A Toyota and a full-sized fifth-wheel. There’s a combination we hadn’t done before, and until the all-new 2007 Tundra was introduced, we didn’t think it could happen. The test Tundra was rated to tow 10,600 pounds, only slightly lower than the truck’s 10,800-pound maximum. That rating places it shoulder-to-shoulder with the Big Three trucks. The Tango weighed in at 6,660 pounds wet but empty. The Tundra’s 78-inch shortbed brings up the situation of towing a fifth-wheel with a shortbed truck. We eliminated the problem by installing a PullRite SuperGlide hitch.
The 5.7-liter V-8 engine runs extra smooth, is quiet and responds fast and furious to throttle commands. Our total lashup weighed 13,200 pounds, so we still had 2,800 pounds of overall payload capacity before exceeding the truck’s 16,000-pound gross combination weight rating (gcwr).
From behind the wheel, it’s hard to tell this isn’t just any other U.S.-built pickup. Headroom, legroom and the general interior feel are very full-size trucklike. While the dash is typically high-tech Toyota, it’s simple and straightforward enough to please the most basic function-specific pickup types who eschew gimmickry.
The all-new Tango 2660 rear kitchen fifth-wheel we tested is sized just right for a half-ton truck and offers full-size living accommodations. Our test unit included a brief list of options, among them the not-really-an-option Value Package ($1,950) that contained the AM/FM/CD stereo, stabilizer jacks, a spare tire, a microwave oven, a ducted 13,500-BTU air conditioner, an awning, sink covers and a bifold stove cover. The package, which the manufacturer describes as a non-optional, standard-build feature that goes into every unit, about rounds out the already well-equipped trailer and makes it even more fun to use.
The trailer features a rear kitchen, a mid-floorplan dinette and lounge area, and a forward master bedroom and bath. A single modest streetside slideout houses the sofa/bed.
Good design and careful manufacturing are evident throughout the Tundra and the Tango. The pickup is going to provide a serious competitive race for the other truck builders, and it makes a fairly economical day-to-day family truck when it’s not towing your RV. The Tango doesn’t break any ground as far as innovation or features are concerned, but it’s cleanly designed and well-built in a way that makes it a highly appealing package when compared to similar fifth-wheels on the market.
Pick up the November 2007 issue of Trailer Life magazine for more info on Toyota’s Double Cab Tundra and Pacific Coachworks’ Tango — then subscribe to Trailer Life, so you can stay informed on the latest tests, previews, tow vehicles, and technical and RV-lifestyle information.
Pacific Coachworks Inc., (951) 686-7294, www.pacificcoachworks.com.