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Old 02-16-2005, 11:13 PM   #1
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What is the best trailer hitch?

I have a 2004 Toyota Tundra Dbl Cab 4x4. I have the towing package from the factory installed. We are looking at buying either a 25’ or 28’ Safari and are unsure what type of hitch to get. Can anyone give me some advise on what would be the best type of hitch to get for the size trailer we will be hauling.

Thanks
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Old 02-16-2005, 11:58 PM   #2
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What is the best trailer hitch?

Greetings Ron C!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron C
I have a 2004 Toyota Tundra Dbl Cab 4x4. I have the towing package from the factory installed. We are looking at buying either a 25’ or 28’ Safari and are unsure what type of hitch to get. Can anyone give me some advise on what would be the best type of hitch to get for the size trailer we will be hauling.

Thanks
While I haven't kept up with Toyota vehicles of recent vintage, I suspect that either the 25' or 28' Safari will place you over the Tundra's GCVWR and/or trailer tow limit. Based upon the Airstream website, the GVWR for the 25 (7,000 lbs.), 25SS (7,300 lbs.), 28W (7,300 lbs.), or 28SO (9,100 lbs.). Even with the lightest of the group, if you follow the traditional guideline of staying below 80% of trailer tow limit with the coach's GVWR, you would need a trailer tow rating of nearly 9,000 pounds. I know that this isn't what you wanted to hear but having been under-tow-equipped with two different tow vehicles myself, I am a firm believer in the 80% guideline especially if any frequent travel in hilly terrain is anticipated.

Good luck with your research!

Kevin
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Old 02-17-2005, 02:21 AM   #3
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Don't get too much trailer for the Tundra

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron C
I have a 2004 Toyota Tundra Dbl Cab 4x4. I have the towing package from the factory installed. We are looking at buying either a 25’ or 28’ Safari and are unsure what type of hitch to get. Can anyone give me some advise on what would be the best type of hitch to get for the size trailer we will be hauling.

Thanks
The Tundra double cab has a tow rating of 6800 pounds, and a max GCRW of 11,800. With your truck's weight of 4800 pounds, you can only have 200 pounds in your truck ( 1 person ) when towing 6800 pounds.

A 28' Safari could max you out, and a 25' will be stretching the limits on your chosen truck. A 22' Safari is about the reasonable limit with your truck.
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:44 AM   #4
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I agree (and most others will jump in) that brand of hitch unimportant if you overload the Tundra with a 7,000# +trailer... Boat and imported truck salespeople occasionally suggest Max Gross and Towing limits are just "Guideines" and truck can do more than advertised.. That would be pretty dangerous form of unadulterated BS... You will (perhaps..) hear from fans of Hensley Arrow hitch assemblies (large, heavy, complex, expensive and very effective at their mission) or Reese's or Draw-Tite's... Good load-leveler version with Ansti-Sway should be minimum mandatory equipt...

I would agree 25' Safari is absolute max, and that is probably over the top when loaded... One option (other than 22' trailer) is to look at older 25's.. A pre-1995 model is 5 1/2 inches narrower, and lighter, and earlier ones are lighter still... You may have to re-allocate budget into interior refurbs, but the same $40K you might spend on new Safari would deliver a heckuva 1985 Airstream with essentially new interior and appliances, and be lighter than a new one...

Or.... You could also just trade the Tundra in on a Chevy or Ford 3/4 ton diesel dually, and pull almost anything in the Airstream catalog with ease...

John McG
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Old 02-17-2005, 01:15 PM   #5
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25' will put you right up against the rating, maybe over if you include passengers, cargo, etc.

The 28' right out of the gate is a big no no. 22' or smaller would be your best bet or get a better tow vehicle.

John is right....if you want a larger coach and have to keep the Tundra, go vintage...they weigh less (usually).
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:05 PM   #6
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I am not sure what size we are going to end up getting. I think that once we get inside and look at them they will look a lot different and bigger then they look in the catalogs or on the web site. Who knows we may decide a 19' is big enough.

Looking at the specks though it looks like I would be about 1,500lbs under weight on the 25'ss and 1,200lbs under on the 28' (dry weight). If we were to get the 25 or 28 I would tow back to Alaska dry and upgrade my truck next year (Toyota is coming out with a 3/4 ton in 2006). The dealer also told me that AS is coming out with disc brakes this year and that would help with the braking. Since we were probably going to have to order what we wanted anyway I would get the disc brakes added for safety.





I appreciate everyone’s feedback it was very informative and has made me take a hard look at what we want to do. Since this is probably going to the only AS we buy we want to make sure we get what we want the first time. I guess if we end up with a bigger AS we will just have to trade out the truck (the AS comes first).




But whether or not we get a 19' or 28' I would still like to know what kind brand or type of hitch would be best.



Thanks
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Old 02-17-2005, 08:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron C
Since this is probably going to the only AS we buy we want to make sure we get what we want the first time. I guess if we end up with a bigger AS we will just have to trade out the truck (the AS comes first).

But whether or not we get a 19' or 28' I would still like to know what kind brand or type of hitch would be best.
You are right to get the coach you want, and then get the truck/van/suv you need. Spending that kind of money, only to be out camping somewhere and come down with a case of the "if onlys" is not much fun. There are many, many posts in these archives from people who bought 16', 19', 22' Airstreams and were trading up. There are far fewer of us who have 25' Airstreams and have any plans to trade up. I suspect there are even fewer 28' owners who will "upsize".

Get inside the units you are considering. Sit on the sofa. Think about those long nights when it is rainy and cold out. Is this the space and floorplan that will work for you?

