toyoda is the family name. Apparently the founder thought Toyota sounded better to sell cars.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:45 PM   #44
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As an aside:

Same thing with Mazda. Their family name is actually "Matsuda", which the Japanese pronounce "mawtz-duh".

We have owned two Mazda's with rotary engines; a 1972 Rx2, and a 1984 Rx7, which our son is still driving and has over 200,000 miles on the original engine. I kept waiting for a car or truck with 3 or 4 rotors, but I think the CAFE laws killed the rotary. A big pickup with a rotary engine would have been interesting...
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:49 AM   #45
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Rotary engines were x-nayed by emissions. Fuel mpg wasn't too hot, either. But, man, they were fun to drive!!
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:21 AM   #46
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I rely on the manufacturers ratings, and I won't change my position that it's bad judgement to disregard them. And I prefer a vehicle that exceeds the requirements rather than just meets them. But if Mr Rednax has prior experiences that have proven something different to him in the real world, that is fine by me.
I know for one that my insurance agent appreciates that I follow the manufacturer's rating, and so does my wife when she gets behind the wheel.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:38 AM   #47
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Reliability is important to us, so we have bought Toyotas for a number of years. ..... To me the Land Cruiser is a stretch 4Runner with a bigger engine and lots of fancy things, but not close to being worth the price. Not a lot of them are sold in the US, so used ones are hard to find. A friend has one and I can't understand why, but he spends money vehicles as if he was super rich (he's not, but that's another story).


Gene
Hi Gene.

I'm also doing the TV/TW dance I currently have an overloaded LR3 due to all the expedition equipment and other stuff on it. Therefor, it is already "maxed out". I forget it's GVWR but last time I went over a scale, I had 8040 and I was alone! Too many toys on spring trips where I'll be in "summer" and "winter" all within a 3 week road trip, plus a lot of steel on the outside.

Anyway, I have to respectfully disagree with you on your comparison of the Land Cruiser above to a 4Runner. They are not even in the same league. LC is built in Japan still by some of the best in the world. Kind of like getting a G wagen, almost. Is the 4runner wheelbase as long? They sure seem "tippy" and I know of at least one friend who's mom rolled a 4runner and not even under the most crazy conditions in a highway accident. The build quality underneath, which is where it counts, is not even close! The engines, transmission, and interior trim and ergonomics.

You might say that the 4 runner is to the LC what the Lr3 has been to the full size Range Rover and a RR is not by any means just a "stretch" Discovery.

I came to this thread because I'm looking at getting a LC200 to pull a 27FB Eddie but am having to learn a lot about factory delivered TW vs real TW as well as systems for Tow Vehicles to get the most out of them.

The Land Cruiser has a solid rear axle and steel springs. These springs can be changed for a heavy duty version as well as bolstered by air "helper" inserts but the main thing is the HD option such as Old Man Emu.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:11 AM   #48
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Hey JWP,
We tow our 23FB with a 200 series Land Cruiser. I'll be interested in your findings regarding pairing the LC with a 27FB as we are considering upgrading to the 27FB as well.
Perhaps the start of another thread? In our situation TW will about double with the 27FB thus restricting cargo in the TV. We love our LC for the same reasons you mentioned. Our '08 LC was purchased 4 years old with 50k miles. It's our second LC. Our '94 80 series, with 170k miles, now belongs to our college-bound son. Love the Land Cruisers, most solid vehicles I've ever owned. Got to go. Off to the Buffalo National River this morning.
Patrick
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:02 AM   #49
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Show us a photo of your river outing

Regarding the LC 200.
1a. First thing I would be doing if this ends up in my hands, is Old Man Emu suspension, using heavy duty front and rear.
1b. adding air-helper springs inside the rear steel springs supplied by an ARB air compressor that may also be able to supply air for differential lockers later on as well as on board air supply. The main thing with a & b are to improve towing stability while also leveling the load a bit on the rear axle. A nice WD hitch may put the air springs out of business though.

I'll also be using E load range tires such as the Goodyear Duratrac in 275/70x18 weight rated for 3640 lbs each at 80 psi.

I doubt I'd be doing an ARB front bumper but I will very likely have the ARB rear bumper with tire and jerry can swing away. Under the hood will be a dual battery system and the air compressor.

