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Old 04-08-2016, 01:57 PM   #1
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New 27BH and Toyota Sequoia

Wanted to post this since I had trouble finding tow reviews on the Sequoia.

Picked up our 2016 Sunset Trail 270BH from Manteca and towed it back to Reno using our 2014 Toyota Sequoia Platinum with 113t P rated Michelin LTX Defenders aired up to 42psi (max 44) and an Equalizer 4 point hitch. Tekonsha 90250 RF "wireless" brake controller.

Sticker weight was 5685. I stopped at the scales on the way home and had 50 lb Yamaha Generator in the back, full propane (+50 lbs), a single 27 series battery mounted (60? lbs), and about 100 lbs of "stuff"...tools etc, and a bit of water from the walk through.

Came out to 6020 lbs on the trailer with a 820lb tongue weight.
Truck was about 250 lbs under max weight with me inside. Leaving me 250 lbs for wife and 2 small kids, right below the limit.

The ride over Donner Pass (about 7100 ft) on I80 was no sweat. Never dropped below 3rd, 4th most of the time until high elevations, never had an issue holding 55mph. Never got above 62mph by own choice, and don't plan to (maybe one speed run to 75mph, max tire speed on trailer, for emergency purposes to test stability). Never got any sway, and the trailer was set up "okay". The dealer added an inch to the ball height for squat, but our truck has air suspension and it aired it up back to level putting the trailer just a bit high....not high enough anyone would notice, it looked good, but actually measuring and using a level it was a bit nose high. I have since adjusted the hitch height.

The dealer also "guessed" and the about of weight distribution, and was about one washer short. They never measured the front fender, and as set up it returned the fender to within about 1/4 of an inch. I'm going to continue to tinker a bit with that setup.

Once I got home I loaded our supplies into the bins and weighed each bin before putting it into the trailer. Also set up a tongue weight station and experimented with different water loads. Fresh tank definitely adds TW and the black must be mounted way back in the rear as it removes it.

As loaded I have the TW down to 730 lbs with 10 gallons (80 lbs) left in the black, and one propane tank stored under the rear bunks. Total trailer weight should be about 6150 lbs with blankets, some food, drinks, couple pots, full generator, tools etc. This give us an 11.8% tongue weight. Towing home I was at 13.6%

That TW gives our family of 4 (I'm 190 lbs, 130lb wife, two 50lb kids) about 530 lbs of useful load total, so with us that leaves 110lbs for "stuff" in the truck....as weighed at the scale. Don't plan on needing that "stuff" in the truck, we would just put it in the trailer, but we have some room.

Loaded with fresh water (830 TW) we will be right at or slightly (20lbs) over TW/Cargo load if we all go, so no full fresh water unless I can find some weight to add to the back.

Camped in our driveway last night, and plan on dry camping tonight at a state park close to home. Will only load about half water, but wife and kids are driving separately anyway so max cargo capacity isn't an issue on this trip. I just want to keep the TW light to see if there is a difference in towing.

Overall the Toyota Sequoia is awesome. I've done lots of other towing with it, but nothing of this length. The tow/haul mode works awesome by increasing the amount of throttle for a given distance of gas pedal travel, so you're not flooring and coming off the gas very much. Never floored it once, not even uphill in the mountains, maybe 1.5 inches of pedal travel max, most of the time it felt like I was inputting maybe 1/2-3/4 of an inch. My previous vehicle was a Denali XL, okay vehicle, and even with the longer wheel base of the Denali, the Toyota beats it hands down.

Coming down the hill the bad aerodynamics of the trailer behind me kept braking minimal. Started at the top of the grades at 50 mph (lots of 50mph curves coming down), downshifted a couple times, couple brake applications but MUCH better than coming down with my 5000lb boat with surge brakes.

9.8 MPG average over 180 miles starting at sea level, over the 7000ft pass and back to 5000ft in Reno. I was at 11.2 for the 90 min drive before I started heading uphill.

It never felt "squishy" to me, actually the opposite. A couple times I saw a bump or feature in the road that I thought would start it porpoising to the point I would wince, but hardly anything...in other vehicles, with shorter trailers, I would be worried about the hitch bouncing down and scraping, but not even close. Just nice and firm, but not harsh. Was it the wide axles on the trailer? The air suspension? The hitch? All three?

