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PSU1981 05-16-2016 04:59 PM

How much excess towing capacity
 
We have a 2015 27FB FC that I pull with a 2015 Tundra with 10,000 lbs towing capacity. The cloud has a UBW - dry weight around 5800 lbs - With Max gross weight of 7600 lbs. Anyways how much excess towing capacity should I have to say pull thru the Rockies? Be able to tow anywhere in the U.S. ?

Thanks,

Glenn

Moflash 05-16-2016 05:07 PM

It is more about your payload capacity,than it is about your towing capacity.You will know if you have enough towing capacity when you reach the Rocky Mountain pass.Some people are fine with the foot to the floor and a top speed of 45mph.Others get home and trade for something more capable.


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Wingeezer 05-16-2016 05:41 PM

I don't know that there is any magic number but I recall years ago a rule of thumb that used to be quoted is that you should be towing at around 75% of your TV's rated capacity.

I doubt that is based on anything particular formula, but I have used it as a yardstick because it seems to me to be logical that for longevity and reliability of the tow vehicle it makes sense not to be pushing what the manufacturer claims to be the limit all the time. Things should be less stressed and last longer the less they are taxed.

So that is what I try to do, and it seems that is about where you are at also with your present rig.

Not sure how meaningful the 75% really is though as I read of many folk who tow at way over their vehicle's rated capacity and appear very happy with the results, reporting no problems at all, either in power, braking, handling, or in vehicle reliability problems - other than maybe going more slowly up hills!

Not for me though - I guess you pay your money and take your choice, I still like the 75% factor!

Brian.

AnnArborBob 05-16-2016 06:05 PM

Your Tundra will pull your 27 foot Airstream over any mountain out west. You may not be the first one to the top (that would take a 3/4 ton diesel :)) but you'll make it fine. You have more torque per pound that just about any gas powered Class A and they go over those passes all the time.

Your issue as mentioned previously is to make sure that you have not overloaded the payload capacity of your tow vehicle. Despite what Airstream says (825 lbs tongue weight,) your actual tongue weight is likely pushing 1,000 lbs. :blush:

dkottum 05-16-2016 06:30 PM

You have it, use it. You'll do fine, we have towed all over the country and every western state with similar trucks. Take it easy until you learn what it can do, and learn to use the transmission climbing and descending (very slowly on steep grades at first), the engine loves to rev to deliver power and provide compression braking downhill, let it, don't be afraid to use the truck and trailer service brakes to help hold speed when needed.

You've got a great truck that can pull any Airstream throughout the U.S. Don't let somebody talk you out of wasting money on a new one that you may not need.

Be sure you have a quality weight distribution/sway control hitch and setup, fully a third of a successful towing combination.

malinois38 05-16-2016 07:08 PM

I tow a 28' International with my Tundra (Crewmax 4x4 with Fiberglass cap). I have put "E" rated tires (highly suggest!) on and have a 1325lbs of payload capacity. The payload(Listed on white sticker on "B" pillar Driver's side)is going to be your limiting factor, but by no means a deal breaker. In other words, after 1050lbs of tongue weight and my wife and two kids, almost everything else goes into the Airstream.
I towed to Maine last summer with no problems whatsoever. I had plenty of power going up/down the Ski Resort areas in the Northeast. I would also suggest you get used to manually downshifting on the down hills to save your brakes, works great. FYI averaged about 10 mph.

boondockdad 05-16-2016 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PSU1981 (Post 1792196)
We have a 2015 27FB FC that I pull with a 2015 Tundra with 10,000 lbs towing capacity. The cloud has a UBW - dry weight around 5800 lbs - With Max gross weight of 7600 lbs. Anyways how much excess towing capacity should I have to say pull thru the Rockies? Be able to tow anywhere in the U.S. ?

Thanks,

Glenn

Based on the 5.7L:
380 HP/400 ft-lb
4.30 rear end
10,000# tow rating and you've got a 7600# max gross trailer.

You've got more than enough truck to tow that Airstream anywhere.:bb:

Now add a Hensley (or Propride) and you're in clover.

tjdonahoe 05-16-2016 09:57 PM

07 dodge with 6.7 cumalong weighs 8800 towing a 13 31' classic with 7750 on the axles, plenty of power at 1600 rpm, exhaust brake on the down side really saves the brakes...

n2916s 05-16-2016 09:58 PM

Been towing my 1986 31' Sovereign with a 2004 Nissan Titan for 11 years and some 70000 miles all over the lower 48 including eight round trips to Yellowstone from Miami. Never a hiccup, never a "white knuckle" moment. The truck just rolled over 204000 miles.

