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Old 10-11-2010, 10:09 AM   #1
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2006 Tundra Receiver

A little background.

We recently purchased a 2006 Tundra with the aim of towing a smaller Airstream. Currently I am in the research phase, reading, daily and learning, we have never towed before, brand new.

I realize it may have been smarter, to get a larger truck, but we really want to keep the size of this down, and are interested in boondocking when possible.

Our current candidates for trailers are mid 60s Safaris 22feet or Globetrotter similar length. We may get into a 23 foot mid 70s Safari with dual axle, but thats about as large and heavy as we want to go. Probably choosing an Equal-i-zer hitch, mainly because it is a bolt on, even though I am a little afraid of what looks like a friction damping method.

Still, I suspect I will have to set the trailer we find up and, having never done this before, the idea of drilling into the frame, to set up a Reese hitch makes my mistakes seem to permanent Otherwise I think I would pick the, Reese.
Strait-Line Weight Distribution w Sway Control - Round Bar - 10,000 lbs GTW, 600 lbs TW Reese Weight Distribution RP66076

First important question, what class receiver does our truck have? Its welded to a plate, through bolted to the bumper and a welded cross member, there is no stamp anywhere. It has a 2" square hole. It looks for all the world like you could take out the four bolts and have the receiver in your hand. It makes me nervous, ...twitch.

The bumper tag says 500# TW and 5000# GTW but... I think the marking is associated with the bumper hitch mounting hole. The truck has a factory tow package installed. I am guessing class 3 but...

Thanks for the help and the the amazing resource hope these images are posted the right way.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:42 AM   #2
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I just looked at the receiver on my 01 Tundra. There is a sticker on it saying check in the owners manual for weight limits. This looks like a factory receiver so you should be OK up to the weight limits stated in the manual. If in doubt take it by a Toyota dealer to verify it is indeed a factory hitch.

I went with an Equalizer hitch and one of the reasons was not having to drill into the frame of my trailer. I read tons of posts here on the forums and opinion seems to be 6 one way and 1/2 dozen the other on using the Reese or an Equalizer. If your truck is a 4x4 you may need the longer shank version. The standard shank was just about an inch too high for my truck with the hitch head in the lowest hole. Equalizer swapped it out at no charge, they are great folks to deal with.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:34 PM   #3
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Our 06 Tundra crewcab 4x4 is rated 500# hitch weight and 5000# trailer weight w/o weight distribution, and 650# hitch weight and 6500# trailer weight with a weight distribution hitch.

You must not buy the hitch until you have the trailer. They vary in capacity and must be matched to the trailer (unless you don't believe an over-rated hitch will damage your Airstream).

The hitch must also be set up properly so be absolutely sure you have a knowledgable installer. Other factors for safe towing include proper loading of truck and trailer, truck tire selection, and driving skills.

Plenty has been written about it in this forum, and much of it descends into argument. So pick and choose as you read.
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies,

for now I will just go with 500# tongue weight and 5000# trailer weight and take into account the weight distribution hitch. I think before we really tow anything with it, I'll cruise by the dealership and see if they can tell me for sure what class hitch we have.

It looks solid enough, its just the bolts that are throwing me a little bit.
I appreciate it,
ED
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:12 PM   #5
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I have the factory towing package on my '06 Sequoia and it is rated to tow 6200# (mine is a 4X4 which lowers the rating). If that is a factory hitch and you are towing with load leveling and a brake controller then I'd say you'll probably be fine with a mid-late 70s Safari. However, I would not want to tow much heavier of a trailer with this setup.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:03 PM   #6
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tundra hitch

