200 towing - LX570 or LC?

Discussion in '200-Series Cruisers' started by Marcesq, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Marcesq

    Marcesq

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    Hello all - I have a giant 2017 F250 Platinum that I bought to tow a 30' Airstream. The truck has a lot going for it, but it's definitely a bit harsh on the road, especially as a daily driver (my third car - a convertible - can't fit a car seat). I'm also running out of seats in the cab.

    I've been looking at getting a 200 series for a long time - primarily looking at a 2013+ LC, but the more I learn about the AHC system on the LX570, the more I think the LX could be a better towing machine.

    I have a 3rd kid on the way and two lap dogs. I will probably be out of cab space in the truck come Fall, but we could probably manage uncomfortably. Regardless of whether I get rid of the truck, my convertible is just impractical for life, and will be sold or replaced. I mention this just so that I can solicit appropriate advice - I have some flexibility - I can replace both the truck and the convertible, or just the convertible and park the truck for weekend warrior activities and towing.

    So, down to the question - Land Cruiser or LX570? I'm looking at 2013+ models. It seems that I can get a better deal (based only on mileage and year) by getting an LX, but that cost difference alone isn't swaying my opinion much.

    The issue that I am focused on right now is what I would need to do about suspension upgrades to get ~500 lbs of increased payload. I have a ProPride 3P hitch and a tongue weight over 1000 lbs. With either the LX or the LC, I will be getting appropriate wheels and tires for towing.

    LX: Spring spacers (5-10mm) on the front and rear - is that it for suspension enhancements?
    LC: It looks like I would need to put on an OME suspension system (not sure which parts... but seems like $2-3000 of stuff)

    Am I generally on the right page? All things considered, it's looking like the LX may be better suited for my purposes and cost a little less in the long run to get it tow-ready.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ryanCA

    ryanCA

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    You are generally on the right page. I tow 4700lb with my lx with no issues

    I also have s convertible that has two car seats and kids love it

    That said with 3 car seats and 2 dogs, lx will be very tight

    Have you looked at sequoia?
     
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  3. mooseknuckles

    mooseknuckles

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    Your F250 backseat has far more (width & leg) room then the 2nd row of an LC. I have 3 car seats in my 2nd row of my LC and it is tight. Even the new F150's have more room then the 2nd row of an LC. You will have far more room for supplies, bikes, toys, gear in the bed of the truck too. Your F250 is already set up to tow too. Toss the lap dogs in the Airstream and go.
     
  4. absalom

    absalom

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    We just picked up a Sprinter, would highly recommend one for your situation. Tons of power, and TONS of space :)
     
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  5. dnh1

    dnh1

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    The LX is way, way better for towing. I drive an LC 200, but we also own an LX (wife drives it). I have had 2 LC 200s and 3 LX 200s. The AHC system is huge when it comes to towing. The fact that you can lower the truck, pull under a trailer, and lift the truck back into the tongue without having to crank anything up is very nice. The fact that the ride levels is very nice. If you happen to ever tow a boat with it, the fact that you can lift the truck up so the rear end doesn't get salt water on it is nice. The LC sags under heavy loads and simply does not perform as well as the LX towing wise.

    2014-12-23 15.58.05.jpg

    That is my old ride. I now have a 2016 LC. I actually miss my 2009 LX. It was pretty sick looking as you can see.
     
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  6. Marcesq

    Marcesq

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    Agreed and understood. My plan is to have 3 kids across the second row, and remove the 3rd row for the time being and replace it with my dog crate. We don't travel with much gear - and the stuff we do travel with can go in the trailer. When the grandparents come to visit, I can put two kiddos in the 3rd row and we can take one car. Dogs traveling in a trailer is generally frowned upon...
     
  7. Marcesq

    Marcesq

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    Thanks - that is the conclusion I am arriving at - even though there is a sexy 2016 LC near me with the brown leather interior...

    Did you do anything to increase the spring rate of the LX?
     
  8. dnh1

    dnh1

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    Nothing. And I towed (albeit short distances) a 12k rig with it.

