We're on our second Tacoma, a 2012. The first was an 05 and, between the two, have driven 300K+ miles with around thirty percent of that towing our 19' Scamp
. Both vehicles were identically equipped - 4WD double cab, automatic, 4.0L engine, TRD Offroad package and factory towing option. Both with the 60" (short) bed.
The composite bed is a non-issue. I'll provide a detailed write up with pics for anyone wanting more info. Don't know about the 2016's but bed height was OK with stock axle
on the Scamp
for these two.
Its usually just Cindy and I so additional passengers are not a factor with regard to payload. Forward of the hitch cross bar and depending on where we're heading and for how long, I carry some combination of a 65 qt cooler, firewood, 20lb propane
tank, spare 12V battery
and/or an EU3000i Honda genset. Additionally, the rear seats are folded for another 65 qt cooler, tools, recovery gear, battery
charger, stove, dutch oven, Cobb grill, Hibachi grill, large bag of charcoal (I don't plan on getting stranded but, if it happens, we'll eat well). Finally, the Tacoma has a Baja Rack roof rack which holds the PahaQue screen room, chairs and a small table.
I'm sure we've exceeded the payload rating with what I've listed and there's probably more that I've forgotten, but it honestly hasn't been a problem. The truck still handles and stops well and the 05 had 240K miles with nary a hiccup from any drivetrain or suspension somponent. Both trucks had the OE springs replaced with those in the TSB and this seemed to help quite a bit with leveling the load. I may add the Firestone air bags at some point in the future but haven't seen the need yet.
We also backpack and enjoy exploring offroad on public lands. For that type of use, I'd highly recommend the TRD Offroad package (suspension, armor and electronic locking rear end) and the trailering option (oil and tranny coolers). Another feature we use quite a lot is the bed mounted inverter (200W driving / 400W parked).
We live on a family farm and I have other towing options with Chevy 1500's and even a Dodge with the Cummins turbo but the Tacoma is still my choice.