Towing with Toyota Tacoma (4 cyl) pickup - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-12-2012, 10:01 AM   #1
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Name: Elizabeth
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Towing with Toyota Tacoma (4 cyl) pickup

Hi,
I was wondering if there is anyone out there who tows their FGRV with a Toyota Tacoma pickup. We have a 2002 Toyota Tacoma S5 PreRunner ext. cab with a 2.7 liter/ 4 cyl engine. I am trying to see, via persons with experience, what type of unit this vehicle can realistically handle. I already know that it is rated to tow 3500lbs.
What type of trailer and size do you pull?
Thanks!!!
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:48 AM   #2
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Lizzie, I tow with a 6 cyl Tacomma. I have a Casita 17ft FD. It weighted in at 2800 pounds empty. So for you that would be pushing your tow cap once you pack gear, propane, water, etc.


Thanks for posting your tow cap. But there are a few more questions that will help, help you figure out what would work for you.

How many passengers in your truck? Cause the weight of your passengers plays into your tow cap. For every passenger your tow cap goes down. So if you have a herd of kids or adults that ride along with you, the amount of weight you can pull will go down.

Things like, if you want a bathroom model and how many people you need to sleep will determine the type of trailer that would work best for your needs.


As for how my Tacomma pulls my Casita, It does ok, living here in Colorado I am faced with mountains on most adventures. And I can maintain a decent speed going up hill, as long as traffic is clear ahead of me. But if someone pulls out in front of me and is going turtel speed, it's hard to regain speed. So that isn't always fun, but other than that it does well.


So fill us in on how many passengers, what features you want such as bathroom, air, heater, etc. Then hopefully we can suggest different trailers that will work for you.



FYI, there will be some that will tell you that you can pull anything. And most likely you can. But the question is, do you want to do it safely?
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:17 PM   #3
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Last fall I bought a Trillium 1300. In January I bought a 2007 Tacoma, 4-cyl, 2.7 with the tow pkg. It is rated at 3500lbs. I leave NL next week to pick it up in Ontario(Can.) This is the 6th Trillium we/I have owned.
I will be travelling alone so my load will be light, both in the truck and in the trailer. I am trying to adjust my travelling to later starts, slower speeds and earlier offs and travelling the back roads. I do not anticipate any problems.
We towed a 1500 with a Toyota van for 4 years some time back and it was never a problem.
I will let you know how I make out after I get back from the mainland with the trailer.
Stay tuned and good luck. D
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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Dave, do you know how much your Trillium weighs?

As for further details - My husband and I between the both us total around 335 lbs, then add a 75 lb Golden retriever in the truck, plus the truck is an ext. cab and has a shell.
I want something larger than a 13 ft trailer and definitely with a seperate toilet area - doesn't have to be a big space, but with a door for privacy.
If we plan to dry camp will probably want to head out with fresh water tanks fully loaded, plus drinking water - we could probably get on the way to where we are going. We won't need a lot of extra stuff, just our lounge chairs, clothing, food, toiletries, kitchen supplies, some games and for dry camping we'll skip the TV. I would however like a trailer that is cable ready.
Does this help?
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:31 PM   #5
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Our Tacoma is a '95 with the same engine. It does fine towing our 13-foot Trailmite. It's given us thousands of miles of trouble free travel.


But there are times in the mountains that make us accept that our beloved Toyota shouldn't tow anything bigger or heavier. We've talked about getting a 16' or bigger egg, but that would mean using our V6 Trooper as the tow vehicle instead.
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:45 PM   #6
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It does, LOL.............



So you need to check your owners manual and see what the extra the doggie pounds and the shell will hack off your tow cap.
Shouldn't be too much but will take a bit off, Your owners manual should explain that, I would also check Toyota's website of changes in tow ratings cause I know my 09 had a change, thankfully I have the room for the little drop. Anyway check to make sure your's doesn't have a change from when your truck was new.




I would also recommend you read a post in General Chat, titled, Trailer Weights in the Real World (it's a sticky, up at the top of the General Chat forum) It's an opener as to what our little egg's weigh.


See, wanting a wanting a bathroom (don't blame you!) adding water etc add's weight weight weight!

Remember, everything you put in add's weight, just a ice chest full of beer and pop add's a whole lot of weight. So when your close to start with you have to be careful.....



I will add that many of the older Casita's/ Scamps weigh much less than the newer models. Like a lot less................... So maybe a older trailer would/could meet your camping needs.

As for other vintage trailers many of them don't have a bathroom, some do and as I said many of the vintage weigh less as well, I wonder about a Fiber Stream or Burro for you, cause both have a bathroom option and I think weigh less than newer brands.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:33 PM   #7
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Scamp 16 and Honda CRV Contents

Lizze,

Our 1991 Scamp 16 is out fitted for 11 months of travel. It has ton's of options and all the internal space pretty much has stuff in it.

Our Scamp 16 has six additional drawers more than the standard version of our trailer. We also have added an air conditioner to our closet. We have a full width overhead cabinet above the dinette and an additional closet attached to the back of the side bathroom. I have yet to see a Scamp with more storage. (It can be seen under modificaations section 'Preparing a 1991 Scamp...)

We have the side bathroom and travel with the water tank 1/2 to 3/4s full. We usually empty our black and gray tanks before traveling. Our refrigerator is generally full and the little pantry I made is also full.

We do not have a microwave or an awning though we do expect to eventually add a light awning.

We do have a rear Bumper box that carries hoses, cords and blocks. We also have 5 storage containers mounted to the bottom rear of our Scamp's floor. We do have two computers, a 19" TV, and a satellite Receiver.

We have 80 watts of solar panels (they are light about 5 pounds), presently one battery and soon a second and one propane tank.

