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Trailer Towing

Discussion in 'Towing & Hauling' started by Alderwood Country Club, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Jan 8, 2018 at 9:03 AM
    #1
    Alderwood Country Club

    Alderwood Country Club [OP] New Member

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    New here
    I bought my truck so I can tow a travel trailer. Retiring and traveling the USA/Canada with DW. Any tips?
    Any forum like this for Travel trailer folks?
    Thanks
     
  2. Jan 8, 2018 at 9:09 AM
    #2
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon SouthBoundSteve Fan Club President

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    @ColoradoTJ is an excellent resource on the subject...
     
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  3. Jan 8, 2018 at 10:38 AM
    #3
    gdiep

    gdiep New Member

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    What kind of TT are you towing? There are many of us on here that have TT's. Generally speaking, the Tundra has plenty of pulling power, but you have to be careful with the payload numbers.
     
  4. Jan 8, 2018 at 10:39 AM
    #4
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ #WAISTBAND

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    Welcome Victor. Glad to see you purchase the fastest, most powerful color. You will leave the MGM guys in the dust.

    Do you already have the travel trailer or looking at options? Please use the 80/20 rule. Only load up to 80% of your CGVWR.

    Buy a good Load Distribution Hitch for starters. A LDH is pretty easy to set up yourself. The first time will take multiple attempts, but then you will be confident making adjustments while away. (You know those souvenirs add up)

    Read your owners manual. Seriously. I was amazed at all the great information you can learn about your Tundra from just that simple task.

    Tires. You may want to see what brand and speed rating is on the TT when you buy it. I personally use 75 mph rated tires on my TT and 81 mph ones on my flatbed. If your wheels will support a road range E tire on the TT, might be a good idea. Towing at 65 mph sometimes is not optimal.

    Tundra tires...depending if you follow the 80/20 rule, I would wear out the factory ones and then replace with what you want. The sizing is difficult with the 18’s, so a LR E makes sense, just way overkill and your fuel economy will take a hit.

    Spare parts to carry with you in the truck:

    Fire extinguisher. There is one in the RV, but if it is on fire, I’m definitely not going in there to get it.

    Fuses for truck.

    Spare bulbs for truck.

    Adjust the headlights for when towing.

    Might want to carry a spare 5 gallon Jerry can. I carried 3, but I had the 26 gallon tank. Going into Canada, I would definitely take fuel.

    In RV:

    Tire pressure gauge and pump/ or CO2 tank. Keep your trailer tires inflated to the maximum cold pressure rating.

    One set of beatings pre-lubed and in a baggy. Bring some shop towels, some fine emory cloth to polish spindles if needed.

    Bring an electric brake assembly magnet. These can short out and be a real PITA.

    Tools. Hammer, nails, wire, cordless drill, 140 piece tool kit from Home Depot or similar.

    Sewer tablets.

    RV rated toilet paper.

    30/50 amp extension cord.

    I take a generator, so a Honda 3000, yes, even if I’m glamping in a RV Park. There has been a few times we lost power.

    I learned this the hard way, and another reason I bring a generator. Bring a couple small electric heaters.they are cheap, light and will save your comfort level just in case something happens to your furnace or propane. Once my furnace didn’t work (never figured that out, worked fine the next time out) and once I had a leak in the propane tank pigtails (change those out every couple of years, and the factory ones are junk, so you might as well just swap them out) and couldn’t use my propane. These little heaters kept my camper at 67* when it was freezing out.

    Buy the X-chock. Trust me and your welcome. You don’t want your RV moving....trust me.

    Buy some good leveling pads.

    Do yourself a favor and go buy some PVC from Home Depot and make your own sewer hose storage. The storage in the bumper sucks. Trust me on this one. There are several ways to mount the 5” pvc pipe.

    Have an extension for your sewer hose. Trust me on this one as well. Not all sites are created equal. It really sucks to drag up all your stuff and hook up, then move forward 24” to dump. Ask me how I know.....

    Towing insurance:

    I like going through Good Sams. They have an unlimited mileage in the event of machanical failure. This is a good thing in the middle of nowhere (ie, Canada) Use who you feel comfortable with, just know the policy limits.

    Have a blast. You’re retired, nowhere to be at any certain time.
    This holds true in most cases, but pulling into a site at night sucks, and I suggest against it. The best way to get RV damage is at night or in a hurry. Again, ask me how I know. Have your wife get out and help direct or visa versa. My queen towed 6k miles last year in some really rough weather. Having a pair of two way radios is a good thing.