    Now, if you really want a sexy 2016 LC with the brown leather interior, I got one in my avatar photo for you. 38k miles. Never been offroad. Buy it from me so I can get a new LX.
     
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  9. coleAK

    coleAK

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    I know airstreams are different than other TTs and from what I remember they measure total length, But 30’ is HUGE for a 200 series. I pull a Black Rock 22’ and loaded is just under 7000 lbs, throw in 4 bikes, my family of 4, other gear, 100 lbs of dog and I’m fairly maxed out. I use a robust WD hitch on my stock ‘13 LX570. I don’t feel limited by the suspension but the engine/gearing.

    Now I am in Alaska so entirely on curvy, hilly, mountain roads but: 55-60 mph is max (unless I’m downhill with a tailwind), I can only pass cyclists, I go 30-35 mph up the passes, and get ~9 mpg. Wind slowes me down even more. Most trips are 50-250 miles each way. I had a f250 diesel (and a G500) and got rid of them to have one vehicle in the LX. My F250 pulled it well the LX is nowhere close but is adequate. I tow 5000 miles a summer over the course of pretty much every weekend. There is no way I would go any larger or heavier than my current TT and if I could go smaller (like an rPod) I would.

    Now it my be different if you don’t pull that often or go very far. But even on flat straight roads I feel I am at the full capacity of my rig. I know there are airstream guys on this forum interested to see what they say.
     
  10. linuxgod

    linuxgod

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    The LC needs stronger rear springs and/or helper air bags when towing, IMO. Max tongue weight is 850#. Assuming you use a weight distributing hitch and shift 40% of that off the tongue, that's still 510# on the hitch. The factory springs compress 170#/ft so your rear will squat 3", which is far too much to travel safely.

    If you wanted to swap in heavy duty rear springs or helper airbags they are only a few hundred $. If you don't want a lift there are companies which make heavier springs without much if any lift, otherwise helper airbags can give you back an inch or so under load.

    I haven't towed with an LX so I can't comment on how well AHC levels a fully loaded rig but others here can
     
  11. coleAK

    coleAK

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    I was in a similar decision, i didn’t really have the yard space for the truck (and my wife hates trucks), I needed an SUV with: good off-road ability to replace the G500 that was my DD, ability to pull the camper, and we have 2 kids but wanted a 3rd row for friends. Really the LC/LX was my only option. The Tahoe, suburbian, sequoia, navigator, or GLS wouldn’t handle the off roading I do, the armada would have been a a stretch in the form we get here in the USA, and our Land Rover dealer closed about 5 years ago. For 3rd row suvs that is pretty much it with tow capacity.

    If you don’t need the off-road ability some on this forum claim the sequoia does better towing than the LC.
     
  12. Mutant

    Mutant

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    Where does one aquire said airbags?
    And will they fit inside OME aftermarket coils?
     
  13. TeCKis300

    TeCKis300

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    Hi Marcesq. Welcome to the mud forums. Sorry for the freak show on the airforums.

    Both the LC and LX can be made to tow equally well. Both will do nicely stock, but your 30' is on the longer/heaver end. They won't need much for upgrades, but minor tweaks can make a world of difference. Ffor the LC, I'd recommend a proven OME suspension, with higher rate springs and shocks all around. They can be had for a very reasonable cost. For the LX, I'd recommend just some 15mm spring spacers to the rear only, and these can be had and installed for a song.

    The LX will be able to tailor itself between unladen vs loaded and have the best of both worlds. The LC can be balanced for a descent ride and still handle the extra loads, but it won't ever ride as nice as it does stock with stiffer spring rates. Perhaps bags can help it have a dual personality?

    The AHC on demand height change ability has a unique trick when used with WD hitches. Because it lowers the vehicle about 1" at fwy speeds, this has the effect of increasing WD tension and stability, right when it's needed for higher speeds. Yet it also means it allows one to set WD statically lower for less tension and loads to the A-frame and hitch when toting around town. I also like to set it to high position, to really relax the WD tension when entering driveways, gas stations, or anywhere that has irregular pavement. Obviously, it also really help with hitching and unhitching. I really enjoy using it to level the trailer when at campsites, as it gives me adjustment down 2" or up 3", along with further fine tuning from the tongue jack. It means that I don't always have to unhitch to get the trailer level.

