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Tailend bottoming out towing 3,500lb airstream

Discussion in 'Towing' started by mmcg4451, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. Jun 24, 2016 at 3:41 PM
    #1
    mmcg4451

    mmcg4451 [OP] New Member

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    I have a 2002 sport edition and am towing a 3,500lb airstream. The tail end of the truck is close to bottoming out ... Mechanic says I can try installing some progressive springs. Anybody have any experience with this or recommendations? Know what I need/where I can purchase?

    Much appreciated...
    Mike
     
  2. Jun 24, 2016 at 8:40 PM
    #2
    alittleoff

    alittleoff New Member

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    When I had my '98 4R, I towed a 19' TT. Even with a WD hitch it still squatted a couple of inches. So I installed some Ride Rite air bags, #5 with no load and #35 when towing. It virtually eliminated the front to back yaw and put the headlights back on the road.

    Steve
     
    Bob likes this.
  3. Jun 26, 2016 at 10:56 AM
    #3
    Slapp_Master420

    Slapp_Master420 New Member

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    99 runner toytec springs front and rear tundra bilstiens front long travel rear total chaos front upper control arms injen tuned air intake 33/12.50 Goodyear MTR on 20x9 red dirt road rims 30 inch single row light bar Mounted under Savage bumper flowmaster super 44 55 watt AC hi/low 5k hid,elocker swap
    Air bags are prob your best bet for towing with a runner .... All the springs that are made for the runner are not really made for towing... I have toytec superflex springs they are a progressive spring but i feel they are way to soft
     
  4. Feb 5, 2017 at 2:11 PM
    #4
    EngOps1

    EngOps1 New Member

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    Have a 2003 SR5, Tow a 20' 1961 Avion. Taller and a bit stiffer than an Airstream. We have several friends in the Vintage trailer crowd that tow restored Airstreams with set ups like ours. I have a 5K rating according to the factory specs. I use a sway bar and equalizer hitch. If you learn how to set up, you will be level, and tow like she ain't there. I have a front water tank on the trailer. If it is filled all the way, I am over limit for the system, and things kinda make ya pucker up. Other than that, I know a lot of folks that have similar set ups. Be Careful that you are not really overloading. Does not take a lot of junk ya don't need to overload. We carry clothes food, half tank of water for flushing, food etc. I carry tools, power cords, camp chairs, BBG, dog stuff, cooler, set of 4jacks in the back of the car. I am adjusted and ride level. No need to modify your 4Rnner. We have 200,500 trouble free miles. At least 20K is towing.
    Regards- Tom 03 Runner V8, '60 Avion T21 approx. 4,000 loaded/5000 rated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  5. May 23, 2017 at 1:51 PM
    #5
    jbrandt

    jbrandt New Member

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    Wow, old thread...

    Firstly, make sure your trailer is properly balanced to make sure you don't have an unnecessarily high tongue weight.

    For grins and giggles, here's a helpful site on trailer balance:
    https://www.engineersedge.com/calculators/trailer-weight-balance.htm

    Once it's balanced, check the tongue weight again. If it's anything close to the max rated tongue weight, it WILL sag. A lot. A weight distributing hitch is a great idea, worked well for my dad with his Airstream and Sequoia.

    The nice thing about airbags is that you can use the load leveling capability withOUT a trailer (if you load down the rear with gear, rocks, ladies, whatever).
     
    Palerider likes this.
  6. May 19, 2019 at 5:40 AM
    #6
    chassis

    chassis New Member

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    To the OP: too much tongue weight. I pull a 3,300-3,500 boat and the vehicle is just about level. I use a ball and drawbar only, no weight distribution, no sway control.

    Tongue weight should not exceed much more than 300-350 lbs for balance purposes.

    Do you have cargo in the vehicle while towing the RV? Put as much of the cargo into the RV, over the axle or behind the axle (of the RV).

    Do you have cargo in the RV? Is it concentrated in the nose/front of the RV? Move as much as possible to the rear of the RV, no further forward than the axle.
     
  7. May 19, 2019 at 10:02 AM
    #7
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside New Member

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    The OP made this thread 3 years ago and has never posted on the forum again. I don’t think you’re going to get answers.
     
    WallyT4R and chassis like this.
  8. Jun 26, 2019 at 8:01 AM
    #8
    freealfin

    freealfin New Member

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    I tow a 4000 lb two axle trailer with my '07 6 cyl. I installed AirLifts and put a sway control/load equalizer on the trailer. I tow close to the 5000 lbs load total limit. Truck is level and never a problem.
     
