Sequoia and Travel Trailer Recommendations

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Thread: Sequoia and Travel Trailer Recommendations

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    Junior Member Jettix2's Avatar
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    Default Sequoia and Travel Trailer Recommendations

    Have an '01 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4WD with 53k on it. Has factory tow package.

    My wife and I would like to buy a travel trailer (not a pop-up) to take a few camping trips each summer. Most of the trips would be <500 miles, though we've got to cross the Mackinac bridge for most of them, so I want something that the vehicle can safely handle towing.

    Right now it's just my wife, myself, and our black lab, so we dont need anything HUGE, but we'd like additional sleeping capacity because we'd like to start a family in a couple years.

    What would comfortable weight and length limits be for towing with a stock Sequoia? I'll add the necessary stabilizer bars and electronic brake controller because I want to be SAFE.

    Any thoughts would be great.

    Thanks, Ben

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    Default

    That's a pretty broad question. In the weight department I think your max trailer weight shouldn't exceed about 5200lbs loaded. So you should keep it to 4500 - 4900 dry. That's leave you room for future family growth.

    As for length, well, we tow a big one: a 32' travel trailer (Antigua 305 QBS). We're under on all weights, but not by much on the GCWR or the tow rating of the truck, but having towed 15000kms so far this summer, including up to 9500 ft in Colorado I can say the truck tows a big trailer like mine very well.

    We splurged on a Hensley Arrow hitch and I have to say it's everything people say it is. I can drive easily with one hand in heavy crosswinds.

    If you want to see our setup, including specs, etc., check out my website.

    Hope that helps!
    2001 Toyota Rav4
    2001 Sequoia SR-5 4WD - sold
    2011 Ford F-350 Super Duty Lariat 6.7L Power Stroke Diesel

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    Awesome.....

    Thank you so much for the help.......4500 dry sounds good, especially if we can stay in a lightweight model. We're buying used, around $5-6,000 range, so it might take us awhile to find a nice one that we like the layout of. Bummer, too, because last year the Spirit of America LT 24TBQ was only $9995 here in town, brand new.....now they're more in the $12,995 range

    Thanks for the info, though!!! Nice to know the Seq. can tow a long trailer w/o sway issues.

    Ben

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    Supporter RockyMtnRay's Avatar
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    Default Don't try to tow a long trailer without a Hensley Hitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Jettix2
    Awesome.....

    Thank you so much for the help.......4500 dry sounds good, especially if we can stay in a lightweight model. We're buying used, around $5-6,000 range, so it might take us awhile to find a nice one that we like the layout of. Bummer, too, because last year the Spirit of America LT 24TBQ was only $9995 here in town, brand new.....now they're more in the $12,995 range

    Thanks for the info, though!!! Nice to know the Seq. can tow a long trailer w/o sway issues.

    Ben
    The only, repeat only, way that Geodude is safely towing a long trailer without sway is that he's using a Hensley Hitch (~$3000 for just the hitch). If you were to use an ordinary WDH with sway control (even high performance cam type sway control), the standard rule of wheelbase to trailer length should be followed. That rule is you must have 4 inches of tow vehicle wheelbase above a 110 inch minimum for each foot of trailer length over 20 feet. This rule was derived by studying thousands of RV accident reports over the years and performing a mathematical regression analysis of the accident rate versus the ratio of tow vehicle wheelbase to trailer length with standard geometry hitches. If you keep your trailer length to less than that specified by the rule, your chances of having a sway induced accident are very low. With each foot of trailer length above that specfied by the rule, your statistical likelihood of having a sway induced catastrophic accident rises rapidly.

    Your Sequoia has a 118 inch wheelbase...that means unless you use a special geometry hitch like the Hensley, you should not tow any trailer longer than 22 feet if you want to keep your statistical likelihood of sway induced accident to a minimum. IMHO, towing any trailer with a Sequioa that's over 27 feet long with a normal WDH is bordering on insanity.
    Ray


    Natural White '03 Access Cab V8 SR5 4X4 with TRD Off Road Suspension, Limited Slip Differential, and Towing Package

    Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Hellwig Anti-Roll bar, Prodigy Trailer Brake Controller, Autometer Z-Series Transmission Temperature Gauge, Magnefine Transmission Filter
    Utility & Misc Mods: Genuine Toyota OEM Step (Nerf) bars, Peragon Tonneau Cover, TracRac Rack and Rail System, Muth Signal Mirrors, Pop&Lock tailgate lock, TruSpeed speedometer calibrator, "$20" RS-3200 Upgrade, Auto-Dimming mirror w/ Temp and Compass, Clear/Red/Clear Taillights with Silverstar Signal bulbs, 3M Clear Bra


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    Default Your education Ray ???

