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1500+ miles of TT towing...what I learned about the Tundra

Discussion in 'Towing & Hauling' started by ColoradoTJ, May 28, 2016.

  1. May 28, 2016 at 6:24 PM
    #1
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    What did I learn? Not much can stop the Tundra except a gas station. Lol

    All seriousness, the truck did pretty good, and we hit some of the toughest passes in Colorado and New Mexico. The wind in NM was horrible. I thought Wyoming had the worst crosswinds, and I was wrong. That award should go to southern NM.

    Conditions:
    -high winds. We pulled over a couple times...it was that bad.
    -trailer 8k, 28', tongue weight around 850 lbs.
    -LDH equalizer style hitch. This was a life saver, seriously. It got a work out. I have my 1000 lb bars maxed out

    Route:

    -Colorado Springs to Cimarron Campground,NM. This is one great place if you want to stay for a week. I do not recommend a 1-2 night stay. Lots of off-road with a camper sucks. Bring your own water, generator and make sure you have a spare electric heater.
    On the way out, 4x4 is needed. Do not go back there without it. You can see plenty of people that tried and dug in to the axle housing. I stuck the Tundra in 4lo and went out like a champ. My wife was nervous and didn't think we were getting out...

    image.jpg

    Next up, Cochiti NM. This is a really nice state park. Clean and well maintained. We had to make a ditch off into Santa Fe since my ring finger got infected (hang nail) and needed medical attention. Some lancing and squeezing I was good to go.

    image.jpg

    Next up was down to Carlsbad, NM. Not much there but bats and Caverns...but it was worth it.

    image.jpg
    image.jpg
    image.jpg
    This is from a ways off. We were not allowed to have phones or any electronic devices on during the bat flight. It was awesome to see 400k bats fly out of a cave to go eat.

    Next we went to White Sands, NM. The kids loved sledding in the spring on sand. Pretty sure I will never get all the white sand out of my truck. image.jpg
    image.jpg

    Make sure you bring a metric buttload of water, sunscreen and for all that is holy, sunglasses.

    Last stop, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. I'll load up pics later.

    Still getting down to 30's. Gets a little nippy. Area is breathtaking.


    So now that the trip is done, what were my likes/dislikes.

    Let's start off with dessert first:
    -drivetrain is just amazing. Going up some long passes, I passed some new Rams and Fords (non-EB) like it was nothing with smaller trailers. I know they had it mobbed to the floor like I did and still wasn't doing the speed limit (5 under). Everything works well together. For anyone to say this is an outdated truck that cannot compete, I would politely disagree. I could do with another 25-30 hp to the wheels and at least that in torque. A set of headers and full exhaust would compliment the truck nicely.
    - Brakes are phenomenal. I do have slotted Centric rotors with centric ceramic pads, but the factory brakes were awesome as well.
    - gearing for takeoff and grade braking was pretty good. My wife towed a good 600 miles on this trip and she thought it did great except for in the high winds.


    Now the dislikes:

    - In my own personal experiences, suspension is everything...and my Tundra sucks. I am really hoping my shocks are shot (73,600 miles) and air bags fix the rear end. I have the hellwig 2500 lbs overload springs on and tightened to the max. The overloads have to be cranked down or they hit the frame. Even if I let the overloads hit the frame, it is brutal towing/empty. We bottomed out more than I would like to admit. I will verify the tongue weight with my buddies scale. I only drop 2" when loaded with the trailer.
    I should have went with the airbags. I knew it, and know better. Well, at least this is only a 60.00 waste of money plus 275.00 for new bags.

    Hoping that some Bilsteins and bags solve this issue. If not, we are looking for a different truck....probably in the lines of a GMC 3500 Duramax single rear wheel or (I can't believe I'm even saying this) Ram 3500 Cummins SRW. I looked at the gas engine options, and the only motor I would consider is the Chevy 6.2L, but that isn't offered in a 3/4 ton. Go figure.

    Of course I have to complain about fuel. I know it is a gasser, 7.9 mpg sucks ass, but it looks like 9 mpg is where it will level out at. Wind resistance is a mother f'r. The stock fuel capacity sucks ass. I'm gonna eat some crow right meow. I can see why someone would upgrade to the 16' Tundra or get a 1200.00 aftermarket tank. Now in my trucks defense, it was VERY windy.....but some of the trip was not without much improvement. There was twice in this trip that I had to carry Jerry Cans over to a gas station because there was no way in hell I could get in and I had to get fuel or I was not going to make it to the next town. I'm not going to do anything different about that. It is what it is, and I'm not dropping 1200.00 on a fuel tank.

