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Old 09-07-2016, 08:43 AM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
Oro Valley , Tucson
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Towing my 1968 26' Airstream

I have a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser that I absolute love and would hate to get rid of, but its towing capacity is only 5,000 lbs. My Airstream is 4,170, dry, and I'm worried it will just be too much to handle. I've heard so many different things about it that I am now completely unsure of what to do. Is there some way that I can beef up my Land Cruiser, to make it better able to handle the weight load? I've heard: spacers, shocks, springs, stabilizers, and so on... However, I'd really like to hear it from someone who has the same or a similar setup, and not just go off of what the specs say.

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Old 09-07-2016, 10:02 AM   #2
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Morrill , Nebraska
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I would load the trailer ready for travel. Then take it to the scales and see where you are at.
It looks like you will be right on the edge of the towing capacity of the Toyota if you run with a full water tank, full propane tanks and perhaps a full waste tank. Then add more weight with your supplies and belongings.
Weighing is your best option.
Drive your TV on to the scales without the trailer hitched. Then drive the whole rig onto the scales. The difference will be the trailer weight.

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Old 09-07-2016, 10:25 AM   #3
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2014 23' International
Hurst , Texas
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We had a 1997 Land Cruiser, and we used it to tow a 2010 17' Casita. We estimate our "on the road" weight of the Casita was around 3,300 pounds. When we bought the Casita, we added the TRD supercharger to the 'Cruiser... gave it an additional hundred horsepower or so. We used this combination a lot, but it was never fully satisfactory. Even with the additional HP, the Land Cruiser seemed to struggle on grades of any significance. The transmission - even as 'beefy' as it was - loved to inject drama into our travels by downshifting (with the attendant roar of increased revs). But the biggest worry of all was having to constantly watch the engine heat gauge. Mind you, this truck had a 100% pristine cooling system (new radiator, hoses, thermostat, all the stuff), and even so I could watch the needle creep up the dial as we crept up hills. FJ80 series Land Cruisers are noted for marginal cooling systems... dang!

Also, the brakes are marginal for the truck. Stops like a school bus.

I loved my Land Cruiser (we owned it some nineteen years), but I didn't like all this.

I really don't want to be a 'discouraging word,' but I'd bet lunch you won't be pleased towing well over 4,000 pounds with your stock Land Cruiser. I don't think that "spacers, shocks, springs, stabilizers, and so on" are going to be your problem. Sorry.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:47 AM   #4
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2012 19' International
Southeastern MI , Michigan
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Call Can-am in London, Ontario. They may have an actual application they have fitted.

Mine is 3700lb and my Jeep GC rated for 5000, six cylinder. Won't win any drag races but tows great. Remember, your trailer has its own brakes. I don't even feel the trailer when I stop.
2012 Serenity 19
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Old 09-07-2016, 01:37 PM   #5
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1958 22' Caravanner
not shared , Nebraska
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HoneyDew: Towed my 1968 31' International Sovereign of the Road with a 1974 Toyota Land Cruiser. If I recall, the Toyota weighed in excess of 4,000 lbs, very short wheel base and powered by a 235 cu in engine which had many parts interchangeable with the 235 Chevy. As an in line 6 cyl not much HP but as geared, plenty of pulling power. In fact it did as well as my 500 cu ins 1975 Cadillac Deville. Very maneuverable and in 4WD could back the AS anywhere, even thru large MI snow drifts. Without the AS in tow with load levelers it rode very choppy, but once hitched the Toyota rode like a baby carriage. Top speed only about 65 mph.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:21 AM   #6
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1968 26' Overlander
Oro Valley , Tucson
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Thank you all so much! I guess maybe I'll just have to try it and see how it goes, but I can tell you right now that I think I might run into some of the same downshifting issues as one of you mentioned. Not the quickest off the line, but it seems powerful enough. We shall see! Thank you
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:59 AM   #7
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1958 22' Caravanner
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HoneyDew: I should have read all prior to my answer. My 74 was not an automatic transmission, rather was "3 on the tree" so I had total control of shifting. No problem downshifting to 2nd and on hard pulls had to grab "granny" which was not synchronized. I solved the problem of going to 1st, on the move, by locking the brakes then a fast shift. This made my Land Cruiser a perfect tow vehicle -- your 1996 -- maybe not so good. Winter ( or wet roads) during icy conditions the shift to 1st was pretty much uneventful. But on dry roads the AS tires would give a short "chirp" while the Toyota tires gave a noticeable "bark". Not for the faint of heart and scary for those following too close (their bad)
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Countryboy59 View Post
...I don't even feel the trailer when I stop.
Not to pick on you, but reading this forum, it seems if someone is an advocate of alternative TVs, they can stop their combo as if the trailer is not there! Pretty incredible.

How can the rest of us, who go by the various TV specifications, get the same experience? FYI, my TV has huge brakes, my trailer brakes are in great shape, and I feel the trailer when I brake.

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