  9. Oct 1, 2020 at 12:53 PM
    #9
    PaulSCUBA

    PaulSCUBA New Member

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    Hi freealfin, your info is extremely helpful. Some clarity please. When you say "never a problem" what do you specifically mean? For example: 4Runner transmission temp is no issue, power up hills (while can struggle a bit) is no issue, downhill is no issue, sway/load (with your equalizer) is no issue, turning circle is no issue? I know ... :) so many question but I am new to this and might be overthinking it but I am desperately trying not to dig myself in to a travel trailer hole purchase. Thanks for you time in answering these questions.
     
  10. Oct 1, 2020 at 2:01 PM
    #10
    freealfin

    freealfin New Member

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    No overheating, brakes or transmission. But then again...what are problems? For me problems are events that cause me to be VERY uncomfortable for ANY reason and my 4Runner has never done that......then again.....I'm a person used to high risk activities and have a very good "feeling" for the limits of mechanical things.....
     
  11. Oct 1, 2020 at 2:12 PM
    #11
    PaulSCUBA

    PaulSCUBA New Member

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    Thanks for that. This helps a lot. This is what I have been looking for, some direct personal experience.
     
  12. Oct 1, 2020 at 4:59 PM
    #12
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy Not a new member

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    Hey freealfin, as long as your feelings only involve risk to yourself, it’s all good. Once it involves others it’s called complicit negligence, and in a court of law, your feelings won’t count for much.
     
  13. Oct 1, 2020 at 5:17 PM
    #13
    PaulSCUBA

    PaulSCUBA New Member

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    With a handle like 'Oldtoyotaguy' it sounds like you have had a 4Runner waaaay longer than me. Do you have any direct personal experience using a 4Runner to tow something of the wight 4800#? If so I am all ears. I have been spending weeks trying to find this information and all I found was people's opinions (as many as the stars in the sky), with almost zero direct experience. That is why I joined the forum to get some real direct knowledgeable experience from 4Runner owners.
     
  14. Oct 1, 2020 at 5:35 PM
    #14
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy Not a new member

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    Hey PaulSCUBA, I do have a lot of experience towing with Toyota’s, from the earliest Hi Luxe’s to my last, a 2015 Tacoma Sport. My last trailer was an aluminum two horse trailer with a dressing room. The trailer, 2500lbs + two quarter horses @1000lbs each, + tack + water weighed in at about 5500 lbs. The truck was rated for 6500.
    When I retired from showing horses in 2018, and no longer intended to tow anything, I bought my current ORP. I never would have attempted pulling that horse trailer with a short vehicle like a 4 Runner.
    I’m sure it would be ok for light towing, but it doesn’t have sufficient wheel base, imho, to tow anything near it’s limit. Any vehicle with a wheel base less than 120” is limited as a tow vehicle. With any kind of a trailer on them, the trailer tends to push the vehicle. As long as all is good it’s no problem. But if anything ever happens to upset the delicate balance, you’ll find out about that 120” guideline. There are lots of guys who do it, and get away with it. I hope nothing bad happens. But in our litigious society, if you challenge the gods, make sure you have lots of insurance, and make sure your company won’t leave you high and dry when push comes to shove if something bad happens. There are a lot better tow vehicles than 4 Runners for big trailers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  15. Oct 1, 2020 at 5:46 PM
    #15
    PaulSCUBA

    PaulSCUBA New Member

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    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It is very valuable. Unfortunately I made the classic mistake of buying the 4Runner first before then deciding I then wanted a trailer. I know, I know classic newbie mistake. So I am a bit stuck.... unless I can persuade my wife to trade in her Mazda MX3 for a pickup truck!!! :) ... Oh, was that a pig I just saw flying by my window????
     
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  16. Oct 1, 2020 at 5:51 PM
    #16
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy Not a new member

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    It’s doable, just keep everything by the book. Brakes, equalizer, tires, suspension. Keep weight under control. Be fanatic about it. Imagine yourself in a court being cross examined by a high powered attorney trying to blame an accident on you. Don’t rely on your gut. Risk is an engineering concept not an emotional one.
     
    Agent_Outside likes this.
  17. Oct 1, 2020 at 5:53 PM
    #17
    PaulSCUBA

    PaulSCUBA New Member

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    Thanks I will. :)
     
    Oldtoyotaguy likes this.
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