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Old 11-16-2020, 02:12 PM   #1
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Advice please

What size Airstream can I pull with a Toyota Sequoia?
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Old 11-16-2020, 02:36 PM   #2
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You'll need to look at the sticker on your door jamb to get the answer to your question.

Things that you'll need to know include: Maximum tongue weight, maximum trailer weight, GCWR, Cargo & Occupant capacity, GVWR, and GAWR for front and rear axles. It should all be there on the sticker.

The things that are limiting in SUVs tend to be Cargo & Occupant capacity, and maximum tongue weight.

Maximum trailer weight rating is generally less important, because you'll exceed the other limits before you hit that one.
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Old 11-16-2020, 02:37 PM   #3
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One of the funniest things I've read on the forum is that you can pull the space shuttle with a 1/2 ton pickup, that doesn't mean you should.

I'll leave the specs for the experts but I'll tell you now there are people posting on this forum that are using passenger cars for tow vehicles and endangering their family. They're convinced that because the vehicle will tow the trailer, that means it's safe. On a flat surface that might be true but in the first serious downhill mountain pass, feeling that vehicle get pushed around won't be very comforting.

Tow less trailer than you're vehicle is rated for and you'll be erring on the side of safety.
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Old 11-16-2020, 03:48 PM   #4
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Here is a bit of a decoder ring for all the terms and it is useful to spend a little time understanding this to make sure you're safe.

GCVWR or GCWR: Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating or Gross Combined Weight Rating. The total allowable weight of everything connected to your tow vehicle. This includes the tow vehicle, the trailer, and all payload in both.

GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: There is one of these for the tow vehicle and the trailer. For the rest of this definition vehicle means the tow vehicle or the trailer. The total allowable weight of the vehicle. This includes the vehicle and all payload. Note that payload includes things like people, pets, fuel, luggage, dishes, water, black/grey water, and (for the tow vehicle) it includes the tongue weight of the trailer.

Maximum tongue weight: the weight you can safely put on the receiver. Basically the weight pushing down on the ball (+ the weight of the hitch). ** this can be reduced by a weight distribution hitch.

Tow vehicle's maximum rated trailer weight: Sometimes not listed, but can be computed as the GCVWR minus the weight of your tow vehicle loaded with passengers, gas, gear, etc..

GAWR FGAWR RGAWR:
Gross Axle Weight Rating and Front GAWR and Rear GAWR. This is the maximum weight that the axle is rated to carry.

Max payload: Yellow sticker on vehicle will also have the "Combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed" number. This is the Empty weight of the vehicle subtracted from the GVWR for the tow vehicle. This is usually your limiting factor for most folks towing with SUVs and 1/2ton trucks.


So you need to go take a look at the stickers on the driver's door jam of your tow vehicle.

Then you need to think through how much you want to carry in the tow vehicle. Weight of all the people, pets, and anything else you have to carry in the car. Good idea to put your luggage etc in the trailer so it doesn't count against your payload.

You'll then need to look at the tongue weight of the trailers you're looking at. Also, don't trust the published numbers. The tongue weight is usually 10-20% more than the published numbers with batteries and propane and can go up from there depending on how you load them. You can use a weight distribution hitch to move some of the tongue weight to the trailer axles up to around 33%.

Here is a sample calculation. You should get your numbers off your vehicle and replace my guesses with your own numbers.

Google search says your Toyota Sequoia curb weight is 5730, payload is around 1300 lbs and towing capacity is around 7000 lbs.

people and pets: 500lbs
equipment carried in vehicle: 100lbs
weight distribution hitch weight: 65lbs.
published tongue weight of flying cloud 25'=837*1.15 (more realistic) = 963

500+100+65+963 = 1628 lbs payload. You are over without using the weight distribution.

33% of tongue weight is (963+65)*.33 = 339 lbs that are possible to send back to trailer axles.

1628-339 = 1289 lbs. You are OKAY for payload if you have a properly setup hitch.

FC25 published weight is 5503 so even with stuff loaded in the trailer you should be fine for towing capacity.

BUT you need to double check your GCVWR of your completely loaded tow vehicle and trailer. Google says your GCWR is around 13,600 lbs. 13600-5730-1289-5503=1078. That means that you cannot load more than 1078 lbs in your empty trailer before you are exceeding the GCWR. That sounds like a lot of weight, but each gallon of water is 8 lbs. 30gal fresh, 15 gal black, 15 gal grey and you have 60*8=480 lbs of water in the trailer.

Now you have to verify you have not overloaded your axle weights and that needs to be done at a scale. CAT scales are very easy to do this if there is one near you.

In fact, to ensure your weight distribution is setup correctly, you should weigh the tow vehicle without the trailer hooked up, then with the trailer connected without weight distribution engaged, then setup your weight distribution. Adjust and re-weigh until you hit the guidelines provided by your tow vehicle's manufacture for returning weight to the front axle. This is typically 50% return. What does that look like?

Well for my truck my truck only weight is:
front: 4280
rear: 3420

Truck plus trailer with no weight distribution:
front: 3900
rear: 4740
trailer: 5400

Truck plus trailer with weight distribution:
front: 4100
rear: 4380
trailer: 5580

See how I had 4280 on the front axle. When I dropped the trailer on the back it lifted the front and it only had 3900. So it lost 380 lbs of weight. When I engaged weight distribution I was aiming for around 50% return or 190 lbs. I was able to get 200 lbs reloaded on the front axle and was happy with this setup.

