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Old 04-15-2008, 12:55 AM   #21
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Thanks again, 2air', for pointing me in good direction. Got enough input to confirm my instincts. Diff betw 4x2 & 4x4 Tundra is 300 lbs, only 1 mpg each (city/hwy) and $3K. I'll buy it. I won't always need 4x4, but I'll be most appreciative when I do. Which WILL happen.

Next question 2 toss out : Tundra's have stout tow ability built in, but Toyota does offer an optional Reese Wt Distrb hitch. I'm aware of these via this forum, but w/o understanding. This TV has tow capabilty TWICE the weight of my AS. Should the standard stuff suffice, or is Reese the next part of my learning process?
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:16 AM   #22
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My Tundra is the 4X4 and like you stated, when you need it you need it. I have an older Reese WD hitch which came with my trailer. It has the 750 pound bars and is a very good match for my combination. I also have a friction sway device which is good, but if I were going new I would most likely get a Reese Dual Cam setup. I don't think the Toyota dealer is the best place to shop for hitches.

BTW, the Tundra / Airstream setup looks great too!
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:22 PM   #23
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Thanx 4 suggestions, 'caster. Out of curiosity, what gas mileage are you getting (both towing & norm) ?
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denbear
... This TV has tow capabilty TWICE the weight of my AS. Should the standard stuff suffice...?
hi d'bear

it won't be obvious till you learn more but to USE the full towing capability, weight distribution gear IS required.

azfly, and the other tundra users are good sources for set up and hitch preferences...

there was a poll recently on this issue

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...tch-39917.html

and LOTS of threads on each brand/type of hitch contraption....

imo for trailers with a tongue weight >500 lbs w/d equipment is important (unless the tv is 1 ton or higher rated)

and anti sway is NOT an accessory, but required.

still there are good folks here towing on the ball and with NO fancy hitch stuff...

i'm not one of them.

spend a little time browsing the hitch threads and you may learn and get confused and find the perfect hitch....

but also learn that proper loading, adequate tires (properly inflated), good brakes and controller and driver SKILLS are important too...

cheers
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denbear
Thanx 4 suggestions, 'caster. Out of curiosity, what gas mileage are you getting (both towing & norm) ?
Around 11 towing. My not towing is only 15, but I live 4 miles from work and it is all surface streets. Longer trips on the Interstate take that number up to around 18, but that is at 80+ MPH.....
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:48 PM   #26
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Hi Denbear

Andy here from Can-Am RV. There may be some other options for you that would suite your vehicle taste better. I have not done a lot of Audi's but the ones we have set up perform very well. For some vehicles we can make a receiver here and send it for installation elsewhere but the Audi is not one of them.

It seems you are going from one extream to the other. The Audi is a tight handling drivers car and the Tundra is a tall center of gravity typical truck. There are many vehicles in between that will easily handle the 27 Airstream and get much better fuel economy.

Do you need four wheel drive?

How many miles a year do you drive your vehicle?

Andy
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:51 PM   #27
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"There are many vehicles in between that will easily handle the 27 Airstream and get much better fuel economy." Andy T

The full extent of my towing experience has been with a 4.5'x8' Snowbear utility trailer. You're talking to a rookie.
I was thinking that a truck was the logical pick & was impressed w/ all that Toyota has engineered into the new Tundra. Admittedly it's tow cap (w/ 5.7L) of 10,600 is an overmatch for the 4575# dry wt of my '75. The 4.7L is rated @ 8100#, but mileage is 1mpg WORSE. Lets skip the V6. So what're a coupla quality TV suggestions, I'm all ears ... Also 4x4 not necessity & have a Miata for nice mileage.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:57 AM   #28
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Hi Denbear

It must be nice to live where you can drive a Miata year round.

There are a few vehicles that we can build a hitch for that can be installed elsewhere. The Dodge Charger RT with the Handling package which comes with 20" rims and stiffer suspension is a great tow vehicle.

On the highway both towing and solo it will outperform the Tundra any way you care to measure it, better performance handling and a shorter stopping and do it on about 25% less fuel. It is not quite the road car your Audi is but if you were to drive one I think you would find it impressive. Make sure you drive one with the performance package the standard Hemi's are not nearly as capable. You do not need the SRT8 with the 6.1 litre. It has massive power but the fuel mileage suffers and it does not cut back to 4 cylinders under light load.

The latest generation BMW 3 Series is comparable to the Audi but it has an easier structure to attach to so can build a receiver for it. It does not have the brute power of the Hemi or the Toyota but it still easily tows a 27' Airstream. Very precise handling both towing and solo.

The new Cadillac CTS with the 3.6 Litre engine is also a great handling tow vehicle. The 3.6 has a nice wide power band and gives excellent fuel economy.

I prefer a car to tow with as the low centre of gravity suites my driving style and don't see why I would drive a vehicle that handles worse than the trailer I am towing. As well when you tow with a sedan you don't burn up a bunch of power to move the tow vehicle so your towing performance can be equal or better with a smaller more fuel effiecient engine. However if I was going to get an SUV there are a couple that come close to a sedan's handling that we can build a hitch for.

The ML Mercedes is one, the new diesel has been very popular with our customers and everyone that has it loves its performance and fuel economy. The Buick Enclave has the same Cadillac 3.6 Litre and 6 speed transmission and like the ML has 4 wheel independent suspension. However the tires that come stock on it are too large for towing so we do change these to a lower profile to improve handling and performance. This is common with most SUV's and pickups these days as the perception is that larger tires sell better and I suppose they are better for serious off roading but they have too much side wall sway for towing.

