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First time towable RVer; had a couple questions for you!

Discussion in 'Towing & Hauling' started by JaxSmith, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Jul 11, 2018 at 10:57 AM
    #1
    JaxSmith

    JaxSmith [OP] New Member

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    Hey all! I'm new to the forum, having been recommended here by some nice folks over at the Tundra subreddit. Wanted to pick the brain of some of you experienced folk.

    My wife and I recently decided to get into towable RVing. We have a few cats that make traveling out of town to visit family a bit stressful (boarding them isn't overly fun), and we'd like to be able to take road trips a little more often.

    After doing some research for a few weeks, I feel like I'm getting a pretty comfortable idea about the math behind towing. I settled in on wanting a Toyota Tundra, primarily because I like the reliability of the brand and my local service center is the best of any brand in town. I also settled in on a Heartland Mallard M245 travel trailer, coming in at 28' 9", 5500lb dry weight and 7000lb gvwr. We will be getting a Weight Distribution Hitch and sway bars, likely both purchased from Camping World with the trailer unless someone can think of a reason why this is a bad idea. I don't really have the tools to install the sway bar myself, particularly for doing the drilling.

    I had a couple questions for you, and wanted to see what your thoughts were.

    A) Does that trailer seem like an acceptable pull for the Tundra. Math wise, it seems fine. 7000lb gvwr is well under the 10,100 of the model I'd be looking at getting (an SR5, crewmax, 5.7L), and payload wise I should still have ~400lb of payload left over even at 15% tongue weight, more like 700lb left over at 10%. But with that said, can anyone experienced see an issue with this trailer/truck combo that I'm missing? All feedback is greatly appreciated!

    B) Really noobish question here, but I can't find the answer anywhere. The integrated brake controller in the 2018 Tundras... does it handle turn signals?

    C) Also brake controller question. I was looking at this video, and noticed on the Dashboard at around the 1:50 mark, it shows the brake controller and says "Electric: 0-4999 pounds". Could someone elaborate on what I'm seeing there? Is that some kind of weight limit that the brake controller can handle, and if so does this mean I would need to upgrade the controller or something? I haven't heard of anything like this, so that surprised me.

    D) Tow mirrors! Are they worth getting the Toyota models? I'm really not keen on installing some physically myself, so I was contemplating either getting the Toyota oem model and having that installed, or getting slip-on/clip-on models. My main concern was, like question B, turn signals. I'm leaning more towards getting those tow mirrors...

    Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated! I haven't taken the plunge yet, and there is time to stop me if this all turns out to be a terrible idea. =D I'm looking for any and all experience and knowledge that you find applicable.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    ARamirez73 likes this.
  2. Jul 11, 2018 at 11:06 AM
    #2
    itsdchz

    itsdchz 50statesoverland

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    A) Does that trailer seem like an acceptable pull for the Tundra. Math wise, it seems fine. 7000lb gvwr is well under the 10,100 of the model I'd be looking at getting (an SR5, crewmax, 5.7L), and payload wise I should still have ~400lb of payload even at 15% tongue weight, more like 700lb at 10%. But with that said, can anyone experienced see an issue with this trailer/truck combo that I'm missing? All feedback is greatly appreciated!

    You are fine. Many people overload their Tow Vehicle, but you are well within the limits. I have towed more, and my normal tow trailer is right at 5K unloaded. MAke sure you use a weight distribution hitch and anti-sway bar.

    B) Really noobish question here, but I can't find the answer anywhere. The integrated brake controller in the 2018 Tundras... does it handle turn signals?

    YES, the 7 pin harness has charging, brakes, lights and turns. the 4 pin is no brakes and no charge, but yes on turn and lights.

    C) Also brake controller question. I was looking at this video, and noticed on the Dashboard at around the 1:50 mark, it shows the brake controller and says "Electric: 0-4999 pounds". Could someone elaborate on what I'm seeing there? Is that some kind of weight limit that the brake controller can handle, and if so does this mean I would need to upgrade the controller or something? I haven't heard of anything like this, so that surprised me.

    You have the option to choose 0-4999 and 5000+ in both electric and hydraulic. You are seeing the brake pressure gain and the fact the person chose 0-4999

    D) Tow mirrors! Are they worth getting the Toyota models? I'm really not keen on installing some physically myself, so I was contemplating either getting the Toyota oem model and having that installed, or getting slip-on/clip-on models. My main concern was, like question B, turn signals. I'm leaning more towards getting those tow mirrors...

    YES the tow mirrors are amazing and make it very easy to see. Would not recommend towing without them. They take 20 minutes tops to install. Some videos online will show you how. The dealer will charge $80-$120 to install. OEM seem the same as some of the aftermarket ones. I chose OEM for the warranty

    Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated! I haven't taken the plunge yet, and there is time to stop me if this all turns out to be a terrible idea. =D I'm looking for any and all experience and knowledge that you find applicable.

