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Old 04-24-2009, 10:23 PM   #1
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2008 25' Safari
Newport , Oregon
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Tundra is a hauler!

We brought our new 2008 Safari 25 home today, and I can categorically and enthusiastically sing praises to the 2009 Tundra 5.7 double cab's ability to effortlessly tow the AS up hill and down, back roads and highways.

I'm so glad I decided against hauling with the 2005 Tundra that I parted with. The AS is a load I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been happy pulling, and if it wasn't happy I wouldn't be either.

I had an Equalizer 1000 pound with sway control and a Prodigy brake controller put on just before I took delivery.

To give you an idea of how well the Tundra handled the load, beautiful wife along for the ride and to shop for a dress(my concession for making her wait in Camping World for the prodigy install) actually fell asleep on the way home, and when she awoke, she commented that was the first time ever when we've towed anything that she was that relaxed. I didn't sleep,(I was driving) but I was relaxed too. What a change from the white knuckle terror that we've experienced towing previously.

I do need to purchase new tow mirrors and so far, no one makes aftermarket extension mirrors for the Tundra yet. I may go with McKesh, and for now I'm using CIPA plastic extension mirrors that are better than nothing, but not much.

If anyone is contemplating a new TV for an AS 25 foot or under, I heartily recommend the Toyota Tundra 5.7. You don't need a diesel or belchfire eight to easily and safely tow that type of load. The headlights don't point to the sky, the rear tires and axle is not overladed, and the motor purred right along towing at 60MPH on level ground at less than 2000RPM's in towhaul mode.

I admit that my data is only based on a 75 mile trip home, but we did cross the coast range, went up hill and down, slowed for lots of curves, and enjoyed our towing experience. I'll post pics and keep you updated.

The Tundra is a towing beast!!!
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:31 PM   #2
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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Glad to hear you and your beautiful wife are happy. Surprised that the Tundra didn't come with tow mirrors as they were standard in '07. The roads over the Coast Range can be very curvy and a challenge for any truck.

Gene
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:45 PM   #3
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I have regular mirrors on my '07 Limited. (well power and heated with turn signals but not tow mirrors). They work great with a narrow vintage trailer which is lucky as I gather switching to tow mirrors is pricey. If I needed tow mirrors I'd buy some get them swapped and sell the std mirrors, you could break even. Oh and congratulations on your new toy.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:09 PM   #4
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Didn't know they weren't standard. Maybe they were standard with the TRD package. The ones we have are also heated, power and have turn signals. I'm sure the dealer can swap them (for a price) and they will be a lot better than add ons. The tow mirrors have two mirrors on each which means you can watch the lower part of the trailer with the lower mirror and see where it is on the road as well as see behind you with the usual upper mirror.

Gene
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:32 AM   #5
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Congtats on your new home away from home. We purchased a 1974 Tradewind 25' last summer and presently are completing the renovation. I pulled it from Missouri to Colorado, our new home, with a Dodge Ram 5.7L. It pulled that 5,000 lb hunk, loaded with stuff, 4 people, 2 dogs and the bed packed flawlessly. I can just imagine what a pleasure it was for you with the new Tundra. Nice truck and good choice.

Happy travels for may years!
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:55 PM   #6
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2008 Tundra 4x4 TRD

Steve. I enjoyed pulling our 23 foot Safari with the 2006 Double Cab (now a Crew Max) Tundra, 4.7L, 4x4... but the 5.7L Tundra is much... much better. The 2008 Double Cab actually turns a tighter turn, gets better towing gas mileage and non towing mileage and the 6 speed manual or non-manual option transmission shifting is great. I have already put over 20,000 miles on it and about half of it towing the AS.

One complaint: You will wear the Goodrich tires out pulling the trailer quickly. If you take it onto dirt and gravel, expect the possibility of rock punctures through the tread. I now have, on this 2008, the only better tire I could find in the 18 inch, a Michelin E Rated tire at Costco. Maybe a bit of harder ride, compared to the Goodrich A/T's, but these will handle anything and I have no regrets. Also the spares on the Tundra are on a steel wheel and a Michelin street tire. Figure that out. I ended up buying a wheel and tire at Toyota and they gave me ZERO for it. That was the only complaint I have with the new Tundra's.

The Limited does not have the tow mirrors on the lots. The SR5 does have both the tow mirrors and standard on the lots. Although I have not had any use of tow mirrors towing, even with the standard mirrors. I can see about all I would want to with the standard mirrors.

We will be packing the trailer once the snow melts here on the Front Range Colorado in a few days and heading again shortly to New Mexico, Utah and Nevada.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:11 PM   #7
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2008 25' Safari
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Ray, Much to my surprise and delight, my Tundra came with Michelin X 18's standard including the spare. I had just put a set of brand new Michelins M/S's on my 2005 Tundra when I decided it wasn't enough to tow the AS 25 footer easily and traded it in.

Beautiful wife was placated a wee bit when she found out that we actually lucked into an upgrade situation with the tires.