I'm towing a 70 AS Overlander-27', about 4200+. Just picked it up-first time towing it with our 05 Sequioa-built on the Tundra frame. When I checked with the dealer, they confirmed a 7900 tow capacity. You shouldn't have a problem. Mine is a 4.7 and the only issue was steep hills coming back 750 miles-the steeper hills were a little challenging and it wasn't loaded so I could see that being an issue when we head west overall it towed like a dream-couldn't tell it was back there-really! I had a pretty heavy duty weight distribution hitch that came with itworked well but wasn't really necessary. I will be looking for a sway control system though-I could feel a little sway sometimes when tractor trailers zoomed on my. But not terrible.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:29 PM   #7
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I have a 2001 Sequoia, and love it with my 26' Argosy. That said, I'd check to see if that's a factory hitch or not. While it "looks" factory, my Sequoia is an all welded affair that has it's own crossbar that bolts to the frame rails. Your picture also doesn't show any weight stickers on it, which would be there if it were factory.

Have fun with your Tundra!
Marc
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:13 AM   #8
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Just an update.

We took the truck to the dealer, and to a place that installs hitches, Class III and 500/5000 was the best we could come up with. We are going with 650/6500 with weight distribution. I agree there should be a sticker, but judging from the amount of mud still under the bumper, I imagine that it could have gotten scrubbed off. It does have a welded cross member, and then the whole affair is bolted to the existing frame of the truck.

Here is the GOOD NEWS!
We have found our trailer and towed it home successfully!!!
Its been quite a learning curve, and the ride home was, EXCITING

We ended up getting a really nice 1970 Safari 23' single axle, pictures to follow soon. Its all set up to camp, and in basic working order. So far for us its just been driveway camping.

We picked it up North of Atlanta and then had to head directly down and around the city... Whooo, Boy!!! I will say that most folks with half a brain gave me a very wide Berth.

We made it fine. Parts of the tow were really smooth as glass, parts were pretty bouncy. So bouncy infact that we found the battery flipped when we got home. There is still a pretty good amount of spring in the axle if, you stand in the middle and hop up and down and the trailer was empty, only weighs about 3400 pounds so...

We went with the 1000 pound bar Equal-i-zer hitch (I know, I know, but I called the Tech 3 times) I almost settled on the E2 with 600 pound bars but after talking to the techs I was convinced to move up. The orginal Equal-i-zer with the 1000 pound bars is supposed to work down to a 350 pound tounge weight, so...

We set the hitch up pretty quick, in a parking lot, not a lot of time fine tuning. After we got it home, the next day, I spent a few hours with it changing things around, but ended up putting it back almost like it was, just a hole lower. I think a few tows, and paying attention to loading will sort things out. For now I am very happy with the hitch setup, it was easy to install in the heat of the moment and I felt very safe with the connection.

Many thanks to all the helpful replies and the wealth of information here on the forum, I literally don't think I could have done it without you.

WE FINALLY HAVE OUR AIRSTREAM!!!!!
now if I could just learn how to back it up
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:46 AM   #9
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The best rating for your WDH is the correct one. Over kill here, or using an over rated WDH does not work. You also might not have a stout enough receiver on the Tundra.

With your high rated WDH and possibly weak receiver you may reduce the effectness of the WDH by introducing flex to the connection.

A hitch/towing specialist could evaluate and you would know for sure.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
The best rating for your WDH is the correct one. Over kill here, or using an over rated WDH does not work. You also might not have a stout enough receiver on the Tundra.
Very good point! Hopefully are WDH is not overkill. I feel pretty confident after talking with the techs at Progress Manufacturing, that the hitch will work well and is sized properly. It was not a decision we made lightly, thats for sure. Once we get the trailer properly loaded we should be able to tell more whats going on. I plan on visiting the scales and working through my weights, so I have a firmer grip on whats really happening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
With your high rated WDH and possibly weak receiver you may reduce the effectness of the WDH by introducing flex to the connection.

A hitch/towing specialist could evaluate and you would know for sure.
Also, another good point. I hadn't thought about flex do to a weak receiver. Thanks for the advice, I'll keep these things in mind as we move forward, getting our setup closer to the camping stage. For now, I am just happy we got it home and its sitting safely in the yard, stabilizers down!!!

Thanks again,
ED
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