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Old 03-24-2011, 09:27 PM   #15
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I was very narrow in my scope of comment on Andy's recommendation. It simply pertains to:

10,000 ft. summer day Toyota Sienna:
160 HP
147 ft pound torque at 4500 RPM

And I think I'm being generous because I didn't factor driveline losses.

I have strong doubts about launching the rig at the stall speed of torque converter. Remember with less power the stall speed will be lower, further compounding the issue.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:16 AM   #16
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Garfield! I owe you at least an evening out. I did call Andy at Can-Am. What a great guy. He told me flat out that my existing Sienna would be a much better tv than a 4 runner. Wheel base and other factors make it a good tv for many airstreams. I will still due my due-diligence, but my explorations have certainly taken a new direction. Thanks much Garfield and three cheers to Andy Thomson and our Canadian friends.

Stan
Hey, it's a pleasure Stan -- I think Andy's always worth listening to whether you take his advice or not.

I didn't mean to suggest the 4Runner was particularly bad TV, it's just that it's not the best for reasons mentioned. I've been towing with a shorty Yukon for six years that has very similar characteristics and will attest to everything that Andy says about it being a poor TV.

Right now I'm in the process of replacing our Yukon with a Chevy Traverse to tow our 5000 lb 25 foot Safari. Andy has set up a number of customers with these who seem pleased with their handing and performance.

I'm sure Andy mentioned it but with any modest TV you will need to watch how you load the rig -- most cargo will have to go in the trailer to ensure you don't exceed the Sienna's GVWR.

And it goes without saying you'll need a quality WDH w/anti-sway capability. You might need to look at the tires as well...depending on how much towing you will be doing.

Good luck!
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi View Post
I was very narrow in my scope of comment on Andy's recommendation. It simply pertains to:

10,000 ft. summer day Toyota Sienna:
160 HP
147 ft pound torque at 4500 RPM

And I think I'm being generous because I didn't factor driveline losses.

I have strong doubts about launching the rig at the stall speed of torque converter. Remember with less power the stall speed will be lower, further compounding the issue.
Torque converter stall isn't a function of engine power, it's a function of the resistance of the rest of the vehicle to move and the characteristics of the torque converter itself.

e.g. for a theoretical Sienna, the stall speed will be a higher RPM when the trailer is hitched up than when the minivan is empty... the engine will reach a higher RPM before the vehicle starts to move.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:40 PM   #18
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Maybe not clear here. I'm talking about engine speed when front wheels are stopped, and engine at full throttle . We used to refer to that as stall speed. My scenario involves starting on a steep up hill which may be problematic to gain any speed at all.

I'm just guessing 2K RPM. I have access to late model Sienna, I can check sometime. I feel the Sienna would be a poor choice to pull 6K pounds in the Colorado Rockies.

Perhaps the OP can chime in and indicate whether he wants to camp at very high elevation. When I visit Colorado I frequently am at 9000 ft or higher. I've crossed the 12,000 foot level quite a few times.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:39 PM   #19
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Stan,

What trailer are you considering? I assume the 6,000 lbs. means fully loaded, not dry weight.

We have a 2006 4Runner with the V6 engine. Previously we had a 2000 and the 2006 holds the road a lot better and while an excellent off road vehicle, it is a good road vehicle too. There has been some redesign since and I don't know how those handle. Consumer Reports always has bashed the 4Runners, but I think they prefer sedans and hate trucks. Toyotas are criticized for poor road feel, but I have not found that so. I do believe a dump truck will have more road feel, but it won't fit in my garage. We had a Tundra with the 4.7 liter and it's a good engine, but I wouldn't want to tow ourtrailer in the Rockies with it.

SUV's have poor payload because their bodies are heavier than the same chassis with a pick up body on it. And, if you have an SUV, do you want to carry fuel and a generator in it? For short camping trips where you don't need many supplies, a 4Runner with a smaller trailer would work ok.

But, don't let the desire for a 4Runner determine the size of the trailer. The trailer will probably be with you a lot longer than the tow vehicle. Check out trailers at the 2 Colorado dealers (but consider buying elsewhere) and see what fits best for you, then consider what tow vehicle fits that trailer.

The 5.7 L. Tundra will tow anything up to 25' and very possibly 27' and 28'. It has enormous power, handles well for a full size pickup (much better than the 1st generation Tundras) and has reasonable payload for a 1/2 ton pickup. Fit and finish on newer Toyotas are not what they used to be, but we are pleased with our 2007 truck. It has towed from Key West to Alaska's North Slope without incident. Toyota sometimes put crappy tires on vehicles—argue for Michelins instead. And the seats on the SR5 need better cushions.