    I’m sure there are things I left out, but I want to go shooting today and I’m in a bit of a hurry. I chime in later. We have some really good people on here with great ideas and resources.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2018 at 10:58 AM
    #5
    ldale

    ldale New Member

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    Don't forget that you will want a Quality Brake Controller. The IBC that comes on the Tundra is Hit & Miss as to whether it will work to your satisfaction. Most here op to change it out for the Prodigy P2 0r P3.
     
    ColoradoTJ likes this.
  6. Jan 8, 2018 at 11:10 AM
    #6
    Alderwood Country Club

    Alderwood Country Club [OP] New Member

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    Wow great info! What a great group.
    Haven’t bought a TT yet but looking at under 26-28 feet. My fav so far (after giant RV show) Forrest River Wildwood. Great winterizing. Under belly and pipes. Great heavy duty cabinet hinges. But now that I have my truck I can spend my time shopping for TT.
     
  7. Jan 8, 2018 at 12:09 PM
    #7
    gdiep

    gdiep New Member

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    Just be careful of the tongue weight on the TT. Tundra has a payload capacity of approx. 1400 lbs depending on model and trim. That includes the tongue weight of the trailer (fully loaded), weight of things you put in the bed, and all the weight of the passengers/cargo.

    As a reference, I have a 21 foot Hybrid TT with a fully loaded tongue weight of approx. 650 lbs. My Tundra has a payload capacity of around 1350 lbs. That leaves 700 lbs for me, my family, and the bikes (and stuff) we throw in the bed. Plenty of pulling power, just not a lot of payload.

    Check out ForestRiverForums.com - a forum for trailer owners. Some decent advice from owners there, but some of those guys can be pretty fanatical/ultra conservative about payload capacities.

    Agree with ColoradoTJ about what to have with your TT. The trailer forum will have a checklist of what you will need and also have some good pre-purchase advice and a checklist of what to go through before signing the papers.

    Good luck and congrats.
     
  8. Jan 8, 2018 at 12:20 PM
    #8
    too tall

    too tall New Member

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    I tow a 25' Airstream. Ask me anything.
    PS Good for you man.
     
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  9. Jan 8, 2018 at 1:36 PM
    #9
    TTund16

    TTund16 New Member

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    multiply the max towing capacity of ANY car by 0.75 and you should be fine. e.g. when they say 10500 lbs. it translates into 7875
    Toyota is not bad but for some other cars, I use 0.7 factor.
    In general, I feel more comfortable under 0.65 of listed capacity.
    the bs that the car companies list is ok if you want to crawl up hill ... lol

    if u want max towing capacity (e.g. 10500 lbs) buy a diesel.
     
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  10. Jan 8, 2018 at 4:53 PM
    #10
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ #WAISTBAND

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    I would also see if one of the members around your location will let you tow with their camper or flatbed trailer with a vehicle on it. Only downside to testing with a flatbed, you do not get the whole wind drag effect you get with a TT. If your in CO, feel free to yank mine around.

    My Realtor purchased a kick ass 18’ Tundra CM limited. They love it and will be trying out my camper soon. They were thinking of getting a 30’ TT, but I want them to tow my 28’ TT first to see if it is to much. Empty it is 7200 without anything (supposed to be 6400 lbs).

    We have awesome members that will help you out in a heartbeat. Trust me.

    Another option is to rent a TT to see what you like/don’t like. You may be surprised.
     
  11. Jan 8, 2018 at 5:51 PM
    #11
    classic17

    classic17 New Member

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    Some good advice there.
     
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  12. Jan 16, 2018 at 10:34 PM
    #12
    FlyingAroundRV

    FlyingAroundRV New Member

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    Hi
    I just joined as well. I'm another one interested in towing a travel trailer.
    I live in Australia, and we are coming over later this year to purchase a travel trailer that we've selected (Keystone Outback 272UFL) The max gross weight is 7600# and the overall length is 31'9".
    After seeing all the problems reported with the Ford and GM trucks, we've decided to buy a (Used) Tundra to pull the trailer.
    Looking through the specs, it shows that the 5.7L will pull 10,000 odd pounds, but that says with the tow package.
    My questions are:
    1) Can a full tow package* be retrofitted to a truck that doesn't already have it, and is it necessary/worth it?
    2) According to CarComplaints.com, the 2013 and 2015 model year Tundras generated the fewest complaints. I'd like to get some feedback of other members' opinions on the various MY problems they may have had.

