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Topic: toyota tacoma towing capacity

Posted By: koolbean on 12/10/08 09:23am

I have a '06 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner.
Per owner's manual:
4.0 liter
V6
236 hp
266 lb-ft torque
6,500 lb. max. gross trailer weight
11,100 lb. max. gross trailer weight + vehicle + occupants + cargo

I'm planning a road trip from Orlando, FL to Dallas, TX so I anticipate fairly flat roads and no steep hills. My family of 5 weigh approx. 450 lb. total.

I would like to rent this trailer ( http://www.cruiseamerica.com/rent/our_vehicles/travel_trailers.aspx ). It has Reese stabilizer bars rated at 10,000 lb. Per the rental agent, it is 6,000 lb fully loaded with gas, propane, etc. The rental company technician saw the Tacoma and said it can tow the trailer with no problem.

I would like some other opinions as well. Can some experts tell me if the Tacoma will be struggling to tow the trailer or if it will be able to do it fairly comfortably? I would just like to get a feel for whether it is too much trailer (or too little truck) since I have no experience with this.

Please advise and many thanks!


Posted By: svlehman on 12/10/08 10:56am

I'm not sure about towing with no problem. I towed almost the same trailer with my Tundra and I definately knew it was back there.


Here is an earlier post.


Calculating the ACTUAL weight of your trailer

Ok, first thing first. Do not rely on the brochure you got from the trailer dealer or what the dealer told you it weighed. In any Toy Hauler, Hybrid Trailer, Travel Trailer or Pop-up Camper there will be a weight and capacity sticker inside one of the cabinet doors. This sticker will tell you the actual dry weight of the exact unit that you are standing in. It will also tell you the GVWR (what the max the trailer is safely capable of weighing), the consumable capacities and their weights, and finally what the CCC (cargo carrying capacity) is.

For you boat guys, you will need the weight of the boat, plus the weight of the trailer, plus the weight of the fuel in the boat, (Gasoline is 6.2 lbs/Gallon), plus the weight of all your beer, and fishing tackle. You get the idea.

For you motorcycle and car hauler guys, there will be an as manufactured weight on the serial number plate on the frame of the trailer, usually near the tongue of the trailer, but I have seen them in lots of places. To that you will need to add the weight of the cabinets that I’m sure you installed in the trailer to hold all your cleaning and detailing supplies, as well as your spare parts, and you will need to add the weight of the car, motorcycles, landscaping equipment, and all the fuel that these things hold as well. My point being, that it does you no good to buy a 4000 lb car hauler when your 57 Chevy show car weighs 3700 lbs. My point is that it is easy to wind up well overweight if you don’t think about what you are going to be putting into or on a trailer before you select the trailer.

Here is a more detailed example that I posted a few days ago when mptaco asked about towing weights.

Model: Weekend Warrior FS2300 Toy Hauler
Axle Weight: 4125 lb.
#Axle: 2
Tongue Weight: 635 lbs.
GVWR: 7650 lbs.
Payload: 2890 lbs.
Fresh Water: 100 gal.


That 4125 lbs. is the trailer, and it's standard equipment. That does not figure in any options, consumables, or gear. Let's break it down a little more.

To that 4125 lbs you have to add some things:

* Fresh water tank 100 gal @ 8.33 lbs/gal = 833 lbs (even if you went half full that's still 416.5 lbs.)
* Hot water heater tank 6 gal @ 8.33 lbs/gal = 50 lbs
* Dual LP bottles 5 gal @ 4.24 lbs/gal = 40 lbs (add this directly to your tongue weight too)
* Deep cycle battery = 50 lbs (This one is direct tongue weight too.)
* Now we are at 5098 lbs with a hitch weight of 725 lbs. wet, but still un-loaded.


Add to that weight any of the following options if installed:
(you don't need to guess at all this, there will be a weight sticker inside the cabinet door of the unit that you are looking at that tells you exactly what that particular unit weighs dry but fully optioned)

* 20 gal- Gas Tank/Pump* (another 124lbs just for the gasoline)
* 4.0 Onan Generator w/20 gal Gas Tank (another 124lbs just for the gasoline)
* AM/FM CD w/ Int. & Ext Speakers
* Ramp Add-A-Room
* Rear Ramp Screen
* TV Shelf & Antenna (FS,SL.SS only)
* Spare Tire / Rim / Mount, 15 inch
* Alloy wall protector
* Bay Window w/ 2 Swivel Rockers
* Family Friendly Warrior Electric Loft Bed
* 12V Tongue Jack
* Exterior BBQ


I don't pretend to know what all of these options weigh in at, or if the trailer you are looking at has them, but I suspect that it would have at least some of them, so we'll call that another 500lbs.