This is a really long answer to say that I think you will likely be okay with payload on the tow vehicle if your numbers as close to my guesses for up to a 25', maybe a 27/28'. BUT you'll likely exceed GCWR if you go with a heavier trailer like a globetrotter if you go over 25'. You can make this work, but you will be near the published limits and should have confidence in your setup and learn how all this works. Dealers too often just want to sell something and may not set you up to be safe with your family on board.
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Old 11-16-2020, 04:02 PM   #5
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The published payload capacity on a Toyota Sequoia is 1300-1370; the real capacity is likely much less than that based on what trim and options you have on your vehicle. The door sticker will tell you the specific capacity. Add the tongue weight of your trailer (as published by Airstream and add 100-200lbs). Add the weight of the weight distribution hitch (you will need one), let’s say 100-200 lbs. Subtract these 3 numbers from your sticker payload capacity limit and you will have what’s left for people, gas and gear in your vehicle. Probably not much if any. I’ve been down this path and tried to get away with a GMC Yukon as the TV but the numbers just didn’t work. I decided on a 3/4 pickup truck because I don’t want to compromise on safety.
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Old 11-16-2020, 04:04 PM   #6
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Good guide above. I think another important note is that different Airstream models have different weights, even in the same length. A 25 foot Flying Cloud weighs less than a 25 foot Globetrotter with the same configuration.
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:44 AM   #7
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One correction to the good response above. “ 500+100+65+963 = 1628 lbs payload. You are over without using the weight distribution. 33% of tongue weight is (963+65)*.33 = 339 lbs that are possible to send back to trailer axles.1628-339 = 1289 lbs. You are OKAY for payload if you have a properly setup hitch.”

The weight distribution hitch will transfer “weight” to the front axle of the TV and the AS axles as well but it does not have any effect on payload. In the above example, your payload will always be 1628 lbs. and it’s above the max payload for the vehicle.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnman9 View Post
What size Airstream can I pull with a Toyota Sequoia?
What year of Sequoia?
What engine 4.7L or 5.7L?
Do you have the tow package option?

Roughly speaking, 7,000 to 7,300 lbs. Airstream for the 5.7L engine, so up to about a 23' of the newer models and you'd have to have the weight distribution hitch.

If it's the 4.7L engine then 6,200 to 6,500 lb. AS. You'd be right up against the 23' numbers and you'd have to have the weight distribution hitch.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappy3393 View Post
One correction to the good response above. “ 500+100+65+963 = 1628 lbs payload. You are over without using the weight distribution. 33% of tongue weight is (963+65)*.33 = 339 lbs that are possible to send back to trailer axles.1628-339 = 1289 lbs. You are OKAY for payload if you have a properly setup hitch.”

The weight distribution hitch will transfer “weight” to the front axle of the TV and the AS axles as well but it does not have any effect on payload. In the above example, your payload will always be 1628 lbs. and it’s above the max payload for the vehicle.
I may be wrong. But this is not the way I understand it. The weight distribution system makes the two vehicles pivoting on a ball more of a single vehicle with a "hinge" under tension. As I understand it, there is only weight. Load, payload, weight... they are all the same thing.

When you use WDH you distribute the weight ideally across the front, rear, and trailer axles. The max payload of the vehicle is the weight being born by the vehicle. If you've been able to move some of that to the trailer be adding tension on the tow vehicle and trailer, then you've reduced the weight landing on the tow vehicle and therefore lowered the carried payload.

I looked through my owners manual for my truck and it doesn't say anything one way or the other on this. However, intuitively I don't know how you could count payload that doesn't end up on the vehicles axles.

Anyone have an authoritative doc that states you still have to count all the weight even if you've moved some to the trailer?
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:06 AM   #10
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I'm a simpleton...my 'payload' is whatever weight I have on the AS & 'Burb axles with a loaded, level rig, with WD set.

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Old 11-17-2020, 11:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TowmaterATX View Post
I may be wrong. But this is not the way I understand it. The weight distribution system makes the two vehicles pivoting on a ball more of a single vehicle with a "hinge" under tension. As I understand it, there is only weight. Load, payload, weight... they are all the same thing.

When you use WDH you distribute the weight ideally across the front, rear, and trailer axles. The max payload of the vehicle is the weight being born by the vehicle. If you've been able to move some of that to the trailer be adding tension on the tow vehicle and trailer, then you've reduced the weight landing on the tow vehicle and therefore lowered the carried payload.

I looked through my owners manual for my truck and it doesn't say anything one way or the other on this. However, intuitively I don't know how you could count payload that doesn't end up on the vehicles axles.

Anyone have an authoritative doc that states you still have to count all the weight even if you've moved some to the trailer?
Looks like this is unclear. If the rating for the GVWR is based on the strength of the frame, then Pappy3393 is correct. I found the following paragraph on this page:

https://www.ajdesigner.com/apptraile...utionhitch.php

Quote:
Interestingly, the weight distribution hitch's vertical linear forces cancel each other out. Therefore, the weight distribution hitch only produces rotational forces center at the ball. Importantly, it does not reduce the tongue weight applied to the vehicle's frame. The full tongue weight rests on the vehicle's frame. This is important when calculating Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). Even though the rotational forces are transferring the weight, the tow vehicles frame is still supports the entire vertical linear force of the trailer's tongue weight. The torque only reduces the loads at the axles not the frame.
This makes sense. The frame has a limit. The axles have limits. The weakest link is going to determine failure.

So for safety, you should likely do what Pappy3393 recommends and count the tongue weight as part of the payload even with a distribution hitch.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:51 AM   #12
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Sometimes people buy certain Airstream models to their preference. Some bought looooooong model and changed their mind and bought/traded for shorter model. Some bought short model and later bought longer model. some had to buy short models due to limited storage space at home. Some bought to accommodate a certain number of family members. Some prefer only Classic, International or Flying Cloud. Some may prefer Bambi or Caravel. What are you looking for?
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