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Old 03-30-2008, 10:54 PM   #1
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Toyota Tundra capacities - be careful

According to the Toyota Tundra factory web site, the 10,000 lb towing capacity will be reduced to 8,300 lbs if the truck is equipped with the sport appearance package. Also, if the truck is equipped with a larger engine than standard, or an automatic transmission, the payload capacity is lessened. Read the owner's manual carefully to find out what the truck will actually tow or carry, and be wary of advertisements.
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:14 PM   #2
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This is true of any vehicle on the road, different features means different capabilities. I know the sport appearance package reduces the amount you can tow and a bigger engine weighs more so it make sense that the payload would be reduced. I did not think that Toyota had a manual transmission available for the Tundra.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
This is true of any vehicle on the road, different features means different capabilities.
This may be true, but I would say that the Toyota specs seem a bit extreme. For example, my Suburban has about a 9600lb tow capacity. Add 4x4 to it and it goes down to say around 9400lbs (I don't have the exact numbers handy).

I know that upgrading engines in GM land typically increases tow capacity, not decrease them in most, if not all cases.

You know, it's no secret that I've been a staunch advocate for shying away from the imports (for whatever imports mean today) like Toyota, Nissan, etc for heavier towing because it just seems to me to be a lot of smoke an mirrors when trying to extract the real tow ratings. Typically you get the big truck it should have the max capacity, but as we've read many times over, this just doesn't seem to be the case with the "imports" or non-domestic companies. Didn't Nissan buy back a guys truck a few years back because it couldn't do what Nissan said it should do?

I would fully agree that at one point the quaility of the builds and the interiors of the non-domestics were far better, but anyone that has been in a showroom or an auto show the past year or two can see that the gaps are fairly closed and there are no smoke, mirrors or fine print. It's pretty straight forward.

I really wonder what would ever happen if the non-domestics really entered the light truck market with a real, no hassles, 3/4 ton. Maybe it is just me, but the trucks being offered by the non-domestics seem to be 1/2 tons or glorified 1/2 tons with lots of different combos to make or break the rating.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackMac
Also, if the truck is equipped with a larger engine than standard, or an automatic transmission, the payload capacity is lessened. Read the owner's manual carefully to find out what the truck will actually tow or carry, and be wary of advertisements.
99.9999% of the time, when you go up in displacement your towing and payload capacities go up as well.
I am not sure what Toyota offers for choices in rear-ends. Usually the axle gear ratio is what really helps.
You have to admit, the Toyota Tundra is not bad..... if it were a real 1/2 ton TV.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:22 AM   #5
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It'll be interesting when the SAE comes out with a criteria for listing towing capacities on an "apples to apples" basis.

A lot of the towing numbers are smoke and mirrors. Kind of like the real estate ads saying that such and such property is "only 10 minutes from town". Yea, if you're running well over the speed limit at 2:00 in the morning!
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:53 AM   #6
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I think you mis-read the original post and my reply. It is not the towing weright that drops with the bigger engine it is the payload of the truck.
The 10K towing is with the bigger 5.7 Ltr engine. Smaller engine less towing...
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:53 AM   #7
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I think with the sport package you must ditch the hitch and can only replace it with a lower rated weaker attachment, that and the sport is unlikely to come with the tow ratio and does not come with the extra cooling apparatus. IIRC it's mainly because the sport rear bumper cannot fit with the regular hitch frame. I'm not saying sport and tow are mutually exclusive just that they are not the same.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:13 AM   #8
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If it feels good - drive it

Okay - truth according to flitzwhopper. Horsepower and gear ratios determine what you can pull. Spring rates, tire type and size, wheel base determe load capacity. Most days you could pull a 7,000lb trailer with any half ton - for awhile. When I was on a working ranch, the 1/2 ton trucks didn't last as long as the 3/4 tons when they were used primarily for towing.
Don't pay any attention to the manufacturers capacities. There is no standard there like SAE. Hook it up and see how it feels.
But like most things in life... it is how it feels. If you feel comfortable and under control then you'll be fine
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:19 AM   #9
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Jack,

The Tundra can pull lots of weight, but the payload is the issue. I am towing a 25' Safari, I wouldn't pull a 27'. The various versions of the Tundra have different payloads (and pulling capacity) and you have to watch that carefully. I wouldn't pull a 25' Classic because it weighs a lot more than a Safari—gotta watch the various weights of the trailers too. Figuring it all out drove me crazy until I made a decision what would work and what wouldn't.

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Old 03-31-2008, 10:23 AM   #10
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we'll let you know...