Now stick two motorcycles in there. Call them 500lbs each.

Now you are at 6598 lbs with a hitch weight of 725 lbs. wet, optioned and motorcycled, but still un-loaded.

Now add into that your food, clothing, entertainment, water and sewer lines, camp chairs, dog toys, fishing gear, toiletries, beer... You get the idea.

The point is that you'll likely come in between 6800 and 6900 lbs wet and ready to roll, and you'll have a hitch weight of 725 lbs (or more depending on where in the coach the water/gasoline tanks are positioned)

Oh, and the GCVWR of the truck is 11,100 lbs. Subtract the truck weight of 4090 (4x4, double cab, short bed) and the wet and ready to roll weight of the trailer at 6900 lbs then you and your family and anything else in the truck itself need to weigh less than 110 lbs. Even if you figure way low at 6700lbs that is still only 310 lbs for family and******in the truck.

You can see how easy it is to quickly wind up over your tow rating, tongue weight, and GCVWR.


Posted By: outbackpacker on 12/10/08 04:28pm

Here you go...

My old setup:
[image]

You will need to get the rear suspension TSB done. My wife and I towed this setup through all of New England including the big mountains. You aren't going to win any races but you should be able to keep it at 55mph on the steep ones. Make sure your w/d is setup properly and don't overload the bed. When we went it was my wife and I, 2 dogs, 150lbs generator, 100lbs of tools, probably 100lbs of firewood all in the bed. Put most of the weight like the generator ahead of the rear axle not behind.

Run premium fuel, it will increase your mileage and help out quite a bit. When we drove 55mph on purpose we saw 12-13mpg with premium. Regular and 65-70 dropped it to 9-10mpg, sometimes 11mpg.

You will always know the trailer is there but I never felt that we were gonna die or we weren't gonna make it. Fully loaded and wet with the gen and firewood we were only about 400lbs below GCVWR. If my wife didn't want a bigger trailer I'd still be towing that setup and be confident with it. Over 5000 miles with it last year alone. TX to FL will be a breeze with it. Any questions just ask.


2008 Tundra DC Limited 4x4 5.7L 4.30 gears "towing rocket"--Paid for!
Motor Trend's 2008 Truck of the Year
2009 Outback 310BHS Equal-i-zer, Prodigy, 9000lbs, 35ft


Posted By: kknowlton on 12/10/08 11:43am

It will be struggling. We towed a 5000 lb (loaded) trailer with an Explorer with similar setup and it was TOUGH.

We tow a 7000-lb (loaded) trailer with our MUCH larger Tundra and it's just enough.


2007 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 5.7L V8 w/ tow pkg, Equal-i-zer
2013 Rockwood Mini-Lite 2502S


Posted By: MitchF150 on 12/10/08 01:00pm

That's heavier then my trailer by half a ton and I've got a bigger truck and I know I've got something heavy behind me... I also only carry one other passenger.

How much 'stuff' do you plan on putting in the rig? Besides the family, what else is going in the truck? Start subtracting lbs from that "tow rating" figure you got there... Right off the bat, you need to subtract the #450 for your family. That makes the 'tow rating' #6100. You can do the rest of the math..

Will you be able to tow it? Sure, it'll get down the road.. How comfortable of a tow it will be is something else and can be subjective from one person to another, so while the rental guy says "no problem", he's not really going to be dragging it along for several thousand miles either....

Personally, I wouldn't do it with a Tacoma... V8 powered SUV with a wider track and longer wheelbase, sure.... Those Tacoma's are narrow for the most part.. Hook up a pop up trailer and it'll be fine... The rig you are talking about... Not me..

Good luck!

Mitch


2013 F150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab Max Tow Egoboost 3.73 gears #7700 GVWR #1920 payload. 2003 Prowler Lynx 722F #5000 GVWR and weighs every bit of it! "> Happy Camping!



