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Old 06-16-2011, 11:34 AM   #1
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2007 19' Safari SE
Hood River , hood river
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Tundra as tow vehicle? (Newbie)

As the proud new owner of a 2009 Safari 19', as advised by the good people here, I know my Tacoma isn't up to the towing task and I'm a long time Toyota fan. Any advice on the Tundra would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 06-16-2011, 01:11 PM   #2
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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We tow with a 2006 Tundra crew cab 4x4 with 4.7 V8 with tow package. Really a nice setup, but had a learning curve.

First of all the tuck has a limited payload, so check that against your trailer tongue weight, passengers, and gear.

Get rid of the P (passenger) rated tires and install XL (extra load) tires. Check with Andy Thomson at CanAm to find the best size, bigger is not better, smaller is.

Get a good weight distribution hitch with sway control. We use an Equal-I-Zer brand, but I recommend the Reese dual cam for easier ride for the trailer and better sway control. It is important, very important that this hitch be installed properly. Again, ask Andy Thomson.

I keep the speed under 65 mph, never tow in overdrive, and shift down to climb grades keeping rpm around 2500-3000 rpm for good climbing power. Approach steep downhill grades very slowly, shifting way down ahead of time, applying brakes as needed. Have a high quality brake controller installed, the Tundra was factory prewired for plug-in install.

The 2007 and newer 5.7 V8 is more capable in every way, except perhaps fuel economy, and possibly reliability. We're at 63k miles with no repairs, looks and drives like new.

doug k

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Old 06-16-2011, 01:25 PM   #3
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2007 19' Bambi
2015 23' FB International
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We tow our 19' Bambi with a 2010 Tundra Crewmax, and have found it a great combination.

Our previous tow vehicle was a 1996 Land Cruiser, which had a supercharger and heavy duty springs. It certainly had the power, but I found that the trailer "pushed" it around a little too much, and went for the Tundra. The larger wheelbase and set-up overall makes for a better "towing platform" than the LC, which was a great vehicle.

As mentioned above, get a WD hitch properly set-up to make towing safe and stress-free. We also upgraded to 16" wheels and Michelin E rated tires, which really helped stabilize the trailer.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:48 AM   #4
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We tow with a 2010 4.7 V8. Ours is four wheel drive and has the towing package. We just returned from a 9000+ trip around the U.S. pulling our 28' Safari and were very pleased with the Tundra. There were a few high passes in Colorado where it would have been nice to have the larger engine but even over Red Mountain Pass (11,018') we moved along reasonably well and the temperature gauge never fluctuated. IMHO the tow package is mandatory.
2006 Safari 28' SE (Sylvia)
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:03 AM   #5
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Good to hear a report on that newer 4.7 V8 pulling a Safari 28'. Most would say that engine is too small for this task. I have wondered about that engine, lower cost, better fuel economy and plenty of engine for 99% of our needs. Idmtman, you are pulling in Idaho successfully, certainly not flatland.

doug k
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:36 AM   #6
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1974 25' Tradewind
Saskatoon , Saskatchewan
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Hey Zagarino,
The Tundra is an awesome tow vehicle!!I have a 1974 25' Tradewind and my 2004 Tundra double cab 2wd pulled it like there was nothing there! I have a 2006 4Runner limited V6 as well. Having 2 trucks with high Gas prices pinched me into selling my Tundra and Buying my wife a new car. My Runner pulls my Airstream but is at the top of my tow rating.I need a 4x4 for work and winter conditions in Saskatchewan. So the tundra had to go. I will be getting another 4x4 Tundra as soon as I can. I really miss that truck!!I spent more money on accessories than repairs in 4 years! So Yes get a Tundra!!
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:47 AM   #7
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We have a 2010 Tundra 5.7L CrewMax 4x4 to pull our '09 27' FB Ocean Breeze. After a couple of trips with the 3K Honda Handi Gen, 5 gal of Gen fuel and fences to keep our dog Heidi from taking unexpected walk-abouts around the campground I installed AirLift bags to the rear suspension. Great move, she pull like a dream and the rig-TT combination is balanced and level from front to rear. LOVE the Tundra!
Scott, Becky & Heidi (our standard poodle and travel companion)
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:18 AM   #8
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1998 36' Land Yacht Widebody
Kimball , Minnesota
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Tundra TV

I also tow with a 2008 Tundra double cab with the 5.7 liter engine. It is a very good tow vechicle for my 25' Excella. No reliability issues, smooth, quiet, lots of power. The six speed transmission is a great advantage in towing, it smoothly shifts when needed without dramatic RPM changes. My only gripe is the small (24 gallon) fuel capacity. My previous TV was a Landcruiser, it had plenty of power to tow but the wheelbase was too short to prevent some minor handling issues.

