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Old 01-26-2011, 11:57 AM   #1
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Beat to death towing question

Hi all, and by the way, this is a great forum with a ton of information.
I think i have read just about every thread dealing with towing. And i do not think i have my question answered, i know, hard to believe since there are so many threads about towing.

I am about to buyon an 09 Tacoma Access cab SR5 Prerunner.. It has the 4 cylinder with Manual trans. Most of my driving will be about a 100 mile round trip to work everyday, so i think the most important aspect for me is the gas mileage. However, I also have a 95 FourWinns 18' bowrunner 3,450# that I will be pulling on the weeknds in the summer, maybe 8-10 trips a year. The farthest I would be towing is about 50 miles. I feel pretty confident that it will do fine on the road but my question is will there be a problem pulling it out of the water up the ramp? Currently the truck does not have a tow hitch, I will put that on myself before towing. Just want to make sure it will pull the boat out of the water. That would be embarassing! Any help would be great. I know the 3,450 is rigth at the max towing weight. Anybody else tow something that close to the max?

This is my first post, but hopefully not my last.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:04 PM   #2
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I have a 97 FW 205 Sundowner about 6k loaded. W/ yours being a Prerunner, you might come into a problem w/ getting it out of the water. Escpecially since you wont have a limited slip diff. If you had a rear lockers you might be able to get by with it. Some of the boat ramps I put in at can be done in 4x2, others 4x4 is a must. It just depends on the condition of the ramp. The ramp I use most often can change from a 4x4 ramp to a 4x2 ramp b/c of the river going up/down. If I get on the ramp up towards the top, I never have a problem but if the water has just gone down and the ramp is wet or has a little silt 4x4 is a must. I think your best option would be to get a Prerunner Off-Road, atleast it would have the locker. GL
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:08 PM   #3
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The tow capacity is reduced by the load in the cab including passengers and even gas in the gas tank. I would be very hesitant to be so close to the towing limit.

Without 4WD or a limited slip rear end you will have a lot of problems getting up the ramp if it is at all slippery and will probably be buying a lot of clutches.

Too close to the margins, I'd look for a V6 pulling that boat.

