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Old 05-22-2018, 11:46 AM   #1
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1st TT input, size question

We are looking to purchase our 1st travel trailer and I have no experience towing. Will be towing with a 2016 Tundra 5.7L Crew Max. We are currently considering 2 bunkhouse models.

2018 Starcraft Launch 19BHS (Dry weight 4,030, hitch 438, length 22'1).
2017 EVO 2250 (Dry weight 4301, hitch 455, length 26'6).

Both trailers seem to be within the payload capacity of our truck.

My question is would the difference in length amount to a significant difference towing experience?

The EVO is much better equipped and cheaper but I worry if it would be too much trailer for our truck.

An input on size or either of these specific brands would be appreciated.

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Old 05-22-2018, 12:19 PM   #2
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Answering your question is about the same as asking what the best song ever. There are so many other factors. Where are you going to take it? As first time users, you'll tend to carry anything you can stuff in it. You'll also tend to invite other people, and they'll carry all sorts of stuff too. What are your driving abilities? I know a guy that has a big diesel truck and they got an rv. he won't drive the truck with the rv on it. Has his wife do it. Odd to me but that's him. Personally myself, I just went back with a very small unit. 17 foot, no slide, everything simple. Not even alot of room for others. I've had several starting with a popup to a giant 5'er. I'm ready for simple and easy.

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Old 05-22-2018, 12:27 PM   #3
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Take a Saturday and go look at a bunch of them. Don't let the salesman talk you into something you don't feel comfortable with. I doubt any of them would let you test pull them. Go to different dealers. there's tons of them in beginner size.
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:30 PM   #4
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First off......
Forget about/using the 'dry weight' numbers. They are useless ---one doesn't two empty. Same with that hitch weight numbers---they are based on the dry weight.
You can get an idea of dry hitch weight % but that changes when trailer gets loaded up

You should look at trailer GVWR for better idea IF your truck can tow it
Starcraft doesn't provide the GVWR nor payload/CCC so one can figure GVW ----just dry weight
EVO provides dry/payload & GVWR.

Payload is HUGE 3154# so GVWR is 7455#
Tongue weight can be closer to 800# PLUS
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:37 PM   #5
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I bought my first tt a couple of years ago. It is 23.5 feet on the inside and 26’ overall. Dry weight is 4400lbs and can hold another 2k lbs loaded. I weigh in at 6k when loaded. I pull it with a 2002 z71 with 265 hp. I never have an issue and pull it with no problems with a blue ox wd hitch. I am located in southeast ga so pretty flat down here although I have pulled it up to Cherokee NC and crossed “hills” around 3k feet in elevation. Unless your geography is different I cannot imagine u having an issue. My buddy has a 2012 tundra and pulls his 5th wheel with ease with that 5.7 liter. His camper is close to 8500lbs and he pulls in overdrive but I wouldn’t recommend that no matter what truck u have.
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:52 PM   #6
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Where Are You Camping?

Where are you planning to camp? Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have lots of great National Park and National Forest campgrounds. But they were almost all built in the 30's by the CCC and the pads were sized accordingly. Which is to say that with a 1/2 ton truck, you'll run up against campsite length problems long before you run into problems with towing it. Every foot of additional length is another place you can't camp. If you're just going to be sticking to East Coast style state parks and private RV campgrounds, you won't have the length constraint.
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:28 PM   #7
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Look for the actual payload adjustment sticker in the driver door area. This number will be less than the payload at the Toyota website for your truck. Add up the weight of all the passengers that will be riding in the truck, and anything else that would be in the truck and not the trailer including a camper shell or bed cover, and anti-sway/equalization hitch. That weight would be subtracted from your available payload. That would be your maximum tongue weight. Since you are looking at bunkhouse models I assume you may have 4 or more passengers in the truck.

I wanted a Toyota but bought a GMC 2500HD double cab because I needed to be able to add a Leer cap and a lot of astronomy gear in the truck bed. I couldn't do that with the available payload even with a Toyota SR5 double cab. My GMC had a door payload sticker of 2662 pounds.