We do not have a dog, but in the Honda we do carry a satellite dish, a tripod for the dish, a bottle jack, a small compressor, four light chairs, a bin filled with liquids, a bin filled with blankets, a filled hiking back pack, a bin of maps and books, a bin with rain coats and sweaters and a case of water in the car.

We carry no coolers or any thing loose in the trailer, i.e. we do not use the Scamp for temporary storage.

The car fully loaded for travel weighs about 4000 pounds. Again our Scamp weighs 2400 pounds of which 200 pounds are togue weight. We do not have a weight distribution hitch but we do have an anti-sway bar that came with it. Our car does not feel front end light nor is it rear biased more than a 1/2 inch.

We have been towing this or like trailers for four years with our Honda, crossing the Rockies 3 times so far, one more to go on the way home. Depending on the trailer we have gotten 20 - 23 mpg. 20 mpg was a stick built trailer, the higher mileage trailers were a Casita 16 and a Scamp 16.

Now I do not feel that our Honda is the perfect tow vehicle, though it has worked very well. I would prefer some kind of small diesel and have hoped that Honda or Subaru would bring their's to N.A. I do like the fact that the Honda has a manual transmission and that the trailer has brakes.

Our prespective of towing a Scamp 16 is that fully loaded it travels easily and tows beautifully.... admittedly I have never owned a Tacoma or a 75 lb dog.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:48 PM   #8
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'93 Toyota, pre Tacoma 22re 4banger with a 5 speed manual. 13' Boler American no brakes. It does a fine job,my tow rating is also 3,500 lbs but I doubt they would pull it.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:49 PM   #9
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If your '02 Tacoma had the V6 it would be rated for 5000 lbs, and I suspect 500 lb. hitch weight. My point is, if you have a class III receiver on it, your Taco probably can handle the extra hitch weight of a front bath. That is a plus. Trailer tongues can be surprisingly heavy on some layouts.

If you aren't going to travel in mountainous country, you probably will do ok with a 16' egg. Just don't plan to go fast up hills.

I've read that the weak link on the Tacoma 4 cyl is the rear differential; if it ever goes out, I think a beefier aftermarket one can replace it. The rest of the truck seems to be pretty bulletproof according to owners' comments I've read.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:29 AM   #10
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Lizzie, I am estimating the travel weight to be 1700-1800 lbs at the most. I do not use the water tank unless I am heading to a place where I will need it [here on the island we are never too far from a source of fresh water]. I just carry enough for a couple of days. I buy groceries and supplies as I go. Fishing gear is now down to 3 rods and one small tackle box. Cooking gear will be about the same but dishes and cutlery etc. will be reduced as well. Clothing, including a parka for spring and fall, boots etc. is for one person now. There is no built-in biffy but I may take the porta-potti rig for a couple of trips (then I will likely get rid of it). I carry one propane tank. Board games are gone [no one to share with] and so is a lot of other stuff that we used to carry. Kindle has reduced the books I will carry. This summer will be my first 'alone on the road' and there will be other adjustments as I go. I will deal with them as they arise.
That said, I do not anticipate any problems with the tow vehicle or the 1300 and I am looking forward to my 'break in runs' around the island this summer.
D.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:46 PM   #11
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I have towed my 17' Casita, Freedom Delux for the past 6 years with a 2000 Toyota Tundra with a small V-8. I average around 14 mpg when towing. The truck is almost at 200,000 miles and thinking I might want to replace it soon. I have been looking at websites for vehicles with decent gas mileage that will pull my egg like my Tundra. Any suggestions about the "right" vehicle? I would like to get somewhere around 25 mpg when towing and it should have room for a couple of bicycles.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:52 PM   #12
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I have an 07 Toyota Tacoma reg. cab 2.7 4 cyl with an auto transmission.
It towed my 16' SD Scamp with dual propane tanks and a full qater tank quite well.
I took a 4500 mile trip to Yellowstone and surrounding states and averaged 22 mpg.
The only time I thought I was going to have get out and push was the very long, steep grade up to the Teton Pass.
I drive the speed limit and sometimes a little faster.
The only addition I have is a transmisson cooler.
FYI I used to travel with only a minimal amount of water in the water tank.
On my Yellowstone trip i carried a full tank and there was no difference in MPG or towing performance.
John
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinjustis View Post
I have towed my 17' Casita, Freedom Delux for the past 6 years with a 2000 Toyota Tundra with a small V-8. I average around 14 mpg when towing. The truck is almost at 200,000 miles and thinking I might want to replace it soon. I have been looking at websites for vehicles with decent gas mileage that will pull my egg like my Tundra. Any suggestions about the "right" vehicle? I would like to get somewhere around 25 mpg when towing and it should have room for a couple of bicycles.
You might get 25 mpg, but it won't tow like the Tundra! Anything that can get 25 when towing will probably have a 4 cylinder engine, and quite possibly a diesel.
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:01 PM   #14
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Ok, thank you for all the information, but admittedly I am actually more confused at this point. The thread on the general chat "Towing in the real world" has such variations in weights among the same trailers - so, it is real difficult to tell what our truck could handle.
Anyone really good at math?
1 - 2002 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner with a 2.7 liter/ 4cylinder engine, extended cab, with camper shell = approx. 300 lbs
2 - persons = 335 lbs
1 - Golden retriever = 75 lbs sub-total = 710 lbs
+ lets say a 2400 lb trailer loaded = 500 lbs (is that a good estimate of the load?) (Water included, my Dad always reminds me "a pint's a pound, the world around")
2900 + 710 = 3610 lbs
Am I figuring this out correctly? So, it seems that a trailer at 2400 lb would be too heavy.
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