On the trailer I'll be working out a lithium house battery bank with lightweight solar and a higher output inverter like 3000 watts or so +/-. I may actually replace the factory fridge sooner than later because I am spoiled with a serious freezer/fridge by ARB which is by far more efficient at both amp draw as well as simply insulating longer. It actually plugs into 12v or 110v as needed. I have a nice little induction hot plate I'd like to try out if my solar supply can be worked out. FYI- the new lithium deep cycle batteries are not suitable for starting a car but they possess 5x the amp hrs per weight compared to something like an Optima so you could have 6 or so and a bunch of solar input for the same weight as the standard 2 battery x 1 panel weight deal.

Some of these things will be thought fully located at the rear to help with TW. I would also like to have more fresh water in another tank and that should obviously go underneath and as near the axles as possible.

I really do not like the factory arrangement of the gas tanks and their case on the A-frame but have not come up with the solution yet. Kimberley Karavan has a sleek way of arranging a lot of these things that are good for ideas anyway.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:43 AM   #50
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I'll just add my 2 cents before raving about MY TV.http://www.airforums.com/forums/imag...lies/smile.gif

A good external cargo hauler is worth more than anything else I can imagine in terms of overall vehicle versatility. For that very reason you should not rule out PU's. Just last weekend I moved two single beds with boxsprings and mattresses with ease. You did not say why you did not like PUs but if it has to do with ride and comfort, consider that the refinements have come a long way.

OK, so that leads us to how I picked an Escalade EXT. First the facts:


6.2L V8, torque: 417, HP 403. Tow capacity: 7600; Cargo capacity: 1,362 lbs. payload

6-spd Driver Shift Control transmission w/OD (W/ tow/haul). Heavy duty transmission oil cooler (w/ gauges). Axle Ratio: 3.42 axle ratio (decent around town mileage).

145 amp alternator with a 600 amp heavy duty battery with run down protection (very good for charging up the airstream as you go).

Handling: Full-time all wheel drive; Permanent locking hubs
Limited slip differential; ABS & driveline traction control;
StabiliTrak stability control with anti-roll control; Road Sensing System automatic ride control; Adaptive suspension; Rear auto-leveling suspension

OK, what I like: Handling - rides like a dream loaded and unloaded. The air suspension is great and reduces wear and tear on the hitch and trailer frame. All the safety handling capability you could want and with an Equilizer WD hitch, virtually no sway or trailer driving the truck.

I tow a 23ft front lounge Safari SE which is well within the 80% rule for towing capacity. And I have enough reserve power to pass big rigs with ease. On steep slopes, I use Tow Haul to keep the tranny cool, but most of the time do without it. @65 mph I get 12 mpg, and @60 more like 14, which is on par with most big diesels. And speaking of mileage, with a 31 Gallon tank it will go a days worth of driving without having to stop... nice when you consider how much more of a chore it is when towing.

What I really like. Separate cargo area for hauling dirty stuff, smelly stuff (gas cans/generators). I use a sears cargo box mounted on a Yakima rack attached to the lockable tonneau cover for really dirty stuff that rides just behind the roofline and extends to the end of the bed and provides additional air stream flow to the trailer (gets me an additional 1 mpg in tests.)

The interior can't be beat. Side curtain airbags were a must for me. But what sold my wife was the air ventilated seats (blows cool air up your butt and keeps your back dry and cool). Most comfortable seats of any vehicle I have owned (Volvos, Mercedes, and Chevys). We shopped first for an Avalanche, but could not find one with all the requisite creature comforts. Consider that all those options add up and the Caddy pretty much includes them all. We bought in 2008 when GM was desperate for sales and got over 10K off sticker bring it down to Chevy range. But you can buy this same vehicle, 4-5 ears old for 25-30K depending on mileage and still has all of the possible optional equipment you could want. Ours has over 75K miles and is still on its first set of Bridgestones. I get 16 mpg around town, and a tad better on the HWY.

Yes its a bit much bling for some folks, but ride a few hundred miles with me and you'll arrive as refreshed as in any vehicle on the market, I guarantee it. Its been trouble free the last 5 years, and as reliable as any vehicle on the market. I also drive a Mercedes E320 CDI and get 40 MPG so I have a deeep appreciation for diesels, but I also respect the need for good hauling capability while reserving the right to ride in quiet and comfort. The EXT fits the bill to a "T".

Our strategy was to plan for both the TV and trailer and spec them out at the same time. Keep things within the 80% guidelines and have enough reserve power to keep you out of trouble. My advice, don't try to "get by."
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:19 AM   #51
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"My advice, don't try to 'get by.' "

Then don't tow with antique solid rear axle suspension, high center-of-gravity, mediocre braking and poor handling vehicles. Hooked to the trailer with Equal-I-Zer when there are Hensley style hitches available.

