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Old 06-21-2008, 12:05 PM   #1
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What I've Learned (So Far) 3/4 diesel is for me

Well, I started out getting more confused by the day but after spending much time reading, researching, talking to Toyota dealers, Toyota Factory Reps, Chevy, Ford & Dodge dealers, 3 Airstream dealers, Hensley Hitch People, Equal-I-Zer (sic) Hitch people, and anybody who would listen I came to the following conclusion regarding the Toyota Crewmax 4.4 w/5.7 Liter engine and an Airstream 25' (Any model or configuration) or even the 23' FB - THEY ARE NOT A GOOD MARRIAGE.

Here's why - First the stated tow capacity of the Crewmax is 10,100# (put 20" tires on it and you are down to 9,600) - still ok for any of the above mentioned Airstreams... BUT...

Payload capacity = 1,495# (THE KILLER) - take 700-800# hitch, 100# for the Equal-I-Zer sway bar/load levelling hitch (The Hensley is way heavier & $$$ overkill for anything under 30') 3 Adults (500 or so lbs total - your family may vary but don't forget fido & his/her toys) A Fiberglass cap on the truck (250#) 26 gallons of gas (156#) (And YES it must be included according to Toyota factory representative) Any other things you might have in the way of accessories (Running boards) A generator, extra fuel for it) fuel & LP bottles, whatever (Anything you might put in the bed of the truck) - and you are WAY OVER the limits. Even factoring in the fact that you will not always have a full tank of gas)

Now can this be done? Sure - Even Toyota says that the 1,495# is what they recommend and SHOULD NOT be exceeded. Same goes for the recommened oil change of 3,000 miles - Speed limits are broken all the time. But should this be done? It is up to each of us to decide - for ME - I have decided to get a 3/4 ton diesel pickup which surprisingly has a sticker price very close to the Tundra and will deliver much more capacity in towing (13,000) payload (3350#) and better fuel mileage. Even the Chevy, Ford & Dodge dealers would not recommend their 1/2 ton crewcab with 6.0 Liter engines for anything over 8,000# and only marginally better Payload capacity.

So what I learned is this - If towing a new Airstream is more important than considering (an) "SOB" lightweight and maintaining safe weight limits and not have to worry about leaving Johnnie's bike home on this trip because you are going up some steep inclines then the 3/4 Ton is the way to go. Diesel optional but it does give more torque & better mpg.

I am not generally this "anal" but I really want the best combination without having to say "Gee, I shoulda gotten something else - a compromise in size trailer or an underpowered gas hot" So, there ya' go - If you are happy with what you've got and it works for you and you are comfortable and feel safe, GREAT - I'm not trying to change anyone's mind or convince anyone that what they are doing is wrong - just trying to share my experiences in coming to terms with my "dream" Have I compromised anything - YES - I really didn't want to consider a 3/4 ton truck (much less a diesel) but for me the overwhelming factor is that it will work and allow me to choose the Airstream that best fits my familie's needs/wants - I won't have to compromise on that!

Thanks to all who have responded to my earlier post - and to all the other postings on this website as well as a myriad of others I have researched - it's all good information and greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:06 PM   #2
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hi zarzac

and welcome to the forums....

went through many of the same gyrations too and reached some of the same conclusions...

do it right the first time, as much as is possible.

there are folks here VERY happy with their toy-tow'rs...

but payload IS the limiting issue IF trying to play by the specs game...

i had NO desire for a big nasty diesel breathing beast of a truck either...

but it WAS and IS the right tool for towing...

and now i LIKE having this anvil, belching black and all...

there are a wide variety of towing combos and calculating the safety factor is like asking for the BEST meat loaf recipe...

lots of 'grandma' combos but which ever one is chosen needs to have ENOUGH MEAT!

so good luck with the process and post your rig combo as it develops.

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:12 PM   #3
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It appears that you have done your homework. You have probably done a much better job of researching your options than most of us did at the outset. The is a saying that an insufficient tow vehicle is the primary cause of perfectly good Airstreams becoming very expensive pieces of yard art.

It sounds like you're ready to jump in. Welcome to the world of Airstream adventures.

Let us hear what you decide on, with pictures, of course.

Best of luck and safe travels.

