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Old 02-10-2015, 10:58 PM   #1
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Will our Tacoma tow the Winnebago Minnie 2101 DS?

Hello everyone, new member, first-ish post.

As well as being new to the forum, my wife and I are new to RVing. We have really taken a liking to the Winnebago Minnies and have our sights set on the 2101 (dry weight 3780). But, after researching towing capacities, our heads are swirling. It seems like the more we research, we find new numbers and new acronyms to consider.

The nearest Minnie dealer is an hour away. We went out last weekend with the thoughts of dry weights in our head. The dealer was adamant that our vehicle could tow any of the Minnie fleet. Once we got home though, we learned the dry weight doesn't really mean anything and we needed to actually check inside the trailer for actual weight.

On top of this, our TV and TV manufacturer aren't making it any easier to determine what our capabilities are. We have an '06 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner V6, 4x2, 5spd. It did not come with any tow package so we are trying to add pieces to bump up our capabilities.

With the factory installed class IV package, the Taco should get 6500lbs towing capacity. However the only aftermarket towing hitch is class 3 which nets 5500lbs towing. We are going to install the hitch, 4pin connector with 7 pin adapter and electric brake assist. We would also add W/D and sway bar.
Toyota also includes the following in it's class IV package: 130 Amp upgraded alternator, engine oil cooler and larger battery. We are thinking of adding these, but not sure if they will really help as far as the towing capacity goes .

Long story short, will the Toyota Tacoma with a tow capacity of 5500lbs be an adequate tow vehicle for the Minnie 2101 DS?

Thanks everyone in advance for any insight. It is much appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:23 PM   #2
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Just upgrading some components won't change the towing capacity unless you can find and upgrade every component that the factory changes to get to the higher capacity.
For some reason people seem to think they can change a few components like the hitch, add come cooling and take off.
The only way to know what needs to be changed is to go through that entire vehicle and compare part by part to see what needs upgrading. Even then it doesn't change the legal end of it as only the manufacturer can change the weight ratings.
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:47 PM   #3
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While you may be able to squeeze it in on paper, in the real world the answer is NO.
You need to look at payload then towing. Sure you can tow 5500lbs on paper, but the real jist of it is that, that 5500lb TT will have a tongue weight of 550-825lbs. The receiver you will install will have a max load of 550lbs. The Mini web site lists no tongue weight for the 2101DS. Only a dry UVW weight, which is always lower than what is shipped to dealers lots. Usually by about 200-500lbs.


I towed the exact same length and height TT with an 06 Frontier V6 AT. It had a 6500lb tow rating. The TT was 4050 loaded. I hated every minute of towing that TT. No way would I want to add 500-1000lbs more to it. Unless you're only traveling on flat ground then it will be a dog every where you go. 8 mpg and with the small tanks in Tacos and Frontiers it makes for a long day traveling anywhere. We only made 3-4 trips and traded the Frontier in on an 08 F150.


There are those that do tow like sized TT's with small trucks. Whatever floats their boat I guess.
FWIW we moved up to an 08 F150 and pulled the same TT for the remainder of the time we owned it. MPG went up to 10.5 and the F150 5.4 with 3.73 gears never knew the TT was behind it.
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:58 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick responses.

That is a little of what we feared Cumminsfan, that we could tow it, but maybe we shouldn't.
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:21 AM   #5
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We towed a 4000# (fully loaded) trailer with a 2009 Tacoma.

Sounds like your trailer could be a bit more.

The Tacoma was OK, but struggled really hard with the prairie head winds. Very noisy, high rpm driving, and the tranny didn't have a Tow/Haul mode.
It would do it, and if we were not planning to do a lot of towing we might still have it.

But then I discovered that we were getting 300-500# over the truck's GVWR, as we kept adding stuff on like Leer Cap and kayaks. The thing only had about 1100# payload. So we traded up.
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:58 AM   #6
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Towing is more then engine/trans, and cooling. Heavy duty "TV" has a stiffer frame, and better suspension. Larger wheel diameters, so the brake pads are larger. All this adds up to better handling/steering/stopping . Better handling means less stress/strain on driver.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:10 AM   #7
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I have used Toyota's to tow since 1999.

