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Old 05-03-2016, 05:28 PM   #1
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Toyota Tacoma Towing question

I have my 2012 Tacoma Base all set up for towing, drive shaft disconnect, Blue Ox base plate and tow bar, Patriot brake system and lights all wired up. My question is when towing it do you leave the key in the first position that just unlocks the steering wheel and leave it in park? Will this allow the Patriot to press the brake pedal? There is no information in the manual because it's not supposed to be towed, but with the driveshaft disconnect it's a different story. I have a solar panel i can hook directly to the battery to prevent the brakes and accessory key position from draining the battery. Just checking from anyone thats got experience towing a Tacoma, this is my first tow vehicle.

Thanks!
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Old 05-05-2016, 05:44 PM   #2
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Did I word this question poorly? No body?
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Old 05-05-2016, 10:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by KTM251ss View Post
Did I word this question poorly? No body?
Nope, worded perfectly. Your most likely not getting any reply's because nobody is sure and do not want to steer you the wrong way. I don't have all the answers since I'm not towing a Tacoma but I am towing a Tundra with a drive shaft disconnect. Once you engage the drive shaft disconnect you will want to place your gear shift selector in park when you tow. On the position of the key switch to unlock the steering wheel you will need to do some trial and error. I don't know how many positions you have on the key switch but if you have a position that will unlock the steering wheel and also not illuminate your dash lights, that's the position you want. Even if you don't have the dash lights illuminated you might still be using some of your battery power.

I'm using a Brake Buddy and I plug it in to a power pack that I sit on the seat. This way I don't use any of my battery to run the Brake Buddy. I also don't have to worry about blowing a fuse if my cigarette lighter adapter can't handle the load. I installed a blade style battery disconnect switch on my battery to make sure I kill any loads on the battery during towing. I'm also not familiar with your braking system but I think it works much like the Brake Buddy. Make sure your Tacoma has a braking system that will work with your aux brake unit.

You MUST make sure you do not have an electronic assist with your Tacoma's braking and be sure you get rid of all the residual air after your hook up your aux brake. On the Brake Buddy this is done by pressing the test button 5 times which engages the brake pedal to bleed the air. Again I'm making the assumption your Aux brake works the same as the Brake Buddy. Also make sure your steering wheel is unlocked before you begin to tow. Sorry if I'm telling you things you already know. Good luck!
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Old 05-06-2016, 06:48 AM   #4
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THANKS! That helps.
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:38 AM   #5
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Nope, worded perfectly. Your most likely not getting any reply's because nobody is sure and do not want to steer you the wrong way. I don't have all the answers since I'm not towing a Tacoma but I am towing a Tundra with a drive shaft disconnect. Once you engage the drive shaft disconnect you will want to place your gear shift selector in park when you tow. On the position of the key switch to unlock the steering wheel you will need to do some trial and error. I don't know how many positions you have on the key switch but if you have a position that will unlock the steering wheel and also not illuminate your dash lights, that's the position you want. Even if you don't have the dash lights illuminated you might still be using some of your battery power.

I'm using a Brake Buddy and I plug it in to a power pack that I sit on the seat. This way I don't use any of my battery to run the Brake Buddy. I also don't have to worry about blowing a fuse if my cigarette lighter adapter can't handle the load. I installed a blade style battery disconnect switch on my battery to make sure I kill any loads on the battery during towing. I'm also not familiar with your braking system but I think it works much like the Brake Buddy. Make sure your Tacoma has a braking system that will work with your aux brake unit.

