Re: Report on Towing this past weekend.
Wow, my biggest concern would be with braking. I am assuming the trailer utilizes surge or electronic brakes?? If it doesn't, you need to have some installed before you tow it a single mile. My second concern would be the tongue weight. You might want to consider an "air bag" style rear suspension upgrade or an "add a leaf". Third, I would be concerned about overheating the tranny. If you are going to be towing this frequently, you might want to add a larger ATF cooler. I subscribe to the school of thought that max weight ratings are just that, the absolute max that the truck should ever pull. In my opinion, the truck is not designed to operate at "Maximum" weight on a normal basis. You are definitely going to be increasing your wear and tear on your trucks components exponentially if you do this frequently. If I were you, I would go have a discussion with the service dept at a Toyota dealership and get their advice. Good luck with it and let us know how well it works for you!!
Thank you for the advice. We did get weighed, and were under our GCWR and GWVR. But just barely. The trailer has all wheel electronic brakes and we have a B&W hitch and brake box.
The trip was about 230 miles, of mostly flat driving, with some occasional hills. We kept overdrive off, which did help considerably with Engine heat and tranny temps. I think during hot summer months we may travel mornings and nights, rather than middle of the day.
Braking: Actually this was pretty good, except for stopping once on about a 35 degree incline, where our brakes strained a bit to keep us in one place. In all other cases, we had plenty of braking power, assuming a 4 car spacing between us and other vehicles.
Towing Power: To be honest, except for up a couple of hills, it was as if we weren't towing anything at all. The Tundra had plenty of pulling power, and struggled only between 10 mph and 25 mph for acceleration.
Strain- Our tires are All Terrain Goodyears, and as at 50 PSI, there wasn't the "drop" you feel in some trucks when the hitch drops. Overall we felt pretty safe.
However... As my wife mentions, I am the slowest driver on the planet, so... 50 in a 55 mph zone, 65 in a 70 mph zone (or 60...). It helps to feel unpressured when driving the vehicle.
Many people at the event mostly drove Dodge or Ford 250/350 Super Heavy Duty, with a smattering of Chevys. Of the 100 plus people we were the only one in a Toyota with a Gooseneck. We had several people come up and say... "A Toyota can pull that?" "Yes it can, and pretty easily..." we replied.
One person actually talked about buying the 2007, but worried about how to get a hitch on it, with a tubular frame.
So the weekend is a success. For flat driving and towing, I would use the Tundra any time. Driving up the side of the Appalachians with a 6000 lb trailer... I may wait til I get a 2007... But the Tundra did much better than expected, and I think I converted a couple of Ford drivers to our "Dark-Side" of an American Made Towing Truck... The Tundra.
Thanks for all the advice, it made us worry, but gave us a very safe trip.