4 cyl, 5 spd, '08 Tacoma - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-09-2011, 04:16 AM   #1
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Name: harry
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4 cyl, 5 spd, '08 Tacoma

Is what my truck is, no plans to change. So...should I continue to consider a 13', maybe put a cap on back of the 'Yota for storage of 'gotta have alongs', when my apt. lease is up, end of august, and I try out this fulltiming lifestyle? The gypsylike part is no worry, I worked on ships and boats, on salt water, most all my working life, the weight being pulled by my trusty little truck is what I'm asking. Owners manual says 3500 lbs, I think, not sure what that means, could I pull a 16' Casita, f'rinstance, without burning up my engine?
I appreciate advice, pro or con, from you folks with way more experience in these matters. Salepeople assure me, NO PROBLEM, I tend to be skeptical.
I just discovered the ParkLiner posts from April, and I'm ready to drive up there tomorrow, only 150-175 miles from here, to look, but now it's past 5 AM, and I forgot to go to bed, reading FiberglassRV stuff...
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:10 AM   #2
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You're not gonna "burn up" your engine. You have gears to use. You may not be happy with towing performance but your truck will be ok. I'd get a topper for lockable and enclosed space in the back of your truck. We have one. The stuff we carry there would be a giant pain to carry in the trailer and have to load & unload every day.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:26 AM   #3
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Hello Harry and welcome to the forum. I suspect your truck will be fine with most fiberglass campers. There are members towing 13 and 16 ft. campers with CUVs. The two places a lack of power will become evident is in the mountains and entering busy interstates. As long as you are aware of the limitations you will be fine. You might want to check out the thread " Trailer weights in the real world" which is located here in General Chat. Good luck, Raz
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:41 AM   #4
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I have a 4.0 liter V6 2007 Tacoma, 6 speed, and 4:56 gears, 16 foot Scamp. Compared to many here I am overgunned. Still, there are times I wish I had a few more ponies. I do a lot of traveling at high altitudes on steep mountain grades. That takes an otherwise strong truck down quickly. I often go to 5th gear, and occasionally to 4th. Rarely to 3rd. That's with 4:56 gears, not stock gears! Your truck comes from the factory with lower gears I'm pretty sure.

If you don't mind gearing down and taking it slow up some hills, you can pull a 13 or 16 fine with that truck. If you want a bigger margin of power to weight, I would choose the 13. If your travels rarely include the West, I wouldn't worry about it.

The engine and running gear on your truck are very robust. The weakest link is the rear differential. It has an 8" ring gear which is on the small side. I would suggest using a good synthetic gear oil in there and changing it yearly if you tow alot. I run 75-140 Amsoil Severe Gear. I also installed a temperature probe in mine so I can monitor the heat building on long hard pulls. Your truck develops less horsepower, so that wouldn't be needed. Your truck will lose power before you toast the rear end. I could burn mine up if I wanted to.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:52 AM   #5
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One more thought with regard to towing capacity on that truck. The rear springs are pretty weak. If you add a cap and gear to the bed, you will find that out. I put airbags on my truck, but I'm in the process of replacing the rear springs altogether. I carry additional gear.

Just for comparison, they upped the towing capacity on my truck to 6,500 pounds, a number that I find obsurd. The only substantial changes between yours and mine are the bigger engine and the final gear ratio.

David
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:43 AM   #6
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Thank you, Norm/Ginny,Bob,Raz, & Dave, for your quick response to my concerns! This gallery is SO helpful! I just spoke to Chandler, founder of ParkLiner, and I'll be driving up there nov.28, to check out his egg. It's 7 months now, since the post I read here last night about a new egg. I'm 3 1/2 hrs away! No trip to rice,backus,temecula or bc,for this kid! I'm excited! and haven't slept much........
But I'll post something, if I put a downpayment, get a pickup date, etc.
Thanks again! and please excuse my ineptness, using this gallery?! harry
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:57 AM   #7
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Harry, I'm new here too. You won't find a better bunch of people on a forum anywhere. The trip to Backus for me was more of a pilgrimage than a chore. It's nice to meet the hands that build your trailer because you'll likely enjoy it for a long time. I complain about Scamp from time to time because I'm picky, but in all, they are a great company, great people, selling a great product. I will say this though. There ain't a whole lot of draw to Backus unless you are going to pick up a Scamp

