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My Tundra should do this fine......right?

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by Norcalyotaman, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Nov 15, 2020 at 9:20 PM
    #1
    Norcalyotaman

    Norcalyotaman [OP] New Member

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    I have an 05 4.7 4wd DC and i’m looking at buying a travel trailer. I fall into the “I love my truck, it’s paid off, and don’t want to buy a new truck just to tow something every few months” category.

    I have my eye on this one https://www.venture-rv.com/products/sonic-travel-trailers/SN211VDB.html

    or one similar. Dry weight 4,600-4,700 lbs. 27 feet tandem axle.

    As far as weight is concerned I have 6,600 lbs to work with. I figure I can work with the 2,000 lbs remaining (it’s me, wife and two young kids) as long as I am careful and pay attention to loading.

    In the power department I think I have realistic expectations. I go into the mountains quite a bit, but I have no problem being in the slow lane on the steep grades, however i’d like to at least be able to do a reasonable speed (45-55) up the freeway. In the future I will probably do the dirty deeds injectors, exhaust, chip and maybe gear to 4.11

    As far as braking, I have gone through my whole truck (even made sure my rears are adjusted and working) I may do the T100 master swap and the bigger 5th gen 4Runner brake swap sometime. Also I have a brake controller wired up and the trailer obviously has brakes.

    For towing I plan on running load range e tires, rancho 9,000 in the rear and Anderson no sway WDH.
    I was planning on air bags, but then read a lot of good reviews on the roadmaster active suspension system. I like that it’s anti sway as well.

    So what do you all think? I feel like I’ve done my homework and believe this to be a good setup even for longer distances, and over mountains. As long as my expectations are reasonable and I’m not going to be blasting along at 75. I just want to be safe and comfortable with my family on board. Thanks!
     
    RyeHog and Bigboitundra like this.
  2. Nov 15, 2020 at 9:33 PM
    #2
    CodyP

    CodyP Such a n00b

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    Any life or oversized tires on the truck? I have the slide on longview tundra towing mirrors if you're interested. Everything else seems pretty decent. How many miles on the truck? Rear leafs may be due for replacement to keep the butt from sagging. I have pulled a friend's 25ft tandem axle and the truck stays about 55-60 up passes. Won't go any faster though. I do have 20" wheels so I'm sure that doesn't help.
     
  3. Nov 15, 2020 at 9:49 PM
    #3
    Norcalyotaman

    Norcalyotaman [OP] New Member

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    No lift. May do some 5100’s in the front but just level is all. I was thinking about some new rear springs as well. Any recommendations? Don’t want to mess up the every day driving with too stiff of springs. That’s one reason the roadmasters looked tempting. Truck has 227,000. I was also planning a bigger transmission cooler.
     
    Bigboitundra likes this.
  4. Nov 15, 2020 at 10:04 PM
    #4
    knoxville36

    knoxville36 New Member

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    what is your payload for your truck? I see you are looking at the rated towing, but you need to look at your payload for your truck.
     
    AzureNightmare likes this.
  5. Nov 16, 2020 at 4:11 AM
    #5
    Johnders2586

    Johnders2586 New Member

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    Agree check payload an your tongue weight. I think your mind is in the right place with the upgrades your talking. But if your max towing capacity is 6600ish an your trailer dry weight is 4700 ish that's not including anything else like battery, propane, liquids, Gear. That stuff adds up fast.. for some perspective I tow a 24' trailer an dry weight of 4500 an I have a 3rd gen 5.7 an I notice it back there an it's "rated " for like 9-10k... I think regardless your pretty much maxing out your truck where you really want to be more like 75 percent of max for safe towing IMO. Plenty of folks roll the dice though. .
     
  6. Nov 16, 2020 at 4:23 AM
    #6
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    I agree with Johnders above. Having towed quite a bit with the 2002 V8, I don’t like going over 4500lbs. even when the sticker says 6600. I have maxed in short slow in town flat drives driving in sub 45 mph.

    The truck torque is amazing on the pull side, but the lack of stopping is what will kill you. You’ll basically be trying to stop two trucks with weak brakes. If you were just towing in town you’d be ok, but on mountain passes with a truck full of family and the trailer full of schtuff it will be maxing.


    Without getting into a large debate, I say get another bigger truck or downsize into a smaller trailer.
     
