Towing 21' Bigfoot with 2003 Tundra - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-01-2008, 02:28 AM   #1
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Hello,

I currently tow a 1993 17' Bigfoot with my 2003 Tundra 4.7L 4X4 Ext Cab and it tows really well. We love the trailer but the bed is a little uncomfortable for two. I was looking at a couple of 21' Bigfoot Rear Beds and wondering what that would be like to tow. I know that my 17' Bigfoot weighs more than what it says on the sticker and I am guessing that the 21' Bigfoot is the same - just not sure by how much. According to Bigfoot the current 21' front bed model is 3690lbs "base dry weight." If I round this up to 4,000 and add another 1,000 lbs for gear it comes in at 5000 lbs. My Tundra is supposed to have a towing capacity of 7,200 lbs - this seems to be within the limits. I am wondering what it is going to be like if I was to tow this through the Rockies or to Yellowstone? I am probably a little paranoid because I used to tow the 17' trailer with a 96' Tacoma V6 and the brakes and transmission overheated one time when driving in the mountains - not a pleasant experience and it is why I bought a Tundra instead.

Would appreciate your thoughts!

Thanks!
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:19 AM   #2
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Bigfoot trailers have a sticker in the closet that states the weight with options when the trailer leaves the factory. The contents of the tanks are also included. This takes some of the guesswork out of estimating the weight of the trailer you are considering for purchase.

Some of the Bigfoot 21 footers have balance/sway issues. One fix is to add a ballast weight to the tongue, which the dealer can do, if not already installed. The fresh water tanks are located in the front or rear, depending on the floor plan and it makes a substantial difference how much water you carry. IOW, the balance/sway can be improved by carrying more or less water in the fresh water tank, depending on the floor plan. I think the fresh water tank is in the rear of the rear bed model and that is the one with more tendency to sway. If you are considering a 21 footer, learn more about this!

The 21 footer is wider than the 17 too. You need good auxillary towing mirrors for the 8'-4" width. The 4.7L V-8 should be adequate for the 21, but you can never have too much power when towing a trailer up a steep grade. BTW, our 17 footer tows so well I don't usually bother with sway control. You might need a Reese dual cam or Equal-i-zer for the 21.

And if you have to go to that much trouble, why not get a 25 footer and a 5.7L Tundra ;-)
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:03 AM   #3
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Frank, I'm not sure which Tundra you have, but the first generation appear to have factory rated towing capacities of 4800 lbs for both the 3.4L and 4.0L sixes, and the 5.7L V8 is 6800 lbs. I have an '02 Access Cab 3.4L V6 4WD which which I pull my Bigfoot 25RQ locally. The second generation Tundras have some outrageous rated towing capacity like 10k lbs. I've not seen one rated for 7200.

That said, you should be able to tow any of the Bigfoot 2500 series trailer with any V8 Tundra without problems.

Roger
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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Frank:

The issue with the tongue weight applied to the 21FB not the RB model (you can use a search engine to research this). The 2006 and several year earlier Tundra's had the largest engine being the 4.7 litre V8, the same engine I have in my 2005 4Runner, which has a tow rating of 7,200 lbs when a WD hitch is installed.

Our other vehicle is a 2008 Tundra with the 5.7 litre V8 that we tow our 25FB Bigfoot with. It weights about 6300 lbs on the wheels when in camping mode. It is conceivable that the 21RB may weigh 5000 lbs when in camping mode.

As an aside, we are very pleased with the 2008 Tundra with the tow/haul mode, 6 speed automatic, standard transmission temperature gauge and oodles of torque.

Rick B
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:44 PM   #5
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Frank,

You confirmed our choice of the 21 Bigfoot with your comments on the bed being uncomfortable for two in the 17 foot. The bed was the main reason for us passing on the 17' and purchasing the 21RB.

The sticker in the closet of our 25B21RB states a weight of 4,200 with factory options. I hope to soon make it to a weigh station, where I am expecting around 5,000lbs camping ready. As stated by Bob the 21' is wider than the 17' by 4 inches.

Rick is right about the tongue weight being added to the 21FB and not the 21RB. We use an equalizer hitch on our 21rb, keep heavy items forward and have no problems.

We used to tow another trailer weighing about 4,000 plus lbs with our Dodge 5.9 liter V8 Ram truck here in Colorado where we live. We did not want to tow any additional weight in the mountains with this setup, even though it would probably have been okay. So, since we were upgrading anyway, we went all out and purchased a 6.7 liter Cummins diesel. The exhaust brake on our Dodge Diesel is enough of an advantage to make it worthwhile, because I find going down the passes to be more intimidating that going up with a just adequate Tow Vehicle.
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Old 05-03-2008, 01:03 PM   #6
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Hi,

I just wanted to thank all of you for your thoughts - I am willing to give it a try and I'll be sure to check the closet for the real weight!

Thanks Again!

Frank
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