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Author Topic: Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity  (Read 22888 times)

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Offline zinger60

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« on: February 19, 2009, 01:31:29 PM »
Well, my husband called Toyota and found out that even though the Tacoma is V6, 4x4 and is an SR5 with a TRD package (off-road package), it still is rated for towing at 3500 lbs because it does not have a towing package. All the towing numbers are so confusing to me. I thought if I listed what I know about our camper and our truck, maybe you guys could help me out. The weight of the truck empty is 3705, the weight of the camper empty is 2800 lbs, we figured probably around 700 pds for all passengers, gear, clothes etc. that we would be taking. Ok, so we can tow something that weighs 3500 lbs and the camper is 2800 plus probably 200-300 lbs extra loaded (not sure on that) so we have around 400-500 pds to spare. As for the combined weight of the truck and camper fully loaded, we would be around 7205 and the truck is rated at a max. of 7500. What do you think about all the numbers. Are we cutting it close at what we would be towing? Someone mentioned that we would not be towing in hills in Indiana but we would like to go somewhere like the Smoky Mts. so I don't know if that would be possible.

2002 Viking 2465st
2004 Toyota Sequoia 4WD w/tow package

Offline Storm Trooper

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2009, 01:53:35 PM »
You'll be near the max capacity of your TV from what I can see of your figures.

You won't be a happy camper. You'll find most pup members recommend not exceeding 80% of you TV capacity. That way when you overload the pup a bit or travel in a mountainous area, you'' get through it.

I suggest you find out exactly what goes into the tow package. You may be able to add it easily to your Toyota. It might be just a transmission cooler(easy) or it might involve different gearing (not worth the expense on a 4x4). There are other items that could be involved as well.

Lou

32 days booked 09,Camping49 nights camped 08
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Offline Snow

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2009, 01:55:17 PM »
Ok..
truck (empty) 3705
pup (empty) 2800

Pax, gear (in truck) 700
loaded in pup (guesstimate) 300

Added up ,  truck ready to go 4400 lbs
pup loaded and ready to go 3100 lbs.

Truck can tow 3500lbs (as is) - 3100lbs = 400lbs wiggle room on the tow rating.

CGVR loaded truck 4400lbs + 3100lbs = 7500lbs which is the max cgvr. I would look at loosing some of the gear you think you need.

Most people (DW, DS1) think they need enough clothes to last them a full week.  I have been traveling since I was about 3 months, so I have learned how to pack everything I need for a week into a carry on (by current airline standards) suitcase.  If I run out of clothes its time to do laundry.

Each persons suitcase should weigh less then 20lbs for a weekend trip, and should be able to stay less the 40 for a week.

Craig...

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Offline zinger60

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2009, 02:15:52 PM »
I figured 400 lbs in the truck and 200-300 in the camper for a total weight of passengers and everything at 700 lbs.

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2004 Toyota Sequoia 4WD w/tow package

Offline dupreet

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2009, 02:21:02 PM »
Zinger -

400 in the truck is probably way too low. Thats two 'average sized' people and nothing else. This number is anything that goes in the truck, people, bags, gear, food, gas in the tank, etc.

You are probably going to be just under the ratings....not a bad thing, with two caviots....your truck is probably not going to be too happy in mountainous terrain, and you will likely end up with some premature wear on the transmission, brakes, and such. You might also end up with a 'low rider' in that the truck's suspension will probably be loaded to its capacity.

Good Luck,

Todd

Wife, 3 Kids, 2 Dogs, 2 Cats
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Offline bpike

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2009, 02:22:17 PM »
I have the same Tacoma but with the towing package.
I REALLY wish I would've tried to pull the pup before I bought the truck. Of course all the salesman said it'd pull it with no problem but it is a struggle.
My pup has a gross weight of 4500 lbs. One of the best things to do is to replace the 3:73 rear end with a 4:10. That plus a tow package and you'll be just fine.

Here's a problem though. Finding someone to put in the rear end can be tough. Toyota also makes a surpercharger for the Tacoma but it's costly.

Me-70, DW-69, DS-98, DD-03, 4 dogs
'08 Tacoma with an '08 Fleetwood E3
Me-38, DW- 39, DS- 11, DD- 6...Fleetwood E3, TV- 08 Tacoma Dbl Cab LB

Offline Storm Trooper

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2009, 03:06:47 PM »
bpike,

Except that he has to do two axles with a 4x4. That gets really expensive.

Lou

32 days booked 09,Camping49 nights camped 08
07 Fleetwood Avalon (Great White) 03 Ford Expedition (Green Monstah)
Lou & Jan and Ewok K9 (Kyleigh Wyote) [put&hy]
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Offline zinger60

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2009, 03:33:24 PM »
How do you think we would do if we added tranny cooler, bigger fan clutch, synthetic oil and a heavy duty alternator? These are the items that Toyota said come with the towing package. One other person mentioned installing a heavy-duty radiator also. Would that be necessary also?