Posted By: grittyoctopi on 12/10/08 02:29pm

I also have a Toyota Tacoma, 2006 LWB Prerunner. We are looking for a Travel Trailer to buy, and it has been quite an experience.
First and foremost, don't believe anything a trailer salesman tells you(the same applies to someone renting you a trailer). You can tell when they are lying by the fact that their lips are moving. I had one tell me that I could pull a 30' Hornet (weight about 7000#) with no problem.
Also by the time you add food, clothes, and other necessaries, you will be bumping up against the 6500# max. As you probably are aware,
pulling a travel trailer is not like pulling a boat, way more wind resistence.
The Taco also has a maximum tongue weight of 650 #. You will probably be over that. That is the biggest problem that I am having finding a trailer to buy that I like, that I can pull.
Good luck and let us know how it works out.

cliff


Posted By: skipnchar on 12/10/08 05:40pm

I guess the main question I have is "how do they KNOW what the trailer will weigh when you get it fully loaded?" That's the main reason only the UVW figures are used in RV brochures (along with the GVWR which is the most the trailer COULD weigh). Did they also somehow calculate the fully loaded tongue weight so you know it's under your trucks payload capacity? (again when IT'S fully loaded) If they did they they're pretty much a magic company doing what nobody else does. It MAY have something to do with THEM not being responsible for fixing any damage done or having to fact the prospects of a broken axle etc.

Not saying the truck will NOT do the job but I know I wouldn't want to be towing that much trailer with a low HP low torque engine and I'd CERTAINLY want to take into consideration the trucks safety ratings (GVWR and GAWR) before making my OWN decision.
Good luck / Skip


2011 F-150 HD Ecoboost 3.5 V6. 2550 payload, 17,100 GCVWR -
2004 F-150 HD (Traded after 80,000 towing miles)
2007 Rockwood 8314SS 34' travel trailer

US Govt survey shows three out of four people make up 75% of the total population



Posted By: Ductape on 12/10/08 07:18pm

I'm towing similar size and about 4500 lbs with similar power as you. You'll be pushing the limits with a unit that size.
Not so much the weight as the wind resistance. I would rather pull heavy than pull a big sail any day.


49 States, 6 Provinces, 2 Territories...


Posted By: TXiceman on 12/10/08 08:35pm

With the Tacoma, you need to drop down to something around 21' and 3500# in my opinion. There is a lot more to towing than having the HP. You have to have enough truck to control the trailer.

Ken


Amateur Radio Operator.
2013 HitchHiker 38RLRSB Champagne, toted with a 2012, F350, 6.7L PSD, Crewcab, dually. 3.73 axle, Full Time RVer.
Travel with a standard schnauzer and a Timneh African Gray parrot


Posted By: outbackpacker on 12/10/08 10:04pm

skipnchar wrote:

I guess the main question I have is "how do they KNOW what the trailer will weigh when you get it fully loaded?"
Good luck / Skip


There are these things at truck stops called CAT Scales, for $1 you can have each axle weighed, at some, you can have each wheel weighed.

I weighed my truck on the way down to get it the first time, then the truck with the empty TT, then on my first big trip I weighed again. I was below weight and happy that I had such a big TT when I couldn't afford a bigger truck.


Posted By: Carl_722 on 12/10/08 10:23pm

You might need a dually! had to say it. As others have said the W/D hitch properly set will make all the difference in the world. Do you already have the brake controller because you will need it? Drive slow watch your engine temps and tranny temps if you have a guage for it. You will be fine. Remember pack light and don't let the kids bring home a big rock collection.


2004 Chevy 2500 LT Crew Cab 6.0L, 4.10 gears 8,600 GVWR 16,000 lbs GCWR 10,700 lbs tow rating.

2006 Crossroads Cruiser CF32BL 34'11" 3 slides.
Active Duty Navy
AWF1
NRA Member


Posted By: koolbean on 12/11/08 11:05am

Many thanks for everyone's very informative inputs. The feeling I got from the tone of the replies is that the Tacoma will be able to tow the TT but it will be a little of a stretch.

I went to my Toyota dealer for some service maintenance and talked to a Toyota guy there. Told him my situation as in my original post. I did forget to mention that my drive will be over 3-4 days, only driving 3-5 hours per day and with overnight stops at campgrounds. Also going light (only food, clothes, etc.), no bikes, kayaks, etc.

Taking a slow drive, a couple of hours per day, taking it slow and easy, no major hills between Florida and Texas, his opinion was that the Tacoma should do fine with the TT. He was confident that it would not be a problem. He even said he would do it himself.

Some interesting things he noted:
1) The 2WD Tacoma is built on a 4WD chassis so towing the TT will not hurt or be damaging to the Tacoma.
2) The 450 lb weight of the family is only for the cab and does not count toward the 6500 lb. towing capacity rating of the Tacoma. Incidentally, this is consistent with the owner's manual which allows 11,100 lb total of everything.

