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Old 05-25-2016, 05:57 PM   #1
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Tundra 4x4: 2006, 2008, 2012

I have gone the gauntlet with Toyota Tundra's with 4x4 TRD Off Road, Tow Package.

Some surprising experiences towing.

2006 Tundra Limited (leather interior) Double Cab, Standard Bed, Snug Top over bed:

2006 Tundra 4x4 4.7L engine (largest available) automatic standard bed Double Cab with Snug Top over bed and Hitch that uses the chain links to adjust (do not know name).

Pulled our 23 foot Safari without difficulty. Dropped three chain links and everything rode flat. Gas mileage in the 8 to 11 mpg in the Rockies. Cross winds in Wyoming, no problem. Up steep Forest Service grades, put into 4x4 High and if steep and low in High did not provide power, 4x4 Low and Lock all wheels. Plenty of power with the 23 foot Airstream at ELEVATION.

The Limited has standard mirrors. Tow mirrors may be added I would suppose, but when driving down the Interstate I could move my steering wheel so get the trailer to move and see as far behind me as I needed. NO extended mirrors needed, at all.

An absolutely wonderful combination in my opinion for a 23 foot or SMALLER Airstream. Plenty of power on flat grades. Great traction and GET RID of the Goodrich tires and get LTX Michelins A/T2. Never had a flat tire from road 'rock' or failure with the Michelins.

When the 2007 full sized Tundra was introduced, Toyota was having problems with the 'cam shafts' breaking. Although very tempted to get a real full sized Tundra... I waited until the bugs were worked out of the 2007 5.7L engines.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:11 PM   #2
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2008 Tundra Double Cab 5.7L-6speed automatic

2008 Tundra 4x4 Limited TRD Off Road, Tow package, Double Cab, Standard Bed, Snug Top over bed... 5.7L ENGINE, six speed automatic.

Pulled the 2006 23 foot Airstream Safari easily with the 5.7L engine. Better gasoline mileage than the 2006 with the 4.7L engine. Both towed at Highway speeds of 60 to 70 mph at 2200 RPM without headwind and on flat roads.

The 2008 Tundra has a shorter turning radius than the 2006 and the brakes, transmission and suspension are superior to the smaller 2006. The larger truck can turn a tighter turn than the 2006... remember that.

The 5.7L engine is absolutely a work horse. The six speed automatic shifts with a Tow Mode for 1st, or begins at 2nd. You can also manually downshift going down grade for some braking, or up grade to get some extra RPM.

Like the 2006 you also have a High and Low 4x4. In a jam in snow or mud... you can LOCK all four wheels for true 4 wheel drive. Be careful as these are locked and making a turn can be very awkward with four traction tires.

Dump the factory tires for Michelin ATX LT2's. I removed the Goodrich tires and sold them on Craigslist. The spares on the Tundras are a steel wheel with a street tire. BE AWARE of that. I purchased an extra magnesium wheel and Michelin to match all my running wheels and tires. I do not know how a street tire will work as a spare towing a trailer in the National Forest. Not well, I suppose.

Running at 2200rpm at Highway Speeds and can get 14 to 16 mpg on flat Interstates. More down the mountain or with a tail wind. Mileage drops to 6 to 10 with headwinds. Goes up the Front Range with a load at 8 to 10 mpg.

Had ZERO warranty work, repairs or failures. Oil changes were every 5,000 miles and at the time Toyota was not using synthetic oil changes, every 10,000 miles. More difficult oil change for filter canister, so began having Toyota do service. Prices ran in the $35 to $40 range for non synthetic oil changes.

Bought our 2012 25 Foot International and purchased a 2012 Tundra.

Getting close to the drive train warranty expiration and traded it to the Toyota Dealership who wanted the Double Cabs and wanted to clear out the Crew Max models.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:21 PM   #3
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2012 CREW MAX, 5.7L, 6 speed automatic

2012 Tundra Crew Max, short bed, 5.7L engine, 6 speed automatic, TRD Off Road and Tow Package, Snug Top shell, Toyota plastic bed insert and the standard options which is about everything Toyota has to offer.

