Question Towing with Tundra 4.6

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Thread: Towing with Tundra 4.6

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    Default Towing with Tundra 4.6

    So, I bought a new 2010 double Cab 4WD 4.6 a couple months ago and may have made a BIG mistake in not getting the 5.7 liter. I read all the raves about the new 4.6 and thought gee, since my travel trailer is a Passport Ultra light that weighs only 6000 lbs fully loaded, I should have no problem towing with this truck which is rated for 8800 lbs tow capacity. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT on my first trip. Namely, the truck really strained with the load on hills by dropping back to 3rd or 4th gear while jumping up to about 4500 RPM's to maintain 55 MPH on steep hills. Also, averaged only 8 MPG for this trip! Am I screwed or could something be wrong with the truck? Thoughts? Similar experiences?

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    Veteran Member codyh12345's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with Tundra 4.6

    hmmm... do you have tow/haul mode enabled??? Are you shifting into "S" and holding a gear rather than letting the truck shift on its own and do its little freakout thing on every hill?? Seems a little funny to me. I have a 2010 4.6L and it tows my car hauler just fine fully loaded and I dont even have the Tow Package.
    2010 Slate Metallic DC Tundra 4.6L

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    Default Re: Towing with Tundra 4.6

    I have 2010 4x4 TRD DC and just towed a 5500 lb travel trailer 1300 miles from Nevada to Texas.I used the tow haul mode,in the mountains used 3rd gear on some long 7 degree hills in order to maintain 55 mph.Most of the time was in 4th going along at 60-65 mph.On flat stretches was in 5th going 65.Not disappointed with the performance.If i were going to make this trip once a week the 5.7 or a diesel would have been my choice.

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    Junior Member envelopo1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with Tundra 4.6

    I have a 2010 DC 4WD with the 4.6 / tow pkg. I have used the truck extensively now (about 3000 miles total hooked up) to tow our nash 22H travel trailer throughout the west, the trailer weighs right at 6000 pounds fully loaded. Our total combined weight with all our gear is right at 12000 pounds. I am VERY pleased with the towing ability of the 4.6 and could not be happier with the combo. I have kept records and average right at 10.5 mpg towing. I use a prodigy p3 controller, firestone air bags at 15lbs or less and now have a new set of Michelin AT2s. 90% of the time I use the s drive and can run easly on flat sections and slight hills in 5th. I use forth when on rolling small hills and when there is any wind at all. I can climb 7% grades in 3rd all day long at 50 - 55 with no trouble. All in all I think the 4.6 tows 6000 pounds fine for me. If I were to go larger I would want the 5.7 though.....
    2010 DC 4WD 4.6L Grade - Salsa Red
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    Default Re: Towing with Tundra 4.6

    Yes, was using tow mode and leaving it in 5th gear most of the time. It would on its' own shift down to 4th or 3rd on occasion.

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    Default Re: Towing with Tundra 4.6

    If you are turning 4500 rpm in 3rd you have to actually be at like 70 mph in the Tundra with 4:10 rear end, you must have been down in second for some reason or going faster than 55 I would think. In my experience the 4.6 can run up a 7% grade towing 6000 pounds in 3rd gear easily at 3500 rpm, which is 55 mph. This gem of a motor is not straining by any means turning 3500 (or even 4500 for that matter) this is what it is designed to do. I would say the 5.7 will get you up the hills easier and faster of course, but you will still need to kick it down a gear or two to do it and like all gas engines (even the 5.7) you will need the rpms when towing up hills. If you REALLY want a truck that does not need to shift down much for hills and stuff, a Duramax or cummins might be the ticket. Personally I don't want a diesel and enjoy the bit better economy and decent power the 4.6 gives me. I have climbed over a number of steep mountain grades at 55 - 60 in 3rd with tow mode button on for miles and had no issues, heat guage never moved, did not have it floored and passed several other trucks hauling trailers....I don't want to second guess you guy, or tell you what to do or how to drive, but I would suggest using the s drive in tow mode and anticipating hills etc. shifting it down manually just before you really need it, also keeping your foot out of it, keeping the speed under 62 or so and taking it easy should help with the mileage and the sense that you don't have enough power. Enjoy! For to trade it in so soon would really cost you. Oh, and another thing you could try is a nice cold air intake and cat back exhaust, that will get you a little more boost and up the mileage too....
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    Default Re: Towing with Tundra 4.6

    Just another note to consider did you KNOW the weight of your trailer or was it more of an estimate?You should be within a comfortable range for this set up at 6000 lbs...

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    Default Re: Towing with Tundra 4.6

    I towed 6K with trailer and jeep - yes it shifts a lot but it's a 6 speed tranny. of course it shifts a lot. the truck wants to get to 6th for overdrive but the load wont let it. Just hit your tow button and let it run. MPG will take a beating but the truck pulls it fine. the 4.6 can do it, but of course it doesn't do it as well as a 5.7. I knew that when I bought my truck but I rarely tow so I'm perfectly happy.
    2010 Silver Sky DC 4x2, 4.6L, Graphite Buckets, LRO 3/1, 20x9 XD Monsters, 305/55r20 Nitto Terra Grapplers, N-Fab Cab Length, Line-X

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    Default Re: Towing with Tundra 4.6

    thanks to all for your comments and suggestions. I guess the bottom line is that I do have slow it down a bit as I really do drive 70 plus most of the time pulling a trailer or not.

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