'02 Tacoma towing Bigfoot B17CB - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-20-2009, 05:28 AM   #1
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I've replaced my '87 Lil' Bigfoot with a '98 Bigfoot B17CB. I know I'm getting close to the limit for my '02 Toyota Tacoma. By the time I load up the dirtbike and a weekends supply, I'll be over. My truck does not have the Tow Package option, and as such is rated 3500#. Toyota bumps it up to 6000# with the Tow Package option. Their Tow Package option consists of a 130 amp alternator, trans cooler, and engine oil cooler, as well as the hitch & wiring(no suspension upgrades). I know I'll have the power because my truck is equipped with the supercharger, stainless steel headers/exhaust, and a 5 speed trans. I was able to scoot Lil Bigfoot around with it like no tomorrow, but the appeal of the shower made me go for the 17'. I scaled the truck at 1080kg front & 750Kg rear. When I scaled the truck & 17' Bigfoot(truck fueled/trailer propane & battery) I came up with 1000kg front, 1000kg rear, and 1200kg trailer axle. This leaves me a grand total of only 201kg for passenger, bike, and camping gear/supplies, not to mention water. Toyota recommends against any weight dist hitch, but does suggest a stabilizer when towing over 2000#. Does anybody else tow their 17' Bigfoot with the 3.4 Toyota?
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:14 PM   #2
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We towed our previous Bigfoot 17.5CB with a 2004 Tacoma Prerunner (3.4L V6) and it did fine on the flats. Climbing hills were always frustrating though. Our setup included a weight distribution hitch and no sway control.
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:17 AM   #3
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We towed our previous Bigfoot 17.5CB with a 2004 Tacoma Prerunner (3.4L V6) and it did fine on the flats. Climbing hills were always frustrating though. Our setup included a weight distribution hitch and no sway control.
thanks for the reply Steve. While I'm not too worried about pulling power, as the Supercharger provides lots of magic. It is the driveability, etc on downhills & corners, and just driving down the road that I'm curious about. On my short drive to the scale & back it just felt real big. I've yet to install my brake controller. I am thinking I'll not need the equalizer hitch. I pulled away from scaling the combo, and gently put my right foot down on the throttle to test and immediately lost traction(it was raining lightly). I am thinking I should put more weight on the back of the truck, and will plan to put most additional gear in the truck bed....but not too much cause I've only got 201kg left...
It's hard to believe Toyota boosts these trucks to 6000# with just an oil cooler and a 130 amp alternator.
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:06 AM   #4
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we have an 05 tacoma but we have the towing package, and the off road thing. Not impressed with the off road thing, but we have an 02 Casita 17'. We have gone on many weekend outings with no trouble. We like the anti sway bar but have had no trouble going uphills etc.

happy camping

Alexandra
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:00 PM   #5
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DwayneR,
I know exactly what you mean about the trailer feeling big. That was my first impression and one that repeated itself every time I first started out on a trip. The feeling diminishes a bit after a while. Regardless, I never experienced any stability problems going uphill or downhill. As mentioned before, I used a weight distribution hitch so I can't speak to how it handled without one. If it were me I would get the Toyota fan clutch that was part of the factory tow package and change the transmission fluid to one of the better synthetics. Besides the factory hitch (including the wiring) , the fan clutch was the only component that upgraded the towing capacity to 6000 lbs. in 2004. Supplemental transmission and oil coolers may be a good idea but they were not part of the tow package, at least no until subsequent years.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:51 PM   #6
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DwayneR,
I know exactly what you mean about the trailer feeling big. That was my first impression and one that repeated itself every time I first started out on a trip. The feeling diminishes a bit after a while. Regardless, I never experienced any stability problems going uphill or downhill. As mentioned before, I used a weight distribution hitch so I can't speak to how it handled without one. If it were me I would get the Toyota fan clutch that was part of the factory tow package and change the transmission fluid to one of the better synthetics. Besides the factory hitch (including the wiring) , the fan clutch was the only component that upgraded the towing capacity to 6000 lbs. in 2004. Supplemental transmission and oil coolers may be a good idea but they were not part of the tow package, at least no until subsequent years.
thanks for that Steve...actually my Owner's Manual mentions to look for the Green fan spacer for the Tow Package option, orange without Tow Package. Do you know what the difference is? I was figuring it might just allow more clearance for the oil coolers? I called Toyota USA and was told only the 130 amp alternator, trans oil cooler, engine oil cooler, hitch & wiring for Tow Package option(6000#). My truck has the orange fan spacer, and is a 5 speed so no trans oil cooler. I will head to the wrecker and look for an engine oil cooler and green fan assy. Cheers...dwayner
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:27 AM   #7
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Dwayne,

I towed an '04 15B17CB with an '02 Tundra with the 3.4. I towed it both with and without WDH. I think you'll find that there's a rear-end difference with the tow package as well... typically the tow package includes lower gearing. You'd have to confirm that with Toyota tho... The tongue weight on your 17CB is pretty hefty, something around 500 lbs... which may also be above the dead-weight rating of your receiver.

