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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all,

I've been reading a lot about towing on this form. I am planing on towing a 30ft tow hauler (Gearbox 300FS) which will put me at (and slightly above at times) my 10,800lbs rating. From what I've read this doesn't appear to be an issue with the truck if you take some precautions and upgrades.

I've read about E tires. My question is right now I have Michelin LTX A/T2 114T rated for 2601lbs @ 44psi. Assuming I should get E tires can I just purchase a rear set or do all 4 tires need to be E rated? (Michelin makes an E version of this tire so they would match my current set).

Also just to share the rest of my upgrades incase you have additional advice, I'm installing the Firestone Airbags and the Hensley Arrow hitch.

The trailer is about 8K lbs dry weight, and I'll have about 3K lbs of cargo (food, toys, clothes, etc). I'll not be filling the tanks with water or fuel till I arrive at destinations and dumping before leaving. The GVWR of the trailer is 14K which I should not come close to. Worst case I expect to be slightly over 12k after fuel and water near my destination.

Sound doable or am I dreaming?
 

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Its not legal......

That being said you want a weight distribution hitch and I would recommend you upgrade all 4 tires. Check the brakes and change your fluids.
 

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Add a brake controller to your list of parts.

Regarding tires, I'd recommend doing all 4 together so you can rotate without worrying about where the E-range are located.
 

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You need to do all 4 tires. The Weight distribution hitch when used properly will add weight to the front axel.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ah good point about the weight distribution to both axels. Yes the Hensley Arrow is both a WD and Anti Sway hitch. A friend has one and swears by it.

I forgot to mention I do have a P3 controller already on the truck.

So beside the legality of being over weight (which I'm still debating, not discounting that issue). It doesn't seem like there is any practical issue with towing that much weight? I saw the deconstruction videos where they say the guy was towing 17k of cattle around. Toyota Tundra Deconstructed
 

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Where you going with it? Presidents day weekend they were checking weight on toyhaulers on the 86s. People were dumping freshwater on the side of the roads. Mostly they were 3/4 tons fs & cs with fifth wheels.
 

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Forget about the legality of the weights. I'm more concerned with Safety. Add passengers and incidentals to the Tow Vehicle and you are in dangerous territory.

You are almost 50% upside down. The trailer is almost twice as much as the tow vehicle. Can the Tundra physically handle the weight? definitely. Can the driver handle the inherently unstable configuration? I can only hope. I also only hope that no cross winds come up and no tractor trailers blow past you. Should you drive this config with a Tundra? I wouldn't. I'm thinking a 1 Ton dually with a diesel; 9-10k on the Tow Vehicle is way more stable than the 7k or so of a Tundra. The Tundra while very powerful is still just a 1/2 ton pick-up and does have it's limits.

I just towed 9K (GCVW is approx 16K) from LA to Phoenix and back and it was sketchy at times especially when the wind kicked up or the road was less than optimal (all too common in So Cal). Granted I don't have the vaunted Hensley Arrow hitch but it is a DrawTite WDH with 10,000 pound tension bars and friction anti-sway.

Whenever the trailer outweighs the tow vehicle (Excepting 5th wheels and semis which behave totally different) it can quickly turn into a case of the tail wagging the dog and can get rather dangerous. If you do try this remember to adjust your speed for conditions (55 MAX On optimal roads and weather) and double check everything. Including tire pressures on all tires of both tow vehicle and trailer. Definitely use E-Rated Tires all around and Air Bags or add a leaf. Even with all this, it will not be a fun haul. I hope it's a short haul on great roads in great weather if you do try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've towed a popup trailer that was about 4k lbs. A travel trailer that was 7k, and enclosed storage trailers that are about 8-9k (but very stort distances). I've not towed something this heavy over long distances, but I've towed a lot over the years.

Safety is a concern, and I guess that is really what I mean when I say it is practical. I've read other Tundra owners claiming their Tundra did better with this type of load then a Ford/Chevy 3/4 ton. I love my truck, it the best vehicle I've ever owned. I think I'd rather go smaller on the trailer than give up the Tundra.

Sean - I saw your companies hitch as well. How does it compare to the Arrow? Can you give me an unbias option of the two? Also are the claims true that these types of hitches make a bumper pull just as stable as a 5th wheel? (Like I said my friend swears by it, anyone else have experience to confirm that?)

QUOTE from http://www.hensleymfg.com/faq_product.shtml: "The Hensley Arrow does not use friction to control sway. Instead, we used geometry and physics to create a hitch that made it impossible for the trailer to sway. The linkage system on the Hensley transfers the pivot point of the trailer 52" forward, over the rear axle of the vehicle, giving the travel trailer the stability of the 5th wheel. The linkage system only allows the tow vehicle to initiate a turn. Any side forces (wind, passing trucks, sudden lane changes, etc.) placed on the trailer cannot make the trailer pivot on the pivot point. Essentially, from the trailer forward, you have a solid unit."
 

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Sean - I saw your companies hitch as well. How does it compare to the Arrow? Can you give me an unbias option of the two? Also are the claims true that these types of hitches make a bumper pull just as stable as a 5th wheel? (Like I said my friend swears by it, anyone else have experience to confirm that?)

QUOTE from http://www.hensleymfg.com/faq_product.shtml: "The Hensley Arrow does not use friction to control sway. Instead, we used geometry and physics to create a hitch that made it impossible for the trailer to sway. The linkage system on the Hensley transfers the pivot point of the trailer 52" forward, over the rear axle of the vehicle, giving the travel trailer the stability of the 5th wheel. The linkage system only allows the tow vehicle to initiate a turn. Any side forces (wind, passing trucks, sudden lane changes, etc.) placed on the trailer cannot make the trailer pivot on the pivot point. Essentially, from the trailer forward, you have a solid unit."