David
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:57 AM   #8
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Harry, I had an 05 Tacoma 4cyl. 5 sp. and got lazy and traded it for an 07 with an AT.
I took a 4500 mile trip last Sept. through Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
The only time I was excessively slowed down was going up the 8 mile 7 or 8% grade to Teton Pass.
I averaged 22 mpg for the trip. That included a full water tank and dual propane tanks on my 03 16' SD Scamp.
David is correct, put 2 bags of grocerys in the bed and it settles. My ONLY complaint with Toyota trucks is weak spring in the rear. I put Air Lift air bags on the rear as most of my trips are with my 660 pound ATV in the bed.
You will not be dissapointed with your Tacoma. It may be a little slower on steep grades but where can you average 22mpg when most of your trip is over 5000 ft elevation?
I think the 5 sp got me a little better MPG.
It just turned 60,000 miles a few days ago.
The only problem I have had with the truck was a high pitched whine from a air leak around the windshield.
The dealership apologized, gave me a car to drive home and installed a new windshield.
Oil analysts are telling us to expect $4.50 a gallon gas by next Easter so you will enjoy your truck even more.

John
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:58 AM   #9
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Agree with all you say, Dave, i'm picky too, and Chandler just told me to call ahead, make sure he'll be there, meet and greet, show me around, answer all questions, same deal as backus,rice,etc.,and don't I need snowshoes, won't spend $500-700 getting there, gas,lodging,food, and have to learn to handle a tow for 12-1500 miles, or freeze to death? I'm gonna check it out, input from ANYONE will be appreciated. What to look for, what to ask, what options are a must, all new to me. Thanks for your concern......harry
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:17 PM   #10
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PerryJ Great hearing from ya. Heavy duty shocks! Souunds like my next spend spend item. I'll be staying away from high, craggy peaks as much as possible. Always lived near salt water, or on it, ride a single speed bicycle, flatland, ya know. When the water reaches the Smokey Mtns, I'm gonna be thinkin', "shoulda got a boat! dummy!"
harry
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by harryjhere View Post
PerryJ Great hearing from ya. Heavy duty shocks! Souunds like my next spend spend item. I'll be staying away from high, craggy peaks as much as possible. Always lived near salt water, or on it, ride a single speed bicycle, flatland, ya know. When the water reaches the Smokey Mtns, I'm gonna be thinkin', "shoulda got a boat! dummy!"
harry
You have a 9" clutch which means the weak point is "the nut behind the wheel"
I love those adjustable half leafs, They are reasonably priced and only take minutes to install...

Hellwig Products LEAF SPRING ADJUSTABLE HELPERS - JCWhitney
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:43 PM   #12
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1998 Dodge Dakota ,4cyl. 5spd pulls the Scamp 13 just fine untill you hit the hills, than down shift acordingly
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryjhere View Post
PerryJ Great hearing from ya. Heavy duty shocks! Souunds like my next spend spend item. I'll be staying away from high, craggy peaks as much as possible. Always lived near salt water, or on it, ride a single speed bicycle, flatland, ya know. When the water reaches the Smokey Mtns, I'm gonna be thinkin', "shoulda got a boat! dummy!"
harry
Heavy duty shocks or heavy duty springs are a pain in the butt, literally. I've had both.
Your truck will ride like a tank with heavy duty shocks or springs.
The Air Lift air bags I have on my truck are 7 years old as I had them on my 05.
When not towing or hauling you run 5 or 10 pounds of air in the bags. You can put up to 100 pounds in them.
With my 660 pound ATV in the bed and my 16' Scamp with dual propane tanks and a very heavy group 29 battery on the tongue I leveled the trailer and truck with about 60 pounds of air and still had a decent ride.
John
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:44 PM   #14
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Heavy duty shocks or heavy duty springs are a pain in the butt, literally. I've had both.
Your truck will ride like a tank with heavy duty shocks or springs.
The Air Lift air bags I have on my truck are 7 years old as I had them on my 05.
When not towing or hauling you run 5 or 10 pounds of air in the bags. You can put up to 100 pounds in them.
With my 660 pound ATV in the bed and my 16' Scamp with dual propane tanks and a very heavy group 29 battery on the tongue I leveled the trailer and truck with about 60 pounds of air and still had a decent ride.
John
I agree Perry. The shocks and springs should be tailored to the usual weight of the truck. Tha bags work great to compensate extra loads. Mine are RideRite airbags. My problem is that with a canopy, rubber bed mat, and HD bumper I need 40 PSI just to run empty. That is how sacked my stock springs are. I use 60 -70psi with the bed loaded and the trailer on, so very similar to you. The new springs I have should level the truck with the air at 5 to 10, as it should be.
David
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:13 PM   #15
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Harry, as long as you're looking at trailers, you have another manufacturer south of you in St. Mathews SC... take a look at Small Travel Trailer: Camper: Smoakin Concepts Composites