    My next truck will have some capacity or have the ability to carry fuel in the bed in a cell legally (or both). That kinda leaves me to a diesel truck, but just kinda hoping 18' Tundra comes out swinging some bigger nuts.

    image.jpg

    All together, I give the Tundra a solid B for towing experience. What scares me is the amount of diesel trucks on the side of the road on this trip. Not sure if I want to play that game again....
     
    Viper3G, Krezz, Fastfinish and 9 others like this.
  2. May 28, 2016 at 6:40 PM
    #2
    computeruser6

    computeruser6 New Member

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  3. May 28, 2016 at 7:00 PM
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    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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  4. May 28, 2016 at 9:38 PM
    #4
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    Just to add a little, I did have some people in two different locations stop into the same gas station when needing fuel. They actually came over and was surprised what the Tundra could do and asked some serious questions. Mostly they were talking crap to their wives and expecting me to be down to a crawl, but were shocked at how the truck handled the mountain passes.

    I thought that was pretty cool and was happy to answer their questions. One was a Nissan owner.

    Also, New Mexico drivers are the worst. They most likely do mail in drivers licences. Seriously. There is a reason why so many signs are up about being safe to pass and not to pass. Never in my life have I seen so many traffic related accidents or driving stupidity. Pretty sure the farthest I will drop down into NM is Red River, Taos, and Farmington.
     
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  5. May 29, 2016 at 10:14 AM
    #5
    RowdyRon

    RowdyRon Not too old to play

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    Great report on your escapades, Chris! Hope you are able to stay with a Tundra in the future!
     
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  6. May 29, 2016 at 11:36 AM
    #6
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    We'll see. I really do not want to deal with the emissions BS of 07 or newer diesel trucks.

    My wife wants new 2016 and I want 06-07 LBZ DM. There is a 35000.00 difference, or more than what I paid for my tundra.
     
  7. May 29, 2016 at 1:04 PM
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    mdavis

    mdavis Tiger Life

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    Those 2016's look bad ass though... Could never afford one but they sure do look nice.
     
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  8. May 29, 2016 at 1:58 PM
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    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    To afford one myself, I would have to put down at least 35000.00. In reality, 45k. I only like vehicle payments for 1-1.5 years. I'm my opinion paying on a vehicle for 84 months is just crazy.
     
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  9. May 29, 2016 at 2:09 PM
    #9
    zcarpenter92

    zcarpenter92 Yotas, Coronas and 'Merica

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    In sig
    Maybe not by flywheel numbers, but I can tell ya that an LMM Duramax feels like it has more power than the 6.7 Cummins. Probably due to it weighing a lot less than a comparable Ram.
     
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  10. May 29, 2016 at 2:58 PM
    #10
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    Probably right. The DM motor can really move out.

    My buddies 14 3500 with the 385/850 motor moves very nicely. However, the damn Cummins weighs 1050 lbs, and is tough on front ends and tires. I never got 40k out of a set before it was time to get new ones. Not sure how in the hell people claim to get 60-100k miles out of a set of Michilin tires.

    The ford is out. I'm not pulling cabs off to do motor work. Period. With all the head issues, that is another downer.
     
  11. May 29, 2016 at 3:02 PM
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    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    Anyway, I am gonna try shocks and bags first. Doing some more research, overload springs kinda suck for what I am trying to accomplish.

    If this fixes the problem, the truck will get a B+ to A- from me.

    If we do stick with Toyota power, we may look into a BAMuffler and some JBA headers. If the tundra had 400 hp and 450 TQ, I'm pretty sure this would be the ticket.
     
  12. May 29, 2016 at 8:00 PM
    #12
    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra Adrenaline Addict

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    Are you SC'd already?

    If the Billy's and Airbags fix your suspension issues, what about a supercharger?

    Also, great post!
     
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  13. May 29, 2016 at 10:13 PM
    #13
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    Thanks @MotoTundra. I figured someone would drop the SC in this thread. I almost did it a few years ago and to be honest, glad I did not. This is not directed at you personally, just how I feel about the SC in general on the Tundra.

    I have no issues with the power, it is the suspension that is the issue. In fact, our Tundras have more HP than that of a 07 LBZ DM I would like...not much more, but still more. The down fall is the torque. That is about 250 pound feet of torque better. Add an EFILive tune, you just received an exhaust brake, a metric buttload in HP and TQ without doing much else.