My Tundra did ok with the 17CB, although I could tell that the 3.4 struggled from time to time on hills or with a significant head wind. I also used my Tundra to occasionally tow the 25RQ I replaced the 17CB with. It was definitely all the Tundra could do to tow that. Actually I was a little over the tow rating of the truck (5,000 lbs) I ended up replacing it with an '07 Titan V8 wth a 9,500 lb tow rating. It makes all the difference in the world.

You'll be OK with your 17CB, just make sure you don't push your Tacoma any harder than you have to. I'd leave the motorcycle at home.
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:46 AM   #8
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I got the Prodigy brake control installed on the SuperTaco & took my new to me '98 CB17 for a run on the highway today. Still waiting for my WD hitch to show up some time next week, but it wasn't too bad...actually felt better than I'd expected it would. I'll be only towing about 100km on the highway, then a few miles offroad up the mountain to the Nicklemine Off-Road riding area. Here's how it looks with full water & fuel tanks.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:28 PM   #9
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Nice looking rig Dwayne, did you raise the axle?
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:00 AM   #10
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Nice looking rig Dwayne, did you raise the axle?
Yes I did raise the axle, actually I did a spring over mod(I think that term is correct?). I needed more clearance for a couple of large water bars on the hill up to Nicklemine. I maybe could have bought a straight axle, but we'll try this first. My WD hitch gets here friday. I'll take the same combo picture for comparison once I get it dialed.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:03 AM   #11
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Hi: DwayneR... Thats a nice looking rig alright. Do you have room for "Jenny Craig" or "Richard Simmons" as part of your weight solution???
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
we have an 05 tacoma but we have the towing package, and the off road thing. Not impressed with the off road thing, but we have an 02 Casita 17'. We have gone on many weekend outings with no trouble. We like the anti sway bar but have had no trouble going uphills etc.

happy camping

Alexandra
Hi Alexandra,

New to this site... mostly hang out on the Casita Club site... I have a quick question for you if you don't mind? I have a 99 Tacoma 4X4 SR5 TRD V6 Extracab and I pull a 17 foot 2006 SD. My question is, do you notice a drop in your Toyota rear end when you trailer the fully loaded Casita? I experience a drop of 2 - 2 1/2 inches when hooked up and am concerned if this is the norm? If had the springs checked an all seems ok... I am considering beefing up the rear end with an add a leaf spring and possibly installing air shocks in the rear. Your thoughts and experiences with your Toyota are welcomed. Thanks for your time.

Live well!

Chuck Dirnsa
Rocket City USA
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:33 AM   #13
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Chuck,

I noticed a similar drop on my 2008 Tacoma with the 350 lb tongue weight of my trailer. I fixed the problem by adding a suspension enhancement system by Timbren. http://www.timbren.com/

Good luck!
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:52 AM   #14
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Hi all! The tongue weight on both the Casita 17 and the Bigfoot 17 are not insignificant. The Casita 17 lists a "dry tongue weight" of 365 lbs. Once you add propane, and load the trailer the odds are you'll be pushing a 500 lb tongue weight. The Bigfoot 17 is similar. You have to remember that load is hanging out there significantly behind the rear axle. That weigh cantilevered out there unloads your steering axle. That's not a good situation. It may not unload it enough to cause steering wander, but it still unloads several hundred pounds and causes vagueness in the steering which causes the tow vehicle to handle differently than it does unladen. Beefing up the suspension may level the rig, but typically will do nothing for the front axle unloading. The fulcrum in the lever (the rear axle) doesn't change positions, it merely doesn't sag under the weight.

I'd recommend anyone with a tongue weight that is approaching the dead weight limit of your receiver get a weight distributing hitch. The purpose of that hitch is to distribute the trailer's tongue weight equally to all three axles, leveling the rig and keeping the proper amount of weight on each axle. The WDH also effectively doubles the dead weight load rating of your receiver.

And... even if your rig handles okay without a WDH, you won't believe how well behaved they are with one.

Roger
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