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Old 01-03-2020, 07:42 AM   #61
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Not sure why you asked for input because it seems you had already made your decision...but this happens more often than not.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:58 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by NNarbutov View Post
Everyone,

First off I want to thank you all so much for incredible amount of energy and thought you have put into my question; Iíve learned a lot already just from google spiraling on some of the things you mentioned. Iím not going to try and summarize it all here because of time considerations, but hereís what Iíve come down on.

Regarding buying the airstream, I donít think I have to wait to buy until I have a larger truck. The dealership is 60 miles from my house on flat, straight, southern Alabama freeway and I feel comfortable staying in the slow lane at 60 and significantly increasing my prepare to stop and stopping distances. For reference, I am am military pilot and have a LOT of experience manipulating heavyweight vehicles (we routinely taxi and takeoff at 1.5x the original max gross weight of the aircraft!). Brake energy, stopping distance calculations, friction, wet surface vs dry, etc. I have run all those numbers and while I think the number/type of trips we might take with the trailer and the Tacoma tow vehicle is extremely limited (as will the amount of stuff we can take with us...) I would be comfortable with the 1 or 2 trips to Conecuh for stargazing (about 100 miles, again flat and straight highway.)

In the meantime I am going to pursue upgrading to a Tundra. I own my Tacoma outright and have no interest in going back into debt, so Iíd need to keep the delta at around $5k. This pretty much puts me at a 2WD 5.7L, depending on age crewman or doublecab will both work. If I can find one and a dealer who will work with me on the Tacoma trade in (would like to see 20K for it at least) then Iíll pull the trigger on the larger truck and install a Teconsha brake controller. This should set me up for the gap until the Cybertruck arrives.

I donít want to start a firestorm but my thoughts on the electric trucks are as follows. The base assumption people are making with their ďelectric trucks are badĒ is that the battery capacity is double that of a sedan. This is complete conjecture as no one knows what those specs are. Additionally, no one knows what the real-world performance will be. Any truck pulling a max-weight trailer (which is what Iíve seen on the engineering explained forums) will have a SIGNIFICANT reduction in range wether itís gas or electric. Electric will require longer stops to charge the battery than dump dinosaurs into the tank. We have already decided to accept this as a shift in our paradigm; drive for a few hours, stop and stretch the legs and feed the kids, then get back in. Means a more sedate pace of travel, but we are towing a small house behind us so thereís that. And when we get to the campsite, mostly I figure there will be power available there so.... just charge it up!

Ultimately, Iím definitely not first in line for the truck so if it comes out and the towing range numbers really are terrible, I can just...not buy it.

Thank you all again for all of your help and knowledge in this journey, and I hope to see you out there on the road!


I think that is reasonable and well thought out. Hope you can get the trade deal you want for the larger truck.

As for the Cybertruck, my deposit is in and I will also pull my airstream with one. The real capabilities of that truck will exceed the naysayers plotting out the worst case scenario on this forum.

Good luck! Go have some fun camping (and flying!)
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:02 AM   #63
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One thing interesting about this thread is that even though the manufacturer says it can safely tow the rated amount and that the SAE standard agrees with him, nobody really seems comfortable towing the rated amount. So if you want to be comfortable towing a trailer, make sure the tow vehicle is rated for twice the trailer weight.
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Old 01-03-2020, 09:20 AM   #64
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OP - The only suggestion that I would add is to hold the speed to 55mph. Velocity has a huge impact on the applied forces. Holding to 5 mph less adds about 10 minutes an hour to the trip, which is a trivial consequence considering the safety addition that tactic provides. Pat
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:04 AM   #65
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Is your Tacoma an automatic? At highway speeds does it struggle to get in 6th gear? We are looking at a Flying Cloud 19 CB. Just wondering how that pairing might work. Our Tacoma is a 2017 TRD off road, obviously with a tow package.
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Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
I tow a Flying Cloud 20' with a current generation Tacoma. It is an excellent match. I'm about 3k miles into an 8k mile trip. Some day I might sell the 20' and get a 23'. I would consider towing the 23' with the Tacoma for a while, but would also plan on getting a larger truck in short order. I would not consider a 25' let alone a 27'. The tongue weights you are quoting are not realistic and you are bound to be well over the GVWR of the Tacoma, especially a 2012.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:03 PM   #66
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I tow a 23d with a Gen 1 Tundra (7100 lb tow capacity) and 1330# payload (when towing my trailer). I love the truck but it works hard. Not sure a 27 behind a Tacoma would be a good combo but for the short term and short distances on flat roads as you noted, you could likely wiggle by for awhile.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:05 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by out of sight View Post
One thing interesting about this thread is that even though the manufacturer says it can safely tow the rated amount and that the SAE standard agrees with him, nobody really seems comfortable towing the rated amount. So if you want to be comfortable towing a trailer, make sure the tow vehicle is rated for twice the trailer weight.
Maybe he can just "tow it on the ball" too.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:10 PM   #68
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Absolutely. If your tow vehicle is big enough you don't need a weight distribution hitch or sway control device.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:15 PM   #69
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Maybe he can just "tow it on the ball" too.
Sure! Just needs to add airbags, because as long as the rig is 'level' that's all that matters, w/d doesn't matter
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:58 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by out of sight View Post
One thing interesting about this thread is that even though the manufacturer says it can safely tow the rated amount and that the SAE standard agrees with him, nobody really seems comfortable towing the rated amount. So if you want to be comfortable towing a trailer, make sure the tow vehicle is rated for twice the trailer weight.
Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:58 PM   #71
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No