We just purchased the 2008 Crew-max and towed our 30' bunkhouse from Phoenix to Fort Collins. Honestly, the truck was awesome. If you've ever made the trip up the I-17 from Phoenix to Flagstaff, it is one of the longest climbs and at altitude as well and we were able to pass the semis with no trouble. It was the only truck that fit all our needs, beyond just towing. We plan on a coast to coast trip this summer. So, we'll keep you all posted!
I know there are some contentious debates among truck owners, and we've owned quite a few. A Chevy 4500, riddled with problems, a Ford F-350, not too bad... so we're giving Toyota a shot. We had a 4-Runner for years and never had a problem, I like Toyota and they definitely have a reputation to uphold. Plus the Tundra is made here.
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene
The Tundra can pull lots of weight, but the payload is the issue. I am towing a 25' Safari, I wouldn't pull a 27'. The various versions of the Tundra have different payloads (and pulling capacity) and you have to watch that carefully.
Correct -- in a real life situation you'll run out of payload before you run out of published tow capacity. Imprecise as any of these figures might be, tow capacity is figured deceptively. The tow vehicle must be totally bare of passengers, accessories, cargo, gas and drivers in excess of 120# so that they can justify the tongue weight of those advertised 9K & 10K tow capacities. Most people realize that Airstream's published tongue weights do not include LP in the tanks, WD gear -- all are up front weights that contribute heavily to tongue weight. Be wary -- published Safari SE tongue weights did not change when they made the spare tire standard a couple years back. Nothing beats directly determining your tongue weight (see your manual for an easy driveway method). You'll have better peace of mind and tow safer in emergency avoidance and braking situations if you'll follow the 85% rule and not go higher than 85% of the TV's rated capacity (actually, any spec for that matter).
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:27 AM   #12
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The problem I have with researching the different trucks before buying our '08 F250 was the lack of information Toyota provides for their so called full size truck that competes with the popular US 1/2 tons. Granted we ended up buying a used 34' Classic but we were originally looking at smaller Airstreams and it seemed logical to consider the Tundra.

But the 1/2 ton still seemed lacking.

Go to either the GM or Ford truck websites and it is very clear on what the trucks real capabilities are depending on the different options selected, any of their truck models.

The big beef I had with the Tundra was payload capability. Add a 500 - 700 lb. hitch or bigger, 4 adults, fuel, a 180 lb cap to cover the bed and you have come close to exceeding the trucks payload capability:

Fuel 26 gallons weighs 160 pounds
Ok 2 adults/2 children (our case) - 510 pounds
Hitch - 600 pounds
Cap - 180 pounds

I have already reached 1450 pounds and only leaves a little over 100 pounds left and we haven't put anything in the bed of the truck yet!

Let's say I want to add a couple Honda EU2000s to boondock: dry weight for each is 46 pounds. Add a 5 gallon fuel tank and I've got another 125 pounds.

Plus I've got to do something with the dog. That's the reason for the cap to enclose him in the back. He weights 50 pounds plus his food, another 20 pounds.

Now including the dog, generators we've added another 200 pounds exceeding the Toyota's cargo capability.

Sorry for the rant but I prefer to stay well inside the margins.

In my day to day job I worry about these things as I fly a large business jet and weight and balance calculations are very important to the performance of the aircraft. There's a reason for maximum capabilities.
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpandorf
The big beef I had with the Tundra was payload capability. Add a 500 - 700 lb. hitch or bigger, 4 adults, fuel, a 180 lb cap to cover the bed and you have come close to exceeding the trucks payload capability...
I was the original Nissan Titan owner on these boards. Silvertwinkie and I had this discussion three or more years ago. The Titan worked admirably for my 24' Argosy. With 1342# tow vehicle payload and plans to buy a heavier new mid-20-footer I just couldn't travel in the style to which I wanted to be accustomed. An acquaintance got interested and I sold the Titan before having a replacement TV. I now have a good topper, can carry the canoe & bikes at the same time, genset (I hear you!) -- and still get 60-70% better mileage than the Titan.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:01 PM   #14
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If my memory is correct, Toyota gives payload with full fuel tank. The large brochure Toyota produces for the Tundra gives just about all the weight information for every model. The owner's manual has similar information. It's not terribly easy to understand or track down, but it's there.

Bob's right—tongue weight for the specific trailers is not stated correctly by Airstream for real situations. The Airstream owner's manual (and some RV books) tell you how to calculate tongue weight using a regular household scale—the kind that tops out at 300 pounds—with the help of Archimedes theory about levers.

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