2002 Viking 2465st
2004 Toyota Sequoia 4WD w/tow package

Offline bpike

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2009, 03:53:31 PM »
DOH! I didn't see the 4x4 part. Sorry...

Me-70, DW-69, DS-98, DD-03, 4 dogs
'08 Tacoma with an '08 Fleetwood E3
Me-38, DW- 39, DS- 11, DD- 6...Fleetwood E3, TV- 08 Tacoma Dbl Cab LB

Offline Luv2ridebikes

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2009, 04:29:56 PM »
Hopefully you will get qualified mechanics to respond.  Storm Trooper gave some good advice already. Towing adds to wear and tear on an engine even when you are well with in margins. A tranny cooler seems like good insurance to protect the transmission.

Towing also changes safety factors. Heavy duty brakes may be a nice plus. A reliable brake controller for the trailer is important.
BUT - don't try to compensate by setting your trailer brakes high. Trailer brakes should supplement your tow vehicle brakes and insure a nice straight stop with no sway.  Best way to set them is in an empty parking lot. Let your TV coast slowly and with out touching the TV brakes, use the manual brake button on the controller. You should feel drag and gradual slowing. Setting too high makes the trailer brakes chatter and wear out faster.

Keep plugging on this. I still think a little investment in your Tacoma and careful loading will create a safe tow for your camper.

Steve & Deb (boys are grown & gone)
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Offline Snow

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2009, 04:37:23 PM »
Zinger, you have a couple problems.
1) Even with adding a tranny cooler, heavy-duty alternator, larger rad. You still have the problem of the differential gearing.

2)The cost of having your "non" tow packaged truck upgraded to a "tow" packaged truck will cost lots, more then I would be willing to spend. For the amount of $$ needed you could sell your current truck and put both monies together and buy something that could tow your trailer.

I would either buy another truck that can tow your trailer or buy another lighter trailer. Mind you me nor anyone else on here can force you to do either. But for safety sakes, if not for your safety then for the safety of those whom you share the road with seriously consider one of the two sugestions.

Craig...

PopUp 2004 Palomino Mustang
Tow Vehicle 1992 GMC Ext. Cab
Craig
[:D] Me, [::)] DW, [8D] DS1, [8D] DS2, [}:)] Da Dog.
2005 Outback 21RS Pushing a 2012  Dodge Ram. 2014 Ontario Summer Rally Member - July 4-6/2014

Offline sunsetlanding

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2009, 05:08:08 PM »
Also, keep in mind that making everything go is only half the equation. The other half is making it STOP.


Our '99 Tacoma Prerunner (PreRunners are built like a 4x4 but with no drive to the front wheels) two-wheel drive with the larger four cylinder engine is rated to tow 3,500 pounds stock. It does not have a factory tow package. The hitch, wiring harness, and brake controller were added aftermarket. No additional oil cooler. I've heard that the larger alternator is intended for charging the trailer batteries and we don't use batteries.

We tow a Quicksilver 10 ( http://www.livinlite.com/10.0-overview.php ) which comes in around 1,500 pounds when loaded with the air conditioner, food, clothing, bedding, etc. We also carry sports gear, coolers, tools, two recumbent bicycles, and two kayaks.

All of this junk starts to add up to a fair amount of weight. Throw in our two standard size bodies and a full tank of gas and we're quite a load.

The Taco tows it all just fine but we went for the optional electric brakes on the trailer to help bring everything safely to a stop and we are glad we did. The brakes provide a great sense of security when a quick stop is needed or when taking long downhill grades.

BTW the Tacoma just had its 90,000 mile check-up and showed no signs of undue wear from towing. The Taco with the 3RZ-FE engine is a tough little truck.

Also BTW, our Taco is an automatic so it's important to turn off the overdrive and put the ECT (Electronically Controlled Transmission) into power mode rather than economy mode. Hurts the gas mileage but much easier on the engine. Gas is always less expensive than a new engine.

Dan Jones

Edited by - sunsetlanding on February 19 2009  17:25:42

Offline becasunshine

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2009, 11:41:14 PM »
Zinger, we started our PUP adventure about one year ago with a 2000 4 cylinder Tacoma 4x4 and a Fleetwood Rio PUP with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 2300 lbs.

The Tacoma had a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 5100 lbs., a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 7400 lbs., and a towing capacity of 3500 lbs.

The rule of thumb for matching up a tow vehicle and a trailer:

GVWR tow vehicle + GVWR trailer < GCWR tow vehicle

Interpretation:

Added together, the sum of the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the tow vehicle plus the trailer should be less than the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of the tow vehicle.

How much less? This depends on where you tow, how you tow, and believe it or not, what you tow.

Given the above rule of thumb equation, we were at the top of the Tacoma's capacity:

5100 lbs. Tacoma GVWR + 2300 lbs. GVWR Rio = 7400 lbs., which exactly equaled the Tacoma's GCWR of 7400 lbs.

When we were working our way through this problem we relied on the CAT scales, available at major truck stops.