On any grade up to 8%, 3rd gear and 3600 rpm gives me 65 mph. My foot has never been "on the floor".

You truck is far more powerful than mine and has better brakes.

My only limitation, as noted in several earlier posts is payload. Hasn't been a problem as we carry very little in the bed of the truck.

Mike

bigirish2 05-17-2016 12:10 PM

Tundra
 
The problem with Tundras is not the pulling, it is the stopping. There are a couple of inexpensive fixes using drilled and slotted rotors with a semi ceramic pad. Makes about a 20% improvement cold and maybe a 30+% improvement hot. These kits are less than $500. Go to the dealer for the big brake kit and you will be looking at close to 7k, granted it is a much better setup and has much better performance.
Mike S

greghoro 05-17-2016 12:13 PM

A bit smaller trailer but we pulled our 25' Flying Cloud through the Rockies last year with our 2012 Sequoia without any problems. Same drivetrain as your Tundra.

See this Youtube video of someone else pulling an Airstream 25' in the Rockies with a 2010 Tundra:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMslHcUFfEo


Greg

boondockdad 05-17-2016 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigirish2 (Post 1792583)
The problem with Tundras is not the pulling, it is the stopping. There are a couple of inexpensive fixes using drilled and slotted rotors with a semi ceramic pad. Makes about a 20% improvement cold and maybe a 30+% improvement hot. These kits are less than $500. Go to the dealer for the big brake kit and you will be looking at close to 7k, granted it is a much better setup and has much better performance.
Mike S

Trailer should be pulling err, stopping its weight.

The original electric brakes on my '65 Ambassador were phenomenal. I don't think it was possible to fade those drums out, and the stopping power was nose-bleed rating.

The electric brakes on my 2005 Classic 31', not so much. Never felt comfortable with that setup.

Couldnt be happier with my current electric/hydraulic setup in my 30' S/O Classic. Dexter 1600psi actuator, and 6k disc brakes. All the way down Big Horn, Continental Divide, Smokies, and everywhere else, never a hint of fade. Could stop a rig 4X my weight. Wonder why Airstream dropped them.

ericpeltier 05-17-2016 01:21 PM

As a person who tows in the mountains a lot (live in Boulder CO), here's my two tips:

You have plenty of engine.

At the top of the pass, leave it in 2nd gear and enjoy the slow downhill. If you get up to 50mph just down from the pass, and need to slow further, it can get dicey.

Eric

BillfromWI 05-17-2016 01:52 PM

As has been said, it's all about payload.

The tongue weight of my 2014 FC25FB with solar is 1252# on the Airstream scale in Jackson Center. That is the loaded weight with about 800# of cargo. I could not configure my 2013 F150 3.5 Ecoboost, 3.73, max tow and cargo options to not exceed the drive axle GVWR of 7700#, never mind the stock tires 2600# rating. I was well under its 15,400# GCWR. A Blue Ox with 1500# bars with "one link showing" got the drive axle to about 150# over by transferring weight to the trailer, not the steer axle. I now have a 2016 GMC 2500 Duramax which solved all my "problems".

Based on posts I see here my guess is that at least half of us are happily driving tow vehicles that are overloaded in one way or another. The F150 drove like it was all good, but the scales told a different story.

fwjumper 05-17-2016 02:07 PM

"Excess towing capacity" is an oxymoron in my oversimplified, more power world. However in my humble opinion, you will be just fine in any foreseeable situation with the Tundra's capabilities. Be especially careful about overloading the truck bed or the trailer and pay special attention to smart loading in the trailer. (not too much in the back or the front.)

Your truck will make you proud, but don't think you have failed if someone pulling a larger rig passes you going up the grades. Let them go. They are paying dearly for the privilege. As previously stated, preparing for the downhill braking is a bigger issue than getting to the top. Assuming that your truck would not have built in engine braking, you can do it quite well as previously described by using your gear selector before starting down the grade. Don't wait until she's gotten up to 50 mph on a big downhill to do the shifting. It won't work. It's better to shift at the top of the grade to a lower gear than seems necessary or reasonable. Get a feel for what that will do and you can always up-shift as appropriate. If your truck has tow/haul setting, then I might modify my suggestion some, but probably not. I would say the first time, you be in charge and let the truck show you what it can do. I'm betting you'll be fine. Tundra is a great truck.

