Towing a 21 with the Tundra 4.6L V-8 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 12-30-2016, 03:27 PM   #1
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Towing a 21 with the Tundra 4.6L V-8

Well when we left to pick up our 21 in October I promised to do a report on how this vehicle preformed for us and if we were happy with it.
Frist some info on the vehicle. This is a Tundra w/6.5 box, 4.6L engine, 4X4, double cab, 6 speed automatic, 3.91 rear end. Tow rating is 6500lbs, payload is 1485 lbs, 435 lbs more than our 2014 Tacoma 4x4 that I traded in. It has no tow package, only the tow hitch. I added a bed Cap, Step bars, and brake controller. On the passenger side of the transmission is a two chamber heat exchanger. One side for oil, one side for transmission fluid. Toyota claims that it is more efficient than a finned cooler. I guess it is Didn't get no tranny light, which i was really concerned about.
On our way out with me, my wife 2 dogs(23lbs combined) cooler in back seat(20lbs in it) and about 400 lbs +/= in the bed, traveling 65-70mph, we got 18.7 mpg going out. We picked up the 21 on October 12th. Transferd everything in the back of the Truck to Trailer and coming back we achieved 11.9 mpg coming over both mountain ranges, 12.5 on the high Plains, as soon as we got to the Midwest milage bounced between 13.9 and 14.5. Are we happy yes! Most. towing was done in S-4, at 60-65. We ascended Stevens pass in the Cascades and Homestake Pass in the Rocky's in S-3 at 55mph, never going over 3300 Rpm's. The Import permit lists the deliverd weight of the 21 as 3530 lbs ( we did not get a lot of options) this truck got better mileage towing the 21, than my 2014 Tacoma did towing our Chalet XL, which weighed in at 2800 lbs loaded. Tacoma always got Between 10 - 12 Mpg. But of course got better miles running a round, about 20mpg not towing.
I loved my Tacoma, but am real glad I traded up. I got a more comfortable cab, more payload, but the same tow weight. We took our time coming back,5 weeks. Stopped were we wanted, saw what we wanted, and got home just before 22 inches of snow hit us.
All total we traveled 7500 miles.
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Old 12-30-2016, 03:30 PM   #2
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Valuable info - thanks for the report Jake.
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Old 12-30-2016, 03:42 PM   #3
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Hi: Jake930... Sure glad it's all worked out for you. Sounds a nice trip home stopping to smell the roses along the way. See ya'll in Niagara in Sept if you're able!!! Alf
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Old 12-30-2016, 05:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake930 View Post
This is a Tundra w/6.5 box, 4.6L engine, 4X4, double cab, 6 speed automatic, 3.91 rear end. Tow rating is 6500lbs, payload is 1485 lbs, 435 lbs more than our 2014 Tacoma 4x4 that I traded in. It has no tow package, only the tow hitch.
I understand the choice of the smaller engine, but Toyota really restricts the towing-related equipment and features available when you don't choose the 5.7L... you get a smaller fuel tank, no tow mirrors, and none of this:
Quote:
Tow Package: Towing hitch receiver, 4.300 rear axle ratio, TOW/HAUL Mode switch, Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, transmission fluid temperature gauge, supplemental engine oil cooler, supplemental transmission cooler, heavy-duty battery, 170-amp alternator and 4/7-pin connector
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Old 12-30-2016, 05:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I understand the choice of the smaller engine, but Toyota really restricts the towing-related equipment and features available when you don't choose the 5.7L... you get a smaller fuel tank, no tow mirrors, and none of this:

Quote:
Tow Package: Towing hitch receiver, 4.300 rear axle ratio, TOW/HAUL Mode switch, Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, transmission fluid temperature gauge, supplemental engine oil cooler, supplemental transmission cooler, heavy-duty battery, 170-amp alternator and 4/7-pin connector
wow... thought a 3.9x on a Ram was a pretty big hit on the gas bill for city/tow but for a Tundra a 4.3 rear ?...that might really bite the gas bill
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Old 12-30-2016, 05:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jake930 View Post
On the passenger side of the transmission is a two chamber heat exchanger. One side for oil, one side for transmission fluid. Toyota claims that it is more efficient than a finned cooler.
I think those are engine coolant hoses going to that heat exchanger, rather than engine oil lines. It's normal to use engine coolant to cool transmission fluid, but that's usually done in the engine coolant radiator's cool-side header tank, rather than in a separate device on the side of the transmission like this.

Yes, liquid-to-liquid heat exchangers can be much smaller than liquid-to-air heat exchangers, for the same temperatures and heat flow.
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Old 12-30-2016, 05:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by freespirit View Post
wow... thought a 3.9x was a pretty big hit on the gas bill for city/tow but a 4.3 rear ?...that might really bite the gas bill
The final drive ratio doesn't mean anything out of the context of the transmission ratios and the tire diameter. The Tundra has a very tall 6th gear (0.59:1) so it needs more gear reduction to result in the same engine speed.

Larger tires also go with more final drive reduction, but I suppose the Tundra's tires are pretty typical for "full-sized" pickups.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The final drive ratio doesn't mean anything out of the context of the transmission ratios and the tire diameter. The Tundra has a very tall 6th gear (0.59:1) so it needs more gear reduction to result in the same engine speed.

Larger tires also go with more final drive reduction, but I suppose the Tundra's tires are pretty typical for "full-sized" pickups.
was hoping you might explain it...the Ram dealer indicated the 5.7L with a 3.9x would be about a 2 mpg hit versus the standard rear end, and depending on how much highway towing and what it was towing. Still he recommended that if the Ram was primarily going to be used for towing and the towing weight, the 3.9x was better (not mpg) than the standard rear . Having never towed anything thought it best to go with the dealer recommendation.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freespirit View Post
wow... thought a 3.9x on a Ram was a pretty big hit on the gas bill for city/tow but for a Tundra a 4.3 rear ?...that might really bite the gas bill
Not really. We get between 12-14 mpg depending on the terrain with it on cruise at 65 MPH. If I take it off cruise we manage 14 on flat land most of the time. The 4:30 is great for being able to use cruise and being able to relax some. The transmission does not downshift all the time like our other trucks would that we were not ever able to use cruise and had to peddle them up and down hills or overpasses.

381hp and 401 ft lb make for a great tow package. All 5.7 come with the tow package, factory brake controller, 38 Gallon fuel tank and at least 9500 tow capacity depending on the cab you get.

Great truck! I know some on here will say it has to be from the big 3.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I think those are engine coolant hoses going to that heat exchanger, rather than engine oil lines. It's normal to use engine coolant to cool transmission fluid, but that's usually done in the engine coolant radiator's cool-side header tank, rather than in a separate device on the side of the transmission like this.

Yes, liquid-to-liquid heat exchangers can be much smaller than liquid-to-air heat exchangers, for the same temperatures and heat flow.
I've never been under the truck to see. Just going by what the service manger at the dealership told me.
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