    AzureNightmare and torino69 like this.
  7. Nov 16, 2020 at 4:37 AM
    #7
    ezdog

    ezdog New Member

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    I will echo the two previous posts from my experience and will also add that the manufacturers weight ratings are something to ALWAYS be skeptical of on paper too!

    If I don't weigh the trailer myself then any assumptions I make that take those weights into account are simply bad guesses on my part and this includes any anecdotal comments from anyone else claiming to "Know" a trailers weight including my own.

    I tow a 17' Casita and have for years and all over the place with my 2001 V8-4WD RCLB and it does just fine but if anyone tells you that they do not now a trailer is back there then I would instantly discount those comments,I want to and insist on knowing it is back there and if I can not tell a difference with any substantial weight behind me then I really have no business towing in the first place.

    I think you may well be pushing or pulling near the limit for your rig through the mountains.

    I would also look at smaller trailers for your truck period.
     
    torino69 likes this.
  8. Nov 16, 2020 at 8:54 PM
    #8
    eslader

    eslader New Member

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    Keep in mind that clothes and beer are surprisingly heavy. So is food. If you're planning on boondocking instead of only ever going to developed campgrounds you will also need to assume a full fresh tank. Go in with empty black/grey tanks and dump the fresh tank before you leave to keep the weight calculations easy.

    If I'd been planning to tow a trailer that heavy, I wouldn't have gotten a Tundra. You might consider looking at the Scamps. They aren't as glitzy as stuff from Cougar/Jayco/etc, but they're a lot better built, and they're all light. The 16' maxes out at around 2200 pounds.
     
  9. Nov 17, 2020 at 5:17 AM
    #9
    ezdog

    ezdog New Member

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    Like I said I tow a Casita mostly and they are never as light as claimed by the maker.
    My 16' Scamp was easy to go over 2200lbs but no challenge at all for the Tundra is correct.

    I think Fiberglass Eggs are nicer than many traditional trailers really and last a lot longer a lot of the time but are just not as big for sleeping more people either.

    You could pull a 19' Scamp though easily and sleep 4 or just sleep the kids in tents like we had to as kids!

    Weigh it before you Say it!

    0F727119-F881-4EAA-A778-1348DAFC3CAC.jpg

    17D5B1F9-D135-49CD-B0A5-9E432955EB8B.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020 at 5:24 AM
    Lil Steve likes this.
  10. Nov 17, 2020 at 5:21 AM
    #10
    Starlifter141

    Starlifter141 New Member

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    Someone is certainly trying to sell you a trailer that will put your family and you at great risk. It won’t work. Go back and do your homework. You will discover that a dry weight of 3500 lbs. will put you closer to a much safer pull.
     
  11. Nov 17, 2020 at 5:26 AM
    #11
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Total weight (Over the truck) I’d not go more than 4500 lbs.

    4500 lbs = you, family, bed/contents and trailer/contents.

    The truck weights around 4500 lbs.

    Total weight truck plus everything keep under 9000lbs.
     
  12. Nov 17, 2020 at 5:33 AM
    #12
    lsaami

    lsaami Let ‘er buck

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    as someone who has pushed (and exceeded) the limits on these trucks, I think it's all in what you're comfortable with. with a 4500lb dry weight trailer, you'll be sitting around 6500-6800 loaded. That's pretty much the limit of the truck.

    are you experienced at towing? You'll be fine.

    Not towed much and this will be your first big trailer? I'd search for a smaller trailer or upsize your truck. It is amazing how much more planted weight is when it is behind a heavier vehicle.

    Another thing to consider is that campers are a huge wind restriction. it's like a sail behind your truck. a 6500lb camper will feel more like 8000# of rock or concrete behind your truck.


    Edit: after looking at the actual description of the trailer, everything I said above stands, but I just want to point out that the GVWR of the trailer is only 5890, with a dry tongue weight of 580. I'd be a little more comfortable towing that with a first gen in general, but it still will come down to how comfortable you are pulling a trailer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020 at 5:47 AM
    Stuck in the '00s and Pucks18 like this.
  13. Nov 17, 2020 at 5:38 AM
    #13
    FlyingWolfe

    FlyingWolfe Wolfie

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    My husband and I tow our 23' camper with his 2003 4.7 RCLB to FL (1,100 miles) every year. It's about 5600 loaded including us and our gliders/gear and we have a WDH and airbags but couldn't tell you the tongue weight as I don't really recall, was well under specs when we purchased it, have since forgot because I'm getting old. We average 9-10mpg and you can definitely tell it's back there. It tows solid but we putt-putt our way down and don't drive like a couple of morons (usually keep it between 55-65mph). I bought a 5.7 3rd gen to take over towing duties this year though so it's a little easier.
    You need to check payload and the tongue weight as some have mentioned prior. That'll make or break it. Experience comes into play a little too. I used to tow 50' boat trailers with an F350 in the Coast Guard and my husband used to own a construction company doing towing as well so neither of us have any qualms about towing or backing to the point where I've had people ask "how in the bloody hell did you get that trailer in there?"