    I'm not being smart by asking this, I really enjoy reading your responses that you have to people. You seem to have lots of product knowledge and safety guidlines. Where did you learn all this? It can not be all just experience.

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    Ray,

    THANK YOU! Being that our budget for the trailer is about $5-6,000, I can't spend $3k on the hitch.

    That said, it looks like 22' or so is our length limit.

    Thank you so much for the information!

    Ben

    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnRay
    The only, repeat only, way that Geodude is safely towing a long trailer without sway is that he's using a Hensley Hitch (~$3000 for just the hitch). If you were to use an ordinary WDH with sway control (even high performance cam type sway control), the standard rule of wheelbase to trailer length should be followed. That rule is you must have 4 inches of tow vehicle wheelbase above a 110 inch minimum for each foot of trailer length over 20 feet. This rule was derived by studying thousands of RV accident reports over the years and performing a mathematical regression analysis of the accident rate versus the ratio of tow vehicle wheelbase to trailer length with standard geometry hitches. If you keep your trailer length to less than that specified by the rule, your chances of having a sway induced accident are very low. With each foot of trailer length above that specfied by the rule, your statistical likelihood of having a sway induced catastrophic accident rises rapidly.

    Your Sequoia has a 118 inch wheelbase...that means unless you use a special geometry hitch like the Hensley, you should not tow any trailer longer than 22 feet if you want to keep your statistical likelihood of sway induced accident to a minimum. IMHO, towing any trailer with a Sequioa that's over 27 feet long with a normal WDH is bordering on insanity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOYLEX
    I'm not being smart by asking this, I really enjoy reading your responses that you have to people. You seem to have lots of product knowledge and safety guidlines. Where did you learn all this? It can not be all just experience.
    No, it's not all personal experience...though I've done some 15,000 miles of (mostly mountain) towing in the past 5 years...that alone has provided a heckuva lot of insight into towing dynamics. A lot of my knowledge comes from reviewing thousands of posts at the RV.NET towing and tow vehicle forums...there's a wealth of knowledge there from literally hundreds of experienced tow-ers. I also subscribe to several RV & trailer publications and those have an enormous amount of safety and product knowledge. I'm also a moderator at the Trail Manor Owners website and handle all the towing related issues that come up there. And, finally, I have a scientific/engineering academic background so I do a lot of thinking about the physics of towing.
    Ray


    Natural White '03 Access Cab V8 SR5 4X4 with TRD Off Road Suspension, Limited Slip Differential, and Towing Package

    Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Hellwig Anti-Roll bar, Prodigy Trailer Brake Controller, Autometer Z-Series Transmission Temperature Gauge, Magnefine Transmission Filter
    Utility & Misc Mods: Genuine Toyota OEM Step (Nerf) bars, Peragon Tonneau Cover, TracRac Rack and Rail System, Muth Signal Mirrors, Pop&Lock tailgate lock, TruSpeed speedometer calibrator, "$20" RS-3200 Upgrade, Auto-Dimming mirror w/ Temp and Compass, Clear/Red/Clear Taillights with Silverstar Signal bulbs, 3M Clear Bra


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    Ray's right.

    I was told that with some mods, changes to the Seq, etc., I could tow a larger trailer. OR, I could get a Hensley. So I got a used one for $1700US. It's insurance, it's comfort. After a lot of research I came to the conclusion that it is more sure-fire than the other route I could have taken. We have towed a lot (Dad owned an RV dealership when I was growing up, as well), and have done more than 15,000kms this year alone (cutting back with the gas prices now tho!).

    If you're new at towing then I'd go with that wheelbase guideline. Of course there can be variability brought by the rear overhang of the TV, the kind of tires on it, where the wheels of the trailer are located (ours our well back of centre), and so on. But for most of us mortals that's too much to have to compute. So stay at about 22-24 ft or get the Hensley if you want to go longer.

