Tacoma as tow vehicle? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:18 PM   #1
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Name: Wendell
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Tacoma as tow vehicle?

I have a 2006 Tacoma TRD 4x4 with tow package. rated to 6500lbs
Plus, Upgraded heavy duty leaf springs.
ARE shell
I have towed u-hauls and boats cross country with it.
How big a TT can I go?
Can I tow a 21ft Escape? Any other recommendations. Want a 20-25ft TT
2 semi-retired types. We plan on week to month trips.
Most forums I've looked at say 2500 diesel or death.
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Old 04-26-2018, 08:24 PM   #2
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I suspect that you will find much disagreement on vehicle tow capacity. That said, I have always felt that I would limit the advertised dry weight of the trailer to no more than 1/2 to 2/3’s of the truck tow capacity. It has always worked for me.
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Old 04-26-2018, 08:35 PM   #3
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The 21ft Escape Approx. Total dry weight is 3210lbs
My Taco is rated to 6500lbs so it's close.
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Old 04-26-2018, 09:10 PM   #4
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Wendell,

Welcome to the forum. The Escape 21 is a 5,000 lb gross-weight trailer, meaning that is the maximum total weight of trailer, fluids, and gear. Our dry weight came in at 3,735 lbs, considerably higher than the published figure of 3,210 lbs, due to the weight of all the included options. The cargo-carrying capacity is 1,031 lbs.

The Escape 21's tongue weight is rated as being up to 700 lbs, which makes sense as the rule of thumb to maintain a stable tow is generally to have the tongue weight equal some 12 to 15% of the loaded trailer's weight.

Your tongue weight rating is probably 10% of the tow rating. The actual trailer tongue weight comes off of your truck's payload capacity. So does your weight and that of any passengers and gear in the vehicle. Your manual and the nameplates on your vehicle will inform you further. The manual may even mention a limit for the projected frontal area of the trailer to account for wind resistance.

So, the answer to your question is a resounding "maybe".

Some depends on the math as you check the axle rating, the gross weight ratings of the tow vehicle and the trailer, and a few similar-type rating numbers. In fact the options on your truck reduce your tow rating; I believe some diesel's tow ratings are adversely affected due to the additional weight of their engines with their heavier blocks.

A lack of commensurate payload capacity often effectively limits the towing capacity to much less than the published towing capacity. This is true to a degree that I would be tempted to call some of the tow ratings 'fraudulent' though I'm sure a good attorney can get that brought down to merely 'highly misleading' with credit for time served.

Some of this depends on your expectations such as whether you plan to hold the left lane against all comers on the Eisenhower tunnel grades.

It merits a careful examination of your vehicle's nameplate and a solid understanding of the numbers. Try Googling "GVWR GAWR GCWR tow ratings" and similar and I'm sure you will find several good articles on the subject.
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Old 04-26-2018, 09:21 PM   #5
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If you don't load the trailer heavily (with cargo and options), you should have no problem.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:51 AM   #6
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an older Escape 21 is 4500 or 4600 lbs gross.

I towed our 2014 E21 with my 2008 Tacoma 4x4 TRD Off Road Access Cab 6-speed 4.0L V6, from Dallas to Santa Cruz via Reno. the truck was mostly empty except duffle bags of a couple days clothes, and the trailer just had bedding, a couple days groceries, and a full water tank. It towed just fine. my Tacoma has airbags in back and I put about 40PSI in them, and it has slightly better-than-stock shocks, relatively new KO2 tires, but is otherwise unmodded.

my biggest complaint was gas mileage per tank. heading west out of Fort Worth in chilly headwinds, staying with the flow of the semi-trucks (all doing 70-75), I got like 9.6 MPG over two tanks, OUCH, thats 150 miles and your gas gauge is looking mighty close to "E". I slowed down for the last couple days, and drove more like 55-60 as I do here in California when towing and got 12-13MPG, better but not great.

I've since gone and bought a 2002 F250 7.3L diesel, hahaahaha. it gets 17MPG towing and has a 38 gallon tank. woooot! 500+ miles before you need to start looking for gas.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:55 AM   #7
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oh. gen 2 tacomas like ours, the 4x4's have 1000 lbs payload with double cabs and 1200 lbs with access cabs. check your tire sticker, it probably says this.

I figure 500 lbs for the Escape leaves us 700 lbs with my AccessCab, my wife and I weigh something close to 450 lbs combined, so that doesn't leave much at all. my snugtop probably cuts 150 lbs off that, too. OTOH, the KO2's are load range 'E', way beefier than spec for the Tacoma, and the airbags definitely help with keeping the ride reasonable with a heavy load so I don't mind pushing things a bit.

that said, yeah, I ended up buying an F250 like I said above. 2000+ lbs payload, 12500 lbs hitch towed, and 20,000 lbs GCWR (truck weighs 6800 empty, 8800 GVWR). pretty hard for me to get even remotely CLOSE to those numbers with the Escape, hahahaahh.
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Old 04-27-2018, 02:02 AM   #8
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Our 2013 DBL cab Tacoma with the towing package has 1150 Lbs on the drivers door sill for payload. This is the truck as it came from the factory with a full tank of fuel.

