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Author Topic: Help me choose a tow vehicle  (Read 472 times)


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Help me choose a tow vehicle
« on: May 08, 2017, 01:26:06 PM »
Hi all,

I am looking for some advice on a tow vehicle. I was thinking of getting a 2008ish Toyota Tundra 5.7L w/ the tow package, mainly because I have a Tacoma now and have had good experiences with Toyota, but am open to other vehicles too. Sounds like bigger is better, but not necessarily for me as I have drive and park this truck in the city from time to time.
  • I Live in the city, so the smaller the better but still want to be safe and feel comfortable driving it with the trailer
  • I'm in the midwest and not likely to encounter many hills
  • need comfortable back seats to carry two teenagers (4 total occupants in vehicle)
  • We plan to get a 24' tow behind: roughly 4800 dry weight

I've done the math and the Tundra would work numbers wise (gross combined weight is 12,400 and GCWR is 16,000) but I have seen things about the suspension not being great? Anyway, what other trucks might fit the bill?


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Re: Help me choose a tow vehicle
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 01:35:29 PM »
Forget terms like "dry"  or "shipping"  those terms are false advertising designed to sell more trailer than a vehicle is honestly able to safely handle.  GVWR is a far better number to look at.  Same thing with truck choices.  Curb weight numbers are pretty useless.  I understand since you do not already have a truck this might be a hassle. But take your family, go choose your Tundra, load the family up and find a set of scales.  Subtract the scaled weight from the GVWR found on the tag on the drivers door post.  That is how much crap and hitch weight you can have without exceeding the trucks GVWR.  Using approx 12% of a trailers GVWR will give you a decent idea of how much a weight you will add to the truck.  It is simple math IF you use the right numbers.
BTW, DD and SIL sild their nearly new Tundra simply because it was not suitable for towing much.


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Re: Help me choose a tow vehicle
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 01:41:40 PM »
Decide on what you will be towing first, then consider and decide what truck you need.  I live in the midwest and my 3500 SRW is about the same size of a Tundra Crew Cab.  From the passenger you are describing, you will need a Crew Cab truck.
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.


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Re: Help me choose a tow vehicle
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2017, 02:08:32 PM »
Well I have done the calculations with the Tundra and it would work, but was just wondering of similar vehicles that I might want to look into. I attached what I did in excel based on the example in the library section of the site here.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Help me choose a tow vehicle
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 04:44:39 PM »
The Tundra is as good a half ton as you are likley to find. The problem is that half-tons are all designed with more car-like suspensions because they serve mostly as daily drivers and owners want comfort more than a sturdy suspension for hauling and towing.

But with a 6158 lb trailer GVWR, the Tundra should be fine. Go enjoy!
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: Help me choose a tow vehicle
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 06:03:22 PM »
I have a 2006 Tundra w/ 53000 miles and just bought a 27ft Heartland rv max 9800 wt, it puls fine on flat ground- 2200rpm but am afraid it wont pull up mountains (going to WA state from Dallas) will have to sell/trade for a 2500 truck- but it is great on lighter rvs. For what its worth- I love my Tundra


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Re: Help me choose a tow vehicle
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2017, 06:05:44 PM »
Thank you for the spread sheet.  It helps!!!

First, that curb weight does not count the weight of any options, which can add 400 - 500 lbs, depending on how well equipped it is.

Second, fuel weight is included in curb weight.

Third, REAL hitch weight MUST  be at least 10% of LOADED TT weight, or about 600# or a bit more.  Less than 10% actual weight on the hitch yields LOUSY towing manners!

Fourth, I bet within a year, your "stuff" in the trailer will weigh at least twice your number.

With all that said, I agree with Gary and his bottom line.  ENJOY!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
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It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.