Have the Michelin LTX AT2 tires from Costco and sold the Goodrich tires on Craigs List as soon as I could.

The Tow Max and Double Cab perform the same in turning radius. Power to spare. The short bed with Snug Top. The back seats hold our two Pet Porters easily.

The Crew Max with the large cab takes a foot or more from the bed. I do miss the extra space to haul stuff in the back, but you adapt and it has not been a big issue. Two Blue Heelers on the back seat in pet porters and lots of room up front.

The spare, again is a steel wheel and street tire. Transferred the 2008 wheel and Michelin to the 2012 for the spare. The tires all match. I have NEVER had to use the spare, but again when off road with the trailer, the spare time is much like the spare on the Airstream... cheap, steel wheel and not acceptable. At least for my kind of uses.

At the time more customers want the Double Cab 5.7L with standard bed and the deal to buy a new Crew Max was too good. I was there for an oil change on the 2008 and left with a 2012. Not an impulsive buyer... but we wanted a Crew Max the first time we stepped onto the front buckets seats.

Same experiences as the 2008. A workhorse. Disc brakes on ALL three last longer than expected. The 2006 did not need disc brakes replaced. The 2008 had plenty of pads left. I have not looked at the 2012 pads... but they feel fine and no warping of rotors as I had on another brand of 4x4 years ago.

I am now at 55,000+ miles and the drive train warranty expires this year or 60,000 miles. The 2016 and 2017's are no doubt being put onto the lots. I am ready to spend the kid's inheritance again and will be looking at new Tundras once we are back in Colorado.

The 2012 uses synthetic oils and good for 10,000 miles between changes. Same oil filter canister being used.

I am waiting some day... for a diesel 3/4 ton Tundra some day. It would have to be a market killer for the competition... but who knows. I can hope they do not screw it up and have a poor excuse for a Diesel.

Any questions? Ask. The Michelin ATX LT2 E-Rated tires are great in all weather. Never had a flat tire. Never been stuck.

The Radiator which is plastic, had a lead near the base of it around 15,000 miles an was replaced as a warranty item. They noted 'poor quality'. We had the trailer in tow, stopped at the dealership in Albuquerque, NM with trailer and dogs in the service center, while they did the repair and sent us on our way.

OUR first warranty issue.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:39 PM   #4
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Summation and Experiences with my Toyota Brands

These three trucks are reliable. I have owned a 1978 Chevrolet 4x4 3/4 ton truck, 4 speed clutch, new in 1978. In 1980 I traded it in for a Toyota 6 cylinder pickup about half the size of the Chevrolet... for a family of four. Bought a 1985 Land Cruiser and 1985 Supra, new. A 2000 Land Cruiser, used and loved it 4.7L engine.

I was a 100% Chevrolet follower, but the pickup for $7,800 was a total disappointment with clutch issues, valve issues, rush issues and just a piece of iron with tires. First new Chevrolet and never looked back at another.

Bought two 2004 Land Cruisers new. Sold one and bought the 2006 Tundra.

Bought a 2008 Land Cruiser new that my wife drives today with 35,000 miles and my 2008 Tundra Double Cab at the same time.

Traded the 2008 Tundra Double Cab in on the 2012 Tundra Crew Max.

I have absolutely enjoyed owning all of my Toyotas and as long as I am happy with the quality that you WILL pay extra for on each... I am looking forward to checking out the 2016 and maybe the 2017.

Never had much experience with Warranty issues... as the only problem was the radiator leak in the 2008 Tundra which was promptly replaced.

I had intended to use the 2008 Land Cruiser to tow EAST of the Rocky Mountains and the 2008 and then 2012 Tundras to use WEST of the Front Range for towing the Airstreams.

But... the Land Cruiser will be left in our ESTATE while I use the Tundras up to the expiration of the Drive Train Warranty and be one lucky man.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:48 PM   #5
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I just want to add a foot note.