    To be honest, if I am going to drop $7K in a 1/2 ton truck, that would be money well spent on getting the right truck for the job. A SC does nothing for the load rating (in fact, due to weight, lowers it), causes me to run premium fuel. Right now I am at 2.35 gallon for 87 octane rating. For premium fuel we are looking at 2.70 average. Diesel is 2.11. With some simple math, lets say 20K a year mileage and current fuel prices, I would spend and extra 787.00 per year to have a SC on my truck in fuel alone, and that is assuming the diesel and SC tundra would both get 15 mpg average empty and towing per year. That is being very optimistic for a SC Tundra towing 8K or more in Colorado.

    Selling a SC Tundra is harder as well since most people think it has been hot rodded to the max (and rightfully so, I would use the shit out of it towing). Another issue is not having TRD handling the SC anymore. Some on this very site are having issues getting their trucks back on the road after SC issues.

    For me, not a good option and use of my money. Personally, the Tundra stock is impressive enough. Adding 50HP/89TQ by headers and full dual exhaust for ~1500.00 seems like the best bang for one's dollar.

    Funny, the guy I purchased this camper from had an 08 Tundra 5.7 DC. He had nothing but good things to say about it except for a couple things: Fuel economy and suspension.
    Coming from a guy that has 8 various trailers and campers (owns a construction company), he tows a lot. He was right. For the weekend warrior, fuel economy is a mute issue. If you are going out a lot and travel long distances...your opinion might change rather quickly. His boys race Motocross and travel all over the place. He can justify having a diesel. Not sure I can yet with having to also buy a commuter car (looking at Lexus LS430).
     
  14. May 31, 2016 at 8:49 PM
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    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    So to finish this thread up, we were still out when I posted this up. Didn't want to announce to the matrix we were not at home.

    Pagosa Springs.

    image.jpg image.jpg

    So this is our final decision.

    I pulled off those damn overloads last night. Today I towed the camper back to its normal location 45 minutes away through the mountains. The suspension was better without the overloads. Go figure.

    Before our next trip out, I will purchase and install airbags for the Tundra. If this fixes our issues with bottoming and sway, the truck will stay. I have never owned a truck without airbags in the past 12 years, so I really do not know what it is like not to tow with them.

    Tonight, I went and picked up a front bumper skin to replace my dented one. The man has a 08 SC tundra that assured me the bags will help that issue with sway. He tows a 5th wheel with his tundra and has no issues.

    If not, GMC 2500/3500 12-16 will replace the tundra. Damn those trucks have went up.
     
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  15. May 31, 2016 at 10:29 PM
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    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    Really hoping the bags work for you. Would hate to see a good member go to the darkside.
     
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  16. May 31, 2016 at 11:07 PM
    #16
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    Oh I will never go to the dark side. My next commuter car will most likely be a Lexus LS430, have a 14 CC longbox sport Tacoma. I will always have a Toyota to rely on in my garage. I am sold on Toyota quality/durability. The last time I had a vehicle that has gone 74500 miles and use it like I do is....never. Funny, the guy that I purchased the parts from tonight was amazed at my two Dodge diesel stories.

    I'm thinking the bags are going to solve this issue. I really do not want to pull money out of savings. Plates/taxes are just crazy when you get that expensive of a vehicle. When I plated my 12 GS Vette, that was 5k gone. Not looking to do that again anytime soon.
     
  17. Jun 1, 2016 at 8:31 AM
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    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra Adrenaline Addict

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    Obviously you have thought the whole SC option through, haha. Sorry for the late and small reply, life has been hectic lately. Anyway, I don't think there is any advice I can give to you, you are too squared away haha. So let me pick our brain, when you change your suspension, which Bilstein's do you plan on going with? The 6112? Will you go with a heavier spring?
     
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  18. Jun 1, 2016 at 9:12 AM
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    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    Oh I had my finger over the "buy it now" button for the SC. Lol. If I wasn't spending half of my wife's money....let me rephrase. If I wasn't spending all her money, I would have a SC Tundra. The raw power of the SC on these 5.7L motors is just mind numbing. If I didn't already have a few expensive hobbies, I can say this...there would be the whine coming from under my hood.

    I plan on using the 5100 shock. I pulled one of the fears off to see if it was still good. Still functions ok, just probably not enough shock for the load I am cycling the shock through.

    The spring pack will be left alone. I have in the past used Alcan Springs out of Grand Junction, CO. An option for sure though.

