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Old 10-15-2006, 11:01 PM   #29
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Name: jim
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I would never tow a trailer with anything but a truck The suspension is stiffer the transmission tougher and the frame stronger than a passenger car.
I use a Toyota 4 cylinder '97 Tacoma for my 13' Scamp-a match I like fairly well.
I toy with the idea of getting a new Tacoma V6 but they have really gotten bigger since '97. Also, my wife says "What's so bad about this truck?".
I guess the main thing is the camper shell makes getting at stuff hurt my knees when I have to crawl to get the back of the bed. I don't need the shell cover because a tarp would do the job and things would be easy to reach.
New is awfully nice-power windows, V6, acess cab for the golf clubs, shine, smell, etc. I'm getting kinda old and have always done almost all the home maintainence myself for 50 years. Don't you think I deserve a final new truck?
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Old 10-16-2006, 02:36 AM   #30
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Quote:
New is awfully nice-power windows, V6, acess cab for the golf clubs, shine, smell, etc. I'm getting kinda old and have always done almost all the home maintainence myself for 50 years. Don't you think I deserve a final new truck?
Of course you do Jim.
With the new model in 05 they really grew up. I was never quite comfortable in my small Toyota trucks until I bought the 05 Tacoma. Now I have to really stretch my leg to make sure the clutch is disengaged and I am 6' 2''.
I wish now that I had bought the V-6 when I bought my Tacoma but at the time I had a 1991 Ford F-250 4x4 that I thought had a lot of life left in it. It only had 81000 miles on it when the engine died so I got rid of it.
If things go well I may buy an access cab V-6 Tacoma next year.
Take the wife for a test drive in a new Tacoma and she will fall in love with it.
Hope you get a new one,
John
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:26 AM   #31
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All of the trucks have really "grown up" in the past five years. The Frontiers and the Tacomas are now very little different from their larger siblings, the Titans and Tundras; the primary difference being engine choices. They're certainly not much different price-wise!

The manufacturers are really moving away from the features that caused folks to buy "4 cyl small trucks" in the first place! They seem to all be moving to 1 ton monster diesels, and everything else in their lines are getting bigger too!

Roger
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:10 AM   #32
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Yes Jim, you deserve a new truck. I looked up the Tacoma and it has a 3,500# (6,500# with 4x4) towing capacity and is rated 21/27 MPG, perfect for fiberglass trailers!
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:23 PM   #33
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Quote:
I'm considering a 13' Scamp or Casita.
Engines: 2.2L L4, 3.1L V6
Transmissions: 3 Speed Automatic, 4 Speed Automatic
Drivetrains: Front Wheel Drive
Even though it's a 6 cylinder, it's only rated for 1000 lbs.
Probably the suspension, eh?
Loretta :con
Loretta, it is most likely because it is FRONT wheel drive, they can't tow as much as a rear wheel drive. Also, sometimes when towing, they will give a "tail wagging the dog" feel.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:26 PM   #34
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But they can tow enough!
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:18 PM   #35
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Loretta, it is most likely because it is FRONT wheel drive, they can't tow as much as a rear wheel drive. Also, sometimes when towing, they will give a "tail wagging the dog" feel.

Thanks, Penny....

I wondered about the front wheel vs rear wheel. I looked in my manual, and if I beef up the cooling system, the rating goes to 2000 lbs!!!

Loretta
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Old 10-20-2006, 08:53 AM   #36
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Loretta, there are actually a number of issues with front-wheel-drive cars. Transaxles tend to be not-as-stout as a conventional rear-wheel-drive transmission/rear end. Further, most front-wheel drive cars are built on a unibody. Not that a unibody is, in itself, an issue but unibody design is a stamped unit that's engineered to take stress in specific directions. If yours isn't specifically designed to take towing stresses, there is the potential for it to deform (which is NOT a good thing) if you tow over it's weight. Suspension is always an issue as the rear suspension on most front-wheel-drives are, at best, an idler assembly upon which the rest of the car merely rests. They're built to do what they're designed for, but not to take much more of a load, particularly when that load is attached four or five feet out on a lever (the hitch assembly).

So... the moral of the story is... you really ought not push your front wheel drive car to tow anything past what the manufacturer rates it for.

Good luck!