I traded in my 1978 Chevrolet 4x4 3/4, which I paid 50% down and the other 50% over 12 months. It was a mechanical problem the day I drove it off the lot and I worked on Chevrolets as a 'hobby' for Corvettes and even a 1957 Ford pickup V8 rebuild and clutch to earn extra money, just out of the University. My new Pepsi job paid $12,000 a year, which is about $50,000 a year in today's inflated currency. My first NEW anything.

The 12,000 mile warranty forced me to fix everything myself at my cost. GM eventually offered to pay for the 'GM part cost'. The President of GM would give me the option to buy a new pickup at 'employee rate'. I was not interested. I still have a copy of my letter to GM as a reminder that bad things can happen to good people...

When I bought my 1981 Toyota pickup and it parked on the street the Union people in Grandview, MO would drop literature 'Eat your Import' stickers, etc. on my driveway. One day my tires were slashed. Toyota's were Made in Japan in those days, and these guys feel the same about them today.

I moved, built a new home and have bought Toyotas ever since. It was not pleasant and the local Police said others had the same tire 'problems' as I did. Once I actually caught a guy tossing literature onto my Toyota pickup, I jumped into my truck and tried to get a plate number, to no avail.

So... now you know my entire story. But not all, but this is as good as it gets.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post







Running at 2200rpm at Highway Speeds and can get 14 to 16 mpg on flat Interstates. More down the mountain or with a tail wind. Mileage drops to 6 to 10 with headwinds. Goes up the Front Range with a load at 8 to 10 mpg.
Are you saying you get 14 to 16 towing a trailer?
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:26 PM   #7
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I just picked up a 2016 Tundra CrewMax (5.7L) SR5. Traded in a 2006 4Runner with a 4.7L V-8. The 4Runner towed the FC20 but you certainly knew it was back there. The Tundra has power to spare.

I'm currently on a road trip from Oklahoma to Ohio to Alaska. We're stopped for the night in South Dakota (I-90 to Seattle) and we're getting about 12 towing the FC20 at 60-65 mph.

Any of the models with the 5.7 come with an integrated brake controller. It's nice to not bang my knees anymore. Mine didn't come with running boards and I plan on adding AMP Powersteps to help my wife (5'4'') get into the truck without a running start.
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:32 PM   #8
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Tail Winds are your friend...

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Are you saying you get 14 to 16 towing a trailer?
******
Running at 2200rpm at Highway Speeds and can get 14 to 16 mpg on flat Interstates (with tailwinds). More down the mountain or with a tail wind. Mileage drops to 6 to 10 with headwinds. Goes up the Front Range with a load at 8 to 10 mpg.

******

With a Tail Wind 14 to 16 mpg on flat Interstate. Downhill would be cheating, but is impressive with avoiding the peddle. You are probably running at 1800 rpm and 2200 to maintain speed on slightly uphill stretches.

Coasting down the East Side of the Big Horn Mountains into Buffalo, Wyoming I maxed out the computer in the 60's mpg. Going up... that is where the average will drop to average things out right away.

Did it also from the Cody Reservoir west of Cody, Wyoming to the Buffalo Bill Museum. I think it was 67mpg and no more after that. Set the mpg and mileage once I left the campground.

We try to leave Denver with a brisk tail wind when going south on I-25 to New Mexico to improve our gas mileage, since we are usually flexible on what days we leave.

I keep a log of each time we are towing our trailer and filling up the tank. I have taken the number from the truck's computer and the number of gallons into the mileage and will accept the truck's as accurate.

Tires... my typos. LTX Michelin A/T2

Kansas with a tail wind would be a great place to log some great mileages.

Colorado going west up to Eisenhower Tunnel with a head wind... it will not be pretty, but maybe a Diesel can prove its advantage.

I have posted somewhere more information on a Thread, but it could have been a number of years ago.

Nevada has some regular strong winds and if you can wait one out for the right direction... let it blow you into Las Vegas as it is downhill when coming from the North.