PSU1981 05-17-2016 02:08 PM

Dumb question - how exactly should I use the engine/transmission to go up & down steep grades? I know I have a 1st & 2nd gear beside just D - which one do I use & when?

jtwind 05-17-2016 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wingeezer (Post 1792219)
I don't know that there is any magic number but I recall years ago a rule of thumb that used to be quoted is that you should be towing at around 75% of your TV's rated capacity.

I doubt that is based on anything particular formula, but I have used it as a yardstick because it seems to me to be logical that for longevity and reliability of the tow vehicle it makes sense not to be pushing what the manufacturer claims to be the limit all the time. Things should be less stressed and last longer the less they are taxed.

So that is what I try to do, and it seems that is about where you are at also with your present rig.

Not sure how meaningful the 75% really is though as I read of many folk who tow at way over their vehicle's rated capacity and appear very happy with the results, reporting no problems at all, either in power, braking, handling, or in vehicle reliability problems - other than maybe going more slowly up hills!

Not for me though - I guess you pay your money and take your choice, I still like the 75% factor!

Brian.

This is what I've learned, followed and think it's smart. There are folks that look at towing capacity and payload as simply marketing and purchasing hype. I think that's a bit dangerous and believe having a margin of safety is just smart and frankly considerate others on the highway if you have an incident that pushes the limits of your vehicle!

Doc Foster 05-17-2016 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PSU1981 (Post 1792196)
We have a 2015 27FB FC that I pull with a 2015 Tundra with 10,000 lbs towing capacity. The cloud has a UBW - dry weight around 5800 lbs - With Max gross weight of 7600 lbs. Anyways how much excess towing capacity should I have to say pull thru the Rockies? Be able to tow anywhere in the U.S. ?

Thanks,

Glenn

I towed my 2015 30' International Serenity with my 2014 Tundra from MD to NV and back last year just fine. Leaving in a few weeks for another month long trip to CO, NM and AZ with the same rig. Like others have said, you won't be the first one to the top of those long high passes, but you will make it just fine. Just remember to gear down going down the other side and always stay in the far right lane. Take it easy and you will be fine.

heyraylata 05-17-2016 07:14 PM

Hi,

I also have a Tundra (2007) and have done my fair share of towing. I found a weight distributing hitch and E load rated tires on the truck changed towing from ok to no problem.

Ray

Wingeezer 05-17-2016 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtwind (Post 1792793)
This is what I've learned, followed and think it's smart. There are folks that look at towing capacity and payload as simply marketing and purchasing hype. I think that's a bit dangerous and believe having a margin of safety is just smart and frankly considerate others on the highway if you have an incident that pushes the limits of your vehicle!


Glad to hear I have some company!

I am a retired Professional Mech. Eng. and so one may suggest that I should be able to figure things out myself and make my own intelligent decision.

Could be, but as an engineer, I certainly don't profess expertise in all fields ... if any!

And so in this area where I had little experience , I opted to go with recommendations of the TV manufacturer and in fact, I prefer to err on the side of towing at less than rated capacity, suspecting from my own business experience that the marketing department may have won out over the engineering department in establishing advertised tow ratings!

Also - being somewhat of a worry wart, I like to operate well within manufacturer's limits from the standpoint of any accident in which I may become involved, whether deemed to be my fault or not.

Some have said this is not an issue when it comes to towing.

Could well be so, I just don't know, but I can tell you that I'd rather not find out from personal experience! I'd rather have things in my favour!

Something I believed and have since confirmed by experience is that for the last three tow vehicles I have owned, each one has progressively had a longer wheelbase, and each has provided a more stable towing platform and a far more relaxing towing experience.

At the same time however, I did also move to a Hensley hitch, (Propride would have been the same I expect) because I bought into the concept.

So I'm not entirely sure what has given the greatest improvement, the Hensley, the longer wheelbase, or perhaps the combination thereof!

All I can say is that at this point, the trailer sure tows like a dream! I could not ask for more.

I won't pretend there has not been a downside - I will be the first to admit that our truck isn't the easiest to park at the mall - and it is our daily driver.

I just park further away from the mall doors at an "end spot." Heck, I need the exercise anyway! Also for this reason I think, after eight years use, our truck has still to suffer its first door ding!

As well, the truck wasn't cheap - but it's only money and you only get one kick at the cat! Time to spoil myself! Being a low mileage diesel, I'm hoping it will hold its value fairly well.

I do find the truck also very handy for many other chores - and also to help neighbours as needed, which I am very happy to do.

Guess I'll only (reluctantly) trade the truck if we downsize to an Airstream "Nest." or get out of RV'ing altogether!

All indications are though that "SWMBO" will never go for a smaller AS, so it would likely have to be the latter!

Brian


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