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Old 09-18-2014, 02:24 PM   #1
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5.0TA option questions

Hi all

Mrs. iamunique127 and I are happily working away on the build sheet these days for our first travel trailer, a 5.0TA. We are finding so much help with ideas in these forums and are very appreciative for it all.

Currently we drive a 2006 4x4, double cab Tacoma, 31" tires, without the factory tow package. I plan to do some upgrades to bring the towing capacity more in line with the factory tow package capabilities such as oil and transmission coolers, beef up the suspension or add air bags. The hitch will be installed in Chilliwack. We plan to start out with this vehicle and are open to going larger if need be after we see how this one tows and what our needs are.

Right now I have a couple questions but I know I'll have more as time progresses. Here's what I'd like your input on today:

1) High-lift axle. We do enjoy getting off the beaten path and know we will be getting into some rough places. Is this enough in itself to order the high-lift axles? Are there any pros or cons to having the high-lift that I should know about?

2) Rock protection on the front corners. We will be travelling some gravel roads. Is the spray-on bed liner that ETI will instal the preferred method of preventing stone chips on the front surface? Is there something better or preferable? The price they charge is no pittance so I want to be sure of this first.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:38 PM   #2
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We had the axle installed to match the height of our truck- a 3/4 ton Silverado. As per ETI.
We didn't go with a spray on liner to protect the front- we are going to wait and see.
We drive many KM's on rough gravel roads- so far no chip damage- the closeness of the trailer to the truck seems to mean the thrown rock chips are ending up underneath, and not hitting the front end of the trailer. We did opt for the spray foam, to protect the underside.
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:49 PM   #3
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Adding air bags will not increase your towing capacity, it will only raise your bed. Your axle capacity is fixed and is listed on your door jamb, no matter what you do, that will not change.
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:33 PM   #4
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I would ask for the trailer to be raised high enough for a full size pickup. You'll be ready in case you find you need a bigger truck. Mine has 20" clearence to the frame, didn't measure the low point but it's quite a bit higher then my old trailer. It amounts to a high lift.
I also passed on the rock guard, common consensus was to wait. If you see the front corners or wheel wells getting chipped, do it then.
I also agree with what Jim says, air-lifts help rear end sag but don't add capacity.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:03 PM   #5
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Lyle, ditto what padlin says, although you likely won't get a bigger truck, I find the extra height of ours (which you've seen) to be good, it matches well with our F150.

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Old 09-18-2014, 08:55 PM   #6
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Thanks for the quick replies, guys. It's good to hear from some actual 5.0TA owners about their real life experiences with the trailer.

That's probably the best way to go, Bob- ask for it to be as high as needed for a full sized pickup. Someone else PM'd me with another added benefit of a high lift- it raises the clearance of the bike rack. That could be an issue for us in some of the places we get to. He also added that he has to use substantial blocks under the landing gear so the jacks don't have to be out so far.

Good to hear from you, sleepy about travelling on gravel and not experiencing stone chips. It's seems like others are taking a wait and see approach & I can get it done if and when I need it. I like the sound of that. We will have the extra spray-on insulation underneath.

Thanks for clarifying the tow capacity issue, Jim. Maybe my wording was incorrect or I am misunderstanding. I plan to add the suspension components and fluid coolers of the tow package. I understand that won't change the tag on the door frame. Do you think I will need the larger alternator and battery if I have the solar option. ETI didn't think it was necessary.

Hi Adrian. Does yours have the high lift axle?
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:07 PM   #7
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Hi Lyle. Yes. See post #4 in the thread "how high can you raise your legs". That's ours.

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Old 09-18-2014, 09:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamunique127 View Post
Do you think I will need the larger alternator and battery if I have the solar option.
I don't see any connection between the charging system or battery capacity of the tow vehicle and use of the trailer - the limitations of charging the trailer battery from the tug are all about the wiring between them, since any modern vehicle can supply the few amps that go into the trailer.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:41 PM   #9
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Yeah I think he means a heavier duty alternator and higher amp hour battery are sometimes included in a factory "tow package". I never understood why that mattered either. In any case, it has nothing to do with the solar, which isn't for the TV.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamunique127 View Post
Do you think I will need the larger alternator and battery if I have the solar option. ETI didn't think it was necessary.
Hello Lyle,
I'm the happy owner of a '14 Tacoma and soon-to-be '15 E-21. I did get both the off-road and tow packages which as you note, come with the bigger alternator and higher capacity battery. But I can't think of any ordinary circumstances where the bigger alternator would be of any benefit to the trailer. Maybe in an extreme case where the trailer batteries were depleted and I used my jumper cables to charge them, but that's pretty unlikely. I believe ETI has it right...

On the other hand, I like a high capacity battery for those sub-zero (F) mornings where the vehicle has been sitting for a couple of days in the open in the high country of Colorado. That's when every last Cold-Cranking-Amp comes in handy. And that's a lot easier to implement than swapping out an alternator.

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