BTW, I pull a 16' Carolina Skiff with my 5 lug and waited until the 5 lug was available in '09 with the Auto LSD for all the slippery ramps I deal with. My boat is lighter than yours, I have an automatic which alllows me to ease the gas on better and I would be having to have help gettin gup or not be able to use the sand ramps I currently do without the LSD. My boat and trailer fully loaded are about 1500 lbs.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:10 PM   #4
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Didn't all 09's come with ALSD?
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:21 PM   #5
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I towed my Mustang on a dolly once with my last 05 which was a 4 cylinder 4x4. It pulled it just fine. I also towed a little over 6k pounds with my 1st gen tacoma from PA to NH. That was interesting but worked out fine. But like others have said getting out of the water on a steep ramp with no 4WD or low range could get interesting depending on the ramp. You won't have any trouble pulling it though. I drive 400 miles a week just going back and forth to work. I put 102k on that 4 cylinder truck. But now after having the V6 for a few months I would never go back. My old truck with real AT tires on it (265/70/16's) was getting a hair over 21mpg. Now I get between 19-20 with the V6 on the same size tires. And I no longer have to downshift to maintain speed up long hills or plan way ahead and downshift 2 gears to pass on 2 lane roads either.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Didn't all 09's come with ALSD?
I believe so but the problem is it uses the brakes to simulate the limited slip diff killing momentum which is important when pulling up a hill.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishshooter View Post
Didn't all 09's come with ALSD?
It is only going to address the traction issue at the wheels. It does not address getting all that weight moving uphill with his clutch while the wheels are being braked by the LSD.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:56 PM   #8
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Yeah, I'd wouldn't want to try to pull that much boat out of most the ramps around here with that setup.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:39 PM   #9
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Thank you so much for the info. I was going to go buy the truck this afternoon, I think you guys just saved me a $17,000 headache!!!!!!!!
And sorryt o have to ask about towing again as it seems that is a pretty popular discussion, but i just didn't find quite the right answer. And goo dinfo on the slip diff. I thought it has one as well, but if it is activated by the brakes, wouldn't do me any good trying to pull out of the water. Good info on the clutch as well.
I have been looking for a 4 cylinder with 4X4, but boy those are hard to find!!! Guess i will either be patient, or start looking for a v-6. Would still like to have the manual tranny, but that doesn't seem to be very popular either. One more quick question, the v-6 would be fine to do the job WITHOUT 4X4 correct????
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawasaki636 View Post
Thank you so much for the info. I was going to go buy the truck this afternoon, I think you guys just saved me a $17,000 headache!!!!!!!!
And sorryt o have to ask about towing again as it seems that is a pretty popular discussion, but i just didn't find quite the right answer. And goo dinfo on the slip diff. I thought it has one as well, but if it is activated by the brakes, wouldn't do me any good trying to pull out of the water. Good info on the clutch as well.
I have been looking for a 4 cylinder with 4X4, but boy those are hard to find!!! Guess i will either be patient, or start looking for a v-6. Would still like to have the manual tranny, but that doesn't seem to be very popular either. One more quick question, the v-6 would be fine to do the job WITHOUT 4X4 correct????
The first issue is Traction, that is why 4x4 is HIGHLY recommended. The next issue is towing capacity. So you need to have 4x4 for those slippery ramps. Secondly you are at the very towing limit of the 4 banger. The 4 banger would do it but puts a lot of strain on it. So I would go with a 4x4 V-6 for your needs.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawasaki636 View Post
Thank you so much for the info. I was going to go buy the truck this afternoon, I think you guys just saved me a $17,000 headache!!!!!!!!
And sorryt o have to ask about towing again as it seems that is a pretty popular discussion, but i just didn't find quite the right answer. And goo dinfo on the slip diff. I thought it has one as well, but if it is activated by the brakes, wouldn't do me any good trying to pull out of the water. Good info on the clutch as well.
I have been looking for a 4 cylinder with 4X4, but boy those are hard to find!!! Guess i will either be patient, or start looking for a v-6. Would still like to have the manual tranny, but that doesn't seem to be very popular either. One more quick question, the v-6 would be fine to do the job WITHOUT 4X4 correct????
The V6 would have the power to tow, but traction might be an issue. As an avid boater I take my boat to many different lakes in KY/TN. You never know what the boat ramp is going to look like until you get there. You also dont want to be the one on the boat ramp hold people up b/c you cant get traction. I would say 50-60% of the time you will be fine but you just never know. Even the same boat ramp you've beep up many times in 4x2 can turn slippery when wet. Having the limited slip or a locker would def. help a ton. GL
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:01 AM   #12
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Again, valuable information, and thank you for taking the time to respond so quickly. The guy i was going to buy the truck from was not very happy, but then again, I would not have been if i had bought that truck. So my search continues. I think i have decided on a v-6. i really want to gas mileage of the 4, but i do not want to be the one on the ramp holding everybody up because i can't get the boat out of the water, or worse have to unhitch and have my buddy come pull it out! haha
Ok, thanks again. once i get my truck, i'll take pics and post, and hell, I probably need one with me pulling the boat out of the water after all this!
Thanks guys, great forum here, glad i found it!
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawasaki636 View Post
Again, valuable information, and thank you for taking the time to respond so quickly. The guy i was going to buy the truck from was not very happy, but then again, I would not have been if i had bought that truck. So my search continues. I think i have decided on a v-6. i really want to gas mileage of the 4, but i do not want to be the one on the ramp holding everybody up because i can't get the boat out of the water, or worse have to unhitch and have my buddy come pull it out! haha
Ok, thanks again. once i get my truck, i'll take pics and post, and hell, I probably need one with me pulling the boat out of the water after all this!
Thanks guys, great forum here, glad i found it!
Something to think about, 4wd Tacomas have a 4Lo setting. A 4cly 4x4 would do alright in 4lo coming up a boat ramp. The low gearing would save your clutch also. Don't get me wrong, a V6 4x4 is ideal for what you're planning on using it for, but you could get by with the 4 cyl.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:42 AM   #14
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If you get a Taco with limited slip axle or the Auto LSD feature a V6 2WD would probably do fine. I use my 5 lug on the side of some very sandy ramps and one very slippery ramp and I drive out when others are having trouble. Keep in mind a 4x4 w/o a limited slip can still get stuck if there is no traction on both sets of wheels.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:54 AM   #15
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I used to tow a 3500 lb boat with a 4x4 4 cyl. nissan 5spd back in the day. I had to use 4 wheel drive a few times to get up ramps. Definetly am able to tow better with V6 4x4 6spd. now. Haven't had to use 4x4 to get up a ramp yet that I recall in two boating seasons.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:28 PM   #16
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Again, thank you to everyone who responded.
I ended up getting my new (new to me) 2006 Tacoma TRD 6 cylinder 2WD on Friday.
I think it will be perfect for what i need to do with it, and i love the truck. Wasn't sure about the scoop on the hood, but it is growing on me.

Once i get som pictures, I'll post. I do wish i could have found a 4WD 4 Cylinder, but they seem to be prety rare, at least here in texas anyway.

Thanks again.
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