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Discussion Starter #1
I just picked up my Toy Hauler rental that I will be towing this weekend. I had a good 1hr drive in it and I was pretty shocked. It's dry weight is about 7k, so I'm guessing it's closer to 7750 or so with generator and other small things. I tow a 6k# boat trailer and it handles it like a champ (~8-9mpg), so I thought it wasn't going to be much different.

From all the talk on the forums, I thought the biggest issue would be sway and stability. I thought it felt ROCK solid with an equalizer hitch. Driving by semi-trucks posed no issues at all.

My biggest complaint wasn't stability, but rather performance. I was shocked how poorly the tundra did (2014 5.7l crewmax). It felt like it barely moved.
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On the freeway going 75mph, it stayed at 4.5k rpm's and I averaged ~4mpg. I thought I was supposed to average around ~8. When I was on the side streets going 45, the mpg got better and was around 6 or so. The only thing I could think of is over that 45 min drive there is a 500ft elevation gain, so I'm driving a little up the entire time.

I always thought the Tundra did great with my 6k boat, but I guess that extra 2k really put a damper on things. Does that all sound about right?
 

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First of all the toy hauler is a big parachute compared to your boat. 2nd the extra weight is important. 3rd yes, going up hill makes a difference. Are you using manual mode letting it shift automatically? I avg 10 mpg towing about 7k about 70 mph in my 17'. What elevation are you at?

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Discussion Starter #3
First of all the toy hauler is a big parachute compared to your boat. 2nd the extra weight is important. 3rd yes, going up hill makes a difference. Are you using manual mode letting it shift automatically? I avg 10 mpg towing about 7k about 70 mph in my 17'. What elevation are you at?

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I put it into tow/haul mode and let it do it's work. I didn't shift anything.

I'm around 1500'.

2 things to add though.

1. I do have bigger tires. I have lightweight 18" rims but 285/75/18 tires. My normal MPG is 13-ish.

2. I realized this morning that even though we installed the WDH, we didn't level out the truck. So the back was definitely 2" lower than the front. I'm sure that effects aerodynamics. I will adjust the hitch today. As an aside, do I wan't the front and back completely level or to mimic the ratio the truck is when not towing (I believe my rear is higher by a little than front)
 

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With that much weight you may not be able to get it all the way level even adjusted correctly. Depends on the tongue weight. The tires definitely make a difference. Try slowing down a little 65 is a good target and using the S mode to select 4th gear. It will still downshift if it needs to, but will prevent unnecessary up shifts and will keep your trans cooler by locking the torque converter.

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Discussion Starter #5
With that much weight you may not be able to get it all the way level even adjusted correctly. Depends on the tongue weight. The tires definitely make a difference. Try slowing down a little 65 is a good target and using the S mode to select 4th gear. It will still downshift if it needs to, but will prevent unnecessary up shifts and will keep your trans cooler by locking the torque converter.

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OK. Will be a bit difficult when the speed limit is 75 and everyone is going 85 LOL. I'll have ti play it by ear. If I have to fill up an extra time or two that is better than driving for an extra 2 hours.

So I should use tow/haul mode? Or only on hills?

I know it sounds silly, but it's fine for the engine to be at 4.5k+ for such extended periods of time? A large part of the drive there is uphill so I imagine I will be at that for hours!
 

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You can leave tow haul on all the time. It makes the throttle response more sensitive and adjusts the shift points, but you really just need to to slow down some. Running the truck that hard for that long can't be good for it. Besides that RV tires are generally only rated up to 65 mph generally speaking.

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Discussion Starter #7
You can leave tow haul on all the time. It makes the throttle response more sensitive and adjusts the shift points, but you really just need to to slow down some. Running the truck that hard for that long can't be good for it. Besides that RV tires are generally only rated up to 65 mph generally speaking.

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I had no idea. Thanks for letting me know. I thought 75 was totally ok as that's literally the speed limit and I'm not sure I have ever seen someone going below that except for on steep grades (obviously)
 

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Speed limit is just that. A limit not to exceed. Not that many pay attention. Take your time and don't blow up your truck :)

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Here in Az when I tow my 25 ft toyhauler at 9k lbs I avg 8 mpg at 75 mph which I always thought was terrible but at least the big rigs don't bully me. Most of the 8 and 10 hwy is steady climbing so the rpm stay around 3 to 4k depending upon how steep the hill is. The truck is a 08 with 160k miles on it and i purchased it to tow and tow hard. All I can say is if change the fluids regularly and do the maintenance the Tundra will handle what you throw at it. I do have a 6 inch lift and 35" tires with rear airbags so it tows well at speed.
 

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It's physics man.

