in partnership
The fine folks at Seattle Ballooning gave us the opportunity to tag along on one of their evening flights to watch the sunset, drink fine champagne, touch the top of trees and glide over the White River in their French-style hot air balloon. Check out their website at (Sy Bean / Seattle Refined)

Let's Go Places: Hot Air Ballooning

Going wherever the wind takes you isn’t just a figure of speech in hot air ballooning—it’s reality (well, kind of).

Eliav Cohen, the hot air balloon pilot at Seattle Ballooning, says the wind often blows in different directions depending on how high you fly, so when you change altitude, you change directions. But don’t worry, as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licensed pilot, Cohen knows his stuff.

So, you know we’re not just full of hot air when we tell you that ballooning is hard work. Preparing for take-off in a hot air balloon is a slow process that takes lots of muscle and power. And what better auxiliary for the job than the 2018 Toyota Tundra?

Toyotas are known all over the world for their off-road prowess, longevity, and everyday dependability. The Tundra specifically is known for towing a heavy payload.

Nope, your head isn’t in the clouds – the Toyota Tundra is as good as it gets. Read on for more of its fantastic features:

Mighty and capable

Specific to its strength and power, the vehicle comes with two powerful i-FORCE engines to choose from – a brawny 5.7-liter V8 and an efficient 4.6-liter V8, both of which feature Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) to optimize engine breathing for maximum power and efficiency. To help handle the remarkable torque from the 5.7-liter V8, Toyota equipped the engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission, two-piece drive shaft, and massive 10.5-inch ring gear. Drivers can’t go wrong when choosing between muscular or compact.

This vehicle also features an available 38-gallon fuel tank and can tow up to 10,200 pounds. The Tundra CrewMax being used has ample space to rule the road and worksite, with two full-size front and rear doors, a 5.5-foot bed, an easy to lower and lift tailgate, and a standard bench seat with a fold-down center console.

Luxurious layout

The Tundra is available in two four-door options, including the Double Cab or the CrewMax version. It’s also offered in a variety of grades, including the work-ready SR, the well-equipped SR5, the sophisticated Limited, the luxurious Platinum, and the heritage-inspired 1794 Edition.

The Tundra can also be equipped with the TRD Off-Road Package, which includes unique 18-inch alloy wheels, trail-tuned Bilstein monotube shocks, and engine and fuel tank skid plates, among other features. The TRD Sport Package offers 20-inch six-spoke TRD alloy wheels with black accents, sport-tuned Bilstein monotube shocks, TRD front and rear anti-sway bars, color-keyed grille surround, mirrors caps, front and rear bumpers, and more.

The vehicle is just as striking and functional on the inside with an intuitive control layout, dual zone climate control with individual temperature settings for the driver and front passenger (the CrewMax also features a standard power vertical rear window for ample fresh air), and split fold-up rear space to create even more room in the cabin. The Tundra also comes standard with a powerful Entune Audio System and integrated backup camera.

Built for the work and play

For towing, the Tundra’s available deck rail system incorporates four adjustable tie-down cleats, each rated at 220 pounds. These tie-down cleats, made of sturdy die-cast aluminum and anchored to the Tundra, ensure all gear, equipment, and luggage stay in the bed. Drivers can rest assured knowing they’ll have control over their trailers with the vehicle’s powerful 4-piston brake calipers.

Like all Toyota vehicles, safety takes priority for the Tundra, ensuring drivers have the peace of mind to carry them through the long haul. Toyota’s Safety Sense P includes features like Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System, Automatic High Beams, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. The vehicle also comes equipped with an Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, eight airbags, and Star Safety System, which is designed to help drivers bring the car to a stop. Notably, it’s also the first full-size pickup to offer Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA).

Made for the long haul

The 2018 Toyota Tundra offers the largest fuel tank and front brakes in its class. What’s more, Toyota provides the longest-lasting vehicles of any full-line manufacturer, with over 90 percent of Tundras sold in the last 10 years still on the road.

The 2018 Toyota Tundra is available in five grades and starts with an MSRP of $31,320. The SR5 CrewMax model (shown here) is $45,168.

For more information about this fantastic vehicle, visit one of the local Western Washington Toyota Dealers near you today. You can also visit to read more about the 2018 Toyota Tundra and to see interior and exterior pictures.