So at this point I am inclined to go ahead with my plans but I would still be interested and appreciative of any additional comments or thoughts.

Thanks everyone!!


Posted By: Carl_722 on 12/11/08 12:20pm

The weight allowed for towing is usually a 150 lbs driver and a full tank of gas and the GCWR and GVWR is minus any excess weight in the truck not whether it is in the cab or the bed. Most dealers especially the salesmen are clueless to what affects towing limitations. The Tacoma is limited to 5,000 lbs without if it doesn't have the tow package and 6,500 with the tow package. The family comes off of the GVWR of the truck which takes away from the amount of hitch weight you can use because that goes against the GVWR of the truck. A 6,000 lbs trailer should have around 900 lbs of hitch weight and it will not be as heavy with a WD hitch.

http://www.trailerlife.com/images/towratings/2006/TowingRatings_p20_33.pdf


Posted By: nasa42a on 12/11/08 04:28pm

Koolbean......
My 2007 Tacoma doublecab is mechanically a double for your TV. We are currently towing a 3500-lb 22' HiLo with it....the result of having downsized both trailer and tow vehicle (previously an F-150 5.4 V8). It's a relaxed, comfortable tow. I've got 35+ years of towing experience with various lash-ups.

I believe your response shows that you desperately WANT to believe you can tow the "loaded, 6,000-lb trailer" with your Tacoma. And so you can.. But I don't believe that you will enjoy the result. You will be right at the upper edge of capacity....with little margin of error for handling safety in emergencies.

Just because you can doesn't always mean you should.

Good luck.

Frank [emoticon]






Posted By: OregonPioneer on 12/11/08 08:20pm

koolbean,

Here is my rig, it is almost what you are wanting to rent. It tows easily you just have to understand that you have something behind you that weighs as much if not more than what your towing it with. If you don't have a brake controller get a quality one.
If you want to tow as comfortable as possible get a F450SuperDuty. In the real world some of us can't afford or don't want a truck that is only used for one purpose.
I tow with the Tacoma and don't have any problems.

[image]

Here it is at Thanksgiving.

[image]

Drive careful and let us know how the trip was.

vince


Posted By: JASMAR T on 12/11/08 10:51pm

I tow at Nash 22H, TT is 4600 Dry and 6600 Wet, I purchased it because it is 3/4 the tow capacity of my 2002 GMC Sierra 1/2 Z-71.

I would not pull anything bigger with my current truck. So my recommendation never tow something more than 75% of your tow capacity. Mainly because of two factors:

1. You will always have luggage and (as my wife calls it, all my toys)that we take on our trips that will eat up the rest of my tow or even payload capacity.

2. Bigger trucks have bigger Brakes, even with a good brake controller, you may still go down long grades and an overside TT vs. TV, can sometimes be very dangerous.

If you decide that your truck is not adequate to tow the size TT you need, you may consider renting a Motorhome for your trip.

Just my Opinion,

Regardless of your decision, just be safe

[emoticon]Jasmar (Tom)

* This post was edited 12/11/08 11:03pm by an administrator/moderator *


2010 GMC SIERRA 2500HD DURAMAX/ALLISON, 373 REAR 4X4, Z-71
2011 Heartland Sundance 2800RL


Posted By: rhondavid on 12/12/08 05:58am

RV Towing Tips

Greatest source of information on weights, lenghts and other consideration I know of. Study it before you make the decision to rent.

Good luck!!


David,Wife,4 kids,SIL,1 grandchild
2003 Ford Excursion Eddie Bauer 7.3 PSD w/3.73 rear end
Jayco Kiwi Too 30T bunkhouse w/triple bunks
Prodigy Controller
Reese Dual Cam HP
Michelin LTX M/S
2001 F150 SuperCrew

Topsail Hill Cult Member



Posted By: Pete D on 12/13/08 12:39pm

The 4WD chassis is not buying you anything -- Actually, 4WD *lowers* tow and payload capacity because of the weight of the additional equipment -- What 4WD does do for you is give you access to granny gears for really steep hills or backing in rougher campgrounds.

The main drawbacks of towing too much weight are the potential loss of control and the potential for damage to engine and transmission.

Clearly, short, flat, occasional trips are not as stressful as other kinds.