~ 1999' 4Runner (V-6, 5000k towing limit) towed a 2800 (wet=loaded) popup.

~ 2005 4Runner (V-8, 7200 towing max) towed both a 4600lb. (wet) and now a 5100lb. (wet) 25' & 26' hybrid trailers

~ Now a 2014 Tundra V8, 9900 lb. tow max. still towing the 5100lb. tt.

If you had said you had the Tacoma V-6 with the factory tow package (6500lbs.) the Minnie 2101 DS might be OK. With a base weight of the RV in the 3700-3800 zone, figure another 1000lb.s of "stuff". now your pushing the Tacoma's original 5k limit.

There is a big difference between towing my current 5100lb. tt with the V-8 4Runner and the new Tundra as far as suspension. The 4Runner had a somewhat soft suspension. Great suspension as a off road vehicle and a daily driver, but even with the DW hitch got a little bouncy on some roads.

Towing that same tt with the new Tundra...Big difference. Both combinations used the same DW. system.

We do 50-60 nights a year, weekend trips (50-75 miles) and 2-3 seven to 17 day ( 150 - 750 ) mile one way trips thru the hills of PA. WV. NY and VT.

Quote:
For some reason people seem to think they can change a few components like the hitch, add come cooling and take off.
The only way to know what needs to be changed is to go through that entire vehicle and compare part by part to see what needs upgrading. Even then it doesn't change the legal end of it as only the manufacturer can change the weight ratings.
I agree for the most part.
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:54 PM   #8
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I towed a 5,000 lb trailer with a Honda Ridgeline. The rig towed great at 45 - 50mph. It did best on back roads. Towed it on the highway - yikes, white knuckled scary towing. Passing semi's air flow would 1st push me toward the berm then as it passed I would be sucked toward the semi. So it was a continual steering exercise. Traded the Ridgeline on a 2011 F-150. Huge difference. Now instead of semi's passing me I was passing them. No white knuckles as the truck could control the trailer. The 5.0 litre V8 Ford got about 2 mpg better than the Honda 3.5 litre V6.
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:51 PM   #9
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I have a 2010 Tacoma automatic TRD 4x4 Off Road towing a 14' flat trailer dual axles with both axles braked hauling a 1997 Jeep Wrangler. The only fault I have with the Taco is it's irritating weak factory rear springs that I reinforced with 2000 lb. helper springs. I figure I am pretty close to the max but it tows highway speeds and holds it's own on the hills. It is surprisingly a better performer than the 1999 Ford 250 SD I used to tow with and better fuel economy.

You are probably towing more that you should and should take that into consideration when towing that camper. Towing overweight is never a good idea and potentially dangerous. Seriously consider something bigger to tow with. If you can afford later model pickup with the amazing tow capacities they now boast of, you should do it.

Having said that, your camper is going to experience a lot more wind influence than I do. Definitely have a load leveling tow system with a anti-sway bar. There is a big difference in the driving experience when your tow vehicle is built to do the job. Pucker factor definitely reduces the enjoyment you get camping. Nothing scarier than the sudden realization that your trailer is doing the driving! Good luck and happy towing.
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Old 02-13-2015, 10:50 PM   #10
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Thanks again everybody for the great info.

BTW Buckeye, Toyota announced a recall for the factory springs. Not sure who is eligible, but give your local dealer a call and get in line when they finally have the parts available. The interim notice said that there will be instructions for those that have already paid to remedy the situation themselves to apply for reimbursement.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TowEnvy View Post
Thanks again everybody for the great info.

BTW Buckeye, Toyota announced a recall for the factory springs. Not sure who is eligible, but give your local dealer a call and get in line when they finally have the parts available. The interim notice said that there will be instructions for those that have already paid to remedy the situation themselves to apply for reimbursement.
Thanks, I got that notice. Rear suspension is the only thing on that truck I can find fault with. Only thing is owners need to understand it is not a heavy duty workhorse.
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