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Old 08-23-2017, 11:01 AM   #1
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Possible truck mods for towing

First I donít do any towing currently.

I got my (future) TV two years ago as my retirement vehicle. 2015 Tacoma with tow package.

At present I am strongly considering a TT that when fully loaded would use 80%-85% of my towing capacity & max out my payload capacity. (Thanks to all those who posted in other threads discussing weights, ratios, etc. that really helped me to understand the issues.)

Max tow capacity 6500
TT considered 4300lbs dry 4800-5500lbs loaded
While currently on East coast, I suspect I will spend majority of time out West and in mountains.

I am planning on putting in a tranny cooler & brake controller.

I also am looking at:
1. 1.Replacing my front brake rotors with some HD slotted rotors to help reduce heat fade issues.
2.2. Regearing my rear end to help tow a heavy TT more effectively. I understand that doing so will help get going from a standing stop. But not sure how much it will help tow TT up a long incline.

Any comments, suggestions &/or feedback would be appreciated.


Thanks
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:44 PM   #2
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Questions .
Didn't the factory tow package include an aux trans cooler ?
Or do you just want a bigger one ?
The % change in the rear gear will give an increase in RPM of the same % at every road speed , you need your engines RPM power band, ( torque & HP ) info to estimate how much help the gear will give on hills.
You say you'll be maxing out payload , are you looking at factory #s for payload , or have you taken the truck over scales with all the gear and passengers , full of fuel, that you'd expect to be on the road with ?
EVERY pound over a 150 lb driver , added to the truck , has to be deducted from the max trailer tow #.
Get both axle weights , all your payload isn't available on the rear axle , you need to check the actual weight against the trucks rating on the rear axle in particular.
Don't forget to add 100/125 lbs to the trailer tongue weight , for a good weight distribution hitch/bars assembly.
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:24 PM   #3
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JMO and BTDT, but thats too much weight to enjoy towing at any level. No doubt the Taco or what I had (Nissan Frontier V6 AT) feel pretty spunky unloaded. I towed a 22'Lx7'Wx9'9"H TT that weighed all loaded up 4050lbs. My TW was around 450+/- lbs. Handling was fine, but power was terrible. MPG from towing in Oregon was terribal also. 9 mpg. Now figure in the 21 gal tank and I was getting gas every 125 miles to be safe.
At 65 mph when I pressed on the gas there was nothing there. Up hills and mtn passes it was wound out and screaming for mercy. I traded it in on an 08 F150 5.4 3.73 gears. My mpg went up to 10.5. Towing became fun again.
JMO but unless you live in FL or TX and like driving slow and don't care if you're always the last one to get there then I think you'll be disappointed especially if you get a heavier, wider and higher TT than I had. I know people tow trailers all the time with small V6 trucks because I see them everywhere I go. But that doesn't mean they're totally happy with their setup. In fact I have know idea if they can't wait to go again or can't wait to trade up to a bigger truck.
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Old 08-23-2017, 02:40 PM   #4
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Check your door jamb for these data stickers.
'Tire/Load' -----will state PAYLOAD for YOUR truck
White one...GVWR/FAWR/RAWR for YOUR truck




Then as mentioned..deduct your weight over 150#, ALL weight of passengers, weight of STUFF in truck cab (backpacks, bags, etc), plus the weight of a weight dist. hitch.
Amount left over is PAYLOAD for trailer tongue weight.

Figure 12% of loaded trailer for tongue weight.
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Old 08-23-2017, 04:04 PM   #5
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Didn't the factory tow package include an aux trans cooler ?
Or do you just want a bigger one ?

Yes does come with aux trans cooler. However, on the Tacoma's even towing a small trailer will heat up the tranny quite a bit.