I have seen Toyota Crewmax trucks with less than 1200 pounds available payload after accounting for all weight related to options added to the truck.
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:43 PM   #8
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With no towing experience you will be surprised by how difficult a travel trailer is to tow.

I started by towing boats. Never had a WDH (Weight Distibustion Hitch) but noticed fuel economy going from 25 to 15. Or from 20 to 13. No sway with boats. The 1st time I towed a travel trailer I thought, this is not a boat. I battled sway for 2 years before I bought a bigger truck which made towing much much better.

So expect 10 - 12 mpg when towing. Expect a little sway.

Now the good news - the 5.7 litre Tundra will be able to tow either trailer you are looking at. The shorter one will have less side surface area for wind to catch but will not be as comfortable as the bigger trailer. It will always be a balancing act to buy a trailer you can tow comfortably plus be comfortable to stay in.

There are also some very good WDH hitches with sway control that will help with comfortable towing once they are dialed in.
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:53 PM   #9
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...however, towing is something that you can learn. Do some youtube watching, then once you get it, take it down some not busy but not too small roads. Also take it to an empty parking lot with plenty of room. Take some empty boxes that are easy to see but won't hurt anything if you smash them. Set up some corners with them to go around. Set up some "this is like a driveway at home or a camp spot" to back into for practice. Also, tell the wife that if she can't see you in the mirror you can't see her. Also tell her that you can't hear her so her standing back there saying come on back does nothing. Just take time to practice and get used to it once you've got it.

One more, hold the bottom of the steering wheel only. If you want the back of the trailer to go to your left, push your hand to the left/drivers door side. Same for the right side. In time it'll be second nature.
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Old 05-22-2018, 03:00 PM   #10
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Towing a trailer isn't rocket science so no need to be concerned about a four foot length difference. As for the dry weight of the trailer it is important to know. Besides knowing the dry weight you'll also need to figure out how much cargo (personal belongings) you'll typically be carrying. You can do that with a bathroom scale then add that weight to the base weight of the trailer. If you find you can't do without say 2000 pounds of personal belongings look for a trailer with sufficient cargo capacity and one your truck can handle while loaded up. Not all trailers have the same cargo capacity.
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Old 05-22-2018, 04:22 PM   #11
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Donít go by the dry weights listed in a brochure. Youíll be closer to the GVWR as the trailer is optioned out, and you get all your supplies in it.
All RVís will have the dry weights listed inside the RV as it sits with options.
More importantly look at the quality of the trailers, donít be fooled by the interior decor.
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Old 05-22-2018, 06:01 PM   #12
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To me buying a TT is like buying a boat motor. If you donít buy a motor with enough horsepower you will always want more. Your truck can handle a lot more trailer than your buying, but if thatís what fits in your budget thatís what works for you. I bought the most trailer I could get for what my truck could pull. I know plenty of people that bought what the thought the could live with, and most of those people arenít happy. Make sure you will be happy with whatever you buy.
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:29 PM   #13
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Looks like tow ratings on your 16' Tundra range from 9,800-10,100. Drop about 20% (say 2K lbs) from that, takes you to roughly an 8K lbs trailer loaded. So make sure whatever trailer you pick maxs out loaded at less then 8K lbs. There are, of course, many other factors at play, such as payload. But this will put you in the ballpark of having a TT you can safely and comfortably tow and stop. 4 feet of RV isn't going to make much of a difference in towing, but it could make a huge difference once set up and not tripping over each other on the inside.
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:39 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the responses so far.

We have been shopping for months and have looked at all the dealers and shows in our area. These 2 are the lowest weight bunkhouses we have looked at. We only have 1200 lbs to work with from the yellow sticker on the truck. Will be traveling with my wife and 2 small children. We live in North Texas and camp in the area. We are both teachers though and will travel throughout the country during the summer (away from Texas heat).

I understand towing will be a learning process and I will be using a WDH.

My biggest concern was if the different length trailers would handle differently. It sounds like I shouldn't expect much difference from the extra 4 feet.

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