Also, be prepared to hear a lot of folks tell you they think Toyotas are a pile of junk. I usually smile and agree with them as I don't like to argue.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:35 AM   #9
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1400 miles in the past 4 days with my 07 Tundra and 75 Trade Wind.
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:18 AM   #10
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Marietta , Georgia
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Good to hear a report on that newer 4.7 V8 pulling a Safari 28'. Most would say that engine is too small for this task. I have wondered about that engine, lower cost, better fuel economy and plenty of engine for 99% of our needs. Idmtman, you are pulling in Idaho successfully, certainly not flatland.
doug k
I pull my 1971 23' Safari with my 2008 4Runner with 4WD and 4.7L V8 and it pulls just fine.
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:21 AM   #11
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Gotta say

Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
1400 miles in the past 4 days with my 07 Tundra and 75 Trade Wind.
NICE steup AZ!
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:55 AM   #12
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A great combination

Just got back from our first longer trip with our 2011 5.7 Tundra Double Cab and 2006 23 Safari.

Had dealership install an EAZ lift WD hitch with 1000 lb bars to replace the Husky and 600-800 lb bars that the original owners had. This really improved the ride with three links hanging.

Even with 30 mph headwinds as we headed for the Gulf Coast of Texas, Tundra had plenty of power and AS tracked perfectly.

It went up a winding grade at La Grange Texas from the Colorado River Valley like the hill didn't even exist. Threw it down into second coming down same grade on way home and barely touched the brakes.

We bought the Tundra specifically for towing AS and glad we did. It's our fifth Toyota in the family in the past 35 years but the first truck and so far have found the same qualities in the truck that we have always found in our other Toyotas. I have sciatica problems which can be aggravated by long drives, but even with the standard split front bench seat it felt like i had a custom bucket seat. No stress on my back whatsoever in nearly 1000 miles of driving in 5 days.

Yes the gas tank needs to have some attention paid to it, we stopped to refill when it got down to half a tank for two reasons... sticker shock lol and after two hours of driving (did I say its a long way to anywhere in Texas) its time to make sure we got out to stretch, hydrate and tend to the dog's needs.

We don't load a bunch of stuff in the pickup bed, I guess we are rather simple campers, so payload isn't an issue for us. At most in the future, the bed will contain the wastewater stuff, two bicycles and portable lp grill, so we should be fine over the long run from that standpoint.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:11 AM   #13
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Back to the original premise of this thread - if I understand the earlier threads right, the Tacoma in question is a current-generation Prerunner V6.

Looking at the Toyota website, that truck has a 6400 lb tow rating, a payload rating of 1430 lbs, and a max tongue weight of 640 lbs (with the tow package.) The truck has a long wheelbase. You're towing a trailer that weighs in at 4500 lbs loaded.

I know you got some advice earlier to upgrade (often written in incomplete unpunctuated sentences or mentioning some old-wives-tale "80% rule") - but I just don't see the need to do so. (A 5.7-liter Tundra is certainly faster though.)

As Doug noted above, talk with Andy Thomson at CanAm RV Centre. He mentions the Tacoma in this thread here.

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Old 06-21-2011, 09:16 AM   #14
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1974 25' Tradewind
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I am glad you mentioned that mutcth. I was going to ask what type of Tacoma was in question. I have a 2006 4runner limited with the 4.0L V6 . My Maximum towing capacity is 5000 LBS. My 1974 25' Tradewind is around 4200 LBS. I recently took a long trip to Banff national park. I was really nervous pulling with my 4Runner instead of my 2004 Tundra which had a much higher towing capacity. You know what? Once I had my weight distribution hitch and brake controller dialed in it was not that bad!The prairies were fine, Drumheller and the mountain passes were not too bad either. I did not push the Runner hard in the passes or in very steep valleys. On the steep inclines I was only doing around 60 to 70 KMS/hour at around 2500 RPM. On the way from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Banff, Alberta I was a bit like a cat on a screen door. On the way back I was much more comfortable.
I will have a great deal more confidence on the rest of my trips from now on. I still would like to get another Tundra in a year or two. But the 4runner will work well for now. Instead of going deeper in debt on a new truck, I'm still thinking about just upgrading my intake and exhaust for a little more power and keeping my Runner. Check your specs. Even of you are close to your towing capacity, hook up your AS and take it for a few test runs.That is what I did and I was surprised. Remember Toyota has always been conservative on their tow capacities. Good luck!

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