I'm probably not qualified to give an "unbiased" opinion. ;) However, I can tell you that BOTH hitches work through the linkage system and do project the pivot point 52" forward. The effective pivot point is near the same location as the pivot point of a 5th wheel. That was Jim Hensley's original patent that he licensed to Colin Connell. The company was named after Jim in honor of that idea. Due to this pivot point projection, you wouldn't be able to determine which hitch you have on the trailer from the driver's seat.

In my ten years as vice president of that company Jim had many ideas and improvements he wanted to implement in the hitch. Not improvements in the performance. You can't really improve NO SWAY. They were improvements in the user experience and cost of using the hitch. The company never licensed any of them from him.

In the middle of 2007 I was canned without any notice. Loyalty isn't an orange strong suit. I contacted Jim and licensed all of his design improvements and made it my goal to provide the absolute best hitch and customer experience available anywhere (although there is a neat byproduct of that goal... burying my former company with a better product at a lower price. :eek:)

Since the beginning of 2008 we have almost 2000 hitches on the road. Many of them to former customers that had purchased an Arrow from me. All of them comment, and post reviews on my site, about how much easier it is to use the hitch and the quality of the product.
 

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The only way I would tow a trailer that big with a Tundra is if I had the trailer stored at Glamis Dunes Storage across the street from the Glamis Beach Store. My plan is to purchase a Weekend Warrior SL3005 or FS3400 and do just that. Currently, I have my 16' Baja stored there so I just load up the clothes, riding gear and groceries and haul *** out there with no trailer and drive a few hundred feet to camp. If I ever need to service the trailer or bring it back home, I can use my brother's GMC 3500 dually and not have a worry.
 

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What's legal and what's safe are two related but not identical issues. When they're weighing rigs, they worry about total towed weight, and only note payload if you are WAY over (like 50% above ratings! :eek:) If you have a truck rated to tow 10,000 lbs, and you have 11,000 lbs; but you have appropriate tires, weight distribution, properly functioning trailer brakes, etc., it is looked at as "within the margin for error". This is different for commercial vehicles, which have much less lenient enforcement. You will want to weigh your rig, so you know what you're dealing with, and offload non-essentials if you're significantly over!

What's safe is, as noted in other places: (cut and pasted from other current thread):
FYI these are my weights, fully loaded and I've had no troubles anywhere except on RV.net which I don't visit any more 'cause they're a bunch of weenies.:

Front Axle:.........3,850 lbs
Rear Axle:..........4,818 lbs
Trailer Axles........8,470 lbs
Total weight:.....17,116 lbs
If I do the math, subtracting the pin weight which I don't exactly remember but is in the area of 1,800 lbs off the truck, the overall trailer weight is about 10,200 lbs. Remember though I am towing a 5th wheel which is honestly nicer to tow than a travel trailer with a conventional hitch or even a usual anti-sway hitch; not sure about the pro pride. . .
1: Good tires (get all 4).
2: Good maintenance (tire pressures checked, tread on truck and trailer tires, no sidewall bulges or tread separation on trailer).
3: Good driving habits. Don't speed, don't tailgate, leave space at intersections
4: Good trailer loading. Don't overbalance weight to front or back especially.
5: Trailer brakes that are properly adjusted and work well.

Good luck and have fun camping!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the post Frankenstien. It was actually your 12k post that got me thinking it could be done. Sounds like you've had success with it.

Where does one typically go to get it weighed?

My only other question is (not sure is Sean can answer this one) TT vs 5th in regards to tow weight. So for conversation sake lets say I'm at 12K trailer weight, and I have all the upgrades in tires, airbags, and sway bar, etc. With the 3P Hitch the pivot point is like a 5th wheel, but will the WD part be as good as a 5th wheel? Frank mentioned in his other post the 5th hitch bolts to the frame strengthening it.

I know ford and other have a TT rating and a 5th rating which is usually a lot higher. Toyota doesn't do that. So I assume the 10,800 is either. So would 11% over that really be a big deal?

And thanks for all the help. Really appreciate hearing your guy's experience.
 

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My only other question is (not sure is Sean can answer this one) TT vs 5th in regards to tow weight. So for conversation sake lets say I'm at 12K trailer weight, and I have all the upgrades in tires, airbags, and sway bar, etc. With the 3P Hitch the pivot point is like a 5th wheel, but will the WD part be as good as a 5th wheel? Frank mentioned in his other post the 5th hitch bolts to the frame strengthening it.

There is no weight distribution with a 5th wheel. The entire pin weight sits on the hitch in the bed of the truck. A lot of 5th wheels actually reduce the weight on the front axle slightly.

With a weight distributing hitch on a travel trailer you should be able to get the front axle back to its unloaded axle weight.
 

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If you plan on towing this heavy frequently you should upgrade your tires, and suspension as needed. Don't try to drive fast, be careful, get where you're going and have fun.

Otherwise next time around you might want to consider a bigger truck for a 10,800lb trailer plus passengers, luggage, water, extra fuel, etc. A good rule of thumb is to tow only around 75-80% of the tow vehicle's rated capability so you have some extra leeway. Mechanically I have no doubt the Tundra can yank the trailer around and stay cool doing it even going up hill on a hot day, I have no doubt the brakes (along with trailer brakes) are more than up to the task of slowing the load down too. However, a heavier tow vehicle like a 3/4 or 1 ton will be less affected by the trailing load pushing it around; between the heavier duty springs and heavier vehicle weight a larger truck will have a handling advantage that shouldn't be ignored.
 
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