We loaded up the Tacoma and the Rio to the max- everything we thought we'd need for a week plus vacation including two full propane tanks, two bikes, two duffel bags of clothes and a cooler full of ice, drinks and a typical assortment of food- and we went to the CAT scales.

All the way to the CAT scales we just knew we were way overweight. We'd never felt the Tacoma work so hard. Granted, it was a 4 cylinder, but we'd never worked that truck so hard before that trip.

The truck didn't handle as usual, either. Our little sure-footed Tacoma felt sloppy in the front end.

On another vehicle a weight distributing hitch may have helped with the sloppy steering, but as I recall, our owner's manual said that weight distributing hitches were not to be used on the Tacoma. Please double check that fact behind me; it's been a year and I'm not sure that I remember every fact correctly.

At the CAT scales we found that the Tacoma weighed 4160 lbs., the Rio weighed 2140 lbs., and the entire rig weighed 6300 lbs.- a full 1100 lbs. below the GCWR.

We just didn't like the way the Tacoma felt trying to pull that load on level ground at sea level.

We planned to tow in the mountains and we knew on the way home from the CAT scales that night that we could not effectively use the Tacoma for that purpose.

We decided on the way home to trade the Tacoma for a tow vehicle with more capacity.

We traded the Tacoma for a 2004 V6 Toyota 4Runner: 5000 lbs. towing capacity, a GVWR of 5570 lbs. and a GCWR of 9600 lbs.

The Rio's GVWR was a full 2700 lbs. below the 4Runner's towing capacity. The Rio's GVWR of 2300 lbs. + the 4Runner's GVWR of 5570 lbs. = 7870 lbs., which was 1730 lbs. below the 4Runner's GCWR.

We stopped at the CAT scales a couple of different times when loaded for travel: once with a summer payload and once with a winter payload.

Our average combined weight, 4Runner + Rio, was 7300 lbs., 2300 lbs. below the 4Runner's GCWR of 9600 lbs.

This added capacity made all the difference in the world in the quality of our towing experience.

We recently traded the Rio for a Westlake, GVWR 3000 lbs. The 4Runner still had the towing capacity and there was still room in the 4Runner's GCWR, but we felt that the Westlake's additional tongue weight (don't forget about tongue weight!) ate up too much of the 4Runner's GVWR and payload.

So we traded the 4Runner for a 2006 Dodge Durango with a greater towing capacity, greater GCWR, bigger payload and bigger GVWR. Remember, the tongue weight of the camper will count against your tow vehicle's GVWR and payload when the camper is hitched up to the tow vehicle!

Yes, I am darned sick of trading tow vehicles but here's hoping that we are settled for a bit. Smile

Another factor to keep in mind: wheel base.

The length of the tow vehicle's wheel base vs. the length of the camper is important also. The longer the tow vehicle's wheel base vs. the camper's length, the more stable the towing experience will be. Think of it in terms of a dog and his tail: you want the dog wagging the tail, not the tail wagging the dog.

There are formulas out there for calculating wheel base vs. trailer length- I'd have to go look them up.

We were OK with the 4Runner/Rio combination but I wanted a longer wheel base for the Westlake, and the Durango provides that for us.

As far as what you tow:

So far we have only towed PUPs, which when folded down for towing are shorter than the tow vehicle.

We've not yet towed a hard-sided camper that is as tall or taller than our tow vehicle so we do not speak from first hand experience.

From what we've heard and read, towing an upright flat surface behind a tow vehicle is a completely different experience.

We've read that given a PUP and a light weight hard sided camper that both weigh exactly the same, the tow vehicle will pull the PUP with less effort because of the reduced wind resistance.

While all of this may seem overwhelming- and if you are like us, the thought of giving up your beloved Tacoma is a sad thing indeed- the good new is, if you decide to trade in the Tacoma for more capacity you have a great vehicle to trade.

We received very nice trade in values for both the Tacoma and the 4Runner.

Also, this was simply our experience, we are still towing newbies and we are by no means experts. Your mileage may vary.


Him/Her Late Boomer Vintage
Two Wonderful Sons, Grown and Out!
One Non-Camping Cat Cat
2008 Fleetwood Westlake PopUp
2006 Dodge Durango Tow Vehicle

Edited by - becasunshine on February 20 2009  00:21:01

Offline dirtyboy

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2009, 11:53:34 PM »
I tow with my 99 runner all the time (11 foot box).....it does fine...

although I live in missouri and we just have hills...no real mountains



and sorry becasunshine...trading a new runner for a do-wrong-o was a bad trade!

Try it in a Toyota!
'74 Coleman Yorktown under construction......
Tow Rigs =99 Toyota 4runner and 93 Pickup (Rockcrawler)

Offline dirtyboy

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Update on Tacoma Towing Capacity
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2009, 11:55:53 PM »
The V6 TRD should be able to handle quite a load....... just make sure you add a tranny cooler

Try it in a Toyota!
'74 Coleman Yorktown under construction......
Tow Rigs =99 Toyota 4runner and 93 Pickup (Rockcrawler)

 


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