If you seen another vehicle that you like the look of let me know and I can check into whether a receiver is possible.

Here is a picture of a reciever for Subaru that we shipped to a customer.

Andy
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:40 AM   #29
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Depends

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denbear
Ok, I'm sadly resolved to parting w/ the Audi & replacing w/ a 5.7L Tundra. What are your thoughts on towing w/ 4x2 vs 4x4? All new Tundra's are equipped w/ traction control, vehicle stability control & auto ltd-slip-diff. Whatcha think?
Sometimes a 4WD is the only way out.
However, if you never drag your boat out of a sticky tidal boat ramp and you only leave pavement for a campsite a 2wd is a lot cheaper to own, run, fix, etc, etc.
I am a fan, however reluctantly, of American pick-ups. The 1/2 ton's as mentioned earlier are cheaper to buy and own. If there are any dealerships around that plow snow just look at what kind of truck they use: GM, Ford, Dodge.
The 4.8 GM is my favorite. I hated the thing the first 20,000 miles but the kids have it now with about 100,000 and it is a work truck, cheep to fix, easy on the taxes and parts are everywhere. No one wants to steal it, the insurance is less than the wife's Corolla. A slightly used rig is Super cheap.
However if image is important a Toyota will draw attention to you, like the Airstream.
R
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:46 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denbear
Lets skip the V6.
I guess if one uses a heavy, bulky vehicle a V8 may be required but many who use a smaller, more nimble TV the V6 works great.

Last year we travelled through upstate New York with friends that towed their newish Airstream with a Mercedes ML 350 V6. They as well as ourselves have been towing problem free for years with V6's and benefited from the fuel savings, especially when running solo (25+MPG IMP in our case).

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Old 04-16-2008, 09:22 AM   #31
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Less Mass in A Crash

Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler
I guess if one uses a heavy, bulky vehicle a V8 may be required but many who use a smaller, more nimble TV the V6 works great.
.........................................
Very good point Road Ruler,
The v8 is a bit passé granted.
However, when the load starts a waggin' and the wheels start a squealin' there is something said about mass, wheel base and tread width.
Of course a little squeeze on the brake controller, a little tap on the brake and ease off on the pedal fella, should do it most of the time.
Important note: I have a '06 Jeep diesel Liberty, 4 cylinder to replace my v8.
My Trade Wind is lightweight and is within towing limits but yes, the 4 cylinder is better than a v6 which is theoretically better than a v8. My mileage goals are 20 towing, 30 highway but the Jeep is not for the faint of heart.
Long trailer, long wheelbase, motor appropriate. Come to think of it, the Toyota Tundra uses the v6 too, but the mileage is the same or less than the v8.

R
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:37 PM   #32
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Hi Fastrob

Your Jeep can be pretty stable with the Tradewind with a few ajustments. The short wheelbase is not too bad on the Liberty because the overhang is also very short. At least untill you factor in the spare tire that hangs off the back end.

There is a way around it though. We just get an extra spare tire and wheel for the Jeep and carry it in the tire carrier of the Airstream. A 25' will easily run on 3 wheels so it does not need a spare. This allows the ball to be very close to the bumper which substantially reduces the overhang.

Make sure your torsion bars a adjuste for even weight distribution and that your ball mount has as much rearward angle as possible.

If this does not make it totally stable you can put a tighter tire on the Liberty but the stock ones are not that bad for an SUV.

Which hitch system are you using?

Andy
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:41 PM   #33
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here's your sign...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...cle-36170.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...rty-36845.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ost-36080.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...cle-25254.html

cheers
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:51 PM   #34
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Hitching Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T
Hi Fastrob
...................................
Make sure your torsion bars a adjuste for even weight distribution and that your ball mount has as much rearward angle as possible.
.................

Which hitch system are you using?

Andy
Andy,
Equalizer hitch and thanks for suggesting moving the tire, that would eliminate the extended shank.
I thought about putting the tire on the roof but would probably store it in the Airstream.
What do you mean about ball mount rearward angle and tighter tire?
R

A 4 cyl or v6 or v8 tow rig improperly set up is dangerous no matter how long the tow rig. Those short tractor trailers sure do pull long trailers though.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:11 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T
Hi Denbear

It must be nice to live where you can drive a Miata year round.

I prefer a car to tow with as the low centre of gravity suites my driving style and don't see why I would drive a vehicle that handles worse than the trailer I am towing.
I suspect that with a removable hardtop and four premium snow tires (no more than 185 mm wide), the balance and precise steering of the Miata would make it a joy to drive in snow, as long as the white stuff wasn't more than about 3" deep!

I like your comment about the way Airstreams handle. They are impressively neutral, not pushing the tow vehicle at all if the hitch is set right.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:53 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastrob
Very good point Road Ruler,
The v8 is a bit passé granted.
However, when the load starts a waggin' and the wheels start a squealin' there is something said about mass, wheel base and tread width.
R
Yes rob, tread width and tire quality can make a huge difference in ride and stability. We use a 215x55x17 Ultra High performance tire. The low profile, firm sidewall is squirm free. Sticky rubber is great on dry and wet roads. With the WDH set up right the extra 150lbs per tire is hardly noticed.

I've heard about, and seen "waggin loads" but never experience such a thing myself. We subscribe to the theory that...
stable TV + optimal connection + Airstream TT = a safe and enjoyable ride.
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