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Old 08-14-2014, 05:19 AM   #1
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Travel trailer Toyota Tacoma combo

For those hauling a travel trailer/camper with their Tacoma, what size and weight are you hauling? And,how does your Tacoma do with it? Any and all input appreciated. I am doing my research for a purchase next summer. I have a 2013 double cab with factory towing package. I am looking at campers in the 19'-21' range, weighing in around 3500-4500 gross.

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Old 08-14-2014, 07:30 AM   #2
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A new Tacoma with the V6 Tow package can have as much as 6,500 pounds tow rating. No, you cannot tow a trailer that grosses 6,500 pounds without being overloaded, but you should be able to tow one with a GVWR of 4,500 to 5,000 pounds if you don't try to haul much in the truck.

The 6,500 pounds tow rating assumes a truck with nothing in it but a skinny driver. The real world tow rating requires you to load the truck with everybody and everything that will be in it when towing, including the hitch head and a full tank of gas, then weigh the wet and loaded truck. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GCWR of the truck and the answer is the max weight of any trailer you can tow without exceeding the GCWR. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GVWR and the answer is the max hitch weight you can have without exceeding the GVWR of the truck. Divide that max hitch weight by 0.15 and the answer is the max GVWR of any tandem-axle trailer you can tow with that truck without being overloaded over the GVWR of the truck. Whichever number results in the least trailer weight is the one you'd use to determine the max weight of the camper trailer you'd want to try to tow.

The GCWR limits the maximum weight you can pull without overheating anything in the drivetrain. The GVWR limits the maximum hitch weight you can haul without overloading the suspension and brakes of the tow vehicle. Toyota says you should not exceed either the GVWR or GCWR of your Tacoma, so you need to make both computations, then use the one that results in the least trailer weight.

I almost ordered a Tacoma V6 with the V6 tow package, but after running the numbers saw that I couldn't tow quite as much weight as I needed to tow with that truck, without being overloaded.

Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:25 AM   #3
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I have your truck. We bought a White Hawk 23 MBH...lite trailer, sith a WD hitch (a must) and a brake controller (also a must) on the truck.
Camper was almost empty, 5100 pounds including battery, full LP tanks...I purposely did not fill water tanks and kept items in camper at a minimum. Wife followed in her car with heavy stuff. She is a contract nurse and her contract was in Texas. We're from coastal NC. While towing the camper weighed about 5500.

We stayed south and east, almost no inclines. I towed my unit almost 1300 miles...no issues. Kept speed at 60. Never felt any wind from passing trucks...no sway at all.

The weight police will probably tell you that I over loaded my truck. By spces they may be right, but in reality I don't think so. It worked for me...not telling you to do it, but it worked for me. The tacoma can pull it, but a lot of towing safely is how you drive and being able to stop when you
need to.

I'll add this. I would not attempt to pull what I have now in mountainous regions. To be honest, we're about to upgrade trucks so we can do some Colorado contracts.

There are those here who have way more experience and knowledge in towing than I....I just told you what worked for me.

Good luck.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:01 AM   #4
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My son-in-law had a Taco and a 3,500# travel trailer, (Shadow Cruiser 185 xxx). He traded the Taco for an F-150 shortly after their first towing trip... and he's very glad he did. So am I since he hauls my daughter and grandchildren around in it... Even minor hills had the Toyota V-6 screaming at close to red-line to keep up. The weight is only part of the equation. That 8' X 10' barn door pushes a tremendous amount of air around and that takes power. Semis push even more air and that air pushes other things around... like travel trailers. The Tacomas are nice vehicles. They're just not good tow vehicles, in my humble opinion.
Jack and Dee Dee Weatherford, Texas
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab 4X4 w/CTD 6.7
2016 Jayco White Hawk 28DSBH Travel Trailer
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:21 PM   #5
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All good info, and exactly what I am looking for, keep it coming.
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:09 PM   #6
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Had a GMC Sonoma V6 Crew Cab I bought as a toad on our MH. Sold the MH but then missed campind so we got a 19' TT. Since I really liked the Sonoma I used it as a TV for two seasons before I got a bigger truck. The TT scale weight ready to go with a little water was just over 4K and max tow weight for the truck was 5500 lbs. All the weights checked OK. We took it over the Rockies and back twice with no issues except we had to run with the truckers in the truck lane on the long steep grades. Don't think you need a diesel dually to tow a small TT. Just keep within the limits of your truck.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:20 PM   #7
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I'm towing a 16 ft TT, gross trailer weight of 3,850 with a Nissan Frontier crew cab and it's working quite well. Plenty of power so mountain passes in WA state have not been a problem. Could be problematic in Colorado?

Like the above post, check your weights, keep it at no more than 60 MPH, weight distribution hitch with integrated sway control and trailer brakes and you can go a lot of places safely. Towing gas mileage is about 12 MPG.
Rick & Kathy
2014 Econ 16RB
2013 Nissan Titan Crew Cab
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:03 AM   #8
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For those small trucks they are good for the smallest trailers AR-One, T@B, or pop-ups.

Once you reach the 5,000lb. trailers and driving just 60mph you will want a bigger truck.
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:37 PM   #9
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I towed a 4050lb TT @22' long with an 06 Nissan Frontier 2wd V6 AT. Hated it. 8'5 mpg towing around Oregon. No sway but the power was just not there. I just didn't see the purpose in barely getting by. Those that say it's all good have never towed anything with a larger truck over mtn passes. We only took a couple trips and traded the 06 Frontier for an 08 F150 5.4 3.73 Supercab 2wd. Night and day difference. Mpg went up to 10.5 and the truck literally didn't know the TT was back there. I always had the feeling that the truck was in control. Unlike the tow with the Frontier where I always felt like I was working it hard and it was at it's max. I just don't understand why people buy the smallest truck and then want the biggest TT.

If you're the type of driver that doesn't mind sitting behind semi's going up hills and likes to take it real easy then go for it. Me personally I like to be able to pass when needed going up hill and don't like to be going 60-65mph and have no grunt left in the power department. You'll find that you need to lockout OD when towing and if you don't mind listening to the V6 wind out all day long then give it a shot.

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