To this I would add me (188 Lbs) and any passengers (can't post weight would instantly be killed) and whatever options the dealer installed (none) or I installed (fiberglass topper, air bags, rubber bed mat, flares and safety supplies) .

So I do a balancing act to make sure the hitch and tongue weight and what I am carrying and us does not exceed the payload weight. I will exceed this before I exceed the towing capacity as will most other vehicles. I picked up one of these scales for our 2017 19 and found it very handy. https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...le/A-p8686024e I can take a quick measurement before I drop the trailer on the hitch ball with it.
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Old 04-27-2018, 02:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenton View Post
To this I would add me (188 Lbs) and any passengers (can't post weight would instantly be killed)

Funny how often this comment comes up. It must be a learned lesson some where along the line as it wasn't in the marriage vows that I remember. But like you Ken, I discovered that info might be unhealthy . OK, back to trailer/hitch ratings, a safer subject .
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Funny how often this comment comes up. It must be a learned lesson some where along the line as it wasn't in the marriage vows that I remember. But like you Ken, I discovered that info might be unhealthy . OK, back to trailer/hitch ratings, a safer subject .
Very true.
Depending on what we are doing and for how long determines how we load the trailer. We carry little in the truck other than snacks and such. That probably tells you how close to payload we are thanks to the cap and rubber mat and other items. The truck is paid for so we make do. Next one will have a lot more payload capacity so I do not need to be so careful.

The trailer was weighed with items that stay with it. I weigh items that are being brought along that will be on or under the bed or at the front of the trailer. 1 month or more means we are carrying a lot of stuff so I carefully arrange the load in the trailer.

For a shorter trip in Florida I often just pack and add fresh water to the tank to lower hitch weight or move items forwards if the tongue weight is less than I want.

I try to keep hitch weight somewhere around 450 Lbs, much more and the bed mat comes out of the truck or water gets added to the tank if I can't shift load to the back of the trailer.
The heaviest it has been so far was 4270 , we had 608 Lbs of interesting looking rocks loaded to bring back to Florida. Tacy would have been proud of us.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:03 AM   #11
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So why not get a load balancing hitch? And reduce the need to be concerned about the hitch load? My Tundra is rated 7000 pounds towing capacity and the TT is a Lance with 5000 pound weight. Tows perfect with load balancing hitch over all roads and paths have taken. Never have I had any issues Nothing weird for movement ever. Only go 60 mph maximum, but does suck at gas with only 10mph usually.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
an older Escape 21 is 4500 or 4600 lbs gross.



I towed our 2014 E21 with my 2008 Tacoma 4x4 TRD Off Road Access Cab 6-speed 4.0L V6, from Dallas to Santa Cruz via Reno. the truck was mostly empty except duffle bags of a couple days clothes, and the trailer just had bedding, a couple days groceries, and a full water tank. It towed just fine. my Tacoma has airbags in back and I put about 40PSI in them, and it has slightly better-than-stock shocks, relatively new KO2 tires, but is otherwise unmodded.



my biggest complaint was gas mileage per tank. heading west out of Fort Worth in chilly headwinds, staying with the flow of the semi-trucks (all doing 70-75), I got like 9.6 MPG over two tanks, OUCH, thats 150 miles and your gas gauge is looking mighty close to "E". I slowed down for the last couple days, and drove more like 55-60 as I do here in California when towing and got 12-13MPG, better but not great.



I've since gone and bought a 2002 F250 7.3L diesel, hahaahaha. it gets 17MPG towing and has a 38 gallon tank. woooot! 500+ miles before you need to start looking for gas.


Is the F250 4wd?
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Old 04-27-2018, 06:21 AM   #13
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I towed our Oliver with a 2012 Tacoma. Around 5,500lbs and used an Andersen WDH. It did fine. After 6 months I traded up to a Ram 1500. The Tacoma needed a gas station every 150 miles. With the Ram I got a bigger gas tank, better mileage, more cargo capacity and a better ride.
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:09 AM   #14
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The average weight of a loaded Escape 21 in our Trailer Weights in the Real World database is 4115# with 543# tongue weight. The range on total weight is pretty small, but the tongue weight range is striking. Might have something to do with the large, forward under-bed storage compartment.

Escape has recently redesigned their trailers, so it sounds like the new version may be a bit heavier. Units with thermal windows and upgraded insulation will also be a bit heavier.

I don't see any reason you can't start out towing with the Tacoma. It has some limitations that have already been mentioned- range between fill-ups, low payload, and lack of reserve power- so you will have to watch loading carefully. An upgrade would be better all-around. But on your time schedule.