That toy hauler trailer is pushing a ton of air. The force generated by the air alone is the coeficient of drag multiplied by the air velocity Squared! So, a large trailer, at high speed, creates a huge amount of drag. The difference between pulling at 65 mph vs. 75 mph is 33% more drag. And 75 vs 55 is 125% more drag. And God forbid you are driving into a headwind of any kind. And up hill, with all that extra weight.

If you want better mileage, and to make your truck have a nice long life, I suggest slowing down. Like pulling this thing at 55-60 mph. And stop using the cruise control. Downshift the transmission to 4th and use the throttle to keep the truck in 4th gear without shifting. You will wear the transmission out quick if you let it constantly shift up and down. Try to keep the torque converter locked up and keep the transmission in 4th gear without downshifting as much as possible.

You are not going to do any better than about 8 mpg, even slowing down, with a trailer that size at highway speed. No matter what you pull it with (unless you get a diesel engine).
 

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If the are load range e trailer tires, they are only rated for 75 mph. If they are load range c or d, they are only rated for 65 mph. Tow/Haul engaged, cruise off, S4 or S5 and target speed 60-65 mph/3000 rpm are the best operating parameters for your Tundra and that rig.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK guys, so I went on the trip and it was a mostly positive experience!

I'll start with the good. It was very easy to drive with the trailer as soon as I got used to it. There were literally times when I ALMOST forgot I was towing anything. I had no problem keeping up with the flow of traffic about 95% of the time. Both in the city and the freeway. I was probably going around 65mph most of the time and I could get to 75-80 at limited times when needed for passing. Declines were very easy as well, even at 8% grades I had no issues. I would manually put it in a lower gear and almost never had to use the brakes. I think getting over the hump of being ok at being at 4k+ all the time was a big part of the "getting used to it" period. Stability was good and it felt easy to tow 99% of the time. Passing semi's or semi's passing had absolutely no discernable sway for me.

The bad mostly boils down to engine. First of all, I got anywhere from 4 to 7 MPG the entire time. The entire trip average was about 6mpg. For me, stopping every ~100 miles to fill up was more annoying than the $$ wasted though. I would look into an extended gas tank if I towed often.

On the way to our first site (7hrs), I was driving extremely laid back and was really just getting used to the towing. I had a pleasant drive with only 1 time where I was trying to pass and couldn't (uphill). The annoyances came on my drive back when I was already fully comfortable with driving it and was less ok with being stuck behind a slow car (let's say someone going 60 in a 65). The issue is that 60mph is exactly the worst speed. 55-60 is the top end of 2nd gear and I would never have an issue gaining speed. But 60-65 is at the bottom end (middle to be most accurate) of 3rd gear and there was times when I would be flooring it for exactly zero progress. Uphill's were surprisingly not too big an issue, but I did spend alot of time at 5k+ rpms to keep up to speed.

I was probably between 4 and 5.5k for the entire drive. Which cannot be good for the engine. So even though overall it was an easy tow, I wouldn't want to tow with the tundra with any kind of frequency. Unless someone tells me these engines are designed to be reliable with this kind of high rpm long term driving, I feel like it would lead to the engine blowing up sooner or later haha.

My last comment is about the 1% of time when stability wasn't great. There was exactly 2 times in my 20+ hours of driving that either the road or an unexpected high wind burst turned into a few second white knuckle situation. Then there were sections of road that went a few miles at a time that I would feel wiredness through the steering wheel. I don't know if it's from high wind or the road, but it would almost feel like the trailer pulling my car forward and back. I don't know how to describe it exactly. It didn't make me feel on edge or anything, just made it feel a little less stable than normal and I would have to pay more attention.

Anyways, overall if you are OK with taking it slow and steady it did great. I'm thinking about an F250 with the 6.7L diesel or 7.3L gas V8 though.
 

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OK guys, so I went on the trip and it was a mostly positive experience!

I'll start with the good. It was very easy to drive with the trailer as soon as I got used to it. There were literally times when I ALMOST forgot I was towing anything. I had no problem keeping up with the flow of traffic about 95% of the time. Both in the city and the freeway. I was probably going around 65mph most of the time and I could get to 75-80 at limited times when needed for passing. Declines were very easy as well, even at 8% grades I had no issues. I would manually put it in a lower gear and almost never had to use the brakes. I think getting over the hump of being ok at being at 4k+ all the time was a big part of the "getting used to it" period. Stability was good and it felt easy to tow 99% of the time. Passing semi's or semi's passing had absolutely no discernable sway for me.

The bad mostly boils down to engine. First of all, I got anywhere from 4 to 7 MPG the entire time. The entire trip average was about 6mpg. For me, stopping every ~100 miles to fill up was more annoying than the $$ wasted though. I would look into an extended gas tank if I towed often.

