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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone! Up until recently my husband used to answer all my car questions. He was a wealth of gear head knowledge. Unfortunately, he is not with us anymore. Now I am trying to figure out the things that I never dealt with, such as the true towing capacity of our 2003 Tundra 4x4 with the V8 but no towing package. We have been using it to haul a 2000 lb Viking pop-up, but in an attempt to make my life a little easier, I would like to upgrade to an Aerolite Cub 185 Hybrid camper. The unloaded vehicle weight is 3492 lbs. with cargo capacity being 1508 lbs. If I read the tech specs correctly, our truck is maxed out at towing 5,000 lbs, which means I probably shouldn't tow that camper with it. I'm hoping it's not true! Could help me out here? I would really appreciate some experienced yay's or ney's!
 

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My experience is that you would be fine.

This TT is designed to be towed by lighter duty vehicles - mid size SUV's and 1/2 ton pickups.

Sure the camper is heavier, but not a lot plus you are moving up from a single axel on the trailer to a double which helps disposition that extra weight for you.

Last time I bought a TT and wasn't sure if my truck was enough I told the person I was buying it from that I needed to hook it to my truck and take it for a test tow. That would give you a lot of help in making the decision.
 

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Weight wise you will be fine, however, at highway speeds you are going to really notice the drag of the new camper...I mean, it will be significant and it will absolutely destroy your mileage as compared to the pop-up which had no drag to speak of (especially if there is any wind). But...the Tundra will be just fine with the hybrid camper's weight. Also, from what I can it looks like that truck is rated at 7200 pounds towing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feedback! I'm not as concerned with the mileage as I am the extra wear and tear of the truck. Of course, I had not considered the drag that the Hybrid will create. We don't go too far right now, only about 60-100 miles from home. The kids still get antsy and intolerable on longer trips lol! The max rating for our truck is 5,000 lbs because we don't have the towing package that would increase it to the 7,200 lbs you mentioned. Wish we had know then what we know now, of course! Is there anything I can do/add now that will benefit our towing ability? I'm assuming (always dangerous) that retro-fitting a towing package is expensive and not easily doable.
 

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I guess if I were you my main concern would be keeping the trans cool. Maybe someone will pipe up and say whether a transmission cooler can be easily added to your truck. After that maintenance is key to a happy tow vehicle. Fresh engine oil, clean transmission oil, and serviced axles go a long way!
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, after a lot of looking and making several appts. to see campers over the weekend, I found a listing for a 2001 Coleman Niagara Elite last night. I went to see it this morning and it has everything I was hoping for: clean and clear canvas, bump out, tons of space and storage. Plus, it's not over weight so I'm sticking with a pup :) Can't wait to pick it up and go camping! Thanks for your great feedback!
 

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Good luck with your adventures! For future reference, if your trips are always less than 100 miles each way then you should be fine with a Hybrid camper and no tow package unless you are towing in serious elevation gains or in extreme temps. To properly outfit your Tundra for the tow package would not be cheap as you would need to install a transmission cooler, larger alternator and larger battery but you could get away with just the transmission cooler if you ever decided on the Hybrid in the future. In any case, sounds like it's not needed now.
 
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