No , Don't . Get a Real truck
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:28 PM   #72
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No offense, but you may be overlooking a very simple (and safe) temporary solution. To get the 27' trailer home (or take it on some initial trips), you can rent a Ram 1500 or Ford F150 from just about any Hertz, Avis, or Enterprise rental lot. Better safe than sorry.

Short example, we were driving through a local small town with our Airstream 30' trailer. At an intersection where we had through right-of-way without a stop sign, a SUV driver incorrectly assumed we had a stop sign and pulled out going accross the intersection. Our Dodge 2500 stopped with the trailer in less than 30' from 25 mph. Seemed like a safe spot to us too...

Stay safe - for yourself and other drivers too.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:48 PM   #73
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Most of the rental places do not allow to tow anything with their cars.
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:22 PM   #74
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First of all, if I understand post #59, I disagree. Trailers with electric brakes will eventually stop the tow vehicle as stated in Post 52, but it takes many more feet to do so and is unsafe. Drum brakes are less effective than discs. Electric trailer brakes are drum brakes. And, they do not seem to be as effective as the drum brakes that were used on cars a generation ago as well.

Second, I don't know whether the OP had made up his mind before he first posted or not. I do find it unusual that someone with so much knowledge of weights, stopping distance, etc., was talking himself into a tow vehicle that seems not to fit the trailer he wants. But maybe knowing how planes work is not really a good match with trucks and trailers to understand all this. Matching a tow vehicle to a trailer is not easy and there are many unique variables to consider. What truck is appropriate has been a point of contention no this Forum forever and many people assert things that maybe are not all that true—why? Answer—because egos are involved and everyone knows their truck is the best truck and anyone who buys a different one is demented.

Third, if this poster and pilot routinely takes off at 1.5 x the rated gross weight, either he is misstating something, or these pilots are routinely destroying aircraft we pay for. Maybe he has misstated what he is talking about. Maybe the aircraft are designed for that, maybe not. Perhaps it is like an electric motor that is rated at 15 amps but surges to 20+ when started.

Fourth, now we know the max distance the OP intends to travel—60 miles from the dealer and 200 to star gaze. Fewer miles will result in less risk, but a more appropriate truck will have less risk for the same number of miles. I agree that the probability is that the Tacoma will make it and any wear and tear on the truck will not be noticeable then, but each time you exceed limits, little by little, things deteriorate. Even below the limits, they will wear, but more slowly.

Fifth, whatever is right or wrong, the OP seems to see that a Tundra is more appropriate than the Tacoma. That is good I think. He will get more money for his Tacoma if he sells it privately, but a used one will be best for his needs I think. Trucks have become absurdly expensive and since Toyotas are very reliable (not as much as they once were, so buy an older one), an older one will do the deed and you can take longer trips.

Sixth, rental vehicle companies will put limits on the use of their vehicles. For example, in Alaska, if you rent a truck based SUV, most if not all rental agencies will tell you not to drive on the Dalton Hwy, a mostly dirt road to the oil fields. Nevertheless, people rent them and drive the Dalton anyway (I know beqcause I have met more than one of the renters).. If they get caught, the renter will pay a lot more. But, some trucks are rented to tow and you'd have to check ahead of time to find out. You can rent just about anything if you look hard enough.