1998 Ranger 4.0 4x4
1991 Scamp 13'


Posted By: RobertRyan on 12/13/08 01:46pm

Quote:

Here is my rig, it is almost what you are wanting to rent. It tows easily you just have to understand that you have something behind you that weighs as much if not more than what your towing it with. If you don't have a brake controller get a quality one.
If you want to tow as comfortable as possible get a F450SuperDuty. In the real world some of us can't afford or don't want a truck that is only used for one purpose.
I tow with the Tacoma and don't have any problems.

Fascinating thread. Here in Australia we would have an SUV generally tow that small caravan.
OregonPioneer Is the Tacoma a 4 Litre V6 engine?


Posted By: OregonPioneer on 12/13/08 03:35pm

RobertRyan wrote:

Fascinating thread. Here in Australia we would have an SUV generally tow that small caravan.
OregonPioneer Is the Tacoma a 4 Litre V6 engine?


Yes RobertRyan mine has a 4 litre V6. It has the factory tow package and I've added firestone airbags.

vince


Posted By: RobertRyan on 12/13/08 06:48pm

Typical Caravan RV scene in Australia. A poptop being towed by a SUV.
[image]


Posted By: Pete D on 12/13/08 10:05pm

Here in the other hemisphere, a pop-up is usually a folding tent trailer.

I personally dislike describing tow vehicles by body style (SUV, pickup, etc.) or engine cylinders without displacement because they are too general.

What sort of altitude does one typically find for towing in Australia? Are long, uphill grades over 8% a common thing or very unusual?


Posted By: RobertRyan on 12/14/08 02:41am

Quote:

What sort of altitude does one typically find for towing in Australia? Are long, uphill grades over 8% a common thing or very unusual?


On the coastal areas of Australia , yes they can be very common.


Posted By: RobertRyan on 12/14/08 03:13am

Some of the grades you can encounter.
Bulli Pass between Wollongong and Sydney.
A Video.http://revver.com/video/788915/bulli-pass/
If you kill the sound on this video, it shows the scenery on a typical secondary coastal road going through the New South Wales countryside
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgH4hfY9xxA
Quote:

Here in the other hemisphere, a pop-up is usually a folding tent trailer.

They are here too. But we have Caravans with Pop Up roofs as well, as in the above photo
True Pop Up below.
[image]
[image]
The Jayco Outback has no connection with Jayco in the US(long story to that)

* This post was edited 12/14/08 03:30am by RobertRyan *


Posted By: lrak on 12/19/08 10:54am

Pete D wrote:

The 4WD chassis is not buying you anything -- Actually, 4WD *lowers* tow and payload capacity because of the weight of the additional equipment


The 4WD chassis does buy you something. You get a higher GVWR with the 4x4 chassis. At a minimum the 4WD/Prerunner have larger springs, larger brake rotors, better shocks, and 6 lug wheels capable of running LT tires. The frame itself it probably different as well.

The non-Prerunner 4x2 is the mini truck most folks on here picture when when they read Tacoma.

TXiceman wrote:

With the Tacoma, you need to drop down to something around 21' and 3500# in my opinion. There is a lot more to towing than having the HP. You have to have enough truck to control the trailer.


Their vehicle has a ~4000lb curb weight and a either a 128" or 141" wheelbase. What would you suggest for a ~6000 lb Suburban 2500 with a 130" wheelbase? A 21.2' (1.96 x wheelbase like you suggested for the Tacoma) trailer that weighs no more than 5250lb (87.5% of curb weight like you suggested for the Tacoma) loaded?

Its not based on mfg towing capacity, GVWR, and GCWR and its not based on HP, wheelbase/length ratio, or curb weight/trailer weight ratio, what is your suggestion based on?

(Before you say brakes, the DoubleCab Prerunner Tacoma also beats the Suburban 2500 in 60-0 braking.)


MitchF150 wrote:

How much 'stuff' do you plan on putting in the rig? Besides the family, what else is going in the truck? Start subtracting lbs from that "tow rating" figure you got there... Right off the bat, you need to subtract the #450 for your family. That makes the 'tow rating' #6100. You can do the rest of the math..


Not exactly right for the Tacoma. Toyota allows more than a 150lb passenger in the tow rating. The limiting factor for the 6500lb towing capacity appears to be the 650lb tongue weight limit, not the GVWR/GCWR of the truck. Depending on the exact model and accessories you can put somewhere between 200 and 750lbs in a Tacoma and still stay under both GVWR and GCWR with a 6500lb trailer.