I've found the same to be true also with the advantages of the new bigger Tundra. Better mileage, smoother ride, smaller turning radius, and the safety of the many airbags and stability control/ wLSD. I'm pleased with my purchase and its towing ability.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:03 AM   #8
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Tow mirrors are an $800 delete option on the Limited. If you get the factory tow mirrors, you trade off the power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, seat/steering wheel position memory and electric folding mirrors, for manual folding (and extendable) tow mirrors, a manual tilt/telescopic steering wheel and no seat/steering wheel position memory (still power, though). Plus, you get to deduct $800 from the price of the vehicle.

If you need tow mirrors (and most probably will when towing an Airstream), they are a pretty good trade-off on the new generation Tundras

I still have the BFG Rugged Trails that came with the TRD package (on a CM Limited). If you put the same size tire on the spare wheel, will the spare still fit in the storage rack?

Also, has anyone tried the Michelin AT/2s?
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:58 AM   #9
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Tundra 3100 mile trip report

I have a 2008 Tundra 5.7L Doublecab and pull a 25' 1989 Excella. I have just returned from a 3100 mile trip which included traveling the full length of the Natchez Trace. Truck worked well, 12.1 mpg and very comfortable. This was not a mountainous route, so no real experience with long climbs on this trip. The 6 speed transmission is my favorite feature, the 24 gallon fuel tank is my least favorite feature.

The bad news is that we had 13 nights of camping and saw only one Airstream, and there was no one home at that one! Spring on the Natchez Trace is great and there are three very nice campgrounds with no fee!
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:10 AM   #10
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The spare on the Tundra does not have a rack. There a plate that fits through the center hole in the wheel and pulls up with a cable. So I think a bigger tire would fit under the bed, but I haven't tried it. The one worry I have is the Michelin spare is a bit smaller than the other tires.

We just put E range LTX A/T 2's on the Tundra and they ride much smoother than the OEM Goodrich tires. We have seen Toyota models come with different brand tires including Michelins and specified we wanted the Michelins or we wouldn't buy the vehicle. For some reason I forgot to do that with the Tundra. I expect they put on any tires they can get a good deal on. The Michelins on our 4Runner still have some good tread and are over 62,000 miles; the Tundra Goodrichs wore fast and although they still had some decent tread, we wanted a better tire.

The only Airstreams we saw in 1450 miles, mostly on I-70, were 2 Land Yatches, traveling together, and a trailer in the westbound lane.

Gene
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:08 AM   #11
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Hey you guys are making me miss my Tundra but my Titan tow's very well also I had a 2001 Tundra SR5 just a little to small for my Soveriegn and to many mile's for towing. I was going to get a New Tundra but two much money for me. So I settled for the Titan I am happy its a beast but I am sure I will have no problems.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:24 AM   #12
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Tundra w/Michelin LTX A/T All Season

Gene... Those are the tires that Costco had available and I do like them, as well. The load range E is also what I need for many places we take the trailer. The tires are LT275/65R18 LRE ORWL- Michelin LTX A/T. Cost before the $80 coupon for buying four or more Michelin or Goodrich tires was $234.99 each. Not cheap, but I am not looking for cheap. I do not want to be stuck with routine flat tire repairs.

Some Tundras on the lot came with street tires, which I really do not want. We spend too much time towing and on dirt/gravel roads. The tread on these tires will hold gravel, so on the highway you had better have the gravel guards on your trailer. Once you reach highway speeds you will hear gravel cutting loose in the fender "wells?". We have thought about buying a gravel skirt for the back of the Tundra, but opted to buy a spare set of gravel guards at Jackson Center, Ohio at the Airstream factory when we were going down a warranty repair list. Of which they did a fantastic job working out the "kinks". Our current gravel guards have earned their keep.

I believe the 23 foot 2006 Safari is six inches on both sides narrower than the 25 foot and up models. I have never needed side mirrors. Even when pulling with the narrower 2006 Tundra, which also was an excellent tow vehicle. I must add: I do not own Toyota stock. I am not a union member. I have never worked in the automobile industry. So I have no axe to grind against other models, but it works for me... after 28 years of Toyota driving, so why change horses now? If Toyota begins to cut corners I will back looking at a F250 Ford, but not a diesel.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:26 PM   #13
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Steve, I too, just purchased a 2009 Tundra with the 5.7 ltr and I like it a lot. It came with the extension mirrors and I really like those as well. I have a set of virtually new McKesh mirrors (used twice) that I would sell at about half the original price. They are equipped with the round blind spot mirrors. I really liked them on my 4Runner, but with the new vehicle, I no longer need them. Let me know if you're interested. Also, did you have any problem getting the trailer hitch on the Tundra down to a position to level the trailer? Mine is on the bottom rung and seem to tip the trailer from front to back. jim
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:51 PM   #14
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I PMed you

Rusty, Thanks for thinking of me, and yes I'm interested in the mirrors. I PMed you and asked about condition, and then re-read your post and saw they were virtually new. As far as the hitch, my Tundra is set up with the equalizer hitch, and seems to be fine on the 2nd or 3rd hole. You should be able to adjust your hitch with spacer washers. Let me know if this weekend might work as far as getting together(not Mother's Day though!)

We'll be camped at the Dayton RV park in space 176 probably arriving around 6-7 Friday evening. Thanks again. Steve
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