Brian
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:03 PM   #4
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ZarZac...Glad you've come to a decision and one that you can live with...now it's time to find the perfect Airstream for your needs and get going with the fun!

Happy trails!
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:41 PM   #5
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BIG tow vehicle...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZarZac View Post
Well, I started out getting more confused by the day but after spending much time reading, researching, talking to Toyota dealers, Toyota Factory Reps, Chevy, Ford & Dodge dealers, 3 Airstream dealers, Hensley Hitch People, Equal-I-Zer (sic) Hitch people, and anybody who would listen I came to the following conclusion regarding the Toyota Crewmax 4.4 w/5.7 Liter engine and an Airstream 25' (Any model or configuration) or even the 23' FB - THEY ARE NOT A GOOD MARRIAGE.

<BIG SNIPPY>

So what I learned is this - If towing a new Airstream is more important than considering (an) "SOB" lightweight and maintaining safe weight limits and not have to worry about leaving Johnnie's bike home on this trip because you are going up some steep inclines then the 3/4 Ton is the way to go. Diesel optional but it does give more torque & better mpg.

I am not generally this "anal" but I really want the best combination without having to say "Gee, I shoulda gotten something else - a compromise in size trailer or an underpowered gas hot" So, there ya' go - If you are happy with what you've got and it works for you and you are comfortable and feel safe, GREAT - I'm not trying to change anyone's mind or convince anyone that what they are doing is wrong - just trying to share my experiences in coming to terms with my "dream" Have I compromised anything - YES - I really didn't want to consider a 3/4 ton truck (much less a diesel) but for me the overwhelming factor is that it will work and allow me to choose the Airstream that best fits my familie's needs/wants - I won't have to compromise on that!

Thanks to all who have responded to my earlier post - and to all the other postings on this website as well as a myriad of others I have researched - it's all good information and greatly appreciated.
ZarZac,

Who says being anal is negative when it comes to protecting both your investment and your family? Certainly not I, who suffers from a similar malady.

Your experiences mirror mine, almost exactly. We spent untold hours doing research about every vehicle we thought was capable of towing our 30' Classic. Like you, it did not take long to discover that the GVWR was the key to the selection. After that it was the ability to go up hills with 8,500-10,000 pounds behind us; to say nothing of the weight of the tow vehicle.

I am happy to say that the new diesels are eco friendly in that the days of the "belch smoke diesel" are gone due to the environmental controls on the new diesel vehicles. Our exhaust pipe is clean; aside from the road dust. We belch no smoke either.

We opted for a Ford F250 after counting every pound we would be putting out the truck; which includes a motorcycle sidecar combination which rides on the flat bed we substituted for the pickup body. While we are at the upper limit of the GVWR we are not over it. We could have gone for the F350 for more weight carrying capacity but we really did not like the rough ride that the suspension on a F350 provide when not loaded.

Obviously I think you made an excellent decision. I am always amazed at the volume of people who think nothing of traveling in a vehicle that is grossly overweight. I hope none of them are ever involved in a motor vehicle accident; the opposing party could have a filed day in court given the antics we see in this arena these days.

Best of luck with your new truck/TT.

Jim
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:27 AM   #6
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I think you did exactly the same sort of review that I did ... and came out exactly the same place. So I've got a new '08 Duramax / Allison pulling a little 23 footer. (Though sometimes towing a heavier tractor around on a big heavy-duty trailer!) Most of the time it's a bit of overkill and I really don't need all that truck. But just occasionally that extra power and "beef" have proven very useful, if not lifesavers. It was the right decision for me; you'll know for sure after 50,000 miles or so of towing! Welcome to the game!

p.s. Better buy it quick, before minitrucks are all that's left to buy out there!!!!!
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Old 06-22-2008, 10:12 AM   #7
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Going through the same thing right now!

My wife and I have spent weeks at every dealer in and out of our area. Most seem more than willing to sell us a tow vehicle that just won't do the job when it comes to gross vehicle weights. I'm going to have to go with a 3/4 ton. Not by choice, but by need. I don't want to take our first trip and be sorry from day one.

Thank you all you for your research. I thought I was alone out there going through this process. Good to know we are all having the same issues.

See you on the road.
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