I don't have any other molded fiberglass recommendations in that size range. The other two options- Bigfoot and Oliver- are full four-season units and definitely beyond the capacity of your Tacoma. Escape is the lightest of the larger units.
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenton View Post
Our 2013 DBL cab Tacoma with the towing package has 1150 Lbs on the drivers door sill for payload. This is the truck as it came from the factory with a full tank of fuel.

To this I would add me (188 Lbs) and any passengers (can't post weight would instantly be killed) and whatever options the dealer installed (none) or I installed (fiberglass topper, air bags, rubber bed mat, flares and safety supplies) .

So I do a balancing act to make sure the hitch and tongue weight and what I am carrying and us does not exceed the payload weight. I will exceed this before I exceed the towing capacity as will most other vehicles. I picked up one of these scales for our 2017 19 and found it very handy. https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...le/A-p8686024e I can take a quick measurement before I drop the trailer on the hitch ball with it.
If your payload is this low, first subtract the camper top weight from the payload. Then subtract tongue weight, cargo in the truck, and weight of driver and passengers. You will be out of payload.

Whether this will affect your towing decision is up to you. But you should know you will be over the manufacturers rating. The fact that some others do it should doesn't really matter.
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:29 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
If your payload is this low, first subtract the camper top weight from the payload. Then subtract tongue weight, cargo in the truck, and weight of driver and passengers. You will be out of payload.

Whether this will affect your towing decision is up to you. But you should know you will be over the manufacturers rating. The fact that some others do it should doesn't really matter.
I have 87 Lbs left over. How do I know this, scales do not lie.
You did read that I do not carry anything other than snacks while towing as I am very aware of the payload capacity of the truck. The WD hitch does help a small amount but I do not include it in the calculations. I view any load shift it does as reducing wear and tear on the truck a bit.

I have the Fastway E2 600 Lb hitch set up on our vehicle.At a hitch weight of 450 Lbs I have about 87 Lbs before I exceed the payload. I keep that free so I do not need to figure weights. Lets say I decided to go with the max tongue weight of 640 Lbs and use the WD hitch. In theory if everything is perfect and I am towing on flat roads it could provide an opportunity to move approx 6% (38 lbs) of trailer tongue weight to the truck front axle and another 20% ( 128 Lbs) to the trailer axles. So 38 plus 128 equals 166 Lbs. 640 -166 Lbs equals 475 which means I still want to remove the rubber mat from the truck bed and add water to the tank as no WD setup shifts load perfectly in the real world.
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:33 AM   #17
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I'm near the end of a 7000 mile trip towing a second generation (2017) Escape 21 with a 2016 Tacoma Off Road. Actual trailer weight is 4600 lab, 460 lbs tongue weight. While I love the truck, I can't recommend it for towing a 21. It was great with my 17B, but is overweight with the 21.

Even without the payload problem, it is a questionable tow vehicle for the 21. When towing in the manufacturer's recommended 5th gear, it spends most of the time in 4th, and on almost any hill, 3rd at 4000RPM @ 60MPH. You get tired of listening to the engine whining! The average MPG for the trip is between 11 & 12.

I will probably be looking for something else when I get home. While I love the truck - a great truck for off roading & a smaller trailer, to my mind it not quite enough for an Escape 21. I should note that I've seen better towing reports for the previous generation of Tacoma with the 4.0L engine...
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:31 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
I'm near the end of a 7000 mile trip towing a second generation (2017) Escape 21 with a 2016 Tacoma Off Road. Actual trailer weight is 4600 lab, 460 lbs tongue weight. While I love the truck, I can't recommend it for towing a 21. It was great with my 17B, but is overweight with the 21.

Even without the payload problem, it is a questionable tow vehicle for the 21. When towing in the manufacturer's recommended 5th gear, it spends most of the time in 4th, and on almost any hill, 3rd at 4000RPM @ 60MPH. You get tired of listening to the engine whining! The average MPG for the trip is between 11 & 12.

I will probably be looking for something else when I get home. While I love the truck - a great truck for off roading & a smaller trailer, to my mind it not quite enough for an Escape 21. I should note that I've seen better towing reports for the previous generation of Tacoma with the 4.0L engine...

If I spent as much time on the road as you the Tacoma would probably be sold. While mine does not have the HP problem yours has thanks to the TRD supercharger and tuner it does have the low payload problem so it just carries us and a few snacks when we tow.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:05 AM   #19
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It occurred to me that this subject takes a huge part of the forum,
and often seems to descended into a kind of group "navel gazing".
Then I thought ... NO!... More exactly "umbilical gazing"!!

Don't forget to remove your wheel-Chakras before towing.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:17 AM   #20
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Taco driveline changed

The driveline changed in 2015 (I think) for the V6; Toyota put in a smaller engine that has to run about 400-500 rpm higher for the same horsepower output as my 2013. At 4200 lbs wet, my Taco (4dr longbed 4x4) has no issues pulling the 21 across the Rockies, and at 13 mpg flatland towing I'm happy! I had a giant 4dr 4x4 F250 - too much hassle as a daily driver.
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