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Old 01-10-2010, 09:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question New 6,500 lb travel trailer...Tow well or ? ?

I've got a 2008 Tundra CM 2wd with 5.7, tow package, 18" wheels. 4.30 gears.
We picked up a new 2010 Keystone Sprinter 30' travel trailer that weighs in at 6,500 lbs unloaded.

I bought a weight distributing hitch, and a good proportional brake controller.

Should I expect the Tundra to handle this load fairly well, in "as is" form?

I would imagine adding another 1,000 lbs in people / gear to the truck / trailer, so I'll round up to 8,000 lbs fully loaded going down the road.

I've given some serious consideration to the TRD supercharger....am I going to need the extra HP/Torque? (of course it couldn't hurt, but that's another $6500 I'll have to spend)

What are your thoughts? I haven't brought the trailer home yet...so I'm anxious to know how it will do.

Thanks!!
Dan
N. Carolina
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think the truck will handle it just fine. What kind of weight distribution hitch did you get? If you got the type with chains and snap-up brackets and a friction sway control that attaches to the side of the tongue you will probably want to upgrade. I had one and I could never get it to work well, even when the dealer set it up. I bought an Equalizer brand hitch and it made a night and day difference in how it towed. As far as power, you will be fine.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prov431 View Post
I've got a 2008 Tundra CM 2wd with 5.7, tow package, 18" wheels. 4.30 gears.
We picked up a new 2010 Keystone Sprinter 30' travel trailer that weighs in at 6,500 lbs unloaded.

I bought a weight distributing hitch, and a good proportional brake controller.

Should I expect the Tundra to handle this load fairly well, in "as is" form?

I would imagine adding another 1,000 lbs in people / gear to the truck / trailer, so I'll round up to 8,000 lbs fully loaded going down the road.

I've given some serious consideration to the TRD supercharger....am I going to need the extra HP/Torque? (of course it couldn't hurt, but that's another $6500 I'll have to spend)

What are your thoughts? I haven't brought the trailer home yet...so I'm anxious to know how it will do.

Thanks!!
Dan
N. Carolina
Tow experts will chime in here, but my 23' Chaparral and trailer weigh in around 6500-7000 lb. Haven't had a chance to weigh it. I know you are supposed to use a weight distributing hitch over 5000 lbs, but I don't have one yet. When I drop the trailer onto the hitch, the bumper doesn't budge and the front bumper doesn't move up either. I tow it about 2 1/2 hours on the interstate and you wouldn't even know it's back there. Handling and breaking are superb. (trailer has electric surge breaks). No mods.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a cherokee 28a+ camper it weights 6000 dry I figure with gear and stuff im pushing 7500lbs or better drug it all last summer up through the adirondaks here in ny and stuff never an issue the 5.7 has plenty of stock umh was very pleased with the truck does a great job I have a dealer set up reese dual cam hitch works flawlessly also very happy with my setup and as it stands would buy another tundra hands down
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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"Truckers say they want blah blah blah..." I love those commercials.

I have a 32' travel trailer and an 08 Crewmax 5.7 Limited. An estimated wieght of, fully loaded with all our stuff for 2 weeks of camping with 2 kids 2 dogs and the wife, around 9500lbs. The Tundra has plenty of power. The gas mileage SUCKS....average of 8mpg!! I towed it to Maine from Virginia and back last summer. With it setup properly and a good weight distribution and anti-sway hitch, I use the Equalizer, it tows it great. I did add a spring helper, Road Master Active Suspension, to combat the bounce or porposing which helped a lot (also gave me 2" height in the rear for future leveling kit).

The key is to know your vehicle and its capabilities. Use the Tow Haul mode and use the manual gear changing to slow down and have a good break controller. You should be fine.

I have thought about the supercharger option too but not sure if it will give e what I am looking for, other than an added smile on my face!! I am investing in E rated tires. The stock BFGoodrich have 30k and need to be replaced already. I can directly attribute it to towing the weight of the camper as often as I do.

Good luck and let us know what you think.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ahh, this is all good news. I'm glad to see some similar tow set ups too.

I bought a (probably very standard) round bar WDH with chains, no sway control add ons.

When I pick the camper up next weekend, I may look into an upgraded unit before final installation. The RV dealer (good guy) suggested which WDH...he didn't try to upgrade me to anything more expensive saying that he had the one I was getting and has had great results with it for quite some time.

I didn't skimp on the brake controller...should be set up well there.

I'm not too concerned with MPG...more would be nice, but when you're towing with your daily driver and not a dedicated "big rig" you really can't complain much.