Posted By: canadiankid on 12/20/08 10:28pm

OregonPioneer How do you like the airbags. I am looking at getting either airbags or Timberens for my Tacoma. For more towing advise with the Tacoma look at www.tacomaworld.com/forum/towing/


2010 Tundra Crewmax 2WD 5.7
2009 Greywolf 22BH


Posted By: OregonPioneer on 12/21/08 01:20am

canadiankid wrote:

OregonPioneer How do you like the airbags. I am looking at getting either airbags or Timberens for my Tacoma. For more towing advise with the Tacoma look at www.tacomaworld.com/forum/towing/


canadiankid,

Haven't yet had to much of a load with the trailer so the air bags are overkill right now. I used to have an F350 4dr that I added duals to. With that one I had a 11 1/2' Lance camper and towed a 5 horse horse trailer so I needed it on the Ford.

With my current trailer I have an E2 wd hitch and am just starting to sort everything out.

You mentioned tacomaworld I am the one that put the dodge towing mirrors on my Tacoma. You might want to check that thread out. We are going out the weekend after Christmas so will get to use the new mirrors. Will post pictures of the trailer and truck on that forum.

vince


Posted By: sdsdsd on 12/21/08 06:24am

I would say NO!


steve


Posted By: shadows4 on 12/21/08 09:11am

The thing that concerns me would be the TT brakes. I went to the web site the OP listed. Says all their trailers include surge brakes. Don't think I would want to tow a 6000lb TT with only surge brakes. But my only experience has been with surge brakes on a boat trailer, they didn't seem to work so well. John


2003 4X4 F350,CC,SB,Lariat,7.3L diesel, 191,000 miles
2004 Coachmen 278 RKS Fifth-Wheel
Reese 15K slider hitch


Posted By: canadiankid on 12/21/08 10:48am

You mentioned tacomaworld I am the one that put the dodge towing mirrors on my Tacoma. You might want to check that thread out. We are going out the weekend after Christmas so will get to use the new mirrors. Will post pictures of the trailer and truck on that forum.



Ya I saw the write-up you did and they look awesome. I am looking forward to more info and pics in the future as you work out the kinks..


Posted By: OregonPioneer on 12/28/08 10:37pm

canadiankid wrote:

You mentioned tacomaworld I am the one that put the dodge towing mirrors on my Tacoma. You might want to check that thread out. We are going out the weekend after Christmas so will get to use the new mirrors. Will post pictures of the trailer and truck on that forum.



Ya I saw the write-up you did and they look awesome. I am looking forward to more info and pics in the future as you work out the kinks..


canadiankid,

Here is the link to my finished article.

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/towing/22244-my-towing-mirrors.html

Mirrors are working great for towing.


vince


Posted By: beeser on 12/29/08 09:51am

We were faced with a similar situation about 6 months ago. Our adventure involved the purchase of an 18' travel trailer that weighed about 4000 lbs. loaded. The trip to pick it up was about the same distance from Florida to Texas. We did our homework with some of the questions posted here and felt comfortable about the trip with our '04 Tacoma Prerunner V6. The trailer weight was well below the towing capacity of the Tacoma. After installing a Tekonsha P3 brake controller, purchasing a set of clip-on extension mirrors, and assembling the essentials for 2 week return trip we were off to pick up our trailer. And the short of it is that we did fine. You are receiving some great advice here and there isn't much I can add but I'll try to offer a different perspective based on our now 6 months worth of experience. Before our trip I had not towed a thing.

First of all, be prepared to be patient. The Tacoma will not be the quickest horse out of the stall and will probably slow significantly on steep hills. And take it easy on the way down because you'll quickly realize that the trailer will have a major influence on the truck's stability.

Get used to a boring view through your rearview mirror. All you'll see is a very close trailer that at times may startle you a little thinking that a tailgater is hanging on your rear end. Because the trailer is close to 8' wide and your Tacoma is almost 2' narrower, seeing behind you or to the side will be difficult even with mirror extensions. This sort of ties into backing up the trailer. Limited towing experience coupled with limited visibility makes for interesting backing up into camping spots. All I can say is, know about pull-throughs for a while.

Be prepared for the effects that towing a heavy trailer for 2K miles will have on the Tacoma. You'll probably hear and feel things differently on the truck afterwards.

Well, that's all I have to add. Take it slow, be patient, be safe and have fun with whatever you decide.

