towing with a bumper hitch on a Tacoma - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-22-2013, 12:38 AM   #1
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towing with a bumper hitch on a Tacoma

We've been told by our mechanic, and other research we've pursued, that our stock bumper hitch on the Tacoma is hefty enough to pull a light trailer without adding a beefier (and more expensive) hitch. Now the question is - will the bumper hitch be at the right height to tow an average 13 ft fiberglass trailer? Or will we have to install a new hitch just so that it has the lower slung arm for a 2' ball hitch? Anyone's experience with this would be appreciated?? We don't own a trailer yet, but have been looking avidly and we're set on a 13ft.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:36 AM   #2
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Hello John and welcome to the forum. I really don't think it's worth the risk. Most trailers weigh more than the owner thinks. Thirteen footers are typically between 1500 - 2000 lbs. For less than $200 you can buy a nice class 3 hitch from etrailer that will bolt right on in minutes. Look under your truck you will see the bolt holes. Once mounted, you can measure and buy the draw bar and ball locally. Make sure everthing is properly torqued. Good luck, Raz

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Old 03-22-2013, 05:03 AM   #3
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2X on not taking the risk. Only the very lightest of trailers are meant to be towed with a bumper hitch...maybe a small "dump run" trailer at most. And even then, as you note, the hitch height factors in.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:15 AM   #4
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Well what is the rateing on your bumper hitch from toyota?

I wouldn't go by the mechanic's word but by what it says in your owners manual. If something were to happen and it was within tolerance of the manuf then you at least have some protection.... now if your above the manuf limits then its your fault. Or just spend around $200 and an hour of your time and install a nice class 3 hitch and be done.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:23 AM   #5
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I've towed with a bumper hitch on my old Ranger when I was just renting a trailer. I'd think it well worth your while to install a frame hitch so you can take advantage of different height stingers as well as for the additional confidence of having a good mount. You might find a deal on Craigslist or even at the auto recyclers if you don't want to pop $150 or so for a new one.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:56 PM   #6
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I see no point in speculating about the capacity of the existing frame-mounted hitch which is also serving as a bumper - the capacity is probably clearly marked on it. That can be compared to the "real-world" weights which were mentioned.

John also asked about height. The smallest moulded fiberglass travel trailers have quite low coupler heights, perhaps as low as 13 inches. My larger 17' trailer has a 16" coupler height, and a recent discussion mentioned the height for a new Bigfoot 25B21 at over 23 inches. Remember that those heights are to the top of the ball; the bumper ball platform height, plus about 3" for the ball, minus the distance the bumper goes down under the weight of the trailer tongue, is the height which needs to reasonably match the trailer's coupler height.

This has been discussed here before:
Towing with step bumper
Towing from bumper
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:03 PM   #7
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I agree with Brian- height is likely to be the main problem with this scenario. I doubt that level towing will be possible at exactly the bumper height.

That having been said:
I don't know the year of the Tacoma, but I think most have bumper hitches "rated" up to 3500 pounds.

Francesca
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:30 PM   #8
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The thing I've noticed is most bumper hitches make the trailers tow tongue up. Check out a wrecking yard in your area. Chances are you can buy a hitch off a wreck for a whole bunch less than new-retail.

to FiberglassRV John!

Be safe!
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:39 PM   #9
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You might check walmart, they sell hitch receivers too. You might get one for under $150. I think it's unanimous, bumper pull is not a good idea. You'll be scraping the trailer's rear bumper!
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:35 PM   #10
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Bumper / Frame Hitch Experience

Hello,
Years ago when I got my first Trillium 1300 my tow
vehicle was a 1991 Dodge D150 half ton pick up.
The bumper hitch was rated at 5000 lbs gross and
500 lbs tongue weight. The Trillium 1300 weighed
about 1500 lbs and th toungue weight was about
100 lbs. After one road trip the bumper had bent down
and was not the same. I bought a Class III frame
mounted hitch and never had another problem.
Used hitches are an option... However, considering
the cost of a good 'egg' and the inconvenience of
having problems while on the road, in my opinon,
you should get a 'proper' frame mounted hitch for
peace of mind and safety.

Larry H
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyleggs View Post
We've been told by our mechanic, and other research we've pursued, that our stock bumper hitch on the Tacoma is hefty enough to pull a light trailer without adding a beefier (and more expensive) hitch. Now the question is - will the bumper hitch be at the right height to tow an average 13 ft fiberglass trailer? Or will we have to install a new hitch just so that it has the lower slung arm for a 2' ball hitch? Anyone's experience with this would be appreciated?? We don't own a trailer yet, but have been looking avidly and we're set on a 13ft.
I have a 92 2wd toyota pickup and a 87 4wd sr5 extended cab toyota pickup. Both have 22re engines with 5 speed manuals. I pull a 2000 lb boat and 13 foot scamp.

The 92 truck's (2wd) bumper is much lower to the ground and because of the bumper hitch the height is not adjustable. I ended up and installed a frame hitch for strength and adjustment. The tongue weight of the boat really pushes down on the bumper and rear end of the 2wd truck.

The 87 truck (4wd) pulls either the boat or scamp with no problems and the 4wd suspension is much better for a heavy tongue load, not that the scamp is much to worry about. I also installed a frame hitch because the OEM bumper was too high for the boat and scamp. The frame hitch also increased the turning radius as the ball is behind the bumper instead of in the middle of the bumper and prone to hitting the recessed sides of an OEM bumper when turning sharp. I used a 4 inch drop on the frame mounted hitch and it is perfect. I also like just pulling out the hitch pin and popping in a different hitch with different size ball and drop. I also plan to get a bike rack that attaches directly to the frame hitch while still towing my boat or scamp.

I recall the capacity on OEM bumper was 2000lbs with 200 lb tongue max. The owners manual will have your specs. The frame type hitch is much stronger with towing capacity limited by the truck. I recall my toyota operators manual said 3500lbs and 350lb max, if I recall correctly. I also recall above 2000 lb you need sway control.

Though the scamp 13 is light be sure to get brakes anyway. I can not hardly feel it behind me while towing but if you need to slam on the brakes you can definitely feel it then.
Good luck.

PS I also just installed a rear view camera inside the scamp back window and back of truck shell. I had a hard time seeing behind the trailer and the shell mounted camera also makes it a snap hooking up the trailer to the truck with no help - you can see the ball/tongue. I tried editing above but the function is not working well.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I see no point in speculating about the capacity of the existing frame-mounted hitch which is also serving as a bumper - the capacity is probably clearly marked on it. That can be compared to the "real-world" weights which were mentioned.
Despite the ratings they have a tendency to bend, hence the need for speculation Raz
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:51 PM   #13
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I may be vain about my truck (Ranger), but I wouldn't use the bumper hitch because I don't want the front of the trailer up where it would easily scratch paint.

Trucks are meant to be played with, but easily aquired equipment (my class III/IV hitch was $150 from amazon and bolted right on in 20 minutes) can save frustration.

I don't know which version of the Tacoma you have, but my Ranger an off road edition so it's height makes towing our scamp 16ft from the bumper totally impossible.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:24 PM   #14
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Taco bumper will easily handle the load, but the height is your issue. I pull a boat on the bumper that weighs as much as my 16' scamp. The Scamp requires less height.
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