    *The full tow package for the year truck I am considering (2013) consists of
    Receiver hitch
    Lower rear axle ratio
    Tow/haul switch
    Trans fluid temp gauge
    Supplemental engine cooler
    Supplemental trans cooler
    HD battery
    170A Alternator
    And of course the 7 pin connector.

    Thanks everybody for helping.
     
  13. Jan 17, 2018 at 12:36 PM
    #13
    gdiep

    gdiep New Member

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    You should find one with a tow package. Plenty of them out there with factory tow package and 5.7L.
    2013 should be pretty good. 2014 and newer have updated interiors (worth it) and slightly different exteriors (a matter of taste).

    The rule of thumb on travel trailers is to have the tongue weight somewhere between 10-15% of the gross weight. For a trailer with a gross weight of 7600#, that means the tongue weight should be between 760-1140#. This helps balance the load so you don't get too much porpoising or sway. A good WDH helps, but balancing the tongue weight is a factor. I try to put about 12% of the trailer weight on the tongue.

    If you put 12% on the tongue, you would have about 970#s on the tongue. Then, you have to be really conservative about what other weight you put in the Tundra (passengers and cargo). I believe that a double cab has more payload capacity than a crew cab since the double cab weighs less. If you buy a limited, it has less payload capacity because it weighs more.

    My experience with the Tundra is that it is a good tow vehicle. However, the payload capacity runs out rather quickly.
     
  14. Jan 17, 2018 at 2:13 PM
    #14
    FlyingAroundRV

    FlyingAroundRV New Member

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    Thanks heaps for that. That is consistent with all that I've read so far except the 12% part. That is new to me and sounds about right. As it will only be my wife and I in the truck, I think we should be OK for max payload limit on the Tundra. I read somewhere that the max payload for the 5.7L model that we looking for is about 1400-odd#, so I think we shouldn't be overloading it if we're careful.
     
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  15. Jan 17, 2018 at 3:20 PM
    #15
    gdiep

    gdiep New Member

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    You should be good then. For our family of 5, we try to carry lighter things in the bed and put heavier things like the cooler in the trailer. If you put 100 lbs into the trailer and it is distributed properly, then only 12 lbs is added to the tongue. Pulling power is not an issue with the 5.7
     
  16. Jan 17, 2018 at 3:28 PM
    #16
    jfrd30

    jfrd30 Lead, Follow, or Get the Hell Out of My Way

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    Hey Victor, one thing I've found is that the Tundra is a good tow vehicle, but not for the really heavy stuff. You'll find that you're kind of limited on the size of 5th wheeler you can pull with a Tundra, but from the size you described, you should be fairly well off. I was pulling a 26 ft TT and had no problems.
     
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  17. Jan 17, 2018 at 3:45 PM
    #17
    FlyingAroundRV

    FlyingAroundRV New Member

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    Hmm, very good point also!
     
  18. Jan 17, 2018 at 3:53 PM
    #18
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ #WAISTBAND

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    All about terrain and where one is pulling. The flats, the Tundra can easily pull it max tow rating. Start hitting passes and Offroad conditions....gets pretty sporty.
     
  19. Jan 17, 2018 at 5:06 PM
    #19
    jeremyd

    jeremyd 2014 Crewmax SR5

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    Just wanted to add, I definitely do not know everything about towing but I promise you that you will panic when you pull into that gas station ! lol , Towing Travel trailers around can be very daunting due to the size.
     
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  20. Jan 17, 2018 at 5:40 PM
    #20
    gdiep

    gdiep New Member

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    Amen to that brother. I average about 9-10mpgs towing my travel trailer.
     
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  21. Jan 17, 2018 at 5:50 PM
    #21
    jeremyd

    jeremyd 2014 Crewmax SR5

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    yea, your right about the mpg's, I really meant the limited space at the gas stations. Passenger cars just look at TT'S like your in their way and don't realize that your movement is very limited.
     
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  22. Jan 17, 2018 at 6:11 PM
    #22
    FlyingAroundRV

    FlyingAroundRV New Member

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    Yes, we plan to park the TT before filling up whenever possible.
    Unfortunately, I think that people sometimes leave their brains at home when filling up at the gas station. Once when we were on our recent US trip, I had a guy in front of our class C, who had already filled and paid, just sit at the pump while he was looking at maps or texting or something. After about 5 minutes waiting on him, I finally lost patience and honked the horn. It still took him another minute to move.
     