    Thanks!

     
    JaxSmith [OP] likes this.
  3. Jul 11, 2018 at 11:07 AM
    #3
    ARamirez73

    ARamirez73 JUST A HOBO RIDIN' THEM RAILS TO ANYWHERE

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    THE LONE STAR STATE...RGV TEXAS
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    Welcome from Texas
     
    JaxSmith [OP] likes this.
  4. Jul 11, 2018 at 11:09 AM
    #4
    parallax

    parallax Professional Zamboni stunt driver

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    Just towed my jayco 161. Yesterday. At 5500 pounds loaded.
    I bought some cipa. Tow mirror that fit on my stock mirrors. Hate them. Stock mirrors work fine for me. The. Tow lbs. 0- 4999. Can. Be changed in settings to 5000. Thru. 10000 pounds. I didn’t know that till yesterday. As I was previously in the 0-4999 mode and had my controller set on 9. With it in the 5000 to 10000 mode. I set my controller to 5. Setting. My trailer is 8 feet wide.
     
    JaxSmith [OP] likes this.
  5. Jul 11, 2018 at 11:10 AM
    #5
    Ike74

    Ike74 New Member

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    Welcome from Denver, get the truck and you'll be very happy.

    Also, anyone know the part number for the tow mirrors?
     
    JaxSmith [OP] likes this.
  6. Jul 11, 2018 at 11:14 AM
    #6
    JaxSmith

    JaxSmith [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the warm welcomes and the quick response!

    Great to hear about all of that. I'm definitely glad I'm within limits on the truck; I've noticed that a lot of folks who get a little closer to the limits (or even over) generally have a great deal of tow experience, and rely on that to help them remain safe while driving. My goal is make up for lack of experience with more truck, and as much tech as I can throw at the issue.

    Two more questions:

    E) Do any of you see an issue with getting the WDH and sway bars from Camping World, outside of price? I haven't seen much about some hitches "fitting" better than others, but I have seen folks use that term when talking about them, so I want to make sure there is something about a WDH that I'm missing. I was a stone mason in my younger days, pulling smaller trailers with stones on the back with my old Chevy Scottsdale; I never needed anything near as fancy as a WDH before, so I want to be sure I'm not missing anything.

    F) How does the whole gain thing work on the brake controller? Also fancier stuff than I've needed to use. If I kick that badboy up to 10 on a 5,000-10,000lb setting, am I gonna be in for a surprising stop? =D

    Thanks again!
     
  7. Jul 11, 2018 at 11:16 AM
    #7
    JaxSmith

    JaxSmith [OP] New Member

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  8. Jul 11, 2018 at 11:24 AM
    #8
    Ike74

    Ike74 New Member

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    so they are $200 a piece huh? a little steep or am I crazy?
     
  9. Jul 11, 2018 at 11:31 AM
    #9
    itsdchz

    itsdchz 50statesoverland

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    E) Do any of you see an issue with getting the WDH and sway bars from Camping World, outside of price? I haven't seen much about some hitches "fitting" better than others, but I have seen folks use that term when talking about them, so I want to make sure there is something about a WDH that I'm missing. I was a stone mason in my younger days, pulling smaller trailers with stones on the back with my old Chevy Scottsdale; I never needed anything near as fancy as a WDH before, so I want to be sure I'm not missing anything.

    If you are pulling a trigger on a trailer, negotiate for them to include and install the WDH system with ant-sway. Husky is a good brand, which I and many of my friends use with no issues. DO NOT tow that weight and trailer without WDH. Look up YouTube videos of sway fail. Plus the sag on your rear-end will make steering a nightmare. TRUST the technology.

    F) How does the whole gain thing work on the brake controller? Also fancier stuff than I've needed to use. If I kick that badboy up to 10 on a 5,000-10,000lb setting, am I gonna be in for a surprising stop? =D

    Toyota has a great video here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAs-6EDzrAE

    It shows you everything you need to know. Basically at 20mph you should feel the trailer when braking giving a slight help to your braking system, not pulling you hard or allowing the weight of the trailer to push.
     
    JaxSmith [OP] likes this.
  10. Jul 11, 2018 at 11:44 AM
    #10
    JaxSmith

    JaxSmith [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the response!

    So, with that weight of trailer, I'm looking at probably having some sag on the back of the Tundra? I was hoping that if I was within tongue weight limits I might not be, but I can definitely see that being the case as this is a pretty heavy trailer.

    Does WDH actually help with sway? I knew that it helped with reducing the overall weight placed on the truck itself, but I know if it would have a positive or negative effect on the sway.
     
  11. Jul 11, 2018 at 11:56 AM
    #11
    sdde4n

    sdde4n New Member

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    Agreed, stock mirrors are sufficient.
     
