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Sick feeling about a trailer I just bought

Discussion in 'Towing' started by Taneycoma, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. Sep 21, 2009 at 3:18 PM
    #1
    Taneycoma

    Taneycoma [OP] New Member

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    Reading an earlier post and resulting advice about the guy with the 6,000 lb. travel trailer has me worried. I just bought a trailer with a dry weight of approx. 4700 lbs. I have an 05, double cab SR5 with an aftermarket tow package installed (by the dealer, but subbed out to a trailer shop). It has a tranny cooler and the 7-round wiring plug. But now I realize that instead of the 6500 capacity I had in my mind, do I only have 5000 because of the aftermarket (not factory) tow package?

    I haven't picked up the trailer yet but have plans to do so in a couple weeks. Am I gonna have to put this trailer up for sale as soon as I get it home? Will I be able to even get it home?

    Would a weight-distribution hitch help? Or am I asking for a miserable towing experience even with a WD hitch, brake controller and all that? I know when loaded up for a camping trip, we'd have at least 5800 pounds behind us.
     
  2. Sep 22, 2009 at 2:32 AM
    #2
    FoxySandChick

    FoxySandChick Well-Known Member

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    What did the dealer say would be your towing capacity? I think the factory tow package has tranny and oil coolers?

    Weight distribution hitch would help, but you might need to upgrade the rear suspension with something like airbags or add a leaf. Absolutely add a brake controller.
    Did you buy the trailer from a dealer, they should have asked you what you would be towing it with.

    But....are you absolutely sure about what your loaded weight will be?? A lot of people underestimate the weight of their cargo. I'm assuming the trailer has holding tanks and propane tanks? Water weighs 8.3lbs per gallon, propane is 4.2lbs per gallon. Weight adds up quickly when you are loading a trailer, so be very careful.

    Good luck and be safe.
     
  3. Sep 22, 2009 at 8:06 AM
    #3
    Taneycoma

    Taneycoma [OP] New Member

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    Thanks, Foxy. I have a feeling I'm SOL, but I will probably test it out and see how bad it is. I appreciate your input.
     
  4. Sep 23, 2009 at 8:24 PM
    #4
    Isthatahemi

    Isthatahemi Well-Known Member

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    Put a proper size transmission cooler, and definitly don't use overdrive. Use synthetic in the engine. You should be fine....Why do you anticipate problems?
     
  5. Sep 23, 2009 at 8:27 PM
    #5
    fletch aka

    fletch aka www.BeLikeBrit.org

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  6. Sep 23, 2009 at 8:44 PM
    #6
    coma09

    coma09 Senior Member. Hey, what's That supposed to mean?

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    Weight distribution hitch, with anti-sway is a must. It will take a lot of tongue weight off your frame.
    Brake controller is a must.
    Truck will pull it working hard, but hills are going to be lower gears, and fuel economy will be poor. As the previous poster mentioned there's a loaded weight, and unloaded weight. With fresh water and grey water tanks full .. battery, propane, camping gear ...
    I'm looking at a 19' travel trailer 3500 lbs unloaded. Had to sacrifice a bit, to make the load towable.

    2500 pound boat & trailer was easy towing this summer. Brakes handled it, but were a wee bit stressed.
    Hills were fine, but no overdive. Had it in 3rd a lot.
     
  7. Oct 1, 2009 at 12:51 PM
    #7
    buffalo tacoma

    buffalo tacoma Well-Known Member

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    great thats the same trailer im getting soon jayco 23fb. Not looking forward to towing it now thanks silverback..lol.
     
  8. Oct 6, 2009 at 11:15 AM
    #8
    Taneycoma

    Taneycoma [OP] New Member

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    Thanks all for the follow-up input. But I'm happy to say it went much better than expected. The TT had the W/D hitch w/anti-sway control already on it, and like I said, I already had a tranny cooler. I got a Prodigy brake controller installed beforehand. Drove from KC to near OKC, nearly 4 hours, in pretty serious wind, so I was deeply concerned about the ride home. I don't know if the wind died down, or if it was simply a change in direction, but it was smooth sailing. From midnight to 3:45 a.m., the only guys on the road were semis, but I gotta tell you, they weren't that big a deal at all. Definitely had to stay on your toes, but things were easy to control. Now, I understand it was dry weight, although the fresh water tank was 2/3 full. But I towed it to our storage site with an additional few hundred pounds, and it almost seemed easier. Granted, I averaged only 10 mpg for the trip, but I can live with that. I will probably add a spring for safety's sake, and to cut down on the mild porpoising I experienced on uneven highway. This is primarily a camper for short trips. I may wait for a bigger truck before I take it across the Rockies, but I'm pleased with how it turned out.
     
  9. Oct 7, 2009 at 12:04 AM
    #9
    FoxySandChick

    FoxySandChick Well-Known Member

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    Glad it went well and with no problems, post up some pics when you have it all hooked up.
     
  10. Oct 7, 2009 at 7:23 AM
    #10
    j4x4ar3

    j4x4ar3 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry a bit late to the thread but I would double check the type of hitch that was installed on the truck. A class III hitch which is what is put on by aftermarket suppliers only has a rating for 5000# max with a 500# tongue rating max. Be sure that the Class III hitch that was installed also is rated for use with a weight distribution hitch because not all of them are. The factory Toyota hitch that comes with the factory tow package is a class IV hitch and mounts in multiple places under the bed and directly to the frame. Aftermarket Class III hitches do not have as many mounting points.