Seventh, if you are worried about money, maybe a smaller trailer would be better, but I think the 25 is too heavy too and I doubt you would want to downsize to the 22's and less. Or another brand—there are lighter trailers out there. Or an older used Airstream in good condition may work—older ones were lighter, but you'd have to go back a lot of years—maybe 25 or more—to find the lighter ones. A used Airstream makes a lot of sense if it is well maintained and will save you a lot of money so you have more for a Tundra. There are lots of options for flexible buyers.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:10 PM   #75
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We owned a Honda Ridgeline when we purchased our 2018 27FB Flying Cloud.

Prior to taking delivery, I went to www.rentatoyota.com and directly contacted the individual responsible for that business at the nearest Toyota dealership well before I would need the truck.

I explained to him what I needed the truck for and he informed me that they had a Tundra in their rental fleet with a tow package that included the tow mirrors and if I knew exactly when I would need it, he would make sure it was available for me.

I did and he did. The Tundra did great towing the 27FB on the flat terrain from Tampa to San Antonio but it did struggle a bit on some of the steepest inclines in the Texas Hill Country.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:14 PM   #76
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Scary for a taco - the tongue weight will max out your springs!
Shifting weights and balances will alter driving characteristics as well.
NN- since you say you are a military pilot, you know better ... not to mention endangering others ...
Yes, I fly too.
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:50 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by out of sight View Post
One thing interesting about this thread is that even though the manufacturer says it can safely tow the rated amount and that the SAE standard agrees with him, nobody really seems comfortable towing the rated amount. So if you want to be comfortable towing a trailer, make sure the tow vehicle is rated for twice the trailer weight.
It would certainly be prudent to have a margin of error. AFAIK, Towing capacity means the TV can pull a certain amount of weight without voiding the warranty. The closer you get to that limit, the closer you are to a potential failure. Your TV has a redline on the Tachometer, but you probably would not drive just under that redline all day.

I don't think towing capacity includes any consideration of safety, emergency maneouvers, etc. Manufacturers don't require anti-sway bars, dampers, good tires on your trailer, etc. I think the majority of responses here are rightfully talking about safely towing the bigger trailer with the Taco. I would not, but the level of safety is ultimately up to the OP.
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Old 01-06-2020, 07:38 AM   #78
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Typical forum post regardless of topic

Interesting to watch this evolve. Post originally ask for help on a topic the poster is short of experience on. After a large amount of input from people with experience, thatís discarded. Why?

Iím a pilot.

So am I, probably not the same class of plane. I cannot think of anything related to flying thatís similar to a heavy trailer pushing around too light of a tow vehicle. Itís a different pucker.

Most plane crashes are the result of a series of small decisions that by themselves seem harmless. Add 4 or 5 of them together along with operating at the edge of your abilityís, then you got the formula for a mistake.

Good luck bucking the odds for those enjoyable 100 miles.
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:05 PM   #79
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Today I saw a Ford Flex pulling a late model 25' Airstream that was attempting Ca Hwy 154 which is a twisty 2000 foot climb in 7 mi. and then back down over San Marcos pass. I saw him a half mile ahead of me as the road winds around the curves and only noticed the Airstream at the time but around the next bend there they were on the shoulder of the road letting traffic by. Don't know what happened but what a poor choice they made and once you commit to that route there is almost no way out of it.
A quick google shows the Ford Flex has a max tow capacity of 4500# when equipped and the AS 25 is in the neighborhood of 7000# gross.
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:41 AM   #80
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All,

Quick update then I'll sign off from this thread.

Being a pilot with experience moving heavyweight machinery was merely mentioned to provide context that if it's under the placarded weight, it's under the placarded weight. Risk management decisions take that into account and there are other ways of mitigating risk that just going down in weight or up in towing capacity, though those are the two easiest ways.

After running the actual number weight and balance, with my camper shell and nerf bars, I will not be able to fit anyone but myself in the Tacoma due to MGVWR so I won't be using the Tacoma to tow the airstream, despite the weight of it being 700lbs below MTW. Either a 1500 hemi V8 or a tundra iforce 5.7l it is.
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