You MUST make sure you do not have an electronic assist with your Tacoma's braking and be sure you get rid of all the residual air after your hook up your aux brake. On the Brake Buddy this is done by pressing the test button 5 times which engages the brake pedal to bleed the air. Again I'm making the assumption your Aux brake works the same as the Brake Buddy. Also make sure your steering wheel is unlocked before you begin to tow. Sorry if I'm telling you things you already know. Good luck!
I'm not sure but I think the 2012 Tacoma has electric brake assist. I know the 2016 does.
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Old 05-06-2016, 12:13 PM   #6
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I'm not sure but I think the 2012 Tacoma has electric brake assist. I know the 2016 does.
Call Blue Ox and discuss the issue of electronic assist to see if this is a problem. You want to make sure you get this resolved BEFORE you tow or you could do damage to your toads brakes. There are many ways to handle keeping the Toad's battery charged but this issue is critical to get right the first time.
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Old 05-06-2016, 01:00 PM   #7
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I tow a 2013 Tacoma with driveshaft disconnect. After towing when I engage the drive shaft for normal use I get a engine and transmission code that has to be cleared. I have driven with the idiot lights on for a short time with no harm. My mechanic told me the computer thinks that the transmission is messed up because you put it in gear to connect.
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Old 05-06-2016, 01:13 PM   #8
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I have asked Toyota at both the dealer level and Corporate level and all they say is "No Toyota's can be towed". I'm really surprised on the 16' Tacoma's they didn't at least make an option where the truck can be towed 4 down. That would make a nice toad. Light enough for towing, and space in the bed for extra toys, bikes, dirt bike, kayaks, ATV, golf cart(?), BBQ,
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Old 05-06-2016, 01:42 PM   #9
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I tow a 2013 Tacoma with driveshaft disconnect. After towing when I engage the drive shaft for normal use I get a engine and transmission code that has to be cleared. I have driven with the idiot lights on for a short time with no harm. My mechanic told me the computer thinks that the transmission is messed up because you put it in gear to connect.
I also get this light when I go to reconnect the driveshaft. Funny thing is sometimes I get the light and sometimes I don't. Since I installed the battery disconnect I can reset the light by cycling the disconnect. I'm curious on your Tacoma do you reconnect the drive shaft in drive or neutral? I found that on my Tundra it can be done both ways. The way I connect now is move the gear selector to neutral, start the engine, then kill the engine while slightly pushing on the connect knob at the same time. It slips right in with very little pressure or noise.
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Old 05-06-2016, 02:14 PM   #10
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I have asked Toyota at both the dealer level and Corporate level and all they say is "No Toyota's can be towed". I'm really surprised on the 16' Tacoma's they didn't at least make an option where the truck can be towed 4 down. That would make a nice toad. Light enough for towing, and space in the bed for extra toys, bikes, dirt bike, kayaks, ATV, golf cart(?), BBQ,
Toyota has never endorsed any model as flat towable vehicle TMK. Even the stick shifts. Always been that way. Still makes a great toad. Just need a driveshaft disconnect. The thing about the Tacoma is it's a pretty decent offroader if you want something a little more versatile than a Jeep. I was looking at the Chevy Colorado but the approach and departure angles are atrocious so I don't think it would be all that good off road.
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Old 05-06-2016, 06:54 PM   #11
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Toyota has never endorsed any model as flat towable vehicle TMK. Even the stick shifts. Always been that way. Still makes a great toad. Just need a driveshaft disconnect. The thing about the Tacoma is it's a pretty decent offroader if you want something a little more versatile than a Jeep. I was looking at the Chevy Colorado but the approach and departure angles are atrocious so I don't think it would be all that good off road.
Toyota approves both Corolla and Yaris as towable 4-down with manual transmission. Have been for several years. Also, a couple of models of the Scion are approved for towing 4-down with manual. Technically, the Scion is a separate brand, but it is built by Toyota and sold by Toyota dealers.
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:06 PM   #12
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Not trying to hijack the thread, but I want to tow my 09 Tacoma base. Can anyone give me an idea of what it might cost to get my Tacoma set up to tow?
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:47 PM   #13
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Not trying to hijack the thread, but I want to tow my 09 Tacoma base. Can anyone give me an idea of what it might cost to get my Tacoma set up to tow?

I'm gonna guess ~$1500 -$1800 for a disconnect installed. Less if you do it yourself. My Xterra was ~$950 for the parts but it was a bit more complicated than most. I did the install. Also ~$400 - $500 for a base plate + labor.
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Old 05-07-2016, 06:54 AM   #14
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I'm gonna guess ~$1500 -$1800 for a disconnect installed. Less if you do it yourself. My Xterra was ~$950 for the parts but it was a bit more complicated than most. I did the install. Also ~$400 - $500 for a base plate + labor.
$1050 for disconnect drive shaft
$600 for tow bar
$400 for base plate
$100 for light kit
$1000 for Patroit Brake kit.
$750 for labor to install all of it.

This is about what i paid, not exact numbers but close.
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