I once towed a 13' egg with a '84 Dodge Omni from Michigan to Colorado Springs and back. No problems, but had to go about 50 mph most of the way. If an Omni could do it, your pickup can do it much better.

DavidSo, I wonder if your rear diff could be replaced with a more robust aftermarket one? If anyone is making better ones that fit the Tacoma, that is.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:41 PM   #16
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DavidSo, I wonder if your rear diff could be replaced with a more robust aftermarket one? If anyone is making better ones that fit the Tacoma, that is.
Mike,
Yeah there are other options but none come cheap. I'm hoping that with good lube and care the one I have will live. Mainly that means not overheating it. When I pulled it down for the new gears at maybe 55,000 miles, there was already evidence that the carrier bearing had spun a little. That's not good. I did some things in there to improve the situation, and installed the probe so I can keep an eye on it. We'll see.................
David
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:03 AM   #17
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Smile Towing

We tow our '09 Trillium 1300 with a '00 Subaru Outback rated for 2000#, 2.4 Liter 4 cyl, 5 spd.

Our Trill weighed in at 1840# when we were at Quartzsite this February.

You should have no trouble towing yours with a truck.

As I say, I won't win any drag races and do have some slow hills, but so do a lot of semis. I don't know how it is out east, but CA requires all vehicles towing to observe the 55mph truck limit. I think most states require that. Granted, there are some drivers who break the car speed limit whilst towing, but there are foolish persons everywhere.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:01 AM   #18
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Again, if you're looking at trailers, look at Egg Camper built in Grandville, Michigan. A little more height & width inside, available as all electric if wanted, and no rivets through the outer skin to hold interior cabinets in place.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:16 PM   #19
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Again, if you're looking at trailers, look at Egg Camper built in Grandville, Michigan. A little more height & width inside, available as all electric if wanted, and no rivets through the outer skin to hold interior cabinets in place.
Bob & Mike....
Those might be a bit large for this application!
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:18 PM   #20
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Smile Check your owner's manual

Hmm. I notice no one suggested Harry look at his Owner's Manual. In there should be the information as to what your vehicle can tow. That should be your guide. What we say in this thread has no bearing whatsoever on your vehicle. There are numerous sites on the internet that propose to tell towing capacities, here is one:

HowStuffWorks "Toyota Towing Capacity Chart"

but when push comes to shove, what the owner's manual for the particular vehicle says should be the guide. (the listed link indicates an '08 Tacoma is rated for 3500#, so Harry should be good for almost any fiberglass rig under 20'.

There is also the state regulations:
(I highlighted some of particular interest.)

North Carolina

Max Vehicle Height: 13 1/2'
Max Vehicle Width: 8 1/2'. On interstate highways; secondary roads still 8 ft.
Combined Length: 60'
Max Trailer Length: 35'
Max Trailer Width: 8'6"
Max Trailer Height: 13'6"
Motor Home Length: 45'
Two Vehicle Max Length: 60'
Triple Tow Allowed: no
Safety Chains Required: Yes
Breakaway Required: Not Stated
Fire Extinguisher: Not Stated
Flares & Signs: Not Stated
Trailer Brakes Required: 1000
Towed Cars: No laws regarding.
Wipers: Yes
Max Tow Speed: 55
Ride in 5th Wheel: Yes
Ride Pickup Camper: Yes
Ride Travel Trailer: Yes
Weight Limits for Towing without Auxiliary Brakes: 1000lbs.
Every semitrailer, trailer, or separate vehicle attached by a drawbar or coupling to a towing vehicle of at least 4,000 lbs, and every house trailer weighing at least 1,000 lbs, shall be equipped with brake controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle.
Maximum Length - RV & Trailer Combo: 60ft.

(This if from State Towing Laws for RVs)
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