  12. Jul 11, 2018 at 1:26 PM
    #12
    mtTundra

    mtTundra New Member

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    The only downside of towing with the Tundra is the fuel economy. I get ~8mpg when towing my toy hauler.
    looks like everyone has answered your questions. A few takeaways i'd suggest.
    1. If you are comfortable towing and not in traffic often, then tow mirrors are not really necessary. I get by without them just fine just be aware of where the cars are around you. It would be a 'nice to have' however.
    2. The factory controller isn't all that awesome. It gets the job done, but many guys replace it with the prodigy.
    3. Depending on the WDH you get you shouldn't need to drill anything.
    4. Some WDH will do friction anti sway however the anti sway that use a dampener are probably better at it.
    5. Installing a WDH isn't difficult, you should be able to do it with minimal effort the only catch would be ensuring you set it up properly. Dozens of videos on youtube for this.
     
  13. Jul 11, 2018 at 1:57 PM
    #13
    itsdchz

    itsdchz 50statesoverland

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    The WDH along with the anti sway dampener is what you will want. I witnessed it work wonders on a situation in front of me on an overpass with strong cross winds just last month. I would NEVER advise not to have this setup to anyone after seeing the vehicle recover the sway.. never...
    Sag will happen with any weight that is not centered on the rear axle...
     
  14. Jul 11, 2018 at 3:02 PM
    #14
    Grey Wolf

    Grey Wolf ELITE Grey Wolf Crew

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    Tow mirrors are GREAT, I'd never go back to small mirrors. Deciding to get tow mirrors is like deciding on the 4.6L or the 5.7L.... A no brainer........always go large.
     
  15. Jul 11, 2018 at 4:40 PM
    #15
    JaxSmith

    JaxSmith [OP] New Member

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    These are all some really great responses! Thanks everyone. It's quite eye opening about the 8mph; that's something I hadn't really considered.

    I do have another question: does anyone here utilize suspension airbags, or is everyone just using a WDH? If you do have the airbags, how did you get yours installed (I'm assuming Toyota doesn't have them as available parts...)?
     
  16. Jul 11, 2018 at 7:17 PM
    #16
    Staggerwing3

    Staggerwing3 New Member

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    I have airbags and really like them. I have a 24ft Bullet RV. Between the WDH and the air bags I have zero sag. If you do go with the airbags the WDH setup is a little different find some good YouTube vids to help with setup. I had my local 4X4 shop install them.

    I only get about 9 mpg pulling but this truck has so much more power than my Silverado it's worth it. The Silverado probably only got about 10mpg anyway.
     
  17. Jul 11, 2018 at 7:42 PM
    #17
    parallax

    parallax Professional Zamboni stunt driver

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    I bought my hitch and weight distribution setup. Off of craigslist for 50 bucks. It’s the 10,000 lb. easy lift. If. You.dont mind used. You can look there and save a bunch of money
     
  18. Jul 12, 2018 at 7:16 AM
    #18
    parallax

    parallax Professional Zamboni stunt driver

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    Maybe it’s just me. But. Super important here in Oregon. Tree branches! There are trees everywhere here. And many do not get trimmed to the 14 foot height, Next to curbs and streets. Always be aware that your trailer is probably 13 feet tall. And. All those cool gadgets on your roof are expensive to repair and replace. If You are in doubt, stop and make sure you have clearance before pulling up next to a curb. I have even seen tree branches to low at paid full service. R. V. camp grounds had to back out of a spot last year when it was time to leave . Cause if I would have pulled through the damage would have been expensive
     
  19. Jul 15, 2018 at 10:24 AM
    #19
    JaxSmith

    JaxSmith [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for all the responses, everyone! I did have one more question, and didn't want to create yet another new thread for it since I've already got two up there. =D

    Has anyone here had experience with the TSS system while towing? I've been searching around, and found where folks said not to use the Adaptive Cruise Control while towing... but what about the other features like the Pre-Collision, Pedestrian Avoidance, etc? Anyone have knowledge of how that works when in Tow/Haul or towing?
     
  20. Jul 21, 2018 at 6:35 PM
    #20
    JaxSmith

    JaxSmith [OP] New Member

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    Welp, we did it! Got a 2018 Tundra SR5. 4WD with crew cab. We’re pretty excited, so now it’s time to find an good RV to go along with it.

    Man... this truck is huge compared to my Rav4! This is going to be an experience! First time I parked this at a shopping center I knew I had some adjustment time ahead of me.

    Next challenges parking garage.

    B51884BD-8629-457D-B366-A5B10D27451A.jpg
     
  21. Jul 21, 2018 at 7:21 PM
    #21
    JoshuaA

    JoshuaA I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride

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    Nice truck, congrats! The stock antenna doubles as a height clearance checker.

    Get your trailer first to see if you need tow mirrors, depends how wide, if you can see down the sides and/or if you have large blind spots.

    I've read many aftermarket tow mirrors vibrate so I got OEM ones and they're rock solid. Turn signals work too even though we don't have them on our current stock mirrors.
     
    JaxSmith [OP] likes this.

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