Overall happy with the setup.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:51 PM   #2
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Awesome post!!! I am glad you had a great tow experience with your platinum. we have a 2011 limited sequoia (so no factory air bags) and are towing a 2016 240BH and our ride did feel a little squishy at times. We live in the mountains of western NC so lots up ups and downs and curvy/ bumpy roads. I put some load Range E Michelin's on the truck a few weeks ago and we will be towing the trailer next weekend for the first time on the new tires. Hoping the tow is a bit more stable with the stiffer side walled tires. Power has never been a problem though as that 5.7L in the Toyota is a beast!!! I found that the 4 ply passenger rated tires that came on the truck were just too soft for us while towing and that's why i upgraded the tires. I have been toying with the idea of adding some small airbags in the back if needed, we will find out after next weekend. Enjoy your new camper, I know we absolutely love ours!!!
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:17 PM   #3
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good job ...about the water , I ,among others ,only put about 1-2 " of water in the tank for travelling. just enough if you need it. always fill at the campground. no sense hauling weight...plus the straps that hold the tank are kinda wimpy.
the average person will end up with 1000-1400 lbs of crap in the trailer, from bikes to tools to blocking wood,beer ,pots and bqqs...etc.
13% TW is perfect.....but why keep a propane tank inside??? If it is for bbq, why not get a hook up to the trailers tank system? Plus propane has to be vented outside for safety...
have fun
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:44 PM   #4
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The black tank water is for the CG/tongue weight. 80 lbs of water in the black reduced the TW by 40ish lbs.

Same for the propane bottle. 55lbs full. Taking it off the front reduced the TW by 50 lbs. Adding it to the back reduced it another 30. So an 80lb swing moving the one tank. Only gone for one night so didn't even need to bring it. Might swap down to 20# tanks for shorter trips.

For fresh water, still early season out here in the state parks. No water yet. I will be towing empty once I'm sure that water is available. I'm only 20 min from my house tonight.

Couple other new rigs here testing them out too.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:21 PM   #5
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Follow up:

Done a few trips now, again in the mountains around Reno, high elevation (5000+) still going good.

I may have set one washer too much on the WD hitch, it runs a bit stiff on washboard pavement. Will go down one washer next week and remeasure. Truck looks good, everything is perfectly level. Front wheel well may actually drop about 1/8" after the WD hookup....not good.

Tongue weight is getting a bit vague since I had it set up and measured everything, but still running 11.5% - 12.5% and haven't had any sway. That's coming down long grades, downshifted, and being passed by semi's. But again I'm at 60mph max in those conditions. Did a couple speed runs to 70mph just to make sure things wouldn't get hairy, and everything was solid.

The Equalizer hitch is getting loud, and I have the urethane inserts under the friction bars. That being said it got much louder after the last washer adjustment and I think the additional spring weight tightens up the 2 frictions points on the head making it squeal more.

Payload is 1270 on our truck according to the door jamb sticker. I weighed it to check and it seems to add up. At 750 tongue weight on 6300 lbs loaded that's right at 12% tw. I'm not sure we are that heavy, just assuming we added some weight since I last weighed it.

A 750 TW leaves us 520 lbs for payload. Fully dressed I'm just under 200, wife is 130, kids (girls) are 50lbs each. That leaves us 90 lbs extra. Not much but it works and we are within specs. When the kids get bigger we will have to reevaluate or put the wife on a diet. But at the rate they are growing we should have a couple years.

Our model is the 4wd Platinum which has the least payload, but has the air suspension, which has been really, really nice. I won't get into all the benefits of it, but you can manually adjust the height when driving slow which prevents bumper and hitch scraps among other things.
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Old 04-19-2016, 11:07 AM   #6
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The pivot points on the head need a bit of grease also. Not much,but will get rid of noise.
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
The pivot points on the head need a bit of grease also. Not much,but will get rid of noise.
Harley, I have the below model, and it states to lubricate the "trunnions". Is this where the two arms attach to the hitch I assume?
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:42 PM   #8
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That is correct. Add a bit of grease to the moving parts on the hich itself. The chain end of the bars do not need it
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:51 PM   #9
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Steve , I thought you had the Equilizer brand and the 4 point with L brackets on the frame cause you said you have the urethane(nylon) bushing under the bars. But either way ,a bit of grease works where your arrow is. Keep a couple small plastic bags to cover the greasy ends of the bars after you take them off.
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It was a rainy few days at Algonquin Prov park...tarps kept us dry.
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2013 Sunset Trail Reserve 25RB..
2015 White Chev Silverado 2500HD 4x4 (6.0 l gasser)
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:07 PM   #10
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Harley, this wasn't my thread. I was just responding to your message advice since mine also makes noise. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:05 PM   #11
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https://youtu.be/ah5en5Ng1TA

Here's a YouTube video I made yesterday going over the general setup of our trailer/tow vehicle.
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Old 05-01-2016, 03:21 PM   #12
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Nice setup and great job with the video
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