Roger
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Old 10-20-2006, 01:49 PM   #37
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Roger has some good points, but in practical reality, they may not be so important.
  • Drivetrain components, such as the transmission and differential, are important. There are lots of rear-wheel-drive (not just front-drive) vehicles with lightweight components which are not particularly suitable for towing. Trucks are suitable, not because they have rear-wheel drive, but because they are trucks, and thus every component is chosen with heavy loads in mind. Again, stay within the rating...
  • Yes, a unibody is designed to take specific forces; fortunately, supporting a hitch is part of the design of most of the unibody vehicles which we might use for towing; I say stay within the limits, and thus don't worry about it. Obviously, a small convertible sports car is unlikely to be designed for a hitch load and its rating will reflect that; on the other hand, my (unibody) Sienna has substantial structural members with built-in nuts for the hitch bolts. Most Jeep and Land Rover models - including those with the highest towing capacity - are unibodies.
  • Whether the wheels are driven or not is irrelevant - the suspension capacity and durability depends on components such as springs and bearings, which are designed for a specific load. My Sienna has a 1280 kg rear axle rating, allowing the van to carry about half a ton of payload (mostly on the rear axle) - this capacity is comparable to a mini pickup. On the other hand, a little rear-drive sports car may have an overloaded rear suspension with two people and one especially big suitcase!
  • I agree that the leverage effect is really important: the rear axle acts as the fulcrum, the hitch ball is the point where the load is applied, and longer the distance from rear axle to ball (comparted to the wheelbase), the more load will be taken off the front axle and pushed onto the rear by the trailer. I think the key is to understand what the loads will be when the trailer and cargo are considered, and consider that keeping enough load on the front axle is more important (for drive traction) with front wheel drive than with rear wheel drive.
In the end, you really should not push any vehicle to tow anything past the manufacturer's rating, for the same reasons.
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Old 10-20-2006, 04:51 PM   #38
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The Tacoma is rear wheel drive ( in case there was confusion)
Seems to be a really nice truck and maybe my next one, the only drawback is the composite rear box. Great for no rust but really bad for 5th wheel Scamp.

Scamp says they will not put a gooseneck hitch on it as it would void the warrenty to remove the bolts (special ones) to put a metal plate on the frame.

Maybe I'll get one and use it for regular towing until the warrenty runs out, then have a plate put in.

Bummer, that was my plan a vehicle for whatever I wanted to tow.
That leaves only Ranger(ummmm Ford ? ummmm would have to be a really, really good deal) or Chevy ( 5 cylinder? for real? I haven't seen anything good or bad about it, which is kind of disturbing) or Nissan ? from this point on the gas mileage goes up so the big trucks are the same as the small ones.



It's hopeless.
Maybe in two years the ultimate vehicle will come out.
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:32 PM   #39
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What I find odd, is that according to an earlier post, that the tow capacity of a Tacoma increases a lot with the 4wd and in the GMC pickups, it`s the reverse, but mildly.....the 2wd GM trucks are rated a few hundred pounds higher than the 4x4`s with the same engines, body styles, and gear ratios, possibly because of the extra weight of the 4x4 drive system in the truck itself .......possibly in the Tacoma, the gear ratio changes a fair amount between the 2wd`s and the 4x4`s........Also the GM automatics will tow about 1-2000 lbs more than the standard transmissions......Oh, also with my GM 4.8 truck, my mileage drops about 5-6 mpg US, about 7-8 CDN, towing the 13' Boler versus not towing.......Benny
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:23 PM   #40
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Quote:
The Tacoma is rear wheel drive ( in case there was confusion)...
The front-wheel-drive discussion was triggered by Loretta's post about her Buick Century.

Quote:
...Seems to be a really nice truck and maybe my next one, the only drawback is the composite rear box. Great for no rust but really bad for 5th wheel Scamp.

Scamp says they will not put a gooseneck hitch on it as it would void the warrenty to remove the bolts (special ones) to put a metal plate on the frame...
While Scamp does not want to mess with the composite box while under warranty, my guess is the Toyota would not be thrilled by the idea of bolting a hitch to a steel truck box, either. We're not just talking about supporting a few hundred pounds here - the hitch also pulls the more-than-a-ton trailer. I know, everyone does it without problems, but I'm sure the brackets (hopefully not just a plate!) for the composite box would be fine, too.

Quote:
Chevy ( 5 cylinder? for real? I haven't seen anything good or bad about it, which is kind of disturbing...
Is it the number of cylinders, or just that this is a new engine? If it's the count, don't worry: there's a long history of five-cylinder inline engines, mostly from Mercedes (including the current Sprinter commercial van) and Audi. If it's the new engine, then the fact that this is the 5-cyl version of the 6-cylinder in the Trailblazer and Envoy (see Doug's post) might be informative.
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:40 PM   #41
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Benny, I think Patrick's post about the Tacoma towing capacity just had a couple of examples to show the range of capacities. Toyota only offers limited combinations of engine, transmission, two or four wheel drive, cab, and box, and the combination determines the rating. While I agree there is a 3500 lb rated 4x2, and a 6500 lb rated 4x4, there's a lot more than the number of driven wheels which is different. For instance, a 5-speed auto V6 Double Cab as a 5000 lb capacity regardless of 4x2 or 4x4; all 4x4's are V6 and have 5000 lb capacity without the "4x4 Option Package", and 6500 lb with it.
(Tacoma specs are from the Payload / Towing Guide offered from the Tacoma page of Toyota.ca)

I agree that the GM specs show a couple hundred pounds of capacity loss due to 4WD, and after a while (too long!) looking at the specs in the brochure, that is clearly just the weight of the 4WD hardware. The engine, transmission, and final drive determine the Gross Combined Weight Rating, and every pound of truck reduces how much of that is left for payload and trailer.
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Old 10-21-2006, 12:40 AM   #42
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OTOH, less than $10 at Wally will get you one of those squeeze-grip PickerUppers -- I have the same problem with my 98 Ranger because the canopy/topper is lower than the one I had on my 82 D150, plus the bed is a foot longer (7' vs 6').
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