    I'd highly recommend a nice set of Light Truck tires too, in place of the P metric stock tires for extra stability. I'd avoid upsizing tires so the stock gearing is kept optimal. I run my 27FB (28') with 33" tires. Gearing is just fine, but for a 30, you'll want all the stock gearing. Unless you can spring for the '16 and up which has a better geared 8-speed tranny. The newer ones also more likely come with radar cruise which may be a nice thing for extended travels.

    Cruising range will take a hit and we all find that the stock tank is somewhat limited. Doesn't help that our gas is watered down with corn juice. I find range to be about 200-230 miles per tank. There are now aux tank options for the platform too, where you can add 13, 23, or up to something like 40 gallons capacity.

    Because it's a gas motor, it will need more RPM when climbing compared to your diesel. For a gas motor, the Toyota 5.7 is tuned well with more low end torque than most comparable gas motors. But it will need to be revved for climbing and engine braking. Fortunately, it's a nice smooth mill, and Toyota has done a great job insulating motor sounds so it's never raspy, loud, or annoying. But it is a change from your diesel experience.

    Finally, since you have a propride hitch, you'll really have the best of both worlds in that you'll have excellent stability and anti-sway. Yet has incredible agility in maneuvering compared to just about any other tow vehicle. The Land Cruiser has a surprisingly sharp turning radius.
     
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  14. linuxgod

    linuxgod

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    I bought mine off eBay. The bags are $100. You can use the Schroeder valve (car tire style) to inflate with a bike pump or spend an extra $75 on an inexpensive air compressor like I did.

    They fit inside the stock rear springs. If you have a lift then you may or may not need slightly taller bags depending on the spring height

    Firestone Helper Air Bag Installation
     
  15. coleAK

    coleAK

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    Thanks. So do you have an LX or LC? Since I’ve been a member I keep hearing about spacers with the LX. I think I should get some as it may lessen the pressure on my AHC when I tow all summer.
     
  16. TeCKis300

    TeCKis300

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    I personally own an LX. The spacer in the rear isn't a must, unless you tow and load really heavy. My Airstream 27FB (28' ball to bumper) probably has tongue weight in excess of 1000lbs, and it wasn't completely necessary. But then again, it's such a cheap and easy mod. Without any side effects, even to non-loaded ride. I've loaded to 1800lbs payload between passengers, trailer, and gear and AHC performed on point with the mod.

    LX570 Augmenting for Load
     
  17. coleAK

    coleAK

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    Thanks. I have an LX as well. My TT is a black rock 22BHS and is about 7000 loaded with ~750 on the hitch. Add on 500 lbs of people, 100 lbs of dog, 150 lbs of bikes and roof rack or 100-200 lbs of fish+ice,... and I get up there in weight. I’ve done this for 4 summers with no issues but was just thinking it could be easier on my AHC with the spacers.

    So do you just leave the spacers on?
     
  18. coleAK

    coleAK

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    And my TY is 26’ ball to bumper
     
  19. Mutant

    Mutant

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    I do have a 2" lift. I've played this game before with my 4Runner...the regular airlift bags were too short for my lift so I bought taller Firestone airbags and those were too fat to fit inside the OME aftermarket coils! Frustrating
     
  20. Marcesq

    Marcesq

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    Thanks TeCKis300 - really appreciate the comments. No worries about airforums... it can be entertaining. It seems to be the place where grumbling about a big truck, let alone the new F250, gets everyone fired up!

    I think I've been convinced the LX570 is best for my purposes - the AHC seems to be a really nice feature and I had not previously considered the practical benefits you mentioned about modifying the WD on the fly by changing the ride height.

    As to year choices, I'd certainly prefer a '16, but one with the radar cruise control is a must.
     
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