Using numbers alone to "spec out" a tow vehicle striving for the "80% rule" myth may not give you the best choices, even when you think you are on top of the heap.

We also made compromises with our tow vehicle choice because we had to have it match our particular needs, which included a miser's budget. But like everyone, it works for us.

doug k
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:10 PM   #52
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"My advice, don't try to 'get by.' "

Then don't tow with antique solid rear axle suspension, high center-of-gravity, mediocre braking and poor handling vehicles. Hooked to the trailer with Equal-I-Zer when there are Hensley style hitches available.

Using numbers alone to "spec out" a tow vehicle striving for the "80% rule" myth may not give you the best choices, even when you think you are on top of the heap.

We also made compromises with our tow vehicle choice because we had to have it match our particular needs, which included a miser's budget. But like everyone, it works for us.

doug k
Whoa ho ho ho... Did I just walk into a hornets nest? Funny how GM and Ford manage to sell hundreds of thousands of antique trucks, huh?

Just my opinion, but I still like my Caddy and so does my wife which is way more important to me than my own opinion (actually, its her truck, and I just get to use it on weekends). As far as numbers go, I make my living off of them as a statistician so I guess I have some small dispute with throwing them out. I understand there is a great debate about the 80% rule, but I have to tell you my risk tolerance is pretty low when towing several tons. But Hey, thats just me.

Never implied I was king of the hill or that my tastes or preferences should be imposed on anyone else. Its a Free market and the advice on this board is also free. Take it for what its worth! Sorry if I offended.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:52 PM   #53
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Just a couple of other observations about SUVs vs trucks. I know folks like the flexibility of having that additional passenger room in the larger SUVs, but for cargo carrying they pose a real risk. Unless things are lashed down well, anything loose in an SUV can become a missile. Its not just about having hazardous materials like fuel cans either.

One of the things I really like about the avalanche/escalade EXT setup is the fact that I can access stuff deep (more forward) in the bed by simply dropping the midgate (I always have the rear seat folded flat to ride our small dog, and yes he gets a harness too). I use action packers for all sort of stuff, but mostly for camping stoves, grills and fuel. Its relatively easy to load/unload these by sliding them in/out the front of the bed. I reserve the very tail end for bulky/lighter stuff like folding chairs and camping tables to keep the weight off that end of the truck.

Its unfortunate that Caddy has decided to discontinue the EXT, but the Avalanche now offers most of the upgrades once reserved for the Caddy.
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:37 PM   #54
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Tomz, you're not offending anyone. My point is spec's and the "80% rule" may not determine a good tow vehicle. You say the Caddy is a wonderful tow vehicle, has capability to spare, but . . .

For example, if you apply the 80% rule to your Caddy's payload capacity you have about 1100# to spare. Your empty trailer with hitch has a tongue weight of at least 800#. That leaves 300# left in the Caddy for you, your wife, and all your gear. And you may want to put something in the trailer.

doug k
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:59 PM   #55
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For example, if you apply the 80% rule to your Caddy's payload capacity ...
Well, the 80% rule is urban legend. Might be applicable, but be careful when you toss that one out...it doesn't fit everyone or every case.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:45 PM   #56
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YEP, I am keenly aware of the cargo capacity limitation of the EXT. Most of what goes into the truck is lightweight aluminum camping gear, a fiber camp rug, and little else. I keep an electric cooler in the trailer and all of our food, water, clothes etc. Being a front lounge, I do not front load it all. Most of the "stuff" goes in over or behind the axles. If anything it reduces the tongue weight.

WD hitch should allow some leeway on the tongue weight as well. But I am still pretty close to that 80% limit. I do it more for the health of the tires than anything else.

What I am more concerned with is the GCVWR and keeping that in line which I am fairly certain I am. The 23 footer is a great match to the EXT is terms of nearly matching the weight of the truck. I CHOOSE to abide by the 80% rule because it gives me peace of mind. What the heck is wrong with that?

But really, how the heck is anyone supposed to post their opinions on anything when there are hitch wars, TV wars, and even loading wars? I felt like I was blindsided for merely expressing my likes and dislikes. Antique suspension? Now that was uncalled for. Weak brakes? What the heck do we have brakes on the trailers for? Unstable ride? What the heck? I have 22 inch rims and my truck rides like it is on rails, not to mention having some of the most sophisticated stability programming in the industry. save your preaching for the sorry SOBs that think they can tow with glorified crossovers built on car platforms. The original poster mention a dislike for trucks and I was merely trying to address that.
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