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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new at this, so I would like to get some input with this.

I've got an '03 A/C w/ tow pkg, @ 68k miles right now, w/ new T4 ATF (14qts), inline trans filter, new diff. fluid mobil 1+LSD additive, new OE brakes, 40% tread left on Dueler H/T 830s on OEM 17" wheels.

I'm planning a 1300 mile round trip during spring break week pulling a toy hauler. Mainly pulling through west texas and possibly into NM, so I dont see too much elevation changes going on there.

It's got an equa-lizer hitch, elec. brakes, breakaway, ST 14" tires (80-90% good). I've got tekonsha controller wired in the tundra.

Can you guys look at the specs below and tell me what you think, or any suggestions as to what I will also need to make it right?

Vortex (19' x9'):
Hitch Weight 775 lbs
Dry Weight 4,956 lbs
Gross Weight 7,250 lbs
Cargo Weight 2,294 lbs
Fresh Water Capacity 38 gals (x 8.35lbs = 317 lbs)
Grey Water Capacity 32 gals
Black Water Capacity 32 gals
Fuel station tank capacity 18 gals (x 6.6lbs=119 lbs)



My TH cargo weight:
4 bikes (230+240+130+200=) =800 lbs
3 sets of gear =50lbs
tool chest = 40lbs
EZup & chairs & 8' fold table=80 lbs
5 gal of 44:1 premix=30 lbs
Bedding, laptop, DVD, food, drinks=50lbs
Total ~ 1050 lbs

Dry wt + cargo wt + fresh water cap = 4985+1050+317 = 6352 lbs Total TH weight.

Tundra:
towing cap=7300 lbs
Hitch weight= 750 lbs; 1000 lbs w/ WDH (can anyone verify this?)
GVWR=???
 

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You should be fine. I have the same truck, and the total weight of my set up was 12,200lbs. I towed from Tucson to Yuma and back, with no problems.
 

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Are you using a WDH?

You may also want to check the height of your hitch. From the pic you appear to be sagging in the middle. Trailer is nose down truck is squatting. The more level you are the more comfortable you will be.

Try a WDH if you aren't currently using one. Perhaps raise the drop on your hitch ball a bit as well.

Weights look good though. Take it to a scale fully loaded and get the axle weights and tongue weight to confirm your math.

Try to find a scale that has separate pads for steering axle, drive axle, and trailer axles. Knowing the axle weights really helps figure out if you need WDH and if you have it it's working properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm using an Equa-lizer hitch, but I still need to set it right for my truck. It's a bear to figure this thing out. I may have to call the mfr to get more help w/ this, but right now, I agree w/ what you're saying, Terry. It's unbalanced right now.

As far as weighing it, i took it to a Flying J this weekend, rolled it up to a scale, and here's what the report printed out for me.

Truck wt=5720 (includes 2 passengers & 1/4 tank gas)
Toy hauler=5600 lbs (2 bikes, fuel, gear, tools, canopy, chairs, 15 gals water, 8 gals gas for onboard gen.
Gross=11,320 lbs

is this number, 11,320 lbs, the one to compare with the Tundra's GCWR? Where can I find this number for my '03 Tundra A/C 2wd w/ tow to compare it to? I can't find it in my owner's manual.
 

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Level your trailer on the stand on level ground. Measure from the ground to the inside top of the ball hitch on the trailer(where it sits on the ball). Then set the top of the ball height on the hitch (probably about 3/4 to an inch higher) than the measurement you took from the trailer. If you have a choice from trailer nose high or nose low (if you cant get it level when the weight bar are in place) make sure it's trailer nose low.

On my 06 DC, I had to flip the stinger to get it set up right. TT is a Outback 230RS, 625lb hitch weight.

JR

My set for Colorado to the deep south, 1200 miles each way.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for that pic! That really helps.

Here's how Mine was sitting at:


The top of my toybox's hitch ball worked out to be 24" off the ground for the toybox to be level front to back. Then I set my tundra's ball height to be 26", hoping that I would get some more weight to the front tires of the TUndra when hitched, but that did not work out. Rather, the front end's sitting 2" higher than the unloaded height up front. So the instructions said to first, remove some of the washers off the angle stop to help align the tension bars more parallel. That only dropped the front end of the Tundra by 1/4' of an inch.

right now, it's 1-3/4" higher in the front than when I measured the Tundra unloaded. I need to put more weight on the front end by about 2" to be in the ball park. I don't have any more room to slide the tension bar brackets forward b/c of the propane tanks being where it's at, so all I can do is slide the brackets further back. Do you think moving the L brackets back will put more weight to the front wheels?
 