    Maybe this "sway" is normal for the camper we purchased. Not sure to be honest. I have towed other camper setups (5th wheel) and it was so much better. Here is my buddies setups in Texas, and his black 43' race car hauler is easily tugged around by his 07 LBZ Duramax. Hell, this past weekend he got 12.5 mpg at 70-75 mph. That is impressive.

    image.jpg

    His 37.5' camper is a little lighter and averages 12-13.5 mpg.

    image.jpg

    This tread made me pull out some old pics. This one is particularly funny. My 04.5 Dodge 2500 would break down so often, I had to tow my old flatbed trailer up with my wife's 2000 Tacoma, pick the truck up in Denver, tow the Tacoma home. This setup saved me once. Dodge didn't make it back the 92 miles home. I just disconnected the trailer, pulled the truck forward, reconnected my trailer to the Tacoma and had the Dodge towed home.

    image.jpg

    In this picture, third set of injectors just was replaced.

    Before we sell the Tundra, I will in fact ask to borrow one of my friends 3/4 or 1 ton diesel trucks to see if that makes any difference.
     
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  19. Jun 1, 2016 at 9:14 AM
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    Sean266

    Sean266 #ThinBlueLine Staff Member

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    That there S/C :dancingbacon:
    LOVE mine! But I also see where your needs overpower the wants :drevil:
     
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  20. Jun 1, 2016 at 9:19 AM
    #20
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    Oh I want one for sure. There is a reason I purchased a non-flex fuel motor.
     
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  21. Jun 4, 2016 at 9:32 PM
    #21
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    Final numbers from the trip.

    Towing miles= 1903

    MPG= 9.5

    Can't complain about that. Next week I will order the air bags and get them installed before the next trip out. I sure hope this fixes the issues and the Tundra stays. This has been the best ownership experience ever.
     
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  22. Jun 5, 2016 at 3:38 AM
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    Muleycrazy13

    Muleycrazy13 New Member

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    Thanks for the review Chris! I am really hoping toyota will come out with something big in the next year or so also. Hopefully the airbags will cure your troubles for now. Them new duramaxs are sweet but as you know big big $$$$$. I do occasionally miss my LBZ but overall I'm happy I made the switch to a tundra.
     
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  23. Jun 16, 2016 at 5:36 PM
    #23
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    Today I dropped the coin on some air bags.

    90% sure this will resolve the rear sway and handling issue. If it does:

    New wheels and tires
    5100 shocks
    Exhaust system.

    If not....

    Well let's just hope that doesn't happen.
     
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  24. Jun 17, 2016 at 2:11 AM
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    Muleycrazy13

    Muleycrazy13 New Member

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    Chris I like the sounds of your plans ha ha hope the bags do the trick for ya!
     
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  25. Jun 17, 2016 at 6:24 AM
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    RowdyRon

    RowdyRon Not too old to play

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    Chris, hope it works out for you. Would hate to see you have to leave the fold.
     
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  26. Jun 17, 2016 at 7:45 AM
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    Berkdawg

    Berkdawg New Member

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    I am interested in your outcome. I had sway on our TH and installed the Roadmaster Active Suspension. That and bumping the tires up to 55 PSI made a tremendous improvement. I used to to pucker on I 25 because every semi would suck the front of the Tundra into it. My issue now is the front bathroom keeps the black tank up front and drains. Leaving a boon dock sight in the mtns after 4 days of people flushing drops the front enough that the front drains can drag. I would love to be able to add some air and get that inch back. Thanks for the write up.
     
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  27. Jun 17, 2016 at 8:05 AM
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    GTABurnout

    GTABurnout New Member

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    You basically state the obvious. A 3/4 ton truck will tow better then a 1/2 tundra. What did you expect? If your going to be hooked up to a trailer 90% of the time why not just get a diesel.
     
  28. Jun 17, 2016 at 9:26 AM
    #28
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    Chris
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Nobody said I was towing 90% of the time. Might want to read the thread before you post dumbass.
     
  29. Jun 17, 2016 at 9:40 AM
    #29
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ [OP] Calm your tits

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    Chris
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Towing at 65 mph is a little new for me as well (75 mph was the normal). The semi's just blow by you and can cause some pretty good sway.

    I usually keep my fronts at 55 psi and rears 60-65 psi depending on what trailer I am hooked to. My Gray/Black water tank drain is tucked up pretty good (thankfully).

    The bags will be picked up tonight and maybe install them this weekend. I will not be able to test them out until next week though.
     
  30. Jun 17, 2016 at 10:08 AM
    #30
    TheBeast

    TheBeast Mr Line-X

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    do you have the TRD rear sway bar installed ? I read it helps with towing. Might worth a try for $230.
     
    15whtrd and ColoradoTJ like this.
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