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  23. Jan 17, 2018 at 6:34 PM
    #23
    Coolhardy

    Coolhardy New Member

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    I average 9-10mpgs in my Tundra and that is w/out TT.:eek:
     
  24. Jan 17, 2018 at 7:32 PM
    #24
    FlyingAroundRV

    FlyingAroundRV New Member

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    Is that the 5.7L? If so, is that normal for that size engine?
     
  25. Jan 18, 2018 at 5:40 AM
    #25
    gdiep

    gdiep New Member

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    I have a crewmax 5.7l with 4wd. I average about 13 mpg in normal driving (mostly suburban type traffic). I average 9-10 mpg towing my TT (mostly highway type driving). If I were towing the TT in mostly stop and go traffic, I bet the mpg would be around 7-8.
     
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  26. Jan 18, 2018 at 6:40 AM
    #26
    classic17

    classic17 New Member

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    I'm getting about the same as others; around 12-13mpg around town, 14 highway and 9-10 pulling our 22' TT. Mine is a DC 5.7 4wd.
     
  27. Jan 25, 2018 at 2:09 AM
    #27
    PlatPro

    PlatPro New Member

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    2014 Platinum, TRD Pro Suspension , Truxedo Bed Cover, Vent Shade Rain Guards, Tint match windows,TRD Exhaust, Linex, Custom Dyno Tune, TRD SwayBar, and just started.
    1) I put a TransferFlow replacement tank in my 2014 Tundra. ( 46 Gallon tank) My trailer LOA is 34', weight 8,900lb fully loaded. (Boat). With gas stations in New England designed for the Honda Fit and Mini Cooper, Its awful finding a station you can swing into and out of.
    2). Real tow mirrors.
    3). Anything you can do to up-grade brakes is a huge plus. I have a 4 disk electric over hydraulic brake system in my trailer. When you need to go from 65MPH to 0 quickly on a down hill slope, all the braking power you can get.
    4) As mentioned before, best quality and highest load rating tires you can find for your trailer.
    5) Spare bearing pre-packed as mentioned before.
    6). Make sure the jack being used for the trailer is flat enough to get under and tall enough to lift hight.
    7) Always have a stop plan "B" available. If having a bad day on the road, having a place to stop for the day 2/3 to your destination is always nice.
    8). In your cell phone, there is a notes function; use it and make a to do list, restock list, and fix it list for the trailer.
    9). And most importantly, Take your time, have fun and cheers to you and the 1 million new great memories in your future.
     
  28. Jan 25, 2018 at 5:09 AM
    #28
    GoCboys

    GoCboys New Member

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    Welcome and congrats to you and our new Aussie friend. You’ve got the right tow vehicle (whole reason I chose Tundra) now go find your RV and have fun doing so. Picking one can be similar to the choosing the right Tundra - so many options.

    Agree with all the above advice. My $.02 would be to allow time to enjoy. Don’t push yourself 300-400 miles a day and still expect to get to your campground and have time to enjoy. There is a learning curve to be able to arrive at campground, unpack, setup, enjoy, and then get up the next morning, repack, load and get back down the road. Some nights you will stay hitched and sometimes you want the Tundra available to go explore.

    I sometimes grin at all the $ that we/others are spending on mods for the Tundra until I remember how much I’ve spent on my TT. Wouldn’t change a thing! Pictured is my 2008 CM Limited with our 31’ Rockwood. Camped in 15 states. Recently upgraded Tundra and looking forward to more adventures. A24A7F4F-6912-408B-B1C8-A274B3F3602A.jpg
     
  29. May 5, 2018 at 1:45 PM
    #29
    Wags999

    Wags999 New Member

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    AS others have said, the most important number is your cargo capacity. If you look at the drivers door jamb you should see a yellow sticker, which will have the cargo capacity as built. From this number you need to deduct, all passengers, cargo, hitch and tongue weight of RV when loaded. Don't look at the factory numbers for tongue weight as those typically don't include propane, batteries or cargo loaded in the RC. Typically you run out of cargo capacity long before you run out of towing capacity. Towing over cargo capacity can put undue stress not only on the transmission but axels etc. That being said, we have 1528 cargo capacity, just my wife and I with minimal cargo in truck, and we pull a 27RLS Jayco, total length 30'. Trailer loaded is about 7200 lbs. We tow all over Colorado and have had no issues..we average 9 to 11 mpg towing depending on terrain. Non towing we get 18 to 20 around town, slightly more when highway driving on flat terrain. We LOVE out Tundra !
     

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