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The bottom of the brackets need to be parallel with the ground, not tilted. You have a range you can move them forward or back and still be good. Don't adjust the weight by moving the brackets front to back. You can add more weight to the front of the truck (bars carry more) by moving the brackets up a notch or two. That should give you a more level truck. But if you get too high, you will lose the ability to fine tune the whole assembly on the road (when you see it swaying too much).

My first trip out with the loaded trailer, I had it set up according to the instructions and weight perfect. But.... in the real world, with the trailer behind the truck going down the road at 65 mph, it didn't tow well. So slow down, a pull off at a level rest area. cranked the jack down in front, pulled the brackets up a notch, reloaded the bars at this new height and the experience got a lot better real quick. It went well for 2600 miles after that.

One washer should equal one notch on the brackets. 4-8 washers is the range I think. If you run out of washer adjustment on the initial setup, move the head assembly up one setting, then start over. My first run with the empty trailer took about 2 hours to get it all set up (I was reluctant to flip the stinger). The subsequent tows with the trailer loaded, I had to readjust for the hitch weight.

Now I have to start all over again, since I went from an 06 to an 08 Tundra..:doh:
 

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I'm using an Equa-lizer hitch, but I still need to set it right for my truck. It's a bear to figure this thing out. I may have to call the mfr to get more help w/ this, but right now, I agree w/ what you're saying, Terry. It's unbalanced right now.

As far as weighing it, i took it to a Flying J this weekend, rolled it up to a scale, and here's what the report printed out for me.

Truck wt=5720 (includes 2 passengers & 1/4 tank gas)
Toy hauler=5600 lbs (2 bikes, fuel, gear, tools, canopy, chairs, 15 gals water, 8 gals gas for onboard gen.
Gross=11,320 lbs

is this number, 11,320 lbs, the one to compare with the Tundra's GCWR? Where can I find this number for my '03 Tundra A/C 2wd w/ tow to compare it to? I can't find it in my owner's manual.
Jed,

I've never used an "Equa-lizer" brand hitch so I can't provide any advice on setting one up.

Over all the weights look real good, heck you're not even upside down. All of the weight ratings should be in your manual. You may have to research online. The Weight Ratings and Capacities for my 2007 are in my manual.

GCVWR is the combined weight of trailer and tow vehicle combined.
Pay Attention to GVWR that is the weight rating of each individual element in the chain.

It looks from pics and your OP that you are tongue heavy. Try shifting the load around in your trailer. Heaviest items should be above or behind your trailer axles. A 5600 Lb trailer should have a tongue weight between 560 and 675 Lbs (10-12% of the trailer weight) your OP has the weight at 775 (Unless you were stating the Max allowable for that trailer).

If you don't have access to a tongue scale, take a trip back to Flying J. Pull up on the scales, put the axles on one pad, and the tongue on another. Un-hitch and take your truck off the scale. This will give you an idea of the ratio between your axles weight and tongue weight. Use the two weights combined to determine the total weight and then divide the tongue weight into the total weight

Many RV stores have tongue scales and will help you weigh and set up your trailer. Tongue scales can also be purchased for less than 200 dollars. I borrow one from a friend.

I just found this towing and setup guide and it's agreat place to start.
Trailer Loading and Towing Guide I have no affiliation with this company and have never used their product. But the advice is all good.

It looks like you're going to have a good rig setup and a great trip. You're doing the most important part. Figuring out how to do things safely so you can enjoy your trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The bottom of the brackets need to be parallel with the ground, not tilted.

One washer should equal one notch on the brackets. 4-8 washers is the range I think. If you run out of washer adjustment on the initial setup, move the head assembly up one setting, then start over.
Ok, I straightened out the mounted brackets, and then wound up using 8 washers at the hitch end(was at 4). At 8 washers, I then lowered the L bracket one notch and that got the bars to sit more parallel to the frame of the trailer. Now the front of the truck is at the same level as when it was unloaded, and the back dropped just only 1" from unloaded. I took it for a drive, and sure enough, I could tell that the front end felt a bit heavier than before, but the ride felt more surefooted, less wallowy as before. I think this is where it needs to be, and I'm going to leave it at that for now. Thanks everyone for assisting.
 
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