    As for tranny cooler and stuff doesn't matter if you have factory or aftermarket. Your biggest concern would be overloading the hitch. Just be sure to properly load your trailer and not be too heavy on the tongue (or to lite) and keep it slow. I've personally posted several times here and on RV.NET regarding my setup. 26' KZ JAG with a dry weight of 4300# and a loaded weight around 5200#. It's been a decent setup for me the past few years but as others have also posted about there are some downfalls running that close to your maximums. Don't expect to load anything in the bed of the truck because passengers and trailer tongue weight will eat up your payload capacity and push you to the limits of GVWR of the truck. You can NOT increase payload or GVWR of your truck in any way even with use of AAL's or air bags. You can only help stabilize the load you do have. My trips currently are within a couple hundred miles of home max and I'm personally looking into purchasing a Tundra or F250 to make things a bit more comfortable for longer trips. Headwinds will be a bi*ch and you'll suck gas. Carry a 5 gallon can of gas with you for longer trips. You won't regret it.

    Good luck and happy camping.

    PS.. went back and read your update. The bouce you experienced on your trip is due to an improperly adjusted weight distritution hitch. Load your trailer up and drop one more link in the chain then you think it needs to level things up. You'll find that with the Tacoma you need the setup to be a little stiffer than normal due to the soft rear springs. I have a roadmaster spring setup on mine which helped a lot as well. Expect that fully loaded you'll add an average of 1000# more weight to the trailer from dry... that's sorta the magic number that people use.
     
  11. Nov 4, 2009 at 10:45 AM
    #11
    WV_Tacoma

    WV_Tacoma Well-Known Member

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    Not enough
    Are you saying EVEN with the sway control the semi's are pulling your around?????

    2005 V6 and I tow 5k travel trailer, 1000+ miles hauls often.........I was going to get a Equalizer or Equivalent hitch...Hoping this would solve my semi pull problem......

    I like my Taco but they are not meant for heavy hauling and distance that I am doing..I work out of my Travel trailer on different locations US wide....
     
  12. Nov 22, 2009 at 11:21 PM
    #12
    harr0007

    harr0007 Member

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    I have a 26 foot travel trailer, dry weight 4,700 lbs, pulled it 7,000 miles this summer all over the western states with my 2007 4x4, with tow package. Had no problems at all. It was slow up the steep hills, I just tucked myself in with the truckers. I always towed in 4th gear, had no sway problems at all with the equalizer brand hitch, even in very high winds at 55 MPH.
     
  13. Nov 23, 2009 at 6:47 AM
    #13
    WV_Tacoma

    WV_Tacoma Well-Known Member

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    Not enough
    About the same miles I tow. 8k~ I just bought a used 1995 Hensley Arrow sway/equal hitch..They are suppose to be the cady's of hitches. Glad to hear the Equalizer works for you. I have high hopes. !!!

    Right on
     
  14. Dec 8, 2009 at 10:46 AM
    #14
    Alex Segal

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    2500#s empty, I tow it with only a sway bar and it seems secure as far as handling- but I wouldn't go any heavier with my 2wd I went 8000 miles this summer.
    That said, you have a 4x4 and the axle ratio is better for towing. WDH would be a must when at that capacity and never use overdrive. Keep in mind that capacity goes down at higher elevations and govern yourself accordingly.

    Heres a link that will let you calculate accurately adjusting for many variables

    http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-trailer-weight-tt.shtml

    Tacomama
     
  15. Dec 8, 2009 at 10:56 AM
    #15
    Alex Segal

    Alex Segal Member

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    I forgot to mention, even towing at half capacity my brakes are frighteningly mushy and weak. I traded down from a tundra, which had much bigger brakes and was great.

    I keep the trailer brakes at a higher setting than with the tundra, but sitting stopped on an incline with the trailer my brake pedal goes to the floor. (I've filed a case with Toyota and taken the truck in 3 times re this issue and the dealership says, of course, nothing wrong)
     
  16. Dec 8, 2009 at 11:18 AM
    #16
    harr0007

    harr0007 Member

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    Find another dealer. Brakes should not go to the floor just to stop the truck. I towed my trailer down the steepest mountain grades with my Tacoma and had plenty of space under my brake pedal. Get the name of the Toyota's Regional Service Manager and make an appointment if all else fails. This person is responsible for all service operations in your local dealer's market area. He will give you the straight story on why you have so little brake pedal when stopping.
    Harr0007
     
  17. Dec 8, 2009 at 5:09 PM
    #17
    Alex Segal

    Alex Segal Member

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    I have a case number with Toyota. They said the same thing as you: go to another dealer. I have made three tries at two different dealers, so far. The brakes have a lot of travel under any circumstances, but only go to the floor if you keep firmly pressing them. At the lowest point (so far) they still hold the truck. It is most noticeable with the trailer under tow because the brakes require more firm, sustained pressure to stop.

    The service manager drives the truck around, slams on the brakes, the truck stops...they are like, What more do you want? I say, I want the brake pedal travel to be spec, which is a cm or so. They have given me some rama-doo about the brakes are electronic, they are supposed to feel this way. Maybe there is something no one knows about these brakes?

    When I go over a cliff perhaps my heirs will benefit.
     
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