    That said- you can tow anything if you're brave enough, once. :rofl:
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020 at 5:50 AM
  14. Nov 17, 2020 at 5:39 AM
    #14
    Pucks18

    Pucks18 Panic mode

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    Maybe this is one of the times someone should have gotten a second gen? Or maybe Ford and Chevy :eek2:
     
  15. Nov 18, 2020 at 6:32 AM
    #15
    KNABORES

    KNABORES New Member

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    I've used my 2000 AC to tow a 27' trailer that was a little heavier than the one you're looking at. Power was fine. Brakes could always be better. I've upgraded to the larger calipers and keep the braking system well adjusted, but they are still Tundra brakes. My father in law's 2006 GMC felt much more confident in the braking department. Some rear suspension load leveling help such as airbags would have been good, but a good WDH properly setup is most important. Hitch height and bar load must be adjusted for your truck. Mostly towed shorter trips to the lake for weekends but did a trip into the Ozark mountains and did not have trouble with power or brakes, but drove very conservatively. It was doable, but not completely comfortable.
     
  16. Nov 21, 2020 at 8:35 PM
    #16
    Norcalyotaman

    Norcalyotaman [OP] New Member

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    Lots of good info here. Thanks everyone! Read through my manual and my truck has 6,700 lbs of cargo capacity (trailer, gas, cargo and occupants), which is also what it’s rated to tow. (Which is funny, it can tow 6,700 lbs but cannot have any fuel or a diver to to this )
    It has a 670 lbs hitch capacity. (Which make sense, it recommends 10% of the trailer weight on the hitch)

    sounds like everyone is mostly concerned about braking. All the trailers I am looking at have brakes, and my brakes work pretty well. If it still needed more wouldn’t the 5th gen 4Runner brake upgrade and maybe rear disks help? Also the sequoia master cylinder?

    I read a bunch of bad reviews on the Sonic trailer so now I am looking at a Winnebago Micro Minnie. 2306BHS. Dry weight 4,500 lbs. 25’8” and 495 tongue weight. It’s a bit shorter and lighter. Before I buy anything I will take for a test tow.

    I’ve towed a fair amount (just not with this truck) and am very conservative and slow going. My wife and I have done a lot of camping in various setups and our list of must haves are 1 slide out, bunks, walk around queen and I would like dual axle for safety. It’s definitely hard to find one light enough but hopefully the Winnebago will work well. Anyone have any other trailer ideas? Or experience with the micro Minnie line?

    Thanks all!
     
  17. Nov 21, 2020 at 10:18 PM
    #17
    RyeHog

    RyeHog New Member

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    One thing I’ve noticed with these trailers is the dry weight and sticker weight can vary greatly. Dry weight is before any added packages are included I.E cold weather package, Baja package, ETC. I was eying a specific trailer earlier this year and online the dry weight was 4800. Looked at one in person and it the sticker weight was 5500. Also check your Payload 14 out of 13 times you will be over your payload before the GCWR/tow rating. But as long as your within spec on your weights and have the proper setup with Weight distribution hitch, AAL or airbags and trailer brake controller then I think your perfectly fine.
     
  18. Nov 21, 2020 at 11:10 PM
    #18
    knoxville36

    knoxville36 New Member

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    I have been looking at trailers for a while now also! All our family and friends have them and we "camp" with them a good bit. Sonic is does have the reputation of being a little troublesome. I too steered clear from them. I am also looking at the Winnie 2306 also. One of my employees at work has a 2019 and loves it!!! Winnebago is what I would consider mid-range. It is a step up from Sonic.