We like the medium size SUV and larger truck combination for our purposes. We have discussed smaller vehicles for a daily driver, but they feel so small, have poor visibility in traffic, and are hard to get in and out of with my back injury. And my wife still talks about the Sequoia we had for a while as a comfortable road trip vehicle—the Sequoia is enormous (as is the 2nd gen. Tundra) and would make a good tow vehicle with the 5.7 L. engine for smaller trailers. Parking it or a Tundra in downtown Boulder would be a challenge. Gas mileage is a factor, of course. The 4.7 and 5.7 L. both have poor numbers—around 16-17 without towing. The 5.7 L is slightly worse than the 4.7, so you gain nothing in gas mileage by buying a 4.7 L. truck, though the numbers may be different in a SUV.

Gene
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:04 PM   #20
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Gene gives sound advice.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:46 AM   #21
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This seems to be an active (and relevant) stream ... got a quick ? for ya'll.
I am looking to "down-size" my TV from a big box E350 diesel van to a "smaller" truck - either the Tundra or the Titan. It looks like Tundra has a better tranny but the Titan has a better fit & finish ... anybody our there got any knowledge or opinions?

- 19' 75th Anniversary Bambi (current)
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:50 PM   #22
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If you are sticking with the 19' or getting a 20', either truck is pretty big for those. What about a Tacoma (same as 1st generation Tundra) with 4.7 L engine?

And, between a transmission and fit and finish, I'll pick transmission as more important every time. It's for towing. Also, check out if Nissan will continue to support the Titan. They don't sell a lot of them and there were rumors they were going to drop that truck and market a Dodge with a Nissan marque on it. That may be old and wrong news, but it probably warrants checking out.

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Old 03-27-2011, 06:39 PM   #23
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Gene, I am not aware of a Tacoma with a 4.7 L engine.

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Old 03-27-2011, 07:25 PM   #24
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Stan,

We have an '04 GX470 (4runner with fancy interior and AWD). I think you will be OK. Our Coach pushes the rated limited and is heavier than yours. I do wish for more power up Ozark hills, but be smart and manually shift down going up and down hills.

Get a good brake controller, equalizer and anti-sway system, then get used to it and fine tune it.

The main thing is to drive smart and be aware of what is happening more than one or two cars ahead of you. Drive within your comfort range, don't let some tailgaiting "texter" push you. It's OK to PO them.

Our next tow vehicle will have more HP, but we still want something that is manageable in town and can be parked in one parking space.

(Attention! Dually extended cab PU's at Bass Pro in Springfield or Branson this weekend!)

Bob
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:45 PM   #25
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Gene, I am not aware of a Tacoma with a 4.7 L engine.

Doug K
You are right. I must have assumed that since they made the Tacoma as big as the 1st gen. Tundra, they used the 4.7 L V8. Assume something long enough and it becomes a factoid.

Instead they adapted the V6 to 4.0 L, with 266 ft. lbs. torque, 1650 payload and towing rating of 6,500 lbs. Seems like a good truck for smaller trailers even if it doesn't have the V8. Should get better gas mileage, but that's one of those nasty assumptions.

Gene
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:54 AM   #26
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So it seems that there are varying towing philosophies on the forum. That is good to know. Thanks all for that awareness. I am now strongly leaning toward keeping our existing Sienna and not trading it at a large expense for a v8 4 runner. It may not be ideal, but with proper hitching, brake control, mirrors, it can be safe for a 19-23'ish AS. I don't need to power up hills. Down shifting is a skill I already have. So at least to start with this seems to be sensible. 80% of the time we will be tow-free I imagine.

Now the task of learning your strange new world of hitching equipment. Also it seems true that a good hitching shop is hard to find. For me that would be in the Denver area. I suppose I should check if the forum has a sub-forum regarding hitching. Hitching equipment advise is my next query. Probably different philosophies on this too.

Thanks all,
Stan of Boulder
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:42 AM   #27
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According to AutoWeek, the Titan still has a future but it won't be a rebadged Dodge Ram. I've owned a Titan since 2004 and can't complain... much. Honestly, I think the Tundra is a better truck. Of course, you pay a premium. The Titan has evolved since its introduction in '04. The 5.6 engine has has plenty of power but lousy gas mileage. I haven't had any problems with the transmission. The rear differential was a weak spot, but it has been addressed, same with the front disc brakes.

There is a difference between 19' and 23'... and the newer Airstreams are heavier than vintage models. A 19' FC weighs around 3800 pounds dry. A 23' FC weighs about 4800 pounds dry. I don't recall the year of your Siena, but the "standard" towing capacity for the Siena seems to be around 3500 pounds. Here's the problem. Even with the smaller 19' AS, you are going to be over the Siena's towing capacity before you put the first beer in the fridge. My point here is not to rain on your parade or suggest you need a one-ton diesel truck to pull a 19' travel trailer. It's just to encourage you to do some research on your Siena's GCWR. And if you want to know how it tows... rent a trailer, load it up and take it for a spin. Tow ratings are paper... and we don't tow stuff on paper.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:27 AM   #28
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I don't recall the year of your Siena, but the "standard" towing capacity for the Siena seems to be around 3500 pounds.
On the '08s and newer to get the 3500 pound capacity, the towing prep package needs to be installed. Otherwise its 1000-1500 pounds.
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