Just makes driving interesting and take advantage of the wind, when possible.
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Old 05-25-2016, 11:54 PM   #9
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So you are saying you can get 14 to 16 mpg on flat ground towing a trailer?
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:01 AM   #10
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I tow my 27 ft with an 07 5.7 Tundra Limited. I'm surprised at how well it climbs mountains and the trans temp never rises.

Tundra has 130k miles. I only open the hood to change the oil, though I did do new plugs and belt at 100k miles. I've towed with a Burb, diesel Excursion, and a big block dually, but I think the Tundra is the one I like best.
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:34 AM   #11
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2012 Tundra and a 2004 Cruiser. It's our fourth Landcruiser. We run them up to 200,000-250,000 miles and sell them. Buy them with 90,000-100,000 miles. Never have had an issue. Used to pull the 23FB with the Cruiser, but traded in my 4Runner for the Tundra, and prefer the 5.7 for towing. The Cruiser did fine, but with poor gas mileage, and a 22 gal tank, it was a bit frustrating to be pulling over that often.
I'm in the same boat, only was a Ford guy. Had two Explorers that were junk, then went to an Expidition that was nothing but trouble. I really think the big three have their act together, as my son has a nice F150, and a neighbor has a GMC 1500 that are both very nice.
I just enjoy worry free living, at least as far as my vehicles go..
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:59 AM   #12
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Ray,
What seems to be the problem with a steel wheel spare tire? It will still be the same size tire as the other 4 aluminum rims. If your not using it on a regular basis what's the difference? An aluminum rim seems more apt to corrode while up underneath the truck or trailer as a steel wheel can be repainted when it starts to get ugly.
Is your OCD kicking in
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:55 AM   #13
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Ray, I'm not lobbying for your heirs, but why replace your 2012? It has 100,000 miles or more of useful life left.

You need some new truck smell?
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:35 AM   #14
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Tundra first... F150 to F350 a close second

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Ray, I'm not lobbying for your heirs, but why replace your 2012? It has 100,000 miles or more of useful life left.

You need some new truck smell?
*******

Our Land Cruisers were ready to sell in the 150,000 to 185,000 mile range. They were so rare for sale, a premium was paid by those looking. When Toyota went from the 6 cylinder to 4.7L V8 to 5.7L V8... we kept this last one and it is now considered Nancy's Truck. The transmissions in the Land Cruisers are the #1 in the World. The transmission shops say that if all transmissions were like the Land Cruiser's... they would be out of business. (This is from those Saturday auto call the expert question/answer sessions.)

It is not the vehicle's 'useful life'... but my own. If you get my meaning. My odometer is beyond warranty and I want to get the most mileage out of my transmission and cooling system possible.

The convoys in the most desolate parts of the World... were using Toyota Land Cruisers and pickups. The pickups had DIESEL engines that we do not see in the USA. Something odd about that, but if a Diesel 3/4 ton Tundra comes out... I will smell that model out the following year so they can work out the bugs.

The 185,000 miles on the drive train, but the interiors and exteriors are easily kept immaculate. Good paint jobs and metal after the 1980's models.

Now... up to the end of the warranty period and time to get a new model. Life is shorter today than it was 25 years ago. We would like the last check to bounce... but we have been too frugal, invested wisely and wear the same clothes we had years ago that fit.

I do like the F250 Ford King's Ranch with the interior and comes with great feedback. I just do not want diesel and wanted a gas model that seem to be scarce on the lots, unless they are not available in gas versions. Diesel is not available everywhere we travel.

Done my used sports cars in my youth. Now the 4x4 pickup is my choice and plan to go anywhere, anyplace at anytime with our Airstream in tow.

GM, Ford and Dodge trucks are not the same fix them uppers as in the pre 1980's era. I like Ford... but until Toyota quality drops to the point it is overpriced... that F250/350 King's Ranch is in my sights. Dodge has the diesel of choice, but Ford... it has to smell like a Cattle Ranch in western Nebraska and maybe... just maybe, give them another look before I need help to get into the cab!
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