On the way to our first site (7hrs), I was driving extremely laid back and was really just getting used to the towing. I had a pleasant drive with only 1 time where I was trying to pass and couldn't (uphill). The annoyances came on my drive back when I was already fully comfortable with driving it and was less ok with being stuck behind a slow car (let's say someone going 60 in a 65). The issue is that 60mph is exactly the worst speed. 55-60 is the top end of 2nd gear and I would never have an issue gaining speed. But 60-65 is at the bottom end (middle to be most accurate) of 3rd gear and there was times when I would be flooring it for exactly zero progress. Uphill's were surprisingly not too big an issue, but I did spend alot of time at 5k+ rpms to keep up to speed.

I was probably between 4 and 5.5k for the entire drive. Which cannot be good for the engine. So even though overall it was an easy tow, I wouldn't want to tow with the tundra with any kind of frequency. Unless someone tells me these engines are designed to be reliable with this kind of high rpm long term driving, I feel like it would lead to the engine blowing up sooner or later haha.

My last comment is about the 1% of time when stability wasn't great. There was exactly 2 times in my 20+ hours of driving that either the road or an unexpected high wind burst turned into a few second white knuckle situation. Then there were sections of road that went a few miles at a time that I would feel wiredness through the steering wheel. I don't know if it's from high wind or the road, but it would almost feel like the trailer pulling my car forward and back. I don't know how to describe it exactly. It didn't make me feel on edge or anything, just made it feel a little less stable than normal and I would have to pay more attention.

Anyways, overall if you are OK with taking it slow and steady it did great. I'm thinking about an F250 with the 6.7L diesel or 7.3L gas V8 though.
Dude!!! I am not telling you how to drive but you need to SLOW DOWN!!! You may feel free to rant at me all you want!!! But, that speed could be your families doom someday! You may ask me about some of the accidents I have seen and almost seen with excessive speed while towing! You are not racing people pulling a trailer!

Quit complaining about the power and gas mileage when you are towing at 80 mph!!! People are telling you above of how you need to be towing and you are not listening! You will be one of the slowest (Even slower than the trailer trucks) on the road. 60-65 mph on normal interstates is just fine. The speed limits you see are the maximum speed, not the minimum. If the speed limit is 85 mph, fine! At 60-65 mph you just have to watch the traffic behind you and not in front. And, make fun at all of the idiots pulling their toy haulers with their overloaded 3/4 ton trucks driving over 75 mph.

We just finished a six week 5300 mile trip in the western US driving thru various terrain including a lot of mountains. Some weather and stiff winds. Not one white knuckle moment!!! Kept the safety of my family in mind the whole way, even when tired. When rushed, I just remember an image of an accident I have seen burned into my mind. It is of a body on the ground under a white sheet laying near a wrecked one ton truck rolled over on its top towing a fifth wheel.

Enough said. Please stay safe out there!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Dude!!! I am not telling you how to drive but you need to SLOW DOWN!!! You may feel free to rant at me all you want!!! But, that speed could be your families doom someday! You may ask me about some of the accidents I have seen and almost seen with excessive speed while towing! You are not racing people pulling a trailer!

Quit complaining about the power and gas mileage when you are towing at 80 mph!!! People are telling you above of how you need to be towing and you are not listening! You will be one of the slowest (Even slower than the trailer trucks) on the road. 60-65 mph on normal interstates is just fine. The speed limits you see are the maximum speed, not the minimum. If the speed limit is 85 mph, fine! At 60-65 mph you just have to watch the traffic behind you and not in front. And, make fun at all of the idiots pulling their toy haulers with their overloaded 3/4 ton trucks driving over 75 mph.

We just finished a six week 5300 mile trip in the western US driving thru various terrain including a lot of mountains. Some weather and stiff winds. Not one white knuckle moment!!! Kept the safety of my family in mind the whole way, even when tired. When rushed, I just remember an image of an accident I have seen burned into my mind. It is of a body on the ground under a white sheet laying near a wrecked one ton truck rolled over on its top towing a fifth wheel.

Enough said. Please stay safe out there!!!
I definitely won't rant at you and always appreciate feedback.

I never felt like I was going too fast though? Those 2 times when I described a white knuckle situation, didn't seem speed related. I was driving 65 most of the time, so as I said it wasn't speed related. I wasn't driving faster because I was in a hurry. I definitely wasn't in a hurry. But if I'm behind a car going 55 in a 65, why would I sit there behind him for hours? Where I would normally drive on these "empty" roads with noone in front of me for LONG periods of time, sitting behind someone feels more dangerous than a short passing. That's when I would need to speed up. Most of the interstate here is one lane going each way, and the passing 2 lanes are for short periods of time. Plus when you start passing these idiots, they always speed up a little on purpose (or they are reminded they are going slow when they see someone passing them). So I end up needed to go 70-75 mph to pass them.
 
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