Parting shot - It seems interesting, to me at least, that the naysayers and yea-sayers could both be right in the responses to your plan above. I suppose much of it is really subjective after the number crunching is done. Not long after the above described adventure and a few lesser trips I purchased an F250 specifically to tow the travel trailer. The primary reasons for the change were ...

more power for climbing mountainous roads
better side visibilty - huge towing mirrors on the F250
better stability

Was the change necessary? Probably not but I feel more comfortable about towing the trailer now.


Posted By: koolbean on 01/03/09 09:35pm

**** UPDATE ****

Since my original post resulted in so many responses, I thought I should post my trip experience. In general and IMHO, the Tacoma did a fabulous job of towing the travel trailer, my family of 5 and all our cargo. I honestly do not know how much the TT finally weighed but it made the trip out and back from Florida to Texas, a total of ~2400 miles with overnight stops at 7 different campsites.

For the Tacoma, I had the TSB on the springs and shocks performed under warranty and that improved the ride with and without the TT. The TT had a weight distribution hitch although I did experience swaying when being passed by larger vehicles. I hate to think what it would have been without it! The surge brakes appeared to work fine and kicked in noticeably on quicker stops but for the most part I gave myself plenty of room for slow braking. The Tacoma had no trouble maneuvering the TT in and around campsites and gas stations and there was no difficulty backing into sites.

I kept it in 4th gear and did not use overdrive and I also did not use cruise control. Towing was fine and I was careful to average around 60 mph although a few times I caught myself going up towards 70 mph. It handled the TT well and I never felt like I was losing control and at no time did the TT feel like it was fish-tailing or anything. I did slow down going up grades and bridges but the most I slowed to was around 50 mph.

Mileage decreased to about 11-12 mpg and with the ~17 gallon fuel tank, meant more stops at gas stations!

Had some clip on towing mirros that helped on the driver's side but the passenger's side mirrors were not that useful. After signalling, I just gave plenty of time before changing lanes. For the most part, other vehicles steered clear of us and gave us plenty of room.

We were not overly loaded up although it seemed like we were from the quantity of cargo we had! The Tacoma basically carried just my family and I kept it light and did not have much in the bed.

In general, I was pleased that the Tacoma did well with the TT and it was not an unpleasant first towing experience. Played it safe, went slow and easy, was careful with braking, acceleration, etc. My angst that the Tacoma would not be able to handle the TT were unfounded. Granted a larger truck would have handled it easier, I was nontheless impressed with how well the mid-sized Tacoma performed. This was the original question of my post and I am happy to report that it was successful.

Thanks to everyone for their inputs. The trip went well and I hope that this will not be my last towing/RV experience. Now perhaps I can share my experience in the future.


Posted By: Carl_722 on 01/03/09 09:53pm

Glad to hear you had a safe uneventful trip. I figured the Tacoma would do it as long as you were very aware of it while driving. Will you be looking for your own TT or 5er now? I have seen many light 5ers that can be towed by the better V6 pickups.

I just logged about 2,800 miles over the holidays pulling my 5er for about 2,300 miles of it through the appalachians from PA to TN and back. I am always glad to get back home.

Most Newbie's come here looking for guidance and many here are like me and ignore good advise and learn the hard way. I was lucky and had no accidents.

I started out with a nearly 7,200 lbs (ready for a weekend) 32' TT and a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer EXT with the 129" wheelbase and the 5.3 L V8 and it was rated for 7,300 lbs towing. It had the power to pull it but it was white knuckle driving. On a windy day I had to go 45 mph once to keep it from having the tail wagging the dog. I could never make it over 62 mph without that feeling on a calm day. There 2 factors causing this problem. 1. Soft coil spring suspension 2. Tires weren't rated heavy enough. I set up my 1500 ext cab Silverado to do the pulling and it was much better feeling but the brakes were marginal. Once I bought the 2500 it felt great. Then I bought the 5er and it was even easier to tow nowhere near the amount of driver fatigue of pulling the TT.


Posted By: mdcamping on 01/03/09 10:13pm

I've towed about 7000 miles since I bought my Tacoma in 07. I've had no problems with pulling or any sway issues. My 21'TT is 2850# dry and I estimate about 1600# total cargo between the trailer and truck.

