Ask TFLtruck: What Toyota Should I Buy to Tow an Airstream?

Airstream-Flying-Cloud-Travel-Trailer-03-1

Once again I need your help please. Recently I received the email below from Molly asking what’s the best truck to buy to tow an Airstream:

Hey there, Roman:

I found your videos and your website.  Whoa, how interesting.  I am looking at purchasing an Airstream.  I have not decided on which model to get yet, because I will also have to get a new car/truck to tow it.  I will be turning in my Prius for this adventure.

I am widowed, 65 and looking for an adventure without a lot of hassles.  Here are the Airstream models I am looking at:

Flying Cloud: 19′ with GVWR of 4500

Flying Cloud: 20′ with GVWR of 5000

Flying Cloud: 23′ with GVWR of 6000

I am looking at the Toyota 4Runner, (5000 Towing Capacity) the Toyota Tacoma (up to 6,800) and the Toyota Tundra (up to 10,000) as the towing vehicle of choice, primarily because I have always owned a Toyota, have a great relationship with my local dealer and this will also be my driving around town car.  Please help me decide.  I am concerned about towing capacity in that Airstream recommended 10-15% extra capacity on the towing vehicle compared to the GVWR.  I figure I am screwed on MPG regardless.  Just want the best performing vehicle.  I am not rich…but want to see the world.

Molly

I’m leaning toward advising Molly to purchase a Toyota Tacoma as it is the middle of the road choice. The Tacoma is powerful enough to tow, yet small enough to easily park. However I’m not sure a Taco can easily haul a 23 foot Airstream with all of her stuff inside the truck and the Airstream. To be honest I’ve never towed an Airstream so I don’t know how easily (or not)it will tow an Airstream. Would you please be so kind and help me and Molly out in the comments below with you suggestions?

Thanks!

Roman Mica is a columnist, journalist, and author, who spent his early years driving fast on the German autobahn. When he’s not reviewing cars or producing videos, you can find him training for triathlons and writing about endurance sports for EverymanTri.com as our sister blog’s publisher. Mica is a former broadcast reporter with his Master’s Degree in journalism from Northwestern University.