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Old 02-06-2017, 04:07 PM   #1
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2018 30' Flying Cloud
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2017 Tundra and Airstream 28

Hi - I'd appreciate any input about a 2017 Tundra Limited V8 4X4 towing a 2017 FC28. I will be getting a bigger trailer (currently have FC20) and will be buying TV first. I'm not totally confident in my knowledge in this area so would appreciate feedback. While I like the interior room of the Crew Cab, a longer bed would be much nicer - so, if it looks like my 2 big dogs will be comfortable in Double Cab Limited, I'll go with it to get a longer bed. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:46 PM   #2
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The Tundra 5.7 V8 is a remarkable powerplant at the heart of a very capable tow vehicle. You should be able to tow your 28' with no problems assuming that you set up the weight-distributing, anti-sway hitch correctly and pay close attention to your payload.

Shortly, you will hear many suggestions that you buy a 3/4 ton or 1 ton diesel powered pickup. They are sincere, heartfelt recommendations based on the posters personal experience. I believe they are mistaken. But, what do I know? Other than the fact that I have towed my 31' Sovereign some 70000 miles with a half-ton pickup that was not as capable as your Tundra.

I think you are good to go.
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Old 02-06-2017, 06:29 PM   #3
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We used a Ram 1500 5.7 to tow our Airstream all over the country many times, we now use a Ram 3.0 turbo diesel. The 28' Airstream weighs only 300 lbs more than our 25, and the slightly longer trailer will tow a little better. Set up properly with quality weight distribution and sway control they are as solid as a rock with all the power you'll need.

When using the truck for hauling or towing a heavy utility trailer without a weight distribution watch the payload number or there is a chance of overloading the rear axle.

When towing your Airstream the payload number means little because you will distribute the trailer hitch weight and weight in the back of the truck bed among your truck's axles, and 10% - 20% of that weight will be distributed to the trailer axles. When fully loaded for travel it is very important to weigh the truck's front and rear axles at a CAT scale to ensure the front axle is at least at the unloaded weight, and neither are over the axle rating (GAWR), and the truck/Airstream combination is not over the truck's design rating to pull and stop it as expressed in the truck's GCWR.

This size of truck makes a very capable and confident tow vehicle when the load is managed and balanced with heavy gear between the axles on the truck and also on the trailer. Keep your hitch weight under 1,000 lbs as specified by Airstream. For this size truck and trailer you will most probably need 1400 lb weight distribution bars to distribute enough load among the axles. Personally I like the ProPride hitch for it's stability and safety, expensive but money well spent.
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:44 AM   #4
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While I like the 2017 Tundra now is available with a larger fuel tank and has an integrated brake controller I would look at the available payload if you plan to carry additional equipment in the bed or add a camper top. My 2010 Tundra Double Cab 2x4 had a payload of only 1365lbs on the yellow sticker. I had a tonneau cover and carried recliners, BBQ, inflatable boat and other miscellaneous items. My tongue weight about 1100lbs and used the Equalizer hitch with 6 washers, 1000lb bars. So check the load labels on the driver's door.

The Tundra Double Cab is quite spacious compared to the other half cab solutions from other manufacturers. If your large dogs are well behaved it should work, unless they are St Bernards. I can't live with a 5 1/2 bed.

The issue I had with my Tundra were the brakes when coming down long western grades when I traveled to Utah and back in 2015. Also tow haul mode doesn't work that well when coming down grades so manual shifting was needed. My 25fb is heavier than your 20ft so it may not be as bad with a 20ft.

After that trip I decided I wanted 4x4 and went with a 2015 Ram 2500 with the Cummins. The exhaust brake, tow haul and integrated brake controller are a 100% improvement to towing. With these three features hitting the brakes on grades is much less than the Tundras, the tow haul shifts down as needed. The downside to my Ram is messing with diesel and DEF and worrying about emission control failures due to bad diesel or DEF.

I just received a recall notice from FCA to get my catalytic converter replaced which is disheartning.

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Old 02-12-2017, 07:59 AM   #5
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FWIW I have a 2014 5.7 4x4 double cab with the 6.5' bed and a camper shell. I have towed many thousands of miles with a range of trailers and weights. Towing my '77 31' sovereign is much nicer than towing my 16' trailerCamera which is built out of a standard box/cargo trailer. The aerodynamic nature of the airstream and silver streak far outperforms the much shorter but boxy trailer.
I've never had an issue with braking. While I won't win any tree hugging awards for MPG's, I love the dependability and capability of my Toyota. As an added bonus, my truck was made right down the road from me in San Antonio.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
The issue I had with my Tundra were the brakes when coming down long western grades when I traveled to Utah and back in 2015. Also tow haul mode doesn't work that well when coming down grades so manual shifting was needed. My 25fb is heavier than your 20ft so it may not be as bad with a 20ft.
Kelvin
I tow my 28' with a 2008 Tundra Crewmax and have only 1325lbs of payload. I also have a cap on the back. There is plenty of power, just not a lot of room to load your truck bed with anything heavy. Your tongue weight will be around 950-1000lbs, so...my Payload 1325lbs - Tongue weight 950 = 375lbs remaining for people, gear, truck cap etc...
I will echo Kelvin's experience with the Tundra's brakes. I have been out west and when you start going down grades 9% and over the Tundra engine brake and manual downshifting is not enough to satisfy me. Teton Pass from Idaho into Jackson, Wy. was my wake up call. Grades under 9% were no problem, just manually downshift and all is good.
I love my Tundra's reliability, power etc. I just wish it had more payload and better braking. The 28' is the ultimate tweener trailer, because it carries the highest tongue weight of all airstreams. So, it ramps up the 1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton truck debate as well as gas vs deisel. And I'm not sure there is a perfect answer. For now my Tundra is acceptable. Not sure which direction I will go when it's time for my next travel vehicle.
Hope this helped and did not muddy the waters. I wish I knew all these little details before purchasing my Airstream.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
The Tundra 5.7 V8 is a remarkable powerplant at the heart of a very capable tow vehicle.

It makes 380 hp & 401 torque. Not really remarkable to me. Ford EcoBoost 375 hp & 470 torque with the 10-speed transmission.

The secret sauce that makes it feel more powerful than it is; Toyota just shoves a 4:30 rear ratio into every truck and calls it a day. This is why it gets the worst mileage out of any half ton.

Also it has a 6 speed, still. Ram and Ford 8-speeds and 10-speeds.

But hey, it will tow up a hill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
Shortly, you will hear many suggestions that you buy a 3/4 ton or 1 ton diesel powered pickup. They are sincere, heartfelt recommendations based on the posters personal experience. I believe they are mistaken. But, what do I know? Other than the fact that I have towed my 31' Sovereign some 70000 miles with a half-ton pickup that was not as capable as your Tundra.

I think you are good to go.
I've done both, and the 3/4 ton with a 6.4 outperforms my old 1/2 ton and 5.7. They're not mistaken. More torque = more pulling power. It's physics, not opinion.

Will it pull it? Sure, go for it.
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