Good point about going to scales.
For payload weight I was figuring in:
My full weight & passenger's full weight
full tank of gas weight
100# for trailer hitch
tongue weight of trailer (using 13% of full loaded trailer weight)
and 200# for misc supplies in truck

The % change in the rear gear will give an increase in RPM of the same % at every road speed , you need your engines RPM power band, ( torque & HP ) info to estimate how much help the gear will give on hills.
This is the part I am having real trouble figuring out... It is my understanding that the HP & torque power bands are in the upper rpm 4000'ish I think...

thats too much weight to enjoy towing at any level... Handling was fine, but power was terrible... At 65 mph when I pressed on the gas there was nothing there. Up hills and mtn passes it was wound out and screaming for mercy...
I don't have to enjoy towing
My primary concerns are safety (handling & braking & not being a too slow hazard).
And for the next few years I am ok with working my truck to an early grave--hopefully not too early.
I agree that Ford, & some others, make some great towing trucks.
But Ford, Exxon & I have had some issues for the last 40 years... not that Ford or Exxon are concerned.
That being said I am strongly thinking that if I want the heavier trailer, I will need a bigger truck.

MPG from towing in Oregon was terrible also. 9 mpg. Now figure in the 21 gal tank and I was getting gas every 125 miles to be safe.
I figure no matter what I drive when towing will get 10'ish mpg at best, and will be doing a lot of stopping (unless I get another truck). Figured I would need to carry a couple of jerry cans, even though I don't plan to very much any one day.

Thanks for all of your input
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleeper125 View Post
Figured I would need to carry a couple of jerry cans, ...
I can tell you're going to be a very unhappy camper, trying to drag a 5k TT with a Taco. The Taco is not even a half-ton pickup - closer to 3/8ths ton. You'll be overloaded over the GVWR (and payload capacity) of the Taco, as well as not having quite enough oomph to drag that trailer over hills and mountain passes.

I'm a Toyota fan, having owned several over the years, including both a Corolla and Highlander right now. But Toyota does not make a pickup that is a good enough tow vehicle for my needs. The Taco with the right options would be okay for a pop-up tent trailer, and the Tundra cannot compete with the F-150 3.5L EcoBoost as a tow vehicle for TTs over 5,000 pounds GVWR.

So if you must keep the Taco as your tow vehicle, then rethink the weight of any trailer you can tow with comfort and safety. I'd limit the trailer wet and loaded weight to 4,000 pounds.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:43 AM   #7
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Thanks.
Yours is a sentiment I have read several times, and one I believe is very reasonable.

I do see (on some on other forums) Taco owners towing more.
There were also a few towing heavy, 5k, that had superchargers (generally installed for other reasons) that felt they had the HP to tow heavy. Their situation also seemed reasonable but aggressive.

Of course I also see some that tow way over the line...

One thought I have had in recent past was to rent a U Haul trailer & try it out... won't have quite the same wind resistance, but maybe will work...
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:28 PM   #8
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You'll always see guys on their brand forums saying they can tow the moon with whatever they have. I see the same thing on the Cummins forum. Guys with 3/4 ton diesels that tow triple axle toy haulers in the 17,000+ lb range. Their justification is it's my truck and I can tow what I want.
Thats all fine until it isn't. You need to remember that you gotta stop that TT as well. I realize that the TT has brakes too, but it isn't always that simple.
Another thing I will mention is that you may want to check you manual as far as towing in OD goes. I know my Nissan says to lock out OD. So I was constantly in 4th gear already winding out. Not sure what Toyota recommends.
Now if you're re-gearing then I imagine OD would be okay as you won't be lugging the motor like you would with OEM gears.
Good luck with your adventure.
You're idea about renting a U-Haul is spot on. I don't think the wind resistance part will be an issue. I think once you feel 5000lbs behind you'll get enough of an idea as to whether or not you want to move forward with your TT purchase.
I remember the 1st time I took off with my empty 3000lb TT and V6 Frontier. It was rainy and windy, so I got the worst of the worst when towing. It was not pleasant.
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:20 PM   #9
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The Tacoma's don't have a tow mode. As such, you need to lock out OD.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 08-24-2017, 05:00 PM   #10
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Tow mirror extensions sufficient to see straight down the side of the trailer on both sides would be a mandatory safety addition in my opinion.
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