    I was told power would not be an issue, and that has turned out to be quite true. But it's the handling that you really need to think about. I admit, I lost sleep contemplating the Hensley and now, looking back, I made the right decision because we're on the road an awful lot. We've had one all-out panic stop and the Hensley + Prodigy + Sequoia ABS and skid control kept it all running straight and true.
    2001 Toyota Rav4
    2001 Sequoia SR-5 4WD - sold
    2011 Ford F-350 Super Duty Lariat 6.7L Power Stroke Diesel

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    Default Re: Sequoia and Travel Trailer Recommendations

    Geodude -
    I'm glad to hear someone else is pulling a large trailer, over this past weekend my wife and I purchase a new 31' (spec's say 30' 8")Travel Trailer from Lazy Days in Tampa Fl. This will be my first attempt at a TT and RV'ing we traded a Class C Jayco in.

    My new TT is a 07 Holiday Rambler Alumi-lite 8311S Weights: Hitch dry weight 605 GVWR 7605 Total Dry weight 4739 and Length of TT 30' 3".

    I have a 2002 Sequoia 2WD if I get the Hensley Arrow I should be ok? Sounds like your doing well. We really love our Sequoia and don't want to get ride of it for the 10% towing we do a year.

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    Default Re: Sequoia and Travel Trailer Recommendations

    I'm assuming the Sequoia with tow package has the same ratings as the Tundra of 10,500lbs? You should be well suited to pull many trailers without problems. I wound up going with a lighter model than needed and picked the Crossroads Slingshot 32QBH. It's very steady on the road (I've stopped using the sway bar and just keep the torsion bars), dry weight was only a little over 5000 (I think!) and total gross counting water, cargo, etc was 7800lbs. My tundra pulls it very smooth and I don't even realize it's back there except for that I seem to be needing gas stations more often.......
    *Tip* - My wife tows the trailer too and proudly informed me that she can get an extra 100kms per tank when she's driving as she keeps the speed at 90km/h. I usually run at 110km/h.....
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    2010 Toyota Tundra 5.7L DC Ltd. Silver Sky.
    20`wheels, 285/60/R20 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs, TRD Dual Exhaust, TRD Cold Air Intake, Pro-Comp 2.5"/1" Lift/Leveling Kit, Go-Rhino 3000 Series Grille Guard, PIAA 525 series fwd & 1500 series rear lights, AMI Brushed Chrome Fuel Door.
    Waiting to get Bushwacker Pocket-Style Fender Flares painted for installation next....


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    Default Re: Sequoia and Travel Trailer Recommendations

    Ben,
    I tow a hybrid trailer with a family of 5 and one dog and like it a lot. I've also had a pop-up, TT and a smaller hybrid. My suggestions are to do the following in deciding what you want to have/can tow safely:

    First: Understand your vehicles capabilities. A good place to start is with one of the various calculators. This is one.

    Next: Figure out what type of camping you plan on today. Reading RV.net posts will give you a good head start.

    And one other thought is that it is good to plan ahead a little if you have a very good feel for what your future needs will be, but I don't think you can really know what your camping needs are years from now unless you already have plenty of camping experiences under your belt (with a trailer). I would buy the camper you need today as opposed to what you think you might need in the future as situations change, new tow vehicles are bought, etc.

    Finally, if buying used, make sure that you (if you are handy) or an experienced friend goes through that camper from hitch to taillights. This lessons the chances that you are buying someone's nightmare. And I hate to say this but don't trust the dealer without verifying everything yourself first. The industry has a poor reputation when it comes to sales so its buyer beware.

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    Default Re: Sequoia and Travel Trailer Recommendations

    Great advice Gritty!
    2010 Toyota Tundra 5.7L DC Ltd. Silver Sky.
    20`wheels, 285/60/R20 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs, TRD Dual Exhaust, TRD Cold Air Intake, Pro-Comp 2.5"/1" Lift/Leveling Kit, Go-Rhino 3000 Series Grille Guard, PIAA 525 series fwd & 1500 series rear lights, AMI Brushed Chrome Fuel Door.
    Waiting to get Bushwacker Pocket-Style Fender Flares painted for installation next....


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