I'm excited to see how it does....I won't expect awesome 0-60 times, but as long as it doesn't struggle, I'll be a happy camper.

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would try to trade that standard WDH in for something like the Reese dual-cam or Equalizer. You will really be happier with it. You will need some type of sway control also. The friction type sliding arms pretty much are worthless. The reese dual-cam or Equalizer have sway control built in so you will not need anything extra.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prov431 View Post
Ahh, this is all good news. I'm glad to see some similar tow set ups too.

I bought a (probably very standard) round bar WDH with chains, no sway control add ons.

When I pick the camper up next weekend, I may look into an upgraded unit before final installation. The RV dealer (good guy) suggested which WDH...he didn't try to upgrade me to anything more expensive saying that he had the one I was getting and has had great results with it for quite some time.

I didn't skimp on the brake controller...should be set up well there.

I'm not too concerned with MPG...more would be nice, but when you're towing with your daily driver and not a dedicated "big rig" you really can't complain much.

I'm excited to see how it does....I won't expect awesome 0-60 times, but as long as it doesn't struggle, I'll be a happy camper.

Thanks,
Dan
I tow a 30ft trailer that has a GVWR of 6500lbs. I have a family of four and a doublecab with the 5.7 and 4:30 gears. I had a previous trailer that I towed with a 5.4 Ford in an Explodition. There is no comparison. The Tundra tows, stops and doesn't sway.

I have the round bars with chains and a friction anti-sway. It took me all the way to the Grand Canyon and back with no issues (I live in Missouri). You will find the Tundra does a great job. I find myself passing many of the diesel trucks pulling campers. The 4:30 gears help tremendously.

I have gotten as high as 11.5mpg on the interstate, but I average around 10mpg. The key is to keep the RPM's lower than or right around 2,000.

AND DON'T PUT THE TRUCK IN TOW/HAUL AND ALSO TRY TO MANUAL SHIFT! The tow/haul mode does all the braking and downshifting for you. People think they are smarter and know when to shift, but the truck is engineered to do all the braking and downshifting while in tow/haul mode.

Happy Camping!
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the informative replies, I really appreciate it.
I'll take a hard look at the WDH, but other than that, I think it's going to be good to go!
Time and miles will tell....I'll report back after I do some driving.

Thanks again,
Dan
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think you'll be fine with that setup, but I'd like to know if you change out the "standard" WDH for whatever the other member suggested, can you really tell a difference?
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I had the round bar design with chains and it worked good on my utility trailer where sway is not really an issue. I hated it for my camper though. I did research and bought an Equalizer and it made towing so much more comfortable. The "pucker" factor was gone along with the white nuckles. Also with the friction sway control, it is recommended that you remove them in rain, snow, or ice. That is ridiculous to me. The Equalizer and Reese Dual-Cam can be used in any situation and does not have to be removed when backing up.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have a fairly light trailer (est 6500 lbs loaded) and I've never had the pucker factor occur with my standard WDH. I wasn't aware of the information on the friction sway bar in cold or wet conditions...but it makes sense. I'll have to see if I have any issues with the friction sway bar since those other WDH setups are very expensive.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Towing will be quite enjoyable. I pull a 30 foot Jayco - 6500# dry - about 8000# loaded. I use a standard weight distribution hitch and a Reese friction sway bar. I don't have any problems at all. Just have to make sure the friction sway bar is tightened down enough. I'm quite comfortable towing with it. However, if you don't have a sway bar, you will notice it eventually as an involuntary pucker if you know what I mean. Had this happen not too long ago, then I realized I hadn't tightened down the friction sway bar. Happy travels!!!
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I upgraded the WDH to a Husky Centerline, which has the piston / anti-sway technology. Has great reviews, similar to the Equalizer, but less noisey, easier initial set up, no post set up adjustment required.
Should be good to go now, thanks for the suggestions regarding upgrading the WDH.

-Dan
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prov431 View Post
I upgraded the WDH to a Husky Centerline, which has the piston / anti-sway technology. Has great reviews, similar to the Equalizer, but less noisey, easier initial set up, no post set up adjustment required.
Should be good to go now, thanks for the suggestions regarding upgrading the WDH.

-Dan
That's a nice WDH. I also recommend the equalizer and the reese-dual cam.

Travel trailers have more towing issues than boats, due to surface area.

Have fun and be safe!!!!!

These trucks have plenty of power!

I agree about using tow/haul mode and full-auto. Except for going down steep, long hills. I then downshift to 3 or 2, so that the motor holds the truck back. Keeping the brakes cool for an emergency stop.
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