The "best hitch" is pretty subjective. My opinion is that the Pullrite and Hensley people make a very good arguement for having the "best". The simplicity and effectiveness of the Pullrite is particularly attractive to me. But many, many of us are quite satisfied with our Reese Dual Cam, or the roughly equivalent Equilizer.

Best of luck to you,

Mark
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:18 PM   #8
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I pull a 23 ft. Safari that weighs 4800lbs wet with a late model V6 Explorer with HD tow pkg and 3.73 gears. Eaz-Lift WD hitch, no sway control, within all my weight ratings. Its not as nice as with the F250, but for occasional use it works just fine, and I never feel like the tail is wagging the dog... however, I would never tow a similar weight box trailer with this vehicle. Because Airstreams tow so well, you can tow closer to your weight ratings without stressing the tow vehicle.

A bigger, heavier truck is always nice but sometimes there are reasons we want to make do with a little less. Be aware of it, stay within your weight ratings, and drive accordingly. You should be fine pulling a lightly loaded 25 ft. Safari with the Tundra, assuming it is the 4.7L V8. I wouldn't be in a hurry to upgrade it if it works for you. They are strong trucks and more comfortable to drive than most 3/4 tons. Use a quality WD hitch such as Reese, EazLift or Equalizer, keep it out of overdrive and watch your fluid temps. Be religious with tire pressures. Keep the trailer tanks light and don't load it up with crap.

Alaska is not a difficult pull - not many high passes, just lots of rough roads, where your Tundra should work fine. I would agree with the others that a 28 ft is probably over the top for that truck - too much weight, and the extra length increases risk of sway. Plus, the shorter length trailers allow you many more options of where to camp.
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Old 02-18-2005, 06:37 AM   #9
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I have a Toyota Tundra Extended Cab and had a 19' Bambi last year. After a 3000 mile trip my wife and I felt the trailer was a bit small considering we ultimately want to take longer trips. We traded the Bambi for a 25' Safari SS and I feel that the Safari tows more comfortably than the Bambi. I have a Reese equalizer hitch and a prodigy brake controller. All together this works pretty well. This is not to say that I wouldn't rather have a larger truck :-) Good luck in your selection!
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Old 02-18-2005, 06:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEO
I have a Toyota Tundra Extended Cab and had a 19' Bambi last year. After a 3000 mile trip my wife and I felt the trailer was a bit small considering we ultimately want to take longer trips. We traded the Bambi for a 25' Safari SS and I feel that the Safari tows more comfortably than the Bambi. I have a Reese equalizer hitch and a prodigy brake controller. All together this works pretty well. This is not to say that I wouldn't rather have a larger truck :-) Good luck in your selection!
You know we felt the same way when we went from 19' to 25'. Not sure if it was the dual axles or what, but you are right on...the 25' was far more well mannered than the Bambi.

Also we noticed that when we tow with the water tank full or at half, the trailer is even more mild mannered. This could be because the tank is over the axles. On the Bambi, the tank was under the streetside dinette seat and would make no difference either way (full or empty).


....and we upgraded for the same reason.
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Old 02-18-2005, 12:28 PM   #11
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I tow a 1972 Trade Wind 25 foot with a 2002 Tundra 4.7 V8. The trailer dry weight is 4,140. I'm comfortable with this set up, but I feel I'm close to my limit once the trailer and truck are loaded. I wouldn't want to try a larger trailer with the Tundra. Several threads on this forum give good advice, it's not how much you can tow, but how much you can stop.
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Old 02-18-2005, 01:59 PM   #12
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I have a 2000 Tundra. You can improve the ride and handling. I had a system called Roadmaster active suspension installed on the rear springs. It removes the body roll and takes the thump thump out of concrete roads. We can also haul one ton of feed sacks in the truck without it squating. I also had it put on our 2002 F-250 Ford truck. The Tundra cost $325.00 and the Ford cost $349.00 installed. For more info janrickl@aol.com.
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Old 02-20-2005, 08:55 PM   #13
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Ron:

I was in a similar situation. We were considering buying a Tundra double cab to match it to a new Safari 25. The weight rating numbers work out as follows:

Tundra: GCWR 11,800

Safari 25 GVWR 6,300

Remaining 5,500

Tundra GVWR 6,600 (curb weight 4,965 + payload 1,635)

Amount over rating (1,100)

Thus to stay within the gross combined weight rating of the Tunda you can not go to the max weight ratings of the two vehicles. To achieve this you can be lower through a combination of the two. When I ran the numbers and saw the results I came to the conclusion that I should stay at a Safari 22. Even this was over by 400 lbs if the max GVWR were hit. I want to be able to pull without concern anywhere in the country. If we stayed only in the midwest we would be fine.

We decided to go with a Dodge Ram 2500 quad cab diesel short bed. It fits in the garage and is approximately the same price as the Tundra. The Ram diesel has a GCWR of 20,000 lbs. We purchased a classic 30 and we can max both vehicles and still be under the GCWR by 1,000 lbs. We also made the decision that this would be the only Airstream we would buy. We didn't want to keep upgrading to a bigger unit as we had done with sailboats.

Tough decisions.

Good Luck
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Old 02-28-2005, 11:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippo
I have a 2000 Tundra. You can improve the ride and handling. I had a system called Roadmaster active suspension installed on the rear springs. It removes the body roll and takes the thump thump out of concrete roads.
I have air bags installed for my rear suspension so I can haul over 4800lbs. Will this work the same? I haul 3,000lbs of water two or three times a week to my house since we don't have city water, and the ride is smooth, I can't tell I have anything in the back when I'm hauling. Will this help when towing a trailer?
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