    As far as weights go, we have weighed that trailer and it was about 6.2k pounds the way they have it loaded out. Nothing too crazy, just your typical setup. Tongue weight was pushing 800 pounds. Keep in mind, those tongue weights usually do not include the propane tanks, batteries weight distributing hitch...... Lije @RyeHog said, once you start looking on the lots, you can look at the stickers and see the true weights. After weighing my buddies, I still made the determination it was too much for the Tundra to tow legally once I put gear and my family in the truck. This is the reason I just upgraded to a 2500 HD.

    I looked up your manual and a few things to set straight.

    1. Your truck is rated to tow 6,700 pounds. In my example above, you should come in right under that with a loaded trailer of 6,000 to 6,200 pounds. That is not the problem, your problem is payload....

    2. Your GVWR of the truck is 6,600 pounds and payload of 1,356. This tells me that your truck weighs roughly (6,600-1,356) 5,244 pounds. This is a completely stock truck with no cargo or passengers. Let's say you, your wife, and kids weigh 500 pounds. That counts toward your payload and is reduced to (1,356-500) 856 pounds. This means you can now put another 856 pounds in the truck to be legal. Hitch weight is included in this as mentioned above. Let's say the true hitch weight of your setup of the 2306 cones in at 700 pounds. You just reduced your payload by 700 pounds or down to 156 pounds remaining for the truck. Once you through in some gear, a generator, etc.... You are banging all up against your payload capacity.

    3. I personally would not go over the payload capacity of a vehicle with my family in it. If you are ever in a wreck, even though it is not your fault, it just became yours!

    4. As mentioned above, in a 1/2 ton truck, you will run out of payload way before you ever sniff getting up to the towing capacity of 6,700 pounds.

    5. Not saying the truck will not tow it, I am just talking about doing it "legally."
     
  19. Nov 22, 2020 at 12:56 AM
    #19
    Captain Tenneal

    Captain Tenneal New Member

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    I would agree with this assessment. I just towed 5,500 lbs with my 2005 DC (U-Haul trailer and car) and it did fine, but I could see another 1,000 lbs being much less comfortable, especially up steep grades and crosswinds. You are towing something that is 7+ feet longer and has a high, slab sided profile. The suspension and tires would be stressed under windy conditions unless you had stiffer springs and larger tires.

    On long trips I would not load more than 80-85% of towing capacity especially if it's high profile...
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020 at 1:05 AM
  20. Nov 22, 2020 at 1:39 AM
    #20
    LS Powah

    LS Powah New Member

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    Generally speaking, once you get very far past 20 feet, you are out of payload / tongue with a small 1/2 ton. Add propane, a WDH, mattress topper, groceries, in front of the trailer axle, with a truckload of people and or gear, and you are waaay over. Just filling up your fresh water tank can knock you out of spec. If you have any hill climb at all you will have white knuckles deluxe.
     
  21. Nov 22, 2020 at 8:01 AM
    #21
    carlemil

    carlemil New Member

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    I bought Micro Minnie 2225RL last month, it is same size as 2306BHS just different floorplan. I made 2 trips so far, around 600 miles of towing mostly flat country. The 2225RL is listed with 4540lb empty, 6000lb loaded max and 560lb tongue weight. I pull it with my 3rd gen Tundra rated at 9200lb for pulling and 1265lb for payload, and I use Husky Centerline TS weight distribution hitch with bars rated 800-1200lbs of tongue weight. I didn't go to scale yet, but me and my wife are about 340lbs, we have dog and 2 bikes, etc, so under 500lb combined in the truck itself. This leaves me with 760-800lb for tongue weight of the trailer and it seams adequate for fully loaded trailer. This tells me I can't really take anybody with us, just the two of us w/o being over truck payload limit. I would expect with your truck and this MM trailer you will be in the same range and limitations.

    As per Micro Minnie itself, my judgement might be clouded with excitement from new toy, but we love it from day one. I also wanted trailer with two axles and large wheels (in case of these models, there are two axles rated 2x4000lb, and the max weight of loaded trailer is 6000lb, so not running on 100% axles utilization...). I found choice of Micro Minnie or Hike line from Winnebago, and the more reasonably priced dealer in my area had only 2108DS and 2225RL on the lot. I don't need towing mirrors as the trailer is 7' wide. The wdh didn't really allowed any sway, towing was smooth and quiet. Inside, I found some water in the water heater area, have to investigate more, I suspect one of the bypass vents drips under pressure. I am 220lb and after 2-3 nights, the mattress was ready for replacement. I would wish for bigger grey tank - 4 short showers and little dish and hand washing made it full.
     

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