Mike


07 Toyota Tacoma,Double Cab, Max Towing 6,500lbs GCWR 11,100lbs
2011 Jayco X20E, Pro Series 800lb Weight Distributing Hitch
Husky Sway Bar, Prodigy Electronic Brake Control
McKesh Mirrors. "Towing with 180K"

State & Provinces we have camped



Posted By: OregonPioneer on 01/03/09 10:45pm

Congratulations on a succesful trip koolbean. Having towed with my Tacoma I knew it could do it. Glad you did your homework and kept things reasonable with the packing of the trailer and truck. Hope you liked it enough to continue and maybe get one of your own someday.
Happy New Year to you and yours.


vince


Posted By: canadiankid on 01/04/09 12:44am

Glad to hear that your trip was safe and enjoyable. Just a quick question about the hitch. Did it have some type of anti sway system? Just curious because I am planning on towing a TT with my Tacoma this summer. Thanks.


Posted By: beeser on 01/04/09 09:40am

canadiankid wrote:

Glad to hear that your trip was safe and enjoyable. Just a quick question about the hitch. Did it have some type of anti sway system? Just curious because I am planning on towing a TT with my Tacoma this summer. Thanks.

koolbean stated "weight distribtution" only, which does not correct for trailer sway. It would be interesting to hear back from him for a clarification. I would also like to know if he only had surge brakes on the trailer as stated or if they were only as a supplement to conventional electric trailer brakes.


Posted By: koolbean on 01/04/09 10:44am

This is the weight-distribution hitch that was on the TT. The equalizer hitch head is on the ground and the equalizer bars are laying on top of the storage compartment. As you probably know, when hooked up the short end of the equalizer bars are attached to the hitch head and the end with the chain is attached to the equalizer saddles.

Someone asked about anti-sway and I guess this setup does not have it? Are there systems that are both weight-distribution and anti-sway combined?

[image]


As for the brakes, the TT only had surge brakes. No electronic brake controller is available on them. Again, I had no problems with braking since I was very careful and cautious and avoided sudden braking situations. The surge brakes worked well in those cases. It could be different in emergency situations requiring quick and sudden braking.

* This post was last edited 01/04/09 04:02pm by koolbean *


Posted By: outbackpacker on 01/04/09 12:17pm

Glad to hear things went well. I towed over 3500 miles wit my 5500lbs TT and Tacoma on a trip this summer and it did fine through the mountains of Maine so I knew you'd be fine. When I got the Tundra and towed the same trailer it was night and day difference, but all the same the Tacoma was all I could afford for a time and had to do the job and did well. I'm glad you didn't let the weight nazi's or the "You must tow a pop-up with a 1 ton truck" people talk you into not having a good time with your family, they seem to feed on making people unhappy. Show us some pics when you get time.


Posted By: bizzaro on 01/04/09 03:13pm

Gritty has it correct...do not believe in sales person trying to sell you a TT. My jerk of a salesmen told me my explorer would pull my 28dd cheeroke...it didn't..... had to buy an expedition and spend money i didn't have.What was I to do ...I spent 13000 dollars on a travel trailer and couldn't go anywhere.DO NOT TRUST SALES.Purchased a used Expedition


Posted By: beeser on 01/04/09 05:14pm

koolbean wrote:

TAre there systems that are both weight-distribution and anti-sway combined?

Yes, most if not all manufacturer's weight distribution hitches can be configured with some form of anti-sway device.

koolbean - This is sort of academic at this point but I would've strongly suggested an electric brake setup for your tow vehicle and trailer. All you probably had to do was add a brake controller. The wiring for the controller is already on your Tacoma. The benefits over surge brakes are significant both from a practical standpoint as well as safety. Something to consider should you rent another trailer.


Posted By: canadiankid on 01/04/09 11:19pm

I am surprised that they didn't have any type of sway control on that trailer for you. But I guess it worked out OK anyways.

koolbean wrote:

This is the weight-distribution hitch that was on the TT. The equalizer hitch head is on the ground and the equalizer bars are laying on top of the storage compartment. As you probably know, when hooked up the short end of the equalizer bars are attached to the hitch head and the end with the chain is attached to the equalizer saddles.

Someone asked about anti-sway and I guess this setup does not have it? Are there systems that are both weight-distribution and anti-sway combined?

[image]


As for the brakes, the TT only had surge brakes. No electronic brake controller is available on them. Again, I had no problems with braking since I was very careful and cautious and avoided sudden braking situations. The surge brakes worked well in those cases. It could be different in emergency situations requiring quick and sudden braking.



Posted By: koolbean on 01/04/09 04:24pm

This was my setup ...

[image]


2006 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner
Double Cab, Long Bed, 2WD
4.0L V6
6,500 lb. GTWR
11,100 lb. GCWR


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